This New Mac Pro Sounds Kick ASS!

Apple Introduces New Mac Pro

Woah! This baby sounds bad ass! Is it finally time to upgrade my home office?

In 2006 I switched my primary computer (a laptop) from a crappy old Dell PC to a MacBook Pro. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. But maybe it’s time to really put something in the home that can process my photos like I *know* they need to be processed. And maybe I could finally even edit video.

I’d take the plunge today but I’m still conflicted as my home computer is my primary media server in my home and

1. iTunes sucks for large music libraries.
2. I like Microsoft’s Media Center extender strategy with the XBox 360s in my home.
3. Apple has no HD DVR strategy.

I’d consider just buying this baby and running Parallels, but I’m just not sure how well a system like that would do with my high end demands. Could I, for instance, be in the attic editing photos on the Mac and have Parallels effectively serving up media to my XBox 360 extender units somehow in the background? Somehow I doubt that pinning a giant media collection on the power of Parallels would be the smartest thing to do.

Oh, oh, oh, what’s early adopter to do? So tempting, but so conflicting.

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  1. Chris G. says:

    Well in theory, Parallels will just take one of the cores in your Mac Pro. VMWare Fusion I think will even let you assign how many cores it uses, so you could give 2 to Parallels and leave the rest to the Mac side. So your talking 6-7 cores left for use on the Mac side.

    Really it would work, you would just need to load that thing with a ton of RAM.

  2. Charlie Owen says:

    I’ve used a variety of virtual machine software on my Mac (including Paralells) and none of them perform as well on the Mac in regards to Windows Media Center. We don’t recommend you run Windows Media Center in a virtual machine and neither do we test in same. In addition, there are some features, (like TV tuning) which don’t work at all in a virtual environment. Not trying to discourage you — but do want you to know that if the Windows Media Center approach to life intrigues you and you want to go that direction you shouldn’t try to do it via a virtual machine.

  3. You could also give Connect360 a go on the mac for connecting to your 360s.

  4. PamalaLauren says:

    Parallels is good but I’m not sure it’s great for what you want to do. I just need it for Office and IE (stupid online school) and it has all the same issues a regular XP machine has.

  5. Tom H says:

    That thing sounds like a beast. I bought a 2x dual core Mac Pro a year ago, and to this day it still feels brand new. I can only imagine what this new model is like.

    Unfortunately I can’t offer any advice for your situation. I use Connect 360 and iTunes, but my audio library is 1/5 the size of yours.

  6. Thomas Hawk says:

    I’ve used a variety of virtual machine software on my Mac (including Paralells) and none of them perform as well on the Mac in regards to Windows Media Center. We don’t recommend you run Windows Media Center in a virtual machine and neither do we test in same.

    Charlie, more just speculating here than anything. As much trouble as I have with my media library with both Microsoft and Apple I don’t think I’d ever seriously consider this.

    The way I see it though it would be nice if you could somehow get the best of both worlds.

    Apple = rock solid consistent computing experience, great especially for photo editing, but lacks seriously in the home media space (no DVR, no extenders, etc.)

    Microsoft = great home media strategy (Media Center, XBox Extender), sub par computing experience.

    Neither of the two’s primary music players WMP11 or iTunes seem to do a very good job with large digital media collections.

    It would be nice to take the Media Center strategies of Microsoft and combine them with the rock solid stability of Apple and then top it all off with a first rate music player capable of effectively handling large media libraries.

    Now that would be something!

    My own strategy is probably to continue to circle the airport in my holding pattern until something compelling enough to plunk down some money comes along and to continue to try to make my current set up better — even if just incrementally.

    You could also give Connect360 a go on the mac for connecting to your 360s.

    I’m unfamiliar with this software would this give you a Media Center experience on your XBox 360 as an extender?

  7. Connect360 works great! I’ve been using it to make my Mac and my Xbox360 play well for some time. All it does it make your Xbox360 think you have a compatible computer.

    Oh, and Mike Dunn works for VMware…I’m sure he could help you understand if it’s really possible.

  8. Thomas says:

    Connect 360 works very well to send content to the xbox 360. It’s pretty seamless.

    As for a HD-DVR Elgato make one that works with the mac. See http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmenu/products/compare.en.html there are two HD options as far as I can tell. Hope this helps.

  9. I definitely recommend Connect360. It’s worked seamlessly with my girlfriend’s dad’s 360 whenever we wanted to listen to music or view photos. I haven’t tried movies though.

  10. Carl says:

    If you’re considering Windows and Parallels, you really ought to try JRiver Media Center. It works really well with large libraries, synchs with iPods (though I’m not sure about the iPhone and iPod touch) and is an excellent and flexible music player. I’ve got no financial connection to the company – just a happy customer. Note that I only use it for music, not for photos, videos, etc.

  11. Why not just keep the PC you’re using now as a media server, and use the Mac Pro for everything else?

  12. Steve M. says:

    With the news about the potential DirecTV PC device (HDPC-20), the question may soon be whether or not you replace your HR10-250 TiVo with a Media Center PC. A quiet Media Center PC in the living room, with extenders in the bedrooms, and a Mac Pro for working at a desktop. It’s something I’ll need to consider, if I can budget the few thousand for the upgrade, and if I can step away from TiVo.

  13. Anonymous says:

    i would definitely recommend VMWare Fusion over Parallels.

  14. alex says:

    haha… classic mac. Amazing 8 cores! 32 GB of RAM!

    and a piece of crap GPU from last year.

    Way to go Apple.

  15. Joe Pennant says:

    Look into Ubuntu. I did for professional reasons, but within 2 days I could find no good reason to buy an OSX Intel over a Duo or Quad Core. I feel like I am leaving the Dark Ages behind in OSX.

    I am agreeing with Mark Pilgrim.

    http://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/200x/2006/06/15/Switch-From-Mac