Ordering today, help me decide.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BG-Mac, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. BG-Mac macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #1
    Alright. I'm dead set on placing my order today for a new Mac Pro. I won't say money is no object, but I want the best machine for my needs, bottom line. The initial cost is not an issue at all with me, but resale value is. I'll be upgrading this machine two years from now at the latest and would like to recoup as much as possible of the initial investment. With that said here is what I'll be using my Mac Pro for and the models I'm considering.

    Uses
    Adobe CS4 Design Premium
    Photoshop CS4
    Dreamweaver CS4 (developing and managing several sites)
    inDesign CS4
    Dedicated iTunes server / storage
    Amateur Photography
    Aperture 2
    .....and obviously day to day iLife '09

    Models Considered
    2009 Quad 2.93 (OWC 8GB RAM)
    2009 Octo 2.66 (OWC 16GB RAM)
    2009 Octo 2.93 (OWC 16GB RAM)

    Thanks in advance for the advice!
     
  2. JasO macrumors regular

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    Jan 11, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
  3. grantrobarts macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #3
    This is interesting... because I am just about in the same boat as you. I have been considering a Mac Pro for months now, and I would use it for just about everything you listed.

    My only idea is that I have heard several times that for Photoshop, the Octo is not worth it, and that the Quad is plenty processor for it.
     
  4. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

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    Jun 17, 2007
    #4
    I'm with JasO except I don't think you need any more than 8GB of memory.
     
  5. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #5
    The only thing holding me back on the Octo 2.66 is the looming 2.93. With the discount I receive through my employer (actually they just pay for a portion of my new system) it ends up being a little under $1000 to upgrade from the 2.66 to the 2.93 Octo. I feel like if I'm going to spend this much on a new machine I might as well take the final step and go all out. Do you think I would get a decent return on the 2.93 when I go to sell it in a year or two?
     
  6. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #6
    I doubt it. I think you will lose quite a bit of money on the resell.
     
  7. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #7
    Does anyone think the Quad core would be the right move? Thanks a lot everyone.
     
  8. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #8
    I think when CS5 decides to release itself in '10 or '11, we'll see better multicore support (which I think was a bottleneck currently, people buying quads for photoshop). You may or may not see a bump in performance on quad vs. octo for a single program's performance, but if you're keeping a bunch of apps open at once you will definitly (or however you spell it) be more productive on the octo.
     
  9. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #9
    I like this choice, it's the one I purchased. Except I don't like OWC RAM. I violate the sacred rule and buy RAM from Apple. That way if/when it fails they replace it.

    My guess is that when Snow Leopard comes out it'll make better use of the cores. Same idea with CS5, Final Cut 3 etc.
     
  10. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #10
    I don't think we'll see much (if any) better multi-core support in CS5 but we will see 64-bit support. That's been stated by Adobe. Anyway, either of the bottom two are good:

    2009 Octo 2.66 (OWC 16GB RAM)
    2009 Octo 2.93 (OWC 16GB RAM)

    And 16GB will probably indeed come in handy and be made use of when CS5 (64-bit) hits.

    Also if you have 16GB or 32GB of RAM then most of the applications you named will never hit the cache - so you won't have to worry about having a fast cache partition.
     
  11. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #11
    I'm leaning towards the Octo 2.96. Any other opinions? Thanks again.. :D:apple:

    Also, is Apple expected to release the 30" LED display around WWDC?
     
  12. cmaier macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #12
    doubt it.
     
  13. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #13
    I'm not sure why everyone is recommending an Octo core for CS4? :confused:

    What's behind these recommendations? Is it the RAM? If so, just get the 12/16GB for the Quad from OWC with the money you would save on the extra unnecessary CPU.

    A quad core is overkill for most of this work. Most people running CS4 would be unable to fully utilize a quad. If you were doing rendering, 3D, video, or some scientific or financial modelling then I'd be all for an Octo, but that's not what this person is doing.
     
  14. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #15
    Well I put my purchase off for a day because of this comment, lol. Anyone agree? Should I just go with the 2.93 Quad and see where I'm at in a year? If It turns out I need more I can always sell and upgrade.
     
