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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:07 PM   #1
bigbadneil
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Help needed in buying a Mac Pro

Guy,s
I have a two year old iMac that was the top model 2 years ago.
I have been using it to edit and process RAW photos in Photoshop/Lightroom.
I recently started processing large format panorama pictures up to 2GB each and they just kill the iMac, I mean sloooooooooooooooooooooow.
So I have decided to buy a Mac Pro and would like to know what model I should get either the Quad Core or the 12 core?
What about hard drives and ram should I get the standard 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive or the 512GB solid-state drive or both?
Lastly the processor should I get the box standard Two 2.40GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors (12 cores) or the Two 3.06GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon (12 cores)
As for money....I am on a budget but I also don't want to go cheap and then wish I had got this or that.
What I would like to do is keep the initial cost down but be in a situation where I can add to it later if need be.
Any help would be much appreciated
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:16 PM   #2
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If you do have an i7 3.4GHz iMac. It is faster than all the Quad core Mac Pro's. It is not faster than the 6-core but in Photoshop your iMac will beat a 2.4GHz 12-core because it can't use all the available processing power. Spending on the 12-core 3.06 is stupid for what you'll end up using. Too slow and wide. When Adobe likes Quick and short. SSD is a must these days if you want actually feel much of an upgrade and more memory the better.
I would not even get a Mac Pro right now over an i7 3.4GHz iMac for what you are doing. I'd max the memory out at 16GB and get an SSD installed instead. Wait for the next stuff. If you do need more than 16GB of memory then get a Quad and upgrade it to a hex or get the hex 3.33GHz and get 24GB+ memory installed. It wont be a huge leap over the i7 but it is better at photoshop than the 2.4, 2.6, 2.93, and 3.06 varieties. Mac Pro is 2-3 year old hardware and actually older kit than your current iMac.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:20 PM   #3
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If you do have an i7 3.4GHz iMac. It is faster than all the Quad core Mac Pro's. It is not faster than the 6-core but in Photoshop your iMac will beat a 2.4GHz 12-core because it can't use all the available processing power. Spending on the 12-core 3.06 is stupid for what you'll end up using. Too slow and wide. When Adobe likes Quick and short. SSD is a must these days if you want actually feel much of an upgrade and more memory the better.
I would not even get a Mac Pro right now over an i7 3.4GHz iMac for what you are doing. I'd max the memory out at 16GB and get an SSD installed instead. Wait for the next stuff. If you do need more than 16GB of memory then get a Quad and upgrade it to a hex or get the hex 3.33GHz and get 24GB+ memory installed. It wont be a huge leap over the i7 but it is better at photoshop than the 2.4, 2.6, 2.93, and 3.06 varieties. Mac Pro is 2-3 year old hardware and actually older kit than your current iMac.
This is what I have
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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This is what I have
Would this be enough then in an iMac rather than getting the Mac Pro for what I am doing
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 04:43 PM   #5
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In respect to being on a budget but wanting to buy now and be able to add later, I always suggest the same thing:

- Buy lowest refurb from Apple you can, which is usually a 2010 quad Mac Pro. Right now, it's this one for $1819.
- Now or later, buy a W3680. It's a 3.33GHz 6-core CPU, and Provantage sells them for $590.
- Add 32GB of RAM. Shop around, but don't pay more than $269.

Edit: I should add that this is if you're shopping for a Mac Pro. You still need a monitor, and there are too many choices to list for those. Your new iMac config will run $3,349. Compare what you'd get with that versus a Mac Pro, and decide from there.

----------

Lastly, I'd NEVER buy RAM or drives from Apple. Buy third party and save a ton, if you're at all semi-comfortable with tinkering with your computer. With a Mac Pro, it's beyond simple. iMacs are a bit trickier these days.
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Last edited by wonderspark; Dec 16, 2012 at 04:40 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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I would definitely go with the Mac Pro - it's far more expandable and upgradeable than even a Top of the Line iMac. I would get the Six core - as that has the fastest clock speed and has HyperThreading so you'll get 12 useable logical cores, or threads.


