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Thread: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

  1. #1
    Sean_Reid
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    Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    I realize that a lot of the excitement today, quite understandably, comes from the new M8 announcements. But since I deal with new cameras and lenses all the time, my excitement today is about my Mac Pro that just arrived.

    After I started using the MacBook Pro 17" (this one a different example which came with Leopard - long story) I realized that what I wanted to do was to go back to Macintosh entirely (last one was a Mac Plus!). So I ordered a Mac Pro 2.8 and the truck rolled up a little while ago. I bought the quad core because that's plenty of speed for me and the Mac Pro is expensive enough as is. Before this I had always built my own higher-end PCs and I could have done that again for nearly half the cost of the Mac (reusing my existing good quality cases, power supplies, drives, etc.). But, among other things, the fact that 32 bit XP or Vista can only address 4 GB RAM (a bit less actually), combined with the fact that 64 bit Windows doesn't work with many of the drivers I need for various things, really swung me towards Mac. I love that OS-X is and has been 64-bit.

    "Other World Computing" is selling tested, Apple approved, lifetime guaranteed RAM and I bought two 2 GB sticks (with heat sinks) for $230.00. I'm just waiting for them to ship. I'll make do with 6 GB for now and go to 8 later on.

    Anyway, I need to finish up this Canon G9 review before I start taking things apart, swapping drives, etc. but I'm struck by one thing I must comment on.

    Apple's industrial design is beautiful.

    The Mac Pro is the most beautiful desktop computer I have ever seen and the Macbook Pro is the most beautiful notebook I've ever seen. They're a joy for the eyes and the hands. Does this matter to function? Not exactly... But we're photographers and *our* world is intensely visual. Someone like myself spends a lot of time with computers and since I have to look at them for hours at a time, I like it when one is easy on the eyes.

    Anyway, I'm just enjoying being an enthusiastic re-newbie in the Mac world.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Welcome to the dark side Sean!

    Yes, the Mac Pro case is a thing of beauty for those of us coming in from the build-them-ourselves PC world! Four SATA drive bays with silicone drive cushions and slide-in convenience, coupled with slide-in RAM drawers...

    Something you should know in addition: On the MB just behind the CPU fan shroud are two more SATA2 connector points(!) These allow you to add two more SATA2 drives directly to the MB, bypassing the use of an added PCIe card (or the buss) altogether! OWC sells an extension plate that fits into the free card slot and converts the two internal SATA ports to external eSATA connector ports. Bottom line is I now run 6 drives internally.

    Also, if you get a .Mac account, then you can sync all your settings, preferences, dock, etc between the two machines so they both always parrot each other --- very cool feature for me.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Welcome back my friend it is a place where you smile everyday when you go to use it. LOL

    I love my MacPro. I just put in all new hard drives and running like jet on steroids. But much prettier. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Welcome to the dark side Sean!

    Yes, the Mac Pro case is a thing of beauty for those of us coming in from the build-them-ourselves PC world! Four SATA drive bays with silicone drive cushions and slide-in convenience, coupled with slide-in RAM drawers...

    Something you should know in addition: On the MB just behind the CPU fan shroud are two more SATA2 connector points(!) These allow you to add two more SATA2 drives directly to the MB, bypassing the use of an added PCIe card (or the buss) altogether! OWC sells an extension plate that fits into the free card slot and converts the two internal SATA ports to external eSATA connector ports. Bottom line is I now run 6 drives internally.

    Cheers,

    Me too we are just pigs, 6 internal hard drives. Amazing


    Jack would you ban me from posting , I need to go pack and this forum won't release me. LOL
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    I put you on global ignore until we return from Moab LOLOLOLOLOL!
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  6. #6
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Man, y'all are giving me yet more G.A.S.!

  7. #7
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Welcome to the dark side Sean!

    Yes, the Mac Pro case is a thing of beauty for those of us coming in from the build-them-ourselves PC world! Four SATA drive bays with silicone drive cushions and slide-in convenience, coupled with slide-in RAM drawers...

    Something you should know in addition: On the MB just behind the CPU fan shroud are two more SATA2 connector points(!) These allow you to add two more SATA2 drives directly to the MB, bypassing the use of an added PCIe card (or the buss) altogether! OWC sells an extension plate that fits into the free card slot and converts the two internal SATA ports to external eSATA connector ports. Bottom line is I now run 6 drives internally.

