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

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  • Reply 21 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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.
  • Reply 23 of 39
    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.



  • Reply 24 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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.
  • Reply 25 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 39
    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!
  • Reply 27 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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?
  • Reply 28 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 30 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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.
  • Reply 31 of 39
    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.
  • Reply 32 of 39
    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!
  • Reply 33 of 39
    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!
  • Reply 34 of 39
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 39
    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
  • Reply 36 of 39
    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
  • Reply 37 of 39
    xtidnabxtidnab Posts: 3member


    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.

  • Reply 38 of 39
    xtidnabxtidnab Posts: 3member

    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.


  • Reply 39 of 39
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    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.

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