TECH Building Whoop Ass Mac Pro on the Cheap


New Member
Jan 11, 2002
I'm waiting on a long process to finish, and I can't do crap until its done because its profiling and I can't load the machine up.

I'm tired of doing hardcore computing on a Macbook Pro. I'm thinking about getting a Mac Pro next year. Thing is, no way I'm paying for the beefy shit they sell. Fuck Apple and their $10K for a workstation.

I'm looking at this:

$2400 for a base refurb Mac Pro - dual 2.8 Ghz quad cores.

I'd need to take the RAM to 8GB. Yes, I use it. I wail on Postgres all day long, MySQL is also running, and I run a lot of programs at once in my workflow - lots of FF tabs,, Tweetdeck, Adium, Calendar on/off, my timer app, terminals, apache, a virtualbox ubuntu machine, Excel, etc. I don't know what RAM I need or how expensive it is.

I also want 'fuck-you fast' disks for database stuff and file searches. I don't want to pay for a RAID controller, and as much as I love them SAS disks are probably out of my budget. So I need 3 fast SATA drives. 10K rpm, 15K rpm... whatever is available thats fast. I don't keep up, and I don't know whats a good value. I intend to put them on a 3 disk RAID-Z zpool, and put everything but the OS on those disks.

Then, I will remote desktop in and work on the beast. It won't even have a monitor. World Computing/64FB2MPK08GB/ This place says 8GB is only $185. Not bad.

2 * 74GB usable space for 148GB at $360:

2 * 150GB usable space for 300GB at $510:

Hmmm... might make sense to get the 3 * 74s, and put code and DBs there. And then if I need more space, get another drive. But I doubt I will, I use S3. So the 74s would do me right.

So thats... $545 in upgrade parts needed, on top of the $2300. Thats not bad for an 8GB/dual quad core/fast as fuck SATA/RAIDZ workstation... hmmm...

Am I missing anything here? This seems like an economical way to get a bad ass workstation.


New Member
Jan 11, 2002
Is there really no way to get a hardware RAID controller card on the cheap?

That's the main problem I see.

Not interested. Won't pay for RAID. Would rather run a RAIDZ zpool with ZFS.

Although someone mentioned that a single SSD might be faster than 3 velociraptors.

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