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Advice needed- New MacPro MC560LL/A owner- from PC

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping I can get some advice here.

Two weeks ago my hard drive crashed in my Dell XPS 8000 and I decided to jump ship and purchased a Mac Pro. I researched and compared the iMac and Mac Pro and went with the latter after finding out the Mac Pro was easily expandable, which I purchased through Amazon.
I upgraded the following hardware:
  • 1 TB Samsung HD
  • 1 TB Seagate HD
  • 500GB Seagate HD
    all 3 HDs are data drives.
  • ATI Radeon HD 5570
(I went to the Apple store in town and spoke w/ a Genius and sales rep. My big concern with switching to a Mac was being able to keep my 3 monitor setup I had on my Dell. They both assured me that the Mac Pro comes out of the box ready for 3 displays... later found out they were wrong.. I needed to purchase 2 dual display adapters- but I installed the extra card.)

PROBLEM-
After a week of use it seems like my Mac Pro isn't as fast as I would hope. When using Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver (CS5), I get the spinning rainbow wheel.

Is the Xeon processor slower than the i7 or even i5?

A couple other things kinda irritate me...
- With a PC, I had more control of what was going on in my computer. I could view the task manager, clean my registry, scan for viruses, etc.
- The keyboard is so small- I constantly error with the wrong keys
- The mouse is so sensitive.
- Navigating between programs seems to be more labor intensive than when I had a PC.
- Outlook 2011 is really weak

I know I'm probably coming across as a miserable complainer, but I'm getting frustrated with the feeling of not knowing my computer. I'm a web marketing consultant and my livelihood involves a computer. I feel like I'm starting from scratch and I'm losing hope.
post #2 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

After a week of use it seems like my Mac Pro isn't as fast as I would hope. When using Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver (CS5), I get the spinning rainbow wheel.

DId you turn their RAM usage all the way up?

Quote:
Is the Xeon processor slower than the i7 or even i5?

Uh, yeah… The Mac Pro has been unchanged for about a year. Newer chips are out and the iMacs and MacBook Pro pretty much beat the Mac Pro now.

It was pretty foolish of you to waste your money on a workstation computer when all you wanted was "expandability". Thunderbolt provides that with any other Mac that would have suited you better.

Quote:
- With a PC, I had more control of what was going on in my computer. I could view the task manager, clean my registry, scan for viruses, etc.

HA HA HA HAH AHA HA HA HA H AH AH AH AH AH! Don't worry.

First: Activity Monitor. Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities.

Second: THERE IS NO REGISTRY. You don't have to deal with that absolutely wretched nonsense. There is no "cleaning". There is no "fixing". Hooray!

Third: There are no viruses in OS X. It can't get them. You're safe. How would you not know this? It has been THE selling point since time immemorial.

Quote:
- The keyboard is so small- I constantly error with the wrong keys

Do the Mac Pros still ship with the proper keyboard? The ones with the numpads? How is that "small"? They're the same size as any other keyboard's keys, just shorter and chiclety.

Quote:
- The mouse is so sensitive.

System Preferences/Mouse.

Quote:
- Navigating between programs seems to be more labor intensive than when I had a PC.

Open Apple (oh, that's Command for you)+Tab. And then just keep tapping Tab to switch. Or click anything in the Dock. Or use Mission Control.

Not sure how any of that is labor intensive. It's one click.

Quote:
- Outlook 2011 is really weak

Because it's a Microsoft product. Try out Mail!

Quote:
I know I'm probably coming across as a miserable complainer, but I'm getting frustrated with the feeling of not knowing my computer.



That's completely understandable. You really don't know it, so frustration's a given.

Quote:
I feel like I'm starting from scratch and I'm losing hope.

You are!… For the former, not the latter.

You a keyboard warrior? Then check this out.

Search for any file with Spotlight in the top right. It's stupidly awesome.



Search for application capabilities in the Help Menu of any modern application. Just type what you're looking for and the application will show you where it is.



And search around or ask here if you run into something you want to do but don't know how.

Welcome to the switch! Too bad you got off on the wrong foot (being lied to, buying PROBABLY the wrong computer, etc.)…

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Holy $#!t- thanks for the in depth response!

I was told by an Apple employee that I couldn't run 3 displays w/ an iMac.

And I hate to just ditch my 3 internal HDDs because the iMac can't use them... right?

I still have 2 weeks remaining to return this Mac Pro and get something else.

Suggestions?

PS- Thanks again!!!
post #4 of 40
Quote:
I was told by an Apple employee that I couldn't run 3 displays w/ an iMac.

That's somewhat as much of a lie as you were told about the Mac Pro.

The 27" iMac has two Thunderbolt ports, so you can run two external displays right out of the gate. Boom, three displays.

