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Old December 2nd, 2010, 09:48 AM   #1
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simple Mac Pro monitor question

I'm looking to budget a Mac Pro tower. As much as I'd like the macdaddy 12 core machine. A simple quad core will have to do. (with memory upgraded to 8gig, and adding a 2nd 1TB hard drive, maybe 3rd), other then that, keep everything else as is.

Will any standard computer monitor work with Mac's? They only have the one 27" on their site. Can I use my plain old 19 inch (for now, has dvi, and standard vga connectors)

Thanks for the answer. Don't really know much about Macs, but want to learn FCP

Jeff
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 11:38 AM   #2
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The DVI connections will work fine. One nice surprise is that you'll find 3 additional sleds and the screws inside to plug in the additional hard drives. It is also real easy to create a raid 0 array using the built in drive slots so you can get high speed reads and writes. Great for capturing 4.2.2 hd video.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 12:16 PM   #3
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Since you mentioned it, I will ask. On Apples site, when configuring a system, it offers a RAID card, as an ad on for $700. Is this needed to set up a RAID 0 system? or if I put four drives in, without the RAID card, would it still be able to set up a RAID 0?
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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You don't need anything extra to use the built in drive slots. You set it up in Disk Utilities App when you format the drives.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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Just to add you can actually use 720p or 1080p TV's with the mac pro, I use mine via a DVI to HDMI cable but you can also get TV's with DVI sockets now.

I also put three 1tb drives in the bays and set them up as a 3tb raid 0 array, really simple to use and works a treat with AVC Intra 100 10 bit 4.2.2 HD.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 09:48 AM   #6
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Just to add you can actually use 720p or 1080p TV's with the mac pro, I use mine via a DVI to HDMI cable but you can also get TV's with DVI sockets now.

Great info. My original idea (if was possible, and now I know it is) was to use a monitor for main screen, and have a hookup to my LCD 46 inch, for preview viewing.

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Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
I also put three 1tb drives in the bays and set them up as a 3tb raid 0 array, really simple to use and works a treat with AVC Intra 100 10 bit 4.2.2 HD.
Ok, let me ask this. I was going to buy my Mac, in a pretty basic setup. Then add drives and memory myself, as budget permitted (I've built several PC in the past, and didnt figure upgrading a Mac to be much different, if not easier with their case). I was going to add 3 more drives, and then use my main drive as software, with another drive for storage of footage, and then 1 more as output drive. I've read, in the PC forums, that this helps speed things up. Would creating a RAID 0 between the 3 drives be a better option?


Also, I was wondering, does anyone know, if I buy a 4core system, does the motherboard come standard for 8 core? So if I wanted to upgrade, and add a 2nd processor, is it possible? I'm thinking it probably doesnt, but I once built a system, with the intentions of adding a 2nd processor, but ran on only the 1 for a longtime, with an empty slot for the 2nd one.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 01:59 PM   #7
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I don't know if you can upgrade the board to an 8 core at a later stage but a four core will be fine for most things.

Putting three drives into a raid 0 array will increase the speed of the disc access and will allow a lot more video streams at higher bandwidth.

I got three western digital 1tb green drives and they were around $75 each, I also got 6gb of ram off e-bay for around $120 and a second graphics card for the same.

I can now run four screens consisting of two 20 inch apple monitors, an acer 15 inch for the voice over set-up and an LG TV as an 1080p HD monitor via the blackmagic extreme HD card or a fourth monitor via DVI to HDMI.
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Old December 13th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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With the exception of doing grading, is there any reason I might not want to use my 46" 1080p samsung tv, as my monitor (until I could afford a good 30 inch or something along those lines, that is meant for this use)?

Been looking at new mac pro towers, in the apple store. For what I could afford to spend, I might be able to get the higher end quad core, or the lower end 6 core (both around $3500). Any advice on best way to go?

Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old December 14th, 2010, 12:06 PM   #9
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You don't need anything extra to use the built in drive slots. You set it up in Disk Utilities App when you format the drives.
What is the use of the additional RAID cart then? I just ordered an Mac Pro and they told me I needed the RAID cart to create a RAID0 setting (it comes with two 2TB hard drives).
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Old December 21st, 2010, 11:41 PM   #10
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What is the use of the additional RAID cart then? I just ordered an Mac Pro and they told me I needed the RAID cart to create a RAID0 setting (it comes with two 2TB hard drives).
RAID 0 using the add-on card delivers higher performance (dedicated HW vs using the Mac's CPU) & is more reliable (battery backed cache memory etc) than software-based RAID 0. Whether that extra performance & reliability is worth $700 is another discussion.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 03:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Troiano View Post
Also, I was wondering, does anyone know, if I buy a 4core system, does the motherboard come standard for 8 core? So if I wanted to upgrade, and add a 2nd processor, is it possible? I'm thinking it probably doesnt, but I once built a system, with the intentions of adding a 2nd processor, but ran on only the 1 for a longtime, with an empty slot for the 2nd one.
AFAIK, you can't just buy a 4 core system and add another processor later, because they use different boards.

However, you can just swap the board out (replacing the single processor, 4 core board for a dual core 8 or 12 core board.) It's pretty expensive, though.

Turnkey Program for Apple Mac Pro 2009 or 2010 - Intel Xeon Processor Upgrades for up to 12-Core 3.33GHz
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Old December 30th, 2010, 12:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tom DelRosario View Post
AFAIK, you can't just buy a 4 core system and add another processor later, because they use different boards.

However, you can just swap the board out (replacing the single processor, 4 core board for a dual core 8 or 12 core board.) It's pretty expensive, though.

Turnkey Program for Apple Mac Pro 2009 or 2010 - Intel Xeon Processor Upgrades for up to 12-Core 3.33GHz
At those prices it's probably a better deal to sell your existing Mac Pro & put the money towards buying a new one with the configuration that you want (& get AppleCare for 3 years for extra peace of mind).
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Old December 30th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #13
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Those upgrades are pretty useless when used computers can be found for the same prices. They might make sense when the new FCS comes out with, ahem, 64-bit support. But for an additional $1400, in my case, I could get a 12 core. However, this shows you where the true cost of the computer's hardware resides.
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