Am I stupid if I buy the new 2.26 Octo?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rmpstudio, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. rmpstudio macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #1
    It seems as though the new 2.26 Octo has been getting a lot of flack since it's introduction recently and I wanted to know if I should wait even longer than i already have or if i should back pedal and buy a refurb. or quad core to satisfy my needs.

    You've heard similar stories and i've read similar threads, but this is MY story and this is MY thread.

    I'm currently using a 2.16 Duo IMac. I'm a photographer so most of my work is in Lightroom and Photoshop and usually at the same time. I deal with large scans 100-200mb each and digital files of 25mb each (the latter more than the former). I plan on using most of Lloyd's theories to maximize speed and performance http://www.macperformanceguide.com/

    That being said, he has advised me to look at Octo over Quad but that i should also consider refurb Octo over 2.26 Octo. I really don't want an older Mac. Call me picky or finicky or high maintenance,.. whatever. I like taking advantage of the newest that Apple has to offer.

    oh yea.. my budget is $4500 but that includes about $1100 from OWC for hard drives and RAM.

    So,.. What say you?
     
  2. zer0tails macrumors 65816

    zer0tails

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #2
    why would you be stupid? It's a great machine. If you don't like old tech and you can afford the new ones then by all means go for the 2.26. I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
     
  3. bzshutter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    #3
    It's not stupid. When it comes buying a Mac as a long term investment, it's a good idea to get the latest technology as it will last you longer, provided if you can afford it of course. Sounds like you do.
    Question is , 4 core or 8 core? I think it's a question of whether you're willing to sacrifice a little performance gain now and possibly realize more gain later, or if you need max performance gain right away. Currently, neither photoshop nor LR can take full advantage of all 8 cores. My LR hasn't sped up by that much after I went to 8 core from a quad core PC. This is on 21MP files from Canon 5d mk2. Exporting hasn't sped up by much, but you can probably do more simultaneous exports at the same time with more cores. However with the launch of Snow Leopard this year, more software are likely to take better advantage of more cores in the coming year or two. By then you would be glad you got the 8 core.
    Either one will be a big upgrade over your iMac. But like I said, if you want max performance NOW for photoshop and LR, get the 2.93 quad.
     
  4. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    #4
    You are certainly NOT stupid. You've done your homework and set a budget. It's not like you are debating upgrading from an 08 to an 09. Just go for it, don't worry about what anyone else thinks, you do what you think is best. After all, it is your money.

    Personally, I had an 06 MBP and just got the 09 2.26 octo. I am very happy with the performance, it's night and day from the old laptop. I also put some $ into more RAM, the Intel SSD, and some velociraptors. This machine should meet my needs for a few years, at least.
     
  5. Pika macrumors 68000

    Pika

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #5
    There's not much MHz difference between the 2.26 & the 2.93.
     
  6. davewolfs macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2007
    #6
    I think its not the right machine for your uses. The 2.93 will process images significantly faster.
     
  7. JasO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #7
    Agree 100%

    Get the Quad now if you want to see results out of the box. But if you want that 32GB of ram at a reasonable price then get the Octo =)

    you're stupid NOT to buy =p
     
  8. clownjuggles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #8

    I'm inclined to guess that the new 8 core is the better long term investment.

    Lloyd Chambers wrote this

    "What about the 4-core vs the 8-core model when you need more than 8GB memory?

    The crippled 4-core model has only 4 slots—going beyond 8GB therefore requires 4GB modules at 8X the cost per GB of 2GB modules.

    You can get an 8-core model with 8X2GB for about $3600 or a 4-core model with 4X4GB for about $5000 (and that’s assuming the 4-core model even works with 4GB modules). Sometimes decisions are easy: if you need more than 8GB of memory, the 8-core model is far less expensive than the 4-core model! So shun the 4-core model. It’s a lousy investment if your needs ever change."


    http://diglloyd.com/diglloyd/2009-03-blog.html
     
  9. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #9
    Thanks for the feedback. You've hit the nail on the head. I like buying based on future technology but Adobe has proven sluggish in their optimization for 8cores and i don't want to have an 8core machine with potential that isn't reached for 2years - that's why for NOW, the 2.93 Quad is of interest.