The 21.5" has a single Thunderbolt port, but Thunderbolt devices are daisy-chainable, so you could get the new Thunderbolt Display (expensive, I know, but the panel's of the best quality available and it has a FRICKLOAD of extra ports on the back, including another Thunderbolt. Oh, and speakers, a mic, and a webcam) and plug a third display into the Thunderbolt display.

And barring any of that, you can use Matrox' DualHead2Go, which is some sort of a branching adapter that lets you plug in two displays to one port.

Quote:
And I hate to just ditch my 3 internal HDDs because the iMac can't use them... right?

Well, there's Thunderbolt to plug them in, USB to plug them in, FireWire 800 to plug them in…

What interface do they use? I can't imagine there's not an adapter of some sort or that they wouldn't work.

Oh, wait, do you mean they're just bare drives? Well, you could always get a multi-bay hard drive enclosure and plug it in. They make FireWire 800 ones for fairly cheap, and as Thunderbolt gets more inexpensive, that becomes an option, too.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

After a week of use it seems like my Mac Pro isn't as fast as I would hope. When using Adobe Photoshop and Dreamweaver (CS5), I get the spinning rainbow wheel.

Beachballs tend to come from slow hard drives and especially if you run out of RAM, that problem will show up. Consider using an SSD as a boot drive:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NbsdC8_T84

You can get a 128GB SSD fairly cheaply:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148448
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167050

Just use it for the system and some apps and put everything else on standard drives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Is the Xeon processor slower than the i7 or even i5?

The 2010 2.8GHz quad Mac Pro isn't too bad and would be in the region of the i5 iMacs. The i7s are faster but only by about 30-40%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

- The keyboard is so small- I constantly error with the wrong keys

You can get the big version of the keyboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

- The mouse is so sensitive.

It just doesn't like being shouted at . You can and should get a 3rd party one e.g Logitech.
post #6 of 40
yeah it takes some time to getting used to. I remember when I got my mac i was like wth, i hate this and how come this is like that. But once you take some time to set things up the way you like them.

Then play around with all the new set of features (I can no longer live without a trackpad)

A mac is the most enjoyable computing experience in my life. It spoils me to no end and needs less maintenance then my car, granted my car and computer are my children.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hmm, the track pad. I messed w/ it at the Apple store.

I've suffered from tennis elbow for the last two years (damn P90X!) and using a mouse has kept my elbow from healing.

I used a handshake mouse w/ my PC... but it really didn't help much either.
post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

And I hate to just ditch my 3 internal HDDs because the iMac can't use them... right?

I still have 2 weeks remaining to return this Mac Pro and get something else.

Suggestions?

For the money you'd save buying the iMac instead of the Pro, you could buy a 4 bay Drobo ... either USB or NAS... and install all the drives in that. It can be set up as a RAID device if you want bulletproof backups!

As for the monitors... I'm pretty sure an iMac can drive TWO external displays (plus it's built in) ... not sure if it can handle THREE though. (And you'd want to verify that, as well as the ability to get adapters to drive your current monitors via the Thunderbolt port(s) on the iMac.)

In short, you're paying an awful lot of extra $$ just for the ability to easily drive multiple displays... but it may certainly be worth it to you!
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
Reply
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Hmm, the track pad. I messed w/ it at the Apple store.

I've suffered from tennis elbow for the last two years (damn P90X!) and using a mouse has kept my elbow from healing.

I used a handshake mouse w/ my PC... but it really didn't help much either.

I recently upgraded my system and was deciding between a Mac Pro and an iMac (to replace an older iMac). Here are some notes that may help you based on your discussion(s) above:

1. Check out http://www.barefeats.com/ This is a great resource for benchmarking Macs against one another. The new (especially the BTO i7) iMacs stack up well against anything Apple has ever offered (when stock, anyway). Based on several articles I decided to go with the iMac instead of Mac Pro, even though I really wanted a Mac pro. I just couldn't justify it. There are plenty of other sites, too, but these guys are quality and have been around forever.

2. One of the best things about the Mac Pro is all those ram slots. Empty RAM slots are a SHAME. Don't be shameful . Fill those slots. Your system will definitely feel faster. 8Gb Ram is pretty minimal for Photoshop and the rest. Especially if you're using CS apps together. My old iMac was maxed at 8Gb and functional. The new one has 16Gb (add the ram yourself. It's easy and cheap) and smokes.

