Worth it to buy an 8-core Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by xenon supra, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I'm seriously considering picking up a Mac Pro tower.

    Stock it comes with Two 2.66 ghz dual cores. (4 cores total)
    Or you can upgrade to Two 3.00 ghz dual cores for $700 (4 cores total)
    Or for 4 3.00 ghz dual cores its $1400 (8 cores total)

    I mainly use the computer for photography and web design. I also do a small bit if video editing, but not a ton.

    If i'm going to drop $3-4k on this, i don't want it to be outdated within 2 years. Thats why I'm thinking I should just go with the 8-core.

    I can always upgrade ram (expandable to 16gb) and I can always add HDD space (4 HDD slots).

    Only thing you can't upgrade is the processor. (or can you?)

    I'm looking at about
    $3000 for the 4x2.66
    $3700 for the 4x3.00
    $4200 for the 8x3.00

    those prices are with student discount :bowdown:

    What would you do? :confused:
     
  2. jackback52

    jackback52 Guest

    do you even have to ask. 8 cores if you can afford it.
     
  3. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I've got the money, but theres other things i'd rather spend it on, or save it...
     
  4. TNFlyBoy

    TNFlyBoy F =/= ma?? wtf??

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    are you going to use it with final cut pro 2? using motion to create 3d animated movies and also use it as a server at the same time? probably not. Personally i think a mac pro is overkill in most cases, and the 8-core... well it'd be like sending 300 spartans to kill a single, lets say, hobbit. to be 100% honest, an upgraded iMac would probably suit you just fine. but if you really want a mac pro i'd go with the quad 2.66 in your case, and spend that extra 1200 on final cut pro 2.

    also, how much RAM are you getting in all of these models. obviously not the 16GBs that it maxes out at. correct me if i'm wrong, but with the kind of stuff that you're wanting to do, wouldn't increasing the RAM help out more than doubling the processing cores?
     
  5. hellsspawn

    hellsspawn New Member

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    save the money, buy me an x-serve....

    is it really that hard?
     
  6. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    My main reason for not going with an iMac is the fact that a C2D will be outdated within a year, and also, the internal storage capacity and room for ram expansion sucks.

    Also, I have an apple 30" display, and I can't hook that up to an iMac.

    As far as the Mac Pro, more RAM is certainly better in my case, but i plan on getting it from newegg or elsewhere, not apple.

    i wont be spending 1200 on FCP2, but i'll probably find it some other way ;) ;)

    i'm just curious if, in the future, say 5 years down the road, will a quad core still be fast enough for the future of what I do?

    5 years ago nobody probably thought you'd need core duo processor and 1gb of ram just to run aperture, so as the applications become more intense, maybe the future of image/ web processing applications will need more than 4-cores to run well.
     
  7. ady

    ady New Member

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    I'd wait until the new Mac Pros come (June/July) before buying, but if I really needed it now I'd get the base machine then buy another 2-3 years from now or whenever it outgrew me. There are certainly uses for 8 cores right now, certain apps and workflows that can take advantage of 8 processors, but if you don't know you are going to be pushing the 4 core system beyond it's capabilities it seems a waste of money. Sounds like serious overkill for "a bit of video". I've yet to tax my Pro and I do alot more heavy stuff than it sounds like you'll be doing.

    You can upgrade the processors, but you'll likely just want to replace the whole machine as technology will be moving fast and Macs will likely still hold their value reasonably well.
     
  8. agent0068

    agent0068 OT Supporter

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    you said photography and web design as your primary uses--could you be more specific? like if its a matter of using aperture, it is screaming fast on my wife's macbook pro, so 8 cores isn't really needed there. i can't speak to how the latest and greatest photoshop performs, but in all honesty, i would think a ton of RAM and a snappy SCSI RAID setup would go a lot further in giving most Adobe products a good bit of punch. i guess i'd say save the money you would spend on 8 cores, as it doesn't seem like the extra processing power is where your savings will be. if you said you did a lot of video editing, it might be another story.
     