    Also, if you get a .Mac account, then you can sync all your settings, preferences, dock, etc between the two machines so they both always parrot each other --- very cool feature for me.

    Cheers,
    Hi Jack,

    Thanks. Yes, I read about those ports but getting to them seems to involve a lot of disassembly. Now, I've stripped PCs down to the case many times but for now I have this feeling that I don't want to take the Pro apart (just install memory and two RE2 500GB drives).

    So what I did for my backup drive connections was to order the Addonics e-sata card which should be here in a few days.
    http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/am...adsa3gpx1-2em/

    I thought long and hard about just using the FW 800 connections but 3 Gbs is really nice for the amount of data I move around.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  8. #8
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Welcome back my friend it is a place where you smile everyday when you go to use it. LOL

    I love my MacPro. I just put in all new hard drives and running like jet on steroids. But much prettier. LOL
    Hi Guy,

    Thanks, I've come to like the WD RE2 500 GB drives because they really seem to be server class. I also like to have some of my drives out of the computer and in fan cooled cases.

    Just out of curiosity, where did you guys mount those other two drives?

    Cheers,

    Sean

  9. #9
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    Man, y'all are giving me yet more G.A.S.!
    If its any consolation, this is the first new desktop I've added in several years.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  10. #10
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post

    I thought long and hard about just using the FW 800 connections but 3 Gbs is really nice for the amount of data I move around.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Well FWIW, SUSTAINED read/write speeds are not that significantly different for FW800 and eSATA... I get a maximum sustained txfr rate of just over 100 MB/s with eSATA at the fast side of the drives, tapering off to around 70 MB/s at the slow end. Via eSATA it takes me about 2 hours to move 500G of data on these new drives. Using the same drive on FW 800, it takes about 50% longer, or 3 hours to move the 500G.

    Secondly, I don't know if you lose speed across the PCIe bus? And, it isn't that big of deal to add that adapter as you can access the ports without disassembling anything, just use some needle-nose pliers to plug in the connectors. Also, on the new boxes, you do not need to remove the RAM bay since the shroud over the CPU's just un-snaps off, then the fan housing comes out by removing one or two screws depending on configuration.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  11. #11
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Interestingly, I just ran hardware tests off the install CD and my Mac thinks it has two processors. In my dreams they accidentally installed both. More likely, the motherboard is set up to handle two processors which means I can add one down the line if I ever have the desire. That's quite nice.

    I figured that hooking up the e-sata ports required disassembling much of the computer based on this:
    http://www.newertech.com/Static/arti...ein_eSATA.html

    Did you not have to do all that to hook up yours? If so, going directly to those ports probably is the way to go. Again, I've done all this with PCs for a long time but I'm feeling a little more "hands off" about the Mac.

    Here's a review of the card:
    http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/am...adsa3gpx1-2em/

    I'm running extended hardware tests while I finish up this review on the "old" computer. Then maybe tonight I can start putting things together.

    Oh....question....

    Which way do you prefer to format drives for Mac? What is journaled?

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 31st January 2008 at 13:05.

  12. #12
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Interestingly, I just ran hardware tests off the install CD and my Mac thinks it has two processors. In my dreams they accidentally installed both. More likely, the motherboard is set up to handle two processors which means I can add one down the line if I ever have the desire. That's quite nice.

    I figured that hooking up the e-sata ports required disassembling much of the computer based on this:
    http://www.newertech.com/Static/arti...ein_eSATA.html

    Did you not have to do all that to hook up yours? If so, going directly to those ports probably is the way to go. Again, I've done all this with PCs for a long time but I'm feeling a little more "hands off" about the Mac.

    Here's a review of the card:
    http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/am...adsa3gpx1-2em/

    I'm running extended hardware tests while I finish up this review on the "old" computer. Then maybe tonight I can start putting things together.

    Oh....question....

    Which way do you prefer to format drives for Mac? What is journaled?

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Hi Sean,

    Your system could have two 2-core processors instead of one 4-core? If you go into "About This Mac" in the Apple menu and hit "More info" you should see all the specs. Mine shows a processor name as "Quad-Core Intel Xeon" ; "Processor Speed 3.2 GHz" ; "Number of Processors 2" and "Total Cores 8".

