Please tell me I don't need the Octocore!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CoffeeMonkey, May 21, 2009.

  1. CoffeeMonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2003
    I've been reading these forums, Barefeats, Ars, the Apple discussion boards, and whatever else I can Google up, and am still at a loss as to which MacPro to buy. (The usual conclusion of the posts and articles seems to be "it depends")!

    Almost all of what I do:

    Touching up RAW photos in Aperture
    Handbraking my DVDs for use on Apple TV
    Some games (WoW, Sins of a Solar Empire on a Bootcamp partition, and Starcraft 2 when I get into the beta:)).
    Editing home movies in iMovie

    For what I use it for, I think I should be content with a fully-loaded iMac, but I'd really prefer room for more than 1 hard drive, the ability to upgrade my video card, add more RAM as the price declines, and maybe even add a Blue-Ray burner if/when they become priced for the consumer.

    My inclination is to go with the Quad, load it 8GB RAM, upgrade the video card to the Radeon, slap in a couple of extra drives and stripe them together, and leave it at that.

    But then I spec out the 8-core, and I see that I can get the extra processor and another 8GB RAM for only :) around $1000 more. And given that I plan to use this machine for 3-5 years (essentially until something major dies on it after Applecare expires), I wonder if I need that future-proofing.

    I imagine that I am being foolish in wanting the 8-core, and that I am completely over-thinking this purchase.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    I have a quad 2ghz with 6 GB of RAM, 4 Hard drives, the 1900xt and 3870 vid cards, and 3 monitors (30" and 2x20").

    I do everything on your list just fine.

    Save your money!
  3. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    This post makes me sad. You do not need the power of the octo-core at all!! You are doing very basic tasks and do not even need the macpro. Unfortunately, you want to be able to upgrade and not use a mobile processor so you are stuck. Do not waste the $1,000 bucks on tech you will never use.
  4. CoffeeMonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2003
    I know, I know. I am fighting against the natural inclination to have the biggest baddest machine that is out there. But at least I'm admitting that I have a problem!

    Think of this thread as an intervention.
  5. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    You don't need it. There I said it. Your not going to listen are you?

    Touching up RAW photos in Aperture - Quad is fine.

    Handbraking my DVDs for use on Apple TV - Do you have a lot of DVDs? Maybe a 8 core would be worth it.

    Some games (WoW, Sins of a Solar Empire on a Bootcamp partition, and Starcraft 2 when I get into the beta). - Does your copy of windows lets you use the 2nd processor. You have have unlimited cores but some copies of windows limit you to one processor.

    Editing home movies in iMovie - Quad is fine
  6. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    I would be jealous of you when working in handbrake!! 8 cores encoding at once (kicks stupid quad-core).
  7. ksz macrumors 68000

    Oct 28, 2003
    San Jose, CA
    When the January 2008 model came out I purchased the 8-core 2.8GHz machine because I wanted to Handbrake my DVDs for Apple TV. It was a 3 to 4 month project and I managed to convert nearly my entire collection of about 350 movies (a few have stringent copy protection). The average time per DVD was about 22 minutes. I don't know the average time for a 4-core machine, but maybe someone here can tell us.

    Nowadays I run SuSE Linux and Windows XP under VMWare Fusion, giving each VM 2 cores. This allows me to take my software development work home without compromising performance. The 8-core machine runs Mac OS, SuSE Enterprise Linux, and Windows XP Pro all at the same time without breaking a sweat.

    Whether you will need all 8 cores after you have digitized your DVD collection is uncertain. Depending on the number of DVDs you have, you might be better off with 4 cores. It will take a little more time per DVD, but once the job is done, it's done. A Nehalem with 4 cores is going to be pretty solid for 3-5 years and there are far better things to do with the extra $1000.
  8. NewSc2 macrumors 65816

    Jun 4, 2005
    New York, NY
    Are you doing that stuff professionally? No? Then you don't need one.

    Yes? You probably still don't need one. Save your money, you won't care about the dozen seconds you're saving.

    Honestly, I have one, and use it for music production. I barely max out my Macbook Pro -- the Mac Pro isn't lightning quick by any means (it's fast, but it's not split-second fast). I would have preferred spending that extra $1k on a vacation =)
  9. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    Buy it. You know you want to.

    Need shmeed.

    Come to the dark side.:cool:
  10. LAS.mac macrumors 6502

    May 6, 2009
    You don't need it. But you want it.
    Then, if you've moneys, spend and go for it. The economy needs to be revitalized :p
  11. dmmcintyre3 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    Just buy ram not from Apple and it will be cheaper.
  12. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #12 it, you know you want it...(this being typed from my eeePC vs the MB that I was thinking of buying):p
  13. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    It's not about needing it. It's about wanting it. And you do. I know. I suffer from the same disease. Apple Lust.

    Buy it. Do it. Take a hit. You know you want to. :D
  14. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    any chance we can see a picture of your set up?? sounds awesome!!
  15. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    as you say you were originally considering a high end iMac, an 8-core MacPro would be overkill. Even if you get a Quad Core it would be fine in 5 years for what you want to do, considering my 3 year old macbook is still fine and Im a frequent garageband user

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