After struggling last week with the encoding process on my Mac Pro, I think I will take the plunge and look at “ring fencing” my Mac Pro as just a video editing and encoding machine and do most of my general computing on the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro is just fine for virtually all computing tasks, especially with the SSD drive installed.
The Mac Pro would benefit tremendously from a lean and mean build with the minimum of additional third party apps installed. I’ll be adding the Mac mini server into the mix soon and I’m hoping that will take a lot of the tasks away from both the MacPro and MacBook Pro. It seems criminal to use the Mac Pro just for video editing and encoding, but it really is a critical production machine and should be left as stable as possible.
So I’ve no issues with doing a rebuild on the Mac Pro I’m going to have to re-consider my monitor arrangement on my desktop.
Currently, I have three monitors on my desk.
On the left, I have a 20″ Dell in landscape mode. This is connected to the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro runs this as its primary monitor when on the desk.
In the center is a 30″ Dell connected to the Mac Pro along with a second 20″ Dell on the right hand side in Portrait mode, also connected to the Mac Pro as a secondary monitor.
The issue is that I feel more comfortable with having my primary machine on the central monitor. The problem is the primary machine will change dependent on the task at hand.
I could just connected the MacBook Pro to the 30″ Dell, but when editing, I like to have Final Cut Pro on the big display. I’ve tried a monitor switcher before but that didn’t work for me – too distracting having to switch between both machines.
One option might be to revert to a two monitor setup of equal size, and dispense with the central monitor. But then I’m not sure how ergonomicaly distruptive it would be to have no central monitor? The mouse and keyboard isn’t a problem as Teleport handles having a single mouse and keyboard.
So the options would be:
- I could sell the two 20″ dells and get another 30″ Dell. The current 30″ Dell is a couple of years old now so they wouldn’t match as far as brilliance and contrast, etc. I’m also wondering if the 30″ is just a bit too big, never mind two if them. You can get a refurbished Dell 30″ for £900 plus VAT.
- Or I could sell all three of my existing monitors and look at getting two newer 27″ Dells. The 27″ Dells work out at about £465 each plus VAT.
- Or I could sell all three and look at getting two new Apple 24″ Cinema displays. The Apple tax means these work out at £552 each plus VAT, although they are stunning monitors. I’d also need to buy an displayport adapter for the Mac Pro.
And before anyone suggests it, I’m not going to sell all three and get two 27″ iMacs just to use as monitors, that would be just silly! At £1200 each plus VAT this isn’t an option.
Now if Apple did Apple Cinema Displays based on the new 27″ monitors as used on the iMac, I might consider paying the Apple tax as they are truly magnificent monitors. The 2560×1440 resolution would be perfect as well as the true 16:9 aspect ratio. One has to wonder why they haven’t launched this configuration as a separate Apple Cinema Display?
Could it be they have stock of the older 30″ ACD they have to move before bringing this to market?
Surely they can’t be selling many of these older model? They are only £200 cheaper than the 27″ iMac for goodness sake?
I really can’t understand Apples policy on external displays.
Of course, the problem is (as always) do you act now or wait to see if Apple release the iMac 27″ display as a separate monitor.
Talk about first world problems!