About to buy 3.0 ....should I REALLY go 2.8 instead?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jconly, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. jconly macrumors member

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    #1
    I know, I know...
    This has been discussed a million times before. But maybe I should mention my own personal situation.

    I'm about to pull the trigger on a much needed new imaging workstation. I spend all my time in Photoshop, Bridge, and Capture One. I shoot 39 megapixel digital backs, and work with high res 4x5 scans. I'm commonly working on files 4GB+

    I was going to go with the 3.0, with 10GB of ram. Would this really be a waste? I know that I can't utilize all those cores alone with just PS, but I want to be able to multitask as much as possible. But more importantly, I need this machine to last me AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.

    Wether I go with the 2.8 or the 3.0, this is a major investment for me. When all is said and done, I'm looking at a 9k - 10k investment. After that, I can't forsee myself being able to purchasing a new machine for AT LEAST 6 years. Surely within that time frame, a new version of Creative Suite will be released, and I'm sure it will be multi-thread capable. As camera technology evolves, it seems to me that buying bigger now will give me greater capabilities down the road.

    But, I'm not doing this to have "the best." If I should really go 2.8, convince me otherwise. Money saved is money saved after all.
     
  2. TheThirdMan macrumors regular

    TheThirdMan

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    #2
    You have a hasselblad H3D!??

    In answer to ur question, leave it at 2.8. For future proofing, speed will have a negligible impact. 2.8 and 3.0 and 3.2 will all be seriously slow in 6 years.
     
  3. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

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    #3
    Additional 200Mhz = $720 + tax

    Additional Resell Value = not so much.

    Addtional Performance = not so much

    Ability to brag that you got a 3.0 instead of a 2.8 = priceless.

    UPDATE: I compiled a PDF (by MacWorld) showing the differences between all the Mac's here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=421580
     
  4. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    No, I'm not a fan of those Imacon (now Hasselblad branded backs).
    I work with a Phase-One P45 on an H2 or 503 body whenever I don't need the movements of a 4x5

    But really? I guess I can't lie, there is a part of me that says 3.0 is sweeter, do it.
    But am I really not going to see any improvements. Even if I'm running emulation software and a second OS?
     
  5. kirkbross macrumors 6502a

    kirkbross

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    Los Angeles
    #5
    I was in the same boat, but decided that a 7% speed increase would NOT make my life 7% better. I'm going to get a 2.8 (as soon as Pro Tools is compatible) and then sell it and (probably) get a Nehalem Mac in a year or so.

    The common argument of "I want it to last as long as possible" is kind of irrelevant because a slight proc boost in three years is going seem silly compared to the advances in motherboards, RAM, SSD's, etc.. Further, the application upgrades you'll be using in three years will beg for newer "overall" systems, much more so than just a slight proc boost.

    Now, if you're income depends on waiting for huge Photoshop filters to render on 50 billion gigabyte image files all day long, then 3.0 will probably make your life slightly easier, but 999 out of 1000 wouldn't notice the time savings -- and saving time is the bulk of this dilema. The other thing is the psychological effect of having a "3.0" box vs. a "2.8" box. If you'll "feel" happier, then factor that in, but keep it low on the totem pole.
     
  6. shabba macrumors newbie

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  7. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I see what you're saying about the proc diff compared to overall changes. I've been thinking about that though. But what foreseeable technology is going to come out? Faster HD I/O's can be achieved with a PCIe card, and I could care less about USB 3.0. Networking speeds are not so important. Graphics are upgradeable. The major changes are the changes that would come with the newer intel chip.

    If I could, I would def wait for Nehalem, but I'm in need of a new machine now. But how much depreciation are we talking here if reselling a year from now is a possibility? It's not a bad thought, but it is a huge hassle.

    But anyway, I'm not waiting on huge filter renderings really. In fact, I'm more of a shooter than a "retoucher," although I do all the retouching work since I have trust issues. :rolleyes: I suppose my main issues are based on Disk I/O and RAM.

    Perhaps I should go 2.8.
     
  8. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

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    #8
    It'll be a tough call man. I do HD video editing and I was 100% set on getting the 3.0. Then I saw the article on Bearfeats and then the specs on MacWorld, and instead went with the 2.8. I just couldn't justify spending another $800 on a marginal difference. I got it with the 8800GT, so the order is on hold, but I can't say that I don't feel tempted from time to time to just cancel the thing (being that nothing is charged to my card till it ships) and just get the 3.0.
     
