Considering Mac Pro single vs dual processor....

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by badcrc32, May 21, 2008.

  1. badcrc32 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    #1
    The iMac wasnt for me....Way to many bugs with the screen bleeds, and dead pixels on two machines. I dont want an all in one technology.

    I am seriously considering a Mac Pro but I am stuck if I want a single or dual processor. Any suggestions? Ill barely do video editing, Ill run fusion, photo stuff, etc...Maybe some gaming. I am a computer professional....Just not sure its worth the $500.00 for me....:apple:
     
  2. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #2
    I assume that you get the same motherboard whether you buy the single or dual processor model, and if you wanted you could simply buy an additional processor farther down the line if you felt limited. So far on my multiprocessor system the only thing that really taxes all the cores is video rendering/compressing, so if you don't do a lot of that you might be fine with 4. TBH, 4 is pretty good even if you are going to be doing it frequently.
     
  3. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #3
    I got the Quad (single CPU) and there isn't a day that goes by that I'm unhappy with my decision.

    The extra $500 was bonus money in my pocket, and for everyday apps, the machine is incredibly fast.

    :)

    Hope that helps!
     
  4. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Right now, the extra $500 for the second 2.8GHz CPU, while not a steal, is still a darn decent value. When you consider what the heatsink alone will cost you from Apple, it's likely cheaper to get it now, plus you have the advantage of both being under warranty.

    Also, I've seen some dual-Xeon servers get a bit...finicky...if the CPUs are not of the same stepping, so that is another advantage of getting both at purchase - they're either going to be the same stepping or if they are not and you do have problems because of it, you're under warranty.
     
  5. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #5
    The quad should do you well until you'll be wanting a new computer anyway. I'll add another processor to mine down the road of course, but that's really just to see if it works. I'm hard pressed to notice a slow down, even if I run a whole bunch of "yes > /dev/null"s at the same time. One thing I have noticed though is that my room is noticeably warmer than the rest of the house, but that tends to happen with hot components.
     
  6. faumble macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #6
    go single Quad all the way, as in many threads before the second processor isn't used 90% of the cases, and because its quad core it will be enough for multi core applications.
     
  7. D4F Guest

    D4F

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Planet Earth
    #7
    For what you want quad is more than enough.
    Hell. Just right now I am using Vue 6 to render a little scene. it's a pro app used by studios like Disney... And it still uses only 2 cores so I got 2 free to listen to music and browse internet.

    These days 8 Cores is - 1. bragging rights 2. Really some serious multi app work/rendering.

    Not worth $500 considering that in at least 95% of the cases you will never use it. Put that $500 into new software or memory or whatever will make your work easier.
     
  8. vder macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2007
    #8
    For those went single quad what video card did you buy ?
     
  9. dchao macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #9
    My single quad-core runs incredibly cool, 26C idle, and never goes above 34C even under full load.

    I am a photoshop guy, so 2600XT i good enough for me, if you are a gamer, go for the 8800GT instead.
     
  10. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #10
    a single quad cpu is more than enough for anything you are prolly tyring to do. a dual core is plenty fast enough, a quad is what u call high end. having dual quads would be tight but i dont think its worth the extra cash
     
  11. jamesi macrumors 6502a

    jamesi

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    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Davis CA
    #11
    do not get any of the dual or triple or quad vid card set ups. either get one low end card or get the 8800GT
     
  12. nylon macrumors 6502a

    nylon

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #12
    Are there any benchmarks comparing:

    1. Current Gen (single cpu) quad core system at 2.8 Ghz

    to a

    2. Previous Gen Stock (dual cpu) quad core system running at 2.66 Ghz

    I would be very interested to see the results.
     
  13. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #14
    I think the one bit of information missing here is how long you expect to use this computer before upgrading. If you're one of those who upgrades after 2 or 3 years, then the single quadcore should be plenty. If you are planning on using it for 5 or more years, then I would suggest that the dual quadcore would be worth it. Right now, not many apps can take advantage of eight cores, but that will change over the next few years.
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #15
    I am getting a single cpu quad 2.8 with in a month or 2. One of the reasons is the power consumption.

    The dual dual core quad (2x2.66) last gen has 2 65watt chips in it. The single quad is an 80 watt chip. So the dual quads is 160 watts just for the cpus, and the dual dual is 130 watts. The single quad seems to be the best bang for you power since it will use less power then the dual duals and be a faster system.
     