3. Unless your 3 HD's are pretty new, you will want to consider getting newer HD's. You can always get an external enclosure and one of the many eSATA solutions available for Mac Pros to save those internal bays. Or SAS if you are addicted to speed. (And have the $$$)

4. If you can afford it or justify it in any way, get an OWC SSD drive in one of those internal drive bays on the Mac Pro. My wife just got a relatively wimpy MacBook Air. Despite the anemic processor and RAM on that thing, it just FEELS faster because the SSD it runs on is just plain fast. And the OWC SSD's are way faster. I put one of the 6G OWC extreme SSD's in my iMac (the other deciding factor... the 2nd drive bay for SSD) and use it as a boot and app drive. Data goes on the larger internal HD. Photoshop (even with 400+ fonts and several plug-in suites) loads in literally 2 seconds. That's initially. Reopens are almost instantaneous. Indesign and AI are about the same.

5. Keyboard: you almost certainly can use your PC's old keyboard (assuming USB). The Mac keyboard keys are full sized. The shape is just funky. It takes a week or so to get used to, but you'll be back up to full speed and loving it in no time unless you have special needs, in which case you should just get whatever USB keyboard you want anyway.

6. Mouse - honestly, I've not tried the Magic Mouse. I have a Logitech MX series that worked great for years. However, one thing about the newer Mac OS iterations is the inclusion of gestures, which actually speeds up a lot of processes in general usage. Some may be possible with the magic mouse, but all are available with the trackpad. I switched over to the trackpad a month ago and haven't used my logitech mouse since. App switching/window switching is a breeze when you can just flick your fingers and see everything. Moving between virtual screens is a simple swipe.

Finally:
Hang in there . Coming from the PC to the Mac will take some adjustments. But the real benefit comes the longer you use the mac. Just like the nuances of being a power PC user took time to become ingrained in your usage habits (checking/cleaning the registry, virus/malware checks, system reinstalls, etc.), it'll take time to do find them on the Mac. It's going to be different stuff, though, like how you set up your file system from an organizational standpoint. How you use all the various OS nuances like gestures (as a long time Mac guy (20+ years) this is something I'm just now integrating) and a ton of small apps that are available to help you customize your system and make it function exactly the way you want.

Hope this helps.
-WinterEC
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for all the great advice!

I think I'm leaning towards returning the Mac Pro and getting an iMac i5 w/ a SSD. I'd love to get a i7, but I'm afraid it will eat up my budget.

Speaking of SSDs- should I buy one and install it myself? How difficult is it to do this on an iMac?

RAM- I assume the RAM I just purchased for the Mac Pro won't work with the iMac.

What's more important for performance- RAM or SSD?


@WinterEC- your #4 comment really struck a chord with me- I'm an Adobe guy and I use all those programs.
post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Speaking of SSDs- should I buy one and install it myself? How difficult is it to do this on an iMac?

100%: You need to get a 27" iMac to have the room for the SSD, unless you want to take out the optical drive and put the SSD there.

Not 100%: If you don't buy the SSD directly from Apple, I don't THINK that the cable you need to install said SSD yourself (where it would normally go, not in the optical drive bay) doesn't come with the iMac, so you'd need to buy that separately.

As for actually getting into the machine? Hoo boy, good luck.

Quote:
RAM- I assume the RAM I just purchased for the Mac Pro won't work with the iMac.

That's right. See if you can return it or sell it to someone else with a Mac Pro.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #12 of 40
Thread Starter 
One more question about the iMac...

When connecting 2 other displays (Dell 22" and Samsung 24"), all I need is a display port adapter? Or do I have to shell out $200 extra for the dual link adapters??? which also eat up 2 USB ports...
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

One more question about the iMac...

When connecting 2 other displays (Dell 22" and Samsung 24"), all I need is a display port adapter? Or do I have to shell out $200 extra for the dual link adapters??? which also eat up 2 USB ports...

Don't need a dual-link unless those monitors are 2560x1600 and I can't imagine they are.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Speaking of SSDs- should I buy one and install it myself? How difficult is it to do this on an iMac?

I was thinking you'd install it in the Mac Pro - an iMac installation needs you to take the screen out. I wish they'd allow storage access from the bottom like RAM but sadly no.

If you don't need GPU computing as much or gaming, you can consider the quad-i7 Mini Server. It is faster than the i5 iMacs and fairly easy to install an SSD. It will only support two displays but you can hook up a 3rd via USB:

http://www.kensington.com/kensington...y-adapter.aspx

Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

What's more important for performance- RAM or SSD?

It depends. If you open and save large files or run a webserver then your bottleneck is getting data to and from storage assuming you have 4GB+ RAM already. If you open high resolution documents or ones with lots of layers then you could run out of RAM and you then start paging your storage - in that case, both are important but more RAM stops you paging the drive.

Your best bet is to go with 8GB RAM and an SSD and you cover all bottlenecks.

