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

Mac Pro - Help me build my Mac Pro!

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Member Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 4
misdirekted is on a distinguished road

misdirekted is offline
Hey everybody,
This is my first post on the boards, and I'm hoping you all can help me out. I am a professional photographer and I am looking for a blazing fast computer to provide me with reliable performance for at least 5 years while remaining cutting edge. I am very much a power computer user. My computers can often have 30+ internet tabs open, as well as multiple Adobe CS3 programs, Dreamweaver, etc. I am hoping for this system to be able to handle incredible load and support 3 or more screens.
I am planning on using two 20" cinema displays, and also a 46" LCD TV for some gaming, but also for videos, photography presentations, HD Cable, blu ray etc. I am also planning on having full surround sound in the office.

I am a firm mac user, but also want to be able to run vista or xp at the same time as osx, possibly on one of the screens. I also want to be able to play some games such as the upcoming Starcraft 2.

Here's what I am thinking of so far. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

Mac Pro - $4,630.00
Two 2.8 GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon
1 TB SATA Drive
500 GB SATA Drive
(3) ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB - (Would this be good for gaming? I heard the 8800 is better, but I want to run several screens. Can I have more than one 8800 installed?)
One Super Drive
(2) 20” Monitors
Wireless Mouse
Wireless Keyboard
Protection Plan

Additional 16GB RAM - $1,344.00
(4) Crucial DDR2 PC2-6400
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Member Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 4
misdirekted is on a distinguished road

misdirekted is offline
Another thing...How good can I expect the sound output quality to be if connected to a 7.1 Harman Kardon surround system?
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Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 234
Blizare can only hope to improve
Mac Specs: Mac Pro 14gb ram 24" LED Cd & 23" Cd

Blizare is offline
with 3 video cards you could run 6 monitors.
And I honestly can't even get mine to use 14gb ram. lol

I can run phototshop.illustrator,lightroom,xp on parralells with 2 gb, firefox, watch a dvd with vlc, and open a huge 1gb .psd file no problem.also while itunes is playing.

8gb is about what is used at that point.

Just to give you an idea.
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Member Since: Jan 27, 2007
Location: *Brisvegas*
Posts: 5,658
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Mac Specs: 17 inch 2 GHz C2D imac (5,1) with 3GB DDR2 RAM, X1600 (128MB memory) GPU - OSX 10.6.3

the8thark is offline
Originally Posted by misdirekted View Post
Additional 16GB RAM - $1,344.00
(4) Crucial DDR2 PC2-6400
Firstly don't get your additional Ram through apple. Get it through a 3rd party seller. Much cheaper. Crucial, OWC and Kingston are the brands most often recommended on this forum.

Secondly, the mac pro you are talking about getting as stated above can easily handle what you are wanting to do with it.

Also according to apple"

To create an incredible display wall or large-scale visualization, install up to four graphics cards, each with two dual-link DVI ports. You can run up to eight 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Displays at the same time with just one Mac Pro.
So to me I an gathering that you can have 4 ATI XT 2600 carss in your mac pro, or 2 8800GT cards. Each card would allow two external screens to be hooked to it. I say unless you need something like 6-8 screens I'd go for a 8800GT or two. That's 4 screens with two of those cards in there. And should have enough graphics quality for what you're after. Heck apart from the gaming aspect my x1600 is just great, even for video editing. So I think you're laughing there.

And the sound. To me most times the quality of the sound output is directly related to the quality of the speakers. And if you have the speakers you like then the should should be good. As I've heard the sound from a mac pro's internal speakers and they are pretty good. Sure not brilliant but most people couldn't tell the difference. With the speakers you want to use you should easily be able to turn your mac into a home theatre for music or movies.

I can run vista easily on an imac within OSX. And SC2 should run on an imac with 2Ghz cpu, 1Ghz ram and x1600 minimum graphics card. Well that's the specs some people are talking about that the alhpa currently has. So the Mac Pro will easily be able to play it on full graphics settings whatever they should be.

You might want to look elsewhere for a monitor or two. As apple's ones are a little expensive. I'm no expert there as I've always used all in one computers. But some other member should be able to help you out there.

Ask around about the mighty mouse from apple. As some people love it and others hate it. It's a personal thing though. I'd have a go at it and see what the issues are with it first before you get one. And if you choose a non apple one, bedsure to get the "steermouse" application I think it's called. it'll help manage the non apple mouse rather well. And for keyboard. The wireless apple one doesn't have the numberpad on the side I think. But apart from that it's a brilliant keyboard. Just the typing angle of it is rather low. But with some kind of chock under the backside of it, it's ready to go and lovely as ever.

I'm not sure if apple machines can play blu-ray at this point in time.

For extra internal HD space. It might be cheaper to just get the one internal from apple and buy the other internal ones you need from a 3rd party seller and install them yourself. I'm not sure. You'd have to shop around. But in saying that I would have one hard drive dedicated to time machine. That is apple's hard drive backup application. And with the kind of work you seem to be wanting to do I think backing up your data would be a must.

That's all I can tell you about the mac pro from what I know. Sure the fastest imac would be able to to nearly all of what you want but since you want a Pro I think given a few slight modifications to your list of specs you are after that should suit you just fine.
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Member Since: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 4
misdirekted is on a distinguished road

misdirekted is offline
Thanks a bunch, you guys are great. Based on your input, I think I'll be going with two 24" Screens (I like having multiple screens over one larger one). I think I'd like to go with (2) 8800 video cards, but I can't seem to be able to select that option on the Apple site. Are you sure it's capable of running two? If not, I'll go with 3 of the 2600s. Or can the cards be purchased from a third party? I'll use Parallels to run Vista at the same time as OSX.
Also, is it possible to order the MP without any memory or hard drives? They're a steal from OWC IMO...
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