mac pro memory vs. processor

thepureguava

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 26, 2006
3
0
santa barbara, ca
I'd like to buy a Mac Pro. I'm and interactive designer I can afford it with either a 3ghz processor or 4 gb of ram. For the most part i'm using a lot of flash, photoshop, illustrator, and after effects, but i've been trying to get into more video and 3D based programs. it seems like that the 2.66 and more memory would fit my needs, but i'm wondering if it's worth going to the 3ghz and upgrading the memory later on as i need it. sorry if the question has been asked already, but pointing me to simlar thread would be helpful. thanks...
 

NATO

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2005
1,692
28
Northern Ireland
If you're likely to spend the money on RAM at a later date, I'd get the CPU upgrade as it's the least likely thing you'll do afterwards (although technically you can upgrade the CPUs at a later date but its more difficult).

If your budget allows, I'd go for the 3GHz CPUs now with 2GB RAM and add another 2GB later as it'll be a straightforward and the RAM will probably be cheaper too.

When buying a new system, I base the specs round the things that aren't upgradeable or hard to upgrade, then buy RAM at a later date if required.

Note - This assumes that you *want* the 3GHz upgrade, the 2.66 Processors are still very, very fast.
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
A 2.66 GHz running 4 GB RAM is tempting, for sure.

If you are generating enough income to warrant the 3.0 GHz upgrade starting out with at least 2 GB RAM, that would be my choice.

RAM prices will fall as competetion floods the market.

This article about proper RAM specs from Barefeats is well worth reading too.
http://www.barefeats.com/quad09.html

Your workflow will greatly improve once all of your applications are updated to
Universal Binary, but you'll need to set aside funds for those updates.

You can run your system with 2 X 512 and 2 X 1GB matched pairs, but barefeats
recommends 4 matched DIMM sets.
In other words 4 X 512MB, 4 X 1GB, or 4 X 2 GB

The best prices I've seen for Apple compatible FB ECC RAM
is starting at $164.00 per GB and up, but you must be sure you are getting the
correct thermal specs.
 

apfhex

macrumors 68030
Aug 8, 2006
2,670
4
Northern California
The big thing is that Apple charges nearly $800 more for 3GHz. As far as price/performance goes you'd get more out of 4GB RAM than a 340MHz clock speed increase. The question is how easy will it be to upgrade the CPU's later on, I suppose.

If you have the money, though, might as well get the fastest you can now and upgrade the RAM as you see fit.
 

D-rock

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2006
35
0
City of Angels, Left Coast
Definitely go for the RAM. But not from Apple... too expensive. Buy it from a place like ramjet, crucial, or macsolutions and save yourself some cash ;)

Considering the majority of the apps you need to use will be running under Rosetta, the RAM will be a better choice. Lack of RAM will bog a system down way faster than a measly 2.66-->3.0 difference in clock speeds. (Especially Adobe apps... waaaaayyyy RAM-hungry.) For the type of work you do (which is the same type of work I do) you need all the RAM you can get...
 

FFTT

macrumors 68030
Apr 17, 2004
2,952
0
A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
While it's best to get the fastest available processor, you also need to be able
to afford a whole working system.
What else will you need in this budget?

You won't really appreciate a major difference between the 2.66 GHz and 3.0 GHz
until you are working with all Universal Binary versions of your production software.

My Dual Processor G5 tower is still damn sweet 2 years in, so having QUAD anything is plenty of a computer for most users.
 

thepureguava

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 26, 2006
3
0
santa barbara, ca
thanks for the replies. I got very similar feedback from some of my co-workers. i'm still not exactly sure what my decision will be, but all the info has been very helpful.
 

I'mAMac

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2006
786
0
In a Mac box
thepureguava said:
thanks for the replies. I got very similar feedback from some of my co-workers. i'm still not exactly sure what my decision will be, but all the info has been very helpful.
I would get the 2.66 ghz with 2gb. The CPU will be fast until you *cry* throw out this comp:eek: upgrade RAM as you need it definitley. My dad is a videographer/editor. he uses the iMovie thing on his mac which is at least 5 years old and it is still faster than my windows. its only 1 processor @ 800mhz and its great so definitley go for ram. 2.66ghz quad will last you a lifetime.