Don't be embarrassed to go for a Mini, people look down on it because it's small but it's what you do with it that counts. It's really a powerful piece of hardware and matches the Mac Pro you currently have.
post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I was thinking you'd install it in the Mac Pro - an iMac installation needs you to take the screen out. I wish they'd allow storage access from the bottom like RAM but sadly no.

If you don't need GPU computing as much or gaming, you can consider the quad-i7 Mini Server. It is faster than the i5 iMacs and fairly easy to install an SSD. It will only support two displays but you can hook up a 3rd via USB:

http://www.kensington.com/kensington...y-adapter.aspx



It depends. If you open and save large files or run a webserver then your bottleneck is getting data to and from storage assuming you have 4GB+ RAM already. If you open high resolution documents or ones with lots of layers then you could run out of RAM and you then start paging your storage - in that case, both are important but more RAM stops you paging the drive.

Your best bet is to go with 8GB RAM and an SSD and you cover all bottlenecks.

Don't be embarrassed to go for a Mini, people look down on it because it's small but it's what you do with it that counts. It's really a powerful piece of hardware and matches the Mac Pro you currently have.

You know- I actually looked at that option. I priced out the mac mini at $1678-
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
- External SuperDrive.

I'm just a little scared something that small won't suffice. Additional USB ports may be needed. I don't know about the video card either.
post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Thanks guys for all the great advice!

I think I'm leaning towards returning the Mac Pro and getting an iMac i5 w/ a SSD. I'd love to get a i7, but I'm afraid it will eat up my budget.

Speaking of SSDs- should I buy one and install it myself? How difficult is it to do this on an iMac?

RAM- I assume the RAM I just purchased for the Mac Pro won't work with the iMac.

What's more important for performance- RAM or SSD?


@WinterEC- your #4 comment really struck a chord with me- I'm an Adobe guy and I use all those programs.

Couple of comments on this:
1. I went with the i7 based on the results at bare feats. Definitely check out those comparisons from when the new iMacs came out. The i7 has 4 cores and up to 8 threads (essentially like 8 cores). i5 only has 4 threads. Makes a difference on specific apps. Look at the benchmarks/comparisons to see if they have applicable comparisons for your usage. Honestly, the i5 is a pretty stout system, too.

2. One thing to consider with the Apple products: they generally last a lot longer. a LOT longer. I've only ever lost one system due to component failure. In >20 years. I tend to get 4+ years out of each system unless I just get greedy/lustful of something new. And even then they are worth enough to make a dent in the new system up-front cost. May be worth it to go up a notch just based on longevity and resale value in the future.

3. I'm pretty brave with the internals on my computers. I've repaired laptops (Macbook pro) that my kids have broken. But after watching video of the SSD install process on the iMac, I decided to farm it out. Having the work warranted made it worth it. OWC has a turnkey program where you can send your iMac and have it modded with the SSD. You can also add an external eSATA port and have them add the ram. They warrant the work for 1 year. There may be other services that will do the same. But the OWC SSD's are the fastest available.

4. RAM vs SSD - the answer is both. Fundamentally, the Mac Pro has a higher potential on top-end speed. The processors are "better" from what I've seen. And upgrades may be possible later on. RAM on the Mac Pro is cheaper because you have so many slots. The SSD only needs to be big enough for your system, apps, and potentially your Photoshop scratch disk. Since you're a new Mac user, you could probably get away with 160GB SSD or 120 even. There's a lot of speed for the amount of $.

Would I trade in my Mac Pro and get the iMac? I don't think so. I think I'd look into an SSD and then save up for some RAM. One good thing about Macs is the resale. Have you checked eBay for what a 2 year old Mac Pro system will go for? It's kinda crazy they hold their value that well. But they do. So you can essentially always make the change later if you get the urge.
post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 
I wonder why Amazon doesn't carry any i7 iMacs?

I have an Amazon Prime membership- 2nd day shipping for free. and their prices can't be beat.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

I wonder why Amazon doesn't carry any i7 iMacs?

I have an Amazon Prime membership- 2nd day shipping for free. and their prices can't be beat.

The i7 iMacs are exclusive to Apple's build-to-order option. I agree with you on that, and add "you don't pay sales tax, either!"
post #19 of 40
Thread Starter 
I guess I'm gonna run with this: 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5, purchase a SSD and go to a local retailer who can install it.
post #20 of 40
Hi, couple of extras...

Your current drives are probably in NTFS format. Macs can read NTFS but not write to them. FAT32 can be read and written to. Obviously for best results reformat to HFS+.

I've had snags with Kingston Value RAM in the past (dreaded Kernel Panics). Kingston later told me KVR isn't Mac compatible.
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

You know- I actually looked at that option. I priced out the mac mini at $1678-
- 8GB RAM
- 256GB SSD
- External SuperDrive.

