Macpro: Quad or Octo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Intranut, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Intranut macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Looking for a little advice, or a nudge in the right direction ....

    Ready to spring for a new mac, coming from a 12" Powerbook G4, this is going to be a big leap forward.

    Here's what I'd be doing ....

    Normal day to day stuff, surfing, emails, Microsoft Office
    Working with RAW files from camera, Photoshop, Aperture possibly
    Home movies (still have to make our wedding video)
    Using a EYETV Hybrid, so recording TV, encoding for ipod etc

    I'm sure the single quad would fit these needs perfectly, there's isnt much software out there anyways that uses all the cores.


    Is getting an Octo future proofing my macpro to some extent? I'm sure the next big thing is around the corner, but I have a tendency to hold onto technology for a while and would look at keeping this one atleast 5 years if not longer.

    I'm buying with an employee discount so the difference between the quad and octo works out to $460 Canadian.

    $460 could go to a second display and more RAM.

    Considered the imac, but the expandibility of the macpro is more appealing. Memory will go a long way in keeping a mac fresh!

    I'm thinking single quad with the 8800, but the octo is in the back of my mind.

    Opinions? I'm ready to push the "Buy" button.

    Thanks :D
  2. jtblueberry macrumors regular

    Dec 20, 2007
    Pismo Beach, CA
    How much ram would you get with each set up? I just got the octo 2.8 and I have 14GB of ram (I added 6x2gb to the stock 2x1gb). I've seen all of the ram get used up when using photoshop cs3 and lightroom (photoshop can utilize ram as scratch I think). I haven't been able to get all the processors cranking anywhere near full yet but I haven't done anything with video. I thought I'd be running lightroom and photoshop together but lightroom is done with anything I throw at it in less than a minute.
    For what it's worth, I don't regret getting the octo for the future proofing purposes that you mentioned.
    Either way you'll probably be happy if you don't skimp on ram. My ram from is working great.
  3. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    8 cores of love

    Without question, go the full 8.

    You sound like the kind of soul who holds onto their 'puters for a while, (as people should). Buy the best that you can afford at the time and go from there - upgrade bits and pieces later, as required.

    The processor would be a mission upgrade, prob. one that you woldn't bother with.

    Go 8, you won't look back.
  4. GoKyu macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2007
    New Orleans
    Go 8 - This was my very first Mac (and won't be the last!) but I had the same decision...certainly 4 would hold me for several years, but if I went 8, that would add a few years, and a LOT more resale value when it's time (in, oh 7 or 8 years) to trade up for a new machine.

    Go 8, you won't regret it....I didn't!

  5. Intranut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Its official

    I've gone octo!
    Now just gotta wait till the 25th! The wait is on

    Thanks all for the assist.
  6. ziwi macrumors 65816


    Jan 6, 2004
    Right back where I started...
    Did you go octo and 8800 or just the standard build? Seemed like part of the decision was based on finances so I was curious.
  7. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    True, the processor would be one of the harder more expensive pieces to upgrade later. Get the octo and have fun with it.:p
  8. Intranut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Went with the standard config

    Let me see the usage I get out of the ATI, might consider the NVIDIA later on.

    THe 8800 would have pushed me past my ceiling on what I wanted to spend.
  9. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I went octo!

    Once you go octo, you never go back, Sorry Imac :D
  10. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Take Your Pick

    Everyone who's replied so far are Octos, I'm a quad. I have no complaints, my use is more in lien with your proposed use, though I moved up from an 800mhz iMac. The Mac Pro really is geared toward professional use. The question is whether you need all the resources that the Octo offers. I have found that the Quad is amazingly fast compared to my iMac and I suspect that you will find the same speed increase in your ordinary processing use. as to more demanding uses, such as movie authoriing, the question is how time sensitive it is. I had already bought a Vizio 32" HDTV for $420 from NewEgg to use as a monitor while waiting for the Mac Pro, so that is basically the difference in the price right there. It hooks up nicely through VGA and while the Vizio is not perfect as a monitor, it is light years ahead of my old iMac for screen size and visibility.

    Bottom line: if it really is just for personal use, you can't go wrong either way.:D
  11. Intranut thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2007
    Yeah I really scratched my head on this one, read a lot of threads on Macrumors.

    Basically I figure that I'm going to keep it for a while (wife agrees with me on this one), then with what I'm paying after taxes for it (13% Canadian), its working out to $430 bucks a year for 7 years. Not bad in my mind.

    Not super concerned with time sensitivity, but its nice to have all that CPU power at your fingertips.

    If I was using it profesionally or its what my paycheck came from, for sure, the octo, there wouldnt have been even a doubt.

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