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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?" :)

Mac Pro - Considering Mac Pro, please help


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camnewyork

 
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I am pretty close to ditching my Desktop DELL at home and replacing it with a Mac Pro 2.8. I have tried to cram a lot of research into a small amount of time... here are some unanswered questions.

1) My wife uses a Dell laptop, our printer currently runs off the Dell desktop. Is it possible to hook the printer to the Mac Pro and have it accessible by the XP Dell laptop? If not, is there another way to do it? The printer is a Cannon all in one... don't know the model.

2) If I get the Mac Pro with the ATI graphics card, can I replace it myself with any compatible Nvidia 8800 GT or do I have to purchase the Nvidia card from Apple? If I can do it myself, is there anything I should know other than PCI express 2.0 card slot?

3) follow-up to (2)..... On a XP/Vista, I find drivers for new hardware from the vendor/Microsoft. How does a Mac find the correct Drivers for new hardware?

4) Amazon has a $150 rebate on Mac Pro's at the moment. Is Amazon an authorized reseller of Apple products?

5) Last question..... Does 10.5 support a way to create a VPN session. That is how I currently access work. I configured VPN for work. When I access it, I can telnet or remote desktop to work environment. Is that possible through a Mac?


I hope my first post here is not too annoying... sorry for all the questions but they are critical to making a decision of this magnitude.

Oh,... forgot... hi everyone.

Carl
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camnewyork

 
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FYI

After Poking around a bit more, I answered (4)... yes, amazon.com is an authorized apple reseller.

Carl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camnewyork View Post
I am pretty close to ditching my Desktop DELL at home and replacing it with a Mac Pro 2.8. I have tried to cram a lot of research into a small amount of time... here are some unanswered questions.

1) My wife uses a Dell laptop, our printer currently runs off the Dell desktop. Is it possible to hook the printer to the Mac Pro and have it accessible by the XP Dell laptop? If not, is there another way to do it? The printer is a Cannon all in one... don't know the model.
Assuming you have a network, and assuming your printer is compatible with Mac OS X, then it should be possible to share your printer from the Mac..
Quote:
2) If I get the Mac Pro with the ATI graphics card, can I replace it myself with any compatible Nvidia 8800 GT or do I have to purchase the Nvidia card from Apple? If I can do it myself, is there anything I should know other than PCI express 2.0 card slot?
I would stick with the one that Apple sells. Anything else would likely be unsupported
Quote:

3) follow-up to (2)..... On a XP/Vista, I find drivers for new hardware from the vendor/Microsoft. How does a Mac find the correct Drivers for new hardware?
They're included as part of the OS.
Quote:

4) Amazon has a $150 rebate on Mac Pro's at the moment. Is Amazon an authorized reseller of Apple products?
Yes.
Quote:

5) Last question..... Does 10.5 support a way to create a VPN session. That is how I currently access work. I configured VPN for work. When I access it, I can telnet or remote desktop to work environment. Is that possible through a Mac?
L2TP, PPTP, IPSec, Firepass, and Cisco VPNs are supported, maybe others.
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camnewyork

 
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Thanks for the reply.

I am replying to my own message as I find information incase others have the same questions.

I have read other forum information that backs your take on the graphics card update. From what I read (this is NOT from Apple itself) you can not buy any Nvidia 8800 GT, it needs to be Apple branded. Apple is charging about $70 more for a 8800 GT than street value for a generic so having to get it from Apple is not bad... The only problem is if you buy the upgrade kit standalone, it is a 5 to 7 week shipping delay. It looks like the card bundled with the computer does not cause a delay..... That makes my Amazon idea fall apart because they only sell the base graphics card model.


Carl
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If you want to buy from amazon and save the $150 then buy the card from apple and put it in you can either have 2 video cards, or you can sell the old one on ebay and try to make back the money... maybe even save more if you the $150 plus what ever you get is worth more then the card.

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I was thinking about buying from Amazon and adding the card later.... The delay for the graphics card kit from Apple is 2 months. The $150 savings through the rebate gets eaten up by the fact the Nvidia card in the Mac Pro is $200, the card seperate is $350......

The ATI card itself is not a bad little card.... but the GT 512 is one of the best budget cards out there.


