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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - Advice for MacPro purchase


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evonzz

 
Member Since: Dec 20, 2007
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 31
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Mac Specs: macbook pro 2.33GHz 2GB 667 MHz DDR2 sdram, OSX 10.4.8

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I am soon to upgrade to new MacPro and am considering specs. I am a professional photographer and will primarily be running Adobe CS3, Lightroom. (if Lightroom does not serve me well, possibly Aperture).

I am considering following set up:

2 x 2.8GHz
8GB Ram
Drive 1: 150GB Raptor Drive 10000RPM
Drive 2: 1TB
Drive 3/4: 2 x 1TB RAID 1
Nvidia 8800GT

I will hook up to existing Eizo L997 21inch monitor.

Out of the box, where are likely best performance gains to be achieved?
By perhaps going for 3GHz processors, upping the RAM, or the speed of OS drive? Should i opt for 7200rpm drive and go for 3GHz processors?

I have heard that the Raptor drives are not that much quicker than Barracudas. I currently use a Raptor drive on my outgoing PC tower and it is loud.

Also - i do not do any video work, but have dabbled with animations in Final Cut. is the 8800 GT overkill for a single monitor. I would however like to get an additional smaller monitor for palettes.

I would appreciate any advice or anecdotal experience from people with similar set ups.

Thanks
RE

RodneyE
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sanity1082

 
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Member Since: Jun 17, 2007
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Mac Specs: macbook/iphone/ipod nano/ipod shuffle

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first off add all your ram 3rd party (owc and crucial are both very good)

apple charges 1500 for 4 2gb sticks where as crucial charges will charge about 400 dollars.

not having a similar set up i do not have any further advice.
you may also want to consider looking at newegg or another 3rd party vender for your additional hard drives as well
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evonzz

 
Member Since: Dec 20, 2007
Location: Shanghai
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Thanks for the advice, i was planning to buy extra drives/memory through third parties.

RodneyE
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cowasaki

 
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Member Since: Aug 12, 2007
Location: UK
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As we always say make sure you buy the base configuration of RAM it is so much cheaper to buy from Kingston or Crucial and the RAM is as good as Apple.

I use my machine mainly for photography with CS3/Lightroom and my Quad 2.66 is fast enough so a 8 core 2.8 is better.

The 150Gb Raptor is NO FASTER than a Samsung 1Tb F1 which is vastly larger and cheaper. The Samsung gets its speed from an unreal aerial density, spreading 333Gb across each platter (other drives use 4 or 5 platter). Another option is the Velociraptor 300Gb drive. This drive is a 2.5Gb drive fitted into a 3.5" cradle. Because of this it does not fit into a 3.5" bay BUT you can fit it into the spare optical bay as a 5TH drive and boot from it as you would in position 1! I will be doing a photo guide of this exact procedure on my new site shortly! (www.upgradeyourmac.co.uk) although you could follow the guide for fitting a second optical drive using the hidden SATA ports but substitute your velocirapter (fitted into a 5.25" to 3.5" anti-vibration mount).

All in all buy the processor/graphics card you want and buy the rest seperately. The graphic card does not matter too much for photography but I would go for the faster one as it is currently believed that CS4/Next is supposed to use your 3D card to accelerate certain processes. In fact my CS3 has a tick box saying "use 3D card for acceleration".

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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bryphotoguy

 
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Member Since: Feb 02, 2007
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bryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nicebryphotoguy is just really nice
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Photoshop can maybe utilize 4 cores max, I believe only 3 cores so the extra 4 or 5 will be of no use when you're using Photoshop. I think it can only utilize 3GB of RAM so the extra RAM might not be of much use either.
I run Photoshop CS3 on my quad 2.8GHz with the stock 2GB and 8800 GT without a glitch. I just had 13- 35MB TIFFs I shot with a Nikon D3 (their 12+ megapixel full frame flagship camera) open along with half a dozen other apps and I still had 550MB of free RAM and could edit any photo without any lag.
My opinion, 8 cores and 8GB is way too much for photo work. Video, sure, but not image editing or RAW processing.
I would look into the quad core with 4GB of RAM and lots of HD space for plenty of backup.


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cowasaki

 
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Member Since: Aug 12, 2007
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I would still go for the 8 core version. CS4 will no doubt take advantage of more cores and it will be impossible or VERY expensive to upgrade the 4 core to 8 core. Even if using CS3 you will rarely be using just one program at once anyway. I tend to be running about 4 or 5 packages at once. As for RAM, it is much cheaper now than when I bought mine so I too would agree that it is worth going for 8Gb this should not cost so much though!

Experienced computer user, applications programmer and component level service engineer but came to the Apple platform with intro of intel!. Pro-photographer and director of electronics company.
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