6-core upgrade or 27" Cinema Display?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Xendin, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Xendin macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2010
    I have a set budget for my 2010 Mac Pro and am having a tough time deciding between upgrading or a display.

    I have narrowed it down to either upping it to a 6-core Westmere or getting the base 4-core 2.8 Nehalem model and using the upgrade money for a new 27" cinema display.

    The upgrade to a Westmere is pretty much the same price as the new display. I will mostly be using it for Final Cut and CS5. Is the Westmere going to make a huge difference? If I go for the Westmere I will still have to cobble together enough $ to get an LCD.

    I also plan to add at least 16GB to it once my finances recover :p.
  2. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    I'd always go with a more powerful computer rather than an okay computer and an expensive screen: you can always use a cheap, large display until you have more money to buy a better one, whereas you're stuck with an okay computer for longer (except if you buy/sell/buy/sell every year like some people do)
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What display would you get if you bought the 6-core? It's always easier to buy a new monitor than upgrade the CPU
  4. GeneralAntilles macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2002
    The extra CPU is going to help more than a crappy glossy LCD. Especially if you're going for color accuracy.

    Perhaps get a Dell U2211H as a stop-gap?
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I think for the work you're doing, the quad with the 27" is ideal. A large nice screen (or two) is THE most important part of any computer IMHO and given your work, will impact your productivity far more than a couple of extra CPU cores.
  6. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    I'd vote for the 2.8 Quad and ACD. I think the 27" ACD is a very good display.

    JMO, The hex is overpriced on a performance/dollar basis.................. when you consider VERY few programs efficiently use mulit-cores.

    cheers for whatever you get
  7. Xendin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2010
    It's hard not to be tempted by the new pretty ACD, but after looking hard at the benchmarks I could find it looks like the 6-core really is the performance/price sweet spot for the new line up and will be money well spent as time goes by. Also going to step up to the 5870 as it really isn't that much extra in the grand scheme to get a nice boost to the graphics.

    And as you have all pointed out there are some great smaller displays out there for a bunch less moola that will do just fine until I want to plunk down for a really nice ginormous monitor later on.
  8. Xendin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2010
    See now the other side chips in. I'm waffling too much. Good thing I'm not buying until next month. :D
  9. psychometry macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2006
    I honestly see no reason to buy an Apple display. Ever. Go with something like the Dell U2711 or a display from NEC or Samsung. Save money and end up with a better, more extensible product with a similarly excellent warranty.
  10. Geser macrumors newbie

    Aug 30, 2010
    i would probably go for 2,8 and 27ACD.

    I'm actualy about to order everything this weekend....

    You can upgrade cpu later.....

    for single threaded applications the price of hex cannot be justified.
    only 20% increase!!! but at what cost?

    About my calc:
    1)UK prices
    2) i took results submitted to geekbench website
    3) compared separately single and multithreaded tests

    Attached Files:

  11. kdb31 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    I'd get the larger screen (doesn't have to be apple but any 27/30"). Having your screen real estate double in size is such a readily noticeable thing I'd never go back to anything smaller. I've had one since 2004 and its the only thing that's remained constant across my upgrades and still continues to be my favorite component. Not familiar with FCP so I don't really know what kind of performance trade offs you're making there but it's not an upgrade thats going to be out dated when next year's new cpus come out.
  12. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    At least in the US, the Dell U2711 is equivalently priced as the ACD, and the NEC PA271W costs 50% more ($1500). Also, the Dell has a very strong anti-glare coating, so you get a lot of IPS sparkle/grain. Because the ACD is glossy, there is no sparkle/grain at all.
  13. VideoFreek macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2007
    If you are using it mostly for photography, it is really questionable as to whether the ACD would be the right display for you. A new review from diglloyd:

    Apple 27" Cinema Display

    The criticisms in this review are all well known and nothing really new, but I think they are on the mark for photographers. For general use, the 27" ACD will be a lovely display, but not for color-critical work.

    Regarding your processor choices, you might want to consider the 3.2GHz Quad. For your intended use, four cores should be enough, and this option would give a substantial boost in processor speed at a third of the cost of going all the way to the hexacore.
  14. foodle macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    This is hardly a review, since he didn't actually see or use the unit. He just voices some boilerplate complaints about the glossy surface and features. And it's pretty obvious he has a long-standing axe to grind.
  15. telequest macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    How about two 24 inch displays

    I've got the 6-core with the 5870 and very happy so far - and like you, spend most of my time in FCS and CS5.

    The monitor upgrade I'm looking at is TWO 24 inch displays, probably the Dell U2410, a 1920x1200 IPS unit - currently $499 at Dell.

    Two of these are the price of one 27"ACD, and you get a million more pixels (4,608,000=2x1920x1200 vs 3,686,000=2560x1440) and an arrangement that suits me better for editing video, especially high def ... palettes and timeline on one, full-scale video on the other.

    And if you've got a short-term budget limit, you can get one now, the other later.
  16. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    i would love to hear how you like those monitors once you get them Tele! they look sweet.
  17. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    The 2.93GHz Quad i7 iMac with the 27" display is faster than the 2.8GHz Quad Mac Pro, by almost 2000 points in Geekbench. I would say invest your money in the 6-core Mac Pro 3.33Ghz Westmere and save your money and get the display later. You shouldn't skimp on having a fast machine. The 3.33GHz 6-core is almost TWICE AS FAST in real performance than the 2.8 quad. For Real.

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