What makes the Mac Pro suitable for you?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Vidd, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Vidd macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    I've seen a lot of people on the forums complain about that it's Mac Pro or bust in terms of expandability and I was wondering for those who decide that they must have one, what makes it necessary for you and how have you used its unique features in the Mac line-up?

    For example, what use do you have for the PCIe slots?
    Why do you need so much storage?
    Are dual-displays not just a luxury?

    I thought it would be interesting to find out how the power users in this community make use of their machines.
  2. Mr. MacBook macrumors 6502

    Feb 28, 2007
    Im with you, 60GB is probably enough for me, although id like a bigger one so i could put more things on it.

    Four PCI slots? Who cares! You put a Ati 1900 in there and thats like... some of the best graphics ever.
  3. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    being able to fit 3 additional larger HDs INSIDE means I won't need another esata enclosure like i have for my g5 (i love the enclosure, but less equipment ='s less clutter and power being used)

    more ram if i ever need it...same with the video card...can change it, but i might just splurge and buy a better than stock card right away :)

    balls out power (although i haven't witnessed it first hand yet :)

    that's why i want and will soon be buying a mac pro :)

  4. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    PCI slots aren't just for graphics cards. You can also put sound cards, optical channels and all kinds of stuff in them.

    Dual Displays are FAR more than just a luxury. I have a dual monitor setup in my studio, and it's so much faster and more productive than a single monitor, you'd have no idea unless you could actually try it out. I'd say it cuts the time it makes to put a song together for a band etc... down by about 60%.

    I need tonnes of storage. Some of the audio projects I work on can take up many, MANY gigabytes. The largest project I worked on took up 186 gb, for ONE song (although it was about 35 minutes long). Live, for example, if you're streaming 26 channels of audio through Logic for 2 hours or so (which I will be doing in a few weeks), you can imagine that you'd end up with a pretty huge amount of data. Video editors have the same issue. Open QuickTime Pro, and record a few minutes of Uncompressed video with an iSight. At 640x480, that'll end up being well over 5 gb. Imagine producing a 20 minute short, in High Definition with uncompressed video?

    I don't actually have a Mac Pro, I have a Dell in the studio (although I desperately need to change it to a MP, I made the biggest mistake of my life buying a PC for music work). Of that, three of the five slots are taken up. Sound Card is one, Graphics Card is another and then the wireless adapter.

    The Dell only has an 80 gb internal drive, I use externals for all my projects. If I had a Mac Pro, I'd be able to have all my projects stored internally, but with easily exchangeable drives (when I fill them up).
  5. Vidd thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2006
    Oh, I know that. What I was asking was if anyone actually couldn't do with just one monitor, similar to what you have been saying. :)
    I've read reports talking about the wonders of two displays in offices etc.
  6. Killyp macrumors 68040


    Jun 14, 2006
    I even had dual monitors set up in my room for a while, and not for any kind of pro use. I do a little bit of web design, and it really helped with that, plus just generally browsing & IMing etc...
  7. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    You can look at this picture of My Office and see I am a serious PM/MP fan. I believe them to be the finest workstations I have ever used. I do not think they are too expensive. Take the newest one for example:

    The landed cost was under $2800. The only options I ordered were the X1900, Airport/Bluetooth.

    I immediately bumped the RAM to 2GB from OWC.

    Over time, I have added (3) 500 GB Seagates, another FW/USB card, and 6GB additional memory. When purchased incrementally, it is not such a big hit.

    So, what has all this bought me?

    Lightening speed
    Freedom from worrying about what apps are open and running
    Redundancy at just about point
    Freedom from worrying about storage, and the ability to be very organized
    Ability to have (2) 30" monitors - more organization and efficiency while working

    I would summarize it this way; the most precious thing I have is my time. A well configured MacPro allows me to focus on my work, and not waste time with non value-added issues.
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I don't have a Mac Pro - in fact I don't even have a G5, but use a Power Mac G4 and PowerBook G4. However, my next machine will likely be a Mac Pro, for the following reasons:

    Storage - I've found that, between my music library, iPhoto library, backups of my DVD collection, games and general backups I use lots of space. I also have a PC that I would like to phase out in favor of an Intel Mac running OSX, Windows and Linux. All this requires a couple hard drives for best performance. I would also like to experiment with RAID for a more reliable storage system. External solutions work well, but I prefer an internal solution, which requires the Mac Pro's capacious innards.

