SP or DP Mac Pro for music

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mierk, May 23, 2011.

  1. Mierk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #1
    I have searched the forum and have not found advice specific to my question. I am a composer currently running Digital Performer 7.2 on my 2.53 MPB 4GB ram. I just got paid for a gig and am ready for the MP that I have been drooling over. I run many sample libraries currently from external drives. Very slow and tedious as you can imagine. Here's my question.

    Refurb 3.33 6 core OR new 2.4 8 core? (currently $350 difference)

    My understanding is that processor power is not nearly as critical in this type of work as video. RAM is important though also the ability to stream data from hard drives (SSD good option). I know about RAM limitations on SP. I would probably start out with 16GB (from owc of course).

    Thoughts?
     
  2. philipma1957, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #2
    My thoughts are how big are your files. seems to me that a quad 2.8 at a discount with 32gb ram can be had for under 3k. lots of upgrades are available.
     
  3. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #3
    With Logic I'd go 3.33 6-core. Mainly because of my sloppy channel strip management. The MHz help because you can overload core audio if you don't balance plug-ins with slower core speeds. With DP it may be different. I don't use DP. The 6-core beats the 2.4 8-core in everything except RAM capacity. Sometimes by a lot and sometime by very little. Theoretical power goes to the 3.33 6-core as well.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    An SP model will suit your needs, and if at all possible, the Hex for the faster clock speed (vs. an SP Quad).

    The reasoning is, even if you don't have enough applications open to keep all the cores occupied, the faster clock speed will get single threaded or limited multi-threaded applications done faster (so long as there's not an I/O bottleneck).
     
  5. SatyMahajan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    #5
    http://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/371545-logic-pro-multicore-benchmarktest.html
     
  6. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #6
  7. Mierk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #7
    Thank you all for the input. Anything else done on the system will not be nearly as intensive as the audio work. Some light graphic/web design and the occasional small final cut project.
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    The extra MHz will help the most with FCP and Adobe apps. Adobe is terrible with multicore use. The 8-core will be quite a bit slower for you in Adobe unless you need more than 32GB of memory for your projects. Totally worth the 350.00 extra IMO. If you were going to use the 2.4GHz for a dedicated Logic only machine I'd suggest that but the sheer volume of non multithreaded apps that I touch on a daily basis (ie. iTunes conversion, MS Office, Adobe) benefit the most from high clock speeds.
    This may help:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-CoresExplained.html
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Larger RDIMM's are available now (OWC has a 48GB kit for the SP MP), and there's actually 32GB sticks as well (Samsung). So the limit is now higher, reducing the need for a DP system based on memory expansion only (4 or 6 cores are enough, but the software is RAM hungry).
     
  10. goMac macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    #10
    To counter this, audio apps love more cores.
     
  11. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #11
    Yes. But the 2.4 still is underwhelming and has less power (mathematically) than the 6 core.
    Like 2-5 more tracks on that benchmark. Were talking only 2-5% AND it will excel in all else.
     
  12. fabriciom macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Madrid, España
    #12
    Get the dual CPU. That way you can upgrade in the future to 2 3,33 CPUs. No matter what people say about audio you can never have enough CPU power. It might be an "overkill" now. But hey would you rather have a computer that is useful for 3-4 years or one that is "good" now?
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Buying more machine than is currently needed tends not to work out very well for the user though financially speaking (not be able to utilize the hardware to it's fullest potential), as the software development doesn't move as fast as hardware does.

    So this approach needs to be taken very cautiously IMO (i.e. research the specific software used for future features and a timeline if it's even available).
     

Share This Page