8 Core - Too much for Heavy hi-res Graphics, light audio video?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Sean Dempsey, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #1
    Is the 8 core overkill for heavy hi-res graphic design, but low use audio and video editing?

    I have no experience with the current Mac Pro's. I have a 1,1 original, but I understand that the Nehalem processor is far superior to the Woodcrest from the original.

    Question is, with 3300 as the base of an 8 core, does a 2d designer really need that extra processor?
     
  2. Roman23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    #2
    First tell me,

    EXACTLY what you use your machine for then I can advise.. Personally, if you are doing heavy rendering and audio recording, then any 8-core would be a nice choice.. stay away from the 2.26 - they are so slow and most 2008 8-core machines can wipe the floor with it.. HOWEVER, the 8-core 2.66 or 2.93 is a worthy one to look at, however HOW MUCH DO YOU PLAN ON SPENDING?



     
  3. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #3


    Well, I thought "hi res graphic desigh, and light audio video use" was fairly clear, but I'll try to elaborate more.

    Hi res print design using Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, large format PDF files and large format printing. Will be making hi-res materials from hi-res phtotography, and often be doing large multi-page documents as well.

    Audio and video editing will be occasional and not very heavy use, but still will need to be done every now and then.
     
  4. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    You might have better luck looking on Adobe-related forums regarding this.

    They have supposedly increased multicore support since CS4, but just how "increased" is it - I got no idea.

    You can of course check the stickied "Real world" photoshop benchmark test thread. But, that's just Photoshop. Don't know about benchmarks regarding Illustrator and InDesign and I can't really imagine them requiring a lot of cores to do what they do.

    Ok.. So this hasn't been particularly useful. But with Adobe products, the thing you're looking to have is large amounts of memory, especially if you are modifying hi-res files (medium format photos, perhaps?) - since this will reduce time wasted in paging. So i *think* that a Quad-core with lots of RAM is enough, but again, you should ask on Adobe-related forums. Although, an Octad system might be a good idea if you have a combination of Adobe apps open at the same time.
     
  5. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #5
    Maybe I should ask:

    What specific tasks and software really uses the 8 core? If it's just for 3d modeling and 1080p editing, I probably don't really need it.
     
  6. SatyMahajan macrumors regular

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    Cambridge, MA
    #6
    3D modeling, rendering, compiling large codebase, running virtual machines, running more apps at once smoothly.

    Keep in mind the following (since RAM is hugely important):

    The 2.26x8 with 1TB, 16GB and a 4870 is $4099.
    The 2.66x4 with 1TB, 16GB and a 4870 is $4649
    The 2.93x4 with 1TB, 16GB and a 4870 is $5049.
     
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #7
    Only at Apple's memory prices of course.

    OWC, for example, sell 8x2GB for $560 and 4x4GB for $610.
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    If you're mostly working in Photoshop, you're probably going to be fine with a quad-core. The base quad-core Mac Pro (2.66GHz) will likely be faster for everything you do than the base 8-core model (2.26GHz). 8-core machines really start to flex their muscles with heavy rendering tasks.

    However, you should also be aware that the current quad-core models have somewhat crippled expansion versus the 8-cores. You only get 4 memory sockets (instead of 8) and no option to add a second CPU later (like you could on the 2008 model).
     
  9. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #9
    is the iMac on the tables here i wonder? mine handles that sort of stuff fine :)
     
  10. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #10
    Well, an iMac is on the table, I just worry about the lack of SATA drive availability. I know I can do FW800, but SATA or eSATA would be better.

    Plus, I'd have to go for the i7 to maximize my dollar, which puts me at nearly the same cost as the Mac Pro 4 core, and I already have a 30" monitor.

    I might do the 27" imac, it just seems like you're limiting yourself in a few key areas. Hard to expand to fast additional drives, and hard to do more than 2 monitors.
     
  11. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #11
    To chime in a bit. It's actually easy to have more than 2 monitors on an iMac.. just a bit costly.

    Just gotta find and buy a DisplayLink device.

    And drivers have improved over the year:
    http://www.displaylink.com/support/mac_downloads.php

    I *think* it allows for 3D graphics now on DisplayLink'd monitors. Early beta's only had 2D support.

    So the time's are good for multi-monitoring on iMacs.

    The only downside though is that CPU is sacrificed to process and transmit data over USB.
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #12
    what if the next iMac upgrade had a few eSATA ports? would you consider it then? :D

    thats definitely true- the imac is limiting in a number of ways, for the processing power that you described i think the iMac will be plenty. so in saying that i think the quad core MP will be enough, then spend the saved money on things like more RAM to even out the loss in processing power.
     
  13. mrsir2009 macrumors 604

    mrsir2009

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  14. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #14
    I'm not really sure how much RAM you would need, but the dual CPU MP supports twice as much RAM as the single CPU model.
     
  15. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #15
    what is the deal with the new Mac Pro ram options? Does it have to be in pairs? 3's? Is there a certain way the chips have to be combined?

    I know the quad only comes with 3 slots, but it comes with 3x1g chips. So can you do any combination of ram up to 32g in the 4 slots, or are there some combinations that won't work?
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #16
    you will be able to use any combination from what i understand. i dont think that there are any limitations :\
     
  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #17
    Go check out the MacPerformanceGuide.

    He talks about buying, tuning, and optimizing Macs for Photoshop. I have his advice to be useful more than once.

    I would go for the 8 core simply because I think Apple is going to continue evolving OS X to use more cores more efficiently, and that Adobe will take advantage of those cores better with the next release. An 8 core machine will, imo, get faster as time goes on as the software catches up to the hardware.

    Currently it is difficult to properly utilize 8 cores. That seems to be improving. A Mac Pro should last you a good 3 to 5 years minimum. Good Luck.
     
  18. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Texas
    #18
    Quad comes with 4 slots and octo has 8 slots, basically a slot per core. You don't have to have your RAM in any certain order, but certain orders can maximize your performance.
     
  19. Sean Dempsey thread starter macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

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    Aug 7, 2006
    #19
    I have a Mac Pro 2006 at home which still runs great. If I had a little more ram, and an SSD, I am sure this machine would feel like brand new.

    But, I am not willing to bring it in to work at a W2 job. So gotta get something for the office place.
     
  20. Foggy macrumors 6502a

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    London, UK
    #20
    That is the main reason I wont buy the Quad. By the time I have added the ram I want it is more expensive than the Octo and is certainly not as expandable in that area.
     

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