Need help choosing between 2 different Mac Pros (refurbs)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gnomecircle, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Gnomecircle macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    I'd like to get my hands on a Mac Pro. There are two that interest me in the Apple refurb section.

    A 2009 8-core 2.26

    A 2010 quad-core 2.8

    Is the 2009 much faster than the 2010? And can I swap the video card later, for 5770, or 5780?

    I spend about 30% of my time in Adobe Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and another 40% in Parallels (accounting). The rest of the time doing banal office work. I was looking to get a Macbook pro, but I could lose the mobility factor for much more power and upgradability.

    I found this benchmark that compares all macs.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would get the quad because it looks like your usage won't benefit from the extra cores due to the lack of software support, but the higher frequency will speed things up.
  3. Vasilis macrumors regular


    Sep 21, 2010
    First of all, the fact that a computer has a quad-core CPU does not mean that it will run 4 times faster than a computer with a single CPU. This is because, the OS do not run in parallel mode. More CPUs mean that you can run more jobs in parallel mode (i.e., simultaneously).

    Gnomecircle, based on your description, you do not really need two quad-core CPUs. In fact, since you are already interested in, buy a MacBook pro, which has a dual core CPU. So, I agree with Hellhammer, and you also save about a thousand dollars.
  4. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    If I were in your situation, I would choose the 2010 quad core for the reasons the other posters have already mentioned.
  5. sbb155 macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2005
    IMHO this will be extremely fast:
    get the quad core
    with the saved money, get an SSD

    You will be blown away
  6. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    I agree. I ain't a power user... but I'd like to be.:D

    It's funny because I was reminded after starting this thread that my first priority is management, not graphic design (much to my chagrin.) And that I really need a computer that'll do it all. That said, everyone here is right the quad-core will be plenty.

    But if I am going to go back and forth between the MP and the MBP, it's back where I started. :( I've been posting to the forum, waiting like so many others for the new MBP to come out; even though I know that the current i7 will kill my current 2006 machine. And now the news that sandy will be delayed...

    I got some thinking to do.:confused:
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004

    If you're running virtual machines, it is probably a good idea to go at least with a quad core (assuming you give two cores to the virtual machine.)

    If you're going to run that all at once, 8 cores would probably be a better idea, as it gives all your apps room to breath.
  8. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    How does this work? Does the system allot this automatically? When it comes to multiple cores, I am a multi-core newb:) I admit it! lol. Or is it perhaps, hopefully an option in the VM settings.

    (At the moment, whenever I run Parallels, I can't do anything else. And I better close it when I am done, 'cause the system craaawwwls.)
  9. ndraves macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2011
    With parallels running but without the VM running you can decide how much of your mac you want to give to the VM. Once the VM has started then all that power is with the VM and OSX can't use it hence your computer slows!

    When running VMs there is an advantage to more cores as this leave some left for your native OS.

    Though as said above for most apps the clock speed will make a bigger difference than the number of cores so for not too taxing work the 2.8GHz running with 2 cores with each OS will mostly run faster than the 2.26 with a core split of 4/4 or 6/2.

    When only running 1 OS then the 2.8 will be faster for you as most of your apps wont use all the cores.

    Also to consider are the other benefits of the 2010 model of the MP like built in wireless.

    Finally to finish off this marathon post, I have 8 core 2x2.4GHz which when running parallels I split 4/4. But on windows I run some more demanding applications like Solidworks that eat power.

    So I think you'd be better off with the quad. It will definitely work much better with parallels that a MBP with only 2 cores.
  10. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Yeah. I think that I've pretty much decided to go that route. I get as much power as I need at a good price, and the added bonus of NOT taking my work home with me.:D

    Maybe I can get an Air this summer... hmmm... decisions, decisions, decisions...

    Thanks all.
  11. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    It's Done.

    I just ordered the quad-core! Enough procrastinating, and a weight has been lifted. Maybe I can get back to work now... or in 1 to 3 business days...:rolleyes:

    Thanks everyone.

    I will report back my impressions after I get my hands on my new/refurbed MP!!

  12. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    One more question...

    So I ordered the MP.

    I also went to OWC and got myself 2x4g sticks of RAM. Can I stick those in and then fill the remaining two slots with the 1g sticks that come with the machine?

    Do they have to be all the same? I assume that would be optimal, but would I still receive the benefit of the extra 2gs of RAM in this case?
  13. Danekero macrumors member

    Jan 12, 2011
    The single processor models come preloaded with three 1GB sticks and four slots altogether. From what I understand, it would be best to place them with slots 1 and 2 being your OWC RAM and slots 3 and 4 being the Apple RAM. Maybe my principles are flawed, but that's going on the idea that RAM should be placed in doubles and in order from biggest to smallest.
  14. Gnomecircle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Thanks. This is what I was thinking also.

    ...has it been 1 to 3 business days yet??:p

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