  9. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    so stressfull

    I suppose I could always find something else to spend the cash on tho.
    in fact, some new lighting equip sounds pretty nice
     
  10. drrich2 macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #10
    If the hopes of the performance jump with the advent of Nehalem are even half-way accurate, even 4 years from now I suspect the performance standard for high-end desktop workstation PCs (Macs, Windows or what-have-you) will have advanced to far that you'll want a new system.

    Perhaps it might make more sense to 'bank' the money a 3.0 or 3.2 would cost, get a 2.8, and simply get used to the idea of upgrading in 3 or 4 years?

    I know you're looking at a large outlay (maybe 10 grand), so easier said than done. I also know that when the standard is for computers in your niche to be 3x's faster, have 3x's the storage, triple the RAM & much faster hard drives, well, it's hard to stay with the old product.

    I don't just just what all is running the price of your system to 10 grand.

    For sake of argument, if you bought a 5 grand Penryn 2.8 setup NOW, and then sold it & bought a 5 grand Nehalem system in first quarter '09, would the sacrifices you make this year really have enough practical impact to offset the gains you'd have the next 5 years (of your proposed 6+ year cycle)?

    Just my 2 cents; hope it's somehow helpful. Good luck with your system.

    Richard.
     
  11. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #11

    Its not so much the cost of the initial system that is running up the cost as it is a new monitor and even more so the cost of building a proper image archive.

    I apprecite the post though. You make some very valid points.

    The more I think about it, I think I will indeed go with a 2.8 and just hop on the "technology train"
    I guess I need to embrace the fact that things are always changing. No sense in buying more than I need at the moment.
     
  12. drrich2 macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2005
    #12
    The monitor will carry forward to the new system. I've got a 2.8 GHz MacPro on order, & the old 24" Dell monitor currently hooking to a Dell XPS is what I plan to use with it. Sure I'd like a new monitor; just don't want to pay for it.

    Ditto the image archive. I enjoy digital photography & me, my wife & buddy have well over 50 gigs in photos; it's due to migrate to the new MacPro, too.

    Richard.
     
  13. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #13
    Ya, I have about 2tb to deal with, and its always growing

    But yes, the monitor is more of a long term investment. Which is also why I'm putting that off a little longer. Before I buy a samsung xl24, I want to see what other led displays hit the market in the next 6 months. Eizo is also releasing a new 30 in soon. Should be interesting to see the specs on that
     
  14. deathshrub macrumors 6502

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  15. ErikAndre macrumors 6502a

    ErikAndre

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    #15
    Good call.
     
  16. jconly thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    and I will, dude

    By why not get the free opinion of others first?
    plus some good points worth considering have been raised.
     
  17. choreo macrumors regular

    choreo

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    Midland, TX
    #17
    I was all set to buy the 3.2 and decided to go with the 2.8. It came in two weeks ago and it is much faster than the Dual 2-Gig G5 that I just retired. I added 16-gig of RAM and 4 super-fast 750-gig hard drives and I am totally pleased with the speed I am getting out of the hardware (at least on what works with Leopard so far).

    I have been doing Macs for 18 years and usually swap out about every 2 years and manage about 10-terabytes of graphics on my current system for clients. This last G5 tower is the longest I have ever kept a computer (4 years). But what you may find is that it will not be "speed" of the computer that forces you out of what ever you have. The reason I get "forced" to "upgrade" (really more of a cross-grade) is not usually due to the computer being too slow, but rather they keep switching industry standards on storage, peripherals, architectures, etc. and the software writing just keeps getting sloppier and heavier - throwing the load onto the machines to do more work to make up the difference.

    The computer is also the cheapest part of every upgrade I have done. So far my switch to MacPro/Leopard has cost me over $8000 the past month (not including the computer) - Why? Because the new price for processor speed is all new associated expenses. Scanners not recognized - my choice, purchase Silverfast software at a cost that is more than a new scanner and hope the 2 year old scanner doesn't break (which cannot be replaced since it is out of production) or purchase new scanners which probably are not ready for prime time and debug that issue. Sony Artisan monitors - in perfect condition with proprietary software (now deprecated) - $750 calibrators just turned into door stops thanks to Leopard. People say "stay with Tiger", but the new Mac Pros will not even boot with Tiger. CS3 Leopard upgrades were - no extra charge this time, but I have spent a few thousand dollars to get all my Photoshop and After Effects plugins updated to run. anyway you get the idea. "My" experience has been that at no point will everything just "work" for any length of time. Last night I spent 8 hours straight just trying to work around a Leopard Users Permissions issue... That is why I never get "excited" about so called "speed" tests. One incompatibility can cost you WAY MORE time than ANY hardware speed gain can save you!!! ... and there will be many if your experience is like mine. This is one reason I did not go with the 8800 Nvidia card. I don't play "games", I make a living on my Mac and I must have 3 monitors to do the work I have to do. (2) 8800's "MIGHT" just work? (1) 8800 and (1) 2600 ATI "MIGHT" work? ... but if they don't you could spend months trying to get a fix as NOBODY will claim responsibility for that configuration. I bought (2) ATI 2600's installed - then if it doesn't work I can at least yell at Apple until something maybe gets done!

