Mac Pro is out

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ted Todorov, Aug 7, 2006.

  1. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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  2. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Those are some crazy ass specs and the price is right too!

    Nice job to Apple for this machine. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    The new MacPro is one sweet box. It'd make a kick-ass Windows box as well with BootCamp.

    I love the expandability. Buy a base model now for $2500. Down the road, expand the RAM by a couple of sticks and add another SATA drive as prices fall. Repeat twice.

    I'm not in the market right now for a new tower, but if I was...
     
  4. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Nice. In about a year and a half my XP desktop is about due for an upgrade. That should be enough time for a CPU speed bump plus the use of either 800MHz or 1066MHz RAM.

    I recently bought a Macbook Pro 2.16, was there any word on speed bumps or new notebooks from Apple? I think I read the keynote carefully and didn't see a mention of it.
     
  5. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    No official hardware news other than the Mac Pro and Xserve.
     
  6. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I've heard that they will be rapidly moving to the Core2Duo chips that Intel just released.
     
  7. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I am so tempted!

    Been a Windows user for 15 years now. Never tried a Mac.

    I can't stand Microsoft anymore. Their upcoming VISTA is
    supposed to be a glorified XP with nothing revolutionary added
    to it.

    I dream of switching to a MAC, but the problem I have is software.
    Most of the vital software I use from email client, to spam filter, etc.
    are not supported by Macintosh. I don't want to switch programs
    I currently use. I also don't want to have to boot into "windows"
    mode in my Mac (via bootcamp) just to use those programs.
     
  8. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Ron, you don't have to reboot to run your windows software. With Parallels (and soon also VM Ware) you will be able to run Mac and Windows applications side by side.

    And once you've tried some native Mac applications, you might suddenly find you don't need Windows software any more [​IMG] Go for it!

    Ted
    (a PC *user* and programmer since 1982 and a Mac *owner* since March 1984).
     
  9. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Okay, let me ask a few questions here....

    First, I have a $4,000 computer I am currently working on. Yeah,
    I overpaid to have a company (Velocity Micro) build it for me. It's
    1.5 years old and came out with the intro of dual-core. Let's
    take a look at MY specs against the new MacBook Pro and see if
    it will be just as powerful.

    My Computer

    Pentium Dual-Core 3.80 GHz
    2 Gigs Ram
    SATA 10,000 RPM hard drive


    Now here are the questions....

    1. Will this Mac Pro be as fast and powerful as my current PC?
    (I am looking at the standard dual 2.66GHZ Mac)

    2. Should I upgrade to 2GB ram? Does 1GB ram on a Mac work
    just as well as 2GB on a PC? Reason I ask is that I run a lot of
    programs on startup and trust me, the 2GB on my PC makes all
    the difference in the world.

    3. Can I use my DELL 24" LCD display with the Apple no prob?

    4. About Parellels desktop software...will this allow me to run all
    my WINDOWS apps inside Mac OS? Do these programs run SLOWER
    through this software? I always heard that these software programs
    allowing WINDOWS programs to run through MAC slow down the system.

    5. Do I get the latest and greatest MAC OS with this computer?

    6. How are the included MAC software programs? You said once
    I use these programs I won't wish for windows. Are the included
    programs THAT GOOD?

    7. I have a lot of data on my current PC to transfer to the MAC.
    There are a lot of .TXT, WORD and EXCEL documents as well as
    .GIF & .JPG files. How do I transfer them and how will they be
    compatible with MAC?

    8. Can I continue using my deluxe wireless windows keyboard and
    mouse with this Mac or do I need to buy their keyboard and mouse?

    9. As far as graphic cards are concerned: The Mac comes basic with
    Nvideo GeoForce 7300 256 card with single-link/dual-link DVI. I may be
    buying the Dell 30" Monitor next year. That monitor requires 2 video cards to run.
    Should I consider one of the other video card configurations in my Mac?

    10. Will all my printers and peripherals be compatable with Mac? I'm even
    concerned about my PDA that communicates via a Microsoft active link
    program to transfer data with Outlook.

    11. I have a TV card in my current PC. Can it easily be taken out and plugged
    into the Mac?

    I tell yuh --- I'll buy one today if you guys really come up with
    answers that intrigue me.
     
  10. Bob_Chase

    Bob_Chase Stunt Coordinator

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    Ron,

    I can't answer all of them but I'll take a stab.

