2018 – Week 27

It’s been an admin week. Moving bank accounts to a new Applepay enabled provider, as well as finally pulling the trigger on a new graphics upgrade for my Mac Pro – and boy, was that a saga.

Backstory – the “Cheesegrater” Mac Pros have the ability to supply 2x6pin power to a graphics card. That’s the equivalent of a single 8pin connector. When Apple announced the recent next version of macOS “Mojave”, my machine was included in the “supported” list, with the caveat that it had a certain level of graphics card support. Most of the cards that would fall within that envelope were released after Apple stopped making machines with user-upgradable graphics cards. However, there is one specific card they mention by name, as it was supplied by them in a piece of developer hardware – the Sapphire Pulse 8gb Radeon RX580.

Great, so I’ll buy one of those – not so fast. The exclusive Australian distributor isn’t carrying that card, because there’s a higher spec one with more features they’re concentrating on. It’ll work, but because it’s physically larger, it’ll block a extra slot in my machine.

Looking at Newegg – they carry the card, and will ship to Australia, but have a terrible after-sales service reputation. Amazon no longer ship physical products to Australia, as a result of the Australian Government’s idiotic decision to impose GST on all imports, down from the previous $1000 threshold. You can buy on the American Amazon store, then use a shipping service to forward it here – but it’s more expensive.

Not the best of situations. Then, I thought about New Zealand – I’d seen a few search results come up with NZ stockists, so I looked at Sapphire’s official distributor page for NZ (there are three official NZ distributors), and found a company which not only had the cheapest price in NZ, but also have an Australian side to the business. I was able to phone the local side, they transferred me internationally, and the NZ salesperson gave me an Australian bank account to pay into – no international funds transfer fees, no expensive phone calls, easy and simple.

With that sorted, I had to order a special cable to power it, because of course Macs are weird in the way they do things. Cable is on its way from China. Could be here soon, could be here in weeks.

So with all that sorted, my machine should have it’s final major upgrade complete. The next thing to think about is getting a bigger, higher resolution monitor, because the new photo management software I’m looking at, looks like garbage on standard-dpi screens.