    One thing for sure... anyone who has time to run theoretical speed tests is majoring in the minors. I have watched many people work on their computers and taught many students and for most, the "human" element will be the biggest slow down in productivity - not the machine (Game players excluded - if you are not producing anything, then speed is everything).

    I guess what I am saying is at the end of every year, truth be told, the machine spends more time waiting on me (to get upgrades installed, type in serial numbers - repeatedly, activating software, deactivating software, getting technical assistance, etc.) than I spend waiting on my machine to render.

    Oh, 2.8.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #18
    I once bought the top of the line system, just because -- even though I knew that the next notch (or two) down would have the same real-world effect. The thrill of having the fastest beast on the block was awesome, but in a month, I was over it.

    The cost savings compared to performance increase is important. It sure as heck isn't worth the extra $700+, save that for the sell-and-buy-what's-newer time in 1.5 years. Seriously, you can take a $700 hit in a year and get a better machine. If you buy/sell/re-buy - your only "new" investment is around $700.

    2.8
     
  19. zdobson macrumors 6502

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    Indiana
    #19
    Take that $700 and invest it. Add $20 a month to that account and in 4 years you'll have almost enough for a new system:

    Your monthly deposit for 4 years of $ 20.00 for an interest rate of 9.000 % compounded monthly with an initial amount of $ 700.00:

    Year Balance
    0 $ 1,015.82
    1 $ 1,361.26
    2 $ 1,739.11
    3 $ 2,152.40

    Final Savings Balance: $ 2,152.40
     
  20. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

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    New Orleans
    #20
    I don't (currently) use my computer to make money, but for my first Mac, I wanted something that would LAST a long time (as you said you wanted too) - I ended up getting an octo-core 2.8, 8 extra gigs of RAM (10 total), because I use Lightroom and Photoshop a lot (true, Photoshop doesn't currently use more than 3 gigs of RAM, but I've already heard that CS4 is due out near the end of the year, or slightly beyond that...)

    Once they make a 64 bit version of Photoshop, then you can really start loading up on your memory.

    For me, this machine will last at least 6 or 7 years, and by the time I'm ready for something else, I should still be able to sell this one at a fairly good price.

    You definitely don't need more than 2.8 unless you do video editing for a living with your Mac, where time really IS money, and the faster you go, the sooner you finish.

    -Bryan
     
  21. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    #21
    Look at the Powermac G5 resale values. The dual 2.3ghz is the highest valued computer of all of the except the quad and that is becuase it runs cooler and is almost just as fast as the dual 2.7ghz. Nobody wants all that heat. The liquid cooling killed the resale.

    2.8 is the best system out there. Way cheaper, way cooler and only milliseconds slower. You will never notice the difference.
     
  22. Reach macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Not in my market..

    The top-of-the line machines from their days has always commanded better resale-value when I have sold them. (And I just sold a 2x2,5ghz liquid cooled PM)

    BUT, with the old machines, there was more than the proc that was diferent too usually, now it's basically the same machine, so it doesn't matter so much anymore.

    Anyway, I'm going with the 3ghz. When working with Photoshop and those applications, it's the ghz that will help you, NOT the 8 cores. And I am fully aware that it will not be an insane increase in performance, but it will be some. That means it will last me a little longer, AND be differentiated from the horde of 2.8ghz Mac Pros that will flood the market when we start selling these things. I personally think that will make some difference when selling, but of course not the whole cost of the upgrade. Still though, slightly higher price, probably slightly easier to sell, and will last you a little longer, while you'll get your work done slightly faster while you've got it. Costs a little and gives a little, this is a machine I make money on, so I could take that hit, considering I'll have the machine as my main source of income for the next years.
     
  23. fernmeister macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2007
    #23
    If we drew a picture of where the high end of photo processing will be in 4-5 years, would 200Mhz per processor be that big a difference? I doubt it.
     
  24. MacProUser macrumors newbie

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    Cologne, Germany
    #24

    I totally agree with you - as long 8 core isn´t supported by most of the current software versions you benefit from the absolut more processor power of a 3,0 or 3,2 system !
     
  25. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #25
    I would get the 2.8 and buy more ram and/or drives.
     

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