Need MP buying advice, can't decide

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thefredelement, May 13, 2012.

  1. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    Hi, I'm really struggling trying to find the best bang for my buck when it comes to picking up a Mac pro. I've been scoping the 2nd hand market looking for a good deal. I started out wanting a 2008, then a 2009, now I'm seeing 2010s with Dual 2.4 Xeons in the same price range as 2009s with 2.93s.

    I'm thinking I may be better off getting the 2010 with 2 2.4Ghz Xeons because I'll have a better upgrade path (in 2,3 years going 12-core 3Ghz+ should be cost efficient, hopefully). The 2010s also come with the ATI HD 5770 1GB video card. The price of upgrading ram seems to be the same.

    Right now I'm on a hackinstosh with a 2.8Ghz quad core xeon and 8GB of RAM (comparable to a 2008 MP).

    I'm an insane multi-tasker, I max out my current RAM constantly and have to wait a bit between switching apps, I like to run multiple workspaces/desktops and am constantly flipping back and forth between mundane work tasks (excel, photoshop, dreamweaver) to fun creative tasks (garageband/logic - usually with a lot of working tracks staying open).

    There are a few games I like, but performance has been so-so (using an Nvidia GTS 250 with 1GB), Age of Empires 3 is choppy at times, StarCraft 2 has to be played on very reduced settings and I'd like to play Diablo 3 when it's out. Who knows what I'd like to play in the future.

    I would also one day like to dabble in video, I'm a musician and it's been great FUN to go from Sonar to to the Apple style DAW. I have just started getting back in to music creation recently and I know the intensity only picks up from here.

    Since I went out and bought all this Mac software I'd like to get off the hackie platform and move to an MP for some future proofing.

    Every time I seem to set a plan, I end up thoroughly confused, any advice would be truly and greatly appreciated.
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Avoid the 2.4GHz 8-core if you can find a 2.93GHz 2009 8-core for same money. That is an awesome Mac. The stuff you do needs better clock speed than more cores. The 2.4GHz is only competitive on super multithreaded workflows. Both 8-cores have 8-DIMM slots as well. In video games it sits last in the Mac Pro lineup. The Quads are faster actually. In something like Cinebench (super multithreaded) it sits between the 3.2GHz Quad (slower) and the 6-core 3.33GHz (faster).

    Geekbench 32-bit avg:
    3.2GHz Quad: 10030
    2.4GHz 2010 8-core: 12900
    3.33GHz 6-core: 14180
    2.93GHz 2009 8-core: 14900
     
  3. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
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    New York
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, I see the Geekbench for the 2.93s in the 2010 blow the doors off the 2009 though, 22510 - I'm not really sure I need that power and couldn't afford that upgrade until 2-3 years down the road. I guess I go back and forth with, what will the 2009 2.93 look like in 2014/5 and maybe getting above 3Ghz in 2/3 years is alright? I wonder what the real world difference is for 2000 geek bench points?

    Either of these machines more than double my current performance, easily.

    I agree with your assessment about clock speed vs cores for my uses but the only thing that nags on me is am I putting myself in to a corner?

    For either machine I'd need an SSD, RAM and one day a nice Nvidia GFX card, it's a virtually identical upgrade path, just those damn Ghzs!
     
  4. derbothaus, May 13, 2012
    Last edited: May 13, 2012

    derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
    The 2010 2.93GHz models are 12-core (2x6-cores) so they should pummel everything else.
    Not putting yourself in a corner as a dual socket 2009 can be flashed to be a 2010 and then you could upgrade processors to dual 6-cores (up to 2x3.46GHz 6-cores - X5690) if your wallet is OK with it. The benefit is that you already have a fast Mac in the 8-core 2.93GHz. Those are dual X5570's that turbo to 3.33GHz when needed. Most apps can't use more than 16-threads anyway which is what you'll be using. 8-cores, 16-threads. Real world for 2000 geek bench points isn't all that noticeable really. Everyday use still favors GHz so a 2.93 will feel 500MHz faster than the 2.4GHz. When you are batch processing you'll only feel it in the few seconds less it takes to finish jobs. Really any X58 based computer is running on it's last legs 4 years from now. So if you need the power and the price is right, go for it. It'l last longer than you may fear anyway.
     
  5. jetjaguar, May 13, 2012
    Last edited: May 13, 2012
  6. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #6
    Thank you very much for the reply again, it's super appreciated. I think that logic makes sense, and that's an interesting upgrade path with flashing the 2009 to a 2010 - are all other components (QPI speed, RAM speed, etc.) the same between the 2009 & 2010?

    Would I just flash the EFI and then put in the new CPUS and good to go?
     
  7. jetjaguar Suspended

    jetjaguar

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    Apr 6, 2009
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    #7
    I really need a new Mac but this wait is killing me.
    I am using my iPad for the time being. Was looking at a refurb hex core but I think I'm going to wait a bit more.
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    As I understand it yes. Memory is a little slower clocked (1066MHz) on the 2009 but I believe after flash it can take the faster 2010 1333MHz stuff. QPI speed is determined by the processor so no worries there. There are quite a few threads here on the matter. I have not needed to do this as I have a 2010 but I am sure others could lend more info.
     