  9. Raider007

    Raider007 om nom nom nom

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    since you're doing photography/web design and some light video work, I'd say no. that would be overkill by a long shot.

    at work I do 3d animations/motion work/fcp work every day, and we're upgrading our systems this summer, i've contemplated asking for the 8core, but honestly, even for me it would be over kill i believe.
     
  10. Spinkick

    Spinkick Active Member

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    Buy a pc if you are just doing web dev or art.
     
  11. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    :rofl: you're kidding, right? :eek3:
     
  12. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I think I may go for the quad 3.0 ghz setup, it seems like that should be plenty for my needs.
     
  13. Mach D

    Mach D New Member

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    you're overkilling it. just a complete waste of money, eveb 4 cores.
     
  14. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    its not going to be a waste of money.

    i'm set on getting a mac pro, due to the reasons I've named earlier.
    And buying a dual core at this point if i want the computer to last me several years is just stupid.
    there is no way a dual core processor is still going to be fast 3-4 years down the road. i may not need all the power of a quad core or an 8core right now, but you're missing the point. i'm looking for a computer that will last me 4-5 years and be top notch.

    i understand the fact that i can buy a loaded iMac to fit my needs, but i dont mind dropping a little extra cash in order to have it last me twice as long.
     
  15. agent0068

    agent0068 OT Supporter

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    "twice as long" is wishful thinking
     
  16. ady

    ady New Member

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    Get the 2.66Ghz quad, the 3Ghz is only worth it if you are going to spend alot of time waiting for processing and that time is valuable. Even at the $300 it would cost extra if you were building it yourself it isn't really worth it, highest end options aren't, but Apple mark that up an extra $500 making it really not worth but to a select few. The 3Ghz won't give you extra life, it'll just give you a very small time saving over the course of it's use that'll be neglible under most people's workflows. The $700 it'll cost you can be used in much better ways for better time use than a theoretical 13% processor speed increase.
     
  17. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    I've pretty much ruled out the 8-core at this point.

    Just trying to decide if I should spend the extra $700 to go from a quad 2.66 to a quad 3.00.

    What do you guys say? :hs:

    4x2.66 = 10.64
    4x3.00 = 12

    difference is 1.36 Ghz
     
  18. ryckmonster

    ryckmonster New Member

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    if you don't get the 3.00, and go with the 2.66, somewhere down the road you'll be kickin yourself, and wishing u could drop the 700 to upgrade it..
     
  19. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    ^ that's what i'm thinking.
     
  20. ady

    ady New Member

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    If 10% or so performance on processing tasks is worth 33% of the machine price go for it (You're paying $500 or so in Apple tax don't forget). It's just very likely if you aren't sure of such a thing, you don't need it. Perhaps fast/larger drives, more memory, software, a better desk/chair, extra display, or whatever might offer you more in terms of overall computing experience/performance. It's easy to buy the fastest thinking it's the best, but it doesn't mean it's the best for you.
     
  21. ryckmonster

    ryckmonster New Member

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    btw, its was tax free w/e in TN.... :doh:
     
  22. ady

    ady New Member

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    I meant that 2x3.00Ghz processors cost $300 more than 2x2.66Ghz and that Apple charge you $800 (at retail level) for them. Hence $500 in "apple tax".
     
  23. skitcy

    skitcy uhm title! ok

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    I would worry less about the thing becoming outdated than anything. Any computer you buy is going to be extremely outdated within a year. Luckily Mac's actually retain some resellability past opening the plastic and taking it out of the box.

    I'd get precisely what you want and need. For non video/3d rendering you need nothing more than a single dual core processor really.

    If you worry about it being outdated every time you go to buy a mac.. you will never buy a mac.
     
  24. xenon supra

    xenon supra OT Supporter

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    No. An 3.0 Ghz 4-core or 8-core processor with 4-6 gb of ram and 1.5tb of storage space will not be outdated for several years.

    Just how many is the question :hs:
     
  25. Dysfnctnl85

    Dysfnctnl85 IT/Apple/Rotary/(D)SLR Crew

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    Car > Computer :)
     

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