27" Quad 2.8 GHz iMac vs 8-core 2.8 GHz early 2008 Mac Pro

yadmonkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
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Western Spiral
Hi I need some advice. I currently have the following Mac Pro:

8-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro (2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon)
6GB RAM
Several internal drives
ATI Radeon HD 2600 256MB VRAM

I have an offer to sell it for enough $$ to buy a 27" quad iMac 2.8 GHz. I love my Mac Pro, but that screen is a real tempting upgrade from my 20" LCD.

Do you think they'd be similar in performance? Anyone know about how noisy the new quad iMacs are? I record music, so processing muscle probably isn't as important as quiet operating, which my MP is stellar in. But oh that big screen...

Anyhow, I'd really appreciate any feedback one way or another.
 

cantthinkofone

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2004
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Missouri, USA
Hi I need some advice. I currently have the following Mac Pro:

8-core 2.8GHz Mac Pro (2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon)
6GB RAM
Several internal drives
ATI Radeon HD 2600 256MB VRAM

I have an offer to sell it for enough $$ to buy a 27" quad iMac 2.8 GHz. I love my Mac Pro, but that screen is a real tempting upgrade from my 20" LCD.

Do you think they'd be similar in performance? Anyone know about how noisy the new quad iMacs are? I record music, so processing muscle probably isn't as important as quiet operating, which my MP is stellar in. But oh that big screen...

Anyhow, I'd really appreciate any feedback one way or another.
From the chart i saw here on MR, the i7 will beat a Mac Pro. Wish i could get one of them.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
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From the chart i saw here on MR, the i7 will beat a Mac Pro. Wish i could get one of them.
Wow you couldn't be more wrong. That chart clearly didn't test alongside the 2.8 octo. I know this because I too want to know and I read the article (instead of just looking at a chart). If your point was to express that the OP didn't search you too kinda failed. ;)

OP, I have not yet found a test though since that article linked above was released I had not looked. My guess is that it will come close, if not exceed the 2.8.
 

cantthinkofone

macrumors 65816
Jul 25, 2004
1,285
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Wow you couldn't be more wrong. That chart clearly didn't test alongside the 2.8 octo. I know this because I too want to know and I read the article (instead of just looking at a chart). If your point was to express that the OP didn't search you too kinda failed. ;)

OP, I have not yet found a test though since that article linked above was released I had not looked. My guess is that it will come close, if not exceed the 2.8.
I love how that is the only way some people now have for pointing out a person's mistake.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
I love how that is the only way some people now have for pointing out a person's mistake.
Similar to that of how you pointed out his question was answered on the front page when it was not. ;)
You pointed to the front page chart wherein the test between the machine and an early 2008 2x2.8 MP does not appear to exist. You did not point to barefeets.

You and I both know you have probably and will likely use the same "kind of failed" term on these boards if not elsewhere. ;) We all make mistakes, check out my current posts to see where I actually owned up to one instead of trying to pull off awesome where awesome didn't exist. :)

But now again, barefeets says they tested
"We, like many of you, are excited about the new quad-core iMacs. We ordered the "Core i7" model and decided to compare it not only to the fastest dual core iMac but also to the quad-core and octo-core 'early 2009' Mac Pro (Nehalem).

GRAPH LEGEND
MP 8core = 8-core 'early 2009' Mac Pro 2.93GHz with 12G of RAM and Radeon HD 4870
MP 4core = 4-core 'earl 2009' Mac Pro 2.93GHz with 12G of RAM and Radeon HD 4870
i7 iMac = 4-core 'late 2009' iMac 2.8GHz Core i7 with 8G of RAM and Radeon HD 4850
i5 iMac = 4-core 'late 2009' iMac 2.66Ghz Core i5 with 8GB of RAM and Radeon HD 4850
c2c iMac = 2-core 'early 2009' iMac 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo with 8G of RAM and Radeon HD 4850
TEST APPS: Cinebench 10, Geekbench 2.1.4, Compressor 3.0.5, After Effects CS4."
What am I missing here? I see a lot of 2009, nothing about 2008.

