Buying multiple processors or Not

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by adubich, May 1, 2010.

  1. adubich macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 1, 2010
    #1
    I am looking into getting a new mac. I am a photographer and my major concern/application is Photoshop. At this point in time apple will be releasing (soon I hope) new models. When they come out, I believe I will have the choice of finding the current models somewhere or getting the just released products. Money is a little bit of an issue. I would like to keep as much of mine as possible and give apple as little as I can. That being said I have no problem investing what I need to. I just don't want to waste on something that isn't going to give me any real gain.

    Like i said I mostly use photoshop.

    My question is, will photoshops usage of multiple processors equal the cost or should I save the money. Purchase the a quad or what ever they release ( 6 core) and put the money saved into memory and ssd drives or drives.

    Thx
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Photoshop is more RAM intensive than CPU so you're better off spending money on RAM, especially now as CS5 can use more than 3GB of RAM.

    Keep in mind that quad has 4 RAM slots and support up to 16GB while 8-core has 8 slots and supports up to 32GB (64GB unofficially)

    For 3299$, you can get 2008 3.2GHz 8-core Mac Pro http://www.refurb.me/go.php?c=us&ref=FB451LL/A&r=s
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #3
    Both the current Quad and Octad support 8GB Dimms, which totals in a maximum capacity of 32, respectively 64GB.

    It is not confirmed by Apple since they only release the technical documentation for the current available Dimms (4GB at the time the 2009 was released), but it definitely works and is confirmed by various sources all over the web.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Yeah, sorry forgot to mention that. Anyway, 4x8GB is ~2000$ while 8x4GB is ~1000$ so with the difference he can get an 8-core
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Which is right, but keep in mind that a DP system with a clock speed equal to a SP system costs several thousand $ more.
    That, and the fact that Photoshop can't utilise more than 4 cores would make me recommend a higher clocked SP system for this task.
    A second processor would simply be a waste of money if the task solely is PS.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Mm, that's true. 16GB is enough for PS anyway, even 4GB is sufficient.

    BTW, can CS5 only support 4 cores too?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Processor wise, you'd only need a Quad.

    But as Hellhammer has indicated, it might actually work out cheaper to get an Octad (DP system), as it has more DIMM slots, allowing you to use less expensive RAM. The Refurbished '08 3.2GHz system (Apple Store Refurbished Page) listed is a monster, and you won't be disappointed by any means (offers a really good price/performance ration - noticably better than the '09's). If you decide against it, go for an '09 Quad from the Refurbished store as well (they have full warrantys, and you can extend it, which is highly recommended).

    Just run the numbers, and see what happens. Bare minimum though, you'd want to run 8GB IMO if you're going to use CS5.
     
  8. adubich thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2010
    #8
    Thx

    That is pretty much the info is was looking for. I know the dp 08 machine is a monster I have worked on a few, and it seems people like them more than the 09's. I just have a problem with getting technology that is 2 years old. I think I might wait until for the 10's to come out. If my g5 makes it that far. See what they look like and then look for a deal on a quad core, load it i with ram.

    Does anyone know if cs5 uses more than 2 cores?
     
  9. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    California
    #9
    Increasingly I suspect that there are diminishing performance returns as the number of cores increase.

    Dual Core > Quad Core > Octo Core > Dual Hex Core > :eek:

    Physical Cores > Logical Cores > mega multi threads :eek: :eek:

    As has been said by others, can't get much faster so let's re-market with # of cores as the advantage. I'm sure it makes a difference in rendering long HD video clips - but for most other applications.....
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Some of it at least, such as After Effects apparently can use all the physical cores available in the processor, and in the case of Hyper Threaded capable models, that feature can now be utilized as well.

    Given you're on a tight budget, go for a refurbished '09 Quad. I don't know if PhotoShop can utilized anthing over a Quad, but it seems you'd be out of budget anyway.

    You can wait until the 2010's are at least announced, but in the SP versions, there's only one new chip available, which is a hex core W3680 (3.3GHz), and will be the most expensive in that group (pricing should be around the current top end model, as the published quantity pricing from Intel is the same; you get a die shrink and an additional pair of cores).
     
  11. adubich thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 1, 2010
    #11
    I was under the impression the new release was going to be a SP hex and a DP hex. Which I feel has been apples MO. Have I missed something do people think that there are going to be different processor type options. Such as quad and hex. Or a hugh price increases on the New intel hex chips?
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #12
    It's going to be a mixture, as not all of them are hex core.

    In the SP versions, there's exactly ONE part, the W3680 that's a hex core part. The only other options for SP systems, will be 35xx Quads (though there is a new model, the W3530 @ 2.8GHz that might become the base model's standard part), as there's NO 32nm SP Quad core chips made. There will be another pair of hex cores, but they won't release until later (staggered as well).

    Of the DP parts, Intel's created an entire family (56xx). Some are Quads, some Hex core.

    Look at the following for the specific models, clocks, ... (no quantity pricing on this chart, but it's available if you're interested and do a search ;) :
     

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  13. frimple macrumors 6502

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    Nov 18, 2008
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    Denver, CO
    #13
    Fix'd that for ya ;)

    The sad truth is that processor speed is hitting a thermal limit and the future is parallel processing. The truth is that multi-core processing is our future and should be. Spending time on increasing raw single-core processing power is dead (or at least flailing and bleeding out). Assuming each thread can access resources (disk I/O, memory) the much more efficient solution is through multi-core processing. That being said, there are still a lot of problems that need to be addressed (soft NUMA for example).
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Not all software can benefit from multi-threaded capability though, such as applications that depend on user input (word processing for example). It could actually lead to resources being tied up at worst, or at least adding latency between processes as the instruction pipes are halted, and new ones loaded.

    But to stick with silicon, more cores is more feasible than higher clocks. The other alternative, is to introduce newer technology, such as optical processing (new materials that end the thermal issues by changing the signal frequency).
     

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