You can get that setup a bit cheaper:

Mac Mini - $999
8GB RAM - $54 ( http://www.crucial.com/store/mpartsp...752152A5CA7304 )
256GB SSD - $391 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148443 )
DVDRW - $33 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827151231 )

$1477

Plus you can sell your 500GB drive from the Mini and possibly the RAM too.

The iMac refurbs do offer good value:

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC813LL/A

You still have to buy the $391 SSD and pay fitting costs so it'll be at least $500 more but you are getting the 27" screen, which is nice and the better GPU.

Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

I'm just a little scared something that small won't suffice. Additional USB ports may be needed. I don't know about the video card either.

The Mini has the same number of USB ports as the iMac and both have FW800. Thunderbolt also has two channels so one can be used for data while the other drives a display. The nice thing about the Mini is that you can very easily upgrade it every year (it should get USB 3 next year) and having access to the storage yourself means that if you have to return a failed drive, you don't have to pay someone to remove it again and fit it again.
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

I'm hoping I can get some advice here.

Two weeks ago my hard drive crashed in my Dell XPS 8000 and I decided to jump ship and purchased a Mac Pro. I researched and compared the iMac and Mac Pro and went with the latter after finding out the Mac Pro was easily expandable, which I purchased through Amazon.
I upgraded the following hardware:[LIST]
8 GB RAM-
[URL="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001441Y6K"]Kingston Technology ValueRAM 4 GB (Kit of 2) Desktop Memory Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1066 MHz (PC3 8500) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM KVR1066D3N7K2/4G
[[/B]

It's understandable you're frustrated. The mac pro isn't what it should be right now but let me address the memory issue. No one else seems to have caught that you didn't use ram that matches apple's specs at all on that machine. This could hamper your computing performance and cause the issues you just described. Regarding speed yeah that xeon on the base model isn't very fast. Anyway, first proper ram.... if it's still giving you the beachball disk warrior typically takes care of that when it cleans up the directories.


Now for the mouse issue. I don't care for the Apple mouse that much but your concern is easy to fix. System preferences > keyboard and mouse > adjust tracking, scrolling, etc.


If going between applications is an issue, I'm not sure what key they assigned in Lion but in Snow Leopard F9 will separate all the windows that aren't docked so you can click easily from there.

They may update that line soon as newer processors are coming out. If you're truly unhappy with it you should return it within the allotted time but stop buying junk ram, and with the mac pro specifically ensure you're buying ram that is to apple's spec for it. If you mixed that ram with the stock ram by the way that's even more of an issue given that you just mixed ECC with non ECC ram.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

For the money you'd save buying the iMac instead of the Pro, you could buy a 4 bay Drobo ... either USB or NAS... and install all the drives in that. It can be set up as a RAID device if you want bulletproof backups!

As for the monitors... I'm pretty sure an iMac can drive TWO external displays (plus it's built in) ... not sure if it can handle THREE though. (And you'd want to verify that, as well as the ability to get adapters to drive your current monitors via the Thunderbolt port(s) on the iMac.)

In short, you're paying an awful lot of extra $$ just for the ability to easily drive multiple displays... but it may certainly be worth it to you!

NO! BAD! BAD BAD BAD! Never buy Drobo. That company is terrible to deal with in every possible way. Really finding a cheap NAS that doesn't suck is virtually impossible, but Drobo is just one of the worst.

Currently with the thunderbolt setup on the imacs you could support two displays on the 27". I can't find any adapters on the Apple site that would split the thunderbolt connection to two of them on the 21.5" one.

If you're using something other than Apple's own display I don't know of any way to daisy chain it currently so it would fully tie up the thunderbolt port that you attach it to. In addition you're going to need an adapter for whatever display standard. They're about $30 each and they suck (read the reviews, and the DVI one doesn't work on all DVI).

Sure all of that might sound like it sucks and yeah I'm hoping it will improve. We shall see.
post #24 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

NO! BAD! BAD BAD BAD! Never buy Drobo. That company is terrible to deal with in every possible way. Really finding a cheap NAS that doesn't suck is virtually impossible, but Drobo is just one of the worst.

I've read mixed reviews on Amazon. I don't know what to do. I can't shell out more than $300 for a hard drive enclosure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Currently with the thunderbolt setup on the imacs you could support two displays on the 27". I can't find any adapters on the Apple site that would split the thunderbolt connection to two of them on the 21.5" one.

Just to be clear, I currently have 3 displays- if I go the iMac route, I'd need to connect 2 displays to the iMac. None of my current displays are Apple.
1. Samsung SM2333T 23"
2. Dell S2209W 22"
3. Dell 2007WFP 22" (old)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If you're using something other than Apple's own display I don't know of any way to daisy chain it currently so it would fully tie up the thunderbolt port that you attach it to. In addition you're going to need an adapter for whatever display standard. They're about $30 each and they suck (read the reviews, and the DVI one doesn't work on all DVI).

