Should I sell '09 MP in anticipation of Gulftown?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Techhie, Dec 5, 2009.

  1. Techhie macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    I've had this '09 quad for a few months now, and love it. Considering I am an upgrade junkie, the looming Gulftown update has me thinking, would it be worth it to upgrade? I wouldn't be doing it for the need for power (I don't use all of the power Nehalem has to offer), but part of the reason I bought this machine was to retain it's value in anticipation of selling it down the road. Given that Apple's greed with MP's has become blatant with the intro of the i7 iMac, I think Apple will have no choice but to up the game in the next MP revision if they want to stay serious with professionals.

    I'm concerned that the necessary overhaul will make my Mac an unfavorable product of the obvious bad value of the current Mac Pros, and will cause it's market worth to take a nose dive.

    If not for the extra cores, supposedly there are some other changes in the works to prompt me to sell this one off while it's still worth more than $1,000 :rolleyes:
  2. macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2009
    Why not just upgrade the CPU? Gulftown Xeons will use the same LGA 1366 socket as your current model.
  3. Techhie thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 7, 2008
    The hub of stupidity
    They might use the same socket, but the die shrink will cause them to have differences rendering them incompatible with the current logic boards
  4. macrumors 6502

    Sep 29, 2009
    /facepalm @ Intel.

    Never mind then. Sounded too easy. :p
  5. marzy macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2007
  6. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Are you sure?

    Everything I've read says they are a drop in 1366 replacement. At least with the consumer X58 boards.

    Are the Xeons different?

    The Conroe (.65) and Penryn (.45) were interchangeable on the 775 socket.
  7. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    If you are not stressing your current computer...

    Sounds like you are just addicted to cores?

    Also, the Gulftowns could be very expensive. The cpu could be north of $1200 each from Intel and that's before Apple gets a hold of them.
  8. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006

    It only requires a firmware update (bios) to get them working, as it did with 65nm to 45nm. Apple won't likely issue one, which is why 45nm Xeon 771s don't work on 2006 and 2007 boards.
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    In general, Mac Pro's hold their value well. In this case, the Gulftown's are going to offer very little that "obsoletes" your 2009. Apple will likely use exactly the same internals and just update the processors and firmware.

    The optimum time to sell is probably before a major architectural overhaul... and I don't think there's anything major on the horizon.
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    What kind of software are you using? And what frequency?

    I ask, as the Gulftowns are looking to have lower clocks for the same cost compared to the Nehalems. That will hurt you in single threaded applications.

    If you're dominant use is multi-threaded apps (say video/graphics work for example), then it may be worth it, as the time savings could mean you can serve more jobs (clients) in a given period of time = increased income.
  11. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    I don't think the early 2010 mac pro will do a big bang. I think he will have the same internal design as the 09 and only the CPU and little things will be upgraded.
  12. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    Whoever runs predominantly single threaded apps or has a quad today will find the upgrade to hex cores useless. As nanofrog said this is only relevant for power users of video apps or other HTC apps that need huge number crunching capabilities such as computational fluid dynamics, crash simulation, virtual reality, weather prediction, oceanic and clima simulation, geologic modeling and such.

    The only exception might be people who run their hard disk encrypted. The 5600/3600 CPU will have a new encryption instruction which will speed up the process by a huge factor.

    As Umbongo already said an exchange of 5600/3600 with 5500/3500 will almost certainly not work due to different micro code for the CPUs. Beside the new instructions the new CPUs will have a different memory controller for higher clocked RAM. Together with the die shrink that will make the micro code a 99% certain show stopper.

    The die shrink is certainly the main feature of the 2010 Xeon and they will utilize it to cram more cores into the same die size. It benefits primarily server customers who will be able to run more virtual machines. Other than that it will be still Nehalem architecture. There may be a slight increase in clock frequency from 3.33 to 3.66 but the price tag for those W rated CPUs will be prohibitive even for most hex core users.

    New architecture will come with Sandy Beach in 2011 and that will probably see more changes to the uncore and more products with on chip graphics. The uncore changes could be focussed on improved memory structures using technology they are pioneering with Becton. So ring bus architecture and memory routers may be going main stream with that new architecture. The resulting performance steps will most likely benefit again power users and servers.
  13. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    The "video apps" should allways be clarified what are meant by them.
    FCP in general sucks donkeyballs in rendering,it poorly multithreaded.Many instances it runs only at 100-200%.
    Best optimization is in compressor wich can use cores relatively efficiently,
    but you need to utilize Qmaster properly.
    Things might be rectified on next version of FCS when the underlying QT has been rebuilt.
    AFAIK,premier/aftereffets scales a bit better than fcp,but not much?Correct me if I am under wrong impression.

    Of the other "video apps",say,hanbrake (the only prog that comes now to my mind...) are relatively well scalable,but apparently there starts to be some issues as well.

    For many,the biggest benefit in those arenas would be getting a dedicated encoding/decoding card like MatroxMAX to speed things up.
    Cheap Quad MP+MAX = Slays Octo MPs.

    So,to the OP,keep the wheels of economy running by updating!
    Or save the money and get yourself hot date.Or three.
  14. surflordca macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2007
    Ontario, Canada

    Or has lots of money :p
  15. TheStrudel macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2008
    Correct me if I'm wrong here, but isn't there a good chance of chipset revision as well? To the effect of replacing the existing chipset which limits SATA throughput to a 660 MB/s total? I realize that it's not a deal-breaker for most people, just saying that there's a chance that more than just the processor will be revised. I'm expecting a port shuffle, at least a small one, as well.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Intel's announced they're to use the same chipsets. Now if there's a silent update, who knows. But they're meant to be drop in replacement on LGA1366 boards with a firmware update (new CPU microcode).
  17. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    I'm in the same boat as OP, I'm a chronic upgrader.. and OP maybe this will help you out.. I run some pretty serious 3D Animation Software, own a design firm doing mostly 2d/web/print graphics, make good use of hyper-layer AE renders and encode video and I'll tell ya what.. as much as I'd love to brag and say I'm maxing out my 09' 2.93 Octo, i'm simply not. I can come close some days, but only when I have multiple multi thread applications open, and even then it's because my ram isn't maxed, not because I'm using up all my CPU power.

    I'd say if you're serious about your work and you can't spend over 15k on a 2010 MP, the money would go WAY further in an 09 octo that's maxed, at a reasonable price decrease.

    ** The only reason I would buy a 2010 MP is if somehow the ability to put extremely high end graphics cards magically became available. Otherwise, I'd rather have a 2012 Model after i've made good use of my 09, which will probably still be worth more than enough to make me happy. :apple:

    Anyone here agree?
  18. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    I agree with you. The only way Apple will convince me in buying a 2010 Mac Pro will be if they offer insane graphics card solutions along with more dedicated power for PCI-E slots like 600W. Also it would be real nice if they would decide to offer GTX 300 series or ATI 5970 as an option. Come on :apple, please surprise us with a bunch of new features.
  19. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    The only way Apple will convince me in buying a 2010 Mac Pro will be if they offer insane graphics card solutions along with programs that could actually utilize the power provided.And adobe as well.

    So,waiting for 2011.

    Or 2012.

    Or 2013.
  20. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    Most 3d software, and After Effects support net/render farms.

    I'm not 100% sure that the clients are always cross platform, but if they are, I'd set-up cheap, integrated graphics based i7 920 based or even Q9550 775 based render slaves.

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