Do I really need 8 cores?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by odinsride, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. odinsride macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    So I have configured a Mac Pro with the following specs:

    One Quad Core 2.8ghz CPU
    2gb RAM (will buy 3rd party memory to upgrade)
    1x500gb HD
    23" ACD
    Airport card

    Total price is $3172 (through my employer's EPP)

    If I bump it up to 2x CPUs it goes up to $3632.

    My question is if it's worth the extra $460 for 8 cores for the following usage:

    Light Photoshop
    Logic Pro
    Light Gaming (mostly WoW)
    VMware (maybe 1-2 VMs running at once)
    And all the other usual programs (itunes, firefox, etc)

  2. Firefly2002 macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2008
    You'd be fine with an iMac.

    (So no, you don't need 8 cores).

    You know how if you have to ask the price you can't afford it? It's kind of the same here.... if you have to ask, you don't need it ;)
  3. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    All I can suggest is that the 8 core will last you a lot longer, as applications become more and more multi threaded.
  4. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    The rule of thumb is, if you have to ask - the answer is no.

    I can do all of that on my MacBook which is dual core.
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Yes it's worth it.

    You'll be able to add more ram later, you can add more hard drives, but the processor speed and cores are fixed without major hassle. Everything in computers today is going multi-core and video editing, encoding and sound editing are hugely impacted by having more cores.

    Better to buy once, cry once than cheap out and cry many times.
  6. group09 macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2008
    That's good advice, and I like it! I've been torn between the 256 and 512 MB video card in the MBP, and this quote makes sense. Thanks.
  7. odinsride thread starter macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2007
    FWIW I have been doing all of the above on my 2.4ghz MBP without too many problems.

    As I run out of HD space from all the photography I do, I would like to have a more expandable system. Even the 4 core Mac Pro would be twice the cores as what I have now, so I think this would probably be plenty for my needs. My only worry is having to buy something better in the next 3 years.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I use every program you do on the MBP in my signature with great results. No slowdown....

    That being said.....

    I would go for the 8 cores. Why? Cause its better to spend a little extra and not have to upgrade for awhile thats why. And, like a previous user posted, everything is going multiple core. I always buy the best I can afford when I buy a new computer.
  9. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    How long do you plan to keep the computer? Also, is there any chance you'll start working on video projects (iMovie, Final Cut, iDVD, etc)?

    If you plan to keep the computer for only two or three years and you don't think you'll be getting into video editing/rendering, even the quad-core is probably overkill. As someone already mentioned, an iMac would do just fine for the apps you mentioned.

    If you plan to keep the computer for 4 or more years or think you might get into video work, the extra cores will probably come in handy.
  10. voxnj macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2008
    Dark Side of the Moon
    Why wait? Just get into digital photogaphy. The 8 cores run Lightroom processes at the speed of ummm light!
  11. OlBlueHair macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    I'd get the base 8 core model with the stock 320 hard drive and stock ram. The stock video card is fine for what you list here, as well.

    Then, use the money you'd save for extra ram (149 for 4 gigs) and an internal SATA 1tb drive (200). As it is now, bumping up for that 500 hard drive is not as economical as buying another one later.
  12. mortimor macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Logic Pro needs all the cores it can handle. Snow Leopard will use them more efficiently next year (hopefully).
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The same dilemma we all face I should think. :p
    Of course, if computer technology moved slower, we'd complain about that too. :D

    On a serious note, if an iMac can get you three years, get it. Worry about the future when the iMac no longer serves your needs. It seems in your case, a Mac Pro is overkill for now, and a waste of money. ;)
  14. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    Buy an iMac instead.
    Save your money so that you can buy a new computer in 2.5/3.5 years and sell your current one that you have at that time.
  15. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    If you don't need the extra processing power, then it's kinda waste of money to buy them. Therefore a cheaper all-in-one solution can cover all your tasks, probably have enough room for you grow and stretch without breaking the bank..

    Also, the experts here will tell you that the currently MacPros range are end of the road products, mainly due to new advances in technology. Intel's next processor won't physically fit into existing sockets... so processor upgrades will be unlikely.
  16. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    id build a hackintosh!

    seriously, i have a quad core 2.91ghz, 8800gt 512 , 4 gig ram 500gig hd set up that cost me 900 back in feb
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Nice way to go, for those interested and the technical prowess to do so. :)
    That said, others haven't the time, inclination,... and just want a ready built machine. ;)
  18. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    Its always best to buy what you can afford as long as you intend to use its full potential.

    If money isnt that much of an issue and its going to have a long lifespan, then go for the 8 core.
  19. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008

    It seriously bothers me these days when people recommend that as a serious replacement to a new Mac. If you can't afford it, then save your pennies.
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    it is not illegal

    check your facts. it is a violation of the eula but is not illegal.

    there are even ways now so that you can use the retail leopard disk to install leopard on a hackintosh

    if you dont like it dont do it, but dont tell me what i can or can not do:rolleyes:
  21. Catch Them macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    It seriously bothers me when people get so bent out of shape on something so trivial.
    its not like theyre reselling them or marketing them as whole solutions.
    hardware is hardware; sure apple does a better job of integrating hardware with their software; but geez, alot of interesting things came from tapping into things like that...

    I say get the 4-core option; seriously who needs 8 cores?!
    Who really even needs 4 cores?

    even if Snow Leopard does take advantage of multicore architecture, it shouldnt matter how many cores you have, it should still be proficient enough to use the speed of a dual core or quad or even eight core system.

    I run an 8 core at work and a 4 core at home.
    the 4 core is blazingly fast, essentially if your running the same applications against both machines it wont really make a huge impact it iwll enhance the performance a bit but i think you should be lasting for quite sometime with the 4 core machine; saving 400-500$ is nice and getting a quality built machine like that for a little less is great.

    I say get the 500GB drive as well because with the EPP and Apple Add-on and the price of OEM drives nowadays it evens out essentially. so no big loss there and the 8800 is cheaper the BTO way so thats a plus (besides its covered under apple care as opposed to buying afterwards and it not being covered)

    so i think you got an ideal perfect solution set.
  22. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    It is cheaper to buy the two CPUs now then it is to buy one now and the other later. Also, buying them together means both are covered under your warranty.
  23. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    As said before, with Snow Leopard coming, more and more apps will be able to take advantage of more and more cores. So, for the future, get 8 cores. For the present, 4 cores is overkill.
  24. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    The EULA is a contract. On agreement with the EULA when installing OS X, you are agreeing to the contract. By breaking the EULA, you are in breach of contract which you can be prosecuted for it.

    It's principle. Doing that is the same as downloading games and applications. You get what you want sure, but you aren't supporting the developers, you aren't supporting Apple. If you believe in Apple and their products, you wouldn't be downloading hacked osx86 isos, you would be saving your dollars for a real mac.

    If you don't want to spend the money to run that platform, then choose a different platform.
  25. Catch Them macrumors regular

    Jul 29, 2008
    Its not the same.
    In order for developers to gain more experience with various hardware/software support. it could be very helpful actually. i know a few developers who build their own hackintoshes, who cares.

    at any rate...

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