For my needs please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bbadalucco, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #1
    I need a desktop computer for everyday use (safar, ical,etc) as well as to convert 15-25gb video files using handbrake or Toast. I'll also do some light gaming in windows

    I've been reading Mroogle for the past day and have my choices down to the following three setups.

    08' 3.0 or 3.2 Octo Refurb
    09' 2.26 Octo
    09' 2.93 Quad

    I'm kinda leaning towards to Quad but am worried about my ability to use my computer for other applications if I'm converting a movie with handbrake/toast. Keep in mind this is all for personal use, so I'm not worried about saving time unless its greater than 20 minutes per file.

    Thoughts recommendations welcomed.
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    For you needs, the Quad is the way to go. The additional cores aren't even utilized by most of today's software. Go look at benchmarks between the 2.26 Octo and the 2.93 Quad.
     
  3. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #3
    Woulda 2.93 quad be useless if converting a large video clip though...as far as being able to use the computer for my "daily use"?
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Video conversion is by far the most demanding job for your machine. For gaming you need to look at the graphics solution. Go for the 2008 model that you can afford considering you have a fairly good graphic card like the 4870 or 285 in the budget. Handbrake will make good use of the additional cores and the 2008 model will buy you more bang than the 2009.
     
  5. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #5
    So handbrake will use more than 4 cores? Thats my main concern...which setup will make encoding 20gb files to h264 via handbrake the best experience.

    2.66 Quad
    2.26 Octo

    I will use the HD4870 GPU as well.
     
  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #6
    The 2.26 Octad will definitely be quicker in Handbrake. My experience with the latest version is that it fills the cores to nearly 100%. So 18 GHz will be faster than 10,64 GHz considering the 2009 machines. Obviously the strait multiplication isn't correct for both models because you will loose for overhead but it will apply equally to quads and octads.

    I still think that you will do much better if you go for a 3,0 or 3,2 2008 Octad though.

    [​IMG]

    Have a look at the cinebench scores from our friend Tesselator. Handbrake performance will be equivalent to the multi CPU score for various systems. They are all shown in this graph.

    Edit: There is the issue of handbrake not recognizing hyperthreaded Nehalem octads. that severely imppacts on the 2,26 machine. Compare later posts!!!
     
  7. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #7
    I could go with the 3.2...why do you think that would be better though?
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #8
    Compare the multi core cinebench, which is better for the 2008 3,2 octad. Multiplication tells you that you have 25,6 GHz over 18 GHz of the 2009 octad. That kind of basic performance cannot be beaten by the memory bandwidth optimization of the 2009 machines.
     
  9. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #9
    LOL..

    Looking at that chart, I wouldn't need to upgrade for now, cause my machine comes in third!!! (according to that list). Then again... think i've used handbreak twice in the last twelve month. Pretty useless when your editing stuff.
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #10
    Let me guess. You have a 3,2GHz 2008 Octad?

    If you compare it to a 2009 2,66GHz Octad it is pretty revealing. Running on one core only the 2009 machine looses because it runs the lower CPU frequency. The higher memory bandwidth makes no difference when the machine runs on very low memory throughput.

    In Octad mode the memory becomes dominant though. The 2009 2,66 Octad machine beats the 2008 3,2 Octad machine because the higher core frequency gets beaten by the memory bandwidth issue.

    Our OP doesn't consider the 2,66 2009 Octad though. He isn't prepared to shell out for that machine. His alternative to the 2008 3,2 Octad would be the 2009 2,26 Octad. If you go into the comparison you will see that this machine gets spanked by the older 3,2 Octad. This is pretty obvious. In single core mode the slow frequency of the 2,26 Octad gives it no chance. In eight core mode the substantially higher core frequency stiil overcomes the memory bandwidth advantage.

    So the only conclusion you can take from this is buying the 2008 3,2 over the 2009 2,26 Octad. Performance wise it beats the 2009 in single and multi core mode. There is only one justification for buying the 2009 low spec Octad. If you intend to buy faster CPUs for a fraction of the nominal price and upgrade it yourself you would make a reasonable choice.
     
  11. pooryou macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #11
    Here's what I just ordered:


    Code:
    Mac Pro
    Part Number: Z0G1
    Apple Mighty Mouse
    Country Kit
    Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter
    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
    Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
    One 18x SuperDrive
    6GB (6x1GB)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    Two 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi Card with 802.11n
    1	 $4,062.00	 $4,062.00
    Ships: 3 - 5 business days
    Delivers: Jul 31 - Aug 4
    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll
    Part Number: S3135LL/A
    1	 $249.00	 $249.00
    Estimated ship: Within 24 hours
    Delivered next business day after shipping
    Order Subtotal:		 $4,311.00
    Estimated Tax*:		$398.77
    Shipping Charge:		$68.00
    Estimated Total:		$4,777.77
    
     
  12. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #12
    I've been reading mroogle like crazy lately and still this convo is very helpful so I appreicate it.

    I sold my MBP so I want to purchase a MP tomorrow. I was hoping you'd be kind enough to answer a few more questions to strengthen my confidence.