Not to mention you'll be able to upgrade the graphics card for probably years in the future, and more SSD and hard drive space, I think the Mac Pro is the logical choice.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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I would definitely go with the Mac Pro - I think the Mac Pro is the logical choice.
So what should I get installed to get me started...........I live in Malaysia and they only offer quad or 12 core
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 08:07 PM   #8
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So what should I get installed to get me started...........I live in Malaysia and they only offer quad or 12 core
Quad! Then upgrade to single 6-core from there for way less money.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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So what should I get installed to get me started...........I live in Malaysia and they only offer quad or 12 core
Really? They dont offer 6 core machines? Then the qaud, and upgrade later. Now if you have cash to spend then I would future proof and get the 12 core, but personally Id get the Quad. Does the Quad have HyperThreading?
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 08:52 PM   #10
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Can't go wrong with any of them IMO.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 09:32 PM   #11
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Quad! Then upgrade to single 6-core from there for way less money.
Exactly, OP should get a quad and put in a 3.46 hex.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:32 PM   #12
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Exactly, OP should get a quad and put in a 3.46 hex.
So this is the choices that I have in Malaysia what do you think??
If at a later date I added a 512 SSD would that automatically work like the new iMac Fusion drive whereas the new stuff on the computer would be loaded via the SSD drive??
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:49 PM   #13
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Solid. Some advice:

Don't buy that much RAM from Apple ... I bought 4x2GB and added 4x4GB later on my dual CPU config for only $297 while Apple charges quadruple for the same amount (year and a half ago when I did this). Get the HD 5870 instead that is a big upgrade for little money. Get the least amount and upgrade yourself to save lots of money. 3.33GHz Hex is great. Also, adding an SSD later will not work like a Fusion drive, your OS will already be loaded on the HDD so you will have to manually move application and/or system files onto your SSD or better yet just backup and reinstall the OS onto the SSD and then transfer your media files such as music, pictures, etc. onto the HDD while the system and application files remain on the SSD.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:50 AM   #14
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Solid. Some advice:

Don't buy that much RAM from Apple ... I bought 4x2GB and added 4x4GB later on my dual CPU config for only $297 while Apple charges quadruple for the same amount (year and a half ago when I did this). Get the HD 5870 instead that is a big upgrade for little money. Get the least amount and upgrade yourself to save lots of money. 3.33GHz Hex is great. Also, adding an SSD later will not work like a Fusion drive, your OS will already be loaded on the HDD so you will have to manually move application and/or system files onto your SSD or better yet just backup and reinstall the OS onto the SSD and then transfer your media files such as music, pictures, etc. onto the HDD while the system and application files remain on the SSD.
Ordering it tomorrow with all of the above for RM17000 +/- $5500 ......can't wait to fire this puppy up
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 05:57 AM   #15
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Ordering it tomorrow with all of the above for RM17000 +/- $5500 ......can't wait to fire this puppy up
If that's including Memory from Apple you're mad as a hatter.

The Mac Pro opens up... It's crazy I know given that Apple have such closed computers but this one opens, like a desktop tower!