Sure all of that might sound like it sucks and yeah I'm hoping it will improve. We shall see.
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

I've read mixed reviews on Amazon. I don't know what to do. I can't shell out more than $300 for a hard drive enclosure.



Just to be clear, I currently have 3 displays- if I go the iMac route, I'd need to connect 2 displays to the iMac. None of my current displays are Apple.
1. Samsung SM2333T 23"
2. Dell S2209W 22"
3. Dell 2007WFP 22" (old)

Ok on the 27" imac with everything on the market currently, you could plug in two displays. On the smaller imac you could plug in one. At this point in time you could not plug in a hard drive enclosure if you're plugging in the max number of displays there. There simply isn't a device to split the connection up that I've seen, nor has anyone really confirmed how it will work when one emerges.

On to the problem with Drobo. It's a mediocre product and support sucks. Getting into budget model raid boxes is a mistake in general. At a budget of $300 I'd build my own personally. It just ends up as a waste of $300 if you buy something that sucks.
post #26 of 40
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to think that I need to give up the idea of trying to use my 3 sata internal hard drives and just buy something that is made for Mac....

maybe I can take my old harddrives, and them back into my dell, and try to resale it on craigslist for $300.
post #27 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

It's understandable you're frustrated. The mac pro isn't what it should be right now but let me address the memory issue. No one else seems to have caught that you didn't use ram that matches apple's specs at all on that machine. This could hamper your computing performance and cause the issues you just described. Regarding speed yeah that xeon on the base model isn't very fast. Anyway, first proper ram.... if it's still giving you the beachball disk warrior typically takes care of that when it cleans up the directories.


Now for the mouse issue. I don't care for the Apple mouse that much but your concern is easy to fix. System preferences > keyboard and mouse > adjust tracking, scrolling, etc.


If going between applications is an issue, I'm not sure what key they assigned in Lion but in Snow Leopard F9 will separate all the windows that aren't docked so you can click easily from there.

They may update that line soon as newer processors are coming out. If you're truly unhappy with it you should return it within the allotted time but stop buying junk ram, and with the mac pro specifically ensure you're buying ram that is to apple's spec for it. If you mixed that ram with the stock ram by the way that's even more of an issue given that you just mixed ECC with non ECC ram.

Thanks hmm, for your input. What do you mean when you say that the RAM I purchased is not to Apple's specs?

I made sure to match the RAM:
- 1066Mhz
- PC3 8500
- 240 Pin
- DDR3
- ECC

Am I correct?

Thanks again!
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Thanks hmm, for your input. What do you mean when you say that the RAM I purchased is not to Apple's specs?

I made sure to match the RAM:
- 1066Mhz
- PC3 8500
- 240 Pin
- DDR3
- ECC

Am I correct?

Thanks again!

Edit: BAM

Product Description
Kingston is the industry leader in PC memory. Designed with the whitebox user and system integrator in mind, Kingston ValueRAM products are engineered to meet industry standard specifications and rigorously tested to ensure quality. Kingston ValueRAM is ideal for those who purchase memory by spec and are looking for competitvely priced generic memory that is 100-percent tested to meet industry specifications. Included in the package are two 2GB modules of 1066MHz DDR3 memory. Specs are standard 256M X 64 Non-ECC 1066MHz 240-pin Unbuffered DIMM (DDR3, 1.5V, CL7, FBGA, Gold).

This may not account for all of the speed issues but I took the description from the link you posted.


Huh? It doesn't mention it being ECC ram on Amazon. This is one of the things I checked there. Amazon doesn't feel like loading right now for some reason so I can't really check further right now. With Apple I'd really suggest buying something that's tested for it. You can purchase ram with guaranteed compatibility from Crucial's site, OWC/other world computing, and a bunch of others. Kingston value ram has never been my personal choice. Really the problems you're experiencing can be an issue with ram or a hard disk.

One other thing, that mac pro you bought (the baseline model) is practically the same machine it was in the spring of 2009. The processor was just a very minor bump over the previous year model. The graphics card was refreshed, and logic board remained the same. If you aren't happy with the speed today they "might" release new ones before the end of the year seeing as appropriate sandy bridge processors seem to be hitting the market in November.

Even on the PC/Windows end it's quite possible for third party ram to not function well. My suggestion is to first go to energy saver and uncheck "put the hard disks to sleep whenever possible". This way you don't have the beach ball whenever the system goes to look at them (happens at weird times believe me). If it's still acting weird remove all third party ram and test it this way. I recall Digilloyd having some kind of stress test available for macs to ensure all hardware installed is functioning normally but I can't find it right now.

