Observations on the Mac Pro

2006-10-26 03:59:05 -08:00

  • Wow, this thing is big. So much larger than my Cube.
  • I need a DVI-to-ADC adapter to use my ADC-based monitor. Suck.
  • The Cube effect is yummy.
  • Finally, I get to play all these games and watch all these videos without asking to use mom’s iBook!
  • It’s nice to look at my CPU Usage (not-yet-finished 0.4) and see as many as three cores (did I mention that it’s a quad?) running at 0%.
  • I no longer need hubs. I no longer need the external USB speakers (with headphone jack) nor iMic, freeing up two USB ports (exactly how many my Cube had). So now I can plug my keyboard into the first, my monitor into the second, and my printer into the third. If I still need more ports (e.g. flash memory), I have two on the front.
  • Speaking of which, I no longer need my FireWire repeater either. I can plug my iPod into the front FireWire port.
  • The headphones also plug into the front, but they jut out too far for my comfort. I’ll buy an L connector at Radio Shack to avoid me shearing off the headphone connector in the jack.
  • The drive bay covers slide down, rather than flapping open like a drawbridge. That’s cool.
  • Computer name: “Four-Sided Cheese Grater”. (Did I mention that it’s a quad?)
  • Rosetta works well. ShadowIRC (PPC-only) doesn’t seem any slower on this machine than it did on my Cube.
  • Apps that behaved slowly on my Cube (e.g. QS) are quite fast on this one.
  • OmniWeb actually launches fairly quickly on this machine. Not like Safari, though: half a bounce.
  • I look forward to doing a make -j4 (or maybe more).
  • As Colin points out, I have gone from last to first in terms of Adium committer developer processing power. (UPDATE 05:57: Andreas Monitzer, one of our GSoC students, has a 3 GHz four-core Mac Pro; mine is only 2.66 GHz. Rats.)
  • I now have a much better reason for recompiling my various command-line utilities, as I tend to do whenever moving to a new machine. This time, I’m changing architectures.
  • The Mac Pro is wider than my Cube, making it a better platform for my headphones (each ear pivots, so I can stand it up on them rather than having to hang or lie the headphones somewhere).
  • In the box, there’s a 3″ DVI–DVI cable. One end is a female DVI connector; the other end is a male DVI connector. I see no difference in pinouts; therefore, I am at a loss to explain what this cable is for.
  • There’s no Eject button on the computer; you’re supposed to use the one on the keyboard for that, but I’d rather not unplug my perfectly-good iKey just to get an Eject button. So I’ll just have to add the Eject menu extra to my menu bar.
  • No more convection cooling. ☹
  • Startup time (from *bong* to loginwindow): 18 seconds. This compares to 45 seconds for the Cube. The progress bar goes from 0 to 100% in less than a second.

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