Is the 3.0 GHz Woodcrest worth it?

Mundy

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Sep 8, 2006
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I'm going to be ordering a Mac Pro with the Radeon X1900 XT later this month. It will be replacing my iMac Core Duo and supplementing my MacBook.

Now that I'm working with Aperture and Final Cut Express (editing HDV), I'm feeling the need to upgrade to something more powerful. Someone else will be putting $3000 toward this system, but I'll still need to buy a display and at least 4 GB of RAM, so I'm still expecting to put down a decent chunk of change. This system will need to last me for a few years, and I'm wondering how much of an advantage the 3.0 GHz Woodcrest will have over the 2.66 GHz version. Is the extra performance worth $720, particularly in the context of continued productivity 3 years from now?
 

Josias

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Mar 10, 2006
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Mundy said:
I'm going to be ordering a Mac Pro with the Radeon X1900 XT later this month. It will be replacing my iMac Core Duo and supplementing my MacBook.

Now that I'm working with Aperture and Final Cut Express (editing HDV), I'm feeling the need to upgrade to something more powerful. Someone else will be putting $3000 toward this system, but I'll still need to buy a display and at least 4 GB of RAM, so I'm still expecting to put down a decent chunk of change. This system will need to last me for a few years, and I'm wondering how much of an advantage the 3.0 GHz Woodcrest will have over the 2.66 GHz version. Is the extra performance worth $720, particularly in the context of continued productivity 3 years from now?
Instaed of paying $700 for extra CPU power, I'd go for more RAM.;)

I'm not an expert, but I believe Aperture and FCE benefits more from added RAM than raw CPU power.
 

TheFuzz

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Aug 18, 2006
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i concur. i've the 2.66 and use if for fcp, after effects and cinema 4d and it flies. i'd definitely put the $700 saved towards ram, you'll see a bigger speed difference outside of rendering/encoding, which will still be uber fast.
 

Mundy

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Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
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Thanks, guys. I appreciate all the responses.

2.66 GHz + Extra RAM it is!
 

Mundy

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NATO said:
I thought about that myself, although 3Ghz is so psychologically satisfying vs 2.66.... Went for the 3.0Ghz myself :rolleyes:
I think ultimately that's what is bothering me. There is something about Three-Point-Zero. But I still don't think I can justify it, especially as I'm about to spend money on a Nikon D80 and a new HDV camera.

Would all of you consider MacWorld's comparison to be an accurate indicator of "real-world" usage? If so, 5 or 6% is definitely not worth it to me.
 

danhig123

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Sep 1, 2006
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I had a similar dilemma and ended up with 2.66 + an extra gig of RAM. And my system is lightning fast.

On the other hand, I guess it would be easier to upgrade the RAM at a later stage, where as the processor your pretty much stuck with...

Danny
 

amac4me

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Apr 26, 2005
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It really boils down to usage ... how much time will you be editing photos and rending your Final Cut Express projects?

If you plan on doing these tasks a lot, the processor upgrade will be justified. If you will render etc ... on a somewhat limited basis, save the money and put it towards RAM.

Regards
 

BornAgainMac

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Wait for Revision B. The 3 Ghz model will the the middle of the road, the 3.x model will not be that much higher in price or in Mhz. I am sure the Blu-Ray drives will be available as an option, eSATA ports, support for 802.11n, Leopard, iLife '07, and some other goodies that are currently top secret.
 

Abulia

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BornAgainMac said:
Wait for Revision B. The 3 Ghz model will the the middle of the road, the 3.x model will not be that much higher in price or in Mhz. I am sure the Blu-Ray drives will be available as an option, eSATA ports, support for 802.11n, Leopard, iLife '07, and some other goodies that are currently top secret.
Yea, and you'd never have a computer because there's always something better "down the road."
 

ksz

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BornAgainMac said:
Wait for Revision B. The 3 Ghz model will the the middle of the road, the 3.x model will not be that much higher in price or in Mhz. I am sure the Blu-Ray drives will be available as an option, eSATA ports, support for 802.11n, Leopard, iLife '07, and some other goodies that are currently top secret.
Everyone's needs and circumstances are slightly different. As for me, I agree with this. I think these are good reasons for me to wait until January 07, which is what I am doing.
 

Abulia

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ksz said:
Everyone's needs and circumstances are slightly different. As for me, I agree with this. I think these are good reasons for me to wait until January 07, which is what I am doing.
And I respect that. However, all of the above examples are just guesses into the crystal ball. BluRay? There's no indication that it will be available at any time in an Apple product -- they're members of both BluRay and HD-DVD committees.

Leopard and iLife? We don't have ship dates for them beyond, what, "first half of 07?"

In short, I think when a person decides to purchase an item is entirely up to them...if someone is here, right now asking for configuration options for a shipping product then I believe its understood that they're ready to order, right now. Advising them to wait for "might be" available in 4-5 months seems...pointless.
 

Mundy

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Original poster
Sep 8, 2006
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I don't think I can wait several months. I've already sold my 20" iMac Core Duo (for $150 less than I paid for it—not too bad for six months of use), and I don't think my MacBook is going to cut it even now, much less through the first half of 2007.

