Need Advice: Proc Bump or More RAM on Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by homestar, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. homestar macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007
    Hi all -

    So I'm about to pull the trigger on a Mac Pro. I'm on a 24" iMac at my day job. For the past four years, my personal computer has been an iBook G3 (800mhz). Now that I'm doing a lot more in the way of freelance web design, I'm in desperate need of a machine with more bite. (My day job isn't liking the fact that I use my work computer for freelance jobs. :rolleyes: ). Primary (proc intensive) apps I use: Photoshop, Illustrator - with occasional Flash, and some iMovie/GarageBand stuff. No hardcore video editing to speak of - though I'd love to do more audio editing in the future, hobby-style.

    To my question: initially, I was focused on the 2.66ghz MP. My thought was I'd start with 2gigs of RAM, and upgrade further once CS3 is actually in my hands.

    But let's say I uncovered a bit more cash. Would you all suggest bumping up the proc speed to the 3ghz quad (the octo is, obviously, way more than I need) or would you take that extra cash and use it to bump up the ram?

    Basically (and I know this is a common refrain around these parts), I want to ensure that my computer 1) screams now but also 2) lasts me as long as possible - and I want to make sure that the money I spend helps ensure that.

    So what do you all think? I know it's partly just a matter of personal preference and need - but what would you do in my situation?

    Thanks for your help!
  2. akadmon Suspended

    Aug 30, 2006
    New England
    I don't have direct experience comparing 3.00 quad vs 2.66 quad, but if you just go by the clock speed the expected boost from the processor upgrade is not significant (nowhere near what it is for oung from 2.00 to 2.66). If it were my money I'd go with more RAM.
  3. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    Not only that, but I just couldn't justify the extra $799.00 plus tax boost
    to go from 2.66 to 3.0 (not worth it in my opinion). I was in sort of the
    same situation when I ordered mine. I just went with the base model
    and purchased extra RAM and hard drive from OWC.
  4. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    based on what you've said, i'd recommend the 2.66 and more RAM
  5. homestar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 10, 2007

    Thanks, guys! I think for me, it probably will come down to the issue of the .33ghz bump just not being worth what they're charging.

    Plus, I think part of my desire to go for the 3ghz procs is it just looks better on paper - irrational, I know. But everyone wants to get as close to the top-of-the-line and stay there as long as they can. Human nature, right? ;)
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Look at it this way: when 6GHz Macs are out, the 3GHz Mac Pro will be 50% as fast as the state-of-the-art. The 2.66GHz one will be 45% as fast. Not a big difference.

    Or look at it a different way: that $800 would buy you a mini in a year or two that's almost as fast as the Mac Pro is now. And there's Xgrid....
  7. Irish1978 macrumors member


    Nov 23, 2006
    Portland, Oregon
  8. sdhollman macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2005
    Toronto, Ontario
    More RAM for sure. The Quad 3 vs the 2.66 has minimal but visible speed increases, but not enough for the 800, more RAM will be the best bet.

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