Single or Dual CPU?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by krilled, Dec 25, 2004.

  1. krilled macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2004
    I'm about ready to upgrade to a G5 tower, but I'm having some trouble deciding on which one I should go with. I have TiBook right now, and am finding it a little sluggish when it comes to audio editing. I'm a protools and soon-to-be logic user, and am considering either the single 1.8ghz G5, or the Dual CPU. I don't do anything insane in terms of audio stuff, 7 or 8 tracks at most, but what worries me about the single CPU model is that the frontside bus is so much slower than the dual. Will this be a significant decrease in performance? Now that I think about it. will protools/etc even make use of the processing power of two cpu's?

    Basically I can get the single with lots of ram/better graphics, or the dual with less ram and a few less bells and whistles. Any recommendations based on my situation would be greatly appreciated.
  2. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816


    May 3, 2004
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    Post us your two options.


    Dual 1.8
    1 Gig RAM
    9600 XT


    Single 1.8
    2 Gig RAM

    In that case I would go with the dual because the RAM and Vid Card are much more upgradeable then the processor.
  3. krilled thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2004
    Actually, I suppose its more of an issue of price than anything. On the single, I would get 1 gig of ram instead of 512mb for the dual, but besides that, I don't think I could splurge either way on the beefier graphics card (I'd get the ATI 128mb no matter which system I chose, the next level up is +$350)

    Basically, the difference is around $350-$400 for the extra processor no matter how I configure the system. I don't want to exceed $1850. I'm elligable for the student discount, so the single starts priced at $1350 where the dual is $1800.

    I'm just wondering if I will even use the dual processors and faster bus for what I primarily use my system for, which is protools and other audio editing programs. This is a pretty big purchase for me, so I'm just wondering if the $400 difference will actually yield a big enough performance boost to justify spending extra.

    My apologies for not being more clear in my original post.
  4. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Any application that takes advantage of SMP will likely see a doubling of performance for key number crunching routines and could easiliy be twice as fast as the SP machine.

    However, since you are thinking of using more memory in the SP vs. the DP -- it's likely they could possibly be about equal in performance at the SP 1GB vs. DP 512MB level.

    But when you add another 1GB to the DP machine, you'll be able to tap into the extra speed (by dumping the speed sapping virtual memory's swapping of pages) -- many of the early benchmarks showed the DPs were sluggish until people boned up on memory.

    So yes, down the road the DP could very well yield a big enough performance boost to make the extra $400 worthwhile in applications that take advantage of SMP -- but even Tiger will have quite a few major SMP improvements itself.
  5. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....I would be inclined to get the dual, and save my pennies and buy more ram as soon as possible afterwards...oh yeah!
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Even if an application isn't MP aware, the OS will distribute the load onto separate processors: example: iTunes runs on one processor and OS X on the other.

    And you can always up you RAM... not so with your processor.
  7. combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    Go for Dual

    Go for the Dual, OS X manages Mulitples processors a l o t better than classic ever could and therefore makes it easier for devs to make software to take advantage of it.

    Consider gaming, now the initail retail release of say, Doom 3, may well only "support" a single CPU but OS X reroutes other work going on to the 2nd CPU.

    Now the inevitable patch, say Doom 3.1 might very well have multiple CPU support - its a lower priority and they got it done afterwards.

    Another bonus is that the amount of Dual Powermac G5's are outweighing the Single Powermac G5's - therefore creating the userbase which is willing to shell out more £££/$$$ (and if i could remember where Windows puts the Euro key on old keyboards i'd shove in those as well!!) for such software.

    The future is bright my friend.
  8. Zeke macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2002
    Greenville, SC
    Get student developer connection and use the discount to buy a dual 1.8. Buy a gig upgrade on ebay for $150 so you'll end up with 1.25GB (don't pay Apple for RAM). Scrap the superdrive (if you need it buy a DVR-108 sometime in the future for less). This will come to 1949 - 20% markdown + tax +$150 (RAM) +$99ADC membership= 1936. Great computer for not much more than you hoped to spend.

  9. MagnumSSS macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2004

    I too am looking to be a future Logic user. You should get the dual processor G5 b/c Logic was designed to take full advantage of the dual processor G5!! Really! If you read up on it, you'll see that...........hopefully that should make your decision easier.

    I too am in the market for a Mac for audio recording, but I need a laptop. I'm looking at a Powerbook G4 of sorts, but would like to hook up dual processor G5 desktop in the future.


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