Mac Pro or Sandybridge PC?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hsj2011, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. hsj2011 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #1
    If you had the choice between these two, what would you go for?

    Mac Pro
    MacPro 1,1
    2 x Dual core 2.66Ghz CPU 5150
    4GB ram
    250GB hard drive
    OSX10.6 Loaded
    No keyboard or Mouse
    No BT or Airport
    1 Months warranty


    Sandybridge PC
    Intel Core i7 3.4GHz Quad Core CPU
    16GB DDR3 Ram
    2 x 1TB Hard Drives
    nVidia GTX 450 1GB Graphics
    Decent quality case and PSU
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    Depends on the usage. That PC will run circles around that Mac Pro but if you need OS X (e.g. Final Cut, Logic), then Mac Pro is your only choice.
     
  3. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #3
    I want something that will do video editing without any issues at all so it's interesting that you mention Final Cut. I've still not decided between Adobe Premiere or Final Cut yet so I was hoping this would help a bit.

    Both systems are similarly priced and I was even thinking of waiting until the Sandybridge hardware is supported by Apple to look at a hackintosh option but might be too much hassle when I just want a system that'll work (and fast).
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    Is video editing just a hobby or it it related to your profession? I can't say anything about Premiere vs Final Cut though.
     
  5. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #5
    It's a hobby really but I'll soon be doing videos on a weekly basis for my church hence wanting something a bit better to do it with.

    The system will also become my main machine that I'll use for web design and various other daily tasks.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    Well, personally I would go with the PC. At least I would find it hard to justify spending as much money for a 5-year-old computer. You can try Hackintoshing it in the future as you will still have Windows 7, which is a solid OS, where you can do your work in case the Hack somehow fails.
     
  7. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #7
    That Mac Pro is definitely pushing it for Final Cut Studio, you'll have to spend money on top of the base price to at least double the RAM to 8GB. If you're not earning a living with video editing, definitely get the PC with Premiere.
     
  8. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #8
    I would go for the Sandy Bridge machine – you can even convert such a system into a hackintosh if you care to. If you don't, of course, Adobe Premiere is still pretty good software. I've used it in the past and I liked it. Can't comment on Final Cut as I haven't used that.
     
  9. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #9
    Thanks for the suggestions. It does look like the Sandybridge option will be best. Shame really as I love OSX but as you day, it'll run rings around the Mac Pro.
     
  10. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
  11. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #11
    ?
     
  12. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #12
    Later Mac Pros will be just as good or better – depending on how many cores and how much RAM you need. That's all he's getting at. Of course, they're also much more expensive (after the 2008 models).
     
  13. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #13
    If you're doing video work as a hobby, either of those machines is fine. If you're doing serious video work, than I wouldn't necessarily be big on either one of them.

    Premiere is not so good. Of course, the current Final Cut is not so good either, but given the choice, I'd still go with Final Cut.

    What I'd do as the best case is try to get your hands on a 2008 Mac Pro. Probably faster than a quad core i7 for video work, and it runs OS X. Probably a bit more expensive though.

    Premiere is going to be a nice chunk of change, especially if you get Premiere and After Effects. You might be able to save some cash if you get a 2008 Mac Pro and Final Cut Express.
     
  14. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #14
    Thanks for your response.

    I don't think I could stretch to the cost of a 2008 Mac Pro - they're going for around £1500 on ebay at the moment.

    Regarding Premiere -I can get the full Master Collection with student discount for £500ish and could justify part of that as a work expense too :)

    I'll see if I could get hold of a 2008 MP at a good price though.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    The problem with comparing Final Cut is that Final Cut is way overdue for an update. So while Final Cut is not so great now, it could resume it's awesome status 6 months from now... Specifically stuff like more multicore support and more GPU acceleration seems like a no brainer that will likely show up. I say chances are also pretty good that it will show up alongside 10.7 (without saying too much, 10.7 adds a lot of editing functionality back into QuickTime that was lost with QuickTime X).

    Student discount is a good way to get CS suite. :) I work on code that is actually shipped in the box with Adobe products, and I can't even get a discount on CS suite, much less get a copy for free at work. Adobe is very stingy with their licenses.
     
  16. hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #16
    That's my dilema though - I know that when I first looked at Final Cut, about 4 years ago, it was industry standard but there are much better Windows products out there at the moment (Premiere, using CUDA, etc). So, with the likelihood of Final Cut being updated this year, it makes it a touch choice, however, as I said, I think I would struggle to buy a 3 year old Mac Pro for twice the price of a brand new Sandybridge i7 system.

    Additionally, I should've added, that even going for a Mac Pro, I'd need some form of Adobe Creative Suite but would probably go for the Web Premium package rather than the Master Collection one.

    Decisions decisions lol!
     
  17. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #17
    If CUDA support is important to you, that might be a problem. CUDA is limited to the Quadro 4000 on Mac right now...

    Honestly, I see the industry moving towards OpenCL which works on ATI cards. I haven't heard any verification that Adobe is moving to OpenCL, but they'd be foolish not to.

    The only issue is that NVidia is throwing piles of cash at companies to get them to use CUDA. (Another reason I'm disgruntled with NVidia.)

    If you're planning on doing video work I'd suggest looking at After Effects too.

