Is the Quad Core Mac Pro really Worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theapplefreak, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. theapplefreak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #1
    From the MacRumors forums, I've decided to buy the Quad Core Mac Pro, but I'm still not sure if the money is worth it. It is 2499 from the Apple site, but from MacConnection, you can buy it for 200 dollars cheaper. So lastly, my question is: Is the Quad Core Mac Pro worth paying 2299? (I've been reading forum threads and some say that the Single quad core processors aren't worth it)

    Thanks :D
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #2
    Guess that really depends what your planning to do with it.
     
  3. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #3
    I can testify that it is absolutely worth it. As far as I am concerned, the 2.66 quad is probably the best value for your dollar of all the 09s. I personally went with the 2.93 and have been very pleased, however that was before I knew that it was a relatively easy job to replace the processors with a cheap i7 3.33 GHz later down the road for about 1/4 the price of what it would cost to replace the processors on the octos (since they need xenon cpus) and with much less work too.

    I don't know if this matters to you at all but as an example it runs the crysis demo at the maximum settings (except AA) at a very smooth and playable rate... this is despite the fact that the 4870 only has 512MB of ram, yet the system RAM is fast enough that you would never notice. When I was using 32-bit W7 and 3 gigs of ram (only 2 of which were used) it was unplayable, but with 6GB and the 64-bit version it is amazing the difference you get.

    Remember that the max ram is actually 16GB, not the 8 that apple advertises. Trouble is it costs a lot for 4GB sticks right now. So get 6GB now for $150, then in a year or 2 get 12 or 16 for $250-300 by then.
     
  4. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #4

    Ah. I see. Do you think the 2.66 Single Quad Core is enough for heavy photoshopping, and Full HD video editing? I'm sure if it's not enough, I can change the CPU.

    One more question. How easy is to actually replace the CPU?
     
  5. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #5
    I think for photoshopping, whats most important is having enough RAM. Now in that regard the octos are a good choice simply for having twice as many slots... however it depends on how much you use. If you're only going to be using 4GB worth of RAM at a time, then filling the quad with 4 sticks to get 8GB is plenty, and like I said you can expand that to 16GB when the prices fall.

    I'm sure if you look at barefeats.com you can find some photoshop benchmarks comparing the 2.66 to the 2.93 to the octos. Macworld might also have those kind of tests in their reviews of the system.

    For HD video editing though I would definitely recommend the 2.93. I don't know if quad vs octo makes a difference in that field though (I do know for rendering it does). Reason I say so is when working with iMovie my CPUs can get up to 275-300% (remember that 800% would be the max for a quad) and it sometimes still has trouble keeping up with some things. It's not slow, just that it's not as absolutely smooth as it could be. But thats just the nature of video editing, it demands a lot. I don't think an octo would do any better since it isn't using more than 3 CPUs worth out of the possible 8 I have (16 in the octo). I don't know about final cut though.

    For replacing the CPU you should seach the forum. At least 2 people have already but 3.33Ghz core i7s in their quads. As far as I know all it entails is unscrewing the heat sink, unlatching the current processor, dropping in a new one, latching it back down, applying some thermal paste and then screwing the heat sink back on. That doesn't sound all that bad.
     
  6. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Also keep in mind that you pay a little more now for an octo but you get more back when the day comes that you want to sell it. It will also be easier to sell an octo instead of a quad...
     

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