2.93 Quad vs. 2.26 Octad - for Photography

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rmpstudio, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. rmpstudio macrumors member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    So,.. i'm not hip on all of this single and multi core stuff and threading or whatever. All i know is i want the fastest MAC for processing and editing photos for my PHotography business. I use PS and Lightroom at the same time and i need to be able to switch between them quickly and of course go through my photos quickly. So what i think i need is lots of ram and processing power. But my question is do i need extra processors and cores?

    according to http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7255676&postcount=148 it looks like the 2.93 quad has a better overall performance rating but the 2.26 has a better multicore speedup (whatever that is).

    SO,.. should i go with 2.93 quad or 2.26 octad?

    thanks for the input.
     
  2. Abidubi macrumors 6502

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    #2
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #3
    2.26GHz Octrad of course. 4 people working for you or 8 people? I'd choose 8 people. Gives me room to grow since the octrad MP can go beyond 8GB of ram.
     
  4. ender78 macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I went with the 8 core machine for this reason.
     
  5. rylin macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Four fast workers or eight relatively slow?
    You can't just expect things to scale linearly, you have to consider the overhead (management, in this analogy).
     
  6. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    huh?

    i'm not sure how to read this report though.. it seems they have it ranked in the wrong spot IMO. the 2.26 Octad has the 4th fastest rating on multi core render and the #1 highest percentage for multicore speedup (again, whatever that means).

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7255676&postcount=148

    so i'm not sure how that equates to "eight relatively slow workers".
     
  7. rylin macrumors 6502

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    Aug 18, 2006
    #7
    Multicore speedup is basically ( (single thread performance * number of cores) - overhead).

    Neither PS nor Lightroom will use all cores to the max, so the multicore speedup is largely irrelevant for that purpose.
    Roughly 75-90% of what you'll be doing will be using one core, so it'd make more sense increasing single core performance.

    Of course, the big snafu with the Quad is the relatively few DIMM slots and current limit of 8GB.
    With that said, I have a feeling the Quad 2.66 or 2.93 with 6 or 8GB of RAM and two raptors in RAID-1 would let you work without being annoyed by slowdowns etc.

    As to the benchmarks, I doubt the figures for the 2.66 Quad.
    It's not logical that the quad gets more done per core under full load than a single core would normally.

    As far as I can tell, these benchmarks aren't controlled benchmarks (i.e., start off from a known state), but they're probably within ±10% of each other.
     
  8. sejanus macrumors regular

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    May 3, 2005
    #8
    I'm a photographer and just ordered the 2.93 octo, by heck that was a lot of money.

    I do about 80 weddings a year shooting in raw on 1ds mk3's so I can justify it. Still stings a bit though :)

    I use aperture if that matters.
     
  9. JimGoshorn macrumors 6502

    JimGoshorn

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    #9
    How much memory did you decide to get? I work with 1Ds3 files as well.
     
  10. Keniff macrumors 6502a

    Keniff

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    #10

    After 6 weddings, it would have paid for itself!? ;)
     
  11. sejanus macrumors regular

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    #11
    my current macpro has 16 but I am going 12 with the new box due to the whole triple ram stick thing, when 4gb chips are a bit better priced down the track I'll go 24.

    6? that'd be a hard slog for a computer. more like 2-3.
     
  12. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #12
    Get the Octo with 6GB of RAM. Toss in another 6GB when you get the cash.

    p.s. Aperture is multi-core aware -- use that over LR! :)
     
  13. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    #13
    Raid0 for now?

    I shoot 5dmkII with 23mb files and medium format film with scans that are easily 100mb each. It takes me forever to scan and to save.

    NEW THOUGHT:
    I am thinking of getting the 2.26 octad mainly because of 1) the 16gb of memory and 2) future software - PS EVEN - taking advantage of the Octad architecture. But what i'm going to do to make it faster until then is get two velociraptor 300gb hard drives and use a RAID0. Do i need the raid card for that??????????????
     
