Big upgrade help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jrko, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. jrko macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Location:
    Beside the seaside, beside the sea
    #1
    I currently run a macbook pro 17inch hi res 2.4 C2D with 4gb ram and need to upgrade.

    I have been offered the following machines for around the same price and need help to compare them. The machines are:

    2008 Mac Pro 2.8ghz 8 core with 8gb ram & GT120,
    2008 Mac Pro 3.0ghz 8 core with 8gb ram & 8800gt,
    Mac Pro 2.66ghz quad core Nehelam with 6gb ram & GT120

    Mainly for photography, video, occasional gaming, window (for when i have to), Film ripping and the generic email etc

    I am sure they will all be a noticeable upgrade but which will be the best machine for speed/power and to last me for another few years? :confused:
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    The 3GHz one sounds like the best deal in my opinion and the best machine there although you'd need to be sure that it's a 2008 Octo and not a 2007 Octo since the 2008 models have EFI64 and so can support newer Apple graphics cards without issue. The 2.66GHz Quad Nehalem will at best be about the same speed as the 3GHz 2008 model in single threaded tasks and in multithreaded task it would lose out.
     
  3. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 4, 2008
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    Beside the seaside, beside the sea
    #3
    Here come the dumb questions

    Why are the physical 8 cores better than 4 physical and 4 pretend cores?
    Could I drop a newer multi core chip in the quad at a later date?

    The quad comes with applecare until apr 2012 - does that seal the deal?
     
  4. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #4
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #5
    8 physical cores are better than 4 physical and 4 virtual cores because, well because they're physical. In a best case scenario, the 4 virtual cores can be the same as physical cores but in practice they don't work quite that well. In stuff that I do I find virtual cores give me a ~60% performance boost over just 4 physical cores whereas 8 cores give a 100% performance boost. Some things scale better with virtual cores than others and what I use is pretty good at it.

    You could drop a newer multi core chip in the quad but it would still have to be a quad. I think the top end would be a 3.33GHz Xeon W3580. The platform would support hexacore chips if Apple released a firmware update (which is basically the only difference with the new 2010 Mac Pros) but they haven't and have no reason to.

    It depends how important Applecare is to you. Do any of the 2008 Mac Pros have any? Although Applecare is nice and always worth buying if you're getting a new machine, Mac Pros hold their value very well even if faulty.
     
  6. jrko thread starter macrumors regular

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    Beside the seaside, beside the sea
    #6
    Its just hard to believe the prices of the new machines if a 2 generation old mac pro will be a better work horse. I know that the 2.8/3.0 octo were higher spec models than the 4 core nehelam but even so......

    Going to check them out tomorrow.

    BTW how can I check if the 3.0 is a 2008 model?
     
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

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