I had seen that chart, but it seems to be completely contradicted by the barefeats benchmarks... unless I'm reading these wrong.
I think it's odd too, but still it is not using your specific machine. I have your machine and I am dying to see. However, I love all the HDD space so it's a tough one to choose between the two if they do have similar power.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
3,342
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Washington, DC
The i7 iMac will match or beat the Octo core 2.8Ghz Mac Pro in single threaded applications or apps that don't see more than 2 cores. Unless you're using After Effects or other heavy multithreaded apps, my recommendation is to get the iMac. I had a 2.8Ghz Octo-Mac Pro with 10GB RAM, Ati 4870 and 4TB internal drives and I sold it for an i7 iMac...and I'm a professional video editor. Just didn't need all the wasted power taking up space on my desk.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
The i7 iMac will match or beat the Octo core 2.8Ghz Mac Pro in single threaded applications or apps that don't see more than 2 cores. Unless you're using After Effects or other heavy multithreaded apps, my recommendation is to get the iMac. I had a 2.8Ghz Octo-Mac Pro with 10GB RAM, Ati 4870 and 4TB internal drives and I sold it for an i7 iMac...and I'm a professional video editor. Just didn't need all the wasted power taking up space on my desk.
Now this is interesting, really. I have the MP you had, he 30" ACD and continually think about the i7. I am not sure I am using the power but I've spent a fair amount of money on additional storage to go inside. Also, I am unsure I really want to deal with shipping this beast you know? But anyway, not to hijack the thread, but this is decent news.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
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Now this is interesting, really. I have the MP you had, he 30" ACD and continually think about the i7. I am not sure I am using the power but I've spent a fair amount of money on additional storage to go inside. Also, I am unsure I really want to deal with shipping this beast you know? But anyway, not to hijack the thread, but this is decent news.
As far as storage goes, I picked up a DroboPro and put some of the drives in there. I sold the tower on Craigslist for $2700...and I still have a 24" LED Cinema Display on an arm I'm mounting next to the iMac when I get it. I'd definitely recommend the switch. Like I said, unless you are rendering, editing, and transcoding at the same time, or make your living on After Effects, it's just wasted potential...not to mention wasted desk space and power consumption.
 

yadmonkey

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Aug 13, 2002
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Western Spiral
First, a quick thanks for all of your responses.

MovieCutter, I'm curious about the noise on the i7... how does it compare? I can hardly hear my MP under my desk and wouldn't want significantly more noise.

Jessica, I hear you on the internal storage. Not only massively convenient, but also quiet whereas some externals add a little fan noise.

So tough... I don't want to leave this guy hanging and it's ideal because it would be a local sale, but I am torn.
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
3,342
2
Washington, DC
First, a quick thanks for all of your responses.

MovieCutter, I'm curious about the noise on the i7... how does it compare? I can hardly hear my MP under my desk and wouldn't want significantly more noise.
I don't know, it hasn't hit Apple's employee discount site yet so I haven't ordered it. And as far as external drive fan noise, my FW800 Drobo and DroboPro are virtually silent...it's insane how quiet they are, but I have dealt with some ridiculously loud enclosures, though the WD Quad interface MyBooks are very very very quiet.

I only say the performance would be similar because I use my 2.8Ghz MBP to edit my HD shows these days while I wait for the iMac and I notice absolutely zero performance differences in rendering and exporting from the MP vs. the MBP, so I'd imagine the new chip tech in the i7 versus the 2.8Ghz Mac Pro processors will give it the edge. You'd have to read other threads to get a gauge on noise level, but I can't imagine Apple would let it go above what the MP does.
 

yadmonkey

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Aug 13, 2002
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Just to throw this out there... in all of these benchmarks, that i5 iMac seems to be really close to the i7 in performance. I wonder if it's really worth the extra $200 for the i7. Is there any difference other than the clock speed? $200 for 140 MHz may be a marginal value.

Edit: Apparently there are some differences, but the i5 is the real bang-for-your-buck performer.
 

MovieCutter

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May 3, 2005
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Just to throw this out there... in all of these benchmarks, that i5 iMac seems to be really close to the i7 in performance. I wonder if it's really worth the extra $200 for the i7. Is there any difference other than the clock speed? $200 for 140 MHz may be a marginal value.
i7 processors can simulate 8 cores whereas the i5 processors can't. So for certain tasks and certain applications, the i7 can out perform the i5 by more than the 140 Mhz in raw proc speed.
 

psingh01

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Apr 19, 2004
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Some benchmarks I've seen put the 8 x 2.26 MP as roughly equivalent to the older 8 x 2.8 MP. When the app takes advantage of more cores the 2.26 comes out on top but not by much.
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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im tempted to buy an i7 imac right now .. but i feel like i should hold out for the mac pro update .. i like being able to have additional storage inside and the option to swap video cards as well
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
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im tempted to buy an i7 imac right now .. but i feel like i should hold out for the mac pro update .. i like being able to have additional storage inside and the option to swap video cards as well
Mac Pros will likely have hex-core processors, resulting in 12 cores. If you REALLY need additional internal storage and the ability to swap video cards (which really...only gamers and high end 3D pros need these days), then by all means, wait for a Mac Pro rev. But the iMac is the best bang for the buck right now, especially when you can get very fast external storage and even iSCSI solutions like the DroboPro.
 

