Mac Pro Buying Advice - 6-core or 12-core??

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Bernard1985, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Bernard1985 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #1
    Its right before the end of the year and I need some help; I have read most of the postings around here regarding buying advice for a Mac Pro. I noticed that you guys look for the most possible amount of information on what one wants to do with the Mac Pro and what's already there... so I figured I lay it all out ;). Here we go:

    Having my own business I am working as an independent SAP consultant / developer (mostly with customer's Windows laptops), and want to get more serious with photography and Xcode development (possibly iPhone/iPad development too).

    In 2006 I took the plunge and bought my very first Mac (MBP), and have never looked back. Got a Mac Mini for the living room in 2008 and even converted the wife to use a Macbook instead of a Windows PC.

    I see a lot of the spinning beach ball lately, hitting the memory ceiling on the MBP. Having OSX and apps on the Wintec SSD in the express card slot helped things a bit booting and for response times, but Aperture 3 is a tad sluggish. Below my current equipment and what I am using it for.

    -  MacBookPro2,2 (2.33 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 3GB, 640GB HD, 46GB Wintec SSD as Boot Drive in Express Card Slot)
    -  Cinema HD Display (30")
    -  Mac Mini 2,1(2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB, 120GB HD)
    -  iPhone 3GS, 3G, 2G
    -  iPad 64GB 3G


     MacBookPro usage:

    • Aperture 3 (serious but not professionally - yet; need more time to make more pictures with 5D Mark II)
    • Handbrake
    • SABnzbd
    • Quickbook Pro
    • iTunes
    • Safari
    • Possibly video cutting (HD recorded with Canon 5D Mark II)
    • VMWare or Parallels to run windows software (SAPGUI for Windows)
    • Xcode development
    • Gaming (Steam, and FPS like Far Cry)... I always think I might play games like in the good old Quake III days and then don't have time, but in case I want to play the hardware shouldn't keep me from running smoothly for a while, especially since some good games come to the Mac platform these days. ​


     Mac Mini usage:

    • Plex (TV, movies, music)
    • Plex Server
    • Spam filtering with Spam Sweep​


    Now I figured its time for my first Mac Pro:D, and I am looking at the two options below. Concerning the price I don't want to say that money is not an option, but I could afford the 12-core (plus memory, SSD, additional HD's if needed; I am aware to not buy the memory and HD's beyond the standard equipment from Apple directly), if it makes sense for me. I usually go for the high end rather than making compromises, but got some second thoughts after reading some of you guys recommending the 6-core since its faster in some situations (but only for Photoshop CS5, or also what I want to use it for??:confused:).

    Option 1. Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores)
    6GB (6X1GB) (for now)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro

    Total: $6,648.00

    Option 2. One 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”
    3GB (3x1GB)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro

    Total: $4,148.00


    So it would be exactly $2,500 difference between the two options... and I'm kinda talking myself into going for the 12-core so that I am not disappointed down the road for having picked something smaller (I intend to use this Mac Pro for *at least* the next 5 years... like the MBP has served me very well for the last four years, and will remain my backup laptop in case I have to work on the road).


    And here the questions that I couldn't get the answer for after going through other Mac Pro buying advice posts:

    Q1. Even though not all programs can utilize multiple cores, wouldn't the 12 core still be faster than a 6 core if multiple programs were running concurrently at the same time (for instance, 9 programs that can use only one core)? Or would it really make more sense for me to just get the 6-core (since the clock speed is higher)?

    Q2. Will it be possible to update the processor ("Sandy Bridge")?? I read somewhere that people are waiting for "Sandy Bridge" - Who's that girl ;) and will it be possible to update a 6-core 3.33GHz? Could I maybe even upgrade the 12-core in a couple of years?

    Q3. Can the Mac Pro RAID card be added later in case I need it or would I have to buy it when ordering?

    Q4: How much memory do you guys think I should get for the 6-core or the 12-core considering my usage above?


    Thank you very much in advance for your advice.

