Too Many options! What do I do? I'm buying SOME type of MP on Monday!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BiikeMike, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. BiikeMike macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #1
    Well, I've been waiting to buy a mac pro WAY to long. I was waiting for the octo, now its here, I was all excited about it and had my mind made up that was what I was getting, but it seems as if it is not what it is supposed to be, especially without Leopard. So I thought, OK, I'll just stick to the 3.0 Quad. Then I started reading about it, and the differences between the 2.66 and the 3.0, and how it really is not very noticeable.

    I will be running CS2 until I get my hands on CS3, mostly Photoshop for clone/healing, skin smoothing, a few filters, watermarking, etc. A bit of dabbling in Imageready, and Acrobat Pro.

    I run Lightroom, A LOT, to go through thousands of pictures, apply minor fixes and changes, and mass exports.

    I run Final Cut Pro some, but would like to get into it more, I run Soundtrack pro quite a bit, and DVD Studio some.

    I am also getting the Mac Pro so I can only have ONE computer, not two. I'll be running Windows 2K (or XP if that doesn't work out) through parallels to run digital darkroom to publish my photos, digitally send them to the lab, and recieve and process orders.

    My fiancee needs Windoze to run SPSS for school. (I'll also be running other insignificant apps like Office, Quickbooks, etc) I'm also geting a 30" ACD unless a new one is announced today.


    So what should I do? get the 2.66 with more RAM? the 3.0 Quad, or the current Octo. I see that people are suggesting that This guy just get the base and pack it with RAM. I figure I can always sell it when the new stuff comes out if its THAT big of an improvement, right?

    I know the announcement later today will probably complicate this further, but, I'm seeking any advice possible.

    Thanks, and come Monday, I won't be bugging you people about this anymore!
     
  2. Glenn Wolsey macrumors 65816

    Glenn Wolsey

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #2
    2.66Ghz, 4-8GB RAM, ATI X1900 Video Card.

    Get those options. You will be able to swap out the processor in a year or two to something much faster for a very affordable price. At the moment, stick with the 4-core machine and up the RAM, it'll give you the best performance boost in the short term until you can upgrade the processor at a reasonable price.
     
  3. Lycanthrope macrumors 6502a

    Lycanthrope

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium, Europe
    #3
    I thought that the ATI card was really only for gaming? Surely the stock Nvidia is OK for most other use?

    And of course don't buy your RAM as an Apple option but from elsewhere for a third of the price.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #4
    The ATI card is good for things like Motion if you use that in Final Cut Studio. It also helps with any 3D based graphics work. It is not just a gaming card, and will help with anything that requires very quick 3D imagery or graphics output.
     
  5. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    SPSS does have a Mac version it's seemingly a bit outdated (v13 vs v15 or something..) but it does exist, though if you already got a copy, you might as well stick with the windows version ;).

    EDIT: I'm wrong, it doesn't work on Intel Hardware until the summer as Rosetta interferes with the statistical calculations.
     
  6. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #6

    Yeah, I don't understand that. But.... oh well.


    Anyway, so stick with the 2.66? Whatever I get I'm planning on getting the x1900, BT Keyboard, base HDD, Base RAM and then buying aftermarket RAM and HDD's.
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #7
    The 2.66 model is the best bang for your buck as they say. If you really need the extra speed and the added cost does not bother you then go for the 3.0.
     
  8. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #8
    Yeah, almost $800 for a 333mhz upgrade though? I already have a 400MHZ G3 :D

    So in a week, i've gone from looking at the most expensive top of the line Mac Pro, to the second from the bottom!

