3.1 dual or 4.1 single?

CopyRat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2012
3
0
Hi!

I have just got an offer at work to take home one of our Mac Pro's. I have 2 models to choose from but I am unsure of what model is the best one.

First one is:
Mac Pro 3.1
dual xeon 3.0 GHz - 8 cores
10 Gb RAM - 800 MHz DDR2

Second one is:
Mac Pro 4.1
single 2.66 GHz - quad core
8 Gb RAM - 1066 MHz DDR3

I also have the option to choose between two graphic cards. nVidia GeForce 8800 GT or nVidia GeForce GT 120.

I'm going to use the Mac for compositing, color grading and some 3D modeling.

Please help me do the right choice.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Hi!

I have just got an offer at work to take home one of our Mac Pro's. I have 2 models to choose from but I am unsure of what model is the best one.

I'm going to use the Mac for compositing, color grading and some 3D modeling.

Please help me do the right choice.
It's a two part question:

1. How multi-threaded are the applications you use?
2. Do you get to keep the Mac Pro to do as you wish or will you have to give it back?

If the answers are:
A: 1. Very and 2. Yes I have to give it back: Go with the 3,1. It benches higher than the Quad Core 4,1.
B: 1. Not Multi-threaded and 2. Yes I have to give it back: Go with the 4,1.
C. 1. Any and 2. No I get to keep it: Go with the 4,1*

* 4,1 is upgradable to a 6-core 3.43ghz processor and the RAM is much cheaper than the 3,1.
 

lixuelai

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2008
806
59
I would get the 4.1 as it is much more upgradeable. Cheapest upgrade you can do is drop in a i7 970 and it should be faster than the 3.1 even in heavily multi-threaded applications.
 

ashman70

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2010
942
0
I too would choose the 4,1 the ram is cheaper and your CPU upgrade potential is huge over the 3,1 which has no CPU upgrade potential.
 

CopyRat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2012
3
0
Hi and thanks for all answers.

It's a two part question:

1. How multi-threaded are the applications you use?
2. Do you get to keep the Mac Pro to do as you wish or will you have to give it back?

If the answers are:
A: 1. Very and 2. Yes I have to give it back: Go with the 3,1. It benches higher than the Quad Core 4,1.
B: 1. Not Multi-threaded and 2. Yes I have to give it back: Go with the 4,1.
C. 1. Any and 2. No I get to keep it: Go with the 4,1*

* 4,1 is upgradable to a 6-core 3.43ghz processor and the RAM is much cheaper than the 3,1.
I can keep it for my own and i can do what I want with it. I have plans to upgrade to a system more suitable for davinci resolve. Dual GPUs and more RAM. The information that the CPU is also upgradeable was new to me and is probably worth more in the long run.

Thank you all!
 

chiefroastbeef

macrumors 6502a
May 26, 2008
909
0
Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
Hi and thanks for all answers.



I can keep it for my own and i can do what I want with it. I have plans to upgrade to a system more suitable for davinci resolve. Dual GPUs and more RAM. The information that the CPU is also upgradeable was new to me and is probably worth more in the long run.

Thank you all!
In order to upgrade the CPU for the 4.1

1. Purchase a new CPU- the best bang for the buck cpu is the w3680, which is $586 at provantage with warranty.

2. Upgrade your 4.1 EFI firmware to that of the 5.1, search for "netkas 4.1 5.1 upgrade" and you'll find it. It will flash your firmware to that of the 2010 Mac Pros, and doing so will allow you to use 1333mhz ram when you use the w3680 CPU.
The first post here has the netkas link to flash the new efi

3. Install the new CPU, relatively simple, just go slow.
Video of how to do it
Photo tutorial
 

Phildo

macrumors member
Nov 14, 2011
90
0
Perth, Western Australia
Take the 4,1!

It's faster than the 3,1.

DDR3 RAM is much cheaper and more available.

The optical drives are SATA instead of ATA (ie cheaper to buy).

And the W3680 upgrade option is worth doing in the future.
 

CopyRat

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 16, 2012
3
0
chiefroastbeef - Great information, thank you a lot!

Phildo - Thanks for your input. Well needed.