Does anyone here with a new Quad-core feel like they missed out by not getting the 8?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mattcube64, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. mattcube64 macrumors 65816


    May 21, 2006
    I'm looking to upgrade my iMac to a Mac Pro. And, I think the Quad-core would suit me just fine, in all honesty. But, I have this terrible feeling that if I were to get the 4-core model, I'd always feel like I should have splurged for the 8-core, even if I don't necessarily need it.

    Does anyone here have a 4-core, and regret not going for the dual processor option? Or, on the flip side, are there any 8-core owners that feel like they would have been perfectly happy with a 4-core?

    I fear a Macbook Pro like situation coming about. I don't want to get a 4-core, and then in 6 months, Apple drop the 4-core all together and lower the price of the 8-core.

    I know no one can predict the future... I'm just looking for a little advice/guidance. :eek:
  2. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Well, you can get an 8-core 2008 model for the same price as a 2009 quad so just do that and then you won't feel the frustration of being underpowered.
  3. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    See if you can get a 2008 2.8GHz Octo. It'll be about the same speed as the 2.66GHz Quad in single threaded tasks and has the added benefit of being Octo core.
  4. dryjoy macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    No Regrets

    Err.... My '09 Quad arrived yesterday, and I love it and I have no regrets about not going for an octo core.
    But I have upgraded from a sawtooth G4 400MHz with OS9.... so the new machine is slightly more powerful than what I'm used to!
    Plus, I work for a University, so got the HE discount, which actually makes it seem a bit better value.
  5. Roy macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2006
    Well, it's according to what you are going to use your computer for. I'll let others tell you what you need.

    I really didn't need a Mac Pro. But, then again, I really don't need a computer at all. But I wanted a Mac Pro and I bought one. I could have gotten by with a Mac Mini, and I tried to convince myself of that, but I wasn't successful. I hate buying something that I have to feel like an incompetent person and have to have someone else work on my device. I wanted to be able to do the things I felt like I was able to do. Add a hard drive, memory and etc. The Mac Pro I can do.

    The only thing that I could see the 8 core being faster than the 4 core is rendering of movies. But the past few weeks I've been taking all my VHS and HI8 tapes and converting them to a digital format and uploading them to my Mac Pro hard drive. When I'm converting formats, preparing projects to burn to a DVD, the most I ever see my 4 core use is about 40 percent, with about 60 percent being idle. So would a 8 core be twice as fast or would it be using 20 percent on each processor for a total of the same 40 percent? And how do you make a computer use near 100 percent of it's processing power?

    So, unless you are going to use those 8 cores on a regular basis at near max. usage, then you have to decide if the 8 core is better for you. And the idea of "future proofing" with the 8 core is ludicrous. Within 2 years the 8 core 2.26 will not be nearly as "future proof" as those who think it will. And forget about interchangeable processors. Not going to happen and if it does, then the price won't be right in relationship to just buying the latest and greatest.

    With an 8 core though, you can pull your pants up high and walk around and proudly say "look what I've got!".

    Nothing wrong with an 8 core, but will you use it's potential. Only you will know that.
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    No regrets. The quad is a power house as it is and has no difficulties handling HD video. Save your money and add one or two SSD's to your machine... Now THAT's something you can notice!!! :eek: :D

    Prices will always come down. You will wait in perpetuity if you want to get the best deal. In a few years you will probably get 16 cores for the price we are paying for 4 now.
  7. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Jan 21, 2008
    heh, thats actually true, sooner OR later disks will be chugging down your system.
    its funny, nehalem optimizes memory, but if you ask me, in my 08 the biggest chugdown is the hardrive :D
  8. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    I'd go with either a current Nehalem 8-core or the Penryn 8-core provided both systems were in my budget.

    Then i'd replace the HDD drive with a SDD and make the HDD that came with it secondary storage.

    4-core vs 8-core is about to get a WHOLE lot more interesting come September when Snow Leopard takes off. For the first time it will be not only applications taking avantage of threading but really the whole OS.
  9. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    I chose the quad for the exact reasons stated above: drives are the major bottlenecks these days, not the number of cores (unless you're doing very specific tasks).

