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Thread: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Lloyd Chambers is one of my front-line go-to gurus when it comes to Mac performance tips. He has just posted an excellent article on Mac Pro performance over on his site (note also the special section on Photoshop optimization): http://macperformanceguide.com/

    Be sure to navigate over to his blog and look around while you're there. Portions of Lloyd's site are subscription based and IMO worth the price of admission, but much of his info is free, such as this in-depth Mac Pro performance article. Thanks Lloyd!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  2. #2
    diglloyd
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Thanks Jack!

    BTW everyone should be aware that memory prices are now incredibly, unsustainably low—if you're thinking of more memory, now is a great time to buy. I expect prices will double sometime in 2009.

    When new Mac Pros come out, no doubt they'll take the new and more expensive memory, that’s a shame now that FB-DIMMS are finally "cheap".

    Another really cool upgrade is 6GB for your MacBook Pro: I've been using one for several weeks now and it actually seems to run cooler than the 2X2GB config I had. See my review: OWC 6GB Memory Kit for MacBook Pro

    I'm always leery of pushing the envelope, but this module has been trouble free from the start.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Lloyd,
    Your analysis exactly parallels mine, other other than I just put everything other than archives on one 4-way stripe using fast drives and the mac raid card.
    The primary point is that the OS X does a good job of caching data in ram, so the MOST important thing is to have plenty of it.
    -bob

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    PS: Bob is my other front-line "go-to" computer tech guru!

    ,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  5. #5
    diglloyd
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Lloyd,
    Your analysis exactly parallels mine, other other than I just put everything other than archives on one 4-way stripe using fast drives and the mac raid card.
    The primary point is that the OS X does a good job of caching data in ram, so the MOST important thing is to have plenty of it.
    -bob
    Yes...too bad there aren't 8GB DIMMS: then 64GB would be possible, and I'm sure there are folks who could use it!

    Well, if apple would just ship a new Mac Pro with 8 drive bays and 16 slots...

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Yea I am running 8gb now with 8 1 GB sticks . Thinking of bumping to add 4 2 gb sticks to get me to twelve on my old 2.66 . I think in both risers i would have to go A and B slots 2gb than C and D the 1gb sticks . Need to find that right configuration for my box. I have done a lot of improvements on my box with the VelociRaptors which I add in the optical bay 2 300 gb drives one for OS the other with a partition of 100 gb for scratch and that did give me a major speed bump. I am actually thinking of 2 more 150 and Raid O them for the OS instead and put the raw working images on 1 300gb drive. i think I may see a speed bump there also. Also thinking of bumping up my graphics card since mine is 128 vram which i have been getting a warning on big files or too many files open in CS4 about not enough Open GL. Maybe bump that up to 256. It's either that or wait for the next Mac Pro. I figure 600 dollars would give me a better speed increase with the added Ram, Hard drive and new Graphics card. Something to think about. By the time i got a new box with all the stuff for speed it could get very expensive and selling a old Mac Pro is not that easy and the bottom line until we see 64 bit in the software than just not sure what to do until than.
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Just spend the last hour reading this. Excellent stuff, thanks a lot for sharing this! Definately food for thought.

    Well, if apple would just ship a new Mac Pro with 8 drive bays and 16 slots...
    Stop it, I just have my Mac since 3 months and do not print my own money! LOL

    Hmmm, then again I wonder how many 100$ notes would fit on a 60" wide and 15 meter long roll, and I guess ultra smooth fine art paper should satisfy demanding shop keepers.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Just did the math 800 dollars would give me a nice bump
    1 OWC53FB2MPK08GB 8.0GB Mac Pro Memory Matched Set (2GB x 4) PC530
    2 WDGWD1500HLFS 150GB WD VelociRaptor 10K RPM 16MB SATA-II 3 GB/
    1 ATI100435928 ATI RADEON 3870 512MB 16x PCIe Video Card
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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    2 WDGWD1500HLFS 150GB WD VelociRaptor 10K RPM 16MB SATA-II 3 GB/
    Hi Guy,

    not sure if you need that expense, if you don't stream a lot of data, such as high definition audio/video or do video work, they might be overkill. At least here in europe they are considerably more expensive. I would think 2 enterprise class 7,200 drives would do the same with very little difference.

