Mac Pro Good Enough for What I Do?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theapplefreak, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. theapplefreak macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #1
    I'm looking into buying the Nehalem Mac Pro and wanted to know if it lives up to what I need it to do.
    First off, I'll be using it for full HD video editing in Final Cut. I'm also going to be doing heavy photoshopping.
    I'm sure the 2.66 Quad Core model and handle that. right?

    How long do you guys think this machine will last me? I'm probably going to be using this for maybe 6 years or even more. Will this machine last me for all the tasks that I do?

    Thanks
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #2
    Given your usage, and expectations of longish life, you'd want to go with an Octad model. HyperThreading doesn't work well right now, and even if it gets sorted, you'd still want as many real cores as possible IMO.
     
  3. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #3
    Are you sure? I mean there are always room to upgrade.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Peripheral devices, yes. CPU's, not so much, as the parts needed are expensive, and will remain so (different daughter boards and coolers).

    I wouldn't put much trust in being able to find a viable parts machine at the right price in the future.
     
  5. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #5
    I don't have that kind of money, so I was thinking of getting the 2.66 Nehalem QUad Core Model. Should I just wait then? Though I need one right now.
     
  6. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #6
    6 years? Then you need an Octo Core the 2.93Ghz if you can afford it.
     
  7. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #7
    How many years do you guys think it'll take for the Mac Pro to be worn out? By using the things I do?
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #8
    I'd think 5 years or so, but it's hard for me to say, as I don't know the software you're using, nor how well future versions will be written.

    Code bloat is the biggest problem right now, IMO. New versions keep getting larger, and take longer to perform tasks, as it's not optimized. :(
     
  9. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #9
    I think I'll still consider buying the 2.66 Quad Core 2009 Model. I'll just upgrade the RAM and hope for the best. Also adding more graphics cards along the way.
     
  10. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #10
    So do you guys think it'll be okay to purchase the 2.66 Quad Core? I don't know how long this machine will last though.
     
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    Honestly, he'd be better off buying a 2.66 Quad now and then replacing the computer again in 3 years with an entry level model of the day rather than blowing that kind of cash now.

    Buying middle of the line more often is better value than buying top of the line less often.

    OP... given that a 2.66 Quad can easily handle HD video today, and given there's no real new video format on the horizon, it's safe to say your investment in a 2.66 Quad for HD video editing will be safe for several years.

    In my opinion, the Octo should ONLY be considered if you make enough money to get a reasonably ROI or if someone is buying it for you (company, grant, etc.). If it's coming out of your pocket, there's much better ways to spend money than on another processor.

    If you get more money down the road, upgrade the HD's to SSD's and add some more RAM and possibly a new GPU (to take better advantage of OpenCL etc.) and you will feel like you just got a completely new machine... perhaps buying another year or two out of what otherwise might feel like a dated computer ;)
     
  12. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #12

    Thanks a lot! Then I'll consider the Quad model. :)
    What I'll probably do is eventually upgrade everything anyways.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    :cool:

    I just wanted to give you something to think about before leaping. ;) And if for some reason you need a small server in the future, the Quad core Nehalem chip was designed specifically for that purpose (the real benefactor of the Integrated Memory Controller). :p
     
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    QFT. The software gods should legislate against bloat! :p :D

    I nearly fell off my chair the last time I downloaded a logitech mouse driver... 60MB!!!... for a mouse driver! :eek: :rolleyes:
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    Exactly. ;)

    Seriously, it's gotten way out of hand. :(
     
  16. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    #16
    Look for a used early 2008 to get you by until you save to get a new one...
     
  17. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    #17
    Everyone is telling you go octo. Why do you keep asking if quad would be ok. Sure it's ok but don't expect the same performance and be prepared to buy a new system long before 6 years...
     
  18. HHarm macrumors regular

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    Mar 4, 2009
    #18
    If there's no real need atm for the top MP, getting one for future proofing for 6 years would be silly. Better to get a considerably cheaper model now (a quad or the cheapest octo) and another at the same price range sometime during the 6 years.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #19
    Given the current state of HyperThreading and limited DIMM slots on the '09 Quads (it can be gotten around via 4GB DIMMs, but are rather expensive), the '08 would make more sense for the OP's usage.
     
  20. slpdLoad macrumors 6502a

    slpdLoad

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    Jun 10, 2009
    #20
    lol

    You don't really want anything but someone to validate what you've already made up your mind about, so get on with it and purchase the damn thing! :rolleyes:

    Is this for school or something? Because if you're doing the kind of editing in FC and Photoshop that you say you are, you should be expecting to spend money on upgrades and new machines much sooner than every 6 years.

    Also, a really solid and fast storage setup along with plenty of RAM is going to benefit your editing more than a few extra CPU cores.
     
  21. Obsidian6 macrumors 6502a

    Obsidian6

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    Apr 29, 2006
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    Laguna Niguel, CA
    #21
    I'm still using my 2.66 Quad from 2006. It's still far superior to any of the current laptops or iMacs from Apple (albeit the RAM speed is almost half) But it's still meeting my needs. (plus as I can afford to do so I add upgrades.)

    You'll be fine with the new Quad 2.66, but I doubt you'll keep it 6 years.
     
  22. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #22
    I was looking at that 6 year part of the post.

    But yes a Quad now and then another Mac Pro in about 3 to 4 years would be a better plan for the OP's needs.
     
  23. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

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    #23

    Dude, it really depends on the workload. Currently I'm using an Octo-Core 3.2Ghz Harpertown for everything you've describe there and it's fine!!! FCP by itself will run happily with a lowend machine, it's only when you start tinkering with the likes of Motion and Shake you'll start chewing up serious megahertz. Just be sure to have lots and lots of readily available storage space.

    Not sure will it last 6 years though. I tend to plan for an upgrade after 3~4years... no wait, more 2~3years. if that's commercial work you're doing, you really don't need to worry about upgrading!
     
  24. mBox macrumors 68020

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    Jun 26, 2002
    #24
    A few designers I work with (freelance and corp) are still running systems as far back as PowerPC using the same software (FCP, AE and PS suite).
    Unless you have a huge FC ProRes project coming down the pipe, then your fine with your first option. We have both here and honestly there are times when a lowly iMac will do the job. This is coming from a day to day work experience :)
     
  25. PeterQVenkman macrumors 68020

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    Mar 4, 2005
    #25
    Honestly, it all depends on the software you run.

    If you are doing 3d rendering, where your work machine is used for test renders while you work and then rendering while you are away, then the Octo is the best choice. It will save you massive amounts of time. And time = money.

    From what I can tell, FCP is not nearly as multithreaded as something like the Cinema 4d renderer. A Quad is just fine.

    Hell, the fastest iMac may be just fine for editing video. I havn't noticed a big difference in speed between our office iMacs and my dual quad 2.8 Mac Pro in FCP. I'm not editing in 1080p, though.

    In Cinema 4d? There is a HUGE difference.


    I would say get the quad, and make sure you've got the RAM and a fast hard drive to squeeze out the best performance in video.
     

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