    First my situation. I have about 150 blu ray rips (20gb) and about 200 (DVD) rips that I want to convert to h264 using handbrake. After that, I will probably rip 1 blu ray/week (every Tuesday). I'll also convert movies for my iPhone. Other than that the MP will be used for Safari, ical, mail, iphoto, itunes (daily tasks). I will be using a 2nd Gen X25M as a boot drive as well, so not sure if I'll notice a difference between 2.26 and 3.2 with the daily apps I'll use???

    My biggest problem with the 3.2 is that I found a refurb for $3200, but I'd still like to ad a HD4870 and it only has 2gb RAM...so it will end up being considerably more than the 2.26 (after edu discount). With my MBP it takes over 12 hours to convert a 20gb blu ray via handbrake...I'm looking for under 5 hours, preferably 4.

    This said, do you still recommend a 3.2 Octo (2008), the 2.26 Octo or one of the new Quads?

    Again, I appreicate it.
     
  13. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #13
    Recommendations so far can only be based on cost equality. In your position I would take the multi core Cinebench score from Tesselator's chart and devide it by the $$ you will have to pay.

    Buying the best performance/$ should be your objective. Since gaming isn't your priority the graphics card is not important for you. So take that out of the evaluation. Make an adjustment for the graphics if the deal includes a graphics bargain. Handbrake performance/$ is key to your decision.
     
  14. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #14
    Save some cash and grab a refurb. Apple has a 2- 2.26 octo w/6gb ram for 2800 bucks. Use the money saved and change out the graphics card and/or ram if needed. The chips can be changed later when the prices drop. 16 total cores in this baby (w/Hyperthreading).
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Handbrake will only use 4 cores, but you can run additional instances of Handbrake to use more.
     
  16. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #16
    I don't know what version of handbrake and Mac Cave Man used to make this statement. I can only say that on an Octad machine the latest version not only uses all eight cores but also loads the cores near to 100%. Not every transcoding software will do that.

    Perhaps Cave man bases his judgement only on the Quad machine in his sig? Obviously on that machine no more than four cores will be used because there are only four cores. I am confident we will somehow solve this riddle.
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    How about the 2.66 Quad? It's great value as an all around workstation.

    I would only upgrade to the 2.93 if you have money to burn.

    I would only consider an Octo if you make money with the machine (which you say you aren't).

    When apps like Handbrake start supporting OpenCL, your GPU choice will be far more important and will blow away a general purpose CPU (or 2) in any kind of encoding operation by one or two orders of magnitude.
     
  18. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #18
    He did not quote a 2,66 Nehalem in his opening post which kind of indicates it is outside the budget. Performance wise the fastest 2008 octad should be his best solution.
     
  19. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #19
    VR was not proposing the 2.66 octad but the quad ;)
    100% agreement. Take the 2.66 quad and spend the saved money into e.g. RAM and/or faster drives.
    Should be no problem, when you are talking about your everyday use mentioned abough (Safari, iCal, etc.).
     
  20. Check 6 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #20
    What monitor are you going to use? and the same question to other Mac pro users?
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    It's my understanding the limitation is the x264 that creates a bottleneck. Perhaps something has changed in the last few months. At one point, some of its functions were compromised when running over 8 cores (deinterlacing was one, I think).
     
  22. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #22
    I can say that I used the latest version only this week and had no experience of limitations.

    The OP told us his jobs and Handbraking 20 GB files is cleary the bottleneck. Using the 3,2 octad will save him 33% of the time over the 2009 quad. So let us asume he transcodes mpeg to h.264 and uses good quality and no scaling. He will perhaps use 3 h with the Quad. The Octad would cut that down to two hours. We don't know if the times are that heavy because we do not have a base line and we don't know how much value the OP attach to speedy transcoding. But that are the proportions of time that I would expect.

    Initially he is looking at converting 4 TB of mpeg material to h.264. My personal estimate would be that he saves 100-150 h by using the octad. Then in the future he would still have those 33% savings for the ongoing conversions. This all assumes the fundamental figures do not change when Snow Leopard gives us the GPU/GPUs. If that happens transcoding times could tumble dramatically and the CPU may not be the bottle neck any more. But we are talking about something that we cannot put a definite date to. We do not know when handbrake may make use of superior SL features.
     
  23. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    From this thread at the HB forums, it appears that the CLI might be the most efficient way of going about this.
     
  24. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #24
    The link that you posted confirms that handbrake supports 8 cores only. Handbrake gets confused by the Nehalem hyper threading though. This is my experience also. On the Clovertown octad all 8 cores get loaded near 100%. The hyper threading of the Nehalems would only reduce the core loading because it exceeds handbreaks internal limit to 8 cores by offering hyperthreading 16 virtual cores. So it supports my advise to go for the older octad.
     
  25. pooryou macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #25
    The same two ACDs (1600x1024 & 1680x1050) that I was using with my dual G5. That's why I had to get the 'Apple Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapter'. The computer arrived today and I am using it now. Pretty sweet so far :D
     

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