Dual Core or Dual Processor

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
92
So I'm in the market for a Power Mac Dual G5, either the new ones that came out or the Revision B ones with 8GB max RAM (The good revision). I was wondering if I should get the new Dual Core 2ghz with educational discount for 1799 or should I get a refurbed Dual CPU 2ghz at the Apple Store for 1499. I know the differences between the two, PCI express, 16gb max RAM, etc. But what would be the better deal? 1500 is kind of my budget, but if I can get a lot better computer for a few hundred more, I might just be able to swing it for Christmas. I don't really want to wait for MWSF so please don't say to wait until then. I do a lot of audio work, web design, photo and video editing, etc. But from what I've read, the performance difference isn't all that different between the two computers. Thanks for the help.
 

aesth3tic

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2005
43
0
University of Washington
dwd3885 said:
So I'm in the market for a Power Mac Dual G5, either the new ones that came out or the Revision B ones with 8GB max RAM (The good revision). I was wondering if I should get the new Dual Core 2ghz with educational discount for 1799 or should I get a refurbed Dual CPU 2ghz at the Apple Store for 1499. I know the differences between the two, PCI express, 16gb max RAM, etc. But what would be the better deal? 1500 is kind of my budget, but if I can get a lot better computer for a few hundred more, I might just be able to swing it for Christmas. I don't really want to wait for MWSF so please don't say to wait until then. I do a lot of audio work, web design, photo and video editing, etc. But from what I've read, the performance difference isn't all that different between the two computers. Thanks for the help.
i don't know where you read that the performance difference wasn't that different, but you are wrong. the difference between dual core and dual processor is so great that owning a dual core is the way to go. are you doing professional work or are you a hobby user? if you are a hobby user go with the dual processor, if you are a pro use the dual core. the dual core reduces the communication time between the two processors and thus there is better speed yields. the ddr2 ram is a whole lot faster and the 1mb cache is like twice what the dual processors are. i would go with the dual core if you can afford it
 

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
32,191
5
Adelaide, Australia
dwd3885 said:
But from what I've read, the performance difference isn't all that different between the two computers.

Yeah, it's certainly not worth $300 assuming the other specs (RAM, hard drive and so on) are the same. :)
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
I'd go with the dual processor machine. You can use the extra few hundred dollars to put into a nicer display or more RAM.
 

djkny

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2003
460
0
dwd3885 said:
So I'm in the market for a Power Mac Dual G5, either the new ones that came out or the Revision B ones with 8GB max RAM (The good revision). I was wondering if I should get the new Dual Core 2ghz with educational discount for 1799 or should I get a refurbed Dual CPU 2ghz at the Apple Store for 1499. I know the differences between the two, PCI express, 16gb max RAM, etc. But what would be the better deal? 1500 is kind of my budget, but if I can get a lot better computer for a few hundred more, I might just be able to swing it for Christmas. I don't really want to wait for MWSF so please don't say to wait until then. I do a lot of audio work, web design, photo and video editing, etc. But from what I've read, the performance difference isn't all that different between the two computers. Thanks for the help.

Are you looking at the Apple Refurbs site? The Rev B Dualie, I've seen, for $1449 actually, and disappears as quickly as it appears. The better deal is the Dualie 1.8GHZ for $1299 which also gets sold out quickly! I'm hunting for these at 5AM EST and see them flash on and off. It's a race to the finish.
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
At the same processor speed, a Dual Core system will be faster than a dual processor system. Enough faster to be worth the price difference? That is up to you.

On the dual core systems, the memory bus is faster and each core has twice as much cache as the single core processors. Also, the two cores in on processor can snoop in each others cache which improves speed as well.

ANother major difference is that with the dual core systems, you can do a CTO system. And one upgrade you should do in that case is upgrade the nVidia 6600LE to at least the 6600.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
92
Bear said:
At the same processor speed, a Dual Core system will be faster than a dual processor system. Enough faster to be worth the price difference? That is up to you.