    Ugh.. if i could add the extra processor down the road, i'd buy the 2.93 Quad in a heartbeat. Is that possible?

    But i've also seen a thread recently where somebody has upgraded one of their 2.26 octo processors to 2.93 ($559 at newegg) - but that makes me kinda queazy just thinking about messing up my MacPro.. yikes!
     
  10. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 15, 2009
    #10
    Do you feel the speed of "processing images" outweighs the RAM disadvantages (i.e. less slots which makes 16gb more expensive)?

    Do you feel the 2.26 Octo would surpass the 2.93 Quad in image processing speed once Lightroom/Photoshop/Leopard are updated?
     
  11. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #11
    If you buy the 2.93 quad now, it will last you a good long time before it begins to feel slow. By then you'll be better off buying a new system with 32 cores of Xeon 10GHz goodness than you would be plunking in a new processor.
     
  12. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #12
    That's exactly what i'm thinking.

    And i just read this: http://www.barefeats.com/nehal08.html

    Makes me wonder,.. if a 2.93 Quad is beating a 2.93 OCTO in PS, then i think it's pretty obvious which machine is better (now) for my Photography business needs. Although that increases my cost from $4582 (2.26 Octo w/16gb aftermarket RAM and drives) to $4683 (2.93 Quad w/ 12gb aftermarket RAM and drives) - both with NVIDIA although i'm still pondering that decision. I guess $100 aint bad.
     
  13. davewolfs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #13
    1) You will never be able to use 8 cores with just photoshop and lightroom...at least anytime soon.
    2) There are plenty of ram options on the quad. 6GB is more then adequate, are you running VM's? Do you have a number of applications running aside from lightroom and PS? Remember, CS4 can only address 3GB of memory on OSX.
    3) 2.26Ghz is slow as ass IMHO.
    4) If you are worried about price/performance get a PC, it will eat the 2.93 Quad and Octo alive on Lightroom or Photoshop and cost you 50% less.
     
  14. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #14
    I feel like i'm obsessing but i haven't bought a high end mac since an 8500 years ago and i want to make sure i'm getting what i need this time.

    2.26 Octo's benefits:
    - more RAM slots - very nice if i want 32gb
    - cheaper RAM - so cheap it makes 16gb almost the standard config
    - potentially faster if/when optimized for 8cores - albeit unknown release dates

    2.93 Quad benefits:
    - faster
    - less expensive base model
    - potentially faster if/when optimized for 4cores

    what am i missing?
     
  15. amoergosum macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #15

    I'm a photographer, too, and purchased the 2,26Ghz Octo (with 12GB RAM)....absolutely LOVE it!
     
  16. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #16


    1) that's what i'm thinking
    2) i'll probably be running 3-4 programs at once. I realize CS4 can't address more than 3.?GB of memory but i'm betting Adobe's going to go 64bit for mac before they optimize for 8core.
    3) that's what i'm afraid of
    4) this is macrumors.com not pcrumors.com, right? :) Interfacing on a PC makes me gag. I used to have to use PC everyday and although you may be correct, the extra stress i'd incur on a daily basis wouldn't be worth the money i'd save. Thanks for offering the option though.
     
  17. bangonadrum macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    #17
    A lot depends on what you think the gating factors are to getting stuff done. I'm going to declare an interest: I went for the octo 2.26GHz on the basis that the base machine was cheaper but that this provided more budget for RAM, hard drives and potentially a fast SSD. I have three drives in the case (it's the quickest hard drive upgrade I've ever done - it takes about a minute with the new case design).

    Like you, I run Photoshop and Lightroom frequently in parallel but also Logic, which pushed the decision towards an octo machine.

