To Mac Pro or Not

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Kentucky Mac, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. Kentucky Mac macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    Kentucky, Duh!
    I am new to the Mac way of life, as I have been a Windows user the last 12 to 13 years or so, and most recently using Dells for the last 8 years or so.

    I currently run a new M6300 17" Dell Precision Laptop (2.2ghz C2D w/2GB Ram, w/Nvidia Quadro fx1600m w/512mb ram) in a Latitude docking station hooked up to a 24" Dell ultrasharp widescreen monitor via DVI as well as a older 17" dell monitor hooked up via VGA on the back of the docking station.

    I run my business from my home and routinely sit at the computer all day and sometimes into the night. I typically will have Outlook, Quickbooks, Firefox, Slingplayer, Adobe Acrobat, Excel, and my cabinet design software running at the same time. The cabinet software does 3D renderings.

    All this being said, the Precision machine seems to be a great unit and only hangs occasionally running all these apps, but it is a monster to use for anything other than a desktop replacement that you leave on your desktop. Therefore I need another solution, and I'm not opposed to spending the money on a tower unit of some sort, and buying say a 15" MBP for portability, or maybe even the new Macbook Air.

    Some of my requirements -

    I'd like to run my 24" widescreen along with 2 -20" Dell Ultrasharp standard monitors on each side of the widescreen. Therefore, i'd need at least 3 if not 4 DVI outputs.

    If I add a portable via the MBP or even the MBA, can I sync my files with the Mac Pro without any trouble?

    Finally, can someone explain a comparison between what I have CPU wise and what I could have with the Mac Pro?

    Is the Dual Quad Core a necessity, or is the single quad core still way above and beyond what I currently have?

    Does my windows only software have to run 64bit to take advantage of more than 2 GB of ram??

    My next Cabinet Vision Software upgrade will require:

    Intel Pentium (Pentium 4/D/Core 2 recommended)

    1gb (2gb recommended)

    Video Card
    ATI or Nvidia 32mb (256mb recommended)

    All this being said, will the bottom of the line Mac Pro fill my needs with a extra graphics card, or am I still buying way to much machine. The iMac is out of the question because of the monitor situation.

    I'm very interested and curious about switching to a Mac, especially with Intel, Bootcamp, Apple TV, and various other Apple gadgets available and any help you can give me is greatly appreciated. I currently do use a Iphone, and have been very impressed with Apples quality and design.

    Sorry for such a long post, and thanks in advance for any info.
  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    Cabinet Vision sounds to be quite processor intensive so if your time equals cool cash I would suggest getting a faster computer to render your 3D, so you do not have to sit up all night.

    A Mac Pro makes cash in this case, albeit for a small initial investment.

    You can run up to 8 screen with the new Mac Pro, so in your case you would need 2 x Radeon HD 2600 XT installed. Do you happen to know if Cabinet Vision uses the graphic card for rendering or just the processors?

    You can easily synchronize data between two Macs with preinstalled software in Mac OS X.

    Your current processor is most likely a mobile Core 2 Duo with 2-cores that share a 4MB cache and runs on a 800Mhz Front Side Bus.

    For comparison the base line Mac Pro comes with 2 x Quad-core processors for a total of 8 cores running at 2.80Ghz. Each processor shares 12MB of cache and runs on a 1600Mhz Front Side Bus. The extra number of cores will only be useful for you if your processor intensive applications are multi-core aware (and I am thinking Cabinet Vision here). A single Quad-core will also be better since you apparently multitask a lot but it really boils down to whether or not your applications are multithreaded, so they can use all those cores.

    If you run a 32-bit operating system you will be limited to 4GB of addressable memory. Why is this important? It is important because everything that has ram on it will take away from that 4GB of addressable memory range limit. An example; If you have 4GB of ram installed in Windows XP and have two Radeon HD 2600 XT installed they will take up 512MB of the 4GB memory range, leaving around 3.5GB for anything else that takes up the addressable memory range. You would most likely still get more than 2GB of memory available but definitely not the full 4GB. 64-bit removes this memory address range problem.
  3. Kentucky Mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    Kentucky, Duh!
    Thanks for the info.

    Another question on the graphics cards. The Nvidia I have now offers display gridlines to section off your monitors to create basically frames to be able to throw windows into and they keep their position without having to resize and etc. Do the ATI cards offer this on the Mac. I have found I really like this and with the multiple monitor setup, it would be helpful.
  4. Toups macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2007
    The Pro does not offer "grid lines" but will remember your window size and location information when you close a program so it will open the next time in the same location on the display(s)
  5. Kentucky Mac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2008
    Kentucky, Duh!
    The grid lines are actually generated by the Nvidia software rather than windows and are controlled in the Nvidia properties. Is it maybe possible that ATI offers something similar and/or does the Nvidia cards do this on the Mac. For those with the Nvidia cards, it is under nview properties/user interface/enable display gridlines. On a Mac, do you have access to any Graphics card properties?
  6. Toups macrumors regular

    Nov 23, 2007
    The video cards do have several configurable properties, but until someone gets one of the 8800GT cards I dont know if anyone can answer your question about the gridlines.
  7. BCabinet macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2010
    Cabinet Vision Version

    What version of Cabinet Vision are you running?

  8. Warbitrary macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2009
    Montréal, Canada
    Hello 2008!! :rolleyes:

    Do you realize this thread is 2.5 years old?
  9. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    To keep stuff synced, you could use dropbox, mobileme, or Chronosync. I currently use Chronosync and love it!
  10. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    I like using Dropbox but end up getting "conflicted copies" of some app data files. I use Hazel to get rid of them after three days.

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