Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Dream Machine

Mac ProWell done Apple, you've created my dream machine. Too bad it's so damn expensive. My ideal configuration is as follows:

  • Two 3GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
  • 4GB (4 x 1GB)
  • Hard Drive - Bay 1: 250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
  • Hard Drive - Bay 2: 500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
  • 2 x NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT 256MB
  • Apple Cinema HD Display (23" flat panel)
  • 2 x SuperDrives
  • Both Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and AirPort Extreme
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
  • AppleCare
  • Subtotal: $6,436.00

The nice thing about owning one of these bad boys is you could run several copies of Linux and Windows (using VMWare and/or Parallels). I could literally buy one machine and have 5 in a matter of hours. Hmmm, I should probably bump up that ram to 8GB.

It's tempting, but that's a lot of cash to shell out for a machine. Then again, the more write-offs the better. ;-)

Posted in Mac OS X at Aug 07 2006, 08:47:11 PM MDT 14 Comments
Comments:

Buy the RAM elsewhere, save $500. Bump the first drive to 500, since you want RAID 1, right? ;o) Buy the dell 24inch, save $200+ Drop a superdrive (you'll need it for the bluray, eventually). And drop an nvidia. Those cards have two outputs each. Well, unless you have 3+ monitors.

Posted by pfm on August 08, 2006 at 02:16 AM MDT #

pfm - new price with your suggested changes: $5,286. I already have one 23" monitor, so I kept that option. If you're going to do dual monitors, having the same model for both is essential IMO.

Where the best place to buy aftermarket RAM for this sucker?

Posted by Matt Raible on August 08, 2006 at 05:39 AM MDT #

Do you really need this :) Seem like you have an Apple fetish.

Posted by Sanjiv Jivan on August 08, 2006 at 09:33 AM MDT #

well, I've always like crucial.com. Nice balance of reliability and good prices.

They don't have the new pro macs in their ram chooser yet (I'm sure they'll have it soon), but you want Fully Buffered DDR2 667 Mhz Ram. This seems to be the correct link.

The 1GB chips seem to be the best bang for your buck. Three of those would be ~$540, so about half of the 4 GB upgrade on the apple site.

I do see that the apple installed DIMMs have a heat sink with them (expansion page, upper right.) Not sure how much that matters.

And for the paired monitors, I suppose you want a matched pair if you have them both horizontal, but I run one horiz and one vert (more code fits on the vert). The dell rotates, and has a 7 format card reader in it to boot.

You can also buy a hard drive separately. 500 GB Serial ATA from a decent brand like hitachi is $250. So upgrade the included one to 500, buy the second one from some place like OWC.

Posted by pfm on August 08, 2006 at 11:08 AM MDT #

sorry, forgot the dell monitor link. $750.

Posted by pfm on August 08, 2006 at 11:32 AM MDT #

pfm is right on the money in terms of saving it. I've been using Dell monitors and Crucial memory with my Macs for years. I have never had trouble with either brand. Choosing a Cinema display over a Dell monitor is the equivalent of buying the black Macbook over the white Macbook. If aesthetics are worth $250, then go for it. I also don't think the 3Ghz is worth $800 over the 2.66. My Mac Pro priced out at 3500 including tax. with the only splurge being the ATI card for 3D work. Crucial has 2GB kits for 343 shipped. I'll just use my Lacie Triple for extra storage if I need it right now. That's under 4K for one kicking ass expandable workstation.

Posted by Jason on August 08, 2006 at 03:59 PM MDT #

I am thinking same thing. One problem w/ Apple is there is no cachine disc controllers for it. (a disc controler w/ memory and nq, so that it smooths out r/w for much faster io). A linux box there is plenty. What to do? Buy this and upgrade? .V

Posted by Vic on August 08, 2006 at 04:51 PM MDT #

One other thing to remember is if you do go with RAID (esp 1), it's much better to have EXACT matching drives, including brand/model, so either wait a bit and see if someone posts the exact model for the included drive and match it, or just buy two of the size you like.

as for the 800 dollars, you are getting an extra 1.4 ghz for it (remember, it's four cores. ;o) But ya, the 2.66 is the best bang for the buck.

Posted by pfm on August 08, 2006 at 10:52 PM MDT #

Hi Matt, Maybe this is not the right place to ask this but I wanna to buy a Apple (Intel core) laptop mainly for development purpose. I am a windows user now (with a little bit of SUSE linux of course!) and have never used a Mac computer before. So I want to know is there any special problem with these tools on apple notebooks (& win running on them!) that you have heard: 1. Eclipse 3.2 (with FacesIDE) 2. Tomcat 5.x 3. MySQL 5.x 4. Oracle 10g 5. JDK 1.5 This question maybe seems dumb but I have heard many bad things about apple notebooks and just do not know that they are related to MacOS or on windows they will catch me again ;) -Thanks for appFuse and your great blog

Posted by Ach on August 29, 2006 at 06:34 AM MDT #

Most Java tools will still work, especially the open source ones. You may have issues with high-priced tools like Oracle, WebSphere, etc. However, you can always get Parallels and run Windows if you really need to use those tools.

Posted by Matt Raible on August 29, 2006 at 07:23 AM MDT #

PCConnection has a good deal now. $2344.00 for a stock 2.66 Mac Pro. No tax, free shipping, $150 rebate from $2494 price.

Posted by Ted Bergeron on September 04, 2006 at 12:05 PM MDT #

You want to add the ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI) card. It will be the best $250 you spend.

Even in the MacPro, the 7300 offers sluggish performance. It's important to do this when you order the computer because availability of third party cards at this point is virtually non-existent.

Posted by Glenn Wolsey on April 15, 2007 at 02:00 AM MDT #

[Trackback] It sure is cool when dreams come true. Look what arrived at the Denver office today. Update: Believe it or not, I rebooted my MacBook Pro the same minute I plugged in my Mac Pro. Upon reboot, the MBP choked and I've been looking at a ...

Posted by Raible Designs on July 15, 2008 at 10:00 PM MDT #

Congratulations on your new dream machine. The title of your post reminds me of the song "Dream machine" on this album: http://www.amazon.com/Hotel-Costes-Vol-St├ęphane-Pompougnac/dp/B000A1IK5G/

Posted by Thilo Ettelt on January 22, 2009 at 03:37 PM MST #

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