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sanity1082
01-08-2008, 10:37 AM
The new Mac Pro (http://www.apple.com/macpro/) is out. looks more like an update in processor speed, memory, and storage then a complete redesign.

sorry if this is a repost

goobimama
01-08-2008, 10:51 AM
The specs look good. 32GB of memory!

MacHeadCase
01-08-2008, 10:53 AM
MacNN's Electronista has an article on the new beast (http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/01/08/mac.pro.jan.2008/).

As does TUAW (http://www.tuaw.com/2008/01/08/new-mac-pros-and-xserve/).

Apple's Mac Pro press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/01/08macpro.html):


Apple today introduced the new Mac Pro with eight processor cores and a new system architecture that delivers up to twice the performance of its predecessor. The new Mac Pro combines two of Intelís new 45 nanometer Quad-Core Xeon processors running up to 3.2 GHz, powerful new graphics and up to 4TB of internal storage to offer the ideal system for creative professionals, 3D digital content creators and scientists. The standard 8-core configuration starts at just $2,799. ...

And the new Xserve press release (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2008/01/08xserve.html).

vaughan80
01-08-2008, 11:03 AM
JESUS!
I wish I had the cash for one of those monsters! My video rendering time would be cut from minutes to nanoseconds!!!!

Cherokee
01-08-2008, 11:27 AM
Very impressive. I want one.

I wonder how much 32 GB of RAM would cost from Apple? I bet it would be cheaper to end world hunger.

sanity1082
01-08-2008, 12:06 PM
32 gb of memory would cost $9100 from apple

northy124
01-08-2008, 12:12 PM
32GB is abit over board i think but hetting on in two moths then i'm over in USA

Cherokee
01-08-2008, 12:16 PM
32 gb of memory would cost $9100 from apple

I guess I can't end world hunger, but I certainly could buy a nice used car. :Smirk:

sanity1082
01-08-2008, 12:53 PM
if you get all the most expensive options the new mac pro will top out at almost 27,000. and for that you can get a nice new car

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 01:10 PM
Already ordered the new 1.5GB Quadro graphics card.
HA, kidding. Will upgrade to the 8800GT though.
With a few little upgrades, I will have my dream machine.

rman
01-08-2008, 01:42 PM
Looks like that is one item that will not be announced at MacWorld.

rman
01-08-2008, 01:44 PM
Notice the memory is now faster, there is an update in choices in the graphic cards. and you can 1TB disk drives now.

goobimama
01-08-2008, 01:53 PM
Yeah. The graphics department seems to have gone DX10 compliant. Still, there should be more choice of graphics cards, especially ones from the open market.

fleurya
01-08-2008, 02:07 PM
This is the oddest time to make an announcement of an upgrade, a week before Macworld. Either this is Apple trying to grab some attention during CES so people don't forget about them (which I doubt since they've never done it before) or Apple just has so many insane new toys to announce, they don't have time to talk about simple upgrades! I'm more excited than ever to see what comes out next week.


if you get all the most expensive options the new mac pro will top out at almost 27,000. and for that you can get a nice new car

Is that including the 8 30" displays it can support at once? :)

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 02:11 PM
I assume it uses the Penryn processors. Hopefully the 65nm processors drop in price so I can swap mine out for 2 Quad cores.
Seems Apple made room for the double wide cards. It now supports 8- 30" monitors!

sanity1082
01-08-2008, 02:35 PM
Is that including the 8 30" displays it can support at once? :)

nah i only did 2 30" displays

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 04:30 PM
The 32Gb is just about the only spec thats not really an upgrade! You can stick 32Gb in the old Mac-pro (yes I know Apple say 16Gb max but thats just because they didn't have it as an option - You just use the SAME ram from the Xserve). Its 800MHz now rather than 666Mhz

Its a new motherboard because it is now SAS/SATA compliant, PCI-E 2 and has bluetooth as standard (this might be a module though - not seen details specs yet)

Surprised they missed out with 65nm Penryn and went straight for 45nm Penryn/Harpertown processor though - NICE !

RNDdave
01-08-2008, 04:47 PM
I think I've seen somewhere in this forum that if Apple release a product revision within 14 days of you buying yours you can take it back at no cost or swap it in at no cost or something like that?

If that is not just a figment of my tired imagination then I'd say that kind of guarantees no new Mac Pros next week - or are they not available to ship for another week?

Got to be honest though - If I thought I could actually get enough use to justify the cost of that thing - I'd get one :) I don't think they need a face lift really I think they look pretty smart - but what the heck do I know :D

sanity1082
01-08-2008, 04:48 PM
I
If that is not just a figment of my tired imagination then I'd say that kind of guarantees no new Mac Pros next week - or are they not available to ship for another week?


according to the apple website they are shipping now

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 05:12 PM
I think I've seen somewhere in this forum that if Apple release a product revision within 14 days of you buying yours you can take it back at no cost or swap it in at no cost or something like that?

I thought they all came with a 14day money back guarantee which would effectively give that as an option. I might be wrong as I have never taken them up on it!

RNDdave
01-08-2008, 05:14 PM
I thought they all came with a 14day money back guarantee which would effectively give that as an option. I might be wrong as I have never taken them up on it!

ha - me neither :P

Mike21
01-08-2008, 05:34 PM
Arghhh of course I just get a mac pro then the new one comes out. whatever I'll just expand mine for cheaper and it wil be even more beastly

goobimama
01-08-2008, 05:43 PM
^^ You have only yourself to blame. The Mac Pros were surely being updated by Macworld. Though I guess when you need a machine, you need a machine... And anyway, these are just spec updates. Real world performance differences won't be so earth shattering.

smeshy123
01-08-2008, 06:28 PM
Looks like that is one item that will not be announced at MacWorld.


This is the oddest time to make an announcement of an upgrade, a week before Macworld. Either this is Apple trying to grab some attention during CES so people don't forget about them (which I doubt since they've never done it before) or Apple just has so many insane new toys to announce, they don't have time to talk about simple upgrades! I'm more excited than ever to see what comes out next week.



Is that including the 8 30" displays it can support at once? :)

I wager that they have so many new toys to announce, that they don't need to bother wasting time on simple upgrades! SO EXCITED!

PowerBookG4
01-08-2008, 06:45 PM
I am buying one later this evening! 3.2 GHZ here I come!

