View Full Version : New to be Mac User, looking for advice on system configuration

07-08-2007, 02:37 PM
Hi All,

I have been a long time PC, but have grown tired with the growing issues surrounding Microsoft and anti-virus software, hence have decided to go the Mac route, Mac Pro 2.66 Dual-Core Intel Xeon.

Right now, I am looking at ordering it with 4 x 1GB of ram, ATI Radeon X 1900 graphics card and only one their stock 250 GB drive. This system will be used primarily for graphic work (photoshop, indesign, acrobat) so fast will be good, however, file storage space and stability are key over concerns that it needs to be the fastest 2.66 Dual-Core system around.

My plan is to start off, by adding two 500 GB (thinking Hitachi) hard drives for image and graphic storage, with another 250 GB as a dedicated scratch disk. Additional/backup storage will come from some form of external drive(s) system.

My biggest concern is really in the choice/arrangement of the systems four internal hard drives, so I am open to recommendations.

07-08-2007, 03:18 PM
For scratch, 10K Raptor or 500GB drives. Or RAID external some smaller drives. There are also two hidden away SATA ports. The Hitachi 1000GB drive is more expensive than two 500GB drives but also fast as can be in 7.2K drive.

Buy stock memory and add 4 x 1GB, or get it pre-configured from Apple if that seems easier and less trouble. Plan on adding even more. 4GB is pretty much a stock minimum for these systems anyway. And for most graphics and photoshop use, probably want more - but can't do everything at once. You don't want to see any pageouts though.

A 4x SATA controller will probably be essential.

If it helps during the change-over, it isn't an issue to install Windows (XP SP2 or Vista) until you upgrade and transfer licenses.

You will find that a lot of people that frequent MacGurus often have 10K Raptor or a pair in RAID for their boot drive, and add'l drives (up to 8+) for scratch. A 10K 150GB vs 500GB drive...

07-08-2007, 04:54 PM
Thanks TZ for the info.

Now lets see if I got this right. Go with the minimum ram (2 x 512 MB) from Apple, buy the addition ram (4 x 1 GB) from third party like Crucial. The choice of the ATI Radeon X 1900 graphics card is not overkill.

For hard drive configuration some of what you suggest is use two Western Digital 150 GB 10k Raptor SATA Drives, one for boot, one for scratch, and either a single Hitachi 1000GB drive (more expensive I see) or my original plan two 500GB Hitachi SATA drives.

I take it the 4x SATA controller only comes into play when I start using external drives in conjunction with the systemís three to four internal drives, right?

Also, what do I do with the factory installed HD that I have to get with the Mac?

As for Microsoft; liked Windows 2000 Professional, not big on XP, Vista, donít even want to go there. The only thing I will be using is M$ Word.

07-08-2007, 06:27 PM
MacGurus memory (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/ram/mgram.php). We sell either Samsung or Micron Tech. MUCH cheaper than Apple and lifetime warranted.

07-08-2007, 06:31 PM
Sounds good. Use the OEM drive for your emergency backup - you can throw it into one of the universal SATA drive cases with SATA and/or FireWire interface.