MacPro , Quad or Octo ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Galileo, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Galileo macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2009
    I posted a similar question in the Buying Tips section.
    I wanted to see if I would get different opinions here in the actual MacPro section.

    I'm looking to get a MacPro.

    I need it for :

    1/ Work - Windows based trading software (tradeStation,esignal) + Brokerage software + Browser open (occasionally skype as well) + dual monitors in use.

    2/ Daily general computing - surfing the net, amateur photography, music, email, etc..

    3/ Extreme Gaming.

    I plan in using VMware or Parallels (not sure which one) while working, OS X for the daily stuff and Boot Camp while gaming.

    Questions are:

    1/ Should I get a Quad 2.93 or Octo 2.93 ?
    2/ How much Ram should I be looking to add (from OWC) ?
    3/ Should I go with the ATI 4870 or go with GTX 285 ?
    4/ Any advice on VMware or Parallels ?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. fandsw macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2007
    Helena, AL
    Actually, you are the first to post these questions......well, not really. ;)

    Seriously though, I would spend some time reading thru some threads in this forum. All the info you seek can be gotten from doing some research.

    Simple answer: you can't go wrong with either octo or quad, get as much memory as you can afford, and the best video card as well.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Not knowing your budget, I'd say go for the quad. It is good enough for your needs.

    Well RAM works best in triples, but if you add 4, you probably couldn't tell the difference. I means the maximum is pretty much 16GB, 12GB being optimal. If your budget is tight, 6GB should be plenty in most cases.

    The GTX 285 is the better card, but the drivers for OS X suck.

    Parallels. I think Parallels is more optimized for multiple cores.
  4. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    I just posted a thread; real-life app performance - right now - is negligible between triple- and dual-channel mode. If RAM quantity is needed, definitely use all 4 RAM slots.

    I'd read there are some problems with Parallels, which is why I went VMWare. Should I spend the $70 and go Parallels? I'd use it off and on for some abstract art rendering, but nothing majorly consistent. My major apps are OS X-native.
  5. ManiG macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    go for the base 2.66 quad, at least 6gig ram since you're running windows VMs, and for the time being settle for a flashed 4870 (expecting to upgrade to 5870 if/when apple ships drivers).

    my philosophy is to go for for maximum cost benefit. the above will do everything you want and you'll be able to pocket over a grand from your higher end configuration. the speed at which technology becomes cheaper/better, doesn't make sense to buy the cutting edge up front. "spend less, upgrade frequently" is the name of the game!
  6. ManiG macrumors member

    Aug 11, 2009
    Parallels 4 is quite simply a great app. I even enjoy 3d pc games with smooth framerates (not Crysis, obviously -- I use boot camp for heavy games).
  7. macinfojunkie macrumors regular


    Jun 4, 2005
    I could be wrong, but something tells me cost is not an issue on this one.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    From the usage you describe, the Quad would be the right machine. An Octad is just a waste of funds.

    The only issue is the RAM slots. You'd need to use all 4 for 8GB of memory (plenty I think), and it runs in dual channel mode that way. But as it's been mentioned, there's no software that can utilize triple channel DDR3 anyway, so it's not an issue. :)

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