Quad or 8-core?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alphaod, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    I'm settled on buying a Mac Pro in a month or two. I'm debating on whether or get the 2.93GHz Quad Core or the 2.66GHz 8-core.

    The only spec parts I will buy from Apple are the base machines along with a Mac Pro RAID card, wireless, and AppleCare. I won't be using Windows so no need to tell me the RAID card doesn't work—I'm in for the integration oppose to the speed I could get a third-party card.

    I'll be buying RAM from OWC and HDDs from NewEgg. I'll get the 285 GTX wherever it's sold.

    My current needs and uses:
    1) 24/7 uptime
    2) The usual stuff (Email, Internet, IM)
    3) Photoshop, Final Cut/Premiere (working with HD, etc.)
    4) Encoding and transcoding videos along with watching movies on the "big screen"
    5) I need to be able to do these all at the same time.

    I've always wanted the 8-core, but if I can make do and save money on a quad I'm fine with that. I plan to use this computer for at least 3 years in theory.

    For sake of portability, I may sell my MacBook Pro and get a 13" MacBook.
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Forgetting all of that post, focusing on Final Cut, 8-core seems like the way to go.

    I do not believe an 8-core will run better than a 4-core if you're running 24/7. The rest can be handled by the highest end iMac.
     
  3. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Thanks; would the 8-core be that much faster in processing or is it even during the editing that I would see a substantial difference in capability?

    I wouldn't even consider an iMac seeing I already has a display and peripherals—I also don't like the AIO computer concept.
     
  4. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #4
    The 8 Core moves through everything that I throw at it just fine. I do a lot of video editing (part time job) and photoshop (family/friends/extra cash). I plan on having my Pro for a long time so I purchased what I felt I needed and ultimately could afford. If you are only going to see yourself using the Pro for three years purchase the Quad and save some money. If you can swing the extra cash go for the 8 Core, you'll be glad that you did. By the way, with all I use it for it never slows down. I love the performance of the Mac Pro. Good luck!
     
  5. matperk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    #5
    I would recommend the 8 core, mostly because of the obvious added processor, but also the extra RAM slots. If you're doing HD video editing, you will need a LOT of RAM. And you can get up to the same amount of RAM (and more if you want to) for cheaper because you have the 4 more slots.

    example: Say you wanted to get 16GB of RAM. Not that unrealistic if you start doing a lot. It's $339 for 8x2GB sticks or $600something for 4x4GB sticks--and that's the non-apple stuff from OWC.

    Resale is always a value too -- people hear 8-core, some open their pockets a bit....myself included :)
    -----bragging rights!
     
  6. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #6
    I agree with this post also. The extra slots of RAM make it well worth it if you are performing some quality work. Down the line you may want to upgrade to more RAM and you will be thankful that you have the extra slots to accommodate this. My Mac Pro has 12GB of RAM and it screams. I can only imagine the performance of machines that have 20 plus!
     
  7. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #7
    Now I'm convinced that the 8-core is good choice; should I try to save money and get the 2.26 8-core model or should I stick with my original decision for the slightly faster 2.66GHz model?
     
  8. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #8
    A friend of mine has the 2.26 8 Core and he swears by it. He does about the same amount of work that I use it for, but he uses his as his full time machine and his full time job. I don't think you would be disappointed in the 2.26 and you would save quite a lot of money going this route also.
     
  9. mac88 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA.
    #9
    Are you looking to purchase new or refurbished? You can save even more money by going the refurbished route too.
     
  10. matperk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    #10
    I love my 2.26. I don't do full time video editing on it, but it does the job when I do. I think the upgrade was about $1600 (with my edu discount) -- based on that alone, I think you'll be fine without it! ;)
     
  11. nutritious macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    #11
    I'd go with the 8 core version. Simply because it'll have higher resale value when you decide to sell and buy a new Mac Pro (you know you'll do it) and it'll last you longer if you do indeed decide to keep it for the long term.

    The Mac Pro has always been very intriguing to me, but I will wait till sandy bridge
     
  12. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #12
    Well I'll be using an ADC discount which should save me some money (which would actually cover taxes and shipping).
     
  13. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    Boston, MA.
    #13
    Go with the 2.66 8 Core and you will be fine. Good luck!
     
  14. fr4c macrumors 65816

    fr4c

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    Location:
    Hamster wheel
    #14
    Am I the only person here who thinks the quad 2.93 will be enough for his needs? IMO I don't think the price difference really justifies what he'll be using the computer for 80% of the time. A faster boot drive (SSD) will give more noticeable speed increase rather than extra CPU cores, which the majority of programs won't even utilize.

    Again this is my personal opinion, correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  15. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    I'm going to order next Monday. I'm now very interesting in getting the 2.93 model. It is a bit expensive, which is the only thing holding me back. With the difference in price I'm thinking that 3 Intel SSDs in RAID 0 and 12GB of RAM will provide the more performance.

    The 2.93 model will mean 6GB of RAM with only regular HDDs.
     
  16. derboy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Get the 8 core! It will be about twice as quick for encoding and cool stuff.

    for detailed info go to www.benchwell.com
     
  17. alphaod thread starter macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
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    #17
    Yes I am getting the 8-core but not sure if the price of the 2.93 model is justifiable at all.
     
  18. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #18
    Uh... not if the application only uses one thread it won't. :confused:
     
  19. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #19
    I have to agree with you. You'll notice biggest differences with the 8 core when actually rendering the video but other than that I don't think you'll see much difference. The Quad core's faster 2.66 GHz processor will compensate for the difference a bit too. I don't think you need absurd amounts of RAM either.

    I'd get the quad core and a SSD drive for OS and apps instead.
     
  20. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    8 Cores is a noticeable difference from 4, I tried both systems out before I bought mine. BTW, I would get as much ram as possible.
    But not from apple.
     

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