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  1. #1
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions

    Member Since
    Aug 22, 2006
    Posts
    218
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    The situation I have is both me and my wife have a home based business. Each of us has a MBP that we use for both personal and business use. We store a lot of personal files such as office documents, itunes music, and iphoto pictures. Also, for business we have many office documents and other important files. I have wanted to get a desktop Mac which I can use for a backup if one of the MBP's goes down while it's under repair or when we need an extra computer or even computing power. I like the design of the iMac but coming from the PC world I always built my own towers and like the idea that I can do a lot of expansion to the Mac Pro. I just have several questions:

    1. The way I am setting it up I want to have it set up for dual use. I plan to put it at my desk but then get a wireless/bluetooth keyboard/mouse. That way I can use it at my desk when needed and when my wife needs it she can. Her desk is just 12 feet away and I think the wireless should work fine at the distance. We plan to get a widescreen monitor for both desks but my question is, how far will a monitor (DVI) cable work. It would be at least 20-25 feet since I'd have to run it along the ceiling and across a door. Also, if I am able to do this what is a good Switchbox I should look at for the monitor?

    2. I have a question about the drives. I understand the current Mac Pro works with up to 4 hard drives. I want to dedicate the 1st one as purely for this machine for Mac and Windows, likely 750GB or more. What I want to do beyond that though is set up a server drive to be used from both of the MBP's. if I'm right the Mac Pro can do RAID and would want to have these as mirrored drive. Could I simply get a couple 1TB drives and make it drive 2 and 3 and set them up to do Mirrored RAID? Can I do this with the standard MAC OS X or do I need to get the server edition? Also, does the standard Mac Pro support it or do I need to get a RAID card? Beyond this I want to start using Time Machine from both MBP's. I know I can set up a 4th drive and make it dual partition but I want to use two separate drives so I don't risk losing both time machine backups if a hard drive fails. Also, I want at least 750GB for the Time Machine drive so I plan to get a couple External HD's to simply operate via firewire or USB that can be attached to the Mac Pro.

    3. I originally was going to set it up as a Boot Camp machine. The machine this is replacing is a Tower Windows machine. I have tried both Parallels and VMWare in the past but have never settled on either. I am not much of a gamer, I only play Flight Simulator from time to time and other than that other than programs like Quickbooks I don't use Windows a lot. I still want to have that option but with the power of the Mac Pro will I be able to simply use Parallels or VMWare instead of using Boot Camp? Which one is a better option?

    4. Power: How much wattage would a computer like this use?

    5. The Next Mac Pro: I know many things like memory, hard drive sizes, design, graphics card, etc. may all be unknown for the next mac Pro but what chip is expected to be used in it? Is there a newer Xeon or some other Intel Dual or Quad Core chip?

    I know these are a lot of questions and of course we are facing a update. I definitely will wait for the updated Mac Pro but want to make the right purchase decision. I appreciate any help with this.

  2. #2
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    1. I googled 25' DVI cable. According to the first website I came across, you need something like this if you want to use a DVI cable over 15'. Like most video cables from experience, image quality suffers the longer the cable is. I believe any KMV switch works fine with Mac so you can use two monitors/ keyboard/ mice.
    2. OS X has a built-in RAID tool you can setup when you get your Mac. I don't know anything about RAID to tell you if you need or don't need that $1000 RAID card. But it seems like you could do it without the card.
    3. If you don't want to use BootCamp, use either I guess and install a ton of RAM. Parallels is a big memory hog, right?
    4. Copied from the Apple website:
    Electrical and environmental requirements
    ENERGY STAR configurations available5
    Line voltage: 100-120V AC or 200-240V AC (wide-range power supply input voltage)
    Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz single phase
    Current: Maximum of 12A (low-voltage range) or 6A (high-voltage range)
    Operating temperature: 50 to 95 F (10 to 35 C)
    Storage temperature: -40 to 116 F (-40 to 47 C)
    Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
    Maximum altitude: 10,000 feet
    5. The Penryn chips is the obvious next move for the Mac Pro.

    It sounds like the Mac Pro is your only choice for what you want to do if you want to use an Apple machine.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  3. #3
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    I setup my matching 250GB HD's as RAID 0 through OS X. It's working smoothly. It cut my install of Leopard down from 12 minutes to only 8 minutes.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  4. #4
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    The new Mac Pros are out today. It uses the new 45nm processor technologuy so I assume it uses the Penryn Quad processor(s).
    Slightly faster RAM, new video card options, more HD options, and more.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  5. #5
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    rman's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2002
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    12,584
    Specs:
    2 x 3.0GHz Quad-Core, 6GB OS X 10.6.8 | 15in MacBook Pro 2.2GHz OS X 10.6.8 | 64GB iPad 2 WiFi
    Cool
    Looks like it time to get that credit card or check book out
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!

  6. #6
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    Cherokee's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    512
    Quote Originally Posted by rman View Post
    Looks like it time to get that credit card or check book out
    Possibly a Kidney, as well.
    iMac - 2.4 C2D - 4GB RAM | MacBook - 2.0 C2D - 2GB RAM | AirPort Extreme Base Station

  7. #7
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    A mere $31,341 for 8- 30" display and the MP maxed.
    Is a 4- 8800 GT option out of the question? It appears to be a single wide card like the 2600 XT. Or is the 8800 GT 16x Express 2.0 only?

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  8. #8
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions

    Member Since
    Aug 22, 2006
    Posts
    218
    Thank you for all the help with my questions and now it's nice to see the new Mac Pro is out. I was losing hope it would come out with MWSF and expected it later. I never saw this coming.
    I think I'll get the base model at $2799 and add 2GB on my own to save. I will add hard drives but also get the base model and sell that and upgrade to a larger hard drive. Now I just have to decide if I stay with the base configuration or downgrade to only one quad core. I have to look at other options but like the graphics card options now.

  9. #9
    Going to get a Mac Pro-Questions
    bryphotoguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 02, 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    3,978
    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    8 cores are sweet but apps can run slower if they aren't designed to handle them. If you won't be doing real high end work, I'd go with the single Quad core. If I was in the market for one, I'd get the single Quad 2.8GHz and the 8800 GT. It comes to $2499, the old price point.
    I don't know how easy or hard it is to buy the new RAM.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

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