08 refurb or base 8 core 09 octo

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jetjaguar, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. jetjaguar macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #1
    my original plan was to hold out until the 12 core systems came out .. but patience isnt really there .. so i was looking in the refurb store and there is a 3.2 octo for like 3299 .. i was considering that or should i just get a 2.26 octo 09 .. i am not 100% sure if i am going to hold out or not .. just trying to get some opinions ...

    im really missing having a desktop and just working off my laptop .. i am in film school .. but i would also like to start doing side work with fcp .. as i get better at editing
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #2
    Between the two systems, I'd go with the '08 3.2GHz refurbished unit.

    It's faster than the base '09 Octad, and easier to use the HDD bays with an internal RAID card, if you ever choose to do so. It's an EFI64 based system, so you're OK there (a few niggles with the ODD_SATA ports, as you can't run Windows drives from them, or boot a Windows install disk, but minor overall).
     
  3. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #3
    the 08 is faster than the base 09 octad even with the large memory bandwith increase from the nehalems ?

    the only thing that scares me about not getting the newest one is fear it will be outdated very fast .. with a pc .. i can just swap certain components then im up to date .. this is the first time ill be buying a complete tower that i cannot swap out so that is why im having such a hard time deciding
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #4
    Yes, as FCP can't use the additional memory bandwidth. There is extremely little that can, and what there is, is primarily for servers. Workstation use that can, would be things like simulations (weather, plate techtonics,...).

    Take a look at the Cinebench Chart below. ;)

    Understandable, but what you need is EFI64, which the '08 systems have. This will allow you to continue to be able to upgrade the graphics cards (and other 64 bit PCIe hardware that uses a Boot ROM), and allow you to continue to upgrade the OS after it goes K64 exclusively.

    Any issues beyond that, will be intentional by Apple (i.e. change the firmware to another standard to forcibly break support for the existing systems, as they are in the process of doing with EFI32 based systems). The '09's also use EFI64, as will the 2010 models. They can stick with EFI64 for awhile at least. ;) The question is, "Will they?".
     

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  5. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    I'm in the same boat as you, although after reading this thread I've narrowed it down to the 3.2 2008 octo or waiting for the 2010 update. It's SO hard to wait, given I'm working on a Dual 2.0 G5.
     
  6. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    well they have a 3.2 octad for 3299 .. with like 2gb of ram .. so on top of that 3299 .. i need to get a 4870 video card .. plus more ram right off the bat .. which with the base model 09 octad .. its like 3149 with the 4870 and 6gb of ram with my student discount .. god .. i cant grasp the idea of buying a 2 year old system
     
  7. dcpmark macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    But the base '09 octo is a 2.26. And DDR3 is much more expensive, no? I think I'd rather have a faster clock speed AND 8 cores, even if it means getting last years model. Otherwise, wait for the 2010 update!

    Actually, we BOTH should wait a few months......:D
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #8
    Given the performance difference, the '08, even with the upgrades is a decent system, and not a bad deal. You'd have to upgrade the '09 anyway.

    And the '08 can be done less expensively than you might think, particularly if you locate a PC version of a 4870 that can be flashed. It's in the details.

    Work out the numbers for both, using 3rd party upgrades where ever possible (I'm not sure if 6GB will be enough RAM, and am presumming you'd need 12GB). Then see what you get.

    If you'll never run a RAID card, then their both on equal ground. But if that's not the case (and RAID is usefull given the software you listed), the '08 really begins to shine. No adapter to use the internal HDD bays is required, and you don't loose the ability to use the SATA ports on the logic board (you do with the adapter need for the '09's, which is $165USD).

    The '08's have an advantage with SSD's too, as the '09 systems SATA drives are limited to ~660MB/s total (throttled) for all 6 ports (ICH10R chip that attaches to the X58 chipset). It's a design limitation that might be important to you.

    As I said, it's in the details, and I don't have enough information to give more specific advice/information. But hopefully, this is enough to steer you in the right direction. :)
     
  9. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #9
    dont really wanna wait lol .. that is the problem .. and the 2010 will be using ddr3 anyways .. and ram prices are always going up and down
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    The 2010 models are likely going to be more expensive than the '09 systems clock per clock. Gulftowns aren't going to give you that extra pair of cores for free, so the same money will result in a lower clock.

    To get the same clocks (and they will be a 1:1 comparison between the '09 and '10 models in terms of performance as the base architecture is the same), you'd have to push to a faster CPU, costing more.
     
  11. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #11
    thanks i really appreciate you taking out the time :)

    one last thing .. say i get a 4870 to use in osx .. can i say get a better video card as well that isnt supported by osx and just use it when i boot into windows to game ?
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    :cool: NP. :)

    I'd rather see people get the right system the first time around, as getting the wrong one gets more expensive in the long run. Especially with MP workstations, as there's all kinds of details that you can't get from Apple when doing research.

    If you can give further details, such as RAID, SSD, HDD (drive quantities of either, and what you want to connect them to, such as a card of some kind or the logic board), graphics cards, software, ... it will help.

    Yes. The EFI (32 or 64 bit based systems) contains BIOS emulation that will allow it to boot under Windows. :D

    But you will likely run into some issues with powering it (Apple's systems get their graphics card power off a smaller than standard PCIe 6 pin power connector (2x) on the board). They can be overcome, but it either means cables of some sort, or possibly a separate PSU, depending on the card.
     
