BIM Coordinator Program (INT) April 22, 2024

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Getting a new Mac Pro advice

Anonymous
Not applicable
We are looking at getting a new machine for the office.
We currently have a Dual 2.7 G5 with 2Gb RAM - which serves us well. We're looking at upgrading the old G4.

Background:
Our projects are mainly residential - either single residences or small developments. Our models are worked up in 3D to a fairly complex level. We do a lot of walk-throughs with clients in the office, fly through's, lightworks renders etc.

This is what we are thinking:
-Two 2.66GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
-4GB (4 x 1GB)
-ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB SDRAM
-250GB HD
-1 x SuperDrive
-Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)

Questions:
-is it worth upping the processor to 2 x 3GHz in your opinion?
-is 4GB a good idea, or 2 ok?
-ATI RadeonX1900/512 OR GeForce7300/256?
-Is the extra superdrive worth getting (someone on this forum recommended it, because it is not much more, and handy to have when the other carks it -we don't do that much burning, although it might be good for copying stuff!)

Thanks for any advice. I'll be interested in comparing it to the G5, which is pretty swift. - i'll have to benchmark them when they are up and running

cheers
12 REPLIES 12
Dwight
Newcomer
2x3 G processor seductive but not necessary at the premium price unless doing a lot of photoshop or rendering. The extra cost does extend useful life of the machine, however. You feel better at the beginning and it takes longer to feel totally bad.

4GB is minimum RAM !

Get three drives - set drives 2+3 as RAID 1. [mirrored data for security unless machine stolen then you are kaput! ] -- Could buy aftermarket drives as economy measure - easy install - but then no Applecare. Evaluate cost/benefit.
250 Gigulons minimum - will fill up with downloaded movies pretty quick.

Radeon's extra RAM provides superior OpenGL performance - important.

Superdrive is another $100. or so. When the first one goes kak from you copying all those Hollywood DVD's [Warning: Smokin' Aces a waste of time and special effects blood], the agro of replacing it far exceeds the cost of redundancy.

Loop-like handles excellent anchor places for gigantic chain and stupendous padlocks.

Applecare a necessity.
Dwight Atkinson
TomWaltz
Participant
I usually get the smallest RAM possible through Apple then buy more from RAMJet. It's WAY cheaper and usually arrives before the machine does.

We did all 50 of our Mac machines that way. We had a couple bad chips that they replaced immediately.
Tom Waltz
Dwight
Newcomer
True. I also use aftermarket RAM: From "Crucial"


But if there IS aproblem, the trouble shooting time and the issues with Applecare make the cost savings unimportant.
Dwight Atkinson
Chazz
Enthusiast
Dwight wrote:
Loop-like handles excellent anchor places for gigantic chain and stupendous padlocks.
My issue with the Powermac G5 and MacPro case (even with the nice handles) is that the darn things are just too tall. My Dell at my last job made the perfect footrest. I seldom actually used it as a computer but it was sturdy and well suited to in-chair slouching. My G5 is uncomfortably high.

Ergonomics is important when selecting hardware and this is one area where Dell really shines: superior foot support.
Nattering nabob of negativism
2023 MBP M2 Max 32GM. MaxOS-Current
TomWaltz
Participant
Chazz wrote:
Dwight wrote:
Loop-like handles excellent anchor places for gigantic chain and stupendous padlocks.
My issue with the Powermac G5 and MacPro case (even with the nice handles) is that the darn things are just too tall. My Dell at my last job made the perfect footrest. I seldom actually used it as a computer but it was sturdy and well suited to in-chair slouching. My G5 is uncomfortably high.

Ergonomics is important when selecting hardware and this is one area where Dell really shines: superior foot support.
The Mac towers ARE big... though I found that the under-handles are useful if you spill a drink on your desk (I keep my tower on my desk)
Tom Waltz
Anonymous
Not applicable
Interesting...

I agree Applecare is a must -we have made a ot of use of it in the past.

If we put in 3rd party RAM, and need to send the machine back to the shop for some reason, will it void our Applecare warranty? (we don't need to swap the RAM back every time we send it in do we!?)

I am also going to set up a new backup plan, with 2 external hard-drives which rotate between office and home.

Dwight ...Can you run that RAID disk thing past me.

I understand the Mac Pro has 4 hard drive slots, can we use them for swapping backup drives? or do we just have an extra in the box incase our main one fails.

-what do you mean by"Get three drives - set drives 2+3 as RAID 1"

sounds expensive

cheers everyone
Anonymous
Not applicable
The internal raid can be nice, but for off-premises file security external (firewire) swap drives are the way to go (and cheap).
Dwight
Newcomer
Every expense in a business must be balanced against the potential loss of time and data if things go wrong.

I use a 160 Gb drive on my G5 with four remote 600 Gb firewire drives hidden in another room on another floor of the house in a locked box. One of those drives backs up the main drive in the computer and other archives like photos of old girlfriends for instance. One is for movie downloads and the last two are a RAID. [We have a photography jones and with all of the traveling related to the book, we are already full. Next it will be two 2Gb ethernet drives!!]

They are RAID level 1 - mirrored. If one drive fails, the data on the other remains.

See: RAID Levels:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAID#Standard_RAID_levels

For you, with the capacity for four drives in the G5 box, I suggest three drives:

one drive for an operating system and your scratch disk - stuff you can easily restore.

For the other two, either in the main G5 box or remote with Firewire, they should be mirrored. You would keep everything else, here.

If you need remote backup, I'd use a gigantic removable firewire to periodically copy the mirrored RAID. I wouldn't be messing about in the main box swapping drives. Too geeky for even me.
Dwight Atkinson
Stress Co_
Advisor
TomWaltz wrote:
The Mac towers ARE big... though I found that the under-handles are useful if you spill a drink on your desk (I keep my tower on my desk)
Doesn't your tower have the a built-in, retractable cup holder?
CupOjoe.jpg
Marc Corney, Architect
Red Canoe Architecture, P. A.

Mac OS 10.15.7 (Catalina) //// Mac OS 14.2.1 (Sonoma)
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