Decision Please Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Desperardo, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Desperardo macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2010
    I’m having terrible trouble deciding which Mac Pro is the best choice regarding price/future proofing. I am a first time Mac buyer/user, I’m buying a Mac pro as I require a powerful computer that can act as a creative suit for a full spread of programmes, Final Cut Pro, CS5 suite(photoshop, after effects etc), Logic, Aperture, etc (I dont need it for gaming). I won’t be upgrading for 3/5 years so I want the best configuration possible in terms of bangs per buck. I am on a tight budget (aren’t we all) but if I'll feel the benefits I am prepared to stretch (if I must).

    I realise that all the machines listed will deal comfortably with what I can throw at them, I’m also sure that once I have a machine sat at home I’ll be extremely happy with any of them. I think what I’m trying to avoid is being restricted in the future whilst making the most economically sound choice for today.

    I’m torn between the following options

    2010, 4 Core, 2.8Ghz ‘Nehalem’, 8G Ram, £2,299.01

    2010, 6 Core, 3.3Ghz ‘Westmere’, 8G Ram, £3,259.00

    2010, 8 Core, Two 2.4GHz ‘Westmere’ 8G Ram, £2799.00

    There’s also the cheaper option of the 27inch Quad core IMac or even a refurbished 2008 8 Core Nehalem Mac Pro!!!!!.

    I’ve researched bench tests/clock speeds etc but have found contradicting opinion. Software isn’t currently harnessing all the cores on offer (though it no doubt will more in the future) so an extra grand for a Westmere seems possibly unnecessary. Having said this I want to buy the most up to date machine possible, so the Westmere options seem more attractive because of their newer architecture?

    My other concern is the fact that the MacPro is currently ‘Mid Term’ in its product cycle and the on set of ‘Sandy Bridge’ processors next year? I need a machine now regardless.

    I apologise for the broadness and lack of clarity in this post. I’m desperate chaps!!! Please Help!!!!!!!
    Many many thanks
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    3.33GHz 6c; there is no reason to get the 2.4GHz 8c except for the RAM slots, and it'll be slow than the former. The 2.8GHz 4c is still fast, but it's bad value.

    And there is no 2008 8c Nehalem; those are Harpertown CPUs

    The Mac Pro was just released last month, and Sandy Bridge isn't expected for whole another year.
  3. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    My suggestion would be:

    Intel Xeon 6-Core 3.33GHz Westmere (nothing else added): £2959.00
    2x4GB RAM sticks from Crucial ( £279.64
    Total: £3238.64
    Savings: £20.36
    Reason: The reason in this case is not saving the 20 pounds, but getting two 4GB RAM sticks from Crucial instead of four 2GB RAM sticks from Apple. This means that you will have two RAM slots free and can add another one or two 4GB sticks in the future to upgrade to 12GB or a total of 16GB RAM.

    I wouldn't recommend going with the 8 core, since
    A) It's slower than the 6 core for most uses (due to the slower clock speed, 2.4GHz vs. 3.33GHz)
    B) It has two processors = two fans = more noise
  4. talino macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2010
    Lots of folks in the same boat with this confusing lineup from Apple... Some benchmarks started popping around (e.g. these), which seem to indicate that the 2010 3.33 6-core is comparable performance-wise to the 2009 2.93 8-core. I've just saw a refurbished 2009 8-core at the Apple Store (France) which sells, with warranty, for the same price as a brand-new 6-core.

    Very confusing times for people in the market for a Mac Pro.
  5. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    I use similar software but mostly photoshop. I have a 2.93GHz quad core 2009 and i will be upgrading RAM and will buy a SSD.

    You will notice the speed increase from the 6 and 8 core when using Final Cut Pro, but benchmarks have proved Photoshop and Logic run slower with more than 4 cores. Maybe CS6 will take advantage of 6 or 8 cores....
  6. Desperardo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2010
    Many thanks for your opinion on this guys, it seems like a lot of folks are in a similar situation. It’s a lot of money for me so I want to make the right investment. I think the big problem is that it’ll cost me an extra £1000.00 (1,562.80 dollars) for the Westmere and I’m just unsure whether I will really notice the difference. I could just go for the Quad Core Nehalem and put the extra towards a Macbook Pro?

    I’m also finding really varying accounts on forums about which is the best option.
    But I found this forum where the guy is in a similar to position to me on the 6 Core debate,
    At the end of the thread he opts for a quad Nehalem as he found the Westmere running slower than the Quad Nehalem using Logic?

