Yesterday I got home to find my computer frozen. I did a hard reboot and it took I sht you not over 45 minutes just to boot up. The mac stayed in the gray boot screen for over 40 minutes while doing apparently nothing. No hard drive noise coming from the tower. It was like it had locked up. But it did eventually boot and diagnostics showed all kinds of errors with my hard drive in bay 3.
So I cannot use much of my desktop until sometime this week when I'll be getting a replacement 500gb sata. I am amazed how cheap they've gotten since I got the machine. Three years ago I think I was paying three times for these drives. Luckily I do not appear to have lost any data thanks to a combination of this being a fresh install and my backups. However since all my other drives are completely full I cannot simply do a snow leopard install onto another drive and start using my computer again.
While I was at it I ordered another gig in ram since that's so cheap now. I have four slots open still, so I hope to eventually put a 512 stick in each. I just don't have enough money to do a lot to my computer right now.
The mac pro uses some really crazy-stupid ram cards. They're normal DDR2 5300 667's only with giant heat sinks because Apple didn't want to make too much noise by having fans running more often then they already do. Which makes zero sense since this is a desktop we're talking about, their top of the line model no less. It's not something like a laptop that is being hauled around by students into libraries and study halls where sound could be a problem. But I guess its understandable since when the xeon intel mac pro came out Apple was still under heavy criticism for absurd noise problems with their G4 and early G5 powermacs.
Anyhow; the ram cards that are approved for the mac pro have these mega huge heat sinks mounted to them. Under that it's normal ECC cert'd 240pin 5300 ram, but apparently the tower was designed to use these heatsinks and without them the ram quickly overheats. At least that's what I keep reading in googling the subject. According to the forums Kingston had at one point been selling normal 5300 cards with modest heatsinks as mac pro compatible but had to take that listing off their site because of overheating problems. A few retailers have non-Apple ram claiming to perform as well as Apple direct ram, OTC for instance. But I really can't afford to pay that kinda money so used cards on eBay here I go.
What I would really like is a decent sound card for my mac pro, given that the headphone and mic jacks on the tower are crap and have worn so fast that plugs do not seat properly inside them after minimal use. Something like a surround sound card would be nice, but finding something with mac drivers that doesn't cost absurd amounts is not easy so right now its just another pipe dream. I need a DVI-D cable as well as I am at it but that's going to have to wait.