    Games - I don't play more than once or twice a week, but, given the choice, I'd like to play at then highest res/framerate possible. Plus I have a 20" LCD and may not get rid of it right away when a new machine arrives, so a dual display card that offers high performance for games is high on my priority list. The iMac with the GeForce 7600GT is impressive, but in 4 years it won't be, and in 4 years I'll still want to play newer games with my 4 year old Mac...being able to replace the GPU is important to me.

    Professional Software
    - Coming up in about a year I will need to start running a GIS software suite that is Windows only and stresses our computers at work (Athlon 64s w/2GB RAM) pretty hard. The beefier the system the better. This GIS suite will also require me to make use of Photoshop and Illustrator. After watching the performance of the Athlon 64s I decided that a Mac Pro would be the best machine for this software.

    Longevity - I'm a bit of a tinkerer and like to keep my Macs for 6 years or so, and don't mind pumping money into upgrades to keep my machines as current as I can. My current desktop is 6 years old and has had its CPU, RAM, video card, hard drives, display and optical drive upgraded, in addition to a USB 2.0 PCI card. Having the PCI slots means that you can make use of a new interface standard if one is released after you buy the computer.
  9. SMM macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2006
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    I would estimate 1/3 of my company is using dual, matching flat-screens. The addition ~$220 cost was quickly amortized by efficiency and a much more enjoyable environment for our employees. The initial program sell to Executive management was difficult. After trying it, on a limited basis, the response was so positive, I walked away with a slightly fatter wallet. More importantly, it gives me a lot more flexibility in my interface designs.
  10. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Apr 10, 2007
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    I do not have a Mac Pro yet, but am seriously considering one. I am not a pro, and would not use it to make money. But I do use some DJ software, use Studio Artist, DVD studio and Final Cut as well as gaming, gaming and more gaming. I like the ability to add more internal HD storage, to easily up the ram and have multiple displays if needed. I have a beautiful MBP but want something more expandable. So its the Mac Pro for me, when I actually buy it :)
  11. hayduke macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2005
    is a state of mind.
    A few things make it really useful. I do medical imaging and cardiovascular systems research both of which benefit from having ample storage, fast processors, large amounts of RAM, and possibly dual displays.

    I work with large datasets (1-5GBs) and sometimes it is easier/faster to load most or all of that data into RAM at one time. I can't do this on an iMac or MBP.

    The multiple cores allow me to do data processing on some cores (which might run for hours) while still doing other work in other applications.

    The ability to store a lot of data locally is also really useful. Although, I'm still bothered by the fact the that drives are truely hot swappable.

    Not sure I pointed out anything besides the obvious, but that's more 2 cents.

    For two more cents, you can hear me RANT about people who ask for advice to buy totally tricked out MacPros and don't have ANY idea what their computing requirements are. This mostly arises when people talk about how much RAM to buy. Not everyone will benefit from large amount of ram. If all you do is iLife/web/e-mail then ~2GB will be fine. Once you get into photo and video editing you'll need more, but how much will depend upon the complexity of your projects. My own research requires me to have >4GB so I spec'd a machine with more than that. If you're thinking about buying a machine think about your needs, get some experience in a store if you need to, or ask around here.
  12. product26 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2005

    quiet power is what i was after.

    Also the storage expandability.
  13. Lycanthrope macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2005
    Brussels, Belgium, Europe
    Well, I don't have mine yet but it's only a matter of time.

    To be honest I can perfectly get away with an iMac but I'm pretty sure I'll fill up even a 750GB disk in a couple of years - firsly I have 120GB of MP3's, then I have 17000 photos and both of these are growing weekly and add on top that I'm going to get Logic and start recording, well it all takes space. I can't be going with external drives all over the place, they're noisy and messy.

    Then there's the issue of memory - I've just odered memory for my iMac - 2.5GB max??? WTF, that's awful, sure it'll be OK for my wife for surfing and email but not for me for sure.

    But the big daddy of all is performance - I don't end to run monster apps, I just run a lot of little diddy things in parallel and I'm pissed with spinning beachballs. I get bored with the lag when I scroll in iPhoto. I want a lighting fast computer and this is the right way to go. I can buy a relatively basic spec now and then load it up over the years and it will probably be OK for the next decade. I can buy a humble 23" ACD and then next year put another one next to it, why not, great for office apps, sufing and mailing etc.

    And then there's the other factor - sex appeal - if a Mac Pro doesn't bone you up then you should go and see a doctor ;)

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