    Yes you can get the cables attached if you are careful with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Just pay attention to the orientation of the sockets in the instructions that come with the unit and make sure the cables match --- L-connector pointing UP on the top socket, straight connector oriented in the opposite direction on the bottom socket.

    Journaling just means the drive can mount a bootable copy of the OS, but in later versions of OSX it apparently is also used to keep an error log that can help repair any drive in the event of a failure. Hence, I run everything as "OSX extended, journaled." You may find a few sites recommend leaving journaling "off" for media drives --- I suspect this is because a gig or so of space is reserved at the fastest part of the drive for Critical OS files and journaling, and therefore not available for media storage --- but even some of those have reversed their position on that. My smallest drives are 500G and all my images are on 1TB drives, so the loss of space is of little consequence to me, especially if it can help with a recovery down the road.

    PS: IF you use both PC and Mac, you may want to store your image files on drives formatted FAT since BOTH OS's can read and write to them. Alternatively, I decided to use Mac formatting and share my image drives over a network if a PC needed to see them. And BTW, a Gig-lan network is a VERY fast and convenient way to move PC data files over to Mac without a lot of hassle .

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

  13. #13
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Hi Jack

    " Your system could have two 2-core processors instead of one 4-core? If you go into "About This Mac" in the Apple menu and hit "More info" you should see all the specs. Mine shows a processor name as "Quad-Core Intel Xeon" ; "Processor Speed 3.2 GHz" ; "Number of Processors 2" and "Total Cores 8". "

    No the system is a 2.8 and all the 2.8s are four core. I suspect that the second reported processor is really just a slot for a second processor but I'll check later on.

    "Yes you can get the cables attached if you are careful with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Just pay attention to the orientation of the sockets in the instructions that come with the unit and make sure the cables match --- L-connector pointing UP on the top socket, straight connector oriented in the opposite direction on the bottom socket."

    OK, cool, so you didn't have to uninstall anything? That would be great.

    "Journaling just means the drive can mount a bootable copy of the OS, but in later versions of OSX it apparently is also used to keep an error log that can help repair any drive in the event of a failure"

    Ok, that's good to know, thanks.

    "Hence, I run everything as "OSX extended, journaled."

    That's likely what I'll do then. Thanks very much for that information.

    "You may find a few sites recommend leaving journaling "off" for media drives --- I suspect this is because a gig or so of space is reserved at the fastest part of the drive for Critical OS files and journaling, and therefore not available for media storage --- but even some of those have reversed their position on that. My smallest drives are 500G and all my images are on 1TB drives, so the loss of space is of little consequence to me, especially if it can help with a recovery down the road."

    I can afford to lose a gig on the drives to gain that benefit.

    "PS: IF you use both PC and Mac, you may want to store your image files on drives formatted FAT since BOTH OS's can read and write to them. Alternatively, I decided to use Mac formatting and share my image drives over a network if a PC needed to see them. And BTW, a Gig-lan network is a VERY fast and convenient way to move PC data files over to Mac without a lot of hassle "

    That one I knew. When I was thinking, earlier on, of running both OSs then I was thinking about formatting everything as FAT 32. But then, I would have needed to do all this partitioning to get each one down to 32 GB and then that would have meant a gazillion drive letters to keep track of. Now things are simpler, Mac Pro and Macbook Pro. My wife, also a photographer, is still on Windows for now but she and I rarely need to share files and I already have a wireless network set up for that. For infrequent use, it will do the trick.

    I appreciate the help Jack.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  14. #14
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    OK, when I check the system from within Leopard it reports one quad processor, as expected. But when I checked using the hardware test command from the system disk, I get a report of two processors. So, this does indeed suggest that these new Mac Pro computers are all using the same MoBo (which would be cost and production effective for Apple) but that the single simply have an empty processor slot. If thats true, its cool because it should mean that I can add another processor down the line if I feel the desire.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Sean that is the exact cable both Jack and i put in our machines . Not hard either BTW . Than i bought a 2 drive E-sata box for the two externals

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...ng/MESATATBEK/

    or for a single drive i have this also a quad port

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other...g/MEFW924AL1K/
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  16. #16
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Hi Guy,

    So you did it without removing anything inside the computer? If yes, that sounds cool and I'll probably end up doing it.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  17. #17
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Ah Ha! I just got a little flashlight in there and I now see exactly what you mean, Jack and Guy. I do think that I could get that mounted without removing anything. Excellent tip guys! I had initially ruled that idea out because I didn't want to take the new computer apart. I'm going to order that Newer Tech cable kit and just send the PCI card back after it arrives. This is great.

