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Which Mac Pro to Buy

First thing you need to know about Mac Pro is that it’s extremely fast. Not only that, but it’s smooth, tube-shaped look, makes it almost a masterpiece. It is Apple’s most expensive computer and it’s not for all. You must think carefully, before you buy this kind of machine, especially considering what you will be using it for. Professional photographers, creative designers, computer animators and artists will profit most from it.

That being said, let us take a look at the different models, with an emphasis on performance.

Here is our guide on which Mac Pro to buy.

Which Mac Pro to Buy

Based on price there are two basic configurations:

 

Mac Pro (basic price of $2,999):

Intel Xeon E5 processor, 3.7GHz Quad-Core

Dual 2GB AMD FirePro D300 graphics cards

12GB DDR3 ECC memory at 1866MHz

256GB flash storage (PCI)

 

Mac Pro (basic price $3,999):

Intel Xeon E5 processor, 3.5GHz 6-Core

Dual 3GB AMD FirePro D500 graphics cards

16GB DDR3 ECC memory at 1866MHz

256GB flash storage (PCI)

 

Apple also provides customizations and upgrades depending on your desire. It can get a little pricey, a high-end Mac Pro can add up over $9,000:

 

3.0GHz 8-core processor or 2.7GHz 12-core processor (ranging from $500 to $3,500)

Dual 6GB AMD FirePro D700 graphics cards (with an extra $1,000)

16GB, 32GB, or 64GB of RAM (from $100 to $1,300)

512GB or 1TB of flash storage (from $300 to $800)

 

Unlike the Mac Pro tower, the Mac Pro doesn’t have space for extra cards or drives, so you exclusively rely on the external ports. Thankfully, Apple incorporates a bunch of them:

 

Dual Gigabit Ethernet

An HDMI port

Four USB 3 ports

Six Thunderbolt 2 ports

 

Performance

The Mac Pro is the fastest Mac out there, as long as you take advantage of its multi-core processor by using professional software.

Numerous benchmarks, such as Geekbench 3, concluded (using 64 bit tests) that the Mac Pro, with a 12 core Intel Xeon E5-2697, is the best performer. The Intel Xeon E5-1680 (8 cores) came in second, shortly followed by the Intel Xeon X5650 (12 cores). Looking at these tests you can clearly see that upgrading your processor is very useful.

If you plan to use your Mac solely as a general computer, utilizing basic software, such as web browser, e-mail or basic audio or video editors then you are better off buying an iMac. The Mac Pro just doesn’t perform as well when it comes to single core apps. The 27 inch Retina iMac, with an Intel Core i7-4790K, is probably your best buy.

Another important component when it comes to performance is your graphics card. Tests have shown that a bunch of applications respond better when using the double graphics GPUs. Games (not all) however, as well as some apps, are not built to benefit from two graphic processors, so keep that in mind and inform yourself before making your purchase.

Which Mac Pro to Buy

Following the release of the Retina Display, back in 2014, many pro users thought that the 5K, 27 inch display will be better suited for them, but the Mac Pro remains superior. Tests conducted by the same Geekbench, on multi-core processing, shows that the 12-core processor is nearly twice as fast as the Retina iMac. In addition to this, the 8-core is 55% faster, while the 6-core is 27% faster. The only Mac Pro to be beaten by the Retina iMac is the quad-core, and only by 15%.

Another downside of the Mac Pro compared to the Retina iMac is that it does not support 5K displays, but you can use three displays with 4K resolutions.

However, don’t think for one second that you can trick fate and use the Retina 5K as an external display on your Mac Pro, because the Pro can’t support the target display mode.

Which one should you get?

Simply put, if you use top of the line professional software, that benefits from multi-core processing,  get a Mac Pro. As we established earlier, the Mac Pro is the fastest, most reliable for this type of work and in the long term your investment will eventually pay off.

As many other users, you may just like the Mac Pro for its design and if you happen to have enough money you should consider getting one. It is the smallest desktop after all.

