2008 loaded MP vs 2009 Basic MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by weaverra, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. weaverra macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #1
    If this was for personal use I would without question go with a 2009 MP with hopes of upgrading later. I am trying to decide what to do from a business perspective. I have started a real estate photography business. I'm getting pretty busy right now. I currently work off of a borrowed Mac Pro 1,1 Quad 3.0 with 4 gigs of ram. This thing is sloooooooooow. I am also using LR5. I am looking to upgrade hardware to speed up my work flow. I have considered anything from a 2012 i5 mac mini to a 2009 4,1 Mac Pro with the hopes of upgrading later. My question is would it be prudent to consider a 2008 8 core Mac Pro with 32 gigs of ram for around $650 vs. buying a 2009 Mac Pro with hopes of upgrading soon? I need speed now. My goal is to get a 2009 model to upgrade, but I'm thinking at the rate I'm going I could be there pretty quickly. I just need to get that motor going faster than it is right now because time is money. The 2008's are going pretty cheap on eBay right now and some with maxed out ram. I use the HDRsoft merge to 32bit HDR plugin with Lightroom 5. It currently takes anywhere between 2 to 4 minutes to merge seven exposures. Will the 2008 MP reduce that time dramatically?
     
  2. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #2
    I'd recommend the 2009 model. A lot more possibilities to upgrade in the future. Would a current generation Mini be a possibility?
     
  3. weaverra thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #3
    I would consider a current gen mac mini, but I don't have any external enclosures and with the Mac Pro I can easily swap hard drives out.
     
  4. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #4
    I recommend the 2009 Mac Pro then.
     
  5. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #5
    If you are literally using spinning hard drives and only have 4GB of RAM, hitting the scratch disk will absolutely kill your performance. Whichever route you go, get your system and working files onto an SSD. I would think the 2008 with 32GB and SSD will make a huge difference, can always resell later if you need to upgrade again.
     
  6. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #6
    $650.00 for a 2008 MP/32GB ram but how much for the 2009? That price may determine which way to go
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    I'd go 2009 or 2010 model for future expansion. I would start with Craigslist as it is local and the shipping isn't going to cost you an arm, leg, and foot. Plus, shipping damage to the Power Mac G5 and Mac Pro cases is all too common.
     
  8. weaverra thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #8
    I was thinking about this last night. I don't really have anything to compare too because I've only used my workflow on a Mac Pro 1,1. I process .cr2 files by merging them with the HDRsoft 32bit merge plugin with LR5. It's usually 7 exposures. It takes any where between 2 to 5 minuets to process a set. I then adjust those files to suit my needs. (I can adjust a single raw file pretty quickly with the current setup) Even with that at most of the time the computer is bogged down. It's on 10.7.5. What's the benefit between a dual core i5 (2012), dual core i7 (2012) and a 2008 8 core and 2009 quad core? All of these being at least 16 gigs of ram. Would a dual core i5 current gen mac mini get me through at least a year? Is ram and SSD going to be my biggest gain rather than pure processing power?
     
  9. austinpike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #9
    Take a look at your activity monitor while you are running a merge and try to figure out how much RAM is in use. My guess is you run out of ram, and then your software starts hitting the hard drive to make up for it. If that hard drive is an SSD instead, then when that happens things will go much quicker. But the first part of the problem is to have enough RAM that that doesn't happen. You probably don't want to throw any $ at the machine you have now, but my initial reaction would be spend $40 on 8GB RAM and see if it makes a difference. Once you have enough RAM, the SSD won't make much difference in terms of crunching your images, but will just make everything open/save quicker and could be moved to another machine in the future.

    One you have "enough" RAM to do what you need to do, adding more doesn't speed things up at all. My guess is you don't have "enough" right now and that is your bottleneck.

    A dual core i5 in itself (not considering ram or other system differences) is not going to be a big leap from what you have now. For multi-core operations in my experience - very broadly speaking - a dual core i5 would be roughly equivalent to a quad core Xeon of 2006-2009 vintage. 4 core i7 = 8 core Xeon. For single core operations, the i-series will be quicker, but assuming your tasks are multi-threaded the Xeons still have plenty of grunt.
     
  10. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #10
    This is excellent advice. The only suggestion I have is to look at the difference in generations between the processors and not consumer (core i) versus workstation/server (Xeon). There are significant differences between the core i parts and the Xeons which were used in the 2006-2008 Mac Pro's. Given the consumer parts tend to be further on the cutting edge it's not uncommon for a consumer PC to outperform an older generation workstation in CPU performance. It is for this reason it is difficult to justify an older Mac Pro, especially the 1,1 version, unless you require capability it offers other than processing power.
     
  11. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #11
    Don't waste time with the 2008 when you can get a single processor 2009 unit for nearly the same price, $699.

    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Mac-Pro-1x-2-66GHz-QC-Xeon-Early-2009-p/mp-266-4c-e09a.htm

    Your future use of the 2009, with a hex core processor upgrade, a pcie SSD boot/scratch disks, ram, gfx cards, etc, is on a longer horizon than the 2008. For more resources and information, consult http://macperformanceguide.com and http://pindelski.org/Photography/technical/mac-pro/
     
  12. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    #12
    That's a nice price! They were runnig $799 last week and $899 not long before. Last time I saw 'em at $699 was about a year ago.
     
  13. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #13
    I know, they dropped a hundred bucks off the price of my 2009 2x2.66 down to 1099 as well. I hope the xeon chips drop as fast for my upgrades
     

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