Mac Pro: Quad 2.93 GHz or 8-Core 2.26 GHz?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by somdowns, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. somdowns macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2009
    #1
    I'm starting a program in animation, graphic and game design, and I need to buy a Mac Pro (my new MacBook can't handle the work and my MacBook pro is too old). I also do a lot of video editing with FC Pro.

    Would there be a significant advantage to getting the 8-core Pro at 2.26 GHz over the 4-core at 2.93Gz, assuming everything else is the same (12 GB memory, same vid card, etc)?

    I can't really afford shell out 5 grand for an 8-core 2.93 GHz....

    Thanks for your advice and wisdom!
     
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

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    #2
    define:
     
  3. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #3
    yes please define.

    at this point i will say go the 8-core
     
  4. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    #4
    Well it is true that animation apps run high CPU loads, if your animation software is not able to properly multi-tread the extra cores will not be utilized fully. I run into this issue with some audio software.
     
  5. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #6
    What applications do you use?

    Not to mention the cost for 3 4GB DIMMS for the Quad would make the final cost equivilent to the 2.26 8-core with 6 2GB DIMMS. Or summat along those lines. 4GB sticks of RAM are crazy expensive.

    8 GB for the Quad would be very affordable.
     
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #7
    4GB DIMMs can be had for $40/GB compared to $25/GB for 2GB, not crazy expensive really compared to the original prices of FB-DIMMs for Mac Pros. Although almost double the cost when looking at OWC vs. from Apple with education discount.

    I also just noticed Apple are now offering 4GB DIMMs with quad Mac Pros. For almost 3 times the price of OWC.
     
  7. somdowns thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    Sorry - I was unclear. What I mean by "program" is a college degree, and I'll use many different software programs for 3D animation and 3D modeling - Maya, Cinema4D, Vue, Torque game engines, as well as the whole suite of Adobe CS4, Final Cut Pro, etc. I know that Vue can utilize multiple cores and networked computers, and I assume something as robust as Maya can to.

    Would rendering time and performance really be greatly improved with more CPUs at a lower speed, would 4 CPUs be enough? Or would even an iMac with 3.06 GHz and 8 GB ram be enough (all with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB graphics card).

    I've already burned through 2 new MacBooks using Vue and Blender and Final Cut Pro. Rendering in animation in Vue can take so long. The 2 CPU's can't handle it, plus the graphics card probably isn't enough. I want something that will render quickly and last years, but not empty the bank.
     
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #9
    It's too hard to say from the software you will be using as you have a real mix there. In the end you would probably be fine with either.

    I seem to be reccomending them a lot lately, but the 2008 3.2GHz 8 core refurbs that Apple are still selling are perhaps the best compromise.

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB451LL/A?mco=Nzk2OTU3NA

    You get the fast clock speed as well as the 8 real cores. Has its downsides of course. More expensive, looking at $3700 with 16GB of memory and you'd only have an 8800GT without forking out for another graphics card, slower memory interface, "older". Still a viable choice purely due to Apple's 2009 pricing and no 3.2GHz or 3.33GHz Mac Pros.

    Other than that you just need to choose what feels like the right choice I think. You might get 40-50% more performance from the 2.26GHz on things like renders that tap all the cores, but for things like working in photoshop or other things that aren't using more than 1 or 2 cores you are gonig to be 25-30% faster. The other thing with the 2.26GHz is more memory expandability. Not an easy choice really as it is a financial commitment.
     
  9. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

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    #10
    Of those, Maya, Cinema4D and FCP use as many cores as you can throw at them.
    As you have so many multi-core programs I would recommend the 2.26GHz Octo (which will have 16 effective cores for your purpose).

    However, CS4 uses only 1 core...if you can bare to have a slightly slower CS4 for nearly twice the speed of the other programs, go for the Octo...
     
  10. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #11
    +1. Sitting around for renders to finish with other projects on the table can be a little frustrating at times.

    You saying that made me find this piece of win. Thank you.

    Linked for the OP since 12 GB of DDR3 in 4 GB modules on The Egg, where I normally pick stuff up, is over double that price. On Macsales, there are other kits of 4GB modules.

    When compared to Newegg ($1200), paying $1350 for 12 GB of RAM doesn't make Apple Tax look as taxing as usual.
     
  11. thermodynamic Suspended

    thermodynamic

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    #12
    Oh goody, I can be of help! I currently have a 2.93GHz iMac. DO NOT GO IMAC! Okay, the iMac is GREAT for 2D editing and most gaming, yes... even minimal After Effects. But when rendering a final project for multimedia class, it was S L O W and I couldn't do anything else.

    You literally burned them up?! :eek:

    I know, it does hurt, but:
    http://www.barefeats.com/nehal04.html
    http://www.hardmac.com/articles/72/page6

    It's suffice to say, going from 404 seconds to 150 seconds (120s if you go up to 12GB) shows that even more cores at a slower speed has a lot going for it. Even Photoshop, which surprised me as single-threaded apps typically take a performance hit if you go from a 2 core 3GHz unit to an 8 core 2.2GHz unit...

    Actually, my 15" MBP (early-2009 model) with a 2.66GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM has a 9600m video card. That's slightly superior to the 120GTX, which is a rebranded 9400 - if I recall reading the claim rightly... but After Effects is S L O W on it and temps go up to 80C. (which stopped after a minute, but I won't be rendering on it. Putting a piece together is possible, yes, but not rendering... not if it's going to run for days and get so hot I could cook a hamburger at the same time; that is not the multitasking I want... :eek: )
     
  12. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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  13. giffut macrumors 6502

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    Apr 28, 2003
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    Germany
    #14
    It ...

    ... seems you have well multithreaded software on your hands, so there is nothing to think about: Get an Octo Mac Pro, as your workload seem to cry for "cores cores cores". It gives you heavy multithreading and you can use your machine while it renders, too, without much of a hazzle. You also have a much better RAM structure available, as with 8 available memory banks upgrading RAM is much cheaper than with the Quad Mac Pro.

    I really don´t get Apple on the Quad Mac Pro. I am quite sure the next revision will eliminate this machine.
     

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