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Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Danekero, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Danekero macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    So I've done a ton of research on different models and have already done budgeting on a 2010 refurb'ed 6-core system. Those systems are on the store for all of 20 minutes before they vanish, so I have a little while to make sure I understand everything and have made the best decisions.

    I would use my computer for some software development, photoshop/illustrator (getting back into that with a huge photo project) and 1080p video editing, often with a lot of high-CPU programs open at once (Xcode suite + CS5). I don't do much 3D work, but I do want my machine to have enough power to edit (and render!) video in Motion efficiently. It's possible parallels will run in the background sometimes (as much as I hate Windows). My needs increase seemingly exponentially every year, hence the 6-core machine.

    Q1: The six core would run all of that perfectly, correct? Would the CS and FCP suites take advantage of more cores, and even if they don't now, will they in the future? I don't really need the 12 core machine, but would it be worth going 8-core?

    Q2: I want future upgrade options, but I've heard different reports on the reliability of future CPU options, with maybe one upgrade possible before the sockets inevitably change, etc. Would it be worth the investment in a dual-CPU machine for that upgrade opportunity? (I know you can swap CPU trays, but it's a more expensive option, and I imagine isn't as reliable either.)

    Q3: 16GB of RAM is the max Apple officially supports on a single - CPU machine, but 8GB sticks run fine, correct? The unofficial maximum is 32GB, but does it run without any issues?

    Q4: At current prices, is buying a 120GB SSD to boot from, launch apps from and store current projects on worth it?

    Once all of this is answered I'll feel a bit more comfortable making the upgrade. I've read the other 6-core thread, but I figured I have specific questions and it would be better to start a new discussion rather than leech off another, haha.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You can use Refurb.Me to notify you when the model that you are looking for is back in stock.

    1. Some features will. FCP is single-threaded but Compressor can use all cores so the final rendering/encoding would be faster on a 12-core machine. 8-core offers less raw CPU power than the 6-core. CS5 is better in multithreading but again, you would need the 12-core to get more CPU power.

    2. IMO not unless you're planning on doing the upgrade fairly soon. After few years, just sell the Mac Pro and get a new one instead.

    3. 32GB works fine.

    4. Hard drive is the biggest bottleneck in today's computer so an SSD is pretty much the best improvement you can do.

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