    So in my future are a 4 disk RAID0 and probably a SSD early next year as a boot drive.

    Very true, although personnaly I'm not putting too much faith into that. I don't think that multi-core systems will see anything beyond a 10% speed increase for most apps. Then again, I wouldn't mind being pleasantly surprised!

  10. stormtroopar macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    I think it depends on what you do. Go down to the Apple store and check out a mac pro, they usually have the quad 2.66ghz version and use it for a while and see if that is more than enough for you. I don't think you would miss the 8 core unless you constantly do 2d or 3d renderings.

    The quad core is pretty fast and once you get it and start using it, you won't keep thinking about the 8 core.

    The thing is, with computers, there is always going to be something cheaper and faster, get something you feel completely satisfy with right now in terms of real life usage. I don't recommend getting a system when Apple is about to update the line, but I don't think we are at that point right now. If you get something you would be very happy with right now. If after using the quad core you feel its more than enough for what you need, then you will be fine, and you won't keep thinking about the 8 core after you start using it.

    And I agree with the others, get an SSD drive. Its worth it and noticeable right away in terms of performance jump.
  11. dogbait macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2005
    London, England
    Real men buy 8-cores, quad cores are for girls... ;)
  12. HyperSnake macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Made me laugh!
  13. HyperSnake macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Made me laugh!
  14. iamcheerful macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    i have a lot of reservations about the potential. i certainly wish to be proven wrong. recall the 64-bit potential? G5s ... then backtracked to a core duo which wasn't 64-bit and then bounced back.

    how much potential did the G5s gained since then? now, G5s are going to be retired (or maybe retired already ...)

    personally, i feel very strongly that Snow Leopard should have been what Leopard is. ok, what has all these got to do with the original question of regrets ...

    no i have no regrets picking the early 2008 (8-core) simply because i knew what i needed it for then and the system served my purpose very well. bottom line, you know what you want, you won't regret your decision. what about given the benefit of hindsight now? would i pick the 4-core or a faster 8-core? or would it be better than i waited out for the 2009 version? i can honestly say i do not feel any bit of regrets picking what i have picked then --- early 2008 (2.8GHz, 8-core) system.
  15. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Although I never am a believer in standardized computer tests right now the quad out performs the oct in most tasks but things are expected to change come snow leopard.
  16. RebootD macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2009
    NW Indiana
    I fretted about this choice for months and ended up getting the Quad even though it was more limited than previous models. (only 4 Ram slots).

    Unless you need more than 8GB (for the cheap) and/or render video and 3D all day long the 8 core is overkill and will actually be slower than the Quad in most single threaded apps. For the same price (or lower) as the baseline Octo you can get the Quad + 4870 + 2x 1TB HDDs + 8GB DDR3 and have some change left over.

    Plus as others have stated if you absolutely must have an 8 core the refurb 2008 models are still around and would be a much better deal than the baseline OCTO 2009.
  17. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    64-bit must be extended throughout hardware and software. The G5 was 64-bit but if it's running an OS that does not support 64-bit through and through I don't know what exact benefit people were expecting. Snow Leopard is 64-bit from the kernel to the library to the GUI.

    Snow Leopard couldn't have been what Leopard is because Leopard supported PPC and Intel. Apple has done what causes terror in other computing vendors. They have all at once removed legacy support and in the process have created a bedrock for future foundation. I give them credit..few other companies are as ballsy.

    I think it was a wise decision for you to purchase an 8-core computer. Software always lags hardware and eventually I knew we'd catch up to managing those core more effectively.
  18. Roy macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2006
    But it seems like it is taking forever to achieve. How long have multicore computer been in the marketplace and what percent of the current software makes use of multicore processors? And Snow Leopard isn't going to make software that is not written to take advantage of multicores into software that takes advantage of multicores.
  19. Infrared macrumors 68000


    Mar 28, 2007
    Or as late. Various Linux distros and Windows were fully 64-bit long ago :)

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