    just my 0,02

    P.S. Be careful, if memory serves, not long ago the velociraptors would not fit in a Mac afaik, or they changed the connector in the meantime.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    I have a 300 GB one now running the OS and another 300 gb partitioned with a 100 gb of scratch. I was thinking running 2 150 gb as Raid O and put my working raw files on a 300 gb so the process times run faster. I do some pretty big files a lot and also open a lot of 128mg files at once too. The hard drives are a question mark the Ram i could certainly use and bump up. The graphics card i need a better answer on this card if it solves the Open Gl warning I am getting. Frankly bumping my MB Pro to 6 gb would be the most handy but that is 429 dollars . Not cheap to do that one. I run big shows off that laptop and more Ram would help. Just no money right now with the holidays so will wait it out.

    yes they sell them now with the correct back spline for the Mac Pro racks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member Georg Baumann's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    The Hitachi 1Tb is no slouch either!

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2008/09...hdd/page5.html

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    No it is not. On my other drives I use the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31000340AS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive. For storage these run really nice and quiet and now there 100 dollars
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148274
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Oh wow, I can put 6GB in my Macbook Pro (Core 2 Duo)? I currently have 3GB (1+2), so I could just replace the 1GB stick with the OWC 4GB?! That would be awesome.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    1 ATI100435928 ATI RADEON 3870 512MB 16x PCIe Video Card
    I'm looking to get a 3870 and 30" NEC, but am holding off, waiting for parts with DisplayPort.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Oh wow, I can put 6GB in my Macbook Pro (Core 2 Duo)? I currently have 3GB (1+2), so I could just replace the 1GB stick with the OWC 4GB?! That would be awesome.
    According to Lloyd you can if you have one of the later MBP's!
    (Unfortunately those 4G sticks are pricey. )
    Jack
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Read this trying to figure it myself. Mine is a early 2.4 model

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memor...ook/Pro/Core2/
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    This module is compatible with the following MacBook Pro "Intel Core 2 Duo" systems:

    2.4GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" - February, 2008)

    2.5GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" - February, 2008)

    2.6GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" - February, 2008)

    2.5GHz MacBook Pro 17" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" - February, 2008)

    2.6GHz MacBook Pro 17" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" - February, 2008)

    Machine can address up to 6GB of RAM


    2.2GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" - June, 2007)

    2.4GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" - June, 2007) This is mine it looks like

    2.6GHz MacBook Pro 15" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" - November, 2007)

    2.4GHz MacBook Pro 17" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" - June, 2007)

    2.6GHz MacBook Pro 17" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" - November, 2007)

    Machine can address up to 6GB of RAM


    This module is compatible with the following MacBook "Intel Core 2 Duo" systems:

    2.1GHz MacBook 13.3"(Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" February 2008)

    2.4GHz MacBook 13.3" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" February 2008)

    Machine can address up to 6.0GB of RAM


    2.0GHz MacBook 13.3" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" Late 2007)

    2.2GHz MacBook 13.3" (Intel Core 2 Duo "Santa Rosa" Late 2007)

    Machine can address up to 6.0GB of RAM


    This module is compatible with the following PC/Wintel Computers:
    Compatible with Intel / AMD Process based PCs capable of using a module of the Specifications listed below. Our modules comply with JEDEC Specifications, document JESD79-2A.
    Special Notes:
    Apple's Intel processor Mac models use "one of the fastest memory technologies available today—667 MHz, double data rate (DDR2), synchronous dynamic random-access memory (SDRAM). It ensures high performance and reliability by synchronizing memory speed with the speed of the central processor so that data can be delivered continuously and more rapidly to the processor. And if both slots are loaded with an equal amount of RAM, you can take advantage of the system's dual-channel memory architecture for an additional performance boost. With a dual-channel memory interface, both banks of SDRAM can be addressed at the same time, enabling Intel based Mac systems to reach a memory throughput of up to 10.7 GBps."
    The above quoted portion is from Apple's website.

    For a detailed comparison showing real-world performance gains, OWC has this page "Upgrading Memory in your MacBook - To Pair or Not to Pair". Click here to read that informative article.


