Dual PowerMac now vs Quad later

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by terpfan91, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. terpfan91 macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2003
    Hi Folks,

    I'm hoping someone can help me with advice. Because of the contract I am working on, I need to spend some money on a new computer between now and November. I am debating whether to buy the Dual 2.7GHz PowerMac now or wait for a possible Quad 970MP based PowerMac (that would obviously need to be out before Nov).

    I running mostly statistical analysis on large datasets. I could obviously wait and see until November, but in the mean time I will have to limp along with a somewhat old Linux MP system. Waiting until Nov to get nothing would be frustrating, but of course, buying now only to have a wicked-fast Quad announced in a few months would be just as frustrating.

    I wondering whether anyone has any insight on this decision, in particular:

    1. What do you think the odds are of a 970MP PowerMac shipping between now and November. My guess was somewhat less than 50%.

    2. What do you think the speed boost will be on a Quad 2.5GHz 970MP system verses the current dual 2.7GHz systems for number crunching. (It seems like the speed boost from single to dual systems was on the order of 50-80%, but I'm wondering whether you reach a point of diminishing returns going from dual to quad.)

    Thanks for any help you can provide.
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    it will depend on oh hell the software is optimized to handle multi-processor plateform (this includes the OS). if the software isn't multi-threaded you won't see a performance increase. assuming it is optimized, the performance gained would depend a lot of what task the software has to do in parrallel, and how many task it has to do.
  3. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    My guess is 50/50, too, but I dont regret buying my machine, with the beforehand knowledge that a quad Mac could some out.

    For what I do, this machine meets and often exceed my expectations beyond my wildest dreams. It freaking shreds through images like nobody's business.

    Load it up with Ram to take full advantage of the power, though. ;)
  4. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030


    Jun 15, 2005
    I thought the quad Power Macs were just a rumour? And considering the transition to Intel approaching, I don't think they would bother producing such a computer. Jobs did say there are some good PPC products in the pipeline but I'm not too sure if a quad 970MP is really one of them.
  5. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    powermacs will stay ppc untill late 2007, the powermac has a long roadmap of ppc chips for the next two years.
  6. mjstew33 macrumors 601


    May 29, 2005
    If you have the money and willing to spend it.. I'd get a PowerMac G5 DUAL 2.7GHz w/ 6GB RAM from Crucial and 2x 20" ADC screens.
  7. FFTT macrumors 68030


    Apr 17, 2004
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    I would go for the dual 2.3 and pimp it out with at least 2 GB RAM and the best GPU you can afford.
    Put the money you save towards a great display.

    You'll get a fantastic system without going over board
    and it should hold you for at least 4 years+++.
  8. terpfan91 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 22, 2003
    Now on to the GPU...

    Thanks for all your responses, you've convinced me to and go ahead and buy the PM 2.7GHz now and pump it up with RAM.

    Next question: Should I get the Radeon X850 or the NVIDIA 6800? They are both the same price. I'm going to be running 1 ACD 30" and possibly 1 smaller screen.

  9. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
  10. mpopkin macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2003
    Chapel Hill, NC
    x850 is newer than the 6800 and beyond that generation, it also helps that most of the powermacs now rely more on ati drivers than nvidia
    go ati, while i like nvidia, they have just been behind on the technology recently

  11. Xephian macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2005
    United States
    Actually ATI is way behind in technology right now. nVIDIA has the 7800 GTX right now while ATI still only has the X850 XT. The differences from the X850 from the X800 are just clock speeds. The 6800 is a more advanced card than the X800 cards. You can easily overclock the 6800 GT to a 6800 Ultra or higher. Also, the 6800 has two dual link DVI connectors while the X850 only has one, this will let you have two 30" ACDs on the 6800 GT.

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