Prev gen 2.66Ghz 4-core vs. Current Gen 2.8GHz 4-core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pcguru83, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. pcguru83 macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I'm closer than I've ever been to finally breaking down and getting a mac pro. It pains me to no end that I'm having to spend over $2,000 as it is to get the Mac desktop I want, but I need some more expandability in terms of hard drive space and RAM.

    That being said, I will absolutely not spend any more than about $2200 or so, so please no suggestions of "just spend the extra $500 and get the current 8-core". Thanks guys! ;)

    Now onto my question...

    I'm considering either a previous generation 2.66Ghz Quad core or a current generation 2.8GHz Quad core. I have a few questions about the 2.8GHz quad. Does this machine come with the same motherboard as the Octo's, just minus a CPU? Or does it use a completely different mainboard with only one CPU? This is critical to me, because the only way I could justify spending the extra now would be if it would be possible to throw another Xeon in there down the road if I chose to do so. Any ideas on this possibility?

    My other option would be to get a brand new previous generation 2.66GHz Quad core in which I would likely immediately purchase an additional 4GB of RAM bringing me to a grand total of 5GB. I'd also purchase an additional 500GB drive I'd throw in there too.

    Any thoughts on these options? I'm leaning heavily towards getting the previous generation simply because it will allow me a bit more room in upgrading RAM and HD capacity. If I go the 2.8GHz route, I'm pretty much stuck with what I'd be getting for a while.

    And finally, what will I be doing with this monster? I'm a budding Systems Admin, and I'm going to be using it to become familiar with and learn the likes of Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, and eventually Windows Server 2008.
     
  2. GotPro macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    #2
    It's the same motherboard...

    But even the BASE ATI video card in the new machines is lightyears ahead of the crappy nVidia 7300 in the old Mac Pro.

    I'm currently running on 2GB ram, and it runs just fine. My 2GB I purchased from TRANSINTL was bad and I'm having to send back!
     
  3. rockinrocker macrumors 65816

    rockinrocker

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    #3
    yes.

    there is some debate as to whether or not adding a cpu later will be doable, the main issue i've seen is whether or not a heat sink will be available and whether or not there's a socket in place (as apposed to just an empty hole).

    you'll probably be better off with the pre'08 version since the processor have separate front side busses where the single quad of the new version shares one.
     
  4. iToaster macrumors 68000

    iToaster

    Joined:
    May 3, 2007
    Location:
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    #4
    Get the current one. The benefits of the newer hardware work well with the new system. The single processor model does have 2 sockets, but only one heat sink, but inevitably there will be some sort of upgrade kit from a third party. I'd say you should go with the current quad 2.8, it's plenty fast for me as it is, and comes with enough to be speedy out of the box (as opposed to the 1 Gb of RAM the old one started with). I recommend it, it's insanely fast and sports many upgrades from the original 2.66 design.
     
  5. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #5
    defo get the 2.8

    tbh you're not gonna find a 2.66 (new or otherwise) for significantly less than the new 2.8 - remember it has a better GFX card, double the RAM and larger HDD and faster FSB. It's really a huge improvement over the 2.66.
     
  6. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario Canada
    #6
    The current one seems best it supports all the new architecture and processors it also includes more out of the box then the other one. It will last longer too. I'd just spend the money for the new one instead of later wishing you got better one.
     
  7. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
  8. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #8
    Hey, I'm the IT Director/Systems Admin for my department at a university.

    I just purchased the 2.8Ghz Octo with 2x ATI 2400XT cards. Hopefully will get it soon.

    If you at all can - get two Quad-core processors. It looks like it will be a pain to upgrade later. If you can't then I'm sure the 2.8Ghz Quad would meet your needs. Virtual machines really are going to be hitting RAM much more than the processor. I plan on upgrading mine with 2x4GB of RAM from OWC.

    I would NOT go back to a previous generation.
     
  9. pcguru83 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    pcguru83

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #9
    Awesome, that's comforting to hear. From the get go RAM was my first priority, and really the whole reason I need to go with the Mac Pro. I need LOTS of RAM to run several instances of virtual machines. Sounds like my thought process was right on.
     
  10. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816

    dukeblue91

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #10
    Go with the 2.8 the benefits and extras way outdo the couple hundred you will save with the 2.66 old style.
    I bought the 2.8 4 core a couple of weeks ago and this system is incredibly fast and doesn't break a sweat with anything I have thrown at it.
     
  11. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #11
    go the new one, potential expandability- EFI2.0 graphics, faster drives etc 7300 is slowwww with leopard
    get the best you can, then with your next paycheck get a 500gb 7200.11 baracuda and ram :p
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #12
    No it isn't. It is faster, granted. But not a really huge difference. The only big difference comes when you get the octo-core machine.

    They are the same speed drives as available with the 2.66Ghz Mac Pro.
     
  13. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #13
    OK, not a HUUUUUUUGE difference, but the benchmarks show a *significant* improvement
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #14
    Depending on which benchmarks you are looking at, that could just be down to the fact that the new Mac Pros are 8 core machines standard and they are comparing with the 4 core machines of the 2006 Mac Pros.

    Still I'm pretty happy to keep hold of my 2006 Mac Pro until the next revision when hopefully the speed difference will be more pronounced.
     
  15. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2008
    #15

    i stand corrected. RAM is faster on the new machines.

    I will be keeping mine until i need to upgrade, but if i were purchasing now, i would go a 2.8 over an old tech 2.66
     

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