    Cheers,

    Sean

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    OK, when I check the system from within Leopard it reports one quad processor, as expected. But when I checked using the hardware test command from the system disk, I get a report of two processors. So, this does indeed suggest that these new Mac Pro computers are all using the same MoBo (which would be cost and production effective for Apple) but that the single simply have an empty processor slot. If thats true, its cool because it should mean that I can add another processor down the line if I feel the desire.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Be aware Sean that adding a second CPU has its own issues. The first is the stepping of the CPU. Intel will make revisions to its microcode base and issue that as a new stepping of the same CPU. When you are setting up a dual processor system you want to make sure that the stepping is the same or at worst one step apart, otherwise you will run into compatibility issues. In the Windows world, a utility like CPU-Z can tell you the stepping level of your processor. I am not aware of such a tool in the Mac Universe.
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Keep the journal enabled, it protects against file system corruption and makes file system checks on boot really fast. It's a fixed-length (exactly one extent) circular transaction log. Metadata operations that require multiple accesses (like rebalancing the B* catalog or creating a file) get written to the journal as a transaction. When the transaction is finished it's committed - the journal entry is played and the real changes made. Transactions are designed so they can be replayed even if partially finished, so if the system gets power cycled in the middle of a transaction it can replay unfinished but committed journal entries when it starts up again - getting the file system to a consistent state. Data loss and such is still possible, but the file system won't be corrupted.

    For this to really work (as in guaranteed consistency) it's important to use drives that implement the ATA FLUSH CACHE command. Otherwise the tail end of a transaction can sit in the drive cache! Needless to say, all drives sold by Apple implement this properly. (Some drives are buggy, or implement it as a no-op.)

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Jan:

    I have no idea what you just wrote means, but is it safe to assume that if Apple sold me a Seagate 7200.10 drive originally, that if I put in a newer generation 7200.11 i will have that capability?
    Jack
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Jan:

    I have no idea what you just wrote means, but is it safe to assume that if Apple sold me a Seagate 7200.10 drive originally, that if I put in a newer generation 7200.11 i will have that capability?
    Yeah, I think so.

    I used to work at Sun Microsystems, both with kernel group (although I'm a network stack guy) and later with the storage division with digital broadcasting and streaming systems - intended to drive storage sales. (The products were later sold off to Toshiba.) This was in the mid 90s, but we too shipped "crappy" old drives in our workstations, not because we wanted to immensely mark them up, but in part because each new model took forever to qualify, and in part because of volume commitments with the drive vendor. The two worked together - we'd sign up for volume commitments because we knew we wouldn't qualify something new too soon, and there was no point testing new hardware until we reached the end of the contract. I bet Apple goes through exactly the same.

    That said, qualification wasn't always a slamdunk...

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Seagate drives are the drives of choice over at 1 Infinite Loop.
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  23. #23
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Be aware Sean that adding a second CPU has its own issues. The first is the stepping of the CPU. Intel will make revisions to its microcode base and issue that as a new stepping of the same CPU. When you are setting up a dual processor system you want to make sure that the stepping is the same or at worst one step apart, otherwise you will run into compatibility issues. In the Windows world, a utility like CPU-Z can tell you the stepping level of your processor. I am not aware of such a tool in the Mac Universe.
    Thanks Carlos. I'll keep that in mind if I ever add the other processor. Building windows computers I sometimes looked for specific processor steppings (just as I would have had I gone ahead with my plans to build an Asus/Kentfield machine). It won't be any time in near future though because if I really felt that I needed that second processor I would have gotten an 8-core. I'm still setting up the Mac Pro but I'm sure this one will fly already.

    Some thoughts:

    The drive mounting system is excellent, cushioned and quickly removeable (as its been in the Antec cases I've used).

    I like the horizontal mounting of the hard drives because it should mean that heat from one drive does not rise up to another. I always direct cooled my internal drives with a 120 mm fan but the Mac Pro's in/out fans look promising. I filled the first three bays (stock drive plus two 500 GB RE2's) and have left the right-most bay (below the power supply and above the graphics card) empty.