(making the move to HD video, so going to need more power.. already sold my quad g5)

MacHeadCase
01-08-2008, 07:00 PM
Whoah! You'll have to change your Mac-Forums username, PBG4!

How about MacProBeast? :D

PowerBookG4
01-08-2008, 07:14 PM
lol! if you want to mhc.. but you might have to change it back.

MacHeadCase
01-08-2008, 07:27 PM
I shall await your command, sir! ;D

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 07:29 PM
Just don't bring this one in the tub with you. PBG4
Jealous. I have no clue what'd I'd do with it if I had the money for a 8-core 3.2. I can barely find a decent use for what I got now.

mr g5
01-08-2008, 07:40 PM
I wonder if those graphic cards will work in the quad mac pros?

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 07:44 PM
I wonder if those graphic cards will work in the quad mac pros?

Me too. I've waiting for the new upgrade so I could swap the 7300GT for something else.
It would seem like it would be possible.

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 07:50 PM
Arghhh of course I just get a mac pro then the new one comes out. whatever I'll just expand mine for cheaper and it wil be even more beastly

Have you checked about the 14 day money back guarantee ? I thought there was one but I might be wrong.....

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 08:02 PM
I was expecting the announcement as many were but obviously we all expected it at Macworld. I was surprised that there was not a Blu-ray option though! All the other options make sense including the single chip version at a discount. My quad 2.66 is blazingly fast for photoshop and other photo work so to get a 4 core 2.8 for less would be good too. I really like the aluminium case of the Mac pro too glad they kept it.

Anyway I spend about half my time on my G4 laptop and the other half on the Mac pro. MacOS is so quick the 1.33GHz single core G4 is a perfectly useable machine so all the Mac pros are now in the realms of OTT for most people (which should make them capable of running the next few versions of MacOS!).

Anyway nobody seems to have mentioned the SAS option. Imagine how fast the Mac Pro's storage would be with three 15K SAS drives in a RAID0 array with a 1TB drive in slot 4 and an Apple Raid card in there too. Serious HD Video crunching machine! :D

Macworld is going to be interesting!

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 08:12 PM
Anyway nobody seems to have mentioned the SAS option. Imagine how fast the Mac Pro's storage would be with three 15K SAS drives in a RAID0 array with a 1TB drive in slot 4 and an Apple Raid card in there too. Serious HD Video crunching machine! :D

Actually, you can't mix and match. It's SAS or SATA. You can't use both.

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 08:14 PM
Arghhh of course I just get a mac pro then the new one comes out. whatever I'll just expand mine for cheaper and it wil be even more beastly

Errrrr I doubt it! Have you checked the price of Xeon processors? It is about £1080 for a pair of DUAL core Xeons, not even the QUAD core ones! If you wanted to build your own 8 core Windows box it would be cheaper to buy a Mac pro and rip it to pieces for parts! The only way to upgrade at the moment would be to sell and buy another. Unless of course you are talking about upgrading the optical drive, hard drives or memory (which it is of course cheaper to do yourself!).

I use mine for photoshop and it never even stutters, don't need the extra power at the moment!

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 08:14 PM
Copy and Pasted from the store:

Your Mac Pro includes four hard drive bays and support for either Serial ATA or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, offering up to 4 terabytes of data storage. Configure each drive bay separately.

Please note: Mac Pro systems must be configured with either all Serial ATA or all SAS drives. SAS drives cannot be used without the Mac Pro RAID card.

That would be pretty sweet run run 4- 15k drive in RAID 0 though.

cowasaki
01-08-2008, 08:18 PM
Copy and Pasted from the store:

Your Mac Pro includes four hard drive bays and support for either Serial ATA or Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives, offering up to 4 terabytes of data storage. Configure each drive bay separately.

Please note: Mac Pro systems must be configured with either all Serial ATA or all SAS drives. SAS drives cannot be used without the Mac Pro RAID card.

That would be pretty sweet run run 4- 15k drive in RAID 0 though.

I hadn't checked the small print on the site! Thats ok just stick the 1Tb in a firewire 800 box seperately and go with your 4 drive option then! (the 1Tb drive was only for time machine!)

Would have to experiment but what about connecting the 1Tb drive to one of the two SATA ports hidden away behind the optical drives, that might work!

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 08:22 PM
Thats ok just stick the 1Tb in a firewire 800 box seperately and go with your 4 drive option then! (the 1Tb drive was only for time machine!)

Would have to experiment but what about connecting the 1Tb drive to one of the two SATA ports hidden away behind the optical drives, that might work!

Buy an eSATA card and give that a whirl if FW800 isn't a fast enough option for an external.
No clue why Apple says SAS and SATA can be installed, I would assume the two hidden SATA ports might be no good either for 1TB HD's if you're running SAS drives. If it is possible, there should be a simple enough way to use the bottom half of the optical drive sled to mount a 5th HD.

bryphotoguy
01-08-2008, 08:24 PM
If you gotta buy the RAID card anyways for the SAS drives, couldn't you just do RAID 0+1 so you wouldn't have to use a Time Machine HD? Or is 0+1 slower?

theraker007
01-08-2008, 11:44 PM
is there any indication a new mbp is on the way as well?

ambivalent
01-09-2008, 12:06 AM
man... I miss my G5. Mac pros are so amazing now... My iMac doesnt handle what I do, and I don't even use it for professional anything! But try playing world of warcraft, using photoshop, adium and safari... Sigh


I want a new machine. Hard to choose between the large iMac and max out the ram or get a mac pro... Wish I had the cash to get a 30" display. I wish I was going to macworld too! Anyway... Exciting.

bubba
01-09-2008, 12:30 AM
Must....refrain....from...keeping....up....with... .technology! :)

lisamel
01-09-2008, 01:20 AM
I assume it uses the Penryn processors. Hopefully the 65nm processors drop in price so I can swap mine out for 2 Quad cores.
Seems Apple made room for the double wide cards. It now supports 8- 30" monitors!

you can do that? wow! I didn't even think of that. (I'm a dumb newbie)
Probably cost difference wouldn't be much between selling machine and getting new one.

Amigalander
01-09-2008, 03:02 AM
I have a new iMac at work, and I'm considering getting a Mac Pro for home to replace my PC. I prefer to do all my work on the Mac side, and play some games on the PC (boot camp) side. I think the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT would be fine for the Mac side, but I would want something beefier for PC games.

