2.8 vs. 3.2, which is right for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by adversus, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. adversus macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    Some background:

    -I've never owned a Mac desktop, having preferred mobile platform
    -I'll be dual booting Windows 7 64-bit

    -Primary apps include:
    Aperture 3
    Photoshop 5
    Logic Audio
    Reason 4

    I'm going to be purchasing a Mac Pro within 2-3 months. I'm going the Mac Pro route so I can integrate storage into the tower without relying on external drives (I currently have about 3TB of Aperture libraries, my Logic libraries will still be in a separate chassis).

    The primary function will be a photo processing workstation, taking the place of both my 15" MacBook Pro and a Windows desktop that's getting too long in the tooth.

    Secondary function will be audio production using Logic and Reason 4.

    "Neato" function will be minor gaming (WoW, Steam games, under Mac or Win).

    My question is, should the 2.8 Quad be adequate to start? The plan would be to pop in a second processor down the road. Thoughts?
     
  2. loungecorps macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2010
    #2
    the 2.8 quad is quite a beast even though it's the lower end model. I own the machine and when I am using software that can utilize it (video rendering programs) it is insanely fast.
    the 3.2 is faster but to be honest it really only matters if the program your using can use it (most likely it can't). We still need to wait on the software developers to catch up with the fast hardware that we have today.
     
  3. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #3
    You can't pop a second processor into the current quads. They only have one socket.
     
  4. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2004
    #4
    I think you'll find that most programs will run faster on a 3.2 machine than they would on a 2.8 (the only exception would be programs that are i/o bound.)
     
  5. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #5
    My use is very similar to yours - CS5/Capture NX2/PhotoMechanic as well as Logic/Kontakt. I went with the 3.2 since the upgrade was not insane ($400).

    The faster processor makes more of a difference than additional cores at this point on everything except Logic (and there you are limited to a total of 16 - real+virtual via hyper threading).

    My plan is to upgrade to the 6-core CPU in a year or two. Make sure you buy 1333 RAM so it is forward compatible if you chose to do that.
     
  6. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    If you plan on upgrading the CPU later then don't spend money on it now. 2.8 is plenty fast and the extra money will go a long way towards a new CPU in a couple years.

    I stuck with the 2.8 but plan to buy a 6-core down the road which will give me more cores as well as a higher clock speed. As was mentioned before get the 1333 memory so that you are compatible.
     
  7. adversus thread starter macrumors regular

    adversus

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Boo, I was told by an Apple sales rep that the single CPU models still had a 2nd slot on the system board for a second CPU down the road.

    If that's NOT the case (fail sales rep), I'm wondering if I should bump up to the dual CPU model or just drop in a six core later down the road into a single CPU model.
     
  8. milbournosphere macrumors 6502a

    milbournosphere

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    I'm running CS5 on my 2010 2.8 quad, and it is really responsive; and this is before adding an SSD or boatloads of ram. I wouldn't waste the money going up to 3.2. I would go up to the six core if you can afford it now, or do as I plan to and upgrade the processor down the road.
     
  9. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #9
    It will be a very long time probably before Photoshop is going to use 12 cores. And there is a reason the duals are always slower than the singles - the heat sinks are substantially smaller to fit two of them on the processor tray.

    The single CPU is one to get for your use. Whether you get the 2.8 or 3.2 is up to you and your wallet. Even the 6 core single is not going to be fully used today with most photography-centric software.
     

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