opinion on first mac pro purchase..

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dazed, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. dazed macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    After going through my finances I have 2 choices of Mac Pro config which i need opinions on.

    I can get either the 2.8ghz quad core with 8gb ram and the ATi 5870 card OR 2 x 2.4ghz westwere with 6gb ram and the 5770 Card.

    So it really boils down to what is the better in the long term, more cores or a better card / little bit more memory? I generally keep my machines for 3 or 4 years and will be upgrading from a mac mini :).

    Its main uses will the photoshop as well as running Windows XP OR Windows 7 in fusion as well as boot camp.

    I decided against a imac becasue im tired of all my external drives connected via usb and think the mac pro is a better long term solution.


    Thanks
     
  2. RRmalvado macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    #2
    Based on photoshop alone I would go with more RAM.
     
  3. aaaaaaron macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2010
    #3
    i think i would go for 3.2 quad with the 5870 and then upgrade the ram in a few months, plus i think OWC will give you $27 for the 1gb sticks ($9 per stick) if you buy from them. every little bit helps :)
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    My suggestion: Get 3.33GHz 6-core with 10GB RAM (2x4GB+2x1GB) from aftermarket. For Photoshop, you won't need much from the GPU so 5770 is just fine and it can easily be upgraded to 5870, possibly a flashed PC version to save $.
     
  5. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #5
    I don't think he has the budget for that...it's much more expensive than either of his two listed options ;)
     
  6. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #6

    What kind of Photoshop work are we talking about? What other workflows need to be considered?

    As an FYI, I have the new 8-core and I've noticed quite a difference in my VM performance being able to assign 4 cores (without it being my only 4 cores). I can assign as many as 8 in version 3.1. The extra RAM slots are nice too :)

    I wouldn't bother with the 2.8 if you're going to go quad. At least get the built to order 3.2.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    6-core is 3699$ from Apple, 200 bucks more than 8-core. 2x4GB RAM is 248$ from TransIntl. I know it's 450$ more than the 8-core but to be honest, he's already spending 3500$ so another few hundreds shouldn't be that big issue. He can always get one 4GB module to begin with. I just find the 6-core to be good bang for buck as things like Photoshop aren't that well multithreaded so you want as many megahertz as possible.
     
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #8
    there is absolutely no reason to get the 2.4Ghz 8-core. CS5 can't use multiple cores efficiently (it's horrible, frankly). maybe CS6 will (don't count on it), but what about all the time wasted waiting for it to come out?

    1. 3.2 Quad, 5770, and as much RAM as you can afford
    2. wait for a refurb 6-core
     
  9. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #9
    thanks for the input. Is the 6 core really that much better than a 3.2 quad core ?

    There is something like a CDN$ 800 difference in price. is it really worth the extra $$?
     
  10. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #10
    There's more than just clock/core difference. The faster RAM and better architecture give it an edge too.

    Right now I doubt you'll see huge speed differences (though in Fusion it'll help to have more physical cores). But as time goes on, it's safe to assume the extra cores will allow the 6-core to pull ahead in performance.

    All that said, $860 + tax is a big jump in price. You can get a lot of upgrades for that.

    To give you an idea of the differences right now diglloyd has been testing the new 6-core vs. last year's 4-core 3.33GHz model
     
  11. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #11
    Worth the extra $'s is pretty subjective. JMO, but the best performance/price is currently had with the 3.2 model. The Hex is ~25% faster with MOST current programs (see diglloyds results). In a few years when programs are updated for better muli-core use the speed differential will increase a bit. That said, you'll never get 100% usage from all the cores. Bottom line, if you're on a tight budget, the 3-2 makes a lot of sense.

    ***** The biggest problem with the 3-2 is bragging-rights envy. :p

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  12. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #12
    looks like maybe the 3.2 quad with the 5770 and 8gb ram seems to be sort of where im leaning to (whether i get the 8gb from apple or just buy the 3gb and swap them myself im not sure yet).

    hopefully fusion will run well on it as I use that quite a bit (usually run illustrator under XP in it). I dont play games on my mac so am not sure if the better graphic card is worth the price.

    Im not into boasting specs so if im not the fastest kid on the block I dont mind too much :cool:
     
  13. petitrouge macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    #13
    i am a prof. web developer, so i use just cs5, and no gaming here. i went with the 3.2 quad and will add SSD + RAM. i *could* have coughed up the extra $$ for hex but i seriously drool over ACD and i'm getting myself one next month with the $ saved. ;)
     
  14. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #14
    so i've been checking out my options as im ordering soon and am wondering if maybe i'd be best getting the base model (2.8 quad) and then order 8gb ram and a 60GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD from OWC?

    The savings from not getting the 3.2 would almost cover the additional costs and may give a more rounded performance.

    I can then upgrade the processors later on if need be. I think OWC will do that.

    any thoughts on this ? Does this make sense or am i nuts ? :eek:


    Thanks
     
  15. blackmtn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Location:
    Northern British Columbia
    #15
    I have the 2.8 quad and plan to add an SSD and more RAM to it - imho you'll notice both of those upgrades FAR more than a 3.2 quad or 3.33 hex with using Photoshop etc.
     
  16. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #16
    Would it be worth getting a 6 core since i use vmware fusion a lot ?

    Does it make sense to give that maybe 2 cores and keep the other 4 for the mac or would just giving it 1 or 2 of a quad core be sufficient ?

    Thanks
     
  17. dazed thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    #17
    Hi,

    so im ordering in a few days and have a few question and concerns.

    Im probably going to get the 3.2 and the 5770 but im still not sure if i wouldn't be better off with the 2.8 and more ram (I bought an SSD drive already).

    In real world performance is the 3.2 noticeably faster ? I do use photoshop, lightroom etc but not in a professional capacity.

    Im upgrading from a 2ghz mac mini so im sure whatever i get will be a nice improvement :)

    guess im trying to convince myself to save the money and go for the lower spec :)


    Thanks
     
  18. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    #18
    I say go with the 2.8 if your not using cs5 professionally and spend the savings on ram
     
  19. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #19
    If you're streaching your resources you might want to consider stalking the refurb site. You will save ~$200 from the student/epp pricing (or 15% off retail) which should go a long way toward the upgrade cost of the 3.2 over the 2.8.

    I'm partial to the 3.2 due to the good performance/cost ratio ............. at least in my calcs. Also, while real world performance will only be marginally better than the base Quad, you won't have to deal with the 2.93 imac benchmark envy. :eek:

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  20. bigsnowdog macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #20
    Why is the 6-core more than the 8-core? I don't understand.
     

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