    Glad to have this particular forum right now. Thanks all for the suggestions, etc.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 31st January 2008 at 19:57.

  24. #24
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Ah Ha! I just got a little flashlight in there and I now see exactly what you mean, Jack and Guy. I do think that I could get that mounted without removing anything. Excellent tip guys! I had initially ruled that idea out because I didn't want to take the new computer apart. I'm going to order that Newer Tech cable kit and just send the PCI card back after it arrives. This is great.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Given this location, its surprising that the review I linked above doesn't at least suggest that these cables can be installed without removing the fan, etc. (if one is careful).

    Cheers,

    Sean

  25. #25
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jan Brittenson View Post
    Keep the journal enabled, it protects against file system corruption and makes file system checks on boot really fast. It's a fixed-length (exactly one extent) circular transaction log. Metadata operations that require multiple accesses (like rebalancing the B* catalog or creating a file) get written to the journal as a transaction. When the transaction is finished it's committed - the journal entry is played and the real changes made. Transactions are designed so they can be replayed even if partially finished, so if the system gets power cycled in the middle of a transaction it can replay unfinished but committed journal entries when it starts up again - getting the file system to a consistent state. Data loss and such is still possible, but the file system won't be corrupted.

    For this to really work (as in guaranteed consistency) it's important to use drives that implement the ATA FLUSH CACHE command. Otherwise the tail end of a transaction can sit in the drive cache! Needless to say, all drives sold by Apple implement this properly. (Some drives are buggy, or implement it as a no-op.)
    I'm no programmer but, from what you say, it seems I "done good" following Jack's advice and formatting the new drives as extended journaled. Thanks Jack and Jan. I get the gist of what you, Jan, are saying, if not the specifics.

    I hope my two new drives have the decency to flush when they're done but I don't know. I'll have to research some time. The RE2 drives, which are newer versions of those I've used before for Windows machines, are: WESTERN DIGITAL WD5000ABYS 500GB SATA 7200

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 31st January 2008 at 19:58.

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Those drives should be just fine Sean. I just got my 1TB 7200.11 Seagate Barracuda which will be doing Time Machine duty in my Mac Pro when it arrives. Speaking of upgrading Mac Pros, I had an interesting discussion with some ATI engineers the other day. Seems that the proliferation of Mac-compatible video cards is assured for this year thanks to Microsoft. When Service Pack 1 of Vista is released, Microsoft will finally provide support for motherboards that are UEFI (Universal Extended Firmware Interface) based like the Mac Pro. HP has already stated that they are going in this direction and other manufacturers will follow suit thereafter. So what bearing does this have on video cards for the Mac Pro? Plenty. For a video card to work in a Mac Pro you need the card to be activated by the bootstrap code in the UEFI interface. Current PC's still use BIOS and since there was no Windows support for UEFI no one rushed out to support it (except for Apple who has to be ahead of the curve). Ergo, with UEFI motherboards proliferating, there will be a similar proliferation of UEFI compliant video cards and the field for alternative Mac Pro video cards will expand greatly.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  27. #27
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    I just bought all the new Seagates .11 drives which are 7200 32mm, 3 1tb and 2 500gb. Very very nice hard drives
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  28. #28
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by etrigan63 View Post
    Those drives should be just fine Sean. I just got my 1TB 7200.11 Seagate Barracuda which will be doing Time Machine duty in my Mac Pro when it arrives. Speaking of upgrading Mac Pros, I had an interesting discussion with some ATI engineers the other day. Seems that the proliferation of Mac-compatible video cards is assured for this year thanks to Microsoft. When Service Pack 1 of Vista is released, Microsoft will finally provide support for motherboards that are UEFI (Universal Extended Firmware Interface) based like the Mac Pro. HP has already stated that they are going in this direction and other manufacturers will follow suit thereafter. So what bearing does this have on video cards for the Mac Pro? Plenty. For a video card to work in a Mac Pro you need the card to be activated by the bootstrap code in the UEFI interface. Current PC's still use BIOS and since there was no Windows support for UEFI no one rushed out to support it (except for Apple who has to be ahead of the curve). Ergo, with UEFI motherboards proliferating, there will be a similar proliferation of UEFI compliant video cards and the field for alternative Mac Pro video cards will expand greatly.
    Cool, thanks for that info.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  29. #29
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Sean,
    In defense of Vista - I know you already made the switch, but I find that Vista x64 hums along quite nicely and where I need XP for compatibility I can always set up a dual-boot, like when using my vintage 1991 drum scanner over SCSI. Getting good drivers for an OS is of course important, so rebuilding a Vista x64 workstation using older hardware would perhaps not have been a great idea anyway. I find Vista x64 to be rock solid on my desktop and laptop, now that I have good and stable drivers for my hardware - my next reboot will probably be when SP1 arrives. My only significant gripe with Vista is that it's a bit of a memory hog.
    Lars