Is it possible to install any PCIe card I want for use in boot camp while leaving the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT for use on the Mac?

Thanks.

CoG888
01-09-2008, 04:11 AM
Just get the GeForce 8800GT. Anandtech.com says its about the best card for the money right now. Its only a $200 upgrade, and you would pay more then that if you bought it separately!
I am going to buy a 2.8 Quad w/ the 8800 after MW... just in case they announce something else between the iMac and the Mac Pro. I doubt they will, but its only a week to wait.

Alexis
01-09-2008, 09:41 AM
Wonder why it says the Radeon 2600XT gives 88FPS in Doom 3? I get 100FPS in WindowsXP with the same settings on my iMac.

the8thark
01-09-2008, 10:06 AM
Maybe the same is made for the PC and the Mac version is only a port of the PC version, not fully optimised for OS X. That would explain the slight drop in FPS.

vaughan80
01-09-2008, 10:13 AM
man... I miss my G5. Mac pros are so amazing now... My iMac doesnt handle what I do, and I don't even use it for professional anything! But try playing world of warcraft, using photoshop, adium and safari... Sigh



What planet are you on (or more to the point, what spec is your imac?) Mine runs photoshop, final cut pro, adium, firefox and after effects all at the same time (even with afx rendering something) without a blip!

Not quite macpro standards, but more impressive than anything else i have seen

cowasaki
01-09-2008, 11:37 AM
If you gotta buy the RAID card anyways for the SAS drives, couldn't you just do RAID 0+1 so you wouldn't have to use a Time Machine HD? Or is 0+1 slower?

Time machine has advantages over RAID, if I create a file then change it, change it the next day then delete it time machine will recall each version. RAID wont, you might have the last version in the waste bin but thats about it!

lisamel
01-09-2008, 12:41 PM
Buy an eSATA card and give that a whirl if FW800 isn't a fast enough option for an external.
No clue why Apple says SAS and SATA can be installed, I would assume the two hidden SATA ports might be no good either for 1TB HD's if you're running SAS drives. If it is possible, there should be a simple enough way to use the bottom half of the optical drive sled to mount a 5th HD.

Don't even need an esata card, just the cable from newertech. It just attaches to the unused ports, (although they are hard to get to) and comes out the back.

http://www.newertech.com/products/esata_cable.php

TheInvsbleMan
01-09-2008, 04:00 PM
well now google can move their servers to one computer :-P haha

dj_hype
01-09-2008, 04:31 PM
has anyone tried customizing these things yet? i tried to opt for the 880GT but it said 3-5weeks estimated ship time.

i'll stick with the 2600XT. I'm glad I waited to order. Now all i need is for wells fargo to get off their butt and make funds available!

Quick question tho, can I still run 667mhz FB-DIMMS in this thing? I'd assume so since it should be backwards compatible but what about mixing speeds?

PowerBookG4
01-09-2008, 05:01 PM
yeah for some reason that card makes the time it takes to receive the computer extremely long, but in my case i'm ordering it any way, because its worth it.

with out the card it ships in 3-5 days. I don't know why the delay for one card.

HAMA101
01-09-2008, 07:43 PM
I understand it's all SATA or all SAS, but how about with the RAID card option? Is it possible to to throw in a single SAS (as a scratch drive) along with three 1GB SATAs using the RAID card option?

PowerBookG4
01-09-2008, 08:05 PM
Well I think it works like this:

All the hard drives either have to attached to the logic board, or to the card. You can't have one to the card and the rest to the board, or visa versa. I think once a SAS drive is plugged in the card will only work with SAS because of some kind of hardware limit to how the information flows through the card, or how the chips can process the information.

The question really is, if you place a second raid card in your system can you use 2 different kinds of hard drives.

dj_hype
01-09-2008, 09:06 PM
what are you doing to require the 8800gt? I may be working with motion/after effects every now and then but it won't be super intense stuff and it will mostly be photoshop, final cut, and a few other apps.

ambivalent
01-09-2008, 09:22 PM
What planet are you on (or more to the point, what spec is your imac?) Mine runs photoshop, final cut pro, adium, firefox and after effects all at the same time (even with afx rendering something) without a blip!

Not quite macpro standards, but more impressive than anything else i have seen

hah!!! Yea you have 3 gigs of ram! I have a 20" intel with 1g of ram. There is def. Something wrong with my computer though, I'm compiling screenshots...

lisamel
01-10-2008, 12:41 AM
shipping time with the nvidia is 3-5 weeks- ouch!

Is it better performance wise if you have dual displays to have 2 cards or one card, or doesn't it matter?

I was thinking get the ati and just add another one. They are on ebay for $50.

smeshy123
01-10-2008, 01:02 AM
hah!!! Yea you have 3 gigs of ram! I have a 20" intel with 1g of ram. There is def. Something wrong with my computer though, I'm compiling screenshots...

I will bet that your biggest laggard is your ram, upgrade it and you will probably be much happier!

PowerBookG4
01-10-2008, 01:11 AM
what are you doing to require the 8800gt? I may be working with motion/after effects every now and then but it won't be super intense stuff and it will mostly be photoshop, final cut, and a few other apps.

Editing High Deff Video.

bryphotoguy
01-10-2008, 08:30 AM
shipping time with the nvidia is 3-5 weeks- ouch!

Is it better performance wise if you have dual displays to have 2 cards or one card, or doesn't it matter?

I was thinking get the ati and just add another one. They are on ebay for $50.

Is it for Mac? PC version would need to be flashed. I don't know how easy of difficult that is to do.
With the 2006 Mac Pros the PCI-e buses worked together and they were configurable so you are able to designate how much power each one gets. This was also limiting because it was a give and take process. As for the new Mac Pro's, it sounds like each one is independent. This might help if you want to run one display on each card. It wouldn't have helped much with the previous Mac Pro's to have two cards.

lisamel
01-10-2008, 10:46 AM
I did see one card on ebay for mac for $50, but to buy a second one is $150 from apple, and get shipped right away.
I am assuming that the ATI 2600 is a better card than the x1900?

I like the nvidia card, but I've read there are shortages, so the lead time can possibly be more than 5 weeks. All the reviews I read are on the gaming aspect of it, which I don't care because I don't game.

