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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 Build Advice.


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Cagedfatkid

 
Member Since: Jul 17, 2011
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I am planning to become a switcher. Used windows all my life but im done with that garbage. Buying a laptop or 2 every year has gotten old and expensive.

I want to buy a desktop computer that will last me at least 5-10 years. Furtureproofing!

What is the big differnce betweent he following:
2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nahalem"
VS
3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nahalem"

1 TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3GB/s hard drive
VS
512GB SSD

ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB
VS
Two ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 GB

I have already an external 3TB hard drive. So I really dont need 1 TB internal. I wanted to know if the 512GB SSD is acutally worth the extra $1,400.

Is there any added benefits to having 2 of the graphics cards instead of one? I will only be using 1 moniter, possibly 2 at the most.

How big of a difference is the speed in the processors?

Any recommendations of white moniters(non apple)? I cannot find one.
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J-L

 
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Hey, I myself am looking at switching to a Mac desktop soon I think I will be looking more at the mini myself. Anyway your question is not that hard to answer considering it is mostly about hardware.

So for processors the only difference between those two really is going to be the 400 MHz in speed. (Unfortunately apple’s site does not list exact part numbers but there of the same architecture Nehalem so it is a safe assumption). Realistically I would say it is not really worth the extra money as the performance gain is minimal at best.

SSD are definitely a lot faster than your standard hard disk, if you wish to go down this route you probably want it as your primary hard disk as you really want just your operating system and programs on a solid state drive. Keep all of your data that you change regularly on a separate disk (or your external one) as this will help slow the degradation of the SSD. Though once again in terms of bang for your buck it might not be worth it, it really depends on whether you think the speed upgrade is really worth all of that money.

As for dual graphics cards, this is probably only really worth it if you are
a) a gamer
b) using several monitors
c) doing a heavy amount of video editing or creating 3d graphics.
If you do not think that you will every want to do any of those then it probably is not worth it splashing out the extra cash.

Personally if I were you I would wait for the Mac Pro refresh, many are saying it is rumoured for late August. That way you could have thunderbolt and purchase the new thunderbolt monitor.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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What is thunderbolt?
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J-L

 
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Think of it as a newer and much faster version of USB in that it is a port that will allow you to connect lots of peripherals to your machine. It is still quite new but apples newest cinema display supports it allowing not only the monitor to run through it but the also all the devices add to the extra ports on the back of the monitor (several USB and an Ethernet port – for internet/networking)

Apple - Thunderbolt: Next-generation high-speed I/O technology.
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chas_m

 
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I would not even be considering a Mac Pro at this time even if the ONLY change were Thunderbolt. It is THAT big a deal.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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I wont be using an Apple display. I already have 2 22 in displays that I will be using. I also dont have anything else apple so all my harddrives will be connected via usb. I wont really be using it for anything at the moment.
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chas_m

 
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What you're doing "at the moment" is of no importance whatsoever. You yourself said you wanted your next machine to last a long time. Investing in Thunderbolt (which means waiting a month) is the wise course if that's your priority.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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Waiting a month is not really my concern though. Will the price in the MacPro go up because of this imporvement? Will the other features change? I just dont want to have to pay an astronimical amount in for a port that I will not use any time soon.
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J-L

 
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Most of the time the price stays the same, there may be a little fluctuation depending on what adjustments they make.

I have got to agree with chas_m the potential of the thunderbolt port is quite amazing.

Anyway look at the new Mac mini, it got thunderbolt added and the price went down.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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I guess I will wait a few months and see how it goes. Thank you for your information.
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iHarrison

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cagedfatkid View Post
I am planning to become a switcher. Used windows all my life but im done with that garbage. Buying a laptop or 2 every year has gotten old and expensive.
6-12 month lifetime? Dude, what've you been doing to your laptops? Playing tennis? Hammering-in nails??

I've got an ~11 years old 'Tiny' laptop that was rocking Win2k until a few months ago & had never needed a reinstall / repair!

Now it's running Xubuntu, as the HDD (which had done well lasting that long) died & it's a bit low-spec to make it worth installing WinXP or Win7 on it - but Win2k only died because the hardware dragged it down with it!

With the new HDD I could see it lasting another decade!

On the topic at hand, I agree that you should wait for Thunderbolt... There's not much for it yet - & some of what is out there, branded as Light Peak, uses a USB style connector, rather than a Mini Display Port style connector - but, none the less, it shows that the overall technical specifications are being adopted, and once the connection is standardised (almost certainly to the Apple design, as the vast majority of gear out for the standard is Tunderbolt not Light Peak) it will soon replace USB, FireWire, Ethernet, HDMI, etc...

Basically, Thunderbolt's poised to become the all-purpose connection that USB was meant to be, but could never keep-up with the advances of the other hardware in computers.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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With deployments, school, games, movies, varies huge load programs, constant running 24/7, high altitude and heat conditions... my laptops get destroyed fast. Thats why im getting a desktop. I have an iPad for mobility.
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Cagedfatkid

 
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Bringing this back now that its been a month.
Any new underground word about the upgrade for MacPro? I have to buy it this year to get the refund on my taxes. Any new information?
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RavingMac

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cagedfatkid View Post
Bringing this back now that its been a month.
Any new underground word about the upgrade for MacPro? I have to buy it this year to get the refund on my taxes. Any new information?
Nothing so far and I am interested too.

If I had to speculate, I would say probably sometime in the Sept-Nov timeframe if it gets updated this year. I agree it is worth waiting to see what comes out, but if you need to pull the trigger then go for it.
The only reccomendation I would make is to have a look at the Apple Refurbs first. Same warranty (and usually condition) as new, but nice discount.

Refurbished Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon $2,119.00 ($380 savings)

Refurbished Mac Pro 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon - Apple Store (U.S.)

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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macrostheblack

 
Member Since: Apr 25, 2011
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Mac Specs: MacBook® Pro / Intel® Core™ i5 Processor / 13.3" Display / 4GB Memory / 320GB Hard Drive

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i still say waiting for thunder bolt is the way to go if it hasn't happened by nov then make the trigger pull. also no one really touched on the graphic card if you are trying to future proof this machine I would have to say go with the duel 5770. some one seid that the only thing having 2 would do is give you the ability to run multipul monitors and that couldn't be further from the truth. the 5770 can run 3 monitor all by it self adding the second card lets you run 4. what it does do thought is double your gpu processing speed. the 5770 is a great card i run 3 of them in my gaming pc and can play final fantasy 14 at 1080p and full settings on my 52" monitor. this same game wouldn't run smoothly on the lowest setting running just one card on the lowest setting on a 19" monitor.

now I realize gaming mite not be what your after but if you want to keep up with software for the next 5 to 10 years graphics will still play a role in a lot of software and media as an example i have a 5 year old iMac that if I try to play an HD movie on my 52" thru the iMac the picture cad become picsalated at time.

just some food for thought.
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