    1. 2.66 X 2 = pretty friggin' fast.
    2. 2GB RAM. As you know you can never have enough.
    3. Yes.
    4. Here's a review: http://ptech.wsj.com/archive/ptech-20060615.html
    5. Yes.
    6. The iLife suite is excellent bolstered by the tight integration between photos(iPhoto), music creation(GarageBand), movie creation(iMovie) and dvd creation(iDVD). Web site creation is a no-brainer for the inexperienced with iWeb. Mail is--well, it does email. iCal has been extremely helpful with it's publish and subscribe model allowing my wife and I to keep our schedules synched. And speaking of synching--iSynch keeps my address book constantly synched with my RAZR. It still makes me laugh to see people continuing to enter contact info through their phone.
    7. .txt, .gif and .jpg are universal standards that are read my Macs. Word, Excel and PowerPoint each have their Mac versions. I use both a PC and Mac at work and I'm constantly ping-pong'ing these files back and forth with no problems whatsoever.
    8. If they are BlueTooth I don't see why not.
    9. Get the best one you can afford, but I'm fairly certain the base model can drive a 30"er.
    10. Printers and scanners--check. PDA probably, but you'd want to check your documentation.
    11. Probably not, but I'm not 100% certain. You could however use this: http://www.miglia.com/products/video/tvmini/index.html

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
     
  11. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    I'll try too:

    1. Try twice as powerful. The new Conroe chips are /that/ much better, and now you got two Woodcrests in there. Woodcrest is the server version of the Core 2 Duo with more L2 cache (4mb), plus everything's 64-bit native

    2. If you're working with massive, layer-filled Photoshop files or gigabyte-sized Video files, then yes definitely.

    3. Unsure, but from the looks of those cards (nVidia & ATi) I'd say yes.

    4. If emulation is involved then yes, I'd image there'd be a noticeable amount of slowdown. If you're talking about some simple stuff like Word it's probably no big deal. Hopefully someone with Parallels can chime in.

    5. dunno

    6. They're ok. The interface is really neat, and most evry Apple program takes advantage of that. Don't expect to be blown away here imo.

    7. OpenOffice.org can open all your MS Office files. There are Windows, Mac, and Linux versions. It's a poor-man's office (it's free!) but it's still a very good program suite.

    8. Probably would need to buy their's. [​IMG]

    9. 7300GT should be able to do dual monitor just fine. Not entirely sure what dual-link DVI means but Apple says you need it to run (2) 30" displays. 7300GT doesn't have it while the 1900XT does.

    10. Check the drivers for your printer. It should be compatible.

    11. Probably not, drivers are the issue again.
     
  12. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Ron, as a longtime Windows user who has gotten into Mac in the last couple of years, let me take a crack at your questions.

    1) This one's tough to answer until we get some benchmarks on the new MacPro. You're getting TWO dual core chips, so theoretically you should be able to multi-task more efficiently, but that depends on the apps you run. What do you do with your current PC??

    2) Just like PCs, Macs run much better with more RAM, especially if you tend to have multiple apps up at the same time. I have 2 GB in both my Intel iMac and my MacBook - that should tell you something. Note, that like most savvy purchasers, I bought my Mac with the minimum RAM and upgraded through 3rd-party suppliers (like Crucial or New Egg) to save money. Apple, like Dell, overcharges for memory upgrades.

    3) Your Dell 24" will work perfectly with the Mac. In fact, many Mac owners buy Dell displays because they are considered to be high-quality displays and they are significantly cheaper than Apple's Cinema displays (this is still true even after yesterday's price drops on the Cinema line).

    4) I have Parallels on my MacBook and it simply rocks. Windows apps run at near native speed (around 95%), because Parallels is using virtualization support that is built-in to the new Intel chips. The stories of slow Windows emulation come from the old Virtual PC product, which had to emulate the Intel hardware on the Power PC platform. Since Apple went Intel this is no longer a problem.

    5) Apple's really good about keeping the OS build on their machines current. You'll get the latest build of Tiger (OS X 10.4.7). The next version of OS X, Leopard (10.5), wil not be released until early next year.

    6) The included software on Macs is one of their biggest strength. The iLife suite is an excellent entry-level bundle of programs that let you do music, photos, & video. The built-in mail & calendar apps are decent, if missing some more advanced features (this will be addressed by Leopard). Also, Macs are blissfully free of all the shovelware than most PC manufacturers dump on their boxes. But to really answer this question, I'd need to know what software you currently use most.

    7) All of those file types will work on the Mac. All of the leading Mac office-type programs will read MS Office documents with no problems. GIF & JPG are of course standard file formats which iPhoto will read with no problems. As far as transferring, you can do something as simple as using a USB thumb drive or external hard drive, or you can network the two PCs and copy them over that way (yes, Macs can talk to PCs over a network after some minor configuration).

