Quad or Octo for Running Dual OS Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AZREOSpecialist, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. AZREOSpecialist macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2009
    Hi everyone, I'm hoping some of you experienced forum members might have some sage advice for me. My work involves primarily desktop applications -- email, PDF workflow, web, Photoshop for print work. However, I also would like to run Windows simultaneously with minimum speed penalty. Whatever Mac Pro I get, I will have a 30" screen for the Mac OS and a 24" screen dedicated to the Windows side. I plan on using either Parallels or VMWare for running Windows.

    Based on how the OS balances multiple applications across multiple cores and/or CPUs, will Mac OS allow the Windows OS to run on its own CPU? In the above usage scenario, is there an advantage in having an 8-core 2-CPU over a 4-core 1-CPU?
  2. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    You probably wont notice much of a difference with the 8. Sure, it will be a bit faster, but the quad can handle it great.
    Iirc, when you set up vmware you can dedicate any number of cores to windows. you could keep 2 for osx and 2 for xp and probably not notice much of a performance hit. The key with this would be having plenty of ram, especially if you are working in huge PS documents. 4gb would be the minimum i would suggest, then just split it in half for each os. If you can afford the upgrade to 8gb (dont do it through the apple store, its cheaper elsewhere) i would get 8gb (4 for each OS) and you will be amazed at how well vmware works.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I think you'd be fine with a Quad core, and as NoSmokingBandit mentioned, make sure you have enough RAM. Say 12GB max (3x 4GB DIMMs), if you wish to keep it at triple channel operation, though given the usage you've listed, I don't think it will make any difference, and you'd be fine to use the 4th DIMM slot to bump the capacity. Then you could take it to 16GB using 4GB sticks. (8GB total by using 2GB sticks, and the less expensive option). Again, the usage stated, I think 8GB would be enough, but as I don't know the number of apps running simultaneously, it's hard to say.
  4. TK2K macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2006
    majorly I/O and ram. Consider throwing a pretty fast hard drive in there, or maybe two and running each OS on one.
  5. 4JNA macrumors 68000


    Feb 8, 2006
    looking for trash files
    parallels and ram FTW!

    as above. memory and fast hard drives.

    i have a 2006 quad core running the same setup and it works great. best of luck.
  6. NoSmokingBandit macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2008
    Running each OS on its own hard drive is essential, imo. They dont have to be fast drives if you use a different one for each os (though it woudlnt hurt), but if you are running windows and osx on the same hard drive you must go with the fastest drive you can afford. It probably makes better sense, economically, just to buy another drive.

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