Advice: Mac Pro Nehalem or Hapertown

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gmen01, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. gmen01 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Hi there,

    Need some advice on buying my next mac.

    Now in possesion of a Imac Core 2 duo 3,06 Ghz - 4 GB RAM - Nvidia GS 8800 GT - 750 GB harddisk

    Graphic designer - webdesigner - webbuilder

    Apps that are open when working:
    Adobe CS4 Dreamweaver
    Adobe CS4 Photoshop
    Adobe CS4 Indesign
    (sometimes Adobe Flash or Adobe After Effects)
    Firefox 5-10 tabs)
    VM Ware - Windows **** (for testing in IE7 en IE8)
    Local Server (MAMP)
    Mysql administrator
    Itunes (always some music when working)

    Imac doesn't hold in anymore...System slow down and does not have enough power to run all those prog's smoothly... Mac 'blocks' several times....

    Looking to buy a Mac Pro (and selling the Imac)
    Don't have the budget to buy the Octo core 2,9...

    But are hesitating between:
    1) 1 Quad core Nehalem 2,9
    2) 2 Quad (octo core) core Nehalem 2,26
    3) 2 Quad (octo core) core Hapertown 2,8 (with DDR2 ram)

    Which option would you advice?

    Personaly I thought buying the Quad core Nehalem 2,9 -> that because CS4 uses much off the graphics card (would buy a EVGA Geforce GTX 285 - 1GB RAM).

    Thx already for your help


  2. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    Personally I would go for the 2008 Octad. You would maximise bang for the bucks and still get a machine that will be able to run everything Apple will bring in the near future. It got EFI64 so it will run Kernel64 as well. The Nehalem Quad is marginally faster in single threaded apps but much slower in multi threaded, which wouldn't be so nice longer term.
  3. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    What prices can you get each for?

    atm, it's either the 2.93 Quad or the 2.8GHz Octo
  4. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    I was in exactly the same situation as you are now. After a lot of research, I decided to go with the Quad Core 2.66 (instead of the Octo), the 4870 ATI card, and save the difference for a couple of good displays and other stuff (extra RAM, internal HDD, webcam, new UPC, etc).

    I'm a business consultant - I do web development, some audio and video... What I found is that in the mid-term, the web dev apps - including CS3 and CS4 (some say even CS5) will not take full advantage of all 8 cores to justify the extra expense. All threads and people I consulted - including the Apple Store - agreed that an 8-core would be a total overblow...

    PLUS, me coming from the latest high-end iMac, the entry-level Quad Core with the ATI card would more than double the power I'm used to work with... I figured that in 2-3 years, IF the applications I use are re-written to take full advantage of multiple processors/cores, then I would consider upgrading... but by then, even if I buy the 8-core now, there will be better technology anyway! There's no such thing as "future proof".

    The Quad should arrive this week... we'll see how it turns out.

    There are a lot of threads about this - ranging from the apps that take advantage of multiple cores, to the eternal discussion of clock speed vs number of processors. There seems to be an agreement about octos are great for rendering pro video, high end massive multitasking and scientific apps, but for the rest apps, higher clock speeds are better.

    Anyway- my 2 cents...

    Good luck!
  5. gmen01 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2009
    Thx already for your advice and messages!!!

    Hereby the prices:

    Quad Nehalem 2,6: 2406 EUR
    Quad Nehalem 2,9: 2843 EUR
    OctoCore Hapertown: 2,8: 2499 EUR

    Is it more advised to buy the Nehalem Quad or better the Hapertown OCTO?

    Very difficult choice!! Can the hapertown run x64? How many Ram can it Max have?
  6. macrumors 6502

    Jan 10, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Any word on the succesor of the octa core 2.9 Nehalem??

    What will be the code name of the succesor and what will be improved.

    I need lots of rendering speed !
  7. fandsw macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    Helena, AL
    Don't forget the biggest negative about the quad Nehalem MPs: only 4 memory slots, so you'll be into high priced 4GB sticks real quickly if you want to expand memory. Judging by the OP's apps memory will be as important as processor. I'd go with the octo 2.8 in your situation.....
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Erm, as in, the next line of processors in the MacPro? Its called Gulftown, its Nehalem's die-shrink, and maybe will have 6 cores.

    I recommend this in future.

    The price here is the most reasonable I've seen. Nothing like Newegg's expensive 3x4GB kits that range into the thousands.
  9. diazj3 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Good point... also, in some of these threads the previous version of Octo MacPro vs present Quad was discussed... the general consensus was that the past generation of Octos were a better deal for now, if you could get them refurbished and at a lower price (which sadly, is not my case, hence I went for the new Quad).

    Another good solution to massive RAM (in case you go with the Quad and its RAM limit) is a good-fast scratch disk in one of the HD slots.

    It's a tough decision... check the benchmarks at Barefeats and Macworld.

    Good luck!
  10. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    I was price-checking last week. On Apple's site, admittedly with student ID:

    * single Quad core at 2.93
    * 8GB RAM
    * Radeon 4970
    * 640GB HD

    = $3154


    * dual Quad core at 2.26
    * 6GB RAM
    * Radeon 4970
    * 640GB HD

    = $3179

    $25 difference is not that much.

    Now if I kept to 2.66GHz for the single quad unit, shave off $450. Then we've got a story, and does a 270MHz speed difference mean anything? But if one will be doing lots of rendering, or rendering a big project while working on another one, the extra $475 (student) for the 8-core may very well be worth it.

    Quad core can still do a lot. But dual quad core shares data faster under needy situations. Not to mention, with 8 RAM slots, it's cheaper to upgrade RAM in the future. 4GB-density RAM modules will always be rather more expensive than 2GB modules...

    Nixing the faster video on the dual quad makes it $300 more than the single quad with the better video card.

    $300 for processing power that benefits nicely under certain conditions and, again, most modern apps WILL make use of at least two cores...

    Then again, $300... one would have to do a LOT to really make use of the dual-quad's capabilities...

    I still refer to that article. Even at 2.26GHz, the dual quad is NO slouch, and it's far less expensive to upgrade RAM to 16GB... and after effects and virtual machines will eat RAM for breakfast... After Effects will readily consume 8GB...

    Macworld's review has good points too.

    And those tests are base-model figures.

    Maybe a single quad is the way to go; upping the video card only as needed.

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