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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    escription: Ships: Price:
    6.0GB (2GB + 4GB Module Set) Upgrade kit MacBook (13-inch Late 2007, or Early 2008) and MacBook Pro (15-inch or 17-inch Mid/Late 2007, or Early 2008) systems with Core 2 Duo Santa Rosa or Penryn processor. Lifetime Warranty. (OWC5300DDR2S6GP) Same Day $459.99
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Aww, too bad - mine's a Late 2006 2.33 MBP 15" Core 2 Duo.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Aww, too bad - mine's a Late 2006 2.33 MBP 15" Core 2 Duo.
    Yeah I think I am with you.
    Mine is stated as the 15" 2.4 core duo but in the actual machine it tells me that its actually a 2.33 dual core and I bought the Mac Book Pro in May of 2007 so its 2 months older than those new fangled Santa Rosa models.

    So I guess I will have to get the 4 gig upgrade and be happy with that. $300 isn't that bad I guess.

    Looks like I will have to make up for it when I build my new Mac Pro for the office

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Homey when your ready to configure that , check with us first. Lot's of great Mac experts here that been down this road and we can save you some money or really kill the wallet but you will fly. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Homey when your ready to configure that , check with us first. Lot's of great Mac experts here that been down this road and we can save you some money or really kill the wallet but you will fly. LOL
    Thanks Guy.. I don't come here as much as I want to but when I need good advice about stuff that matters I always check here first.

    I have actually been building a Fantasy Sports site for some guys I know and man I thought it would be quick. Wrong!!! At least its done now and I can get caught up on some photo work.

    I am taking on more Video in 2009 and thinking of adding the 5D MII to my gear (still up in the air about the video portion).
    Anyway the GL 2 still does the job but man video hurts this poor Mac Book Pro.

    I'll be here picking your brains about what I need and what I don't. It will be strictly for photo and video editing and you guys know what I need.

    Saving cash is always good but if I need it I am not scared to drop a $ or 2.

    Thanks again.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Yea if you have special needs than you may want to enlist folks here that do this stuff everyday. Buying stock is not the real answer. You will want faster drives and better video cards plus a good amount of processing power and ram. All things mac is great for what you are doing but maybe not buying it through Apple on the part end. Nice to hear you come here for good advice that warms many forum members hearts. The folks here love to help people.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Heart warmer.. Ha good one.

    One of these days I am going to hit a workshop too. The Moab one sounds great just don't see how I could fit the timing of it in. Besides I am self employed ( so if you read between the lines that means I never get up at 5am)


    Right now I am thinking about starting with the basic 2 x 2.8 duo core. 8 gigs of RAM, Bay 1 the basic 320 gig 7200 HD bay 2 the 7200 1TB HD, Raid card ?? (not sure), Graphics card (not sure here either), 2 Superdrives and don't know about which display I am going with. I also don't know what else I'll need.
    As is I think this was around $6k without the display.

    Not cheap by any means but it could be a lot more.

    Good start? What do the experts say ??

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Homey: I'm sorry, but I don't recall your location. If you're located in the U.S. you should consider buying your basic MacPro box with minimal RAM and HD and get buy the additional RAM and drives from a source like Other World Computing or similar, rather than Apple. Sometimes you can save even more by shopping for hard drives at places like NewEgg.com, but I usually just go with OWC for simplicity. You'll save enough to fund your display.

    If you're located outside the U.S. you may still want to look to alternative sources from Apple to purchase your RAM and hard drives. Apple's RAM prices are astronomical and the well designed systems allow for easy self-installation. Hard drives are equally easy to install.
    Last edited by Dale Allyn; 12th December 2008 at 22:56.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Exactly as Dale says buy the Mac pro with minimum ram like 2 gb , and the cheapest hard drive. What you are after at Apple is a good processor and that is about it. Everything else you build from there . Video card maybe good from Apple but we have to check around on that one. BTW buying the fastest processor only get's you so far it really comes down to drives and ram. As Dale said OWC for the Ram it is cheap and Newegg is great on hard drives. Unless you want the new 300gb 10 k drives which I have 3 of them now.

    here is a simple config at Apple that maybe just enough

    Part Number: Z0EM
    Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    2GB (2x1GB)
    500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
    One 16x SuperDrive
    Apple Mighty Mouse
    Apple Keyboard + User's Guide
    Accessory kit
    Gift message: Add

    Remove $2,849.00 $2,849.00


    Than with two 2 gigs on board add 12 gb of Ram from OWC for a total of 14gb if you want to stay on the low end of price. 279 for 12gbs
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other.../64FB2MPK12GB/