One last thing, if you're truly unhappy with the machine or concerned that the speed doesn't mean your expectations, I would return it before the time limit is up. Being stuck with a machine you don't like for years would suck.

Oh and were your extra drives formatted when you made the move from Windows?
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

I'm starting to think that I need to give up the idea of trying to use my 3 sata internal hard drives and just buy something that is made for Mac....

maybe I can take my old harddrives, and them back into my dell, and try to resale it on craigslist for $300.

Appstate: you may want to consider getting a VoyagerQ or something along those lines. It's what I use for my external drives currently. I use a couple of 1TB HDs as backup drives and rotate them every 6 weeks or so. It uses FireWire 800, so it's reasonably fast, though it also has an eSATA port which is faster (just no external SATA port on the iMac to use it, though one can be installed). The only issue is that it only supports one drive at a time, which is great for my purpose, maybe less so for yours, depending on what your plans are with the drive.

There are all sorts of 2-bay enclosures with FW800 ports available that you could stick 2 of the 3 drives into. I'm sure there are 3-4 drive enclosures as well. If you wait a while, there will likely be thunderbolt-enabled enclosures. Or, if you get a generic enclosure that has FW800 and eSATA, there is likely to be a thunderbolt-eSATA adapter in the not-too-distant future.

Happy computing.
post #30 of 40
Thread Starter 
Update-

I'm going to purchase the iMac i7 3.4ghz w/ 1TB HDD. My wife is a Bank of America employee and she gets roughly a 8-12% discount. I still have to pay tax, but it's the best option I have.

I will order 8GB RAM from Amazon also. I'm going to hold off on the SSD for now. I want to make sure this is the right computer for me. I don't want to make any major modifications only to later have to return it if I choose to send it back.

I'm also going to hold out for a few weeks and see what the best options are for external storage.
post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Update-


I will order 8GB RAM from Amazon also.


If you're going with RAM from Amazon (imac doesn't use ECC obviously) rather than something tested/guaranteed to work on that model, I'd at least give the machine a stress test and memory test right after installation. There should be more thunderbolt options in the near future for storage but two external displays would already have those connections tied up (if anyone disagrees feel free to point out good options that do in fact allow daisy chaining). This one doesn't have USB3 yet but I imagine the next one will.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by DM613 View Post

Wait, you mean they are just naked? Well, you can still get a multi-box hard drive bay and plug it in. They FireWire 800 for those fairly cheap, and lightning strikes are becoming more affordable, there is a possibility, too.

OH, NO YOU DON'T, YOU STUPID SPAMBOT. No one steals my text.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

If you're going with RAM from Amazon (imac doesn't use ECC obviously) rather than something tested/guaranteed to work on that model, I'd at least give the machine a stress test and memory test right after installation. There should be more thunderbolt options in the near future for storage but two external displays would already have those connections tied up (if anyone disagrees feel free to point out good options that do in fact allow daisy chaining). This one doesn't have USB3 yet but I imagine the next one will.

Well, needless to say, the Thunderbolt display is daisy-chainable. Also, most devices that are thunderbolt-compatible should be daisy-chainable, so you could for instance place a TB drive array in between the iMac and the display. There may be other options available soonish of course.

The biggest problem currently is the paucity of TB devices available. That will change quickly in 2012 (which isn't that far away).

@Appstate: It's very reasonable to start with the system you described. You should be very pleased with the performance of the 3.4Ghz system you described. I know I am thrilled with mine. Later on you can certainly upgrade to an SSD, or if you make it a year or two on the system you can order something next generation and sell your current system for a reasonable chunk to help finance it (which is what I tend to do).

The only thing I would suggest is go ahead and make the jump to 16G RAM. It's pretty cheap. The system will have 2 slots taken so if you just add the 8 you'll be running 12G which is pretty usable. But for the extra few $, it's worth going to 16G. You know you're going to end up there anyway, especially with the CS apps.

Keep us informed!
post #34 of 40
Thread Starter 
Got my new iMac today!

Damn this thing is fast!!!!

I was lucky to have a firewire cable- I transferred all my settings/files from the MP to the iMac.

I went for a run and came back and it was finished.

As for RAM- I was happy to find out that i ordered 16GB instead of 8GB from Amazon!

Now I have 3 displays- 27 and 2 24" in glorious HD!

The i7 3.4 ghz is wicked fast!
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Got my new iMac today!

Damn this thing is fast!!!!

I was lucky to have a firewire cable- I transferred all my settings/files from the MP to the iMac.

I went for a run and came back and it was finished.

As for RAM- I was happy to find out that i ordered 16GB instead of 8GB from Amazon!

