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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

MacPro buying advice?


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idrisguitar

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posts: 12
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im looking at one of these beasts, but want to make sure i ask some questions before i make the massive plunge.


1:
firstly about the RAM. its amazingly expensive to upgrade. however it is at a speed of 800MHz where as the ram i would be buying from other store (crucial) is 667MHz, although its literally £200 cheaper.

im sure this is a no brainer at what i should, do considering the price difference, however can i ask what will be the performance difference between 2gb of apple 800 ram or 2gb of crucial 667 ram? here is what im looking at instead of apple ram.
Apple Mac Pro Early 2008 - Memory ( RAM ) Upgrade from Orca Logic Ltd


2:
for the hard drives they have their serial ATA drives and then 3gb/s in the name.........what does this '3gb/s' mean? is it a faster than normal hard drive, or is it apple trying to sound special? again considering they are a bit more expensive should i just go with other internal hdds from cheaper places .


3:
which 2x4core proccessor should i get? the 3.2 is soooooo much more expensive than the 2.8, however i am using this mainly for maya mental ray and also with logic, so a lot of proccessing will be going on and will use ALL cores. Also i NEED this to be at least 6+ years future proof (its a lot of money to spend ).

so should i go for the 3.2, or stick with the 2.8 and in five or years will i be able to change it? just basic advice on where to go considering what i need it for would be greatly appreciated.


4:
does it allow for normal PCI devices to be added? (i think this is a yes but i want to make sure.) as i have an audiophile 2496 audio pci card that i need to do my recording with.


5:
i will be getting apple care with it (student price is totally worth it) nothing will void that contract will it? as apple advertise expansion of the computer so im guessing they are fine with changing hard drives, and ram, and pci cards yeah?.

obviously the warranty will only cover apple products but basically i want to make sure they wont cancel my care plan if i add in stuff to the macpro.






sorry for the long topic, but all these answers would really help me to get the best deal and the best computer ever
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Blizare

 
Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 234
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro 14gb ram 24" LED Cd & 23" Cd

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If your getting a 4 core macpro you'll want the 800 mhz memory.

Mine uses the 667 and I got 14 gb for around $500 which was nice.

SATA 3Gb/s is the next generation of Serial ATA interface speed. ... SATA 3Gb/s is double the speed of the current SATA interface of 1.5Gb/s

I would also go with the 3.2 if you want to use it for that long. You'll never regret in thats for sure.

There is nothing like watching 4-8 cores doing thier thing on your renders. It's fast.

yes you can add pci devices
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idrisguitar

 
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thanks a lot for you help, definitely helps
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Blizare

 
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

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For the ram, the 4 core macpros and 8 core macpros use different speeds of ram.

You want the ram that is for your particular macpro. Understand?

Mine is a late 07' model so I have the 667mhz. You are looking at an 8 core machine. You need 800 mhz ram or you'll create a bottleneck.
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idrisguitar

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2008
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i see, like these?

Apple Mac Pro Early 2008 - Memory ( RAM ) Upgrade from Orca Logic Ltd
the saving is still very similar. 4gb of ram is 92 pounds, rather than an extra 2gb for 320 from apple!! come with lifetime warranty too. or should i go with a known brand like crucial or kingston? (who are about £50 more expensive on the 4gig kits)


a few more questions:

1:
can i use the apple memory that comes shipped as well as the ram that i buy? or do i need to take it out and just use the ones i have bought?

2:
I have an audiophile 2496 pci card (not pci-e, just standard pci) will i be able t put this into my macpro? or does it ONLY have PCI-e slots?



really hope you can help
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Blizare

 
Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 234
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro 14gb ram 24" LED Cd & 23" Cd

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pci-e only if I remember correctly.

And yes you can use the ram that is in original also.
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Blizare

 
Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 234
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Mac Specs: Mac Pro 14gb ram 24" LED Cd & 23" Cd

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check this out

M-AUDIO - Apple G5 Compatibility and Delta PCI Card Upgrade program
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RAFAZUM

 
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Member Since: Oct 24, 2008
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Mac Specs: 2x Mac Pro 8 Core 3.2 Ghz, Mac Book Pro, Mac Mini, Ipod Nano 3G

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The pci card will work in the PCI E Port, I just got a Mac Pro (8 core, 3.2, Quadro FX Graphics Card) and My sound card works in it fine.
Id go for the 28, the extra CPU power isnt really a big jump, It takes off around 5% of the render time In final cut , but thats all. The Quadro FX is probably the card you want for MAYA and mental ray (I have it and dont use those at all) or for CAD. ITs the best workstation card on the market and totally future proof for the next 5 or so years (better ones will come along, but its very specialized so takes longer to go out of date) However it is EXTREMELY expensive. I got mine free (had 4 atis before , crossfire didnt work, called apple and they replaced the machine with that card after 4 hours on the phone) So currently looking to sell it ang get a GT.

Its performance is similar to the GT 8800 in games. Not better though.

I run crysis 2 in bootcamp at 1900x1200 on 16x qAA and all setting on Enthusiast at 65+ FPS (best settings apart from the resolution which is the highest my LCDs support - a set of 26" Syncmasters from samsung)


So id go for a

2.8 GHz machine with the 8800GT .

SATA is basically the replacement for IDE. Its universal. For Pcs aswell so isnt an apple-exclusive tech.

You can get a built in SATA card for ESata Drives (as fast as having it INSIDE your machine) with it but its pricey, what ive done is hook it up with a regular Esata cable coming out of the box and going into my external sata drives (In a Drobo, 3 1.5 TB Sata drives in a Striped Raid array for uncompressed 1080p HD footage at 10bit)

Anyways, Thats my ideas *rolls eyes*
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idrisguitar

 
Member Since: Oct 30, 2008
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are you sure yours is a pci card...........not a pci-e because i read this review. heres the excerpt:

'Like the latest G5s, the Mac Pro supports PCI Express ("PCIe") expansion cards – not to be confused with Power Macs' PCI-X and plain PCI cards, which are completely incompatible with the new standard, first introduced on the dual-core G5 "quad" model (and its dual-core 2.0 and 2.3GHz G5 siblings). '
Review: Mac Pro


looks like ill need a new audio interface. but i dont mind, wanted a firewire interface so i could use it for live purposes with my bros MBP anyway.




the quadro, is made for graphics i know but do i need it if i have eight core proccessors? i mean, i will only render with the processors and will never render with the gfx card in maya or final cut. or does it work differently to that?
im currently on a dual core machine with an 8800 gt, and its working fine in real time. not much slowdown unless i create an uneeded dense scene. just renders slow because of the proccessors, in fact i dont use my graphics card at all for maya and zbrush and others in terms of hardware rendering.

if somone could explain how the quadro works and how it could benefit compared to the eight core i would really appreciate it, would ti really be worth the extra 1400 (student price) when im more worried about rendering times rather than real time previews and texture loading.
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