Time to order! Help me spend my $$$$

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by HotShoeStudios, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. HotShoeStudios macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2009
    Alright, I just can't take trying to get my work done anymore on my dual 2.5 PowerPC G5. It's just not cutting it and I can't stand waiting for processes to finish.

    I'm ordering a machine by the end of the week. I don't want to go above 5 grand for the tower. What do all of you mac geniuses think I should spec out for a killer PS/Lightwave setup? Is the RAID card worth it for speed? I already have plenty of external storage for backup but if having an internal RAID will make a BIG difference I'm for it.

    I spend all of my time between Lightwave (around 1.5 million poly scenes) and PS (250 ppi 50" x 25") painting and or compositing. I'll also throw Painter in the mix but mostly it's previs and layout in Lightwave and then over to PS for painting/compositing. I also handle a lot of RAW images in Aperture and I ocassionally use Final Cut Studio.

    I currently have a 30" ACD that I use in sync with a Cintiq 21UX. I plan on getting dual Lacies in a few months for the new box and retiring the 30" ACD to my home office so I need the top graphics card. (I need the Lacies for true color output becuase I make prints on an Epson 9600.)

    I've read so much here I can't see straight anymore so I'm turning for help from the actual people whop live and work with these apps everyday.

    Thanks in advance!!!!
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    2.93 Quad with 12GB and a pair of Intel SSD's in software RAID0.
  3. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    VirtualRain makes a pretty good suggestion if you want raw, expensive power. Maybe stick to traditional HDDs for now until the prices come down on SSDs (and their long-term reliability is tested) and go with the 2.66GHz CPU option (8-core of course) to save yourself a few grand that you can spend on RAM and other stuff.
    You're gonna have trouble running more than 1 display with the top of the line 4870, as you need a $100 mini DVI to DVI adapter dongle thing. If you need to power more than 2 displays, you need multiple graphics cards, so you might consider going with the 2x GT 120 option, even though those cards are ****. You might be able to run 2 4870s, but don't quote me on that.

    Basically, to boil down my long winded-ness you need to get the most RAM you can afford (get it from a different company than Apple though, obviously) and the best graphics options you can afford. The processor speed is not important enough to merit it's huge increase in price.

    Hope any of this helps :)
  4. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    Here's my 2 cents worth. I went for the 2.26 octo w the 4870 and 16 gb of RAM. I got the Intel X25-M SSD for the boot drive and applications, and put 3 VelociRaptors in a RAID 0 stripe for data. Time machine goes to an external LaCie RAID 1. If I had more $$$, I would go for the 2.93, but I figured the ram, ssd, and fast drives would be a better return on the dollar for what I am doing.

    Check out macperformance.com for a lot of useful information. Worthwhile reading, though the new Mac Pro is several pages long.
  5. HotShoeStudios thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 31, 2009
    Thanks for the help guys!

    I figure I'd max out the ram thru OWC after I get the setup. I really need to have dual displays though. Would I be better off pushing the 30" ACD with the 4870 and then getting the GT 120 for the Cintiq? Or can I use the 4870 to run both and just buy and adaptor?
  6. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    I went with the 2.93GHz 8-Core for Maya 2009.

    2.93GHz Nehalem Mac Pro outperformed the eight-core Xserve by at least 50 percent. Straight-ahead integer and floating point scores were comparable to those of other Intel Core 2 systems at similar clock speeds, which is to be expected considering the microarchitecture is largely unchanged. However, the Nehalem Mac Pro's aggressive power management let it handle the same workload with less power.
  7. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Quad Nehalem's max out at 8GB of RAM. So far anyway.

    I'd go for the Octo in any config period. That current RAM cap of the quad is a PITA. Having 32GBs of RAM in an octo machine that comes close to the performance of the previous gen octo is well worth it. Especially since you are working with a dual core G5.
  8. cmaier macrumors G4

    Jul 25, 2007
    No they don't. Three 4GB sticks=12GB. Four 4GB sticks=16GB.
  9. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Honestly I think the only thing that might push you away from an iMac is the screen. It seems to me like you really would require the ability to use a display of your choosing. That said from my experience the only thing that really makes the Mac Pro more attractive is the expandability.

    For instance I would sell my Mac Pro in a heart beat if I could slap my PCIe card into the latest iMac offering. Power wise they can both really perform.

    If you are doing a RAID I would go for the hardware. The software RAID can cause some headaches. I have always had back ups, but I did have a lot of problem keeping a software RAID functioning. That said I really don't think you'll need it. Yes it will be a little faster, but when compare cost to performance the RAID card is simply not worth it, even tough Apple is selling it for $300 less.

    Also, we will all see if SL makes a big difference, but currently the Mac Pro pricing has gone up, but the spec are almost the same since the 06 models. Prise increased more then speed/performance.
  10. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    This is why I hate Apple.

    Thanks, you just saved me some green.

    Now I can consider the quad Mac Pro in favor of the octo......

    choices choices!

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