Mac Pro

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dankephoto's picture
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Some items that interested me . . .

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dankephoto's picture
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socketed CPUs, memory riser cards, designed for easy service

item - CPUs are socketed, so perhaps upgradable at some point?

item - RAM is located on riser (daughter) cards, a first for any Mac AFAI can recall. Mem specs BTW:

    DIMMs for Mac Pro must fit these specifications: 667 MHz, FB-DIMMs
    72-bit wide, 240-pin modules
    36 devices maximum per DIMM
    Error-correcting code (ECC)

item - As with other recent Macs, easy service looks to have been a design priority.

A fully-kitted Mac Pro with the highend GPU, 16GB RAM and 2 TiB of HDs (but no displays) costs a cool US$12 grand. Yum. Cool Mac

dan k

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ya but with everything set to

ya but with everything set to max, 2 30 inch displays, modem, wireless mouse and kb, the most expensive pro app, and applecare, it all comes to just over $18k.

just food for thought.

-digital Wink

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Just remember if you plan on

Just remember if you plan on gaming on one, go for the X1900. The Quadro is ment for 3D modeling and is the equilivent of a 6800GT (which the X1900 smokes)

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[quote} dankephoto item - As

Quote:

dankephoto item - As with other recent Macs, easy service looks to have been a design priority.

Actually, that isn't 100% true. The intel and iSight equipped G5 iMac, for example, is nothing short of a service nightmare. Sure, memory is easily upgradeable, but good luck getting to the hard drive. The mac mini, well, has never been a terribly service friendly machine, it's just less so now that the audio is on a separate board.

The macbook pro is more of the same that we had with the aluminum PowerBooks - a good design that mildly evolved. The macbook became what the iBook should have been in 2001. Sturdy, easy to work on with a lack of convoluted screws and emi shields, and with easily replaceable hard drives (wonder when this feature will go pro).

As for being upgradeable, yeah, the Mac Pro is going to totally rock. As for being service friendly, I'm not so convinced. The Power Mac G5 is one of my least favorite machines to work on (logic board and power supply replacements come to mind), and I don't see the Mac Pro being any better.

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Why buy 4 500Gb drives from a

Why buy 4 500Gb drives from apple for a max of 2TB when you could get 4 750GB drives for the same price as a 500 from apple and have a max of 3TB?

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Re: socketed CPUs, memory riser cards, designed for easy service

dankephoto wrote:

item - CPUs are socketed, so perhaps upgradable at some point?

item - RAM is located on riser (daughter) cards, a first for any Mac AFAI can recall.

The CPU in the iMac is socketed too; when they first came out I remember someone swapping the CPU with a faster one and it worked fine. So, CPU upgrades are definitely doable.

Also, it may be a first for the Mac, but RAM riser cards are somewhat common on Intel server chassis. We built a monster quad-proc (four CPUs, not two dual-core CPUs) server for a customer and it had four RAM riser cards, with 8 RAM slots each. You could RAID the RAM, or set two of the risers aside as hot spares.

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Re: socketed CPUs, memory riser cards, designed for easy service

dankephoto wrote:

item - CPUs are socketed, so perhaps upgradable at some point?

I wonder if the system would melt into liquid slag if you swapped the 51xx Core 2-architecture-based Xeons for Netburst-based 50xx CPUs. They come in speeds up to 3.7Ghz! They're slower per clock, but it's still a bigger number to impress the ladies with. ;^) *snirk*

(The two *are* pin-compatible, and systems like Dell Precision workstations, which have the same motherboard chipset, are able to take either. Apple's Core 2-centric cooling system would have issues with them, of course. The question would be would the BIOS recognize them and bravely try to run with them or not, despite them sucking about three times the power.)

Quote:

item - RAM is located on riser (daughter) cards, a first for any Mac AFAI can recall.

Given the tight squeezy confines of the Mac tower I wouldn't take that as being a significant "future expansion" possibility.

Quote:

Error-correcting code (ECC)

About bloody time.

--Peace

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because, with the mac pro, th

because, with the mac pro, they need to be on special sleds, and they currently dont come with them. at least I dont think. correct me if I'm wrong on that one.

but yeah, they now use a cableless system somehow. wish there were some more documentation on them. wait, where are the developer docs? somebody want to point me in the right direction?

-digital Wink

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Apple will kick themselves in

Apple will kick themselves in the a$$ if they don't include sleds for user upgrading.

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hard drive carriers 'n' stuff

Mind you, I haven't yet seen one in the flesh, but the shop manual does show carriers in the three other drive positions (including mounting screws!) The 'backplane' into which the drives plug is simply a set of standard serial ATA power and data sockets. Looks to me like a Mac Pro is ready, right out of the box, to accept 3 additional HDs.

*edit*
The sales photos show all 4 carriers in place as well, so it's a good bet it'll ship that way.
*/edit*

And even if the carriers weren't included (Apple PN - 922-7728), each is just one piece of stamped metal - I figger the $5-10 range, based on what similar sleds in older Macs used to cost.

Interestingly, the HD carriers are retained without screws. Raise the latch at the rear to unlock the HD carriers, then simply slide it/them out the side of the case.

Cool, I just noticed it's equipped with 4 HD temp sensors.