  15. DeepCobalt macrumors regular

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    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Over and around
    #16
    I like the octad 2.66. It is the happy medium. You get the higher clock speed than the 2.26, but also get the eight cores (future proofing) and easier RAM expandability. Additionally, you save about a thousand dollars by not getting the 2.93 which is only 0.27Ghz (9%) higher clock speed--virtually indistinguishable on most applications.
     
  16. Mac Husky macrumors regular

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Location:
    Bavaria, Germany
    #17
    2.26 octad to 2.66 octad is 0.40 Ghz and sowith 15% higher clock speed only.
    Additionally, you save more than another thousand dollars by not getting the 2.66 :D;)

    Take the 2.66 - but the quad. Spend the saved money into Intel X-25M (or two of them - dedicated to VirtualRain ;)) or/and into RAM.
     
  17. nylon macrumors 65816

    nylon

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2004
    #18
    If I were you I would seriously consider the base 2.66 Quad model and use the extra cash to ramp up the RAM/HDD and Graphics capability. Unless you plan to use software that seriously makes use of multiple cores you're benefits from going to a higher clocked Quad or an Octad will be minimal.

    2 cents.
     
  18. Burntorangeappl macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    #19
    Go Quad

    I'd recommend the Quad 2.93 for CS4. I'm doing pretty much what you are though I'm not very proficient with DW CS4. I've got the Quad 2.66 with CS4 Design Premium and it hums even with 'just' 6GB of RAM. Recouping money later is not a great motivation for technology purchases- they are very bad investments. Get it for what you need now, and whatever you can sell it for later is a nice bonus to the great utility you get out of it the next 24 months.
    Snow Leopard is supposed to better utilize more cores, but do you really think it will be able to utilize 16 virtual cores for any of the programs you're running? I doubt it. In two years, a machine with 8 physical cores might make more sense, but to me, CS4 and even CS5 won't be able to use everything you'll get with the 2.93 quad. Put in a pair of 15K raptors for scratch disks, 8GB of RAM, and then attach some FW800 external storage, and you'll be in great shape. Just my opinion.
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #20
    Since no one has justified their Octo recommendations, we should assume those were made purely because you indicated money was no object... however, as others have pointed out here, there are better ways to spend money in your case than on an extra CPU that you won't use. As Mr. Husky recommends, consider getting an SSD or two as well as 12GB of RAM. Such a machine would kick ARSE!
     
  20. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    Jul 9, 2008
    Location:
    Okie land
    #21
    I'd like to know the answer to that myself.

    I'm thinking long term, that is why I recommend the Octo over the Quad. Really we are all just guessing here, but I think/hope Snow Leopard will bring better multi-core support. I applied the same logic to CS5, but of course no one knows for sure yet.
     
  21. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #22
    Thanks again for the advice guys. I'm leaning 2.93 Quad now. I'd rather realize I need a little more power and upgrade in a year with a new model rather than being wayy overpowered and throwing money out the window. While money is not an issue and I can afford whichever machine I choose, I still don't like the idea of wasting it. Now the question is how to set up my hard drives. The following is what I intend to order from Apple.

    One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    8GB (4x2GB) (OWC)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
    One 18x SuperDrive
    Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) and User's Guide
    AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi Card with 802.11n
    iWork '09 Preinstalled

    Now, as I stated in my original post I intend to use my new Mac Pro as an iTunes Storage/Server solution (among other things, obviously). With this in mind what would be the best way to set up my HDDs? And I know upgrading the HDD is a rip off through Apple, but I'd rather get the WD 1TB Black (that I'll actually use) than a 640 that i'll replace anyways. Thanks again.. :D:apple:
     
  22. Topper macrumors 65816

    Topper

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    #24
    I think that is an excellent system for what you want to do.
    I seriously doubt you'll ever second guess yourself.

    If you ever play games, the faster processor (2.93GHz) should help.
     
  23. BG-Mac thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 31, 2007
    #25
    Anyone care to give me some advice on setting up my HDDs? Thanks in advance! :D:apple:
     

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