Is it worth it? don't know. Probably the two ATi's would suit me fine.
I just didn't know if 2 cards is not as efficient than 1 card doing the job.

PowerBookG4
01-10-2008, 10:49 AM
just purchased!

I opted for the quad core 3.0ghz, the standard hard drive as my primary drive, and then i purchased 3 TB hard drives from mac sales. I also opted for the 8600 GT... I only started with 4GB of ram because I couldn't afford more then that for now, but will probably upgrade to 8 or 12 later in the year... and last but not least, I will be putting a black magic HD extreme deck link card in the second it arrives. (already have it in a box :))

who else ordered one of these bad boys?

bryphotoguy
01-10-2008, 10:55 AM
I did see one card on ebay for mac for $50, but to buy a second one is $150 from apple, and get shipped right away.
I am assuming that the ATI 2600 is a better card than the x1900?

I like the nvidia card, but I've read there are shortages, so the lead time can possibly be more than 5 weeks. All the reviews I read are on the gaming aspect of it, which I don't care because I don't game.

Is it worth it? don't know. Probably the two ATi's would suit me fine.
I just didn't know if 2 cards is not as efficient than 1 card doing the job.

I would wait for the 8800 GT. It's a top of the line card. It will handle all your needs for a very long time. I haven't looked at comparison charts but I would think the x1900 XT is better than the 2600.
you sound quite hesitant. Wait a few weeks or month before you decide to switch Macs. Being an early adopter is never a good idea when things are critical. They are still working some bugs with these new machines.

bryphotoguy
01-10-2008, 11:08 AM
who else ordered one of these bad boys?

I've been debating. I will wait till Mac World in case there some new got to have device.
I don't want to have to cough up more money. I am trying to see how much I can get for what I have and hope it comes close my discount at work for the single quad 2.8 with the 8800 GT.

dj_hype
01-10-2008, 01:38 PM
w00t, ordered. $2800 shipped. now all i need is my 24" monitor, another 500gb HDD, and my 8GB ram kit from crucial and i'll be set.

you can mix the 667mhz and 800mhz ram right?

bryphotoguy
01-10-2008, 02:01 PM
you can mix the 667mhz and 800mhz ram right?

Doubt it. 667MHz is PC5300. 800MHz is PC6400 RAM. Macs, from what I have read here, don't like to be backwards compatible with RAM. It's risky move. I would use PC6400 only.

mac57
01-10-2008, 03:40 PM
I am buying one later this evening! 3.2 GHZ here I come!

(making the move to HD video, so going to need more power.. already sold my quad g5)

Congrats! I'll look forward to your subjective reports about how fast it is relative to your current machine!

mac57
01-10-2008, 03:46 PM
I notice that the configurable options for the new Mac Pro state that it has Serial ATA 3 GB/s drives (i.e. SATA II). On the other hand, the iMac configurable options just say Serial ATA. Does that mean that the iMac uses the slower SATA I (1.5 GB/s) option? That would be a shame.

dj_hype
01-10-2008, 04:10 PM
Doubt it. 667MHz is PC5300. 800MHz is PC6400 RAM. Macs, from what I have read here, don't like to be backwards compatible with RAM. It's risky move. I would use PC6400 only.

crap. thats not good. anyone else have a for sure answer on this?

Gish
01-10-2008, 05:48 PM
I configured my dream Mac Pro and it came to $23,000...

I bet it would start up in a couple of seconds and I would never ever hav to worry about hard drive space... For the next 20 years...

OneDollarBill
01-10-2008, 09:03 PM
I am barely scratching the surface of what my current system can do. I think i am set for a while before jumping to an 8 core machine ;)

lisamel
01-10-2008, 11:53 PM
I've been on the fence about it too, but truth is, since my system is only a month old, I feel (sadly) that it is new to me, but old technology. (If that makes sense)

It's a real shame that they don't have any video upgrades for the previous round of mac pros. Everyone waited a loooong time and now they say the nvidia card won't work with the previous macs? That is just not fair.

A lot of people are looking to change their 7300GT. I am glad I got the ATI X1900.

I think the quad with the new chips and faster bus and pcie 2.o is a much better deal at $2299 than the mac pro was 2 weeks ago at $2499.

OneDollarBill
01-11-2008, 01:43 PM
Why wouldn't the card work? They both have the same PCI Express slot and the same OS I don't see why it wouldn't. Call me crazy but you should be to just swap your current card and so long as you have the driver it would work.

PowerBookG4
01-11-2008, 02:46 PM
pcie is in the old mac pro and pcie 2.0 is the slot the graphics card is in in the new one.

OneDollarBill
01-11-2008, 03:33 PM
pcie is in the old mac pro and pcie 2.0 is the slot the graphics card is in in the new one.


ugh... that blows :Shouting:

go to know... now only if my work would have waited a month before I got this one :(

vicariousgeorge
01-11-2008, 09:23 PM
I configured my dream Mac Pro and it came to $23,000...

I would never ever have to worry about hard drive space... For the next 20 years...

I thought the same thing about my 1st HP computer in 1998. It was a P2 333MHz with an 8GB HDD. At the time, I thought I would never fill 8GB. Now, I have ~1.5TB.
:D

PowerBookG4
01-11-2008, 09:50 PM
i filed my 2 TB a while ago...

now its all on externals waiting for my new mac pro.

lisamel
01-12-2008, 08:46 PM
It stinks that technology takes such leaps and bounds in a short time that you never have time to catch your breath!

ronindavid
01-13-2008, 06:14 PM
I'm seriously thinking of getting the new Mac Pro with the single 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Harpertown processor.

However, I have a question that even Apple won't answer.

Is there an empty slot for me to add a second processor later?
Unless they build a different motherboard specifically for the single processor Mac Pro, then there should be a place for it.

Apple tech I talked to on the phone also wants to know. He's been looking everywhere for the answer, but no one will give him one.

He also cautioned me that it's not unheard of for Apple to purposely sabotage the ability to add it in later. He gave examples like the second slot could have something soldered over it or something about missing a plastic piece that would allow you to connect the processor.

I also wondering if I'd have to buy whatever CPU cooling they use on the second processor.