    8) What brand is your current KB/mouse combo?? A good many Logitech & Microsoft peripherals work on the Mac, but not all of them. Best bet here is to check your KB/mouse vendor's website.

    9) Hmm. According to Apple the base card in the MacPro (nVidia 7300) fully supports the Apple Cinema 30" display by itself. Is the Dell that much different from the Apple? Why does it require two cards?? I would have to do some research to understand what is going on here.

    10) Most major brand-name printers will work fine. Your PDA is a different story. I know MS doesn't support Windows Mobile PDAs on Mac, and neither does Apple. You would have to buy a 3rd party package - the Missing Sync from Markspace is the most widely-used and well-reviewed sync package for Mac, and they do have a version that supports Windows Mobile.

    11) Would have to know what brand of TV card you have. Again, best bet here is probably to check your manufacturer's web site.

    All that said, at this time Ron I think I'd recommend you stick with your current rig. It's not that old, and it still qualifies as a pretty high-end box. Given what you spent on it I think you should try to get a couple more years out of it.

    Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.
     
  13. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I think that sums it up well there, and I appreciate your honesty.
    Had you told me to buy the Mac because it would have benefited
    me more than what I have, I would have bought it this week.
     
  14. Jacinto

    Jacinto Second Unit

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    Ron,

    It would benefit me greatly. Could you buy it for me this week? [​IMG]
     
  15. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Ron, I too think your box is pretty darned current. The only reason you should even consider switching is if you like the Mac OS better than Windows.

    Even though I bought my first Mac this year, after many years of Windows usage, I will admit that there is a learning curve to it. If you can, use a buddy's Mac to see if you really will like it. There are some things that it cannot do that kinda bug me, but the others things it can do better than WinXP more than make up for it.

    I too am lucky in that 3 guys I work with are power Mac users (not to be confused with PowerMac users [​IMG] ) so I have built in tech support from all of them. Without them I'd be way behind the learning curve of OSX, and would probably have had to buy the books that are sold at Barnes and Noble about how to use OSX.

    That said, I don't regret my upgrade. Form, function, power and now reasonable pricing (for Apple) make this a no-brainer for me. And if you've got a connection to a university that has an Apple agreement, you'll get the machine for even less! I got mine at my student store (I'm staff) for 25% off, list for my 2.16GHz MBP was $2499, I got it for $1999 + free iPod which I turned around and sold to a buddy for $160 profit.
     
  16. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Wish I had that connection, Carlo. I'd be saving $500 right off
    the bat and it would be a hell of an incentive to upgrade.
     
  17. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    The MacPro is a beautiful machine, and it's very tempting. But my current Dell tower, although almost three years old, still has a 3 Ghz HT Pentium, 3 GB RAM, tons of fast disk space, and dual displays. I bought it for audio/video editing, and it still handles those duties well. I don't feel that I'm pushing its limits yet. There's just no reason to upgrade right now.

    And as I alluded to in my last post, I would NEVER recommend anyone switch OSs without knowing in detail what they use their PC for, and what specific applications they run on a regular basis. Without that information there's no way to really know if OS X is right for them.

    I still say, however, for the average casual (or new) PC user, who just wants a machine to surf the web, do email, and have some fun with music, photos and video, AND has no particular allegience to any Windows apps, there is no better value out there right now than Apple's iMac line (or the MacBooks if you're in the portable market). However, Ron, I don't get the impression that you're a casual/average user!
     
  18. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    It seems to me that Ron has expressed curiosity about Macs a couple of times, but is reluctant to make large investment.

    It might make a lot more sense for Ron (or anyone who is curious) to get a Mac Mini or a MacBook -- (one of the least expensive models -- Minis start at $599) just to play around with Mac OS X and see if they like it. If they do like it, as I suspect they will, they will wind up putting the Mini (makes a great iTunes server) or MacBook ($1099)(a wonderful laptop -- light yet powerful) to good use, even if they do subsequently get a Mac Pro...

    Ted
     
  19. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    Good advice, Ted. That's how I started out, with the orginal Mac Mini. Even if they don't like it, they can get a decent percentage of their outlay back by eBay-ing it after a few months.
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Damn, a Mac Mini as an iTunes server...as someone who just converted over 3600 CD songs to AAC, this sounds pretty tempting [​IMG]

    Must...not...spend...more...money...

    Wonder what the academic price is for a mini... [​IMG]
     

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