Mac Pro, Quad or Oct?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SeanEE89, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. SeanEE89 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have been thinking about picking up a Mac Pro after I get my MacBook at the end of the month. I am just curious though is the Mac Pro with the 8 cores worth the extra $500?

    I will be using the computer for storing media to share with my MacBook, Listening and making music(with Logic), watching movies, homework, some gaming, downloading stuff, and some light programming. Should I put the extra $500 into getting the 8 core or should I use the money on something more worth my time?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    Yes. Get an Octore. Even if you only get the 2.8, it'll be worth it in the end. Especially since we don't know whether or not the single core people can upgrade to two yet.
     
  3. SeanEE89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    so they havent said whether the 4 core can or cant be upgraded to the 8 core?
     
  4. revisionA macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2005
    #4
    The single cpu g5s, whom shared the same case design, had a single cpu motherboard or dual cpu motherboard... if that is the case with the Quad... you are not able to upgrade.

    I just got the dual 2.8ghz 2008 vers. Mac Pro (Octo). Totally worth it.
     
  5. cosmos macrumors regular

    cosmos

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    #5
    The question...

    Between the 4 core or 8 core Mac Pro, I personally would recommend going with the 8 core. You cannot upgrade a 4 core as it only has a single CPU socket.

    But remember, any current Mac Pro may be more than what you really need. Mine literally screams through my work. You might be better off getting an iMac IF you are not concerned with the expansion capability, extra memory, Hardware or Software RAID, etc.

    But if you are going to get a Mac Pro, I would strongly recommend getting the 8 core. You never know what your needs will be down the road.
     
  6. hancock macrumors member

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    Jan 30, 2008
    #6
    how much more "survivability" meaning the computer being able to run current apps/operating systems will you get from the higher clock speeds, such as 3.0 or 3.2 as opposed to 2.8?
     
  7. Volante macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #7
    Unless you see yourself doing alot of video encoding, 3d rendering or other cpu intensive things (that can use multiple cores) in the near future, get the quad. Why spend 500$ on something that you don't see yourself using in the next few years? That's how I reasoned when I ordered my Quad-core.
     
  8. zdobson macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Might as well get the 8 because you can't upgrade the four. Even if you could, the 2.8 quad core chip itself costs over $720, so $500 is a pretty good deal. You'll get a much longer lifespan with 2 cpu's instead of 1. I expect to get at least 5 years out of my octo.

    However, it does sound like the MP might be a lot of computer for the usage you're describing. I'm sure you'd do just fine with an iMac.
     
  9. gothamm macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #9
    octo core seems like a huge waste to me. heck, even quad core is pushing it. Programs that optimize quad core are far and few, let alone the octo-core.
     
  10. Frozonecold macrumors 6502

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    Mar 23, 2005
    #10
    Definitely get the octopus. I am also going to buy myself one. For $500 the upgrade is worth it. Even if you don't exactly need it, the speed boost helps. I convert lots of video files and I have seen a huge performance jump between the quad and the octopus.
     
  11. mmccaskill macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Very possibly true. But since I'd rather buy a machine now with 8-cores vs in a few years when more software exists that utilize multicores, I don't need to buy another computer.
     
  12. Frozonecold macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Exactly buying the octopus mac will mean less hassle in the future. It would be a waste of $2,300 to get the quadrilateral mac.
     
  13. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #13
    Except nobody really knows what the future will bring and if it is anything like the last 3-4 years the current line of MP will seem like a G5 of that time frame.

    I always buy what I need now and not what I think the future will hold.
     
  14. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

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    #14
    You'd be more than fine with the 4 core with what you will do.
    Put the money you save into more Ram and a larger HD.
     
  15. cohibadad macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

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  16. cosmos macrumors regular

    cosmos

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    #16
    The 2.8 question...

    IMHO, unless you MUST have the fastest that there is now, the 3.0 and 3.2Ghz units don't justify the cost. From the benchmarks that I read, before deciding on my 2.8, the other BTO options really don't justify the added cost.

