2.66Ghz Quad or 2.8Ghz Octo

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ParkMyCar, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. ParkMyCar macrumors newbie

    Feb 18, 2012
    I've already done some research on which machine is better, but I'm still kind of undecided. I'm looking at buying the 2009 2.66Ghz Quad Nehalem, or the 2008 2.8Ghz Octo Core2Duo. I've read that in some cases the Quad outperforms the Octo, but then I've also read that the Octo outperforms the Quad. So I am kind of stuck.

    My main purpose for the machine would be high-res photo editing and hd movie editing, but I also wanted to be able to play some games like BF3 (I would most likely install windows for any games)

    I was leaning towards the Quad because those support DDR3 Ram, while the Octo only supports DDR2, and it is my understanding that for photo and video editing more/faster ram is a big plus (Both would have 8GBs). I also have a Radeon HD 5770 I could install in both.

    Any help is greatly appreciated

  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Geekbench 32-bit:
    2.66GHz Quad: 8144
    2.8GHz 2xQuad: 7685

    Faster memory and the ability to firmware flash yourself+ 500.00 into a 5,1 hex core later on makes it win all around.
  3. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Edit: I kind of expected the benchmarks to marginally favor the 2008, but you wouldn't see the entire benefit on quite a lot of what you do (games, photo editing, etc.). If the 2009 actually benchmarks higher, the gap in real performance would be that much wider.

    Edit edit: how big are your files? what bit depths do you commonly require for your workflow? I see such a range, but if you're working with really large files, I wouldn't put less than 16GB in a 2009 considering how cheap that is. If it already has 4x2, $50 or so would buy another 4x2.

    Noooooo not benchmarks. They're worthless without perspective. Okay for photo editing I'm going to assume photoshop. Photoshop doesn't scale really at all past four cores. The 2.66 definitely wins there. When the 2009 came out, performance was skewed in favor of the 2008 on things that scaled better, but I'd want to see tests on the OSX version you intend to run. On a newer version of OSX, optimizations might be a little skewed in favor of the newer architectures which is why I mention this. I expect it might be different.

    The 2008 mac pro isn't likely to be supported for many more revisions. They're dropping support for 1,1 and 2,1 with Mountain Lion. It'll probably hit a point like the original where graphics cards and things go out of date. You mentioned the 5770. If you do a search, there are a number of posts that suggest it's not fully compatible with the 2008 model. It's actually a tough model to update in terms of gpu power.

    Back to photo and video editing, depending on your workflow, it can be insane on ram. If you're getting into 32 bit floating point formats for post work, 16 bit photo editing with a large number of layers, etc. ram is a huge factor. 8GB can still leave it choking to where you end up turning off thumbnails and tapering down other settings to maintain performance. I mention all of this because the price of ram for the 2008 is horrible. It costs weigh more for the older standard. Again on the 2009 a lot of people on here have successfully upgraded it post firmware update to match the 2010 6 core cpu which beats the 8 core by a fair margin no matter how many cores are in use.

    Anyway my vote is for the 2009. I wouldn't personally look at buying anything older than that. Now if you already owned a 2008 I'd say wait for an updated mac pro before buying a new one, but between these two I think the 2009 could give you better longevity.
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    True, but same results in 4 lines.:D
    I expect the users to know how to put those into perspective. The SW performs roughly the same relatively (same restrictions apply to each) and the 2.66GHz has the turbo to 2.93GHz. So it will beat the Mac Pro in single thread and because of what geekbench has shown, perfectly multithreaded as well. All the rest of the middle ground is up for debate. Upgrade ability when the parts are dirt cheap is icing.
  5. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Damn you and your cliffnotes version of my post :D

    Note the title:p. I get way too detailed at times and ramble on. It's a bad habit. Sometimes I get contradicted by random people with nonsense, so I got in a habit of providing an excessive number of supporting details.
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Ah, those supporting details. I always enjoy your posts.
  7. firedownunder macrumors regular


    May 5, 2011
    ⬆ What he said.:cool:
  8. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Interesting Geekbench Tests.

    Upgraded Mac Pro 1.1 with X5355's, OWC SSD, AI Radeon HD4870 1GB gfx comes in at 9118, much faster than later models, and twice as fast as original Mac Pro 1.1

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