    Now i have three of these and my machine flies. Have one for the OS than have a second one partitioned like 100gb for Photoshop scratch and the other 200gb for temporary video or stills as a working drive. So edit off this drive and do your work.
    WD VelociRaptor™
    SATA Hard Drives
    300 GB, 3 Gb/s, 16 MB Cache, 10,000 RPM
    3.5-inch (backplane-ready)
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Weste...al/WD3000HLFS/

    Than fill the box with 2 1TB Seagates or Western Digital for storage there not expensive. Look for something like this 1.0TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA II 7200RPM 32MB . Key words 7200 rpm and 32mg cache. I have these http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/ST31000340AS/

    The video card I just ordered this one http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI%2...ies/100435928/

    Now here is where we would have to see what maybe best for video. Which is a little different animal than stills.

    But I would go with a 2.8 or even the 3.0 and build it outside Apple. BTW i love my 30 inch Apple Cinema but watch out here this could be getting a update early next year but even still great monitor and still reasonable in price unless you went Eizo which are great but pricy. Just some things to figure out and look at in the pricing area. But Ram is dirt cheap right now

    Others may have some different thoughts here also on final setup of drives. Also the drive you buy from Apple after adding the others you simply may want to use for Time machine in a Firewire box. That is what i have done
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Quote Originally Posted by Homey View Post
    So I guess I will have to get the 4 gig upgrade and be happy with that. $300 isn't that bad I guess.
    I think it'll only use 3.2GB though...

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Dale I live in Michigan and have an apartment in N.Y. for work. Thanks for the advice

    Guy thanks for those links. I wont be buying until after the first of the year anyway so waiting a bit is no sweat.

    Jan: Mine will take up to 4.0 gigs. I checked on that one. They told me when I bought it that it would take 4 gigs and the tech geek at Best Buy told me last week I could get 4 in it.
    I don't think I will do the BB deal though. I'll look around and put it in myself.

    Guy: The PC here that I still use once in a while is one I built in 2000. I have swapped out and added a few things since then but it still works like a champ. Its hard to believe that we would have ever thought it was fast. So I am not scared of building my own MAC.
    I have OS X Leopard here and all the software I need. All I really need is to build it. I also like your prices a lot better than buying it from Apple.

    Thanks again all..

  29. #29
    DougDolde
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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Priced have fallen significantly for the 4gb MacBook Pro memory module. $158 now I think from OWC.

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    I need some help.

    After reading this and another thread, I order a 4Gb DDR2 stick from OWC for my 2.4GHz 15" late 2008 Macbook Pro (Perlyn I believe) and upgraded memory to 6Gb. Profiler shows Ram is now 6Gb but Photoshop CS4 only see 3072Mb still. What must I do to get PS to utilize the additional ram?

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Henry,
    That is normal. PS is not a 62 bit application. Don't worry, you will be rewarded bor your increased ram in the file system buffering performed by OSX and the lower competition for memory between PS and other system functions.
    -bob

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Ok Bob. Thanks for the feedback. Should I now set PS to use max 3072Mb or 100% of this available memory?

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    I do.
    There is a great write-up by our friend Lloyd Chambers at http://macperformanceguide.com/Optim...hop-Intro.html
    Make sure that you pay attention to the plug-in advice even if you don't have striped volumes ESPECIALLY on a notebook.
    -bob

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Hi Henry:

    The answer is variable depending on how you use your laptop: IF you do a lot of heavy multi-tasking, like converting a bunch of raws in the background while processing large files in Photoshop, and keep mail and web and bookeeping software all open at the same time, setting CS to 3G may be detrimental overall. However, if you utilize your Macbook Pro in a more linear fashion, one program at a time, thee by all means set your CS RAM allocation to the 3G max.

    PS: Note that adding the bigger tiles plug-in will also improve performance, and in some cases so will activating the disable scratch compression plug-in, so be sure to try it.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Thanks again Bob.

    Grateful for your chipping in Jack.

    I use the Macbook Pro for tethered shooting and running C1 Pro to convert and then some editing in CS4. Other stuff I do on my Quad Core Windoz machine.

  36. #36
    DougDolde
    Guest

    Re: Mac Pro performance tips on DIGLLOYD

    Apple is now selling 8 gb kits for the new model 15" MacBook Pro. Obviously OWC is a better place to buy it though. Previously they only offered it for the 17" MBP.

    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...book_pros.html

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