Advice Required: Choosing "extra's" for a 3.2GHz 4-Core..

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by NickCG, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. NickCG macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2010
    Hello there,

    I've long been following these forums, firstly following news and gossip as to the release date of the '10 machines, and since it's release for benchmarks, opinions and what not.
    Right now, I find myself placed between a rock and a hard-place, unsure as to what to pull the trigger on.

    I have a budget of 3300 Euro's, this can be stretched to 3550, or so.. but it cannot be stretched as far as 4000.
    If I bought the Hexacore, my budget has already been stretched, and I'd have no extra cash towards more RAM / SSDs, etc.. Thus, I feel I will get better performance from the 3.2 Quad + extra's.

    I'd like to kindly ask for your opinions on how to upgrade a 3.2 Quad to best suit my needs.

    The programs I shall be using: (in order of hours spent operating them)
    Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Aperture, GoLive, Dreamweaver, Final Cut Pro, Color.

    I am also an semi-professional gamer, so the 5870 upgrade is a must, and cannot be overlooked. As my 2006 Macbook Pro, and my PC Gaming rig (from '05) are both in need of being replaced. I shall be meeting both my needs with this machine.

    I am eligible to buy my Mac with educational discount, as I am a part-time teacher here in the Netherlands.
    I can acquire the 3.2 Quad, with a 5870 for 2,759 EUR. Leaving me extra cash for a single SSD and a RAM upgrade.

    I have provided links to the sites I have quoted the prices from at the bottom of the post. Please, feel free to direct me to any sites you believe are cheaper.

    Well, it all comes down to price, the more RAM I get, the less money there will be left over for a nice SSD.
    The two options I am considering are:
    -3x4 GB DIMMs, for tripple threaded memory. 507 EUR.
    -2x4 GB DIMMs, 338 EUR. In this scenario, I would use the 2x4GB DIMMs and 2x1GB DIMMs that come pre-loaded in the Mac Pro.

    Well, there are just so many options.. again, it will all come down to price, and the budget for an SSD will depend on the amount spent on RAM.
    The SSDs I am looking at thus far are:
    OCZ Colossus LT 3.5" 120 GB. 317 EUR
    Crucual RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB. 274 EUR
    OCZ Vertex 2.5" 120GB. £207 (252 EUR)
    OWC Mercury Extreme Pro + Sled. $326 (255 EUR) + Duty.

    I am finding it a little tricky to find good European SSD sites (with the exception of Crucial), and I am wondering if it is better to buy from the US, and pay duty. Would really appreciate feedback and opinions on this - or to be pointed in the direction of a good EU store.

    Scratch Disk's / HD space
    I do not need to upgrade my storage space anytime soon, I will have the 1TB which comes pre-loaded, which I will use as my main storage drive, and I have 4 TB's of space on external's, which I shall use as back up drives.

    Thank you very much for your time, I'm truly grateful for any help offered towards me getting the best bang for my buck.

    Warm regards,

    RAM (8 GB and 12GB kits): Pro Quad-Core MC250LL/A Mid 2010
    OCZ Colossus LT 3.5" 120 GB:
    Crucual RealSSD C300 2.5" 128GB:
    OCZ Vertex 2.5" 120GB: 120GB&gclid=CJHU0seF2qMCFck43godXRrt9Q
    OWC Mercury Extreme Pro: World Computing/SSDMX120/
  2. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    My thoughts on SSD are for the macs only get the Sandforce ones at this time ?
    OWC (I have RE for two and my next three are going to be normal) take your pic be happy RE or not ? I think it wont matter to much in reality ! so your call
    or OCZ Vertex 2 is the only OCZ at this point I would get
    or Gskill Phoenix pro ? or whatever that model is called ?

    dont know if Mac Sales can get you stuff ? sounds like they can ? I would say get your SSD and your Memory and that external you want all from them ? might save time and hassle

    I use their memory in my last 5 mac systems and have good luck !
    once when the Macs switched to Inel with a 1,1 system I had some memory issue with the heat-sink coming off !! they returned it ? only issue every with them

    as far as scratch for PS use ? I am testing SSD but not sure its worth it yet ? but I do PS for a living so I would say just use a short stroked HDD and use the outer partition of say 100 gigs ?
    I might say get one extra HDD you can use inside your setup and short stroke it and then use the extra left over for bu and use the external case you plan on getting for time machine ?
    you meniton you have HDD for backup ? are these what you are going to throw in the OWC external case ?
    also a clone of your OS is quite handy if you want to test stuff and or be up and running should your main HDD fail ? or for your

    I love SSD on Boot but I think its a bit of luxury at this point ?

    if I could have a computer to do design and PS work on and my choice was
    16-18 gigs of ram and normal boot
    8-10 gigs and a SSD ?

