Mac Pro 2.93Quad Vs 3.2OctRefurb Vs 2.66Oct, what is the best for audio production?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by select, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. select macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #1
    Hi at everyone,
    i'm a new member of this interesting forum.
    In these days i would buy a mac pro for audio production. I currently use Cubase on a Windows platform, and now i would switch to Mac platform to continue using Cubase (even with Windows via bootcamp) and in parallel Logic/Pro Tools on Leopard. I apologize for the post that may be repetitive, but still I have not seen a true comparison between these three for audio production..
    I'm undecided between the power of a 2.93Quad (but there is the problem of the limit of 8gb) or buy a refurb 3.2Octo Early2008 (even if the price is high: 3600 eur!) or bite the teeth and take a 2.66Octo ( which should be the most powerful among the three).

    I trust in your experience, thanks in advance!
     
  2. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #2
    Oh geeze, here we go again.... :rolleyes:

    I'm just giving you a hard time cause there's a couple threads on this issue. I don't think you even have to search, just scroll down this forum a page or two.

    Long story short, any should work great so (my personal feeling is) go for whatever you can get the best deal on.

    Also, side note here, I'm a Cubase user also, you know it's cross platform so you can use it under OSX right? And it doesn't matter if your projects were created under Windows or not, you can go back and forth freely.

    Though the one advantage for the Windows version (if you've got the recently released 5) is that it's 64 bit already and we're still waiting for that on the OSX side.
     
  3. select thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #3
    thank you rockinrocker for your reply,
    OSX with snow leopard will change to 64 bit and i assume that Cubase5 will have updates, but for hardware, who better to exploit this potential? It 's a big dilemma :rolleyes:. The 2.93Quad is the one that attracts me more to the value for money, but still i haven't seen evidence as regards for the audio software and then the limit of 8GB is a big limit?
     
  4. clownjuggles macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #4
    There is a digital audio based forum as well on here just a heads up.
     
  5. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #5
    There is no 8GB limit. The "limit" is 16GB and no one really knows if that is it. It may be able to take bigger modules (but 16GB is plenty for me).
     
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    I would say that if you clocked the various operations that you do (we do) in a typical audio session that the 3.2 from 2008 will probably be faster at most operations than the 2.93.

    The 2.93 might be faster at encoding - maybe. So far though there's lots of problems being reported with the new 2009 machines for audio editing and no fixes from the software vendors either. If you can get the 3.2 2008 machine for about the same as the 2.93 quad I would go for it!
     
  7. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    Montreal
    #7
    All you have to do is turn off hyper-threading and it's just like a 2008 4 core.

    And the 2.93 is definitely faster than the 3.2 in single threaded apps according to the graphs you put up. Unless it uses more than 4 cores, the 2.93 will probably do everything snappier. As well at 3000 the 2.93 quad is cheaper than the 3.2, which is about 3500-4000 still. http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB451LL/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw

    [​IMG]
     
  8. select thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #8
    Thanks guys for your detailed answers,
    the fact of my indecision was based on this last point ....is convenient spend 3500-4000 for a "Refurb" Octo 3.2 with 2GB of RAM? The price is near to a 2.66 Octo (which is most powerful)....The 2.93 Quad is an excellent machine, but i would like to know if anyone of you has already tested some application audio how Cubase / Logic / Pro Tools (with several VST Pluginn) and if they need much work in multithreaded and more RAM (then Octad).
     
  9. Fomaphone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    #9
    are you figuring in $400 for RAM on the 3.2? that'd go farther performance wise in the new machine.
     
  10. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    No, no. Don't confuse my benchmark graph. This is the speed of the machines when 100% of 1 core is used or 100% of all cores is used. This is not for example the relative speed of the machines when 20% of one core is used or when 30% of all cores are in use. In the later situations the 3.2 should be considerably faster than the 2.93.

    PS: How do you propose turning off HT? Did Apple write a system preference or boot-time option to do so?


    I use those apps. I never see all of my CPUs hit more than about 40% or 50% and that's REALLY rare. For any kind of music or audio work the 3.2 should be the fastest box Apple makes - period. Also I wouldn't say they need more work on multi-threading... I would say they've done all they can and little to nothing more in terms of MT can be added to them. Most applications actually CAN NOT be multi-threaded well.


    .
     
  11. nicolasmasset macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #11
    Hi Select,

    How bout a 2.8 new octo for 1800€? That's what they were going for in the UK and I might just know a place where they'd still have one.

    I was in the same situation as you a few weeks ago and went for the '08 machine, due to it's stability and very good reputation. Even the manager of the apple store here told me to get one if I could find one. Unless of course, I went for the octo 2.66, which would indeed be better but cost double!!! I recently started this thread on GS which help me come to the conclusion that having 8 cores really is beneficial, as each seperate track will use it's own core. The ableton tech guy told me I might actually get worse performance with the new quads than the old octo's because Ableton cannot and will not in the near future do multithreading.

    Well anyhow, I guess my philosophy was: Anything would blow my macbook out of the water, so I might as well get the cheapest option. The step up from the 2300€ 2.8 octo (with extra ram and drives) to the 4500€ 2.6 octo (with extra ram and drives), would most likely buy me a new entry level mac pro in a couple of years.

    And please don't forget extra ram and drives! Ontop of the 1800€ mac pro, I've already spent another 500€ on drives and ram!

    Nicolas

    I suggest you guys read the protools thread, there's an interesting link there to a cubase site which recommends turning off hyperthreading until further notice.
     