On the dual core systems, the memory bus is faster and each core has twice as much cache as the single core processors. Also, the two cores in on processor can snoop in each others cache which improves speed as well.

ANother major difference is that with the dual core systems, you can do a CTO system. And one upgrade you should do in that case is upgrade the nVidia 6600LE to at least the 6600.
i probably won't have enough money to CTO the 6600LE, the good thing about getting the new one would be that I can sell the Mighty Mouse!
 

brendel95

macrumors regular
May 23, 2005
109
0
For most of the work you throw, the speed difference would be less than a minute. But if you are doing like more than couple of days required job (100% cpu time all the way) like scientific computation, that one minitue goes to a day or more.

So if you don't plan to do a big job, go for the rev B machine and save money for more ram or display.

Good luck
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
dwd3885 said:
i probably won't have enough money to CTO the 6600LE, the good thing about getting the new one would be that I can sell the Mighty Mouse!
It's a $50 difference to CTO upgrade from the 6600LE to the 6600.
 

wiseguy27

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2005
420
0
USA
dual core!!!

I'd strongly recommend the latest dual core machines! Look at it from the point of upgrading in the future - the dual cores provide a lot better "future" in terms of hardware upgrades than the previous dual processorr machines.

Just some big differences:
* DDR2 RAM vs. DDR RAM (which is slowly on its way out)
* PCI Express vs. PCIx
* 16GB max. RAM vs. 8GB max. RAM

The dual core will be expandable for a much longer time than the previous dual processor machines. :cool:

If you like being future proof, at this point in time only the dual cores make sense! :)
 

FireArse

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2004
893
102
arsey

brendel95 said:
For most of the work you throw, the speed difference would be less than a minute. But if you are doing like more than couple of days required job (100% cpu time all the way) like scientific computation, that one minitue goes to a day or more.

So if you don't plan to do a big job, go for the rev B machine and save money for more ram or display.

Good luck
I cannot agree more. Note that chip manufacturers AND computer suppliers want to go dual core on single die to cut costs. If I were you, AND the need for 16GB of ram and PCI-Express isn't there, Id go with the rev B cos it'll have cost Apple and IBM to actually make to seperate G5 chips. You get better value for money! weird way of seeing things i know, but ib my head it makes sense.

Must admit, the wireless antannae and the dual Gb ethernet are nice on the newer chassis though! :)
 

kwajo.com

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
895
0
Bay of Fundy
wiseguy27 said:
I'd strongly recommend the latest dual core machines! Look at it from the point of upgrading in the future - the dual cores provide a lot better "future" in terms of hardware upgrades than the previous dual processorr machines.

Just some big differences:
* DDR2 RAM vs. DDR RAM (which is slowly on its way out)
* PCI Express vs. PCIx
* 16GB max. RAM vs. 8GB max. RAM

The dual core will be expandable for a much longer time than the previous dual processor machines. :cool:

If you like being future proof, at this point in time only the dual cores make sense! :)
while I agree about the future proofing concept, I must point out that you can put 16GB or more in any G5, just so long as you can get the RAM chips for that much memory. it's sort of like how Apple used to say the Alubooks have a max of 1GB memory and then at a revision they said the max was now 2GB, and it had nothing to do with any real changes they made, just that 1GB chips were now entering the mainstream market and they officially were supporting their use now
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
92
got an offer for a Rev C PM. It's 2ghz but only 1300. I was thinking, 4gb of RAM could hold me over for a few years, and then when the Intel Macs are stable, I can jump on one of those. Thoughts?
 