I guess the only way I'll find out is if someone orders a single processor machine and cracks it open...

goobimama
01-13-2008, 06:21 PM
Oh. I thought all Mac Pros now featured 8-cores...

caloge
01-13-2008, 08:17 PM
Oh. I thought all Mac Pros now featured 8-cores...
Technically it is since your configuration always starts with the 8 core processor, but in reality the single quad core processor is still an option (for a 500 dollar canadian savings)

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 09:01 AM
I'm seriously thinking of getting the new Mac Pro with the single 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Harpertown processor.

However, I have a question that even Apple won't answer.

Is there an empty slot for me to add a second processor later?
Unless they build a different motherboard specifically for the single processor Mac Pro, then there should be a place for it.

Apple tech I talked to on the phone also wants to know. He's been looking everywhere for the answer, but no one will give him one.

He also cautioned me that it's not unheard of for Apple to purposely sabotage the ability to add it in later. He gave examples like the second slot could have something soldered over it or something about missing a plastic piece that would allow you to connect the processor.

I also wondering if I'd have to buy whatever CPU cooling they use on the second processor.

I guess the only way I'll find out is if someone orders a single processor machine and cracks it open...

As very few people are going to buy the single chip version it would be extremely unlikely that the motherboard is different. I doubt that Apple will fit the cooling fan stack for the second processor in a single processor version so at best you would need to buy a processor and find a cooling fan that fits (I doubt the fan would be too much of a problem). They could however have left out the chip socket which would make the upgrade virtually impossible. The other thing to consider is that Apple get the best deal on intel processors out of anyone (I am led to believe). They pass a lot of this saving on (try and build a Quad Xeon PC for the same price as an older model mac pro! - it is £1048 just for a pair of dual 3GHz processors! without the motherboard which is likely another £500 then PSU, case, video, ram, hd etc etc) The discount for taking a single processor version is far less than half the cost of buying the second quad core processor without the fan problem!

As for the video card options. If you look at tomshardware for comparisons of the cards (picking as close as I can PC equivalents!). The X1900 is about 30% FASTER than the 2600! The 8800 however is about 135% quicker than the X1900! The 2600 is about 3 times as quick as the 7300.

These are the approximate figures:

7300GT 486
2600 1300
X1900 1700
8800GT 4000

These figures are based on a comparison with slight changes to make up for speed differences with the Apple versions and lack of an exact comparison but they are not too loose.

Also we may find the the PCIe2 cards DO work in the older board but not to their absolute potential. Just like with AGP, an AGPx8 card still works in an AGPx2 slot! I am not saying it will but do not be too surprised! This will rob the 8800GT of some of its speed but I bet it would still manage 3000 easily! This would still be a worthwhile upgrade for X1900/7300GT owners on their earlier Mac pros THIS IS PURELY CONJECTURE THOUGH

MacHeadCase
01-14-2008, 09:54 AM
Macworld published Mac Pro 2.8 and 3.0 GHz benchmarks (http://www.macworld.com/article/131538/2008/01/macprobench.html) last Friday.

bryphotoguy
01-14-2008, 10:21 AM
I'm seriously thinking of getting the new Mac Pro with the single 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Harpertown processor.

However, I have a question that even Apple won't answer.

Is there an empty slot for me to add a second processor later?
Unless they build a different motherboard specifically for the single processor Mac Pro, then there should be a place for it.

Apple tech I talked to on the phone also wants to know. He's been looking everywhere for the answer, but no one will give him one.

He also cautioned me that it's not unheard of for Apple to purposely sabotage the ability to add it in later. He gave examples like the second slot could have something soldered over it or something about missing a plastic piece that would allow you to connect the processor.

I also wondering if I'd have to buy whatever CPU cooling they use on the second processor.

I guess the only way I'll find out is if someone orders a single processor machine and cracks it open...

First off, I wouldn't listen to a word to what those monkeys on the phone said. Those are the lowest of the low techs you can get a hold of. I had a question about putting the 8800 GT in my Quad and after 5 mins of waiting for him to ask his manager for an answer, he came back with the # to the nearest Apple store so I could call a Genius.
I would think to keep costs down, Apple uses one board for all Mac Pros. You would be able to add a second processor on later but I would guess you would need to use whatever cooling fan contraption Apple uses. I doubt any store bought fan would work.

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 10:27 AM
Macworld published Mac Pro 2.8 and 3.0 GHz benchmarks (http://www.macworld.com/article/131538/2008/01/macprobench.html) last Friday.

Thanks, hadn't seen that, looks like a good speed boost but it shows that processor speed isn't everything.

The 8 core 2.8 is about 20% faster than the 4 core 2.66 a nice speed boost for anyone buying a Mac pro for the first time or upgrading from a pre intel mac pro. Obviously there are certain areas where the increase will be significantly higher such as rendering etc where all cores are in use but unless you actually use this software daily and find the current system too slow its not worth selling/upgrading and there is no direct upgrade path. Also there are some areas where the difference would be undetectable unless you were running software to measure it such as the applications benchmark.

My quad Xeon machine will do happily for my photo work at the moment, the extra ram and hard drive space for caching makes a noticeable difference too.

I am surprised they didn't add a number of other things though such as blu-ray but I suppose that might come over the next week or so with the show!

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 10:55 AM
I doubt any store bought fan would work.

It would clearly be best with the Apple original but as the socket on a Xeon is an industry standard you should be able to fit an industry standard Xeon cooler to it. Obviously the case is designed to work with Apples cooler stack thingy BUT there are so many PC coolers out there that are designed to work with these processors even when overclocked there will be fans that can work. I would bet that they will create more noise but I really think that the cooling will be the least of your worries! It is not a return to the G5 cooling problems here, the Xeon is a processor being used industry wide which runs at a reasonable temperature! I really think that the cost of a harpertown 2.8 Quad Xeon processor will be 2-3 TIMES the difference in cost. If I wanted to upgrade my previous gen Mac pro to 8 core 3 GHz the cost of the two chips would likely be MORE than the cost of buying a new 2.8 model (that is IF you can find them for sale!) which according to the specs linked to by macheadcase would be about the same speed.