    Bernard.
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    Q1: Considering your usage, the six core would be a better option, and an impressively powerful one at that. As far as multiple programs goes, that is typically more stress on the RAM and HDDs than processors, plus the 6-core is plenty powerful enough to deal with multiple apps at a time. The 12-core is more for pro video editing, to cut down on rendering times, etc. But unless you're using it to make a living, the 6-core is a better option.

    Q2: Not sure it would be possible to update to sandy bridge, as they may have different sockets, steppings, etc. With as much performance as you will be able to get out of the current model, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    Q3: You can add a RAID card later, although the apple card is not known to be the best.

    Q4: I'd probably get 12GB to start with, and go from there. If it gets tight, add another 4.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    What app(s) are you going to use for video cutting? How much time would be spent in each app/task (e.g. 60% Aperture, 20% HandBrake etc)? HandBrake is the only app in your list that can take advantage of 12 cores AFAIK.

    1. Only if all those 9 apps are maxing out one core each. That is quite unlikely though.

    2. Sandy Bridge uses a different socket (LGA 2011 while the current socket is LGA 1366), thus you cannot upgrade current gen Mac Pros with Sandy Bridge.

    3. Yes, of course. There are also 3rd party options that are cheaper. For RAID 0 and RAID 1, you can just use software RAID which doesn't require a RAID card

    4. I think 12GB should be plenty (from 3rd party of course). However, if you go with the 6-core (which IMO suits better for you), get two 8GB modules so you can then add more in future. With 4GB modules you're stuck with 16GB while 8GB modules provide up to 32GB
     
  4. Bernard1985 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #4
    Thanks a lot! The two guys I was hoping that would chime in... ;).

    I would certainly use more Aperture (60%) than Handbrake (10%), and wouldn't do the video professionally (also, I don't know which program I would even use yet, just thinking ahead in case I would want to use the camera for videos).

    And I will forget about Sandy, and RAID (for now).

    Looks like the 6-core will be it, which won't leave such a dent in my budget then either. Nice. So I should order the memory now, thinking two 8GB modules for starters? Or should I get more since its clearly within the budget if I get the cheaper 6-core (to make sure they are all identical)?

    Also, I should get a 120GB SSD for OSX and Apps (that principle works well on the MBP already).

    Q5: What would you guys recommend specifically for memory and SSD?

    Q6: Just to make sure, this 6-core would be better suited for me than 8 cores also, right? (Just want to make sure I don't miss anything, looking for the perfect Mac Pro ;))


    I really appreciate your input. Thanks again!!
     
  5. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #5
    As far as memory goes, the 8GB sticks aren't quite as common, but I'd just look at OWC, as they have some pretty decent SSDs as well.

    And, yes, the 6 core would be a better option than the 8 core, due to the significant increase in clock speed (933 MHz) and most apps still being primarily single threaded.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #6
    TransIntl or OWC for memory (last time I checked TransIntl was a it bit cheaper and I would go with the cheaper one as both are good quality). As for SSD, I would buy from OWC as their Mac support is the best and the 120GB is currently 239$ (at least was when I checked earlier this week)
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Here's my broken record post... :) (this has been discussed many many times)

    To be honest, a Quad core 3.2GHz machine would serve you very well. You could then invest the difference in SSD's or RAM, or even some new lenses for your camera, or a trip to somewhere exotic to take pictures. :p :D

    I certainly wouldn't recommend the 12 core. That's a waste of money.

    Aperture doesn't use more than 2 cores and even then, it's CPU use is very isolated. For that matter, almost all the apps you listed are not mult-threaded, and even when running all at the same time would utilize very little CPU resource. Handbrake being the sole exception.

    I would recommend 12GB. I run 6GB but it seems like I might be able to take advantage of more so that's one of the items on my own upgrade list. Having said that, it will be very isolated instances where that quantity of RAM will be useful.