After deciding to buy a Mac Pro you must consider what model to get. This is entirely up to you and what you are willing to spend. The 12-core processor is clearly the best, but you can get things done with a 6-core, or even with a quad-core depending on your line of work. But don’t forget that the Retina iMac ($2,499) outperforms the quad-core ($3,999) in 3-core benchmarks.

As in all computers more RAM is always better. It is ideally to have 32GB or more. You may be able to save some money when it comes to the HDD, seeing how the Mac Pro cannot go over 1TB. Do not worry; you can still use external RAID drives to boost your capacity.

Images source: apple.com, 9to5mac.com

MacBook Pro Hard Drive Replacement with SSD

Updating your Macbook’s old hard drive to a newer SSD drive is a great way of prolonging your computer’s life. It also means that your Mac will perform a lot faster and a lot quieter as SSDs do not have any moving parts in them. This post will teach you the in’s and outs of a Macbook Pro hard drive replacement. Read on to find out more.

Even though in the past SSD prices were very expensive, nowadays a spacious SSD starts from $60 for a 120GB drive, $120 for 250GB, $230 for 500GB and $420 for a 1TB storage capacity. Though they still aren’t as cheap as traditional drives, the prices are more affordable than past prices.

The Macbook Pro hard drive replacement in an older MacBook, Mac Pro or Mac mini with a SSD one will make it perform a lot faster in OS X. If you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing, however, we recommend that you ask a more tech-savvy friend to help you with the replacement as there is a possibility that you could damage your Mac. Also, you can use a SSD externally, as long as you connect it to a faster port than USB 2.0 or FireWire 800, like USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt.

Macbook Pro Hard Drive Replacement SSD Upgrade

macbook pro hard drive replacement

MacBooks and MacBook Pros with aluminum bodies made in 2012 or prior can be upgraded with internal SSDs. To complete this macbook pro ssd upgrade, you will need a Philips #00 screwdriver, a Torx T6 screwdriver and a flat head screwdriver to update your hard drive to a SSD on a MacBook or MacBook Pro. Follow these easy steps in order to update the drive on your computer:

First, you need to back up your old hard drive using Time Machine. Turn off your computer and remove your MacBook’s bottom cover. After that, remove the traditional hard drive from your laptop and replace it with the SSD. After you’ve replaced your old drive with the SSD one, reattach the bottom cover and that’s it. You are good to go.

MacBook Pro SSD Upgrade

mac-pro-ssd

The current generation of Mac Pros ship with very fast and large SSDs, but the first generation came with traditional hard drives. If you have a first generation Mac Pro you will be happy to know that it’s very easy to replace the hard drive and your computer will definitely benefit from the increase in transfer speeds. You will, however, have to purchase a 2.5” to 3.5” adapter bracket to be able to place the smaller SSD inside the large drive bay in the MacPro.

After attaching your SSD to the adapter bracket all you have to do is basically flip the rear latch on your MacPro, pull out the side panel and drive bay, then replace your old HDD with your new solid state drive. That’s it.

Mac mini SSD Update

mac-mini-ssd

Because replacing the traditional drive with a SSD one on a unibody Mac mini requires more effort and skill than for Mac Pros and MacBooks we recommend you leave this on the hands of a professional. You would have to disassemble the chassis, fan and antenna before being able to disconnect the mother board and hard drive on a Mac mini so it’s best you don’t do this on your own.

However, if you do want a SSD drive on your Mac mini you can add one externally by using its Thunderbolt port, on the 2011 model or the USB 3.0 ports on the 2012 one. But if you have a model older than that, the USB 2.0 ports or Firewire 800 won’t handle the transfer speeds of an SSD.

Keep your software

The best way to keep your old software on the newly installed SSD is by using Time Machine.

You can make a backup of your old hard drive with the help of Time Machine on an external HDD. After you complete backing up everything, simply turn off your computer and replace your old drive with the SSD. When restarting your computer be sure to hold down Command and R. Use Disk Utility to format your newly installed SSD (make sure to select Mac Extended + Journal) and restore your software from the Time Machine backup. This process usually takes hours but it’s the best way to get a new installation of the OS X complete with everything else you had on it.

So there you have it. This was our short guide on how to update traditional hard drive to SSD on Mac.

Images source: 9to5mac.com

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