After I got a MacBook from work last year, I really enjoyed working with OSX. Everything ran smooth, the user interface is polished and I could still do everything I did on Linux and Windows. But a notebook is still a notebook. The screen is not optimised to do heavy programming work (13″) so I always hooked up an external monitor at work or at home. But then came the time that I needed more screen space. One option was to use an external box to hook up more monitors like the Matrox TripleHead2Go , but that had its limitations.
So I decided to treat myself to a brand new Mac Pro. Before the final purchase step, I had to make some decisions on the configuration.
The first thing I had to chose from was the CPU: Quad-core vs Octo-core. So I looked at the 2.93 Ghz Quadcore and then at the 2x 2.66 Ghz Quadcore. Now everybody knows that all new CPU’s are already too fast for most of the applications we use. Even today, most applications still don’t use all the possibilities of all the cores a CPU has, and are even not optimised for it. Even the price difference wasn’t that big between my Quad-core 2.93 and the 2x 2.66Ghz configuration. So what to do!
After looking a bit further, I wanted to upgrade the RAM to 8Gb (4x2Gb). The Quad-core can go up to 16Gb, while the Octo-core goes up to 32Gb. I know that at this point, I have enough with 8Gb, but you never know what the future brings. So I started to look a bit further. When I buy the Quad-core version, and put 4x2Gb in it, all my slots will be used and it would cost an additional 225. The only solution I have then is to buy bigger RAM. But when you looked at the prices, my hart just stopped pumping. For the Quad-core version, an upgrade to 3x4Gb RAM runs up to 1215 and 4x4Gb even up to 1665. Those prices are just crazy!
So I looked back at the Octo-core version. For 8Gb (4x2Gb), the additional cost is only 90 . Ok, the bigger RAM is as pricy as its Quad-core equivalent: 6x2Gb / 270, 8x2Gb / 450, 8x4Gb / 3330. I wanted to stick with the 4x2Gb to begin with, but like I said, you never know what the future brings. With the Octo-core version, I still had 4 empty RAM slots, so if I wanted to, I could always upgrade myself, I put in 4 extra RAM modules of 2Gig, which are still affordable.
So that decision was made, I would buy the Octo-core with 8Gig to start with. Next was the HDD. Well, I staid with the default 640Gb SATA drive, because I’m planning to upgrade to an SSD next year. Didn’t need a RAID card either (using TimeMachine for backups).
Ok, next in line is the graphic card. I knew the default Nvidia GeForce 120 512Mb card sucks big time. But I kept it anyway in this configuration. BUT, I also bought the ATI Radeon HD 4870 512Mb separately. Why in gods name I did that huh? Wel, like I said, I needed more screenspace 😉 .
And farther down the configuration, I bought one superdrive, 1 Magic Mouse, 1 Apple Keyboard, 1 Air-port extra WIFI card and the Apple Care Protection Plan. I ended up with a bill of 3776,10 .And no, I’m not a Mac fanboy or have enough money. Working in IT, a computer system is an important working tool for me, but also a hobby. I work hard for my money, but I do like to treat myself to something nice once and a while.
Because of some problems with the supply of Magic Mouses, it took 5 weeks before I received my order!