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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Just ordered a 3.0 GHz monster... I'm a sucker aren't I

Just ordered a 3.0 GHz monster... I'm a sucker aren't I
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Aug 8, 2006, 09:54 AM
 
Need help convincing myself I did the right thing, which I know I probably didn't in terms of value for money.

But I'm rationalizing it thus...

I did some calculations and theoretically, an operation that completes in 10 secs on a 2.66 GHz machine, such as a FCP render etc, will take 8.7 secs on a 3.0 GHz.

All those seconds will add up, won't they. Won't they...?!

And if you were waiting 60 secs for a raytrace render from one of the many hot new 3D products coming onto the Intel Mac (LightWave has been announced too), you'll only be waiting 52 secs.

I dunno. I'm an impatient person, and I can remember many, many times urging a progress bar to finish, counting down the seconds.

Besides, 3.0 just feels so much faster than a mere 2.66. 2.66 is closer to the dual G5 2.5 I've got now.

Yeah, I think it's worth the extra to me. Phew!
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 10:03 AM
 
IF you bumped up the ram (above 2 GB), and the GPU to go along with those monster cpus, then you WILL be quite surprised at the 3D performance improvements....

if NOT, then you will be somewhat disappointed
Personally I find it hilarious that you have the hots for my gramma. Especially seeins how she is 3x your age, and makes your Brittney-Spears-wannabe 30-something wife look like a rag doll who went thru WWIII with a burning stick of dynamite up her a** :)
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 10:11 AM
 
Yes, good point, can never have enough RAM and a good GPU is a must for 3D, but for the CPU I was thinking more Final Cut than actual 3D interface manipulation (OpenGL etc).

Rendering and raytracing are CPU operations, that's where the fixed 13% comes from, and when there's a progress bar on the screen, it's usually the CPU that's doing all the work behind it.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 10:32 AM
 
my ideal quad xeon setup would be 19.000 euro's
but i have 1000,00 to spend.

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Aug 8, 2006, 10:38 AM
 
3Ghz is nice, but it should be a $400 upgrade (using Intel list prices), not $800.
You can always upgrade the CPUs after AppleCare runs out, so I would have bought more RAM (but not from Apple!) and maybe a better video card.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 10:39 AM
 
I'll likely wait until the first Mac Pro speed bump, then pick up a quad 3.0GHz machine when they're the mid-range machine.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by michaelb
Besides, 3.0 just feels so much faster than a mere 2.66. 2.66 is closer to the dual G5 2.5 I've got now.

Yeah, I think it's worth the extra to me. Phew!
What GPU did you buy, I agree the 3.0 feels faster and the number sounds better but not at 800 bucks. I'm probably going to go with the 2.66 but go with the ATI card.
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Aug 8, 2006, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
3Ghz is nice, but it should be a $400 upgrade (using Intel list prices), not $800.
You can always upgrade the CPUs after AppleCare runs out, so I would have bought more RAM (but not from Apple!) and maybe a better video card.
Great advice I would say… but is it going to be as easy as one could expect from the pc side of the world?, I mean… "hell, just get the 2.0 GHz model and some years later switch to 3.0 GHz or even faster CPUs you'll be able to get from any pc store… that easy?
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 11:56 AM
 
Heh... it wouldn't surprise me if Apple dropped the 3.0 and introduced a 3.4 and a 2.8.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 11:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by angelmb
Great advice I would say… but is it going to be as easy as one could expect from the pc side of the world?, I mean… "hell, just get the 2.0 GHz model and some years later switch to 3.0 GHz or even faster CPUs you'll be able to get from any pc store… that easy?
Yes. Users have already put faster Core Duos and Core 2 Duos in the iMac and Mac mini.

But I recommend getting the 2.66 instead of the 2.0... the 2.0 is an $800 downgrade at list prices, but Apple only gives you $400 off the price.

Originally Posted by Dzokayi
Heh... it wouldn't surprise me if Apple dropped the 3.0 and introduced a 3.4 and a 2.8.
As long as the FSB stays at 1.33Ghz (which it is likely to do for a while), the chips will come in 333Mhz increments.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 02:35 PM
 
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 03:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by michaelb
Need help convincing myself I did the right thing, which I know I probably didn't in terms of value for money.
Personally, I think it's a steal for the money.

Put it in perspective: I remember paying $3500 for a 200mhz PowerPC Mac ten years ago. Now it's less money (both real-world and actual dollar amount) for who-only-knows how much more power.