Overall it would be best to wait save the rest and get the 8 core setup! That is unless you are buying a few of them to run applications on that do not benefit from the 8 core setup such as office apps. I would love to see Apple bring out an "Apple Mac tower" though with 1 processor socket, DDR2 ram and 2 hard drive bays plus 1 optical slot. This would really fill that missing gap from mac mini to mac pro. Some of us don't want an iMac!

bryphotoguy
01-14-2008, 11:21 AM
I've only built one custom PC. It had an Athlon XP 2200+ so it's been a few years since I've been under the hood so correct me if I'm wrong. The fan I had for that processor had a cable that connected to the mother board to power the fan.
If Apple/ Intel designed the cooling tower for the Mac Pro to be any different than any socket based cooling fan, any socket based cooling fan might not work. Because Intel builds the logic boards according to Apple's desings, I wouldn't be too surprised if the cooling towers are built differently as well.

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 11:37 AM
I've only built one custom PC. It had an Athlon XP 2200+ so it's been a few years since I've been under the hood so correct me if I'm wrong. The fan I had for that processor had a cable that connected to the mother board to power the fan.
If Apple/ Intel designed the cooling tower for the Mac Pro to be any different than any socket based cooling fan, any socket based cooling fan might not work. Because Intel builds the logic boards according to Apple's desings, I wouldn't be too surprised if the cooling towers are built differently as well.

The actual sockets are very specific for each chip type so one socket 775 cooler will fit any other socket 775 - BUT you then have physical problems such as if there is no space for air flow sideway etc it might require a cooler with a vertical fan! What I am saying is that by looking at the space and looking at a mail order web site you should be able to see which ones are most likely to fit. Looking at it you would most likely require one with a vertical fan (parallel to the chip)! I am sure the Apple motherboard will have a fan connector that is just like normal ones (why re-invent the wheel) but again this would be easily checked. Even if you took the power for the fan from the 12V HD rail. (unless the computer will not boot if it detects a processor but no fan to avoid overheating). All in all it SHOULDNT be a major problem. It is however all academic if the processors themselves are so expensive it wouldn't be worth doing!

bryphotoguy
01-14-2008, 11:50 AM
Agreed. It's still over $1200 for one Clovertown 3GHz Quad processor.

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 12:33 PM
Brian,

I got sick of repeating myself on what RAM posts so good idea on doing the Questions about Ram post, I think it might need a slight ammendment now for the new Mac pro ie 800MHz rather than 667MHz.

Now if you know how FB-DIMMS works, as a lot of us do, ie controller speaks to computer and controller also speaks to RAM. If the RAM speed increases the controller (which is part of the Ram module) speed must increase but the bus speed to the computer does not necessary have to go up. With this in mind it MIGHT be possible to fit 800MHz ram in an older Mac pro and 667MHz ram in a new mac pro so long as the speeds are not mixed! This will however need checking and benchmarking! I know if I had 32Gb of Ram in my Mac pro and bought a new model I would like to re-use the ram!

I am looking forward to some guts and all hardware hacking type reviews of the new machine which will answer a few of our questions without us risking breaking our machines!

At the moment the questions seem to be:

1) The Mac pro's four internal HDs connect to the mother board by a cable. If you add a RAID card then this cable gets connected to the RAID card instead BUT what happens to the connector on the motherboard? can you fit another cable to this connector to a four way eSATA backplate and take the connections outside in order to run 4 more drives OR pass one back so that you can indeed run 3 SAS drives and a SATA !

2) Can the Intel Mac pro v1 run PCIe2 video cards? If so what performance hit will you get!

3) Can the Intel Mac pro v2 run 667MHz FB-DIMMS? If so what performance hit will you get AND could they be mixed at all? (unlikely)

4) Can the 2nd processor socket be populated by the user and what of the cooler?

5) Are the 2 SATA sockets behind the optical drives still available on the Intel Mac pro v2? and can they be used for hard drives?

6) Can a blu-ray drive be fitted to one of the connectors on either the v1 or v2 or both?

I know I could give an educated guess on any or all of the above but that is what it is just an educated guess!

bryphotoguy
01-14-2008, 12:45 PM
Thanks, I am tired of all the RAM questions too. I will be revising the post so I will include the RD-RAM info. I was thinking of making a PowerPC version later tonight.

bryphotoguy
01-14-2008, 12:54 PM
Agreed. These are all great questions that I'd love to know as well. We all can give educated (I hope) guesses related to these questins but it sounds, from my opinion, people are already looking for definitive answers, which it seems Apple cannot provide at this moment.
I would love to see someone tear a new machine apart and give us a breakdown of all its glory.
It's Bryan btw. :)

cowasaki
01-14-2008, 01:06 PM
Agreed. These are all great questions that I'd love to know as well. We all can give educated (I hope) guesses related to these questins but it sounds, from my opinion, people are already looking for definitive answers, which it seems Apple cannot provide at this moment.
I would love to see someone tear a new machine apart and give us a breakdown of all its glory.
It's Bryan btw. :)

Problem is that Apple is a company that wants to sell their products. They give the answer that they have agreed and nothing more. If you ask about how much ram you can put in an Intel Mac pro v1 they will say 16Gb because they do not supply more. If you say "can you fit a PCIe2 video card to a v1" they will say no because they do not! These are the questions that the larger technical sites can answer because if they damage something so what. If I damage my Mac pro's motherboard then I am stuck!

ronindavid
01-15-2008, 12:28 AM
First off, I wouldn't listen to a word to what those monkeys on the phone said. Those are the lowest of the low techs you can get a hold of. I had a question about putting the 8800 GT in my Quad and after 5 mins of waiting for him to ask his manager for an answer, he came back with the # to the nearest Apple store so I could call a Genius.
I would think to keep costs down, Apple uses one board for all Mac Pros. You would be able to add a second processor on later but I would guess you would need to use whatever cooling fan contraption Apple uses. I doubt any store bought fan would work.

I did some digging around on the net and found my answer.

Most likely, the second CPU cannot be added later to the new Mac Pro (If downgrading to a single quad processor).
I wasn't the only one asking this question and everyone answering said that even though the motherboard is the same, they basically don't finishing making the parts that would allow you to attach the processor. Many claim this has been done in the past.
Some claimed that the speed of the chipsets on the board are adjusted differently (not sure if that's true).

Personally, I think that's pretty lame considering Apple's marketing of the Mac Pro's is "It's the most configurable Mac ever". One of Apple's techs said Apple doesn't consider the CPU as something configurable. I guess they think the CPU and motherboard are of one mind and body.

So, I went ahead and ordered the stock 8 core processor machine with no upgrade (or downgrades) so I can return it in case they send me another bad machine. The iMac I bought myself before Xmas arrived with a damaged monitor.
They have one last chance. If this one messes up on me, my defection over to Apple is done.

