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  1. #1

    rob.h's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 24, 2008
    2G Mac Pro, 6Gb RAM, Lotsa HD space, 24" Samsung LCD
    Saving your beer money
    As a PC user of some 15 years, which includes building the beggars from scratch and supporting them for a living, I finally took the plunge and bought a new Mac Pro.

    I went for the Pro as I liked the idea of ‘upgradeability’ and as it happened it this was the gateway to saving a bit of cash. The list price of the model I wanted – 1 x 2.8GHz Xeon, 8Gb RAM, nVIDIA 8800GT, 320Gb + 500Gb HD, Airport card and 2yr AppleCare was a rather steep, ok frankly scary £2,908 so I left out the extra RAM and hard disk which brought the price down to a much more sane £1,788 and I then found two companies to supply the extras.

    A Western Digital 500Gb SATA-II hard disk (p/n WD5000AAKS being the exact same one that Apple use) cost me just £59 + £4 postage, saving me £97. Fitting it was simplicity itself, 5 minutes to fit and format it (here’s tip for ex-Windows users, use label and folder names without spaces in them, it’ll make your life easier in the long run). As for the RAM, I bought 6Gb of 800MHz DDR2 Fully Buffered ECC DIMMs for just £231 + £5 postage which saved me a whopping £729 over the Apple price! Again it’s the same memory, complete with those fat heat sinks that Apple use. Nice thing is that these DIY upgrades don’t void your warranty.

    The bit that probably is still good value from Apple is the 2nd processor, which at a cost of £320 for the 2.8GHz Xeon is still about £100 cheaper than you can buy it elsewhere. Apple don’t yet offer an after sales upgrade from one to two CPUs but I suspect that when they do it’ll have to be done back at Apple or at one of their approved centres for warranty reasons.

    Total saving was £826 ($1,650) – which will get me a copy of Photoshop CS3 for the Mac plus a LOT of beer!!

    I’ll still use my Windows PC(s) for what they’re good at (suggestions on a post card please!) but the Mac is quickly becoming my daily workhorse machine. As for other bits, top of my list was VMWare Fusion – for the odd few Windows apps I can’t (yet) do without (it’s eerie running Outlook 2007 on the Mac desktop in Unity mode), and Synergy which is indispensible if you want to control multiple PCs/Macs and monitors from a single keyboard & mouse.

    “Welcome to the world of tomorrow” (think that’s a quote from Futurama)!

  2. #2

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Lake Mary, Florida
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Very cool, welcome to the forums Rob!

    I've done the same with Dell in years past. OEMs just love to charge exorbitant amounts for what are normally very simple, user-upgradeable parts. Unfortunately, Apple's policy on notebook upgrades is not quite as friendly as Dell's, but I digress.

    Anyway, glad to hear that you're enjoying your new machine.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

  3. #3

    sanity1082's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 17, 2007
    macbook/iphone/ipod nano/ipod shuffle
    Welcome and congrats on your new mac pro!

    sounds like you got quite the machine over there.

    and your quote is from futurama although it is probably a reference to some other movie.

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