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Old 08-11-2009, 06:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default High performance PC vs Mac Pro

Hi,

I'm new on this forum, so first of all...hi everybody

I've been looking into getting a high performance computer mainly to work on it, and I'd really appreciate a bit of help choosing the parts. I'm not extremely concerned about price as I'd like to do an investment on this machine and I'm going to use it to work. So I'm going to be basically using Maya, Photoshop, Painter and Cubase. And after looking a lot at the Mac Pros I'm almost decided to get a custom build PC (I hope that's the right choice).
I'd like to have something that could support future upgrades on hardware to get the longest lifespan possible for it.

Here's what I have in mind:

CPU: Intel® Core™i7 Processor Extreme Edition i7-975 (3.33GHz) 6.4GTs/8MB Cache

RAM:
12GB CORSAIR XMS3 1600MHz - LIFETIME WARRANTY! (6x2GB)

Motherboard:
ASUS® P6T WS PROFESSIONAL: NEW ERA CORE i7 WORKSTATION

Operating System:
Genuine Windows Vista™ Ultimate 64-bit + Windows 7 Upgrade Voucher

HDD (for storage and accesing files):
2x 300GB WD VelociRaptor® SATA 16MB CACHE (10,000rpm) - RAID 0

HDD (Os and Applications):
120GB OCZ VERTEX SERIES SATA II 2.5" SSD (upto 250MB/sR | 180MB/sW)

Graphics Card:
2GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4870X2 PCI EXPRESS

Power Supply & Case Cooling:
800W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan


I'm not an expert on computers, so I'm sure there's probably somethig worth changing on this build.

Thanks in advance for your help

Also, I've seen the Intel® Xeon® Quad Core W3580 (8M Cache, 3.33 GHz, 6.40 GT/s) looks pretty much the same than the i7-975, what's the difference? Which one should I choose?
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

Quote:
CPU: Intel® Core™i7 Processor Extreme Edition i7-975 (3.33GHz) 6.4GTs/8MB Cache
This really isn't worth the money (unless you don't mind paying that premium), if you want a good i7 go for the 950.

Quote:
Graphics Card: 2GB ATI RADEON™ HD 4870X2 PCI EXPRESS
Are you going to be gaming much? If not then a single HD4890 (or HD4870) would be a better idea than this.

Quote:
Power Supply & Case Cooling: 800W Quiet Quad Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan
What make+model is the power supply, and what amperage does it have? Amperage is more important than wattage.

Quote:
Also, I've seen the Intel® Xeon®
The Xeon line is for servers. Go with an i7.

Otherwise, excellent choices.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

^ If he is using Maya he will want alot of graphics horsepower. But personally I would use the extra cash you could save by buing a i7 920 and look into buying a Quadro graphics card that is designed for graphics programs rather than games.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

That pc&p 800 is a good psu. I dont think pc&p makes a bad psu. Also the zeon and i7 models are essentially identical other than cost.

Also, just a note, the ONLY difference between a "pc" and a "mac" is that a mac can run OSX. A mac IS a pc. Apple needs to stop being stupid.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

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Originally Posted by veedubfreak View Post
That pc&p 800 is a good psu. I dont think pc&p makes a bad psu. Also the zeon and i7 models are essentially identical other than cost.

Also, just a note, the ONLY difference between a "pc" and a "mac" is that a mac can run OSX. A mac IS a pc. Apple needs to stop being stupid.


Very GOOD point!! These are terms are so coined I forget that a Mac is PC!!! Personal Computer!!!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

I think you should be looking at OpenGL optimized video cards for what you intend to do with this rig. You'll be disappointing with even the highest end gaming cards.
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

Thanks for the comments.

I'm still debating between different GPUs, but I think I'll stick with the rest of the build.
One thing that worries me thou is if the system is going to be loud. I guess the SSD won't be, but probably the raptors are a bit noisy? Also I guess the GPU is going to be a bit noisy.

Do you think it's worth getting a silent case or is that going to be bad for the airflow and cooling?


Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

The 975 is a waste of money, swap it out for a 920 and overclock it, save yourself $750 (I don't even think the 950 is really worth it either, but I'm cheap). You also may want to look into some HDDs with a larger cache.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by veedubfreak View Post
That pc&p 800 is a good psu. I dont think pc&p makes a bad psu. Also the zeon and i7 models are essentially identical other than cost.

Also, just a note, the ONLY difference between a "pc" and a "mac" is that a mac can run OSX. A mac IS a pc. Apple needs to stop being stupid.
Veedub, I dont think its a PC Power and Cooling PSU. I originally thought that as well, but looking again it says 'Power Supply & Case Cooling' so i think it is something else.

Those raptors might be a bit noisy, the HD4870x2 will be fairly loud. One of the main things you can do to keep it quite is to get an aftermarket cooler with some quite fans on it and the case. Look for fans that are <1800rpm, <25dBA, but still have a high CFM.

If you look into something like a Quadro it will probably be quiter also. For your price range you probably wouldnt be looking at the highest end professional cards (which are based off similar designs to the high end gaming cards), you would be looking at a more mid-range product which would have a smaller or slower chip and require less cooling. A mid-range professional card, however, would beat the crap out of any gaming card in Maya and other 3D programs.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: High performance PC vs Mac Pro

Instead of paying a lot of money for a Quadro or FireGL card, you can easily get a Geforce or Radeon card which has the same GPU as a Quadro or FireGL/FirePro, and install the Quadro/FirePro/FireGL drivers on it.

Just download the appropriate Quadro/FirePro drivers, and literally add one line to the driver's .inf.
That way, you get a much cheaper Quadro/FireGL/FirePro card.

I just did it using one of my 4870's:



http://sites.google.com/site/apokali...dification.PNG
In this case, I just copied the line for the FirePro 8700 (which is the same as the 4870), and changed the device ID to match my card in device manager (from PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9456 to PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9440)

Then I could just install the modified driver with my 4870.

Voila! a USD $150 card is now a $900 card!

For FirePro drivers:
Graphics Drivers & Software
select your OS -> FirePro -> FirePro 8700 = 4870 512MB/1GB, FirePro 8750 = 4870 2GB
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