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  • saneproductions - Sunday, August 27, 2006 - link

    I just picked up a 2.66 MP 2GB and got some SATA-eSATA PCI plates to route the 2 hidden SATA ports to my eSATA drive and it was a no go. I tried both having the drive powered up then booting (system hung at the gray screen) and powering on the drive after the MP was up and running (nothing happened). any ideas?

    Mike
    Reply
  • blwest - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    I received my Mac Pro last Friday afternoon. It's absolutely wonderful. It's also absolutely silent.

    The 7300 card also isn't that bad either. I could play World of Warcraft at 1600x1200 at reasonably high settings. Expose worked very smoothly, overall the system's performance screams in comparision to Windows XP. Running stock setup like on Anand's review.
    Reply
  • mycatsnameis - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    I see that Crucial is shipping 4 gig FB PC5400 DIMMs. I wonder if these can be used in a Mac Pro? In the past the max memory capacity that Apple has quoted (for pro or consumer machines) has generally been conservative and related more to the size of DIMMs that are generally available than any actual h/w limit. Reply
  • nitromullet - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    With boot camp and a Windows XP install, is the Mac Pro Crossfire capable? I don't imagine that OS X has drivers for that, but that wouldn't be the point anyway - use the Windows install for gaming and the OS X install for everything else... Reply
  • dcalfine - Saturday, August 12, 2006 - link

    I imagine that getting crossfire to work is a matter of simple firmware flashing. With SLI, the motherboard supports it, but the Mac OS doesn't. But because crossfire depends mostly on the crossfire card, flashing the card with Mac firmware, which often works with other cards, (see Strange Dog Forums, http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/index.cgi?board...">http://strangedogs.proboards40.com/index.cgi?board... should allow it to work. I'd be interested in trying this, if I had the funding.

    Apple should be doing something to get dual- or even quad-gpu solutions on macs, since now each mac pro is a quad-processor.
    Reply
  • tshen83 - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    Hey anandtech, the more interesting option for GPU is actually the QUAD 7300GT powering over 8 screens. I was wondering if Apple's OSX is able to push 3D or overlay stuff on all 8 screens like Linux could. Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    As far as I know, Apple's been able to do this for far longer than Linux could :) Reply
  • tshen83 - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    Hey anandtech, the more interesting option for GPU is actually the QUAD 7300GT powering over 8 screens. I was wondering if Apple's OSX is able to push 3D or overlay stuff on all 8 screens like Linux could. Reply
  • OddTSi - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    Are there any plans for non-ad hoc, fast serial RAM or is Rambus the only one even attempting something like that with their new XDR memory? Reply
  • kobymu - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    There is QDR.... Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    fb dimms, found in Mac Pros, are fast serial ram using DDR chips. Reply
  • OddTSi - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    Perhaps you missed the part where I said "non-ad hoc."

    I know what FB-DIMMs are, but they're more of a band-aid fix or a hack than a ground-up design.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    Maybe you misused "ad hoc". Ad hoc means unplanned and temporary. Why do you think fb-dimm is a band-aid or a hack? Because the RAM chips themselves are not serial in nature?

    I mean, are you asking "Is there any designs or plans for serial memory chips?"

    To be cost effective you either have to use existing infrastructure, or create a logical evolution/adaptation of the existing infrastructure.
    Reply
  • AdvanS13 - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    does anyone know apples market segment share for dual processor workstations? Reply
  • peternelson - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link


    1) I think a gpu swap will need drivers or firmware updating.

    2) To buy a commodity sata drive is good but it MIGHT require the apple carrier in order to fit into the chassis.

    3) You compare apple memory with commodity FBDIMM.
    In the table you quote Apple's UPGRADE (ie on top of base machine) price against the complete cost of the memory. This makes Apple's pricing appear better than it is. Even then it looks like a ripoff, but also consider they are charging you for the base memory in with the basic system price.

    Reply
  • aliasfox - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    As far as I've read, the Mac Pros come with carriers in all four bays - carriers that don't need cables (ribbon or round). Didn't know the backs of SATA drives were similar enough that they could just be plugged in. Reply
  • JeffDM - Saturday, August 12, 2006 - link

    It's not stated in the Anand article, but all drive carriers are included. Apple's Tech Specs page says it, although it could have been more clearly stated. For what it's worth, I think it is worth downgrading the stock drive to 160GB and spending that difference toward additional drives. Going from 250GB to 160GB saves $75, that price difference would buy you a 250GB SATAII drive. Reply
  • JAS - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    It appears that some people managed to receive their Mac Pro quickly.

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/macword/2006/08/ma...">http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/macword/2006/08/ma...
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2006/06/26/xeon_wood...">http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/2006/06/2...odcrest_...

    Check out the memory bandwidth benchmark. Quad channel is needed to match Core 2 systems' memory bandwidth using only dual channel. Dual channel on Xeon 5100 drops to approximately 68% of the quad channel bandwidth. That in numbers is 3.8GB/sec. Not to mention Xeon 5100 series has 25% higher memory FSB. It needs 25% higher FSB and 2x memory channels to achieve the same memory bandwidth numbers the desktop Core 2's can. According to memory latency benchmarks, the latency is also significantly higher on the Woodcrest than Conroe's platform.

    The chipset on the Xeon 5100 is worse in performance than the chipset on the Core 2. It will NOT beat Core 2 because of the 25% higher FSB, it will rather be SLOWER. Not to mention FB-DIMM makes it even slower.

