Mac Pro - Quad 2.66 vs 2.93 for Fusion

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mark-itguy, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. mark-itguy macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #1
    I was able to procure a Mac Pro through work! I knew the 2 CPU version was out of the budget, so I opted for the 1 CPU version, and chose the Quad-Core 2.66 GHz (base model).

    My dilema came when I considered making it a BTO and going for the Quad-Core 2.93 GHz. I might could have done it, but would have had to either reduce the extra RAM I ordered, or not get the Apple 24" LED Cinema Display. I wanted that nice display, and didn't want to budge on ordering the 16 GB of RAM as well, so, I stuck with the 2.66 GHZ.

    My question is, was I a fool not to have upgraded to the 2.93 GHz, even if I would have had to pay th $500 out of pocket? As for usage, along with the usual iTunes\iPhoto\Final Cut Express stuff, I will be running VMware Fusion all the time for work. One VM outfitted with 2 vCPUs and 4 GB of RAM will always be running, and I will often run 1 or 2 more that have 1 vCPU and 1 GB of RAM.

    Fusion is the only reason I am sort of kicking myself for sticking with the 2.66 GHz.


    Thoughts??
     
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #2
    If you're running several VM's, you should have bought the octad, which is basically the same price as the 2,93GHz quad.
     
  3. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #3
    I thought about it, but the price difference would have meant no Apple LED Cinema Display, and probably having to settle for less RAM.

    And, for the VMs with just one vCPU, my thought was that a single vCPU at 2.66GHz was better than at 2.26 GHz.

    Was that thought valid?
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    May 21, 2009
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    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Fortunately there are upgrade options for the CPU and for the tray as well. I believe the two CPU tray is close to 400$. It gives the option to fit more RAM and a second CPU.
     
  5. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502

    lemonade-maker

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    #5
    I use fusion everyday. Run 3 virts at all times. The processor frequency makes almost zero difference. I agree the dual quad would the best choice. I rarely tax the CPU, even under load. The 2.26 dual quad is great for vm. The biggest diff is memory and raid. Vm wants lots of dedicated memory. 16gb. I use 4 1.5tb drives in raid0, made the biggest difference. Also, backup is important with virts. I clone the raid0 to an external and have timemachine do it's thing every four hours to an internal drive.

    If you are only going to run one or two virts a single CPU will be decent and frequency doesn't matter. Spend the budget on drives and ram.
     
  6. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #6
    Thanks. That was kind of my thought. When you consider that the first choice was a new iMac, I think the fact I moved up to a Mac Pro was a good thing.

    That almost broke the budget. If I had got the dual-Quads, I would have had to cancel the other order for the 24" ACD and the 16GB of RAM, keeping me with the 6GB the dual-Quad comes with.

    With this being a company asset, I wouldn't have wanted to buy additional RAM out of pocket. So I think what I ended up with was almost my only choice, short of dropping back to the iMac.

    Single Quad-core at 2.66 GHZ with 16 GB RAM.

    Any other feedback?
     
  7. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #7
    Hmmm... If eight cores at 2.26 GHz would be better than four cores at 2.66 GHz for VMware Fusion, I may try to cancel the order and change it. I could probably still get the 16 GB of RAM, and just cancel the other extras on the order, (on item of which was a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro for when I'm mobile, not running the VMs)... I may have to then furnish my own laptop, but when on the Mac Pro, I'd have twice the cores.

    Thoughts on 4x2.66 versus 8x2.26 a for running multiple VMs?
     
  8. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I still can't figure out why you have to cancel items on your list.

    Quad-Core basic configuration: 2499$
    + 16GB Apple RAM = 4349$

    Eight-Core basic configuration: 3299$
    + 16 GB Apple RAM = 3799$
     
  9. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #9
    It's a combination of perception with procurement, the fact I originally had a 24" ACD as well as a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro on the same order, and a budget which will vary slightly depending on whether they see the dollar sign as being for 1 machone or 2...

    And, the original order with the single Quad at 2.66 had the RAM coming in 3rd-party, so the gap is far less.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #10
    I didn't think about that, sorry.
     
  11. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #11
    Dual quad is the best choice. I opted for the 8 core 2.26 here at work over a 2.93 just because I knew I'd be doing a lot of virtualization.

    Shouldn't be that much price difference.
     
  12. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502

    lemonade-maker

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    Jun 20, 2009
    #12
    This was my choice as well. It's been rock solid since March.
     
  13. mark-itguy thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 22, 2007
    #13
    8-core: 2.26 or 2.66 for Fusion?

    OK, leaning more towards the 8-core. Last question:

    Knowing that there are many apps that won't use all the cores, it bugs me the frequency is so low, (2.26 GHz). $1,400 seems like a crazy-high amount to BTO upgrade an 8-core with 2.66 GHz. If I did so, I couldn't afford the 24" ACD.

    It's NOT worth the $1,400, is it??
     
  14. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502

    lemonade-maker

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    Jun 20, 2009
    #14
    Wasn't for me. I don't use apps that can use it. If I did, I'd probably get another machine.
     
  15. goMac macrumors 603

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    Apr 15, 2004
    #15
    Under single threaded applications the Mac Pro actually overclocks, but I forget what the exact speed was... Someone else probably knows...
     

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