Windoze user thinking of going Mac Pro..but..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bozak, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. bozak macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2007
    Hey gang..

    I'm semi familliar with the Mac and OSX world, and although I'm really a windoze user (just happened that way) I had promissed myself I'd grab a mac when they went intel.

    Well, it's time, and I have a (not very technical) friend at Apple Canada who keeps sending me prices for Mac Pro factory refurbs, but I have a couple of questions he can't answer..

    (FYI i figure I'll end up using the box about 60% for win xp and 40 for OSX - at least until I get more comfortable with OSX. I am mostly interested in using the box for music creation and production (virtual instruments, effect, digital audio workstations) some photoshop type stuff, and Final Cut Pro (and related goodies) as well as the usual things one uses a PC for.)

    Maybe one of you can enlighten me??

    here goes...

    1. I notice they're advertising RAID controllers now on the apple store site... does that mean the standard Mac Pro has NO RAID capability without this $1100 controller? If this is the case, can I use a third party raid controller? The price is awfully steep and I really just want to mirror drives in real time (don't think striping is necessarily worth it at this speed)

    2. It seems the factory refurbs are about 20% cheaper than the new equivalents. Anyone have experience with genuine Apple refurbs?

    3. The dual xeon 2.0 ghz mac pro's are now pretty cheap. I'm considering grabbing one of those for now, then waiting till the 3Ghz cpus get cheaper and upgrading. Do you know if the rest of the key innerds in the default Mac Pro, IE. FSB speed, Power supply capacity, and cooling capacity are the same for any Mac Pro, and would hence accommodate that sort of CPU upgrade?
    Even more ambitious, do you know if the architecture supports an upgrade to quad core xeons? I hear processor changes are physically hard to do... anyone tried? Oh, and if I do change processor speed, do I have to reinstall all the software from scratch?

    4 I've heard mixed reviews about the Mac Pro platform in terms of running win XP... since that's pretty key for me, any insights into problems I'll likely encounter (I read somewhere there are some hoops to jump through to get your drives transfer rates to work at the max in XP.... god knows what else will be a pain... Most of my music software is for XP, and I'll be relying on XP for the first few months as I determine how much of a switch to OSX I want to make (I'm an old fart, I adapt slowly ;).

    I think that's it... hope I haven't put anyone to sleep.

    Thanks in advance!!

  2. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    1. The Mac Pro supports software RAID through OSX, you can do RAID 1, which you want. The last time I checked bootcamp, thus windows, wasn't supported, and it isn't under the hardware card either I don't think.

    2. Plenty of people on here can attest to having a great experience with refurbs, some will only buy refurb. You can certainly get value for money from them, especially if Apple send you unexpected extra components.

    3. If you look in the Mac Pro forum you will see many are waiting for new Mac Pros right now, that they expect in Novemeber. Intel offer quad core processors at the same price as the dual core ones the Mac Pros use, meaning with much of the Mac Pro's price made up in the cost of processors, it's not a great deal right now for most people. Also waiting for you would mean even cheaper refurbs if you went that way.

    You can upgrade the processors, and some on here have done so, the new Penryn processors should be supported as well as anything out now, the innards of the Mac Pro are the same across models and should have no problem running any of these. I can't answer your question on reinstalling OSX on a processor change, but maybe someone who has done it can enlighten you.

    4. Someone else who is doing such a thing can answer this better.
  3. drbrog macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    :):) The Mac Pro has 4 drive bays and is capable of RAID 0 or 1. It is easy to set up as I have done it one my MP.:):)

    :confused::confused: Don't know but I believe that they have the same warranty as new Macs:rolleyes::rolleyes:

    :cool::cool: I think that the innerds are the same although the bus may be a bit slower in the 2 GHZ model. No ideas about processor changes but I would compromise with the 2.66 GHz model;);)

    :eek::eek: I have Parallels and Win XP running on my MP without any problems. It is SO much better than virtual PC!:apple::apple:

  4. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    my only experience with apple refurb is bad(1 out of 2 died in a week). but that was iPOD refurb, not macs.
  5. vicious7 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2007
    Jacked into the net...
    There are many folks here who bought refurb and have been very happy with their purchase (especially with the nice discount they got for "as new" hardware). I am tempted myself in picking one up while Im waiting for the new MPs. The response has been that good.
  6. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    XP & Vista work great under bootcamp on the MacPro. My daughter has the ATI X1900 and can even use the normal ATI drivers under Vista.

    Also refurbs are great. I actually think of them as systems that have been more thoroughly tested. Have purchsed 2 laptops and never had an issue.


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