If you're using the machine for Final Cut and other such work, then you must certainly did the right thing.

Now just relax and enjoy your new machine!

(I'm very close to pulling the trigger on one myself).
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 05:31 PM
 
The top of the line is always disproportionate. Apple is no different than anybody else here. And of course they're not going to just charge you the increase in Intel 1k prices. They are a business.

Unless you absolutely need every bit of power you can get, I wouldn't buy the 3 GHz box. Of course if you are CPU-limited and wasted time costs you money, the 3GHz will be worth it.

If your considering the 2GHz vs. the 2.66 GHz, I could image most would profit more from an investment in RAM, HDD or GPU than in a 33% CPU increase. Again, if you're CPU limited the 2.66 GHz is the way to go. But many are not and they would probably benefit more from other upgrades.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:33 PM
 
I wouldn't be worried about that, if I got a mac pro, I would be worried about bragging to all my friends about it.
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
The top of the line is always disproportionate. Apple is no different than anybody else here. And of course they're not going to just charge you the increase in Intel 1k prices. They are a business.
No different than anyone else?
Dell gives you back $780 if you drop from 2.66 to 2.0; Apple only gives you back $400. (1Ku price difference is about $400 per chip.)
     
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:59 PM
 
That'll go on forever until the 3.0 are not even on the product map... of course I use the SAME logic waiting to get a lowly MacBook...

Originally Posted by Cadaver
I'll likely wait until the first Mac Pro speed bump, then pick up a quad 3.0GHz machine when they're the mid-range machine.
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Aug 8, 2006, 08:59 PM
 
You did the right thing. That 3.0 Ghz machine is going to rock, and you're going to be one of the first to have it. I wish I had one. That's going to be freakin' awesome. Frankly, I envy you a bit.

Let us know how it runs.
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Aug 8, 2006, 09:56 PM
 
wow you sir will own a beast of a computer good luck with it
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 12:34 AM
 
Yes, you are a sucker. And I don't say that because I'm jealous. . .
The era of anthropomorphizing hardware is over.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 12:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cadaver
I'll likely wait until the first Mac Pro speed bump, then pick up a quad 3.0GHz machine when they're the mid-range machine.
good luck with that,
personally i dont think the intel mac pros are going to drop in price for awhile though! My guess is that it will be hard to find even the 2 ghz models for any less than $1800-$1900 (even 6-8 months down the road)
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 01:00 AM
 
Would it be worth it to wait 6 months for the new chipset to come out so I can get that? Or should I just buy one now? Either way I will have to take out a loan (damn do I feel poor). I have also heard rumors that the socket used for the woodcrest is already maxed and intel will be releasing the new chips with new sockets so I wouldn't be able to upgrade the current mac pro to the new chips, is this true?
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 01:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
Would it be worth it to wait 6 months for the new chipset to come out so I can get that? Or should I just buy one now? Either way I will have to take out a loan (damn do I feel poor). I have also heard rumors that the socket used for the woodcrest is already maxed and intel will be releasing the new chips with new sockets so I wouldn't be able to upgrade the current mac pro to the new chips, is this true?
The only new chipset on the horizon in the next 6 months if for laptops... I can't see any substantial bumps to the Mac Pro in the next half year.

That said, I would not take a loan to buy a computer. They devalue way too quicky to make that a good idea.

The change of socket (from LGA771 to CSI) was scheduled to start with Whitefield, the sucessor to Woodcrest; however CSI seems to be on perpetual delay. The latest rumors I've read say Whitefield has been cancelled in favor of Tigerton, but details are scare on Tigerton.
There is still plenty of development to go with Woodcrest. In the immediate future we have the quad-on-a-chip Clovertown coming out about the end of the year, and Woodcrest is expected to last about 2 years. I expect we'll see some decent upgrade opportunities for the current Mac Pros.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 01:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
The only new chipset on the horizon in the next 6 months if for laptops... I can't see any substantial bumps to the Mac Pro in the next half year.

That said, I would not take a loan to buy a computer. They devalue way too quicky to make that a good idea.