    I'm not big on Dreamweaver, I was a huge GoLive user and I'm still angry about GoLive's slow slide to it's death. :)
     
  18. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    #18
    You could get a hackintosh built with a i7 950 CPU which is very stable and good value - the Sandybridge is not supported as yet so its a bit of a gamble...I know someone who builds them (around £1000) with warranty...if you want to do it yourself look here

    The other option is to go with a 1.1 MP - and you can upgrade the CPU when you need to - that will bring it roughly in line with a i7 PC...also - that will be a more solid investment in the long term - if that is important to you...

    I currently do video editing on a 1.1 MP with FCP...it does the job - solid. I have been weighing up my upgrade options in terms of Hackintosh but will prob do the CPU upgrade first and wait for Sandybridge to mature...

    Ive also been weighing up Premier Pro - it does look enticing on a PC using the hardware acceleration...only problem is Im used to FCP now and do really like OSX...having to use Windows I think will depress me...but there is quite a strong argument for running Premier Pro on W7...many say that W7 is a more efficient platform. It certainly is in the audio production field (which I also work in)...
     
  19. hsj2011, Feb 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2011

    hsj2011 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2011
    #19
    Thanks again for a fab reply.

    CUDA isn't really important to me, I think it's just the fact that I don't want to be using outdated technology if something better is around (if that makes sense). If that means OpenCL is the way forward then great.

    I'm going to look at After Effects but have never used it before so will be fun to see how it works :)

    Thanks for your reply.

    However, there is such a small price difference between the i7 9xx CPU's and the new Sandybridge ones (which are much faster). Also, the system I spec'd out in the original post would cost £864 with high quality components, including 16GB DDR3 Ram so for that same £1000, I could even add an SSD and I'd be flying.

    I'm not sure when I'm likely to get a new computer - it will probably be when the new Intel chipset comes out (without the SATA fault) if I go down the route of the sandybridge, so there may be some more solid sandybridge hackintosh builds about then.

    I guess the reason I'm having so much difficulty is there's such a big difference spec wise between the sandybridge i7 and the Mac Pro 1.1 which would cost about the same.
     
  20. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    #20
    I get where you are coming from - but I mentioned the i7 900 series because they are stable right now - as you say - the Sandyb will take some time to mature on Hackintosh...the £1000 I posted was including an SSD drive and 3 1TB drives...plus warranty from the build company...so not bad...

    If you want speed there is no point in buying a 1.1 MP unless you are prepared to upgrade CPU. Otherwise I would not bother - and if you want something now - get an i7 Hack - if its overclocked to 4Ghz which is easy it will be very fast. Or if you can wait go for the Sandy...
     
  21. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #21
    I would go with a Sandy Bridge machine – while currently you would have to use a modified kernel to run OS X, I've read a number of posts of people who have gotten it installed easily and without much work. Depends on the motherboard you have, though.

    I have both a 1,1 Mac Pro and a hackintosh (though my hackintosh is a Core i7-930). The hackintosh is MUCH faster when it comes to video editing and rendering, while day-to-day tasks such as iTunes and Word and surfing the web are pretty much the same. But since you'll be doing video editing as a hobby, I'd go with the hackintosh.
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #22
    I agree. Plus, you can run Windows 7 in the meantime if OS X doesn't work properly with patched kernel.
     
  23. SWAN808 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    #23
    I still think there is something to be said for a MP 1.1 tho if you do the CPU upgrade its on par with a i7 machine...plus you will have proper resale value after a couple of years where the i7 machine will be lucky if its 1/3 of its value...

    Its a tough one. If I wasnt so attached to OSX I'd jump on a W7 machine...but I kind of realised that I do find windows machines a bit depressing...but W7 machines are generally more efficient and cheaper than OSX so its quite a heavy cross to bear!
     
  24. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #24
    Upgrading the CPUs will add extra cost. Besides, i7 would still run circles around it in single-threaded tasks and I bet it would even beat the MP in raw processing power.

    After a couple of years, first gen Mac Pro will be 7-8 years old. That's a century in technology. With 32-bit EFI, Apple will sooner than later quit supporting it, meaning that you will be stuck with older software (no latest OS X for example). Take a look at what early PowerMac G5s cost in eBay nowadays. Not much.

    With PC, you don't have to sell the whole package. You can just get a new GPU if you need more graphics power. Or new CPU (and possibly new mobo) if you need more CPU power. Those upgrades cost less than 500$ to do. You can keep using the case, RAM, HDs/SSDs, PSU etc.
     
  25. lloyd709 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2008
    #25
    I've got both an upgraded 1,1 (2x4 2.66 cores with 12 Gig memory and solid state boot and RAIDed main drives) and a i7 3.4 Ghz Sandy Bridge PC (that I purchased just so I could finally use top graphics cards for entertainment - and be able to upgrade them when I want). I couldn't help doing some benchmarking though and I can tell you there is a hell of a lot of difference in performance (in processing batches of RAW still images that I think isn't far off the demands of video editing). With just 4 cores on the i7 it was over twice as fast at processing the images but even more significant was how fast the images were read (which I think is more to do with the bandwidth and memory speeds). It takes a couple of minutes to read a 100 raw files on my 1,1 using CS5 (to get them to the point that I can go through them and edit them) but the same process is almost instantaneous on the i7.

    On anther point. I tested turning hyperthreading off in the bios on the i7 and noticed that it made absolutely no difference in the time it took to process the raws. Only one test I know but I'm starting to get the feeling that hyperthreading is just a marketing concept similar to when camera manufactures used to upscale images within the camera and then market them as having more pixels!!
     

Share This Page