Mac Pro - one processor or two for Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CXsjr, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. CXsjr macrumors regular

    CXsjr

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #1
    Forgive my naivety but I'm pretty clueless when it comes to computer hardware.

    I currently use a G5 PowerPC 2.5 Quad with 8Gb RAM.

    With the ever increasing size of digital images (my camera now takes 24Mp images), I find the initial browsing of my images increasingly slow. Also, non-Intel processors are becoming less supported by the latest software and I figured it's time to invest in a new setup.

    Just today, I sent back my iMac i7 (as a result of the well publicised screen issues) that was potentially to replace my G5.

    I have taken the decision to invest in a new Mac Pro and utilise my existing 30" cinema screen. The likelihood is that I will wait to see what the 2010 Pro shapes up like, but in preparation, can someone please tell me what is better for photoshop (I will be upgrading to CS5 once released), one big or two smaller processors?? For example, looking at the current offerings, which would give faster/better performance, a 2.93 quad core, or 2 x 2.26 quad cores, each with 8Gb RAM?

    Any help would be very greatly appreciated .... many thanks in advance :confused:
     
  2. InfoSecmgr Guest

    InfoSecmgr

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Location:
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    #2
    I've got CS4 on a core duo (not core 2 duo) Mac Mini with integrated graphics and 2GB of RAM, and it runs just fine. Even filters complete pretty quickly. I'm not a pro by any means, but maybe this'll help a bit with your decision. I think too many folks run out and get the top o the line because they assume more cpu's=more performance.

    I use a Nikon D60 camera btw.
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    With the current version of PS (CS4) the Quad will do better, since PS is not multithreaded, yet.
    No one knows for sure if CS5 will have multicore support, so that's kind of a tough decision.

    CS5 MAY run faster on a multiprocessor system, but are you willing to wait for that? Have they even stated an approximate release date?
     
  4. CXsjr thread starter macrumors regular

    CXsjr

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #4
    Not sure about that, I assumed (probably incorrectly) that as the current offering was available with 2 quad cores, the new Mac might come with 2 hex cores ....

    So basically, unless the software has support for multiple threads, having multiple cores is fruitless? Therefore, I assume one bigger processor rather than two smaller ones is better in this respect?

    Not wanting to appear totally geekish, but what if I wanted to install the windows in order to run flightsim - how would that change my decision on purchase??

    Sorry, so many questions but your help is appreciated, thank you :D
     
  5. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #5
    Bottom line is IF the app can take advantage of multiple processors, then more cores and a faster processor is important. There are not many programs out there today that will use all 8 cores much less more. But another area to consider, since you mentioned flight sim, is the graphics card. Apple sucks at having good graphics cards for gamers. They are getting better but not where I think they could be. Suggest you get as much power you can afford so it will last you a good 4 to 5 years.
     
  6. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #6
    Guess it's good he didn't mention gaming then. :cool:

    PS would be better served with a good scratch disc and a nice GPU.
     
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Boon Docks USA
  8. CXsjr thread starter macrumors regular

    CXsjr

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2007
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #8
    Now I'm totally confused - scratch disc, GPU ???? Sorry, I did warn you I was clueless! :eek:
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    Ah in another reply. It was void of his original post. ;)
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    You're right. The new Gulftown top of the line processors are hex cores. It's highly likely that Apple will use them in the next Pro.

    Yes, the other cores would idle then, since the software can't use them. Actually there is only a hand full of software that can use all 8 core (16 threads) of the octad Pro and Photoshop definitely doesn't. Therefore, get a faster single processor. It will perform better in Photoshop.

    I'm really no gaming expert (not at all to be honest :rolleyes:), but I assume that a higher clocked Quad core will do better.


    No problem.
     
  11. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #11
    Getting a single faster processor might not be wise unless the app will not use more than 4 cores. Hard to say if and when the new version will do this.
     
  12. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Photoshop is not very multithreaded and RAM is more important in many ways. I'd go for the 2.93GHz Quad. I personally believe the 2.26GHz 8-core is kind of underpowered in single threaded applications.
     

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