Carl
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You wouldn't get anything for the ATI card if you tried to sell it. There are plenty of authorized resellers that off the BTO. Some might offer a discount to get you to buy from them. Just gotta dig harder.
As for the rest of their replies, they're all spot on.


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One question is, what are you planning on using your Mac Pro for? I ask this because I just recently purchased mine and got the GeForce 8800 GT graphics card option. I saved some money by getting only a single Quad core processor and that knocks off $500. Since I don't do any video editting or really anything else that is seriously multithreaded, I figured the better graphics was worth much more than the second Quad core processor. Just a thought.

Scott
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Hi Scott....

At the moment my uses are very simplistic..... I play WoW a ton, my wife does our budget through spreadsheets, I connect to work through telnet using putty (over VPN) and we both surf the internet.

I could easily build a Dell that is better suited for my current needs (2 quad cores will have no impact on WoW over Dual core, I could get faster memory, a faster hard drive and so on).

But really the sky is the limit. I am not sure what I will be doing 6 months from now if I get a Mac now.... My son is going on to middle school, my wife is getting her masters in music teaching, I may be on to bigger and better games :-)......

I have thought about going to single processor however... thanks for the information, I will consider it.

I do have a question for you... have you received your computer with the 8800 GT? I have been reading about delays in getting them... According to the apple webpage they are shipping within 3 days but I am curious if that is true in real life.


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I ordered the Quad with the 8800GT on Friday. It says it will ship Wednesday- Friday.
By the time games use 8 processors, the 8800 GT will not be good enough. I would also recommend the Quad. I just do basic stuff as well and it couldn't/ wouldn't be able to tell a difference with the 2.66GHz I have now.


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I'd like to expand on technologist answer to #3:

Quote:
Originally Posted by technologist
They're included as part of the OS.
Most drivers are included. Things like Hard drives and USB sticks and many printers are already there. That being said, I have found some that required additional drivers from the Vendor to make the peripheral hardware interface properly. For instance, my HP AIO printer, My Cannon scanner and a PCI-e SATA II card all required me to find the drivers on the manufactures site or were included with the device. The PCI-e card was very definitely noticeable as the drives attached to it don't show up at all until the driver is installed.


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My computer arrived with the 8800GT a 2 weeks ago... it was 5 weeks after i ordered it.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by camnewyork View Post
But really the sky is the limit. I am not sure what I will be doing 6 months from now if I get a Mac now.... My son is going on to middle school, my wife is getting her masters in music teaching, I may be on to bigger and better games :-)......
I think you will find that by the time you are needing a Quad core, much less 8 cores to play games you will be well past due for a new system. Very few games are multithreaded at this point. Even those that are multithreaded are not going to be efficiently using more than 2 cores maybe 4 cores in another couple of years.
If however, your wife does any kind of music editing/composing on the Mac, you might find the extra horsepower useful but that is definitely outside of my area of expertise.
Quote:
Originally Posted by camnewyork View Post
I do have a question for you... have you received your computer with the 8800 GT? I have been reading about delays in getting them... According to the apple webpage they are shipping within 3 days but I am curious if that is true in real life.

Carl
I ordered my system and was virtually in tears when I saw the 2 to 3 weeks shipping time. However, I got a shipping confirmation e-mail about 3 days after I ordered it. I ended up actually receiving it 9 days after I ordered it. FedEx made the last day painful for me by delivering it at 7:30PM when I was waiting for it on pins and needles all day.

I'm extremely happy with my purchase, just need to replace this aluminum keyboard and Mighty Mouse. WoW by the way runs flawlessly on it. I only wish that EQ2 were available for OS X.

Scott
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Glad to hear WoW runs well.....

I just ordered it... they say shipping in 3-5 days and delivery by mid next week.....

I have alot of research to do now.... how to get a printer on a Mac to be visible by an XP laptop will be my first task... don't want to disrupt my wife.

Thanks for all the advice. Soon I will be a Mac owner for the first time.... Thrid family member though. thats pretty good considering we were all hardcore Dell guys before this.


Carl
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I ordered my BTO Pro with the 8800 GT late Friday through an authorized reseller and I just checked the status. It says it actually shipped yesterday. That makes only one day, not three to five as advertised.

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