Need help to choose the right Mac Pro 2009 for me

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by atanism, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. atanism macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    Hi, im planning to buy a new Mac Pro 2009 this month.

    I dont plan to get the 2008 edition though, as I love new stuff!

    I have 3 choices, as I can afford at best is the 2.26 Octo.
    So my choices are the
    2.66 Quad
    2.93 Quad
    and 2.26 Octo.

    I will be getting the Radeon 4870 aswell.
    Ill be getting the RAID by end of the year.

    Im a multimedia designer and these are the things that I will be using for my machine.
    Adobe CS4 (interactive)
    Final Cut Studio (video)
    Logic Studio (sound)
    3D Max or Maya (3d)
    no gaming though, no time for fun.

    I know that the performance of the 2.26 Octo and the 2.66 Quad doesnt justify the $500, but I will be using this machine for more than 5 years. I hope. Im using my G4 Sawtooth for 8 years now, hehe. No complaints but CS3 getting kinda slow for this machine.

    My question is though, for the next 5 or more years to come, is it advisable for me to get the 2.26 Octo now because of the 32GB ram choice? Will it ever come to that anyway?

    And issit possible for me to upgrade the processor in the future?

    Oh, and the $500 is not a big deal to me. Its a loss worth sacrificing if its justified in the long run.

    Thanks for your help dear mac experts. Im only good at using the machine, not actually knowing how it works.
  2. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    You'll probably benefit from the 8 cores and memory given the apps you have listed - especially with FCS & 3D rendering which are multi-threaded, so that would be my advice.
  3. Appelflap macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2009
    Welcome to the club, your questions sound very familiar. They where written over and over these days.

    Some people say 8GB Ram is Good enough, others say they need absolutely more. I agree the choice would be a little more easy if the 4Gb Ram modules where confirmed to work in the quad with the knowledge the price of these modules will drop substantially the coming years.

    I'm having the same difficulties :rolleyes:
  4. omgitscolin macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2008
    I was in a similar situation picking out my Mac Pro. I'd been using my 12" PowerBook as my primary computer for six years! I know that down the road having more cores will benefit you in the pro apps, but in using my 2.66 Quad for the day I've had it, I haven't been able to do anything to slow it down yet. It eats Photoshop for breakfast! You can count on being able to upgrade it extensively too, in a couple years when SSDs are affordable for us normal folks that'll make a huge difference, plus (hopefully) being able to put 16GB RAM in it will speed it up considerably. Not to mention the possibility of upgrading the video card for those wonderful, graphically-accelerated Adobe apps.

    I'd say go with the 2.66 Quad now, and later on when it's noticeably slowing you down SELL IT and upgrade! Don't hang on to it for eight years by any means! Best thing about Macs is the resale value, you'll be able to get quite a bit for it down the road and make upgrading much more affordable.
  5. atanism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    @ RemarkabLee - thank you for your input. You're pushing me closer to getting the 2.26 octo.

    @ omgitscolin - i know that the Quad is great, but my pro apps are kinda important for me too. And regarding selling and buying to upgrade, i think that method will actually burn my pocket when its time to get the new revision. Ill use my mac till its dying day. hehe. Also, from where I stay, which is in Singapore, 2nd hand macs wont sell well cos the apple is really not a demand here. Only ppl from the industry get it. And these ppl have money, they will only get the freshest.
  6. DeepCobalt macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2007
    Over and around
    I would definitely read the Macworld review. (

    Their bottom line:

    "With its improved graphics, memory bandwidth, and reduced memory latency, the 2.66GHz quad-core Mac Pro was faster than the 2.8GHz eight-core Mac Pro, and at $2,499 costs $300 less. It would be a fine purchase for anyone replacing an older Mac or buying a new one for the first time. That is especially true for people who work with processorintensive apps such as video or graphics.

    It’s harder to recommend that people spend $800 more for the new $3,299 2.26GHz eight-core Mac Pro if they don’t run software written for the top-of-the-line Mac Pro’s eight processor cores. Though the 2.26GHz model was faster at most individual tasks than the previous eightcore 2.8GHz Mac Pro, and very fast in a few of our professional applications tests, it was slower than the new quad-core model at the majority of our application tests."

    Consider your application mix and how often you are using pro apps to decide between the 2.66 quad and the 2.26 octo.
  7. atanism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    Hi thanks. I would say that 40% of the time, I will be using the Mac for Adobe CS4, 30% on Logic Studio, 20% on Final Cut Studio and 10% on 3Ds Max. What concerns me is not the performance of the machines NOW, but what it will be in 2 or 3 years time, when i would have collected 16 - 20GB of RAM along the way. Im no expert but Snow Leopard will help to improve the performance of the 2.26 Octo right?

    Generally, my main question is do I need more than 8gb for the Pro Apps that im using?
  8. RemarkabLee macrumors 6502a

    Nov 14, 2007
    The Macworld review is not as thorough as it could have been.

    Check out for better benchmarks concerning pro apps and different memory configurations.

    My opinion is, more and more apps will become optimised for multi-threaded execution. Snow Leopard will make this happen faster than it would normally, i.e. the SN APIs will allow developers to create applications easily for multi-threaded execution.

    For the long term solution, more cores is better and you know you'd be able to at least get 32Gb out of a DP.

    The 2.93 Quad will obviously run single threaded apps like Photoshop and others faster than an 8-core now, but that certainly will not be the case in the future.

    However your workflow/apps usage as it is today are probably better suited to a fast quad, but you could run into memory issues in a few years time. If you go down this route, hopefully 4Gb sticks will be of a reasonable price to allow you to go to 16Gb on the quad machine which should be more than enough.
  9. atanism thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    I will definitely grab more rams along the way. Because it is pricey, getting all 16GB at once will add to the crunch in my wallet. I guess 1 stick a month would do the job.

    Eventhough the 2.66 Quad wins the 2.26 Octo in performance now, it will still run CS4 great. At least much better than the G4 sawtooth im using right now. Hehe.

    I guess ive made my decision in getting the 2.26 Octo, after getting all my questions answered. Now, all I have to do is not to regret not getting the 2.66 Octo or the 2.9 Octo instead. hehe.
  10. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    To my mind, expansion is all about future proofing, rather than how much you can stuff in it on day one. My take on it is that if you have to stuff it to the gills on day one you've bought the wrong machine. This is especially true of a professional machine.

    If I want to retain the option of 8GB+ it will cost me £2,499 today, whereas with the previous generation Mac Pro it would only have cost £1,749. That's a £750 premium to retain that option.
  11. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'm in the same boat right now and came up with the 2.26GHz Octo to be the best choice. To me the lower end Mac Pros are the worst priced for the hardware that you get. I mean 3500 series for $2499 and only 4 slots for RAM, no thanks.

    You did yourself a favor for future proofing and a job well done to you sir, enjoy the 2.26GHz Mac Pro!

    I havnt actually picked one up yet but I'm on the fence about picking up any of the Mac Pro ATM. I'm still considering waiting until the 3.2GHz Nehalem is officially released along with every other vendor having the Nehalem Xeons available.

    I want to see if Apple updates/speed bumps the Mac Pro lines while keeping the prices the same (due to early Nehalem Xeon releases) or maybe a slight change in prices.
  12. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    I decided to go with the 2.26 8-core because i can pick it up at my local apple store in only one street square and i don't have to worry about shipping.

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