New Pro - 2.63 v. 2.9 Processor Choice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by peterpica, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. peterpica macrumors newbie

    Oct 29, 2010
    Bensalem, PA
    Am about to spring for a new Mac Pro. Going for the 12-core but not sure whether to get the 2.66 or spring for the 2.93 (add'l $1200). My dealer says not worth it price-performance wise. Also which graphics card to get? I do a ton of InDesign work, and a fair amount of Photoshop & Aperture stuff too.
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I don't believe any of your software (definitely not PS or Aperture) can use more than 4 cores, so buying 12 is a waste of money already.
  3. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    San Francisco
    Yeh I think 3d rendering is the only time 12 cores are used. I may be wrong. I render a lot in Vray for rhino and all 8 cores are pegged.
  4. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    I think the single CPU machine with 4 cores at 3.2 or 6 cores at 3.3 is probably the price/performance sweet spot. Then load up on Raptor and SSD disks.

    As a 2008 MacPro owner (using it for Lightroom, some Photoshop, some FCP) I very rarely see all my 8 cores in use. I really think that 'straight line speed' would be more noticeable than lots of cores, plus the three apps you give in your example would seriously benefit from running off SSD.

    Aperture also makes a lot of use of the graphics card, so possibly better to spend money here than on more cores.
  5. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Sounds like 6-core is a better buy for you. Photoshop and most apps in CS5 cannot take advantage of 12-core so it would actually be slower in those tasks, thus 6-core is a better buy.
  6. mmackh macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2010
  7. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    How long a run are you expecting from this machine? As of now few programs utilize multiple cores so CPU speed trumps core numbers. Of course RAM and SSD will result in the greatest return on investment for speed. If you are planning on keeping this machine shy of, um 5 years or so, you'd be better with fewer cores and a faster processor.

    Your dealer is correct. Listen to him (most want to sell you top of the line).
  8. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    6 core 3.33Ghz ALL THE WAY!

    It's what I'll be buying next year when I upgrade my 2.66 Quad.
  9. 10THzMac macrumors 6502

    Dec 17, 2007
    To answer your question, rather than give unsolicited advice about how many cores to get, I am planning a 12-core purchase and am leaning towards the cheaper clock option as it will save a lot of money for other bits and pieces.

    I will run GridMathematica, which can use all 12 cores very effectively - in fact the question in my head is whether I can fire up just 12 kernels or go for the full 24 using the hyperthreading. Having found that a quad core Windows laptop (with the proper i7-720) can fire up 8 kernels and make good use of them I am now wondering if the big mac will do 24.

    I think going for the 12 is sensible for future proofing. My 8-core 2008 Pro is still doing fantastically well running 8 kernels, and I have never regretted going for that over the four core nearly 3 years ago. Then again, I always knew I could use all 8 cores to the full.
  10. lbeck macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2009
    Definitely go with the 6-core. I researched and researched buying the 12 core and its just not right for 95% of people. If you use the Adobe Suite, then the 6-core is the best thing you can buy.

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