Koodauw

macrumors 68040
Nov 17, 2003
3,940
175
Madison
dwd3885 said:
got an offer for a Rev C PM. It's 2ghz but only 1300. I was thinking, 4gb of RAM could hold me over for a few years, and then when the Intel Macs are stable, I can jump on one of those. Thoughts?
That sounds like a good deal to me. I'd Jump on it.
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,859
57
wiseguy27 said:
Just some big differences:
* DDR2 RAM vs. DDR RAM (which is slowly on its way out)
* PCI Express vs. PCIx
* 16GB max. RAM vs. 8GB max. RAM
Actually you neglected another huge difference, twice the L2 cache per core on the dual core machine.

This alone is an important features, even though they are shifting to a shared FSB -- the bigger cache still increases performance. Of course there is also improved sideband cache snooping for the dual core, via a more direct connection between the two cores.
 

kwajo.com

macrumors 6502a
Jul 17, 2002
895
0
Bay of Fundy
in defense of the dual processor machines, they do have dedicated buses to each processor instead of each core sharing a single bus, but I know that doesn't make up for the other advantages the dual-core models have, I'm just throwing more info into the discussion
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
Actually if you look at the speed of memory versus the speed of the FSB, even two cores sharing one FSB will probably not max out the FSB on the dual core 2.0GHz. This is even more true on the dual core 2.3 and the Quad 2.5.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
Bear said:
Actually if you look at the speed of memory versus the speed of the FSB, even two cores sharing one FSB will probably not max out the FSB on the dual core 2.0GHz. This is even more true on the dual core 2.3 and the Quad 2.5.
Why would it be even more true?? :confused:

As the processor speed increases doesn't it follow that it needs a bigger bandwidth to keep its cache fueled?
 

Bear

macrumors G3
Jul 23, 2002
8,088
4
Sol III - Terra
generik said:
Why would it be even more true?? :confused:

As the processor speed increases doesn't it follow that it needs a bigger bandwidth to keep its cache fueled?
The memory speed doesn't change. The FSB speed does increase when the processor speed increases. Therefore, the memory bus becomes even more of a limiting factor.
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
Hmm..

However one downside of the new dual core PMs is it doesn't seem to have any legacy PCI slots, which means if you depend on one of those you are really stuffed.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
92
Now along these lines, what would be the better purchase for longevity? I know the intel macs will be coming out soon, so that might mean the dual core macs aren't as great of a deal? Or I imagine the DDR2 staying and PCI-Express staying in the Intel Macs, so I can just transfer all that RAM if I got an Intel Mac later. I guess I'm saying that buying a dual core pm because it might last longer than the dual proc is a moot point, since everything is switching over anyway. Am I right? What are your thoughts?
 

bodeh6

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
772
0
You also have to remember that they really don't make any more AGP video cards. All the good ones only come out in PCIe versions. This is a big deal for future expandibility. I would get the latest dual core 2GHz with 2.5GB (512 Apple + 2GB Crucial) with 7800 GT and a Dell 2405FWP if I were to buy a setup now.
 

dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Dec 10, 2004
2,108
92
i do liike that fact. you're right. i probably would us it for a long long time to come really. probably like 5 years IMO. But I know I would end up selling it and getting the Intel Mac when it first comes out, lol. I do love the 16gb RAM max, even though I just need 1gb for now, maybe 2. It's interesting to say the least. And you can split payment between cards at Apple? I didn't know that, but hey, I just might bite on the $1799 w/edu discount. Debt is a wonderful thing!
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
dwd3885 said:
Now along these lines, what would be the better purchase for longevity? I know the intel macs will be coming out soon, so that might mean the dual core macs aren't as great of a deal? Or I imagine the DDR2 staying and PCI-Express staying in the Intel Macs, so I can just transfer all that RAM if I got an Intel Mac later. I guess I'm saying that buying a dual core pm because it might last longer than the dual proc is a moot point, since everything is switching over anyway. Am I right? What are your thoughts?
Personally I find it a bad deal right now, but if they cut just $300 off the price suddenly it willl be so much more attractive.

I'll wait, my guess is that it will happen in March as a sort of "Powermac clearance sale" :)
 
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