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Vista's appetite for memory is by design. Vista is constantly updating internal search indexes, optimizing drive caches, and a whole host of functions behind the scenes. Vista x64 is a very solid platform assuming you have supported hardware. I ought to know. I run PlanetAMD64.com and have been 64-bit for a very very long time.

    My desire to go to the Mac is to prevent me from messing with my workstation. I receive hardware to test all of the time and I am always tempted to stuff the latest & greatest on my personal workstation (who wouldn't?). I want a machine that won't become the target for my wanton desire for compute power. Mac Pro 2.8 fits the bill quite nicely. Aside from a memory upgrade, future video card and an additional hard drive (all trivial upgrades), I don't see myself stripping this box down and rebuilding it like I do with my PC workstation.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  31. #31
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Vinberg View Post
    Sean,
    In defense of Vista - I know you already made the switch, but I find that Vista x64 hums along quite nicely and where I need XP for compatibility I can always set up a dual-boot, like when using my vintage 1991 drum scanner over SCSI. Getting good drivers for an OS is of course important, so rebuilding a Vista x64 workstation using older hardware would perhaps not have been a great idea anyway. I find Vista x64 to be rock solid on my desktop and laptop, now that I have good and stable drivers for my hardware - my next reboot will probably be when SP1 arrives. My only significant gripe with Vista is that it's a bit of a memory hog.
    Lars
    Hi Lars,

    The thing is that I do *so much* work (of various kinds) on my primary computer that I need to be able to get to various programs, devices, etc. without rebooting. XP64 or Vista 64 would have been unworkable for me because of limitations with software, certain printers I have, certain scanners, etc. Much of what I need to do every day cannot, yet, be done with Windows 64-bit OS (however wonderful it might be). It would be one of those things that was nice in concept but lousy in practice. I've got to be able to multi-task all kinds of writing and image tasks with as little fuss as possible.

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Last edited by Sean_Reid; 7th February 2008 at 10:55.

  32. #32
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Sean,
    Got it. Total mess.
    Lars
    (Personally I use at least four computers to help me turn my life into chaos )

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    As I had said "if you have supported hardware". Legacy and extra-heterogeneous hardware mixes will not do well in any 64-bit Windows environment. This is due to the 64-bit "signed" driver requirement. Mac OS X can use 32-bit drivers in "legacy" mode transparently.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Well I am happy to report that I am picking up my Mac Pro tomorrow. I have already acquired an additional 2GB of RAM from OWC (bringing the total to 4GB) and a 1TB Seagate drive for Time Machine. SuperTalent was kind enough to send a review sample of their new Mac memory so I will be testing that shortly as well. This is going to be a lot of fun!
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  35. #35
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Congrats Carlos, keep us posted!
    Jack
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    I have picked up my Mac Pro and I have to report that the system is quite snappy (8GB of RAM sure helps). Just getting my "sea legs" with it, setting up software and such. I used Outlook2Mac to migrate my e-mail files over. Worked pretty well except that I had nested folders in Outlook and it converted them to flat files. Have to edit the folder names now so they make more sense. Tedious, but nowhere near difficult.

    Not too crazy about the Apple Keyboard. Will probably swap it out for something a bit more ergonomic. Rumor has it that Apple will be developing a keyboard similar to Art Lebedev's Optimus Maximus. If you haven't heard of that you need to check it out here.
    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

  37. #37
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    Re: Mac Pro 2.8 My Oh My...

    Well I just started processing images using Aperture 2 and it does take some getting used to. Once you get the hang of it, the workflow is pretty smooth. Here is a sample B&W conversion for your viewing pleasure:

    Carlos Echenique | Carlos Echenique Photography |Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II | Olympus Pen-F - M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, Rokinon 12mm f/2 NCS, M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO, M.Zuiko 40-150mm f/2.8 PRO

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