Quad Core or Octo Core?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Gunga Din, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Gunga Din macrumors 6502

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    Jan 1, 2008
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    Old Trafford
    #1
    I'm a PC user considering switching to Mac. Been looking at all my options and since I already have a viable Monitor and sound system, my 2 choices were the mac min and mac pro. (big difference I know)

    Going for the single Quad core looks like a great option for me, because of the price. However, I dont have much experience with these Xeon processors. Would the single quad be enough for running iLife well and some casual gaming (LOTRO, some older FPS).

    I don't have a heavy gaming need but would like the flexibity to use the apple software with some gaming for a break.

    -$500 for the single processor has got me ready to order my first mac today, am I be mislead? Should I be getting the Octocore? Or is that too much for someone not doing professional things?
     
  2. Faraden macrumors newbie

    Faraden

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #2
    The Xeon is a workstation CPU (3D Design, photoshop and so on)

    However through bootcamp im sure you could run LOTRO, of course the main performance would come from the Graphics card you choose along with the amount of Ram 2GB is fine for LOTRO though!

    As for iLife it will work great its a :apple: Mac Pro, you will love it!

    Put it this way, for what you want I think you will be far more happy with the quality of a Mac over a custom built PC, Iv just got an iMac I have a PC with a faster graphics card in it but the rest was an upgrade and Im really enjoying it, a family member also got a PC & and iMac she now hates windows and PC's and is selling the PC :D

    :apple:
     
  3. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #3
    I would assume very few apps have yet to take advantage of 8 core processing yet, outside of professional video etc.

    A 2.8 quad core (apparently equal to the last gens 2 chip 3.0 quad core) should be more then enough for you. Spend the extra 500 on grabbing perhaps an upgrade to the graphics card (not sure what your preference is there... other people know more about it) and save the extra of that 500 for another 2gb of ram down the line or something :)

    GO MAC PRO GO :)

    PS: from my experience... ilife works pretty much amazingly great on any of apple's current offerings. SO that's no problem at all. And I bet you'll be able to play more FPS etc pretty well on a macpro. People seem to get away with it on imacs and macbook pros for a decent amount of games, so you should be AOK! :)
     
  4. Faraden macrumors newbie

    Faraden

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    #4
    Yeah dont think about it just buy it hehe

    Join the cult :p :D
     
  5. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #5
    I would recommend a different route.

    Based on what you are describing, you really don't need a Mac Pro power. You are like me in that you cannot accept buying an integrated monitor in the iMac that you'll have to throw away later.

    It chaps me just like it chaps you, I know it.

    However, based on what you describe, I believe a 20" iMac would make more sense for you. It'll do all the stuff you want, and you can use your current monitor as a 'Secondary Monitor'. You'll save a lot of money. You'll run all the iLife apps and occasional gaming just fine.

    It really is the better bang for your buck - but you have to swallow the integrated monitor.

    Another option for you might be a Macbook Pro, used in closed lid mode. You would have great performance for the usage you are describing, reuse your current monitor/etc, AND have a portable for when you want it!

    Nothing you described in your usage would require a Mac Pro - other than the sheer coolness factor of Mac Pro's being so badass.

    You are asking how well a Quad Core vs. Octo-Core will run iLife...Don't forget that the lowly dual cores even in the Mac Mini run iLife just fine!! Where the low end macbook and mini fail is their integrated graphics cards wouldn't provide a satisfying gaming experience for you.

    Hey though, if money is no object, buy the Mac Pro! Otherwise, why not get an iMac, put the difference in $$ in the bank, and then buy ANOTHER iMac in a year to get updated. You'll have two computers, or you can give one away to a relative, or you can sell it and reclaim much of the cost of the upgrade to the next Imac...or... Lots more options! It would fulfill all your needs.

    ...But you have to throw away a built in monitor ... (I *hate* that!!!!)
     
  6. SoLibertyDies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2006
    Location:
    Spanaway, Wa
    #6

    MacBook Pros in Closed lid mode isn't such a hot idea, in that it gets to about 90ºc+ just from iPhoto when the lid is closed, at least mine did when I tried it...
     
  7. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    #7
    i'd recommend against the imac/macbook alternative. Unless you really want a portable, too, that is.

    The Mac Pro will be much better suited to a switcher, as you can run boot camp on it without feeling strange. I don't know how to describe it, but the combination of slower FSB, less internal bandwidth, slow, small laptop hard drives and piddly graphics options along with the heat/cooling issues of a laptop just make me uncomfortable running boot camp on anything other than a mac pro. Yes, you can do it. But it doesn't feel right.

    With a mac pro, you basically have a high-end PC as an alternate login for your mac. I'd recommend putting it on a separate hard drive and everything. With that and an 8800 GT, you're going to be able to do whatever you want in PC land AND whatever you want in Mac land. You'll never hear the fans, you'll never feel like you need to buy more external hard drives. There's just a good, solid, easy-breathing feeling you get from a Mac Pro that the laptops just don't have. In my opinion, and in most of the technical specs, an imac is a laptop.

    get the single quad 2.8 and the 8800.
     
  8. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    A MBP in closed mode is about the same price (or more) than a Mac Pro with a quad core processor. The Mac Pro is much more powerful than the MBP.

    I would get the single proc/quad-core Mac Pro. Games right now get no benefit from 8 core over 4 core and except for possibly iMovie, the same holds true for iLife.
     