    If you've got money to burn, I would encourage you to invest more in Solid State Storage than anything else. The more of your workflow you can keep on SSD's the better your whole experience will be. Don't be one of those guys that buys a $4000 workstation and then puts a $100 40GB SSD in it for OS/Apps. :p Get as much SSD storage as you can reasonably afford to put your OS/Apps AND working files on it. A couple of 120GB SSD's in RAID0 or a single 240GB drive is probably a great starting point.
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    Personally, I recommend even more than 12GB.
    I've got 12GB in my Pro, and it just doesn't cut it any more.
    After 1 day of "work" I got a page in/out ratio of 4:1 and my "work" consists of browsing (multiple safari windows with multiple tabs), writing emails, and office work. Office work is just a bunch of pages files and some PDF files to view.

    I know that it seems odd cause 12GB isn't necessarily that less, but what can I say, for my "work" it is, and I wouldn't consider my applications to stress the Pro in any way.
    Still, I'm upgrading to 20GB after Christmas, filling up all 8 RAM slots and see how it goes.
     
  9. Enigma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #9
    I'm actually in a pretty similar position to you, my Mac history is a bit longer but I've currently got a MBP (2.5Ghz), recently started my own company doing a lot of bespoke software development for the power industry (mainly in Java/OSGi/Eclipse) and I'm hitting the memory limit on the MBP now.

    I've been pondering the 6 vs 12 core but the one thing that's really pushing me towards the 12 core is the memory limit. The 6 core machine has 4 slots so it can take a maximum of 32GB of memory while the 12 core machine comes with 8 (and hence a 64GB maximum).

    By the sounds of it your memory requirements aren't at that level but I'm planning on starting off with 32GB with the potential to up it to 64GB in a year or two if I need to. The memory requirements is less about single applications and more about:
    1. Having a machine I can use to test system-integrations with lots of VMs
    2. Be able to deal with very, very large datasets in memory
    3. Properly simulate how the software stack will run on a client's server

    My worry with getting the 6-core is that in a year or two I'll be wishing I'd just spent the extra up-front to be able to stick another 32GB of memory in.

    Just thought it was worth mentioning since it's a pretty major factor in my own decision making! :)

    Alan
     
  10. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #10
    Good point, but I don't imagine that OP's needs will not require that much memory. I'm just mentioning that, as $2500 is a lot to spend just for the benefit of a higher memory capacity, which is only necessary under certain conditions, such as yours.
     
  11. Enigma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #11
    Of course, main reason I listed my own reasons was to point out where I'm coming from in case the OP thought he might end up in a similar situation down the line. My own thinking is that the price difference is worth paying in the short-term to turn the machine from something that will "do" for say 5 years rather than 3.

    Besides, a machine with 24 logical processors gives me way more incentive to make my software properly multi-threaded! :)
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    In theory, Yes.

    But there is a condition: you have to keep those applications running (processing data), otherwise they will just sit there (no work done, just sits in RAM, assuming there's enough). This means you have to be able to keep up between all open applications in terms of setups, data input from the user, ... to keep it all going simultaneously. And this is harder to do than you might think.

    So the faster clock of the Hex model would make more sense IMO, as you won't have to wait as long to get a completed task. And you can still multi-task rather well with this system as well. Then keep any remaining funds in your pocket. :D

    Unfortunately, No. :(

    The 2009/10 systems use an LGA1366 socket, and the Sandy Bridge parts use different sockets; LGA1155 and LGA2011 (MP's will use the LGA2011 versions). So there's no way it will work.

    Yes, but it's garbage.

    If you need a hardware RAID card, you can do much better with Areca or ATTO (both brands can boot OS X once flashed). Better performance, features (including better recovery options and works with other OS's), and lower costs too (can even get more ports for less money than Apple's card that are 6.0Gb/s compliant). :eek: :D

    I'd also go with the recommendation of starting with 12GB, as you can add in a 4th 4GB UDIMM later if you need to.
     
  13. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #13
    I'll be totally blunt.


    I find the Mac Pro forum here to be full of people who over-spec systems, getting caught up in the "fun" of spending other people's money. Don't get me wrong, there will be the odd person out there who really needs that power, but most don't.

    I'm running a 2009 2.93 Quad with 8GB of RAM. I process 5D Mark II and 1D Mark III files in Aperture 3 like nothing else, and my system doesn't flinch. Neither did the 2008 2.8 Octo I had (which is now with my other half), nor the i7 iMac I had for a while that only went back due to screen problems.