  14. JimGoshorn macrumors 6502

    JimGoshorn

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    #14
    Have you seen any photoshop benchmarks yet? My G5 Quad has 8gb and that isn't enough. I wasn't quite sure if 12 would be enough with Photoshop and Lightroom open at the same time working on 21mp images. If I had to guess an average file size it would be around 600-700mb per image and 12 sounded like it would be cutting things a bit close.

    Do you figure with 12, you are going to have RAM to spare?
     
  15. sejanus macrumors regular

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    #15
    My current box is ok ram wise with 16 so if the new one with 12 isn't, then I'll pop in some more ram sticks to go back to 16. But I think it'll be ok.

    To be honest I don't really use photoshop that much. I can pretty much edit an entire wedding using aperture, I only use photoshop a bit when I design a wedding album.
     
  16. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #16
    Look at the green bar: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7270035&postcount=179 The highest green bar value will be your best machine unless you're batch processing thousands of images at once.

    And for pro photography you won't need more than 6 or 8 gigs of RAM so I wouldn't consider that a limitation whichever you choose.

    If the HDs you're getting fit the MacPro then you do not need a RAID card. In a 2 drive RAID at level 0 (RAID 0) there will be no noticeable advantage to using a raid card and no disadvantages to using MP's software/firmware RAID 0. So just put them in the MP and use "Disk Utility" to set up the RAID. ;)

    .
     
  17. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    For pro photography, the ram is more important than 8 cores.

    In the current photoshop, an 8 core is like have 8 people, 2 of them working for you and 6 just sitting around. Most of photoshop filters aren't optimized for multi-core computers.

    The 8 cores are nice for batch processing, but if you are working on just one file, ram and disk access are more of a factor than 4 or 8 cores.
     
  18. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #18
    If RAM is more important get the 2.26GHz Octad skip the Quad and skip the 08 models.

    Skip the Quads because you can put in 32GB max as to 8GB.

    And skip the 08' 8 core models because in memory tests its 2x slower compared to the new nehalem.
     
  19. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #19

    Oh shut up...
    Even if the photoshop doesnt utilize directly more than the 3.789Gigs of memory it can use more for scratch.
    AND we photogs usually work with different programs open (lightroom,eos capture etc..) so decent amount of memory is good.




    Lightroom is very,very much multicore aware. Move on...
     
  20. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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  21. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #21
    Yup all true. But In all of the many various editing situations I've been in with PS and other image processors I've never seen it go over 6 or 8 Gigs. Really 4 is enough for almost everything. So the 32GB comment above is not correct. 6 to 8 max is just fine and probably will be for 3 to 5 years to come.


    EDIT: From above...

    LR2.3 Kicks a$$ on Aperture. And Capture One kicks both their butts in speed and quality of output! :D
    I Think Aperture has to be the worst image editor in it's feature league.

    Also Macinposh has a point about using multiple apps. He's confused about memory scratch which doesn't happen tho. :D So if you intend on running 3 or 4 large applications at once then maybe 8GB would be just seeing the wall. 8 or 10 large apps at once would probably push it over - depending on the apps and data of course. ;)
     
  22. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #22

    Nope. It should be quite well documented on PS forums : Directly PS can utilize the 3.8gigs but it can use up to that same amount as a "virtual scratch" before starting to feed the I/Os to the physical disk.

    If you have been working with multiple large files (few 400meg,few 1.5gig pics) you can see the mem usage creep up till 6-7 gigs.


    My personal record is a bit over 8 gigs with PS+LR+Mail running. You can´t say that that is too many programs open at the same time... :D
     
  23. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #23
    Hmmm, OK, something I didn't know. Rare but it happens. :D
     
  24. iamcheerful macrumors 6502

    iamcheerful

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    #24
  25. JimGoshorn macrumors 6502

    JimGoshorn

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    #25
    As someone else who has watched his available memory in Activity Monitor creep down to a few hundred MB, do yourself a favor and allow for more than 8GB even if you don't need it right now.

    Photoshop and it's layered files are pigs for memory so there's no such thing as too much RAM :D
     

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