    And then there are those that say refurbished 2008 8 core Nehalems are just as fast as the 6 Westemere and better value!!!
  7. 2contagious macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2008
    A Mac Pro from 2008 can indeed be faster than a Mac Pro from 2010. It all depends on the configuration and clock speed (for example a high clock speed 2010 6 core vs. low clock speed 2010 8 core = 2010 6 core wins most of the time due to higher clock speed, whereas high clock speed 2008 8 core vs. low clock speed 2010 8 core = 2008 8 core wins due to higher clock speed. The 8 core from 2008 was clocked at 2.8 or 2.9 GHz I think, whereas the only 8 core option available this year is the 2.4 GHz one :/
  8. Desperardo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2010
    From the benchtests i've seen thats certainly the case.
    Based on clockspeeds then the 2010, 3.2GHz Nehalem (£320 more than the standard 2.8GHz) would seem like a sensible half way house? (Considering the 3.33GHz Westmere is nearl an extra £1000).

    So a Quad Core 3.2GHz Nehalem, 8GB RAM £2,619,00 as apposed to
    £3259,00 for the 3.33GHz 6 core Westmere,8GB Ram?

    What do you reckon chaps, is it worth pushing the boat out for the Westy? The Westys have newer architecture though? I'm gonna have to sell one of my kids to Brazil to buy this sucker so I wanna make the right choice(I never really liked my oldest that much anyway).
  9. loungecorps macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    budget pro

    I am in the same boat as you, (same apps) I went with the base 2.8 quad and will be upgrading the processor to the new 3.47 or used 3.33 hex chip once apple care is about to run out. after selling the old cpu the price for a sweet hex core is alittle more wallet friendly.

    I'd love to get a hex now, but it simply aint in the cards.
  10. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    I don't quite see how the OP is torn. The choices are so far apart from each other.

    If on a budget one would say iMac - maxed out with processor it is about $200 les than the base pro but faster than it. THat creates an issue if the person 'needs' the pro to be faster than the iMac - if not and what they need are the bays - their own monitor, more RAM, etc. then they would be satisfied with the base MP.

    The second option is the hex which is significantly more expensive than the base.

    The third is really just out there when comparing to the base.

    So either go with the 3.2 quad to gain an equal bang for buk upgrade and be faster than top of line iMac or splurge and go Hex paying the Hex premium.

    I think the entry Mac pro folks would really be thinking of the 2.8 with an upgraded gfx card or the 3.2 with standard gfx card - to that I say proc as the gfx card is easier to upgrade in the future.
  11. Desperardo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2010
    I’m starting to lean toward the Quad with the 3.2GHz Nehalem with 8G Ram, It’s an extra £320 for the 3.2 but people say I will feel the benefits. Considering the stuff I'll be using it for (FinalCut, Logic, CS5, etc) will this machine surfice for 3/4 years? I'm just struggling to justify the extra grand for the Hexacore.

    longecorps you say your gonna upgrade the cpu but I didn't think you could upgrade the cpu? I thought when it came to cpus they have to be compatible with the architecture of the machine? (sorry if that sounds daft, I'm in the dark with this stuff) Q? how will you do it on apple care??:confused:
  12. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    It's going to be a while (if ever) before FCP, CS5, etc really take advantage of ~6 cores.

    Get what you can afford NOW and then use the money saved to upgrade later IF/WHEN the programs you use actually use ~6 cores efficiently. JMO ~~~ :)

    Also, I'm of the opinion that the 3.2 Quad is the best "buy" in the MP lineup. Again........ JMO!

  13. Desperardo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2010
    Yeah I think thats what I'm going to do, I'm intrigued about your applecare plan???. I'm gonna take apple care out so I'm VERY interested if you can somehow utilise that to get an upgrade???? Do you mean just like an insurance job where you drop the TV down the stairs then say it blew up?Cheers JohnG
  14. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Not sure what you mean by that question. ???

    Applecare will cover HW failures but Apple does have the right to exclude repairs if the HW was "abused" by the customer. Dropping a MP down a flight of stairs would probably fall into that category. :p

    The "upgrade" I was referring too was a sell then buy approach. i.e. sell the 2010 and buy the next gen MP in 2-3 years.

  15. loungecorps macrumors member

    Aug 25, 2010
    with the 2010 mac pro's the base model has the same mother board as the hex core, so most of the new westmere xeon's will work, if you're in doubt make sure to get a chip that is in 2010 mac pro to avoid problems.

    replacing cpu is not considered a user upgradeable part, so it will void the warranty. I will wait awhile for the cpu prices to drop when new one's come out and also to make sure my mac doesn't have any problems. if you're worried about swapping cpu's don't be it takes less then 5 minutes.

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