    I don't run out of memory (or even come close). I don't feel that I need another pile of cores. My PC at work has nowhere near the amount of CPU power, or RAM, that my home machine does, but somehow I can still edit photos on there quite happily. Sure, it's not as snappy, but it certainly does the job.

    There's an argument for future-proofing, but that's why you buy a Mac Pro. If we're honest, the only things that get upgraded are RAM, HDs and possibly the GPU - and we all know that CPUs have a funny habit of lasting a lot longer than the rest of the system, simply because most of the time they aren't the bottleneck.

    For your use, a Quad will be fine. Pick the 3.2Ghz if you want to spend the cash, and get 8GB of RAM. It will edit your 5D Mark II files with no problems at all, including video, and it'll perform encodes/rips quite happily. If you're really out to spend money, an SSD may be a fast route forward - but for me they are still too expensive per GB at the larger sizes.


    PS: My usual "load" is Aperture 3, Photoshop CS4, Safari, iTunes/Spotify, Adium, Mail and sometimes Word 2011. If I decide it's time to edit some video, I'll do the smart thing and close things I won't use (like Aperture and Photoshop), rather than do what some people here seem to do and run everything all at once.
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    I'm with you, but a lot of prospective buyers are as much to blame as those making recommendations.

    Let's face it, if Apple sold a 24 core machine with 256GB of RAM, people on here would be drooling over it for Photoshop and somehow justifying it to themselves that it will make their computer last 5 years instead of 3. :rolleyes:

    Having said that, there's nothing wrong with buying an overspec'd computer. It's their money. ;)
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #15
    Mac Pro forum isn't the only one. MBP forums are much worse as people are just wanting better CPUs and GPUs even though everything they do is Safari and email. Endless questions about why no GTX 480M and quad core in MBP... I bet most people who bought MBP with i7 would have been fine with 13" MBP with C2D.

    It's a common mistake to think that faster components are equal to faster computer in all tasks. Most people would still be fine with first gen Intel Macs or with similar PCs.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    This is a BIG part of it IMO as well.

    When they ask what they need, and we ask for usage information (file sizes, layers, ....), all we can do is base information on what's posted. If they go crazy (i.e. student that thinks they're going to be the busiest pro when they graduate and will still be using the same system; but this much detail is presented as "need full power now"), it's going to have an impact on the system cost.
     
  17. r00ky macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #17

    I will agree, it is VERY hard not to get caught up in having the best of whats available. Even if it has damn near 0% applicability to what you do.

    I just purchased by my first MP today, and I will admit, I got more machine than I will probably need. How did I justify it? I didn't, I just wanted it. I am *DINK* (double income, no kids). I could have been fine with the 2.8 Quad, and definitely the 3.2 Quad. Although with running multiple VMs, dealing with hardware encryption, encrypted internet traffic, running multiple CPU taxing programs at the same time, needing as much storage space as possible, that red devil on the left shoulder of mine pushed me to the 3.33 Hex.

    As a first time buyer, I can assure you guys have done a great job putting the information out that first time buyers need. I felt guilty actually creating an account to ask a question about graphics cards, but as usual, Hellhammer came in with a solid grounded answer.

    So there are some of us out there that read and listen to the sound advice you guys put out...;)
     
  18. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Yes and no - I think there's a lot over over-spec'ing on RAM in here. For some reason I see 12GB being thrown around a hell of a lot (look at the first bunch of replies to this very thread in fact). Yet RAM is a component that can ultimately be easily upgraded down the line, and prices will be cheaper in a year or two, and lets face it, you don't need anywhere near 12GB of RAM for 95% of tasks. 4GB DIMMs are pricey right now, let alone 8GB. I can't even remember the last time I saw a Page Out with my lowly 8GB...and all those people with 4GB must be right back in the dark ages.