    It will still scream comparatively to my MBP though, right? ;)
     
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I have found that when doing (relatively) simple mathematical calculations on different processors you get slightly different results, eg 2/3 might come to 0.6667 on PPC by 0.6666 on Intel and 0.6668 on AMD (they are much more accurate than this it's more like 0.66666666666666666666666667, and the problem would probably have to be more complex than simple arithmetic like 2/3)

    So Rosetta might well interfere with these calculations a bit as it's PPC code on an Intel chip, which like converting lossy music from AAC to MP3 might make the results less accurate than you want, especially as statistical functions are pretty complex, for example look at the formula for the PDF of the normal distribution (which is quite a basic statistical function).

    So for serious work the results might well be more inaccurate than they would otherwise be so SPSS don't recommend it.
     
  10. spaz8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #10
    Well tech. its 4x333mhz so an additional 1.332 ghz in the 3.0 vs 2.66

    2.66 = 10.64 ghz total processing power
    3.0 = 12.00 ghz total processing power

    Again always depends how well threaded your apps you run are as to if the software will act like its running 333 mhz faster, or 1300mhz faster.
     
  11. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #11
    No. It's still only 13% faster, at most.

    OP -- 2.66 hits the sweet spot. Go with it -- you won't be disappointed. For the $800 bucks you'd pay to get the 3.00 quad, you can stock you 2.66 with 8MB of RAM.
     
  12. mgargan1 macrumors 65816

    mgargan1

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    #12
    That's not necessarily true. You still have a 2.66GHz processor. You just have 4 of them. If what you said was true, then adding more processor would speed up single threaded applications, which it doesn't.
     
  13. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #13
    SMP does not work that way. You can not combine the Ghz rating of each core to get a speed comparison. The OS splits threads between each CPU depending on work load and whether the other cores are busy or not. It also relies on the applications being multi-threaded in the first place, and even if they are they need to make efficient usage of the multiple CPUs in a given system.
     
  14. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a

    excalibur313

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #14
    Should he get the ATI card built in or through newegg or something? I see that you can buy it for $214 on newegg, which isn't that much different than the upgrade price but then you'd have 2 video cards instead of 1 (or you could ebay the nvidia one). Now that the point is brought up, what stops you from putting any pci express card in a mac pro?

    EDIT: After looking a bit more I see that you can get a x1900gt from a company other than ati (like sapphire) for about $160. This proves my point even more, why buy that through apple?
     
  15. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #15
    I agree, get the 2.66 and the ATI video card. Get the ram and extra HDs from 3 party.
     
  16. Mr. MacBook macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    #16
    3.0GHz Quad with 2GB RAM refurbished, it already comes with ATI X1900, extra GB of RAM on 2.66, and will basically burn through any applications you through at it.

    Of course, im a 2-core person, i'm 2kewl4fourcore.

    It's seriously only $3299 from apple website, the price you would make to upgrade the Mac Pro 2.66GHz's RAM to 4GB and add ati x1900.

    Add some bluetooth, airport extreme, and a $209 20-inch widescreen dell monitor and your set.
     
  17. sdhollman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #17
    Can you through any old ATI 1900 in the MacPro, if so I am going after market for mine.
     
  18. nurfen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    #18
    I just ordered myself a 2.66 GHz Pro machine, seems to be the best bang-for-the-buck model :)
     
  19. mustang_dvs macrumors 6502a

    mustang_dvs

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    #19
    It is possible to flash a PC X1900 XT 512MB card (not crossfire) to work in a Mac Pro (instructions), however, Apple uses a proprietary PCI-E power connector on the motherboard which may be hard to find, and you run the risk of turning a $200+ investment into an awkward-looking coaster, if your flash fails.

    The same site includes info on how to make your own power cables, if you're comfortable risking your $2,500+ computer and probably voiding the warranty.

    MacBidouille mentions an alternative method to flashing, but the site they link to requires registration, so I haven't read the instructions.
     
  20. BiikeMike thread starter macrumors 65816

    BiikeMike

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    #20
    Thanks for the idea, but you can't put BT into a refurb mac, can you? I thought that was a build to order only thing.

    I might just go for the 3.0 quad, suck up the extra money, and tell myself it's worth it in the longrun
     

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