MacWorld review of 2009 MP quad and octo

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Boneoh, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. Boneoh macrumors 6502

    Boneoh

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    #1
  2. fatespawn macrumors member

    fatespawn

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  3. mggm59 macrumors newbie

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    #3
    They tested standard configs as usual, so no mention of performance with more RAM, nor of potential limitations thereof... Just think of how the 2.93 quad would look like.

    OTOH it confirms my thinking that as of today, only professional who KNOW that they are gonna saturate the 8 cores are sure customers for the octos. For the rest of us, it's just buying bragging rights or future-proofing (for things which in the past sometimes did not materialise, I remember several instances of buying stuff with some additional feature just in case, and never using it, or never been put in the condition to use it for lack of support).

    For instance the Sigma compression coprocessor, which worked for a few years and then Disk Doubler support was discontinued.

    If SW-houses were announcing release dates for MP updates with performance figures, then that might change. And possibly that's what Apple will announce tomorrow.
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #4
    Agreed!

    One interesting fact... Compressor test:

    By my calculations:
    2009 Quad: 9.6 minutes
    2008 Octo: 9 minutes
    2009 Octo: 8.2 minutes

    That's a 17% difference between the Quad 2.66 and the Octo 2.26 or in real terms... just over a minute. Your time has to be at a real premium to want to save a minute here or there on tasks like this... further supporting the argument that only pro's should be considering the octo.

    What's very interesting is the prospect that a Quad 2.93 could likely beat the Octo 2.26 in this test.
     
  5. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

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    #5
  6. mingus51 macrumors member

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    #6
    Were they too quick to recommend the Quad knowing it's only expandable to 8 Gigs of RAM?

    Even a moderate user of pro or pro-sumer software will eat that up.

    I can see people not utilizing the full 32 gigs of the Octo but it seems 8 gig is too low a ceiling...
     
  7. dagomike macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Well, it depends what you're doing. If you're doing dippy five minute YouTube videos, then probably not the best use of your money. If you're doing stuff more in the 30-120 minute range plus exporting to multiple formats, those "minutes" start to add up. I compressed a project today that took over 90 minutes. That'd give me 20 minutes back, not to mention if I cluster my current machine.

    PS - the drives won't matter. Think about it... if it mattered you wouldn't be able to watch the video.
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

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    #8
    It was enough to dissuade me. A single quad-core CPU is ample for what I need in this sort of machine. Being maxed out on memory on day one with no further officially sanctioned memory upgrades available to me is not what I had in mind.
     
  9. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #9
    Seconded.

    I have the money right here, right now for a Quad.

    I can't justify it until I have confirmation that the 'cap' is only there because of the high price of 4GB modules.
     
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #10
    Does the 3500 XEON support Registered ECC DIMMS? If so, 4GB modules of that are MUCH cheaper than 4GB modules of unbuffered ECC DIMMS.

    I think this has been said time and time again... a single quad with 8GB of RAM is more than enough for someone who doesn't rely on their machine to run a business or earn a living. If your time is money, then your business can probably justify the octo and 12-16GB of RAM.

    The problem around this forum is that the pros who need an Octo and 16GB need to understand that NOT EVERYONE has the same needs as them and a Quad with 8GB fills the gap nicely between Apple's other desktop offerings and the Octo workstations.

    There's almost a mentality here that if you don't buy an Octo with 12-16GB of RAM you are a fool. That's completely rediculous. Not everyone here works for Pixar or Disney.
     
  11. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

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    #11
    This makes a lot of sense, but needs grow.

    I am currently editing HDV video and I plan to get more seriously into colour correction / grading.

    I do freelance work, and although time isn't as crucial to me, I'd like to have a bit more room to cope with what's to come in terms of software advancements.

    Saying all of that, you're probably right, and you've given me a bit more confidence again. Ha!
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    YES, the W35xx parts will run Registered ECC. :) But where did you get the idea of Registered 4GB DIMM's being less expensive than the Unbuffered variety?

    Registered is more expensive. Check out Crucial (use the 1 or 2GB versions, as Unbuffered tops out at 2GB sticks). To give you an idea, the 2GB Unbuffered stick goes for $49.99, while the Registered version goes for $83.99. (Both are CL = 7, and 1066MHz).