The change of socket (from LGA771 to CSI) was scheduled to start with Whitefield, the sucessor to Woodcrest; however CSI seems to be on perpetual delay. The latest rumors I've read say Whitefield has been cancelled in favor of Tigerton, but details are scare on Tigerton.
There is still plenty of development to go with Woodcrest. In the immediate future we have the quad-on-a-chip Clovertown coming out about the end of the year, and Woodcrest is expected to last about 2 years. I expect we'll see some decent upgrade opportunities for the current Mac Pros.
Well if the clovertown chip will be out in half a year will that still run in the 771 socket? (and if clovertown is out in half a year doesn't that make your initial statement incorrect or is clovertown a laptop chip?). And I plan to keep the computer for a minimum of 3 years. I can take out a 2 year loan and thats fine with me. There is no way I can afford anything decent without some sort of loan seeing as I am a highschool student. And I know I can make the computer last me 3 years minimum. All I need to use it for is gaming and FC5HD (and internet, etc).
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 01:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
Well if the clovertown chip will be out in half a year will that still run in the 771 socket? (and if clovertown is out in half a year doesn't that make your initial statement incorrect or is clovertown a laptop chip?). And I plan to keep the computer for a minimum of 3 years. I can take out a 2 year loan and thats fine with me. There is no way I can afford anything decent without some sort of loan seeing as I am a highschool student. And I know I can make the computer last me 3 years minimum. All I need to use it for is gaming and FC5HD (and internet, etc).
Yes, Clovertown will be LGA771... there's nothing else for it to be. Clovertown is a workstation/server CPU. There will also be Kentsfield, a quad for single-socket LGA775 systems (two Conroes in one package).

You said chipsets, not CPUs. There is a new laptop chipset coming in the first half of 2007, but no new desktop/server chipsets on the horizon yet.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 01:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Yes, Clovertown will be LGA771... there's nothing else for it to be. Clovertown is a workstation/server CPU. There will also be Kentsfield, a quad for single-socket LGA775 systems (two Conroes in one package).

You said chipsets, not CPUs. There is a new laptop chipset coming in the first half of 2007, but no new desktop/server chipsets on the horizon yet.
Oh, alright. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Looks like I will be ordering soon.

Also what about video cards, can I buy aftermarket PC cards? Will I need to flash them for the cards to run properly in OSX? Then what about switching between windows and OSX, will the cards work in both? I want to run quad SLI with 7900GT's.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 03:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
Also what about video cards, can I buy aftermarket PC cards? Will I need to flash them for the cards to run properly in OSX? Then what about switching between windows and OSX, will the cards work in both? I want to run quad SLI with 7900GT's.
Off the shelf video cards are still up in the air. They're closer to being a reality than they ever have been, but there are still some possible hangups. Flashes should be possible if there are hangups. Working with both OSs shouldn't be a big deal.

SLI certainly won't work. There is no driver support for it in OSX.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 04:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Dell gives you back $780 if you drop from 2.66 to 2.0; Apple only gives you back $400. (1Ku price difference is about $400 per chip.)
Dell?



Great example. Now those guys will really screw you over.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
That said, I would not take a loan to buy a computer. They devalue way too quicky to make that a good idea.
I think this is situation dependant. A friend of mine does freelance video, he took out a loan for a G5, and had it paid off in 3 jobs.
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Aug 9, 2006, 03:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by krillbee
good luck with that,
personally i dont think the intel mac pros are going to drop in price for awhile though! My guess is that it will be hard to find even the 2 ghz models for any less than $1800-$1900 (even 6-8 months down the road)
Nah, if anything, the price will go up, judging from recent trends. Remember when you could get a Power Mac G4 for $1299? When the G5 made the low-end tower $2000, people thought that was an outrage. Now it's $2124.

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Aug 9, 2006, 04:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Off the shelf video cards are still up in the air. They're closer to being a reality than they ever have been, but there are still some possible hangups. Flashes should be possible if there are hangups. Working with both OSs shouldn't be a big deal.

SLI certainly won't work. There is no driver support for it in OSX.
I will wait and see what happens with off the shelf cards. But there is obviously some support for running multiple cards (and considering they are nVidia cards the support would probably be SLI). Apple is offering 1, 2, 3, or 4 nVidia 7300GT's in the mac pro. So there is some SLI support, Apple wouldn't offer that configuration if they couldn't support it with their own OS.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 04:15 PM
 
Don't feel too bad. My original budget was $2500 for a computer and monitor but since the Power Mac was released I've been trying to justify spending $2600 for the computer and another $700 for the Dell 2407FPW, which would bring my total to a full $1000 over my original budget after taxes. The RDF has me!

