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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:22 PM   #1
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Quick question about MacPro..

that no one else can seam to answer. I find it odd how alot of people don't know anything about Mac computers especially at my university.

Anyway... I've been playing with the numbers on the apple store website trying to build the right machine that will suit my needs as well as budget. I have come up with:

One 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon
2GB (2x1GB) RAM
1 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
Apple Cinema Display (20" flat panel)

Along with all other bassic necessities, keyboard, mouse, drives etc.

the total price for this machine is $3,154.36 (I can probably get it cheaper at a local Mac store..ya think?)

As I am sure you have already picked out, my RAM choice and HD size choice is lacking. This is simply due to budget. around 3k for this machine is what I am looking to pay. If I were to go with 1TB of HD space and 4GB of Ram, it would have nearly put me in the 4 thousand range.

My question is: If I were to go with this configuration now, could I later add another 500GB or so of HD space as well as another 2GB of RAM? Would that be more expensive in the long run? or could I even do that at all...

Thank you for your time and consideration..
-Terry.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #2
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I don't own a Mac Pro, but as far as my research of them has brought me, I am pretty sure that they are VERY customizable post purchase.

However, I don't know whether or not it would be more expensive to upgrade hard drives and RAM later. I assume that it would be. Ultimately I suppose you could always work with what you've got until you are ready to upgrade stuff.

-Michael
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #3
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and be sure you visit the student discount part of the apple store. I saved about 400 bucks on my macpro. In the end i bought 2 2.8ghz Quad Xeon processors, 2 gbs of ram and a 500gb, and a 512 nvida card. I bought another monitor separately, since well thats just too much money for a monitor. and it came out to be $3,400 with shipping and tax.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 08:57 PM   #4
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It is cheaper to add ram and hard drives post purchase. I bought my system from apple and 3 1tb hard drives and 12gb of extra ram from a third party. The whole computer came out to around 5k with the hard drives and the 14gb ram.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #5
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I bought another monitor separately, since well thats just too much money for a monitor. and it came out to be $3,400 with shipping and tax.
Do you need to buy an apple monitor for an apple computer..?

Thank you for bringing it to my attention about the university discount. That will definately save me some money.

If it is true that Macs are customizable after post purchase, would it not be wise to just buy the minimum requirments from a local Mac store and then go and buy all the other components such as a 500gb hard drive and extra ram from somewhere else?

I'm under the impression, for lack of knowledge, that only Mac parts work with Mac computers.... Am I wrong? Could I stick any serial ATA hard drive or any stick or RAM into this machine?
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #6
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I came from building PC's so getting a Mac Pro was a new experience for me and I had the same questions as you. The only things you can't replace on the mac with off the shelf items is the processor and video card. Hard drives, ram, monitor, most mice, raid cards, etc. All of this can be bought after market for much much less than what Apple is hawking it for.

Make sure you get the correct ram in reagrds to MHz and what not. Aside from that any hard drive with SATA will be fine since SATA 2 is backwards compatible with SATA 1, get SATA 2 though. I'm sure you know that.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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its not just ANY ram, but u can buy 3rd party RAM, and it's a lot cheeper than buying from apple true. I just have a lot of worry about buying third party ram, but everyone else says they love it. Yeah any DVI monitor will work...and you can get a good one for bout $300 same size, but it wont feel the same as an Apple Cinema display...
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Old September 28th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #8
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The only things you can't replace on the mac with off the shelf items is the processor and video card.
The video card actually can be replaced. There are four PCI-E ports on the back, you can use them for esata ports, or 4 video cards if you want.
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Old September 28th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Loren Simons View Post
its not just ANY ram, but u can buy 3rd party RAM, and it's a lot cheeper than buying from apple true.
What exactly is "3rd party RAM"? I couldn't get 2 Corsair 2GB sticks?
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Old September 28th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #10
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3rd party ram is any ram not made by apple.

Mac Pro Memory - Apple Mac Pro Xeon 8-Core and Quad Core Memory Upgrades DDR2 Fully Buffered 240 Pin DIMM 800MHz PC6400 / 667MHz PC5300 at OtherWorldComputing.com
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Old September 28th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #11
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Ah ha! So I can just get a couple sticks of 2GB Corsair (for example) to stuff in my machine as well as any serial ATA HD!

So the conclusion of this thread would be that it is infact cheaper to puchase the minimum amount of hard drive space, RAM and just simply get any monitor I chose...

I suppose i'll just go to the local apple store and pick up a MacPro with a 320 HD(maybe 500), 2GB ram Final Cut Studio 2 and not have to pay shipping as well as give myself time to accumulate enough money for the rest in the future. (sound like what you would do?)

Everyone, thank you for answering my questions! You've seriously saved me alot of money!
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Old September 29th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #12
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Just a note on the Student Discount, in my case it actually worked out cheaper to get a refurb than to use my Discount. I've had no issues with it being a refurb, other than a tiny scratch on the case. I added 4gigs of RAM from OWC (macsales.com) and Seagate SATA drives I got from Tiger Direct and they all work fine.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #13
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If you would buy a Apple Cinema Display, I should urge you to wait a bit.
I know rumors always exist about Apple's products, and the Apple Cinema Displays are already rumored for a long time to be upgraded, but rumors are pretty strong that they will get a (LED?) upgrade in January at MacWorld.

For the rest: like others said: buy your base system at Apple, upgrade via 3rd party later.
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Old September 29th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #14
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Terry, I've purchased two macs using the university discount. I don't think you can walk into a retail store anymore and purchase. I think you have to order online. If you are indeed using a university discount the shipping may be free. Check to see if your school has its own Apple discount store link and use that rather than the generic Apple store for education.

I just ordered a MBP and there was a shipping fee in the generic store but none when I used my university's specific store.

Crucial and Other World Computing are very reputable vendors of RAM.

The Apple monitor is sweet. When I purchased mine this time last year the rumor mill was churning about a replacement. It's still churning!!! Buy what you like and need today. If you wait for what's coming tomorrow you'll wait forever.

Bob
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Old September 29th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #15
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Your Mac Pro spec is exactly what I started with. You can run two monitors off that card (I bought third party monitors, one a 27-in HD Vusonic)), and it is perfectly adequate for FCS 2. I've since added two more SATA drives (very easy to do), and will be adding more RAM this year. good luck.
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