    They also have an 8GB Registered DIMM that goes for a whopping $1379.99! :eek:
     
  13. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #14
    I think he just means currently as 4GB Registered DIMMs are $187 from crucial, but unbuffered are $500 from OWC. And as unbuffered ECC is usually cheaper than registered ECC it makes sense to wait before buying 4GB DIMMs right now.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    OWC's gone nutz then. ;) :p
     
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #16
    Will this stuff work?

    3 (Three 4GB modules, totaling 12GB)
    12GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Par CL7 DIMM (Kit of 3) DR, x4 w/Therm Sen
    $585.00

    http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/con...t=us&LinkBack=&ktcpartno=KVR1066D3D4R7SK3/12G

    3 (Three 4GB modules, totaling 12GB)
    12GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC Reg w/Par CL7 DIMM (Kit of 3) QR, x8 w/Therm Sen
    $405.00

    http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/con...t=us&LinkBack=&ktcpartno=KVR1066D3Q8R7SK3/12G

    If so, it's much cheaper than this...

    3 (Three 4GB modules, totaling 12GB)
    12GB 1066MHz DDR3 ECC CL7 DIMM (Kit of 3) with Thermal Sensor
    $1,605.00

    http://www.ec.kingston.com/ecom/con...oot=us&LinkBack=&ktcpartno=KVR1066D3E7SK3/12G

    I don't understand the difference other than registered DIMMs use an actual register for the ECC and therefore consume an extra clock cycle of latency for memory operations... but if it's supported, then for that kind of savings, I can live with an extra cycle of latency.
     
  16. natteaap macrumors member

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    Feb 2, 2008
    #17
    Damn, that is my situation as well. I will be working on a DVD project, HDV, a commercial project. My income depends on the sales of the product. So time is not off the escense for me, but quality is. So I like to have everything open: FCP, Motion, Logic Pro, Photoshop, ... to work on the project simultaniously. I wonder if a quad will give me the headroom to work comfortably without the hangs that I sometimes had in my 2007 quad 2.0?

    I could go for a 2008 octo but I'm a bit scared off yestertech.

    What do you guys think?
     
  17. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    #18
    If you are using it for your income, I would not skimp.
     
  18. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

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    #19
    Rubbish. I use Aperture and CS4 all the time with 4GB and I don't find my Mac Pro crawling to a halt.
     
  19. Horst Guest

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #20
    Trouble is, anyone who is doing fine with 3-6 GB of RAM, has no business discussing Mac Pro performance in the first place, and performance is what most of these discussions are about.

    No offence to anyone, but as long as you don't really push your computer with the most demanding tasks, don't talk performance, talk needs.

    Everyone's needs are different, but performance really counts when you push things to the limit, and you can't test and judge that with an out-of-the-box configuration.
     
  20. Infrared macrumors 68000

    Infrared

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    #21
    Utter nonsense.
     
  21. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

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    #22
    "Trouble is", you're wrong. Not all high performance computing is memory bound. There are lots of tasks that are wholly dependant on very fast serial execution and run with very low memory footprint. For examples, look at the sorts of machines that get put into clusters - their configuration depends on the task set.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #23
    Exactly. :)

    Nice explanation BTW. ;)
     
  23. synth3tik macrumors 68040

    synth3tik

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    Minneapolis, MN
    #24
    I totally agree with you on this. I have my Harpertown duals and I can expand my RAM way above 8. In fact I am using 8 currently. If I was to get a new QUAD, (A.K.A. not dump $5K) I would be maxed out for RAM, and the 8 is just about to become a little less then needed.
     
  24. Horst Guest

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #25
    Give me some examples, will you ?

    I'm basically claiming recreational users wouldn't know performance if it sat on their face. ;)

    So what applications and tasks are there which are both pushing a Mac Pro and do not benefit from memory greater than 3-6 GB, and/or a proper HDD setup ?

    High-def. Video, Audio, Photo, 3D do, is there anything else ?

    And please , no VI - Tech clusters or such, that's not relevant .
     

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