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What upgrades for Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Apple/Mac' started by DOCWATERS, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. DOCWATERS

    DOCWATERS Guest

    Hi Guys,

    About to get my first Mac:biggrin:
    Going for the Quad core rather than the iMac (purely because i don't like PP on glossy screens).
    What upgrades in regards to the standard set up do you recommend; RAM, graphics card etc?
    Will be using LR2 and CS4(occasionally)? usually have 5-6 app running at the same time.

    Also is it worth ordering the upgrades from Apple or from a third party?

    Thanks

    Mark
     
  2. Upgrade your RAM and hard drives here at OWC

    http://www.macsales.com/

    Good prices, good service and good products in my experience. I would add more RAM (4GB at least) add a second hard drive for your photos and a third drive to back up both drives via Time machine. Then add an external drive to back up using Superduper or Carbon Copy Cloner so that you have an external bootable backup redundant to your Time Machine backup. you can save $350 buying a refurbished unit from Apple> I bought mine that way.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB871LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
     
  3. Apple charges way too much for their upgrades. If you are comfortable with using a screw driver near expensive things, then do it yourself and save a boatload of money.
     
  4. Heck, with the Mac Pro you don't even need a screwdriver. The hard drives go into trays with captive thumb screws and the memory cards pop in and out easier than any PC I've worked on.

    OWC is the best source for memory, especially if you need to replace any existing sticks. OWC will buy it from you.

    For hard drives, I just go with whoever is cheapest. There have been some screaming deals on Amazon lately on 500GB to 1 TB SATA drives. Buy the "bare" drives (no cables included) since they are cheaper and you don't need SATA or power cables with the Mac Pro.

    I have 6GB of RAM in my Mac Pro and routinely run LR and Photoshop CS3 along with other apps and can't even get the system to breathe hard. YMMV.
     
  5. DOCWATERS

    DOCWATERS Guest

    I am not stateside so will try to find a decent company in the Uk. Any suggestions?

    Thanks for the info.
     
  6. Gort

    Gort

    411
    Mar 10, 2008
    Phoenix
    From the Macrumors RAM Buying Guide:

    On the video card, the Radeon HD 4870 is a terrific card. I wouldn't go the multiple card route unless you are doing some pretty high end engineering work. You can always upgrade later if necessary.
     
  7. I bought three 1 TB WD Black Caviar hard drives. Easy to install and no problems.
     
  8. Tim W

    Tim W

    704
    Mar 10, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I would guess between 6 and 8GB of RAM would be nice, and at least one additional HDD, all purchased from someone other than Apple.

    I'm pondering the purchase of a refurb Mac Pro right now. Gort (Steve) do you know if the HD4870 card still requires drivers from a third party or has this got standard Apple supplied drivers now? I'm not keen on going down the non Apple route for display drivers, as I'd like to avoid a "Windows like" driver mess, which is one of the reasons I swapped to Mac in the first place.
     
  9. Gort

    Gort

    411
    Mar 10, 2008
    Phoenix
    The 4870 comes native with the drivers built in. Every Mac comes with the drivers for its hardware -- that's one benefit of Macs, better software/hardware integration.

    What graphics card does the refurbished system you are considering have?
     
  10. one can never have enough RAM.....6-8 Gb will do for now, but tomorrow is another day :biggrin:
     
  11. With the low price of drives, I would recommend buying at least two internal SATA drives and configure a RAID mirror. This will give your data some valuable extra protection.

    Time machine is a terrific application - be sure to add an external drive (USB or Firewire) for regular backups.
     
  12. Tim W

    Tim W

    704
    Mar 10, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Just the basic one, GTX120 I think it was called. It's the basic 8 core 2.26G Nehalem based system with 6GB RAM and the 640GB HDD. It's 15% off in the refurb section of the store right now. Still mulling it over, but won't be able to procrastinate for too long or will have to wait for another random time when another appears. My 2006 MBP was a refurb too - just like a brand new machine, not even a fingerprint on it when unboxing. It's been (and still is) a superb machine and has shown me that computing can be a rewarding experience!
     
  13. seamus

    seamus

    47
    Jan 2, 2006
    Ireland
    http://www.crucial.com/uk/ is a good place to buy memory.
     
  14. Gort

    Gort

    411
    Mar 10, 2008
    Phoenix
    Yah, refurbs can be a real bargain. Looks like a good system. You can upgrade the memory & hard drives on your own after you buy it, as others have pointed out here, for a lot less $$ than Apple will charge you.

    Best of luck with your purchase.
     
  15. i also recommend a USB to SATA drive dock that you can slot a SATA drive into- that makes backups and off-site storage very easy to do- just plug in a drive, back up to it, eject it and take it to another location...

    Paul
     
  16. Tim W

    Tim W

    704
    Mar 10, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    OK, just did the deed. Ordered the 8 core Nehalem based system and some WD black 1TB hard drives from a third party supplier. I absolutely can't wait to get this system up and running. System comes with 6GB of memory but I'd better give the wife a break before asking to buy anything else.
     
  17. Muonic

    Muonic

    Jun 14, 2006
    A new mouse. Unless Apple has recently changed it, that Mighty Mouse is just awful.
     
  18. I have the same set-up. You'll love it.
     
  19. Tim W

    Tim W

    704
    Mar 10, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    So, I just took delivery of this refurb mac pro. It was way better specced than the website would have you believe - 16GB RAM, 4870 GPU and a hardware RAID card. Mac is also in absolutely pristine condition. I'm a very happy customer indeed.
     
  20. Wow sounds like you have a great machine. If you do any video editing it's a real workhorse for that. Set up time machine with a FW 800 external HD.
     
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