And here's the Mac Pro devnote where I read:

Quote:

. . . the Mac Pro has two unpopulated 3 Gbps SATA buses for expansion.

Huh? This apparently in addition to the 4 serial ATA ports already assigned to the HDs. I can't find where on the MLB these ports exist, if they do. Veddy interesting.

dan k

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and for those too lazy to visit the devnote . . .

here's the architecture block diagram:

Dual ethernet ports - is that another first in a Mac?

dan k

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not quite... but maybe, depending on how you look at it

Quote:

Dual ethernet ports - is that another first in a Mac?

almost...

I'm pretty sure the XServes since G4 came with two, though one, I think, was a nic not on the mobo... also, I believe the ANS also had an extra 100BaseT PCI card OEM, as well as the built-in 10BaseT that I doubt anyone ever used.

---

since no one seems to answer me on the other thread... I'll ask again here.
What's so special about having 2 optical bays? Why would it be necessary? Is it consumers or professionals that Apple is apeasing with this?

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[quote="catmistake"]What's so

"catmistake" wrote:

What's so special about having 2 optical bays? Why would it be necessary? Is it consumers or professionals that Apple is apeasing with this?

For high speed DVD pirating, what else? Well, Maybe for backups (just think, those DL DVDs are 8gb, you could be backing up 16gb to disk all at once!) or just making alot of CDs/DVDs.

John

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The previous G5 systems also

The previous G5 systems also had dual ethernet.

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Re: not quite... but maybe, depending on how you look at it

catmistake wrote:

since no one seems to answer me on the other thread... I'll ask again here.
What's so special about having 2 optical bays? Why would it be necessary? Is it consumers or professionals that Apple is apeasing with this?

Since these are being marketed to the pro user base in HD video etc. I would assume because it would allow for upgrades to Bluray or HD DVD drives when they become more widely availible.

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i priced up my *ideal* system

with 4 graphics cards and 8 displays (30") and got something like $80k i think that is worth more than this house I am in Tongue (that includes an XServe Raid too, decked out, so it's kinda cheating there)

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Re: i priced up my *ideal* system

coius wrote:

with 4 graphics cards and 8 displays (30") and got something like $80k i think that is worth more than this house I am in Tongue (that includes an XServe Raid too, decked out, so it's kinda cheating there)

What would you do with eight displays? I'm fond of having a couple decent sized displays available, but eight seems overkill.

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I could only use one screen.

I could only use one screen. it drives me crazy having the mouse going back and forth between them. I can barely keep my virtual desktops straight. Tongue

Though, I could handle one HUGE screen just fine.

John

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awww... c'mon

and a full cockpit flight simulator would not be fun? get something like x-plane and build a full cockpit with 8 displays all around you!. boy would THAT be nice Laughing out loud

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I aggree, but I dunno if xpla

I aggree, but I dunno if xplane supports multiple screens like that.

John

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I aggree, but I dunno if xpla

I aggree, but I dunno if xplane supports multiple screens like that.

John

EDIT - Why are all my posts doubles?!? Tongue

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i've actually seen that befor

i've actually seen that before. pretty sweet.

the 8 screens acting as one is cool. they do that at compusa, but with many brands of displays. but it is in the mac section, and they're all hooked to a single 17" powerbook G4.

-digital Wink

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im a big fan of multiple disp

im a big fan of multiple displays, 8 would be hard just to fit in my room though! i could handle maybe 3 and i would have to sit about 4 or 5 feet back away from the desk to use them all, it would be over kill for sure.... but you can always dream Smile hey, can you wall mount the apple displays? if so life would be easier...

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Re: im a big fan of multiple disp

Smiththers wrote:

hey, can you wall mount the apple displays?

Yes, they are all VESA standard. Although, you might need to mount it to a stud in the wall. All you have to do is find the right mounting bracket.

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im gonna have to save me up s

im gonna have to save me up some cash and get a new video card and the 23" display then Laughing out loud

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Mac Pro's motherboard & architecture

Warning: I'm not a hardware expert, so my questions could be perveived as stupid by the ones who instead are hardware experts Smile

1) Is Mac Pro's motherboard custom designed by Apple, or did they adopt an existing one?

2) Also, a friend of mine claims that today anyone could assemble a PC totally identical to the Mac Pro (Mac OS aside); I thought that Mac Pro's hardware architecture was unique: am I wrong?

Roberto Giannotta
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An interesting link

In the meantime, I found an interesting link to a discussion about the motherboard issue:

http://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?s=6c8dc539029b969bfc73afb6433f175c&showtopic=23896&pid=160496&st=0&#entry160496

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Re: Mac Pro's motherboard & architecture

robegian wrote:

I thought that Mac Pro's hardware architecture was unique: am I wrong?

The only "unique" thing about the Mac Pro's hardware is the little TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip onboard which whispers the sweet nothings into OS X's ear to keep it happy. Other then that it's bog standard off-the-rack Intel OEM gear.

I suppose if you wanted to split hairs the exact shape of the motherboard is unique, since Apple doesn't use off the rack "Industry Standard" cases, but you can say the same thing about every Dell desktop made.

And if you want a Dell essentially identical to a Mac Pro, I'd suggest this one.

--Peace