yoak

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2004
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Oslo, Norway
I only say the performance would be similar because I use my 2.8Ghz MBP to edit my HD shows these days while I wait for the iMac and I notice absolutely zero performance differences in rendering and exporting from the MP vs. the MBP, so I'd imagine the new chip tech in the i7 versus the 2.8Ghz Mac Pro processors will give it the edge. You'd have to read other threads to get a gauge on noise level, but I can't imagine Apple would let it go above what the MP does.
Hi
I'm curious as to what type of footage you are editing and what you are rendering to. I have the 2.8 and a mbp and the render times are night and day. I usually cut xdcam HD footage. Compressor is way faster and even exporting directly from fc is much faster. Do you use a cluster with qmaster in compressor right?
 

jetjaguar

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Apr 6, 2009
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Mac Pros will likely have hex-core processors, resulting in 12 cores. If you REALLY need additional internal storage and the ability to swap video cards (which really...only gamers and high end 3D pros need these days), then by all means, wait for a Mac Pro rev. But the iMac is the best bang for the buck right now, especially when you can get very fast external storage and even iSCSI solutions like the DroboPro.
well i do game somewhat so the option to swap cards is a plus
 

MovieCutter

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May 3, 2005
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Hi
I'm curious as to what type of footage you are editing and what you are rendering to. I have the 2.8 and a mbp and the render times are night and day. I usually cut xdcam HD footage. Compressor is way faster and even exporting directly from fc is much faster. Do you use a cluster with qmaster in compressor right?
I edit XDCAM HD and HDV. Output is to MXF files to run through our system, and they're short packages on XDCAM or 23 minute shows on HDV. I don't use compressor, just straight out of FCP. And I'm very rarely on time constraints. I had a 2.8Ghz 8-core and it just wasn't justifying itself, that and it sits at home while I do most of my editing offsite.
 

yoak

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2004
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Oslo, Norway
I edit XDCAM HD and HDV. Output is to MXF files to run through our system, and they're short packages on XDCAM or 23 minute shows on HDV. I don't use compressor, just straight out of FCP. And I'm very rarely on time constraints. I had a 2.8Ghz 8-core and it just wasn't justifying itself, that and it sits at home while I do most of my editing offsite.
I see. We used the first 24" iMac that came out when we started editing series of 4 sports programs, shot with a mix of HDV and XDCAM EX cameras. The iMac could handle the editing even back then, but when it came to rendering out for broadcast it just took too long. We were on a very tight timeschedule and had to get the MP to finish the shows on time.
Of course the difference was much bigger then than now, and I have always missed my iMac and that screen after I sold it to get a MBP.

On a side note. If you use a cluster with compressor it really speeds up the rendering. Unfortunatly there is a bug in FCS so you won´t be able to use the cluster if you export your timeline from FC. You have to export a Quicktime movie and open that in Compressor to get to use all the cores of your machine
 

MovieCutter

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I see. We used the first 24" iMac that came out when we started editing series of 4 sports programs, shot with a mix of HDV and XDCAM EX cameras. The iMac could handle the editing even back then, but when it came to rendering out for broadcast it just took too long. We were on a very tight timeschedule and had to get the MP to finish the shows on time.
Of course the difference was much bigger then than now, and I have always missed my iMac and that screen after I sold it to get a MBP.

On a side note. If you use a cluster with compressor it really speeds up the rendering. Unfortunatly there is a bug in FCS so you won´t be able to use the cluster if you export your timeline from FC. You have to export a Quicktime movie and open that in Compressor to get to use all the cores of your machine
Right, but exporting to an MXF from my timeline take a couple of minutes for a 23 minute show, and I always edit a week in advance of broadcast. So to each their own. My point is simply, unless you're editing video for broadcast that demands a quick turn around as it appears that you are, the Mac Pro is simply too much power for the money. I simply never noticed a difference in editing on my tower vs. editing on my MBP. Maybe it's just my perception, but I've never been pushing hard for a deadline between the two.
 

yoak

macrumors 65816
Oct 4, 2004
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Oslo, Norway
Yes, I agree.
We got the MP when we had to deal with the short turnaround on that show.
Just one last question, what do you use for a scratch disk and storage?
 

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