    I upgraded from a dual-G5 (2.3GHz) and the difference in performance was dramatic. Although a 2.93GHz should be faster, there is a substantial difference in pricing that I found difficult to justify on a probable 25% improvement on performance. The 4% penalty between the quad and the octo could be due to memory contention but I honestly can't see that being a noticeable difference when you are trying to run multiple programs in parallel. However, I've found Lightroom and Photoshop live quite happily in 6GB, so the quad is fine for that.
     
  18. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #18
    ahhh! I feel like a ping-pong match! back and forth, back and forth.

    My predominant thought now is: Speed, NOW, is better than speed maybe later. (2.93 Quad)

    My creeping thought is: Will 4 RAM slots be enough? and.. Aren't 2 processors better than one? (2.26 Octo)

    I know i'll be happy with whatever i get and i probably wouldn't notice whether the 2.26 was slower because i don't touch any other Mac Pros to compare speeds.

    any other thoughts?

    i'm probably ordering one of the two in the next few days.
     
  19. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #19
    Remember the law of diminishing returns, and Amdahl's law. With one CPU you already have four processors. 8 processors is most certainly not twice as good as 4. With each processor, it gets more and more difficult to use it well.
     
  20. rmpstudio thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    #20
    ugh.. i feel like a dork being the predominant poster on my own thread!

    But,.. i just got off the phone with Apple Business Sales and my sales dude, Chris, brought Scott on the phone to answer some of my nagging questions about performance and cores and blah blah blah...

    suffice it to say, Scott said buy the 8core. He was pretty adamant about it. He was positive that when Snow Leopard comes out that the difference will be significant and long lasting for not only the OS but for the Apps as well.

    so, for those of you following this thread (the few and the cool), looks like if i were to buy the computer now i would be buying the 2.26.
     
  21. superpalmtree macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Location:
    North Dakota
    #21
    Thanks for the update. I actually have both the Octo 2.26 and the Quad 2.93 - I'm going to use the 2.26 as my main workstation, after using both the 2.26 actually is smoother to me, and if you configure it with 8gb ram when you buy it, 4x2 and pick up another 8 for 135 you have 16gb system for pretty cheap.
     
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #22
    I know I'm a bit late to this party, but given your workload, I think you are stupid :p...

    Does it not bother you that the 2.26GHz will feel like a modest laptop for almost all tasks?!?! Those extra cores are USELESS with almost all apps. Go for clock speed. 4 cores at 2.93GHz is far better value than 8 at 2.26GHz in my opinion.

    As for Snow Leapord, it's been rehashed here to death... at best it will enable application developers to enable multi-threading in their applications easier, but the diminishing returns element of 4 to 8 cores will still exist. It's also not going to have an overnight impact. At least a release cycle or two will be required before any tangible gains are realized. Think about this... multi-processor platforms have been around for a decade (I had a dual PII 400MHz machine running NT in the late 90's) and Adobe still hasn't gotten fully on-board with it!
     
  23. eyeruh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    #23

    Why do you say this? Lightroom already supports 8 cores and the tasks that tend to take the longest (like rendering lots of previews) are easily spread across multiple cores.

    I'm still waiting for my 8-core so maybe I'll be eating crow later, but the reports I've heard are that it really does use all the cores.
     
  24. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #24
    The 8 core 2.26 is way faster than the fastest MBP's at almost every task. (i'd go so far as to say "every," except I haven't tried them all :)
     
  25. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    #25
    How similarly do you have the Quad and Octo configured in terms of RAM and graphics? I've only been able to use a 2.26 very, very briefly - no experience yet with a 2009 Quad. I noticed that it was easier than expected to get all the cores actually doing something. The only thing stopping me from just going for the 2.26GHz model is that I do like to unwind from time to time with latest Mac OS X game port and the game benchmarks I've seen all seem to show that clock speed is still important there.
     

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