    I would choose the 16 gigs and normal boot ?

    that being said the 40 gig for $99 is pretty cheap if you keep your boot lean ! that will or should work for you ?
    just some thoughts !

    in less than a year when SSD start coming down more treat yourself to a update and give your mac new life with a SSD then !
    that way you can re fall in love with the mac and get better bang for your buck in the future since budget is tighter now

    so look at the 8 gig sticks and get two of them maybe ? hear what others say also ? their is no right or wrong choices ?

    the only reason I say this is you have Aperture and PS in your list and I know these programs I would think final cut would also benefit ?
  3. tengo84 macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2010
    I took a chance with Computer Memory Outlet and ordered 2 x 4GB

    Also used 10% discount code EM-06072010

    $256 including shipping here in the US, cheaper than other vendors I found. Not sure what it would cost you to ship overseas.
  4. NickCG thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2010
    Thank you for the responses.

    I see your point, but I still feel I will get more out an SSD / 10/12 GB RAM system, than I would out of a 7200 / 16GB system.
    You suggested that I can get more RAM now, and an SSD in one year when they are cheaper. I'd prefer to buy an SSD now and increase the RAM later.

    I have sent an email to - asking them questions about set-duty costs. I had a terrible experience once shipping a Basketball jersey to Europe, seems US duty charges whatever they please. So, I'd like it to be added first, as a set amount, if possible.

    Holy moly, thats some cheap RAM. I followed their site through to billing and was greeted with the following message:
    "International Orders
    We are unable to accept International Orders at this time. Please try one of our reseller partners."

    I asked them to kindly point me in the direction of one of these partners.

    Thanks guys.
  5. Fiete5401 macrumors regular

    Oct 16, 2009
  6. jwestpro macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Forgive me but how are you going to "get more out of an ssd" - in any way at all? I don't see how your uses described are going to benefit, noticeably, from an ssd. Furthermore, if the ssd is for the boot drive, you still do not need speed there. Next, the general talk is that ssd drives are not good for writing over and over excessively.

    However, everything you mentioned doing will benefit immensely from RAM, every time you are there so how can you think it isn't the first priority? Maybe you are just feeling the ssd craze and not thinking clearly?

    When someone is on such a budget, should they be worrying about the smallest increase in performance per € spent?
  7. NickCG thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 27, 2010
    Hey there,

    RAM is my first priority, getting it to 10/12GB does come first. My feeling is that instead of getting the extra 4GB of ram to take my machine to 16GB, it would be best to get an SSD as a boot drive.

    Can you explain your comment to me please?: "I don't see how your uses described are going to benefit, noticeably, from an ssd."

    I clearly don't understand why I wont be gaining notable performance. In this thread they seems to be advising him differently?

    Thanks for the link. I speak Dutch, so I can manage when reading German just fine, there is enough cross over between the languages.
  8. jwestpro macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Maybe the ssd will be good for gaming ? I know nothing about gaming but I thought I've read that photoshop sees less benefit unless you use the ssd as a scratch drive but then you should have two ssd so that your boot drive isn't being written to and erased and written to again. (I say erased because you would have to move over all your finished work to the archive drives)

    I guess it's more about how you would use the ssd. I do not like the idea of an ssd getting negatively changed over time from heavy use however it is supposed to be more reliable due to no moving parts. From that standpoint, it might be a great "working" drive.

    (for me the "working" drive is where the processed tiff files go to be built into my final image and all my work is done from that drive. When finished I manually move my project folder or images off to the archive drives. All of my raw files are externally stored on their own "raw archive" drives. I use my macbook pro to process raw using Capture One so that while I wait for a large file to save, I can go process the next set)

    I just think the ssd may be a luxury less important than ram, processor speed, and ability to save larger files as fast as possible. - although it's the fast saving where an ssd may excel but not much more than a properly built raid system and mechanical drives.
  9. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I have to say maybe we need more info :)

    you might see more benefit with SSD depending on your workflow
    from that other thread ? I might ask then do you have CS5 ? if not that helps quite a bit
    what size are your files ? if under 1 gig then yeah you might be fine with 10-12 ? and that with SSD might give you other benefits ?

    here is one thing you can do that will tell you the most ! in the lower left corner of your PS document hit that triangle and go to efficiency that will tell you if it ever is below %100 you are hitting scratch :)

    honestly like I say their is no wrong answer I think its splitting hairs and I would rather be happy and stoked on my machine and have the SSD if thats what I want ?

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