I've pretty much decided against the 3.0 Ghz model. I'm going to put the savings toward RAM and a 30" Apple Cinema Display. Hopefully, the 2.66 GHz Quad Xeon will provide plenty of horsepower over the next three years or so.
 

technicolor

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Dec 21, 2005
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Abulia said:
And I respect that. However, all of the above examples are just guesses into the crystal ball. BluRay? There's no indication that it will be available at any time in an Apple product -- they're members of both BluRay and HD-DVD committees.

Leopard and iLife? We don't have ship dates for them beyond, what, "first half of 07?"

In short, I think when a person decides to purchase an item is entirely up to them...if someone is here, right now asking for configuration options for a shipping product then I believe its understood that they're ready to order, right now. Advising them to wait for "might be" available in 4-5 months seems...pointless.
And isnt there an extra bay in the mac pro already, so you can add a blu ray drive later if you wanted?
 

eodp3

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Sep 6, 2006
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go for the ram.. I'm using fcp with HDV too.. it's plenty fast..
and a couple of years down the road.. you *could* get some 3.0 woodcrests from newegg and diy upgrade your processors if you don't mind warranty issues
 

Mundy

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Sep 8, 2006
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eodp3 said:
go for the ram.. I'm using fcp with HDV too.. it's plenty fast..
and a couple of years down the road.. you *could* get some 3.0 woodcrests from newegg and diy upgrade your processors if you don't mind warranty issues
Good to hear that it's fast. How much RAM is in your system?
 

generik

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Aug 5, 2005
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I'd wait for Clovertown seeing as to how you have been doing fine so far with your iMac and non pro Macbook
 

suneohair

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Aug 27, 2006
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I doubt Clovertown debuts at a price that dethrones Woodcrest. Meaning Apple wont use them or offer them as a very high priced upgrade.

Clovertown won't be in a feasible price range til at least 2008.
 

Mundy

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Sep 8, 2006
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generik said:
I'd wait for Clovertown seeing as to how you have been doing fine so far with your iMac and non pro Macbook
The iMac wasn't doing fine, hence why I sold it. I'm keeping the MacBook just to have something portable, and because I don't use Aperture or Final Cut on the road.
 

eodp3

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Sep 6, 2006
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Mundy said:
Good to hear that it's fast. How much RAM is in your system?

Right now I have 2GB but I *had* plans for 6GB from Crucial until i found out the prices skyrocketed.

It's ok for now and it's definitely very useable. I'll be waiting till after Christmas to see how ram prices fair then and upgrade then.


As for Clovertown, I don't know if they would work in current MP's without some firmware update. But if speed is important, I'm hoping higher clocked (>3GHz) Woodcrests would show up in the OEM/retail channels (like newegg) in a year + and upgrade my processors that way.

I don't think 340MHz is worth the extra $700~
 

BornAgainMac

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3Ghz is more marketing than anything. If they pump out a better spec Mac Pro with more disk space or memory then it is better just to get it now and upgrade those components from other vendors. I purchased the first Powermac G5 and lucked out and it took a year later with very little changes.

Having said that, I can see more changes between today's Powermac and next year's Powermac than back in those days and in a shorter timeframe. For example, more cores per CPU. (Something you can't easily upgrade).
 

suneohair

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BornAgainMac said:
3Ghz is more marketing than anything. If they pump out a better spec Mac Pro with more disk space or memory then it is better just to get it now and upgrade those components from other vendors. I purchased the first Powermac G5 and lucked out and it took a year later with very little changes.

Having said that, I can see more changes between today's Powermac and next year's Powermac than back in those days and in a shorter timeframe. For example, more cores per CPU. (Something you can't easily upgrade).
If the current chipsets support clovertown, then it would an easy upgrade. Just a matter of making sure the OS recognizes them, which I dont think would be an issue.
 

ksz

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Oct 28, 2003
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Mundy said:
I don't think I can wait several months. I've already sold my 20" iMac Core Duo (for $150 less than I paid for it—not too bad for six months of use), and I don't think my MacBook is going to cut it even now, much less through the first half of 2007.

I've pretty much decided against the 3.0 Ghz model. I'm going to put the savings toward RAM and a 30" Apple Cinema Display. Hopefully, the 2.66 GHz Quad Xeon will provide plenty of horsepower over the next three years or so.
Good decision. The 2.66GHz is easily the wisest choice: best price/performance ratio. The 3GHz model provides less than a 10% performance improvement (typically 3-5%) for 32% more money. Early next year that extra 10% of performance may well be erased by systems priced hundreds less.
 

Silentwave

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May 26, 2006
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BornAgainMac said:
Wait for Revision B. The 3 Ghz model will the the middle of the road, the 3.x model will not be that much higher in price or in Mhz. I am sure the Blu-Ray drives will be available as an option, eSATA ports, support for 802.11n, Leopard, iLife '07, and some other goodies that are currently top secret.
Intel isn't planning on passing 3GHz with these chips anytime soon. Clovertown will likely top out at 2.66GHz.