3.2 quad or 2.4 octo best for long term.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dazed, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    My friend is getting his first mac and is trying to decide between the 3.2 quad and the 2.4 Octo. He typically keeps his machine for 3 or 4 years so would he be better off getting an Octo for more future proofing ?

    im assuming future apps would be more core aware than todays but 2.4 just seems so much slower than a 3.2, i dont want him to regret his decision.


    Thanks
     
  2. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #2
    Depends on what he's gonna use it for.

    It's true that there will be applications in the future that are more core-aware but that depends on if they're going to benefit from the cores.

    So what's your friend going to use a Mac Pro for?
     
  3. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #3
    While it is likely that future apps will be more MP-aware than many are today, I think we need reasonable expectations as to what that means. I am certain that Photoshop, for example will eventually make use of multiple cores or the GPU for complex calculations (filters, redrawing the image with multiple layers, etc), but it is not clear how practical it is to multithread routine UI actions.

    The question is what your friend is buying the Mac Pro for. If he is an enthusiast and is expecting to be blown away by the responsiveness of the machine for routine tasks, he better get the 3.2 quad. If he is buying it for computational horsepower to significantly speed up rendering 3D models, applying complex filters in Photoshop, transcoding video or composing complex orchestral scores using lots of high-end virtual instruments or samplers, then the dual CPU version might be the answer.

    What I'm a little puzzled about is the choices - the 3.33 Westmere 6 core is close to the price of the base 2.4 8 core ($200 difference I believe). If he is prepared to spend $3500 on the 2.4x8, I would steer him to the 3.33x6, not the 3.2 quad, if he is thinking cores might help him going forward. Nice compromise - 2 more cores, the larger Westmere cache and still has the high clock rate for stuff that is not well threaded.
     
  4. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #4
    unless the software he uses right now can utilize 8 or 16 (incl. virtual) cores, a 3.2 quad or 3.33 hex is the best choice.
     
  5. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #5
    thanks, i will try steer him towards the 6 core.

    He uses his computer for everything including photography(hobby). the 6 core seems like it will serve him well for many years



    tx
     
  6. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #6
    I am also a photographer - that is about the last field that needs 8 cores right now. No mainstream app that I am aware of is particularly well-threaded. That is one reason I got the 3.2 quad (the other being I didn't have another $800 right now).
     

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