I want a computer like the one I'm getting rid of. I bought and assembled it almost a decade ago. The monitor OVER a decade ago and both still work fine. Something tells me an 8 core processing machine will last me just as long.

cowasaki
01-15-2008, 09:00 AM
I did some digging around on the net and found my answer.

Most likely, the second CPU cannot be added later to the new Mac Pro (If downgrading to a single quad processor).
I wasn't the only one asking this question and everyone answering said that even though the motherboard is the same, they basically don't finishing making the parts that would allow you to attach the processor. Many claim this has been done in the past.

As we have been discussing, financially it is not economical to upgrade ie the cost of the quad core chip alone is 2-4 times the difference in price without the cooler problem. Like I said I doubt the cooler will be much of a problem but I'm an engineer so these things are the kind of things that I would work round anyway. Being a standard chip socket it is just a matter of finding one which works despite of the case. Obviously Apple's does but I doubt it will be the only one!

Upgrading any of the others is even less financially viable due to the cost of the chips coming out! If you bought a 2.8 and upgraded to a 3.2 the cost of the chips would be astronomical!

Basically, as it stands at the moment, there is NO processor upgrade path worth doing. Even if I wanted to upgrade my QUAD 2.66 to QUAD 3.0 the cost of the chips would be £1048. I could sell my current machine add the £1048 and buy an 8 core 3.0 !!

Things might change over the next 6 months as the harpertown processors take over and prices might drop for the older processors then in a couple of years when the next generation chips are launched you might well pick up a single 2.8 harpertown at a reasonable price to rejuvenate a current model machine! I think I will wait to find out if there is any difference on the motherboard till someone actually gets one and takes it apart rather than people guessing which it appears is what is happening now.

The other thing about the cooler is that if the motherboard IS upgradeable then someone WILL bring out an upgrade kit because that is what happens and they will find a cooler that fits! (Just look at the cooler section on my local retailer www.scan.co.uk - dozens of them of all different designs, one of them will fit OR one from someone else will even if the odd modification is required)

ronindavid
01-15-2008, 11:45 PM
As we have been discussing, financially it is not economical to upgrade ie the cost of the quad core chip alone is 2-4 times the difference in price without the cooler problem. Like I said I doubt the cooler will be much of a problem but I'm an engineer so these things are the kind of things that I would work round anyway. Being a standard chip socket it is just a matter of finding one which works despite of the case. Obviously Apple's does but I doubt it will be the only one!

Upgrading any of the others is even less financially viable due to the cost of the chips coming out! If you bought a 2.8 and upgraded to a 3.2 the cost of the chips would be astronomical!

Basically, as it stands at the moment, there is NO processor upgrade path worth doing. Even if I wanted to upgrade my QUAD 2.66 to QUAD 3.0 the cost of the chips would be £1048. I could sell my current machine add the £1048 and buy an 8 core 3.0 !!

Things might change over the next 6 months as the harpertown processors take over and prices might drop for the older processors then in a couple of years when the next generation chips are launched you might well pick up a single 2.8 harpertown at a reasonable price to rejuvenate a current model machine! I think I will wait to find out if there is any difference on the motherboard till someone actually gets one and takes it apart rather than people guessing which it appears is what is happening now.

The other thing about the cooler is that if the motherboard IS upgradeable then someone WILL bring out an upgrade kit because that is what happens and they will find a cooler that fits! (Just look at the cooler section on my local retailer www.scan.co.uk - dozens of them of all different designs, one of them will fit OR one from someone else will even if the odd modification is required)

I guess I can see the point about the cost pitfall in upgrading to a faster processor. Although, I wasn't really planning on doing that; just to buy a single quad processor machine now and then install a second chip later when I have more cash flow.

My decision to get the standard 8 core was mainly because I wanted the option of returning it in case of problems; and changing anything negates that (couldn't even upgrade to a wireless mouse).

I'm still surprised I'm buying it. Generally, I think it's a bad idea to buy brand new tech. It's almost always better to wait at least a year and let the early adopters be the guinea pigs. But Apples have a high resale value and it just wouldn't be worth it for me to get one used.

This Mac Pro is the single most expensive thing I've ever bought (second only to my car). All I can say is this thing had better work flawlessly.
I wouldn't even be getting it if it wasn't for my die-hard commitment to get into the graphic design field...and of course, Vista sucks.

Oh, as a side note, I've read on Tom's Hardware that the iMac's (like the one I bought and returned) are having serious monitor problems. The exception being I had lines running vertically down mine whereas the website reported wide-spread problems with the contrast slowly going down.
To make matters worse, the news of this started on Apple's forums and supposedly someone in Apple censored this info multiple times!
That's...not good.

roadkill_97006
01-19-2008, 03:26 PM
Also we may find the the PCIe2 cards DO work in the older board but not to their absolute potential. Just like with AGP, an AGPx8 card still works in an AGPx2 slot! I am not saying it will but do not be too surprised! This will rob the 8800GT of some of its speed but I bet it would still manage 3000 easily! This would still be a worthwhile upgrade for X1900/7300GT owners on their earlier Mac pros THIS IS PURELY CONJECTURE THOUGHI wish. Apple explicitly says that the 8800GT will only work in the new systems.
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=7E4EB91E&nplm=MB137Z/A
After waiting for a replacement/upgrade path for most of a year, Apple has basically stabbed us in the back. The X1900XT works fine - until you push it. Then it goes all wonky due to its' crummy heat sink. I want the 8800GT sooo badly, but now I find that my umpty thousand dollar system is a dead end. That is really annoying, since it's less than a year old.

cowasaki
01-19-2008, 05:06 PM
I wish. Apple explicitly says that the 8800GT will only work in the new systems.
http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPLE/WebObjects/AppleStore.woa/wa/RSLID?mco=7E4EB91E&nplm=MB137Z/A
After waiting for a replacement/upgrade path for most of a year, Apple has basically stabbed us in the back. The X1900XT works fine - until you push it. Then it goes all wonky due to its' crummy heat sink. I want the 8800GT sooo badly, but now I find that my umpty thousand dollar system is a dead end. That is really annoying, since it's less than a year old.