  9. Gunga Din thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jan 1, 2008
    Location:
    Old Trafford
    #9
    I think this is what i'm gonna do. Now should I get the 2nd 500gb HD from Apple or buy a 300gb from a 3rd party vendor like OWC etc. I know to do that for the ram. I've never installed a 2nd HD in a computer before but putting bootcamp and xp on that 2nd HD is a great idea. Then i can throw my pc in the trash. Also, do use the backup Time Machine, should i get a 3rd HD? I'm a bit confused how best to setup the Time Machine.

    Thanks for the advice, i'm loving this. Money is not a problem with the single quad option. I know the iMac may suit my needs for now.....but in the future the expandibilty is too hard to pass up. I can use my nice 21" CRT monitor for now and save for a sweet display.

    One more thing, I have an old Yamaha AV Receiver with 2 Boston Acoustic Speakers (CR9 Models). I suppose I could just use the analog sound output to connect to that right?
     
  10. ktbubster macrumors 6502a

    ktbubster

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2007
    Location:
    US
    #10
    I think you'll still save a lot of money by getting a harddrive from a third party vendor. Apple has designed the macpro so putting in a harddrive is super easy. It's on the design page I believe. It's pretty much just a "open the side panel and pop in the harddrive" sorta thing. No cables or craziness to deal with i don't think.
     
  11. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #11
    As long as you don't do a lot of video processing, the Mac Pro Jr. will be a great choice!
     
  12. Gunga Din thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Old Trafford
    #12
    LOL
     
  13. sinn. macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #13
    I might get a MP friday for my classes starting back on monday. I will be using this mac for Maya, zbrush and photoshop. I have the money for the 4 core on friday, but the 8 core will take me a while to save up, and I really need a comp for school, start of FEB at the latest.

    4 core - 2342.10
    8 core - 2822.47
    difference - 480.37

    480 bucks can buy me a nice chunk of RAM and HD space.

    I plan on getting into modeling/rendering and won't be doing much animation at this point. What is the best option to go with? 4 core now for school, or wait a few months to buy 8 core?

    Apple only lists 2 motherboards 2.8/3.0 and 3.2 versions, so this means, in the future I can just get another quad and put it in since the motherboard is socketed, I would just need to get a mac heat sink.

    Any thoughts?
     
  14. HDproducer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #14
    Apple student discount will save you a few hundred bucks. I would definitely get the 8 core. Maya is a prefect example of a program that would see a big increase with the additional cores.
     
  15. sinn. macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #15
    That is with the student discount.
     
  16. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #16
    The difference with student discount should be $450.
     
  17. HDproducer macrumors member

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #17
    OK, so that includes tax? How long do you plan on using the computer? When you are done with school are planning on working freelance or getting a "real job" somewhere? If you plan on using this to make money, I think it will be worth the extra money 10 fold. The stuff you are talking about doing is very processor heavy and is already capable of utilizing all those processors.

    Some of the other posts are talking about ilife and CS2 or even CS3, they may not see that big of a jump, but Maya, Modo, FCS 2 Motion 3 will see a jump. And I hope compressor does as well.
     
  18. sinn. macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #18
    Yes tax, about 2-3 years, I hope to get a solid job after school. I have done freelance in the past (photography) and it's not my thing as of now.
     
  19. jwt macrumors 6502

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #19
    How about thinking about it this way:

    2.8 Octo = 2.8 Quad + PS3
     
  20. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    I'm stuck between ordering a quad or octo core 2.8. I use iMovie HD and Final Cut Express for DVD authoring. Any estimates how much faster rendering times will be with the octo? The $500 difference in price is significant for me. Will the nVidia 8800 be of any benefit with these apps over the stock ATI? BTW, I don't game at all.
     
  21. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    #21
    I *Believe* (if I'm wrong someone will correct me) that if you don't game, and don't use Aperture or Final Cut Studio's Motion or After Effects - than you won't get any important differences with the 8800 to justify the cost.

    That said, for only $200 more, the 8800 is a GREAT card!! I would also recommend to stick with the 4-Core ASSUMING we get verification that it will be very easy to upgrade them to 8-Core down the road.

    -Allen
     
  22. bigbird macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #22
    I decided and ordered this evening. Here's what I got and why:
    I ordered a single quad 2.8 with wi-fi and 8800 video card. I can wait an extra x number of minutes/hours for video rendering as time is not money for me. Until common apps are eventually written for all 8 cores, I can't see spending an extra $500 + tax on something I personally may never need. I only use FCE, iMovie, and Garage Band. As for the upgraded video card, I did game in the past and if I start again I'll be prepared. Also the consensus is that in the future more graphic processes will be delegated to the video card instead of the core processor. The 3-5 weeks wait is irrelevant to me as I've already been waiting since last summer. So I guess I just ordered a new Mac "mid-tower". I can hardly wait to put this Powermac G4 D/A out to pasture. It's days of video editing (slow,slow,slow) will be over in 3-5 weeks. Bring on Leopard and the new FCE 4. Both won't even run on my current G4.
     
  23. timestamp macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    #23
    I personally don't find the savings to be worth dropping down to the quad. Sure, I may not need eight-cores now, but in a year or two I will. At which point adding a second CPU won't be cheap. It will definitely cost me more than $500.

    But actual the difference in the ADC store is only $400, which makes it ever more necessary for me.
     
  24. faumble macrumors regular

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #24
    Depends, not all maya uses all the processors and cores, the editor/viewport only uses one procesor
     
  25. sinn. macrumors member

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    Oct 29, 2007
    #25
    true, but people want it for rendering, where you really need a good computer. I can move around in maya just fine on my dell, but rendering is hell.
     

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