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  1. #1
    Advice On Buying Used Mac Pro?

    Member Since
    Sep 27, 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
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    2
    Specs:
    iPhone 3GS
    Advice On Buying Used Mac Pro?
    Greetings,

    Back during the summers of 1993 and 1994, I had the honor of working for Apple as an intern in their marketing department in Cupertino, CA. I was assigned to do marketing support activities for a rather obscure software product called AppleSearch. Working for Apple was a dream come true and I really enjoyed my experience. After I graduated college, I took a job with a consulting firm and began working on Microsoft projects and sadly lost touch with Apple and its products.

    Last year, I purchased an iPhone 3G and recently upgraded to a iPhone 3GS and overall I am very happy with my phone. Getting the iPhone brought back memories of spending my intern paycheck on a Newton Message Pad from the company store.

    On a recent trip to the Apple Store to buy a Nike+ sensor, I began looking at the Mac Mini and Mac Pro models. A sales person was kind enough to give me a quick 5 min demo of what the new modern Mac OS looks like. (Keep in mind the last Mac I owned was a Apple PowerBook 280c!) When I got home I visited the Apple website and sat through some of the videos showing off the photo and video editing capabilities of the Mac OS and I was totally blown away! I had no idea how sophisticated the Mac product offering had become.

    Anyway, during these lean economic times I really can't afford to purchase a brand new Mac Pro the way I would like it configured, so I am considering a used one.

    Questions:

    1.) I currently have 6 Dell flat screen monitors (two 24" rotated portrait four 19" in landscape) and they all have DVI inputs. All of these monitors are connected to one computer with three video cards running Vista. I love having all this screen real estate and would like to know if I will have any trouble running these same monitors on a Mac Pro with multiple video cards? What do I need to be aware of when running a Mac with multiple video cards? Will I be able to leave my two 24" monitors in portrait mode and the other 19" monitors in landscape?

    2.) How much RAM does a Mac Pro really need if I am primarily using it for the photo and video editing software that comes with the Mac OS? The photo and video editing tasks I want to do is nothing more than a hobby. I'm not trying to do TV broadcast or print media level editing.

    3.) Tom's Hardware Guide on the Internet has numerous peformance charts / graphs / specs for Intel processors running various applications and games on Microsoft OS. Is there a resource on the web that compares the various Mac Pro models running the Intel processors?

    4.) Is there a huge performance difference in a Mac Pro running at 2.0, 2.6, and 3.0 Ghz? The processor in my Vista system is a Intel Core 2 Q9650 @ 3.0 Ghz.

    5.) Is there anything else that I should be aware of when buying a used Intel based Mac Pro?

    Thank-you,
    Jacksonville, Florida USA
    iPhone 3GS

  2. #2
    Advice On Buying Used Mac Pro?
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,469
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by LeftoverSalmon View Post
    Questions:

    1.) I currently have 6 Dell flat screen monitors (two 24" rotated portrait four 19" in landscape) and they all have DVI inputs. All of these monitors are connected to one computer with three video cards running Vista. I love having all this screen real estate and would like to know if I will have any trouble running these same monitors on a Mac Pro with multiple video cards? What do I need to be aware of when running a Mac with multiple video cards? Will I be able to leave my two 24" monitors in portrait mode and the other 19" monitors in landscape?

    2.) How much RAM does a Mac Pro really need if I am primarily using it for the photo and video editing software that comes with the Mac OS? The photo and video editing tasks I want to do is nothing more than a hobby. I'm not trying to do TV broadcast or print media level editing.

    3.) Tom's Hardware Guide on the Internet has numerous peformance charts / graphs / specs for Intel processors running various applications and games on Microsoft OS. Is there a resource on the web that compares the various Mac Pro models running the Intel processors?

    4.) Is there a huge performance difference in a Mac Pro running at 2.0, 2.6, and 3.0 Ghz? The processor in my Vista system is a Intel Core 2 Q9650 @ 3.0 Ghz.

    5.) Is there anything else that I should be aware of when buying a used Intel based Mac Pro?

    Thank-you,
    Answers (IMHO):

    1. You shouldn't have any problem running those 6 monitors...you just need multiple video cards...obviously with 6 total DVI ports (of course the extra video cards will cost you extra).

    2. As far as ram for your needs...2 gigabyte...maybe 4 gig if you want to.

    3. Here's some Mac Pro benchmark info:

    Quad-Core and Eight-Core Mac Pros (2009 editions) Review | Desktop | Macworld

    4. Same answer:

    Quad-Core and Eight-Core Mac Pros (2009 editions) Review | Desktop | Macworld

    5. I can't really think of anything to say as far as what to watch out for when buying a Mac Pro...outside of the "normal" stuff you would look for when buying a desktop computer (unusual wear, strange sounds, strange smells, etc.)

    I would mention that ram for a Mac Pro is more expensive than other desktop computers. But with 8 ram slots...you can get to 4 gig rather inexpensively buying used 512meg sticks of ram which folks with Mac Pros are always trying to get rid of cheaply when they upgrade.

    Hope this helps,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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