    IIRC, going from the dual 2.8Ghz to the 3.2Ghz currently costs $1600 USD for only ~9% added advantage on the floating point calculations.

    IHMO, the added money should be spent on after market memory and storage vs. plunking down that added coin.
     
  17. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 6, 2007
    #17
    octo core seems like a huge waste to me. heck, even quad core is pushing it. Programs that optimize quad core are far and few, let alone the octo-core.

    I couldn't agree more. People seem to believe that fore cores will give them twice the performance of two cores (same goes for 8 vs 4), which is absolutely wrong. The only area where a bunch of cores is useful are professional programs - heavy rendering, editing a huge amount of music tracks/images with a lot of filters, etc.

    You said all you're going to do is surf, listen to music, watch movies, do your homework, download, etc. That sounds like regular stuff most people do on their machines. I don't want to be a smartass here, but you can get a 24" iMac for half the price of a Mac Pro. Save the rest of the money and get another iMac in a couple of years, when the current one starts to become slow. By then the new model will most definitely be much better then the old Mac Pro you would have to keep longer.

    Even if money is not a problem at all, getting a Mac Pro for the tasks you mentioned isn't wise, because the improvement you will see is much smaller compared to the price difference you will pay.
     
  18. Mattww macrumors 6502

    Mattww

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    Jan 11, 2008
    #18
    The exception is if you want to do these things simultaneously. For example on an 8 core Mac (and probably a 4 core) you could play a 3D intensive game whilst encoding video in the background. This isn't possible on 2 cores. The other area is 3D performance - if you want to game at high resolutions the graphics card in the iMac (2600) will struggle but you have the option of the 8800GT on the Mac Pro which should allow you to game at the native resolution of a large LCD like a Cinema display.
     
  19. BlizzardBomb macrumors 68030

    BlizzardBomb

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    #19
    Like some others have suggested, I recommend a maxed-out iMac. Your needs are too light to get any benefit from the extra cores and you would be spending a considerably more money.
     
  20. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #20
    Leopard only apps will take more advantage of the multi core than any other, since this is where apple put a lot of the 3rd party help for multi core in making it much easier.

    Tiger was rather limited, but a lot better than the others. Mostly major updates for the OS side.

    For the majority, probably won't use a bunch of the power of the machine. Unless you run the pro apps.

    Depends on how long you keep using the machine, if it is for a year-18 months it likely isn't worth it unless you are a pro.

    If the machine is there long term, the octo will hold up better. Since this is likely similar to the point where people were choosing single/duals.

    Right now the quad is the better choice, in 18 months on the octo will likely have swung (or be swinging) around.

    ---

    As far as iMac vs. Mac Pro -- all depends on the memory you need, the HD space, single vs. dual optical, and the GPU.

    If you are into music, the internal storage and dual optical might come in very handy.
     
  21. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #21
    Multi-core support is going to become more and more common in the OS and the apps. Get the octo.
     
  22. zdobson macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Take a look around at the G5 users on this forum. I see plenty of people that are still using dual G5's, but I haven't noticed anyone using a single G5 anymore.
     
  23. ntux macrumors member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    #23
    Get the quad.
    Unless you're not planning to do CPU intensive tasks (such as 3D rendering, video editing, etc.), the performance difference between the quad and the octo will be outweight by IO bottlenecks (unless you're planning to raid-0 raptors or SSDs ;) ).

    I made the same decision myself, and I went quad because even in a few years when apps will be more multithreading optimized, there still will be the IO bottleneck limiting performance (for my needs) and the additionnal cores wouldn't be used that much.

    Also, it uses less energy :D
     
  24. SeanEE89 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    It would only take me another paycheck or two to have the money for the 8 core and since it is incredibly over kill as it is I will just get that so I wont have to buy another system for a while. Thanks for the input everyone!
     
  25. vohdoun macrumors 65816

    vohdoun

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    #25
    I'd say its better to have, perhaps not always be utilized, than to not have and need.

     

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