    So if that student comes in, be sensible, and tell them to go for 6 or 8GB. They can pick up that 12GB when they're a working pro after graduation and have the income to do it. Same with SSDs - do we all really need an SSD right now, whilst the prices are still many multiples of a mechanical drive? I know a lot of working photographers, and most are happy with laptops (4GB RAM) or some with desktops at 6GB.

    I would say that yes, if somebody comes in and inflates what they plan to do, then they'll get an expensive, ridiculous system. If they can truly afford it, then fair play to them!

    I do agree it's hard not to get caught up in having the best, and those upgrades sure are tempting. I consider myself lucky to have my spec of 2009 Mac Pro, as most of my upgrades were free from Exec Relations (CPU bump, RAM, GPU), and I probably wouldn't have bought them all myself if it was my cash paying for them.

    I guess my point is that I find it a bit silly when we spec up $4-6k+ computers for somebody who wants to push around 21MP dSLR files which could be done on something half the price without noticing a difference in the real world.
     
  19. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #19
    As a developer, I'd have to say it depends.

    If you have larger projects, XCode WILL fully use all 12 cores. Also, you're running VM's for development...

    I'd say go with the 12 core, but a 6 core will still suit you fine if money is a concern.
     
  20. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #20
    Nothing to argue here. But...
    (yes I know it's a long quote but I already trimmed it to the essentials)

    I really can see your points and do agree with most of them, but why talk about such hypothetical stuff in this thread? The OP clearly isn't a student, so why not simply recommending a system that will fit HIS needs instead of nagging about other users recommendations?

    So, why recommend a system like the Quad that might cut it today but will be hopelessly underpowered in the next few years when the requirement is to use it for AT LEAST 5 years?

    Personally, I think that buying a ultra high end system for $7000 today with the intention to use it for years, rather than buying a $3500 sytem every two or three years doesn't make any sense anyway, but that's another question. If the OP's decision is to keep the system for 5 years, the recommendations will have to adopt to that.

    RAM wise, the applications I quoted above are really RAM hungry and 8GB certainly won't cut it by any means, especially not if you want to run them concurrently.
    So why settling with 2GB today if you need to upgrade it in a few months? You won't save any money with that, especially considering that ECC RAM prices are relatively stable. 4GB sticks are not that pricy any more (70€ in Europe, which really isn't expensive), especially not considering that the OP doesn't seem to be sitting on his money.
    I can totally see your point with 8GB sticks, but not with 4GB.
    At the end it the OP's decision anyway whether to spend the money or not.
     
  21. peskaa, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    London, UK
    #21
    The student bit was a reply to nanofrog, and not relevant to the OP. That said, higher up I did recommend a system, which brings us to..

    Any computer in five years time is going to be "slow" - five years ago we were still back on PowerMac G5s, and they really are on their last legs now. I think expecting a computer to remain useful for that long is really pushing it - shorter cycles keep you more current, and resale value helps to keep the expenditure down. I aim for around 3 years on my computers, which seems to work out.

    For the OP, in five years the difference between 4 cores and 6 is going to be negligible, and they can upgrade the RAM to take advantage of cheap prices in the meantime. Prices will come down - and €70 a stick still adds up to €210 for 12GB (Actually, I just came up with £290 from Crucial in the UK).

    As for the apps, why would you run them concurrently? There is literally no need to run Aperture and Final Cut at the same time, nor Xcode. I can't think of a workflow that needs any combination of those open all at once. Leaving them running just for the sake of it, and trying to justify a purchase of even more RAM maybe?

    Of course the decision is the OP's to spend the money, and they're more than welcome to do so and make their own mind. However, they're coming to the forums for advice, and leaving with the impression they need to spend a lot more than may be necessary.
     
  22. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #22
    I think what the OP really needs hinges on how much he uses XCode and VMs...those can suck up resources, we just don't know how demanding his uses are.