Now I have 3 displays- 27 and 2 24" in glorious HD!

The i7 3.4 ghz is wicked fast!

I'm glad you found a computer you like, and yeah those imacs are pretty snappy. I may buy one myself next year even though I'd rather have a tower.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by appstate98 View Post

Got my new iMac today!

Damn this thing is fast!!!!

I was lucky to have a firewire cable- I transferred all my settings/files from the MP to the iMac.

I went for a run and came back and it was finished.

As for RAM- I was happy to find out that i ordered 16GB instead of 8GB from Amazon!

Now I have 3 displays- 27 and 2 24" in glorious HD!

The i7 3.4 ghz is wicked fast!

How do you use your triple-monitor setup? I've been a dual monitor user for a decade or so and love it. But I primarily use it for multitasking. I'll set up my main app on one screen and then a secondary app on the other. Like Lightroom on the primary and either chatrooms or stock trading stuff and Adium on the secondary. Or Lightroom on one and Illustrator on the other. Or Bridge.

The problem with "really" using the two screens is good "spanning". It would be nice to use PS with the toolbars and palettes on the second screen, but then when using the Wacom, I don't like to set it up across both monitors because it becomes a lot less accurate.

So, again, what's your 3 screen workflow? Just curious
post #37 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WinterEC View Post

How do you use your triple-monitor setup? I've been a dual monitor user for a decade or so and love it. But I primarily use it for multitasking. I'll set up my main app on one screen and then a secondary app on the other. Like Lightroom on the primary and either chatrooms or stock trading stuff and Adium on the secondary. Or Lightroom on one and Illustrator on the other. Or Bridge.

The problem with "really" using the two screens is good "spanning". It would be nice to use PS with the toolbars and palettes on the second screen, but then when using the Wacom, I don't like to set it up across both monitors because it becomes a lot less accurate.

So, again, what's your 3 screen workflow? Just curious

I'm a web developer so here's my setup:

left screen-testing the webpage in Firefox using Firebug
main screen- Dreamweaver- editing css files
right screen- editing pages in Wordpress
post #38 of 40

Wrong, Mac Pro's are still the fastest Macs, when other Macs are configured on the high end side, the price points are on the Mac Pro's side for the biggest bang for the buck. Performance wise, you should check out bench tests, everyone, who compare computers, do!  http://browse.geekbench.ca/mac-benchmark/. Sounds like you don't have a Mac Pro.

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


DId you turn their RAM usage all the way up?
Uh, yeah… The Mac Pro has been unchanged for about a year. Newer chips are out and the iMacs and MacBook Pro pretty much beat the Mac Pro now.

It was pretty foolish of you to waste your money on a workstation computer when all you wanted was "expandability". Thunderbolt provides that with any other Mac that would have suited you better.
HA HA HA HAH AHA HA HA HA H AH AH AH AH AH! Don't worry.

First: Activity Monitor. Macintosh HD/Applications/Utilities.

Second: THERE IS NO REGISTRY. You don't have to deal with that absolutely wretched nonsense. There is no "cleaning". There is no "fixing". Hooray!

Third: There are no viruses in OS X. It can't get them. You're safe. How would you not know this? It has been THE selling point since time immemorial.
Do the Mac Pros still ship with the proper keyboard? The ones with the numpads? How is that "small"? They're the same size as any other keyboard's keys, just shorter and chiclety.
System Preferences/Mouse.
Open Apple (oh, that's Command for you)+Tab. And then just keep tapping Tab to switch. Or click anything in the Dock. Or use Mission Control.

Not sure how any of that is labor intensive. It's one click.
Because it's a Microsoft product. Try out Mail!


That's completely understandable. You really don't know it, so frustration's a given.
You are!… For the former, not the latter.

You a keyboard warrior? Then check this out.

Search for any file with Spotlight in the top right. It's stupidly awesome.



Search for application capabilities in the Help Menu of any modern application. Just type what you're looking for and the application will show you where it is.



And search around or ask here if you run into something you want to do but don't know how.

Welcome to the switch! Too bad you got off on the wrong foot (being lied to, buying PROBABLY the wrong computer, etc.)…

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xtidnab View Post

Wrong, Mac Pro's are still the fastest Macs, when other Macs are configured on the high end side, the price points are on the Mac Pro's side for the biggest bang for the buck. Performance wise, you should check out bench tests, everyone, who compare computers, do!  http://browse.geekbench.ca/mac-benchmark/. Sounds like you don't have a Mac Pro.

post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by xtidnab View Post
Sounds like you don't have a Mac Pro.

 

Screen Shot 2012-05-05 at 11.56.16 AM.png

 

You were saying? And by the way, why were you saying it? Not sure why you quoted my post. Or necroed this thread.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
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