Actually baffles the mind. You can do all sorts! such as this... Not buy over priced parts from Apple such as a 2TB drive that can be had for far less with warranty elsewhere, also memory, think I mentioned the memory.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 07:29 AM   #16
Luis Ortega
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Originally Posted by bigbadneil View Post
Guy,s
I have a two year old iMac that was the top model 2 years ago.
I have been using it to edit and process RAW photos in Photoshop/Lightroom.
I recently started processing large format panorama pictures up to 2GB each and they just kill the iMac, I mean sloooooooooooooooooooooow.
So I have decided to buy a Mac Pro and would like to know what model I should get either the Quad Core or the 12 core?
What about hard drives and ram should I get the standard 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive or the 512GB solid-state drive or both?
Lastly the processor should I get the box standard Two 2.40GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processors (12 cores) or the Two 3.06GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon (12 cores)
As for money....I am on a budget but I also don't want to go cheap and then wish I had got this or that.
What I would like to do is keep the initial cost down but be in a situation where I can add to it later if need be.
Any help would be much appreciated
I love my 2008 mac pro, but don't buy a mac pro now. You will be paying through the nose for obsolete equipment.
Either wait to see if they ever actually offer a new model or go for an iMac.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 08:49 AM   #17
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I love my 2008 mac pro, but don't buy a mac pro now. You will be paying through the nose for obsolete equipment.
Either wait to see if they ever actually offer a new model or go for an iMac.
Ridiculous advice, there is NO reason not to buy a Mac Pro now...as nobody has ANY information on any new model/specs it makes no sense to wait if you want/ need one now. There is not much out there the current Mac Pro properly spec'd for the job can't do...most people only want faster/bigger/better because it is available or may be available rather than actually needing it....
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 02:03 PM   #18
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So this is the choices that I have in Malaysia what do you think??
If at a later date I added a 512 SSD would that automatically work like the new iMac Fusion drive whereas the new stuff on the computer would be loaded via the SSD drive??
You just said there were no hex's in your area...(picture)
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:07 PM   #19
bigbadneil
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You just said there were no hex's in your area...(picture)
Sorry what is a Hex's
I know a few of you have said not to buy the apple memory but I don't get it why buy apple and load it with fred blogs stuff...isn't that like buying a Harley and kitting it out with Honda parts
Anyway here is the spec of what I plan to order later today, I hope this will be capable to process my 2GB each pictures in photoshop???
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:40 PM   #20
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So what should I get installed to get me started...........I live in Malaysia and they only offer quad or 12 core
Which means no 6 core, yet on your checkout page you have a 6 core...makes no sense.



But good luck, sounds like a beast of a machine if you can get that hex/6 core going.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:43 PM   #21
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Which means no 6 core, yet on your checkout page you have a 6 core...makes no sense.



But good luck, sounds like a beast of a machine if you can get that hex/6 core going.
These are the options
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 03:53 PM   #22
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Right, so they DO offer hex core machines in your area. I thought it would be strange if they didn't.


So yeah definitely go with the hex core machine, that's what I would do.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:05 PM   #23
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I know a few of you have said not to buy the apple memory but I don't get it why buy apple and load it with fred blogs stuff...isn't that like buying a Harley and kitting it out with Honda parts
Anyway here is the spec of what I plan to order later today, I hope this will be capable to process my 2GB each pictures in photoshop???
You can buy RAM from Apple, but it's the same RAM, just extremely expensive, and no different in quality. It's not better because Apple put it in the machine... just that they charged you a lot more.

People are just trying to save you money, but if you don't like money, then send some my way, and I'll help you get rid of it!

To answer your question... YES, that spec will be capable to process 2GB each images in Photoshop faster than you are currently able.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:13 PM   #24
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You can buy RAM from Apple, but it's the same RAM, just extremely expensive, and no different in quality. It's not better because Apple put it in the machine... just that they charged you a lot more.

People are just trying to save you money, but if you don't like money, then send some my way, and I'll help you get rid of it!

To answer your question... YES, that spec will be capable to process 2GB each images in Photoshop faster than you are currently able.
OK I got it.....sorry about that I am not really computer savvy
So if I buy the ram from outside will I need to take my computer to there shop to have it installed and will my apple warranty still be covered???
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 04:27 PM   #25
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OK I got it.....sorry about that I am not really computer savvy
So if I buy the ram from outside will I need to take my computer to there shop to have it installed and will my apple warranty still be covered???
The Mac Pro is designed to be serviced very easily.

There is a lever on the back that you will flip up, which allows the whole side to be removed. Then, you can access the RAM slots right there, or move two more levers to slide the processor / RAM tray out a little, and move the RAM levers open to remove the old, and insert the new RAM in reverse order. Then, you'd secure the tray, replace the side panel and it's done.

It's very easy, I promise. However, if you REALLY don't want to have anything to do with the inside of the computer, you can take it to any computer shop, and someone there can do it for you, and you'll STILL pay much, much less for the whole process, even paying a computer shop to pop those RAM sticks in for you. Apple's RAM is *that much more* expensive.
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