2 Replies Latest reply: Jul 6, 2009 12:12 PM by rollerbones
rollerbones Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Ok, I just bought a used 2008 Mac Pro (dual 2.66).
I have a few questions so I can set this up, I am reading forums now but was hoping this may be quicker.

I don't game any more.
I use Lightroom (just purchased a Canon 50d, pics are 20meg each in raw and need backed up)
I want to run a few VM's at once, Which is better? (Parallels or virtualbox)
What amount of memory should I have in this?
Which drives are best and are they raided? (or should I just do external Time machine?)

One more item, If I want to run a web server in a VM would it be wise to purchase a separate network card to divide off traffic?

Thanks for any responses.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (246,995 points)
    Regarding VM alternatives:

    Windows on Intel Macs

    There are presently several alternatives for running Windows on Intel Macs.

    1. Install the Apple Boot Camp software. Purchase Windows XP w/Service Pak 2 or Vista. Follow instructions in the Boot Camp documentation on installation of Boot Camp, creating Driver CD, and installing Windows. Boot Camp enables you to boot the computer into OS X or Windows.

    2. Parallels Desktop for Mac and Windows XP, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate. Parallels is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.

    3. VM Fusionand Windows XP, Vista Business, or Vista Ultimate. VM Fusion is software virtualization that enables running Windows concurrently with OS X.

    4. CrossOver which enables running many Windows applications without having to install Windows. The Windows applications can run concurrently with OS X.

    5. VirtualBox is a new Open Source freeware virtual machine such as VM Fusion and Parallels that was developed by Solaris. It is not yet fully developed for the Mac - some features are not yet implemented - but it does work otherwise.

    6. Last is Q. Q is a freeware emulator that is compatible with Intel Macs. It is much slower than the virtualization software, Parallels and VM Fusion.

    Note that Parallels and VM Fusion can also run other operating systems such as Linux, Unix, OS/2, Solaris, etc. There are performance differences between dual-boot systems and virtualization. The latter tend to be a little slower (not much) and do not provide the video performance of the dual-boot system.

    See MacTech.com's Virtualization Benchmarking for comparisons of Boot Camp, Parallels, and VM Fusion.

    Boot Camp is only available with Leopard. The Boot Camp Beta that was used with Tiger has expired and is no longer available for use. So contrary to the other poster's comment, Boot Camp isn't truly "free." You must purchase Leopard to get it.

    A single VM can use 1 GB of RAM or more. If you plan to run several of them at the same time, then you will need to consider their RAM needs in determining how much RAM to install.

    The Mac Pro can accommodate four SATA drives internally. OS X provides software RAID capability through Disk Utility. Since external drives are slower than internal drives you may want to do Time Machine backups to an internal drive. As for which drives are best, that's dependent on manufacturer, drive size, drive specs, etc. There is no specific answer. But you can find drive reviews and benchmarks at Bare Feats, Storage Review, and Tom's Hardware Review.

    For information on adding RAM see the following:

    About RAM installation in the Mac Pro

    Mac Pro memory arrangement photos
    Mac Pro Memory Configuration
    Memory Tests- "2008" Mac Pro

    Ram should be installed minimally in matched pairs and optimally in matched quads. This means the memory modules are the same size and specifications. They should also be equipped with the Apple-certified style of heat sink.
  • rollerbones Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks, I already own Parallels and it does decent so I will prob. continue on that.

    I am getting ready to list my Macbook Unibody tonight then I need to look for a good used Mac Pro. It has worked well for me the past 9 months but I need something less portable.
    The one I just bought "supposedly" was already sold so I need to look for another.

    Guess i will be searching eBay until I find another good deal.