  13. Jarman74 macrumors regular

    Jarman74

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    #13
    But you sure can grasp the idea of buying the better system :p

    Three months ago I was in the same boat as you and I couldn't accept the idea of spending a lot of money (plus a lot more for DDR3) just to get a machine clearly inferior to an older refurbished one. So I finally bought the 2008 3.2 GHz octo and I will never regret it one bit: it's a MONSTER machine, and it will be for a long time. Then, in four or five years' time, I will gladly get a better system and both my Macs will still put the 2009 model to shame.
     
  14. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #14
    man i just sold my gtx285 lol .. i didnt know i could have used it lol oh well

    i will probably buy later this month i think
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    Oops. ;) :p
     
  16. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #16
    can u swap out the superdrive for a bluray burner ??
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    Yes, but you'd have to be aware of a few issues.

    1. In the '08's, you'd need to use the IDE port in order to boot Windows DVDs (install disks). That means either an IDE BluRay burner or SATA unit with an IDE adapter attached to it.

    2. BluRay support in OS X is limited to non HDCP sources (say your own recordings from a 1080P camcorder, or data files via Roxio's Toast w/ BR add-on), and depending on the monitor, you may or may not be able to view HDCP content under Windows either (i.e. 4870 is HDCP compliant, the ACD's are not, so you'd want a 3rd party monitor that supports it). This is assuming you're running BRD's or a protected file, not ripped content. This is applicable to any MP.
     
  18. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #18
    You get around the HDCP monitor issue by using a VGA adapter in most cases. Many HDTVs and monitors can use VGA at 1920x1080. The MDP on a GT120 or Apple 4870 can be equipped with a VGA adapter for small money. Only a flashed PC 4870 will not work with VGA. But in order to avoid the issue you can run a GT120 additionally. They run in the 08 and 09 Mac Pros.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    True, this is a work around, and not hard or expensive to do. Most would want to keep the DVI for the 16:10 aspect ratio to get the full resolution for other tasks I'd think. And swapping the connections would suck (unless it's a 3rd party monitor that has multiple inputs).
     
  20. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    #20
    god so many decisions to make and think about:(
    for raid .. right off the bat i dont think i will be running raid .. but it is definitely in the future i would imagine when i start getting into projects and have to store all the data and footage.

    my plan would be to fill the hd bays with 2tb drives .. then i would like 4x 160gb ssds or less if the sizes increase .. and use one set of 2 for osx and the other set for win7 ..

    i would use win7 only for gaming .. and to run newsbin to download off of newsgroups thru paralells while working in osx

    as far as programs .. i would imagine besides the whole final cut suite .. possibly after effects .. some ps .. there could be more as well

    and prolly some SETI lol

    all the hdds of course will not be added all at once .. just saying that is what i would like to do over time
     
  21. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #21
    I think you can forget to run Windows from two SSDs on an EFI machine. I have yet to see the RAID card which properly boots into EFI and boots Windows. Same goes for Windows RAID0 on the south bridge of the ICH10R and ESB2 chips that Intel provided for the Mac Pros.
     
  22. jetjaguar thread starter macrumors 68030

    jetjaguar

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    ok well then no raid it is lol .. definitely would like to raid 0 160gb ssds for osx though
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #23
    You were trying to use EFI in the card to boot both Windows and OS X though IIRC.

    Separate cards would work, one using EFI for OS X, and the other BIOS for Windows. Leaving the firmware as BIOS will allow Areca cards to boot both Windows or Linux, even on MP's (it's been done).

    In the OP's case, attach the drives for OS X to the logic board, and use a simple SATA card for the Windows drives (boot via BIOS emulation). Use the drivers to create the array (unlike trying to use EFI to boot windows as you did).

    See above. ;)
     
  24. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #24
    I have tried to use Bios based cards (Highpoint and Areca) twice on your recommendation and both have been totally unsatisfactory.

    I would never buy a card for booting Windows on an EFI machine unless the vendor explicitly asures me that the the card boots into EFI as well as into Windows. What is the point of a Windows bootable drive that you cannot select in system preferences as boot drive and that you cannot see in the EFI or rEFIt menu when you push the option key. That is exactly what happens when the card Bios cannot boot into EFI.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #25
    Highpoint's gear is problematic on a good day, save the RR43xx line.

    The real issue is that most of the cards that are out there are built for BIOS based machines, and in the case of those that do boot EFI (Areca, ATTO), were created to run on Itanium systems. In both of these situations, it will boot into Windows (versions that support EFI/UEFI) or Linux (or other UNIX variants meant to run on Intel or AMD chips).

    Apple's firmware is a bit different, as it's not 100% EFI 1.10 specification compliant. And it's forcing separate cards to be needed to boot muliple OS's (i.e. 1 card per OS).

    I hadn't realized Apple's firmware was doing this until we were posting back and forth to attempt to solve the headaches you were dealing with. Highpoint was the wrong card, and given the Itaniums = EFI and will boot Windows that were EFI/UEFI compliant, the Areca would work for both. Obviously it didn't, but it's not the card that's the problem, or it wouldn't work that way in Itanium systems.
     

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