  15. K3mp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    S.E. Louisiana
    #16
    I am in the same situation and was wondering if in 3 years when a pro app requires 3 Ghz would dual 2.8 be able to handle it. Basically I am wondering if the dual 2.8 Ghz setup would equal equal a single 5.6 ghz setup. I plan on keeping this computer till it dies but I will probably get an upgrade before the macpro dies and use it as a secondary computer. So I will get about 5-7 years of primary use. If $500 helps the power that much I will probably hold off longer to get the money.
     
  16. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #17
    No, it doesn't work like that. No process will operate faster then the 2.8ghrz on any of the cores. The benefits are multi-threaded applications can use multiple cores at once to cut down computing time and single threaded apps can have dedicated cores.

    I wouldn't worry about the 3ghrz barrier, chances are by the time you need something faster you'll want a new mac pro anyways.
     
  17. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 4, 2008
    #18
    It will be many years before a 2.8 GHz multi-core system will be insufficient for anything. I'm still using a dual 800 MHz G4 Quicksilver. It wasn't until I couldn't load the latest version of iMovie (Intel processor required) last year that there was anything I wasn't able to load and run on it. It wasn't until Leopard was released that I started thinking about upgrading (since my computer isn't officially supported).

    So, no, you won't have to worry about 2.8 GHz not being fast enough for a very long time. However, in a few years, many more apps will be able to take advantage of more than four cores. In my opinion, if you plan to keep the computer for more than 3 or 4 years, it's probably worth it to get the 8-core system. If you upgrade every 2 or 3 years, the 4-core system is probably fine.
     
  18. K3mp macrumors 6502

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    May 4, 2008
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    S.E. Louisiana
    #19
    I am not worried about the 3 Ghz barrier I was just using something just over 2.8 as an example. I just wanted to clear something up. $500 is still a good deal.
     
  19. schnee macrumors member

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    SF
    #20
    It's not if you never use it. Trust me, the only thing you need an octo core for is making 8-hour rendering chores finish in 4 hours. If you're not doing that, you'll never notice the difference.

    Programming for multi-core is really, really hard, and unless the task is embarrassingly parallel it probably won't ever hit the other cores much at all.

    Barefeats benchmarks say the single quad-core is as fast as the first dual-cpu dual-core Mac Pro 3.0ghz.
     
  20. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #21
    There is no 3ghz barrier. For example if you had an application that needed over 1.7ghz, well the old athlons (I had a 1.3ghz Athlon) totally owned a 1.7ghz P4, and an 867mhz G4 beat it as well IIRC. And as schnee said, the previous 3ghz quad core Mac Pro is as fast as the current 2.8ghz quad core.

    And a Pentium Dual Core E2140 at 1.6ghz, is just as fast as a 3ghz Pentium D, so you see there is no specific barrier.
     
  21. Lord Zedd macrumors 6502a

    Lord Zedd

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    #22
    Multitasking is also great for multiple cpus. OSX automatically gives each application its own cpu to hog while the others hog their own (Unless you are running a multithreaded program).
     
  22. sash macrumors 6502a

    sash

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2004
    #23
    If your _professional_ life depends on a Mac (or its productivity), I wouldn't hesitate a second... Even if you'll be able to spare 10-20% of your time thanks to a more powerful machine, it's a huge gain. More free time, an ability to accomplish more orders etc.

    BTW, you still can order 2x CPU system, work on it for a few days in order to assess if it's worth it, and if not -- you'll have 14 days to return it to Apple.

    sash
     
  23. MaximusNL macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2005
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #24
    I was doubting just like the TS is doing now. Yesterday I ordered my MacPro single 2.8 Xeon with a 30" Cinema Display. To replace the 2nd cpu I added 4gb ram extra.

    Reasons for Single CPU vs Dual CPU:
    - The 2nd cpu provides only 2% performance increase
    - More memory is better than a second cpu
    - Braggin' rights about a 2nd cpu don't justify $500 :D
     
  24. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #25
    That's true today and will probably be true a year from now. However, it will not be true in a few years. That's why I feel it's important to understand how long someone plans to use their computer before giving them advice on this matter.

    When I buy my MacPro, I plan to use it for at least six years, maybe longer. In my case it makes sense to buy the 8-core system. If someone upgrades their computer every two or three years, the 8-core probably doesn't make sense unless they are doing specialized tasks that can take advantage of eight cores (like video rendering).
     

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