Mac Pro 2009 8 core VS HP Z600 Workstation

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gdourado, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2010
    Hello, how are you?
    I am currently looking for a workstation. The main usage is photography work (Lightroom and Photoshop).

    I was looking at a 2009 8 core Nehalem Mac Pro to use and upgrade as time goes...
    The plan was to get the Mac and a pcie Plextor M6E ssd.

    Than as time goes, get a better gpu (Comes with 5770), more ram (comes with 16gb) and finally upgrade the cpus to westmere 6 cores (X5675 or x5690).

    But this is expensive!
    The base mac alone I am looking at 700 euros and it is a 2009 machine (I know, Macs are expensive.)

    On the flip side, I saw a used HP Z600 workstation for sale locally.
    It has two X5675 cpus and comes with 24gb of ECC ram. The GPu is a weak nvs300 but can be easly upgraded.

    The best is the price.
    It is only 400...
    I don't know if I am thinking wrong, but the HP already has a pair of beefy 6 cores processors and a good amount of ram and costs almost half of the mac pro.

    Why would the Mac Pro be a better buy?

  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    If you don't want OSX as your operating system no good reason to pay that much for an old Mac, especially as a new iMac will outperform it and give you a 5k screen for Lightroom and photoshop.
  3. orph macrumors 65816


    Dec 12, 2005
    there's no reason a mac is a better computer, it's more for ppl who relay like the mac os and/or have software that is dependent on osx or cant be transferred to a windows license of the same software.
    so if you have a lot of expensive software that is OS dependent it's harder to switch.
    the only thing i can say about the windows pc is check to see if it comes with an os or you'll have to buy windows which is an extra cost to take in to account.

    if you want to do photography why do you want to use a dual cpu computer?

    or look at the i7 mac min or the imac (not the 1.6ghz imac)
  4. dwig macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2015
    Key West FL
    I would definitely suggest you look for something newer than a 2009 PowerMac.

    I have an early 2009 PM with dual processors (8 core total) and 16gig ram. My main use is Ps and Lr, often working with 48"x72" 300ppi 16bpp images in Ps with Smart Objects with multiple filters applied and 5-20 adjustment layers. These files run in the 1-8gb range. This machine is currently slated for retirement, hopefully within a month or three.

    To tell the truth, my off the shelf 2 year old Dell 8700 (i7, 8gb ram) at home runs Ps with these massive files faster than the PM except for a few issues with the Smart Objects, which I think is the result of the minimal RAM in the Dell. The Dell's HD system (simple 7200 rpm SATA with a 6gig cache) totally outclasses the internal drive on the PM and the Dell's USB3 connection to the external HDs leaves the ancient PM's USB2 connection in the dust. For my photography the speed of the external HD system is vastly important and everything I see about people trying to add USB3 to 2009 PMs is nothing but horror stories.

    In the states you can get the newer Dell 8900 (6th gen i7) for around $800USD any day of the week and often there are deals that include a decent monitor at that price. For another $60-80USD you can add 16gb additional RAM (yes, it's on my shopping list...). If you can get a good i7 Windows box anywhere near similar prices it makes the old 2009 PM for $700 Eur sound like a poor deal. Whether you go Mac or Windows, get something that supports at least USB3.
  5. orph macrumors 65816


    Dec 12, 2005
    drives are user replaceable and have nothing to do with the main unit of the computer and USB 3 is cheep and easy to install but for optimal speed you do not want to be working on usb 2/3 drives as media drives.

    Photoshop is dependent on cpu speed over core count
    as well as fast drives/plenty of ram & correctly set prefs

    a new i5/i7 with a high clock will be faster than a 6/7 year old mac pro cpu, get 16gb of ram and a SSD if you can with a fast second drive for media (something like a WD black or SSD).
    The imac (not the 1.6ghz imac) or macmin (i7 as the i5's are only 2c) will work fine too if you do want a mac
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    The Mac minis have been dual core only (that includes the i7) since 2014.
  7. orph, Apr 20, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016

    orph macrumors 65816


    Dec 12, 2005
    Photoshop is mostly dual core to single core a lot of the time ;) depends on the kind of work your doing in Photoshop but most users are not high end pro's working on large files. (and if they are Photoshop still is single to dual threaded most the time)

    a lot of the photographers i know are only working on 13"-15" macbook pro's (on site) then with external display's at home, since SSD's the disc speed problem for most users is not a thing.

    look at the article i linked, in the conclusion it mentions
    Photoshop CC dose not like dual cpu setups, it can be slower on dual cpu computers.
    most things are single or dual threaded
    when you are lucky to have something that is threaded it will use around 6 cores at best (on one cpu)

    we have known for years that Photoshop wants a fast 2c/4c single cpu with ram sufficient for your work flow & fast drives, thanks to SSD's/usb3/thunderbolt we kind of have that now.

    and ram is important but it is entirely dependent on work flow, 16GB will be sufficient for most users and if needed it's easy to upgrade.

    if you relay want a pc id look at making one yourself you will be able to chose the parts that fit your use scenario best, you can get a pc that will be fast.
    if you want a mac you can get a mac pro but it will not be as fast as a self made pc using new parts.

    i have a macpro 3.1 and 5.1 that i use for work & im happy with the speed they work at, iv spent a lot of time cleaning up some images recently and most the time my computer works as fast or faster than i can work so it's not a problem for me, i like osx and some of the software i use is osx only. (if i had the money id be on a i7 imac or the new 6c mac pro but budget is a thing)
    the only time i want something faster is when working on video.

    mac min was mentioned because of the budget & it is a valid option for most users.
    look at the geek bench scores CPU wise it beats the older mac pro macmin i7 2014 3087 top old style macpro 2010 3.33ghz 2530 (32bit single core which is the most important score as Photoshop will be mostly using 1-2 cores with deminshing returns past the 1st core most the time)

    ps OP what version of Photoshop are you on cc or older ?
  8. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005

    This is an operating system question to be answered by you Mr. OP. :)

    Do you want OSx or Windows?

    If you want OSx, for photography, I would definitely look at an iMac. Why? You get a wicked screen with great computer specs. Look at the refurbs. My last 7 Macs have all been refurbs. I've saved on all. Unless budget is a factor then maybe consider the HP.

    But for the foreseeable future, I am one who will always go for OSx over Windows. It's not perfect by any means, but far more reliable in MY experiences (yes....I have owned a pile of Macs recently, but I do employ a PC for my business...a recent model and you'll never guess which computer gives me grief for no reason.... ;)

    Some don't have issues with Windows and good for them. Me? Well, this PC randomly turns on every few weeks, programs freeze....need to reinstall drivers.... When it works, it's great...

    The other caveat is whether this is for business or personal? If business, you may have more tax write offs which makes the purchase easier on the pocket book down the road plus with OSx more reliable (again, in my experiences from using both for a long time), i KNOW Windows has lost me money dealing with its BS :)

    Good luck!

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