  12. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #12
    price of refurb 3.2 octo

    The 3.2 octo refurb on the UK site is £2499 which should be around 2800 euros, I know that the exchange rate is fluctuating and our VAT is down at 15% at present but 3500 to 4000 euro sounds expensive.
     
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #13
    Yeah. I've read that.
    And this issue with a whole host of applications I might add, has always been a problem on the PCs with HT since HT first appeared. Way less than 10% of affected apps have ever offered a solution either. The resort was always to turn off HT. That's OK I guess but if you do this on Apple systems you're now not only paying $2600 more for the system but you're right back to almost exactly the same performance we had for the 06, 07, and 08 machines of the same clock and cores. Meaning that the new 2008 octad @ 2.66 will now perform and benchmark almost identically to the 2007 octad @ 2.66 - with HT off I mean. HT is the main thing that makes these 09 machines seem faster in some benchmarks. And that's assuming Apple (or some hacker) even writes a switch for it. It may prove technically very difficult on Macs... I dunno.

    But the OP is interested in "the most powerful" system for the apps he specified and that's the 2008 3.2 without any doubt so none of this may even matter (to him).

    The benchmarks in the graph I made which Abidubi posted, do not apply to music and audio editing. It applies to almost any app that regularly or easily maxes out one or all cores and additionally depends on HT for the high marks that the 09 machines are showing. Audio and music apps don't typically max out anything and as you have pointed out have a hard time with HT - as has always been the case.
     
  14. nicolasmasset macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #14
    On buffer size 256, I regularly max out one core in Live. Well not max out, but 70% is enough to get it crackling. That's why smart use of plugins is more important than 2.8->3.2 clock increase imo.
     
  15. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #16
    Exactly.

    ________________________________________________________________
    Also I was just thinking and people having trouble with HT and some audio applications might want to try installing the Processor.prefPane from the XCode tools developer kit (from Apple) and then turning off every-other CPU core. That might fix it! In fact I betcha it does - if it lists 16 cores on an Octad and 8 on a quad.
    • Download it from here: http://developer.apple.com/technology/tools.html
    • Install,
    • Then navigate to Macintosh HD/Developer/Extras/PreferencePanes/
    • Double-click on the Processor.prefPane and answer Yes when it asks you to install.

      Note: If it doesn't install properly just copy Processor.prefPane manually into your
      Macintosh HD/System/Library/PreferencePanes folder.

    • Open System Preferences,
    • Click Processors,
    • Turn off all even numbered cores.
    • Then just use your pro-tools (or other HT incompatible application) normally.



    I'll give it a try a little later and report back.

    EDIT: Oh, wait... I can't try this.. Silly me... I don't have HT capable processors. :D LOL!


    .
     
  16. select thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #17
    Now everything is clearer. In brief Audio Softwares (see the note posted by Tesselator of Steinberg) still does not make good on HT systems and ekwipt table clearly shows the superiority of the Mac Pro 2008 ... at this point, my choice would the 3.2Oct refurb at 3700eur!! I tried to find a new 2.8Oct, but are now unavailable! Refurb products are reliable? I saw that you can apply the extension AppleCare and this point agrees to buy and also the case for 3 years remaining quiet.... I think and i hope to make the right choice!

    Thank you at all for your valuable suggestions
     
  17. Gonk42 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    near Cambridge
    #18
    As I put in my earlier post, there is one currently on the UK site at £2499 which at 0.9£ to the euro is 2777eur. If you're in the EU I would have thought you could buy it directly (I'm not an expert but I thought that there were EU laws on free trade within the EU). Else you could use it as a bargaining point with your local Apple people to get the 3700eur price down a bit.

    here is the URL:

    http://store.apple.com/uk/product/FB451B/A?mco=MjE0NDk5Mw
     
  18. Mac Husky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #19
    As far as I know, Apple Stores are not selling/sending in foreign contries at all.
    Some dealers in UK might do. But they have no refurbished systems of course.
     
  19. select thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #20
    and yes, indeed the 3.2 Reurb of the Uk Store is definitely cheaper (the price they should be), but I'm in Italy and i don't know if they can despatch in other countries. Afternoon, i call Apple and ask ...one thing that i wonder, but these "refurb" are good?
     
  20. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #21
    refurbs have all the worn components replaced, its apple branded with same warranty:) for less.

    on the side, i have the 2.8 08 and use logic with bunch of plugs and works GREAT.
     
  21. nicolasmasset macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 25, 2007
    Location:
    Belgium
    #22
    Select, if you're interested in a 2.8 for 1800€, try www.albion.co.uk
    Call up all their main store in london and ask. I just took the ferry and got one in tunbridge wells 10 days ago and they said they had some left in london! And if you call tunbridge wells, ask for jarvis and tell him I said hi! Don't know if they do shipping though, but at that price, perhaps you can pursuade them by paying a little more? ;)
     
  22. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #23
    Are you sure about this? At what point would Apple replace a component? A refurb could be an Apple Store Demonstrator model, a return within the 14 day period, and a variety of reasons. I'm sure Apple replaces defective parts, but most parts are not going to show any wear at all and Apple just warrants these refubs for one year, as the originals are, and then if a component fails during that one year, they replace it.
     
  23. Ploki macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #24
    close enough.
    i dont even have apple care for new product in my country so.. all you said sounds like a wonderful dream :S

    to be honest im not sure.
     
  24. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #25
    In one way I think refubs are expensive for a "used" product. Apple only knocks off a small percentage off the original price. In another way, I think it's great because it shows Mac's hold their value, even as a "used" machine.
     

Share This Page