Help me choose a Mac Pro, please..

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by DarthTreydor, Jan 24, 2008.

  1. DarthTreydor macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    I am going to purchase a mac pro and I'm deciding between the current single processor quad-core and a refurb model of the previous gen mac pros. here are the specs:

    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200 rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT with 512MB memory

    Price: $2300


    New Mac Pro Quad 2.8GHz Intel Xeon
    One Quad-Core Intel Xeon Processor
    2GB (2 x 1GB) memory (800MHz DDR2 FBDIMM)
    320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB
    One 16x SuperDrive

    Price: $2150 (w/ edu discount)

    I'm very torn. Here's how I broke down the pros and cons for each one.

    Refurb Model Pluses:
    Faster clock speed
    Faster FSB
    Better video card (?)

    New Model Pluses:
    Bigger HDD
    Faster RAM, 2x1 instead of 4x512
    Possibility of upgrading to 8 cores later (maybe?)
    Fancy Box

    Aside from basic stuff (itunes, safari, etc) this computer will primarily be used
    to record and edit music in logic pro. So what do you guys think is the better buy? Any insight is greatly appreciated.
  2. Silver-Fox macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2007
    id go and spend the little extra for the new one, it will probably respond alot better in performance than the older one, when using logic pro
  3. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    I would go for the new Quad Core. I think that would be faster than the small difference in clock speed. It costs less too...
  4. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Get the new one it has support for many more things like faster ram bigger hard Drives it has a better processor more ram and it's cheaper.
  5. djcream macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2008
    I'm also in the process of deciding which Mac Pro to buy ... ran across this in case you didn't see it yet i found it very helpful- Mac Pro Value Equation
  6. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
  7. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2003
    No question - get the new model. Refurb is not actually faster in real world test, because I believe that it is the NEW model that has a larger cache (not sure about the FSB). Also FW 800 is faster on the new model, PCI buses are better, etc. If the older model was a bit cheaper than the new model, maybe, but really the only thing that might be better on the Clovertown is the older (and problem plagued) video card,

    barefeats: "Also, you might not be aware that the Harpertown has a larger L2 cache -- 6 MB versus 4 MB. Plus the North Bridge now has a 24 MB snoop filter which maintains an index of all cached data in each processor. This significantly reduces data traffic on the FSB, providing lower latencies and greater available bandwidth to handle requests between CPUs. (See Apple developer note for more detail.)

    You can see the gains the new architectures provides when a 2.8GHz "Harpertown" can keep up with the 3.0GHz "Clovertown" in the Cinebench and Geekbench tests."

    Edit - I see you are thinking about the single processor model - how much is the new double processor with education discount? Given the choice of a new single 4 core 2.8 processor vs the older 8 core 3.0 processor, I'd change my vote to the older model.
  8. schreck macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2007
    New England
    I actually just purchased a new single quad Mac Pro and it's absolutely brilliant. Whether or not it's faster than the old 3,0 quad... I'm not exactly sure.

    The facts are that the new system has a higher FSB : 1600 mhz compared to 1333. Also, the new Mac Pro has 12mb of cache compared to the old system which possessed 8. The ram is also quicker in the new Pro, which was a big thing for me. Check out this link :

    Some benchmarks comparing old and new. The numbers should give you some legit insight as to how well the quad performs.
  9. DarthTreydor thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2007
    Richmond, VA
    thanks for all the help guys. looks like i'll be going with the new model. :)

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