Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Mac Pro to go...

Well, it's been several days since my Mac Pro arrived. I've added 2 hard drives, bought OS X for Dummies and many applications. I've learned some of the (in my opinion) negatives, and found myself still in awe of the beast. Here are a few things that SLIGHTLY disappoint me.

  1. No Thunderbolt ports - due to the limitations of the Xeon processor and main board.
  2. No USB3 ports
  3. Not one single consumer level PCIe sound card is compatible with Mac.

Well, that's the long list of negatives. Not much really for most users, there are solutions for all but the Thunderbolt.

  1. No solution for Thunderbolt, not likely to ever be one due ti Intel's spec. on the interface. It prohibits certain things that could be incorporated into a PCIe card that would provide a Thunderbolt connection.
  2. Add in cards available, reliability is questionable on some cards.
  3. There are external USB / TOSLINK solutions that are inexpensive. There are pricey solutions too (high end PRO sound cards, home theater systems, high end speakers with internal processing and amplification). I'm going to try one of the external sound cards and see how that goes. Actually, the 2.1 sound is fine for me at the house, my satellite speakers are so close together it doesn't really matter. My Altec Lansing 5.1 system easily configures to 2.1 and it's still loud and clear, and the SUB booms away when called to do so.

Now for the good stuff. This thing is a speed demon. Sure there are faster systems out there, but they are over clocked and water cooled for the most part. If you dabble in Video editing and transcoding as I do, there is nothing better that the Xeon processors. This this really crunches code like no body's business. Crunch all the A/V you want to, and still this system is responsive and happily doing day to day mundane tasks. I realize that some people do have highly modified systems that are faster, but you have to realize I'm replacing an OLD 2x core Athlon 4800+ system (over clocked to 2.4 GHz). I was happy with it, and it was a VERY reliable Linux / Win7 workhorse, but it's not even on the same planet as the Mac Pro.

When the newness wares off, I'll be upgrading the Mac. Bigger faster HD's, SSD boot drive, more memory, new peripherals and so on. Payday, I'll be replacing the free burning software (that gets the job done, but I want moe) with Roxio Toast.

Software in general disappoints me. I love Sony Vegas for NLE editing, but I'm disappointed to find out that there is no Mac version (just like with Linux). This means I'll be considering FinalCut Pro. I just hate having to learn a new user interface. NLE's are all different, and FCP has the reputation of poor transcoding (unlike Vegas) which means I also need the famed Composer software as a companion. $$$ much learning, reading, mistakes.

Well, Mac is a new world for me, I won't cry about the software I leave behind though. I love learning new powerful applications (remember when we used to call the programs back in the 80's).

Lights out, bedtime calls...


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