Apple also explicitly says that the old Mac pro only goes to 16Gb but we don't believe them on that either. Having done some further research on the matter it appears that it is down to the EFI only reading a rom of a certain size and the 8800 rom is twice that size. It MAY be just a matter of an EFI upgrade to get it to work. Drivers should not be a problem as they will be in version 10.5.1 or 2 anyway to work with the v2 intel Mac pros. Like I said earlier it will not run quite as quickly but it will still more than double the X1900's speed. There are a number of drivers written for Hackintoshs that might allow you to stick a generic 8800 in your existing Macpro but obviously your display will be blank until the desktop appears! I am going to wait and see on this one to see what actually occurs but this is just a matter of interest for me as the X1900 is perfectly adequate for my needs which is in relation to photography. The only game I ever play of Oolite which you could play using a mac mini's intel on board graphics !!

roadkill_97006
01-20-2008, 01:40 PM
Apple also explicitly says that the old Mac pro only goes to 16Gb but we don't believe them on that either. Having done some further research on the matter it appears that it is down to the EFI only reading a rom of a certain size and the 8800 rom is twice that size. It MAY be just a matter of an EFI upgrade to get it to work. The EFI on your system is what it is - size wise. If they change the graphics card firmware then there must be room on the card for support for both EFI sizes. At least that's how I understand how it works. There are reports of "old" Mac Pro systems failing to even boot with the (Apple version) 8800GT. Apple refuses to discuss any support for X1900XT system upgrade paths. As I said, it appears we've been abandoned.

I'd buy the 8800 in a minute if I could use the thing, even if it was semi-crippled by the slower bus. It'd be worth the money just to avoid the hassles from the X1900XT heat sink issues. If yours works, good for you. There are thousands of us with problems with this cheesy thing, some on their third or fourth card. Now Apple is getting hard line about replacements and their "support" people have really degenerated in quality lately so you have to start from ground zero every time you have a problem. It's a major pain in the fundament.

More evidence of that abandonment is the rather draconian censorship Apple is exercising on their forums re: posts on this subject. There are a LOT of complaints, but many of them are disappearing. I had one of mine taken off because it made reference to "Apple policies". Of course, nearly any post could fall under that!:Not-Amused:

cowasaki
01-20-2008, 02:38 PM
The EFI on your system is what it is - size wise. If they change the graphics card firmware then there must be room on the card for support for both EFI sizes. At least that's how I understand how it works. There are reports of "old" Mac Pro systems failing to even boot with the (Apple version) 8800GT. Apple refuses to discuss any support for X1900XT system upgrade paths. As I said, it appears we've been abandoned.

I'd buy the 8800 in a minute if I could use the thing, even if it was semi-crippled by the slower bus. It'd be worth the money just to avoid the hassles from the X1900XT heat sink issues. If yours works, good for you. There are thousands of us with problems with this cheesy thing, some on their third or fourth card. Now Apple is getting hard line about replacements and their "support" people have really degenerated in quality lately so you have to start from ground zero every time you have a problem. It's a major pain in the fundament.

More evidence of that abandonment is the rather draconian censorship Apple is exercising on their forums re: posts on this subject. There are a LOT of complaints, but many of them are disappearing. I had one of mine taken off because it made reference to "Apple policies". Of course, nearly any post could fall under that!:Not-Amused:

I was supposed to be saying that the EFI code was expecting firmware of a certain size on the graphics card and therefore the EFI being upgraded on the older machines to expect the new size would fix it. This was the information I had originally managed to get.

However it now appears that the person this info had come from is a little confused and it appears to be that the old pro had the 32bit EFI and the new one has the 64bit EFI. Incompatibilities have been caused by this arrangement and we will have to wait and see if an upgrade can sort it.

roadkill_97006
01-20-2008, 04:59 PM
However it now appears that the person this info had come from is a little confused and it appears to be that the old pro had the 32bit EFI and the new one has the 64bit EFI. Incompatibilities have been caused by this arrangement and we will have to wait and see if an upgrade can sort it.From what I have learned, there is at least one lesser card (the 2600, I think) that does work with the 32 bit EFI, as well as with the 64 bit. The card has special firmware that supports both. There's some question as to whether the 8800GT has room for the additional code required and also whether Apple cares enough to bother with supporting us with this upgrade path. They've been downright hostile on the subject lately. Personally, I will use this as a decision point for any future Apple purchases. I will vote with my money and feet if they really just abandon us. My Mac Pro cost way too much to be an orphan at 10 month of age...

I really have to wonder what has caused them to become so arrogant that they feel that they can just alienate customers in wholesale lots. There are amazing numbers of people with this overheating problem, and there are posts on their forums that only seem to last for hours about it. Mine lasted about 4, for example. They know about the card problem, believe me, even though their support people apparently have been instructed to pretend it's news to them. I'm really, really disappointed in Apple for behaving in this way. They censor and threaten people who complain.

cowasaki
01-20-2008, 05:23 PM
From what I have learned, there is at least one lesser card (the 2600, I think) that does work with the 32 bit EFI, as well as with the 64 bit. The card has special firmware that supports both.

Unfortunately that does not help those that wanted to upgrade because the 2600 is slower than the X1900. (unless they are upgrading from the old 7300!) I am sure that there is going to be some way of getting a PC video card to work on a Mac pro. The drivers are available because they have been written for hackintoshs! The only problem will be PRE-Desktop output! A PC card with drivers will not work during boot up. I am sure someone is going to get the Apple 8800 card going, if not I am sure there will be PC 8800 card mods!

I am not that bothered myself, my X1900 will do, as I don't play games and work with photos but it must be annoying for those that do!

roadkill_97006
01-20-2008, 10:50 PM
I am not that bothered myself, my X1900 will do, as I don't play games and work with photos but it must be annoying for those that do!Mine's OK right now, but it did get a bit goofy once until I found out about the dust/heat problem. I wonder if it'd work in another slot as a boot-up card? One monitor per card would certainly be a waste, but if it allowed me to get my paws on a working 8800GT I'd do it. I physically (and financially) don't have room for four monitors, although that would allow it.

I want a more powerful card, that's true, and I want it for more-or-less frivolous reasons too (a flight simulator I like to fool with between calls). What's really upsetting me is the way Apple is deliberately trying to stick it to those who bought their flagship product less than a year ago. IMHO, that's about as smart as eating your seed corn. Unless they get off their high horse and do "something", they've alienated me and a lot of others who spent a lot of money with them.