Big difference in 2.66->2.93?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by juliancs, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. juliancs macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    I'm looking at second hand 2009 quad mac pros. I'm not sure if 2.66 has a massive disadvantage over the 2.93. The thing is, I'm buying this for quite a long run (I work with audio/ Logic pro). I'm thinking that the 2.93 will be more future proof? Does anyone have any experience with the two?

  2. Cindori macrumors 68040


    Jan 17, 2008
    #2 should have good benchmark comparisons if you scroll down some.

    as for buying a 2nd hand '09, wait until the '10 model releases and the prices will drop by 100's of $.

    you say you work with audio. are you aware of the bug with 09 models, clipcausing a huge leap in CPU usage when simply playing audio
  3. macz1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    I think you wont noticethe differencein most of the cases. Unless you do hardcore rendering work where every minute is precious, a fast HD will lead to a much more noticeable overall speed increase.

    The raw CPU speed gain would just be around 10% anyway. (2.93/2.66 = 1.1)
  4. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    So is that ALL mac pro 09s? I've not heard of that before. My problem is that I have someone interested in my macbook pro now (required to sell to raise the funds), and in a few months time I will get less for it.
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Yes all of them have that issue. The higher the clock speed, the larger the issue.

    Do yourself a favour and buy a '08 model.
    The '09 is a seriously flawed machine and Apple haven't done any attempt yet to fix that issue (software based). I highly doubt that they will ever do so.
  6. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    But the 2008s have ddr2, no? I work with lots of software instruments so ram is important.

    Does it cause the computer to break? I mean, I don't mind if its running hot, as long as its doing what it should? Or am I missing the point.

    Is a 2.26ghz octocore a lot faster than a 2.93ghz quad?

    I just can't decide between a 2008octo /2009quad model. I'd like the newer ones as most still have their warranty. This whole audio problem is worrying, but if I've got a fresh applecare, I'm ok right? It just seems the newer 2009 are...newer :(. It's the ram, mostly. Also - can I put a gtx 285 into a 2008?
  7. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Here's another way to look at it.

    The 3.2GHz '08 Octad is faster at both single and multi-threaded applications than the 2.26GHz '09 Octad. FOR THE SAME $$$. The 3.2GHz '08 is currently available in the US and Canadian refurb store (here).

    Now also consider:
    1. It's an EFI64 based system, so you will continue to be able to add graphics cards, and update the OS once it goes K64 exclusively (same as the '09's and '10's)
    2. No audio/overheating/power increase/performance loss issues
    3. Upgrades are easier, particularly drive related (internal hardware RAID is easier to do, as well as cheaper)

    You'll be fine FB-DIMM's as well. So the '08 in this case is a much better value, and makes much more sense IMO.
  9. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    Well, I'm in the UK, and there is not much on the refurb store. Someone has bid on my macbook pro, so I need to decide soon. The one I'm looking at is:

    One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
    6GB (3x2GB) memory
    640GB hard drive
    1TB hard drive 1
    18x double-layer SuperDrive
    Apple wired keyboard and mouse
    GeForce GTX 285 Gfx card
    Mac OS X Snow Leopard
    Airport extreme Wi-Fi card

    For 3,100 USD. The card excites me because I like gaming, and so do the two HDs. I'll add another two and upgrade the ram in due time.

    The only 2008 octocores on uk ebay that I can afford are 2.26ghz. Is this still better than a 2.93 09 quad? I'm totally unsure of the RAM still though. I have DDR3 now on my macbook pro, and it does not make sense to me to go back to DDR2...
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The best thing to do, is make a serious examination of what software you'll be using, and how often. That's called usage pattern, and without that, you've a good chance of getting the wrong machine.

    Given the price on the Quad you listed, it doesn't seem bad to me with the options it has (extra HDD and GTX285).

    As per the '08's, they came in 2.8, 3.0, and 3.2GHz flavors. The 2.26 Octad is an '09 model.

    If you can offer a clearer picture of your usage, that would help immensely. ;)
  11. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006
    Nano - I appreciate you sticking with me. This is the biggest amount of money I have ever spent and want to make the right choice!

    I'm a composer (or studying to be) for film and game. In OSX, I'm in Logic most of the time, using a lot of software instruments and sample libraries. Seems to me the performance of these depends more on RAM and plenty of fast HDs for streaming. I sometimes bounce audio to video on imovie. Other than that, general surfing, watching movies, working in iwork and basic work in photoshop.

    I have windows purely for gaming. I'm not a HUGE gamer in terms of everything has to be at the highest, so that GTX 285, if the windows benchmarks are comparable on the mac (playing in bootcamp/win7), it will be totally fine.

    I'm leaning towards the new 09. I realise the issues, but I can buy applecare for it after it arrives, and hope for a fix...I don't think I NEED 8 cores, and a 16GB RAM limit is totally fine for me. The card is great, and I can use it right out of the box - all the other second hand mac pro's I'd have to add ram/HDs, making them more expensive.

    Hope that gives a clearer perspective! Thanks again, I am hitting the refresh quite often!
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Quite understandable, as it's the smart thing to do.

    It seems like a Quad is fine. Octads are really useful for 3D work, but solving the system bottlenecks will provide you with a real benefit (RAID and RAM).

    The performance is reliant on the drivers. So as it will use the same drivers under Windows as the PC based cards, it will be the same (save perhaps some models that have strayed from the reference design and OC'ed them a bit or added additional memory).

    The best thing you can do for audio as I understand it, is go with an SSD for a system drive, as the software relys on random access, which SSD is perfect (faster than any mechanical system will ever be). Then use mechanical RAID for data storage.

    BTW, you can stuff 32GB in it, by using the 8GB DIMM's that are now available. It's expensive, but possible. RAM limits published had to do with the largest DIMM capacity available at the time, which was 4GB sticks.
  13. juliancs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2006

    Thanks for the reply. It was my understanding that the 09 quad could support 8gb originally, then 16gb.

    Anyway, I'll put my bid in and see how it goes. Found an LED backlit 24" monitor (no hdmi :( for 258 US shipped. That's cheap here!

    Can't wait. One more composition to go with frozen tracks....

    Thanks again!

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