    SpecFP benchmarks also support this:
    Xeon 5160(3GHz/1333MHz FSB/4MB L2/8x1024MB FB-DIMM DDR2-667): 2775
    Core 2 Extreme X6800(2.93GHz/1066MHz FSB/4MB L2/2x1024MB DDR2-800 5-5-5-15): 3046

    Core 2 Extreme gets almost 10% higher in the memory substem portion of the SpecCPU 2K. benchmark, even though it has 2.2% less clock speed than the Xeon 5160.

    Look here: http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2772&am...">http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2772&am...

    "ScienceMark didn't agree completely and reported about 65-70 ns latency on the Opteron system and 70-76 ns (230 cycles) on the Woodcrest system. We have reason to believe that Woodcrest's latency is closer to what LMBench reports: the excellent prefetchers are hiding the true latency numbers from Sciencemark. It must also be said that the measurements for the Opteron on the Opteron are only for the local memory, not the remote memory."

    Xeon 5160 got 70-76ns in ScienceMark, what did Core 2 get?? It got 36.75. Xeon 5160's ScienceMark latency is higher than Pentium Extreme Edition 965's latency, and twice the latency of Core 2.

    Everest shows the same thing: http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2006/0801/graph...">http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/2006/0801/graph...

    Xeon 5160: 99.1
    Opteron 285: 57.7(seems higher than FX-62 results but this system uses Registered DDR DIMM, you can see in AT's results that AM2 further lowers latency)

    Core 2 Extreme: 59.8
    http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...">http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?...

    Reply
  • dcalfine - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Overall, I think this is a very well-designed system, and in price comparisons with Dell, the Mac Pro came out over a thousand dollars cheaper for a similar system. I may be a fanboy, but I can admit that Apple still has some work to do here. As good as the Mac Pro is, I think Apple needs to start having better video options. For starters, the X500 chipset is used, which means that there's only one 16X PCIe lane. Also, Apple should get closer with Nvidia and start working in SLI, as well as FX4500X2 and FX5500. A Vanilla FX4500 just doesn't make the cut anymore. Also, the X500 chipset supports one 133X PCIX slot, which, I think, Apple should have incorporated, since not every expansion card has moved to the PCIe format.

    I'd like to see some speed comparisons between the mac pro and some pcs. I imagine that in most (if not all) test the Mac Pro will come out slightly slower than the PC due to the bells and whistles of Mac OS X, but I'd like to see just how much slower it runs, and how it runs in Boot Camp running Windows/Linux.

    But, yeah. Good goin', Apple!
    And AnandTech, get your hans on one of these ASAP!
    Reply
  • vladik007 - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Flashing PC video cards to work on G5 was possible and in my own experience also rock solid. I have 2 G5;s at home ( one 2.0Ghz very 1st released ) and 2.7ghz. PNY 6800 GT with 2120 firmware has worked for over a year now and ZERO crashes in that time in both of them.

    So if PC videocards will NOT work in Mac Pro by just simply sliding in , firmware flashing will.
    Reply
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Anand, has Apple/Nvidia/ATI commented on what video card compatibility will be like with the Mac Pros over the PowerMacs? With the PowerMacs, PC video cards were incompatible due to OpenFirmware and more importantly endian issues. The Mac Pro however is EFI and not OpenFirmware, and there are no endian issues, which gives everyone a lot of hope that the system may be able to take on vanilla 7900's and the like.

    Has anyone said anything on this matter going one way or another?
    Reply
  • blwest - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    I'll know tonight when I try to slap my 7800gt into the box! Reply
  • artifex - Friday, August 11, 2006 - link

    He never came back... maybe he blew up his new Mac Pro? Reply
  • archcommus - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Given that this hardware is just like a PC and 100% x86, and given that the new OS X is designed to run on that hardware, what is REALLY the obstacle in getting OS X to run on our own Windows and Linux machines? Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Monday, August 14, 2006 - link

    yep OSX does not use the bios. It needs efi Reply
  • AaronAxvig - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    They still have the EFI boot system, no? Reply
  • mrgq912 - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Back when Apple made they announcement that they were going to switch from power pc to intel cpus. I thought why intel and not amd? Now it seems that Intel must have shown them what their new hardware is capable of, and Apple didn't even need to think twice about the move. Good call by apple.

    But I still won't buy closed system like Mac pro.
    Reply
  • hmurchison - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    Please don't take offense to this but that was really a silly statement. Back in the days when you had differing hardware between Macs and PCs you could say the Mac was more closed. Nowadays you have the ability to run OS X, Windows and Linux simultaneously and a lot of hardware will just plug and play with the appropriae minidrivers in the OS. Reply
  • mrgq912 - Saturday, August 12, 2006 - link

    none taken. i didn't know that mac pros allowed you to switch video cards and memory. I always wanted to use the mac os for every day use, and have windows for games and such. But now the only thing stopping me is the price. Reply
  • mesyn191 - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    They already said it was a supply and not a performance issue that made them go with Intel... Reply
  • hmurchison - Thursday, August 10, 2006 - link

    IBM wanting more money to develop the PPC 970 didn't help either. Moving to Intel was good. Reply
  • michael2k - Wednesday, August 09, 2006 - link

    Why not?

    The only thing closed about the Mac Pro is the motherboard; every other component can be replaced (CPU via socket, memory via sticks, video cards via PCIe, HDD via SATA, ODD via IDE), and the thing boots Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Linux.
    Reply

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