Also, comparing the present to the past, I spent $3100 for a Pentium II 400 Mhz in 1998 that I'm still using today.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 04:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
IBut there is obviously some support for running multiple cards (and considering they are nVidia cards the support would probably be SLI). Apple is offering 1, 2, 3, or 4 nVidia 7300GT's in the mac pro. So there is some SLI support, Apple wouldn't offer that configuration if they couldn't support it with their own OS.
Hate to burst your bubble, but the reason they offer multiple video cards is for multiple display/monitor support, NOT for SLI. Lots of pros work on 3-4 displays and there are a few that want more than 4 displays. As mduell said, OSX has no SLI support - maybe, maybe Leopard (10.5) will.
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Aug 9, 2006, 05:37 PM
 
Look at it this way:

0.33G increase=800 bucks
0.66G decrease=300 bucks

Sure as hell says to me buy anything outside the single base config and you get heavily penalized. The "going up in price" part is clearly aimed at businesses where the impact is way, way different from an individual (businesses depreciate capital equipment. The paltry decrease only hits individual buyers, making the 2.0G config a very, very bad value.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 05:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
I will wait and see what happens with off the shelf cards. But there is obviously some support for running multiple cards (and considering they are nVidia cards the support would probably be SLI). Apple is offering 1, 2, 3, or 4 nVidia 7300GT's in the mac pro. So there is some SLI support, Apple wouldn't offer that configuration if they couldn't support it with their own OS.
Multiple 7300GTs is for multiple monitors, not SLI performance.

OSX does not support SLI today.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 06:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Multiple 7300GTs is for multiple monitors, not SLI performance.

OSX does not support SLI today.

That is rediculous on Apple's part. If they don't support it in 10.5 I'm not going to buy a new mac. As much as I like Apple if they won't support SLI/Crossfire there is no reason for me not to get a PC. They seem to be doing everything half assed these days. The hardware supports it but all they need to do is write a few drivers. It's rather discouraging. Without SLI support the mac pro really has no appeal to me, and I'm sure others feel the same way.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 07:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
That is rediculous on Apple's part. If they don't support it in 10.5 I'm not going to buy a new mac. As much as I like Apple if they won't support SLI/Crossfire there is no reason for me not to get a PC. They seem to be doing everything half assed these days. The hardware supports it but all they need to do is write a few drivers. It's rather discouraging. Without SLI support the mac pro really has no appeal to me, and I'm sure others feel the same way.
No offense intended, but if your Mac purchase depends on something like SLI, I think you'd be really much better off with a well spec'ed out PC.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 07:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
That is rediculous on Apple's part. If they don't support it in 10.5 I'm not going to buy a new mac. As much as I like Apple if they won't support SLI/Crossfire there is no reason for me not to get a PC. They seem to be doing everything half assed these days. The hardware supports it but all they need to do is write a few drivers. It's rather discouraging. Without SLI support the mac pro really has no appeal to me, and I'm sure others feel the same way.
waaa waaa waaa.

They've gotten away with it thus far. I'm not saying they shouldn't do it, but somehow, surely through sheer willpower alone, they've managed to stay afloat without SLi support.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 07:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
No offense intended, but if your Mac purchase depends on something like SLI, I think you'd be really much better off with a well spec'ed out PC.
Maybe. I really do enjoy using OSX. It's simple and fast yet very capable. Not to mention it is much more aesthetically pleasing than windows. And I really enjoy using all of Apple's apps (Safari, FC5, iChat, etc) but I also like to game. I have to use a PC for gaming simply because I don't play games supported on the mac. I was looking forward to being able to consolidate to one system. And pretty much every moderately highend PC these days allows SLI support I can't see why apple wouldn't support it. The hardware can do it, they just need to write a few drivers. Considering they are using the best of the best on this system SLI was expected, I mean it is the best option for powerful graphics. And I can't think of a single graphics card on the market that could run CSS at full power and at full res on my 30 inch widescreen, at least nothing under $1200. It's silly for Apple not to support SLI when they are all about having power users and that their users could benefit immensely from SLI.