  9. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #9
    A 2009, 2x 2.93Ghz, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 2TB HDD, Radeon 4870 will be on it's way shortly :)

    I ended up paying a little bit more than I wanted but with the SSD already installed and 16GB RAM it's really usable and I can stall upgrades for awhile, in a year or so I'll do the 2010 firmware upgrade with dual 6 cores, 32GB RAM 1333 RAM and hopefully that lasts for awhile :)

    I'll grab one of those fancy Nvidias, probably sooner rather than later.

    It feels really nice to go "legit" - I know it's 2nd hand and all but I'm really looking forward to that UPS guy ringing my bell next week.

    With my luck the new MPs should be announced today and this thing would have been a grand cheaper! lol.

    Just for the hackie debate, mine turned in to a gateway drug. I needed it though, no way I could have laid out this kind of money on a computer (a used one even!) without really getting a thorough test run in. As it turned out for me, OS X is the way forward. It provides that 'nix stability and feel with a sleek interface and mainstream (MS Office, and CrossOver for winnows apps) application support. Being sexy as hell doesn't hurt either.
     
  10. jetjaguar Suspended

    jetjaguar

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    #10
    Congrats .. Where did u get it from ? I've never seen one for sale used.
     
  11. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #11
  12. jetjaguar Suspended

    jetjaguar

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  13. Amethyst macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #13
    I just bought barely used 09 pro (2.66 Quad) for $1100.
     
  14. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

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    #14
    That seems like a sweet deal. I missed out on a nice 2010 DP that was actually cheaper than what I got this one for. I'm just really out of time with upcoming expenses and can live with the offer they accepted.
     
  15. wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 30, 2011
    #15
    Where did you find that deal?!?!?
     
  16. Amethyst macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #16
    my local classified webboard. :p:p

    ----------

    This is my latest 4,1

    [​IMG]
     
  17. jetjaguar Suspended

    jetjaguar

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    #17
    Congrats on that deal. I honesty don't know what I am going to do. I'm currently just using my iPad and desperately need a computer. At this point I'm left either getting a refurb quad and swapping to a hex ... There are no used ones for sale around me that are newer than 08. Building a hackintosh is an option but I really don't want to go through the issues every time there is an update. Windows is out of the question because most of my software I use is on Mac
     
  18. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #18
    Great Mac. Will last you a while.
     
  19. Amethyst, May 15, 2012
    Last edited: May 15, 2012

    Amethyst macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    #19
    I think, I have only one word for you.

    buy the computer that suite your need at lowest price as possible.

    I bought this pro because
    1) It suite my need. (Pro tower, handle >16 GB of ram, Easily change HDD)
    2) It can upgrade to nearly 2x speed (hex 3.33)
    3) It can combination with future retina display. (Although it not come from APPL e.g.. Dell)
    4) It cheap. If i found i really want 6,1 mac pro, I can easily change it with a little bit hurt. (needs and want is very difference)
     
  20. jetjaguar Suspended

    jetjaguar

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    #20
    i honestly think a 6 core would suit me fine for a long time. i don't need more than 32gb ram .. i would just use the 5770 until the newer gpu comes out.

    The only problem with buying now is the ability to use these "retina" displays because everything is going to be thunderbolt now
     
  21. thefredelement thread starter macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #21
    I sure hope it does! Monday can't come here soon enough.

    Thanks again for all of your help, I really appreciate it.

    I notice in your signature that you have an SSD, how do you arrange your folders on your boot drive?

    I've read different people like to re-assign their entire user folder to the HDD with only boot/apps on the SSD, to keeping the user folder there but just telling apps to store their data on the HDD, so library, prefs, etc. are always speedy on the SSD but the media is on the HDD.
     
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #22
    I initially did the full Home folder to HDD and re-linked it in the Advanced section of Sys prefs Accounts area. But I felt support files were slowing down certain elements like user cache etc. I have since moved ~/Library back to SSD and symlinked my other folders and suggest that for best results.
    Use terminal and type:
    ln -s /the/source/location /the/desired/location

    Also symlinked a few directories "in" the library folder so they wont break like Steam directory that HAS to be in ~/Library so there is a bit back and forth with the links. But my games folder is over 45GB so I wanted that on HDD.
    Still the easiest is to just move the entire folder and that still nets you a fast experience.
     
  23. Jst0rm macrumors regular

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    Feb 25, 2012
    #23
    Woudl you mind pming me the price he accepted?
     
  24. Amethyst macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #24
    $1100
     
  25. Amethyst macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #25
    I'm 100% sure all of EFI-64 mac pro line up can use "Retina" display although it not come from Apple. (Underline: If Apple can build 27" Thunderbolt Retina display why Dell can't build Displayport Retina ultrasharp)
     

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