    Aperture 3 is RAM and VRAM-heavy. any recent Mac Pro can handle the CPU side. perhaps an SSD would be helpful, but I doubt it's worth the cost. does the OP regularly export hundreds of images, or work with a ton of layers in PS? is waiting an extra few seconds (or minute at worst) worth the extra hundreds of dollars? I don't think it is for the OP, at least for his photographic demands.

    and no computer will last 5 years and still perform well. or it might, but there's no guarantee that it will. it is far more cost-effective to get a machine that suits your needs now and upgrade it in 2-3 years to suit your needs then, unless you're a business that demands the bleeding edge of performance, in which case you wouldn't be here since cost wouldn't be an issue...and they upgrade their hardware pretty frequently anyway.
     
  23. gugy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    La Jolla, CA
    #23
    Sorry for hijack this thread but I have a quad core 2.8 (end 2007) with 10gig of RAM.
    I do mostly Photoshop and Illustrator work. Sometimes some After Effects. I constantly get the beach ball, specially when using Safari and Photoshop.
    My question is:
    Should I invest on a new Mac Pro or just get the OWC 120gig SSD and add more RAM (maximize it)?
    Would that increase a lot my speed or basically be the same?
    Thanks!
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I realize your point, but it's not quite so simple.

    When they come in and say they use x, y, and z applications without file sizes or other pertinent information, it's a stab in the dark. And we don't always get the necessary information. So about the only thing to do, is base it on past experience, which can veer away from the user's reality.

    I don't like guessing like this (and assume others don't either), but what do you do; say nothing and leave them in the dark, or offer somthing as a means to keep them within some sort of limit so they don't go crazy on their own?

    I do recall what it's like as a student, and computer needs can cause hardships financially speaking both during and once out of school.

    There's a few times that though high, there are reasons for it. Code bloat and Apple's DIMM configurations and avialable memory sizes dictate that 4 or even 8GB DIMM's must be used. Worst yet, the issues with mixing RAM can make a mess of things as well (harder to find 8GB UDMM or 4GB RDIMM, as OWC doesn't offer either).

    Even in OWC's case, their 4GB UDIMM's won't mix with smaller capacity sticks (still UDIMM).

    If their described software usage will work with this, I absolutely agree. But most of the posts we see are creative users that give information that puts RAM past 6 - 8GB.

    For this, I see your point, and agree. But if they're also telling us they push massive files, loads of layers, and are busy as all get out, then this will be exceeded, and the resulting cost will reflect it.

    But it's not about blame, but how accurate is the information we're getting, and conversely, giving as well (what I've seen as your point, which I do agree with). ;)

    But I take the information issued as fact if there's no clue that there's problems (take them at their word, and that what's posted is both accurate and current, not perceptions). I've qualified posts when I had some uneasy/uncertain feeling about the information given, and not gotten direct answers to questions for clarification (I've stopped posting in some instances).
     
  25. Bernard1985 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    #25
    Thanks to everyone for this very informative discussion. I have just ordered the 6-core above (considering I will upgrade in less than 5 years if I really have to... I will cross that bridge when I get there).

    Regarding RAM and SSD: Based on the above discussion I will buy 8GB sticks, and at least 2 of them (16GB total), possibly even 24GB or 32GB. I am afraid I need to get them all at once now to not have to hunt for one that fits the rest later.

    I am opting on having rather too much than not enough; my current MBP has serious memory issues when using Safari, Mail, iTunes and SABnzbd concurrently right now.

    And my current Aperture 3 use is limited to working with batches of around 120 files @ ˜25MB each per import session. Importing, fiddling, exporting. Just to display a single picture takes a couple of seconds to display (and that is *after* importing!). Importing alone took more than 30 minutes the other day (for ca. 118 pictures). The only reason I am dealing with this right now on the MBP is because the wife is pushing for decent Christmas card pictures. ;-)

    After checking how fast the standard 1TB disk is I will likely get a 120GB SSD, I have made very good experiences with my current setup, having apps and OS on the SSD. I don't think I need a second one to have two SSD's in a RAID... I might get a 240GB SSD for that instead. Still thinking about it.

    I also need to take a look how I will do backups in the future, currently using SuperDuper once a week or so to an external disk... might get another 1TB disk to use RAID for redundancy of the existing 1TB that the Mac Pro comes with, and one external 1TB disk for weekly backups.
     

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