Just my 2 cents. Maybe I came off a little too harshly before.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 08:27 PM
 
With the Mac Pro's anemic PCIe configuration (one 16x, two 4x, and one 1x), SLI wouldn't be terribly useful.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
With the Mac Pro's anemic PCIe configuration (one 16x, two 4x, and one 1x), SLI wouldn't be terribly useful.
Great, the more I hear about this thing the more it seems like a hackjob. I'd like to thank Apple for making an incredibly half assed computer. They hype all of this crap about how it is so powerful and how it's for real power users and such yet it wouldn't even be able to handle the simple task of gaming. The Mac pro not only sounds stupid but the computer is a dissapointment. It's not very expandable and the compatibility options with mainstream technology aren't even there.

I guess I am being hypocritical. I will still end up buying one but I will wait till rev 2 or rev 3 to see if they add the features I would like. I'm too cheap to buy something this expensive and not have it be exactly how I want it. I'll stop my bitching but I am still a little shocked by the lack of SLI support.
( Last edited by bballe336; Aug 9, 2006 at 09:10 PM. )
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
Great, the more I hear about this thing the more it seems like a hackjob. I'd like to thank Apple for making an incredibly half assed computer. They hype all of this crap about how it is so powerful and how it's for real power users and such yet it wouldn't even be able to handle the simple task of gaming. The Mac pro not only sounds stupid but the computer is a dissapointment. It's not very expandable and the compatibility options with mainstream technology aren't even there.
Yea, it's not for you. Build a PC.

I think, at least I hope, that the PCIe info I got from Simon is somehow incorrect... why put in 16 lane slots if you're only going to connect a few lanes?
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:09 PM
 
I got the bone stock 2.66 Quad and will be getting more memory in the near future (when available via 3rd party). The video card should be ok for quite some time but can easily be swapped. Since this is an upgrade for my 400MHz G4 Sawtooth, I think I can "suffer" with only 1GB of mrmory and only a 7300GT, plus the wife would go beserk if I bumped the mac towards $3K.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Yea, it's not for you. Build a PC.

I think, at least I hope, that the PCIe info I got from Simon is somehow incorrect... why put in 16 lane slots if you're only going to connect a few lanes?
I already have. And it was the biggest waste of money. I can overclock all I want but windows is still sluggish trash. I can't stand to use it for anything other than gaming. I'd just like to get rid of the PC and consolidate like I said.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by bballe336
That is rediculous on Apple's part. If they don't support it in 10.5 I'm not going to buy a new mac. As much as I like Apple if they won't support SLI/Crossfire there is no reason for me not to get a PC. They seem to be doing everything half assed these days. The hardware supports it but all they need to do is write a few drivers. It's rather discouraging. Without SLI support the mac pro really has no appeal to me, and I'm sure others feel the same way.

Keep in mind that no Intel motherboard on the PC side supports SLI (they do support Crossfire, but at two x8 channels and not two x16 channels). The only motherboards that support SLI are nVidia motherboards (i.e., with nVidia chipsets).

Apple uses Intel motherboards, so the SLI limitation is inherent in the Intel chipset, and there's not much that Apple can do about that (other than make a deal with nVidia I suppose). They can cram whatever they like into 10.5, but if the motherboard doesn't support it, then it's not going to happen.

As for Crossfire, not all Intel motherboards support this, and seeing as how the Mac Pro is using the equivalent of an Intel server motherboard, Crossfire may very well not be available on this motherboard as well.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 09:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
With the Mac Pro's anemic PCIe configuration (one 16x, two 4x, and one 1x), SLI wouldn't be terribly useful.
I may be wrong, but I don't think a dual CPU motherboard with dual x16 lane SLI/Crossfire support exists. The motherboards with dual x16 SLI support are the nVidia nForce 4 chipset based motherboards. These nForce motherboards are not server boards and none offer dual CPU support. It appears to me you can't fault Apple if the MacPro doesn't support SLI or Crossfire since they are subject to the limitations of what is available.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 10:23 PM
 
Well I figure I can still run a 7950 if I can find the drivers. That would suffice for me.
     
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Aug 9, 2006, 11:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell
Yea, it's not for you. Build a PC.

I think, at least I hope, that the PCIe info I got from Simon is somehow incorrect... why put in 16 lane slots if you're only going to connect a few lanes?
Yeah that doesn't sound quite correct, but I don't have the specifics either. I have heard that you can dynamically configure each PCIe slot to have more or less bandwith.


Speaking of PCI Express, are the speeds of each slot the same as with the Power Mac?
In the Power Mac, each PCI Express slot had a set bandwidth, expressed in terms of lanes—the graphics slots was the fastest at 16x, with one 8x slot and two 4x slots as well. With the Mac Pro, Apple says that when you boot the computer after installing a new PCI Express card, the OS will let you choose the amount of bandwidth to dedicate to that slot. Apple told us that the total amount of bandwidth available to the PCI Express bus is less on the Mac Pro than on the Power Mac, but said the ability to direct that bandwidth as needed should make up for such a shortcoming. They also told us that there’s more power (total wattage) available to the PCI Express bus, letting you power two Nvidia Quadro FX 4500 graphics cards.
http://www.macworld.com/2006/08/firs...ofaq/index.php

Something in that makes me think you may be able to configure a second PCIe slot to have 16 lanes (more bandwith) at the price of losing lanes on the other 2 PCIe slots, IF there is a total of 16 lanes or more to distribute between the 3.
( Last edited by Leonard; Aug 9, 2006 at 11:22 PM. )
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Aug 9, 2006, 11:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by saru boy
Keep in mind that no Intel motherboard on the PC side supports SLI (they do support Crossfire, but at two x8 channels and not two x16 channels). The only motherboards that support SLI are nVidia motherboards (i.e., with nVidia chipsets).

Apple uses Intel motherboards, so the SLI limitation is inherent in the Intel chipset, and there's not much that Apple can do about that (other than make a deal with nVidia I suppose). They can cram whatever they like into 10.5, but if the motherboard doesn't support it, then it's not going to happen.
Is Intel coming out with a dual socket motherboard that supports SLI in the future?
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Aug 9, 2006, 11:22 PM
 
Check out Anandtech's review of the MacPro for a discussion of the chipset:

http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2811

A very little talked about aspect of the new Mac Pro is the chipset used, which appears to be Intel's 5000X. The only other option is the Intel 5000P, but the 5000P only has x8 PCIe slots off of the MCH and thus it wouldn't make sense given that Apple is only really touting single GPU or multi-display configurations with the Mac Pro.

The 5000X is by no means a desktop chipset, it supports up to four FB-DIMM memory channels and has two independent 64-bit FSB interfaces, one for each Xeon socket. With two FSBs running at 1333MHz a piece, there's a total of 21.3GB/s of bandwidth between the chipset and the CPUs, which matches up perfectly with the 21.3GB/s of memory bandwidth offered if you populate all four FB-DIMM channels on the motherboard. Note that if you only use two FB-DIMMs, you'll only be running in two channel mode, which will limit you to 10.67GB/s of bandwidth. While we have yet to test it, there may be a performance penalty when running in two channel mode.

The 5000X MCH (the "System Controller") supports a total of 24 PCIe lanes, divided into one x16 and one x8. The x8 appears to connect to the ICH (labeled in the graphic above as the "I/O Controller") while the x16 is what drives the primary PCIe slot (the one that has enough room for a double height card).

The ICH have another 12 PCIe lanes coming off of it, and it looks like Apple splits them off into two x4s and one x1 for its remaining PCIe slots. Apple continues to exclusively use physical x16 slots, so each slot can be used by any sort of card (video card or not) rather than having x1 and x4 slots on the motherboard. Because of the Mac Pro's four x16 slots, you can order the system with up to four GeForce 7300GTs for some 8 monitor action.

The ICH used on the motherboard is what we believe to be Intel's 6321ESB and it supports up to 6 SATA devices and 2 PATA devices, which is where you get the expansion capabilities that are built into the system. You've got four SATA hard drive bays and support for up to two SuperDrives. Apple still relies on OS X to provide RAID support, so only RAID 0 and RAID 1 are supported through software.
     
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Aug 10, 2006, 12:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS
Nah, if anything, the price will go up, judging from recent trends. Remember when you could get a Power Mac G4 for $1299? When the G5 made the low-end tower $2000, people thought that was an outrage. Now it's $2124.
What I meant by dropping in price was "dropping in value"
in order words, if one were to purchase a used Mac Pro 6 months down the line, they could probably get it a couple hundred bucks cheaper.

But I doubt it would depreciate much more than that. These machines are a big thing, and everyone knows it

As for the retail price of new systems, yes you are right in that the prices will not drop at all. features may be added/improved (probably in January) But the price definately will not drop, and eventually it will probably raise again. While most PCs are deflating cost wise, apple's PCs once again are inflating cost wise
( Last edited by krillbee; Aug 10, 2006 at 12:38 AM. )
     
 
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