Standard Mac Pro quad core with 8800GT or custom octo with HD 2600 XT?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by docprego, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. docprego macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    #1
    With my education discount two configurations fit into my budget:

    Configuration 1 (the standard configuration)

    $2599

    Specifications

    * Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
    * 2GB (2 x 1GB)
    * 320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    * ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
    * One 16x SuperDrive
    * Apple Mighty Mouse
    * Apple Keyboard (English) + Mac OS X

    Configuration 2 (the custom configuration)

    $2514

    Specifications

    * One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (quad-core)
    * 2GB (2 x 1GB)
    * 320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    * NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (Two dual-link DVI)
    * Two 16x SuperDrives
    * AirPort Extreme card (Wi-Fi)
    * Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    * Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) + Mac OS X

    If I really am honest with myself I NEVER play games. Even so I find myself drawn to the faster graphics card. I really like all the extra components that the custom configuration gives me, but it is at the expense of one of the quad core chips.

    Which way would you go?
     
  2. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #2
    I'd go with the 8 core. It's easier to add the other things later. For example, upgrading the video card and adding another superdrive. However, you probably want to get the airport card too if you go the 8 core route.
     
  3. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    Sep 15, 2006
    Location:
    New York City, NY
    #3
    If you never play games, get the 8 core machine.
     
  4. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Location:
    Russia
    #4
    What will you be using it for?
     
  5. fpar macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #5
    I would get the 8 core to future proof the machine, then upgrade to the 8800 when you can afford it. This way you cold sell the old graphics card on ebay or something and get a bit of your cash back. the 2600xt isn't that bad, it should be able to cover most peoples needs and you may find you don't need to upgrade it. But either way you are going to have a great machine.
     
  6. adjuster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #6
    Check out the test results at Barefeats. The standard card is faster than the 8800GT for standard work. The 8800GT is better for games. I got the quad with the standard card and spent the money I saved on upgrading the ram to 8GB.
     
  7. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    #7
    Ok so I can I add a Superdrive or equivalent later, where would I get that? Is it a standard DVD-RW drive behind that aluminum drive bay? Also what about adding Airport Extreme?

    If I go octo I will just walk into my local Apple store and buy it but it will lack Airport Extreme and I need wireless N in my situation from the first minute.

    Thanks I had a feeling that would be the case. Rarely I download a demo to see what my machine is capable of and then realize I couldn't care to play it for more than 5 minutes, there is no way I would actually buy a game.

    Standard home uses; e-mail, web, photo editing, DVD conversion for my iPod Touch, word processing, etc... The Mac Pro is probably overkill for all this but I want the best.

    How bad is not that bad? Is this the same card that comes in the aluminum iMacs? I had a 24" and thought the graphics power was just fine. Edit: I just looked and apparently the HD 2600 XT is a much better card than what came in the iMac which was a HD 2600 Pro. From what I can gather in 5 minutes the HD 2600 Pro is an underclocked HD 2600 XT? Am I correct? If so that would make the standard Mac Pro card more than capable of fulfilling my needs.

    WOW. I am going to go read it now. This definitely seals the deal for me. Now a new dilemma presents. Since the 8800GT is out of the picture should I just opt for the standard configuration or my custom configuration minus the 8800GT?

    This is how it would look:

    $2334

    Specifications

    One 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (quad-core)
    2GB (2 x 1GB)
    320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    AirPort Extreme card (Wi-Fi)
    Apple wireless Mighty Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) + Mac OS X

    So basically for $265 less than the standard octo machine I am gaining an extra Superdrive, Airport Extreme, and wireless keyboard and mouse. Looking it over none of that seems important enough to give up the second quad core chip.

    Thanks!
     
  8. adjuster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #8
    Another thought. Based on other threads, I replaced the standard 320GB Hard drive with two much faster Samsung 750 GB drives. The Samsung drives cost $130 each from Newegg. One is for my boot/storage, the other for Time Machine. Got two 2 ram from OWC for total of 6BG.

    You might consider getting an external DVD drive if you want to record on the newer Sony higher density DVD's.
     
  9. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    #9
    Thanks for the info. BTW what is your username referring to?
     
  10. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    #10
    For your uses I say you won't notice a difference between the quad and the octo. Save some cash and put it towards maybe a 30" display or a nice holiday. :)
     
  11. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #11
    Mac mini is the right machine for you (if you have/or want an external screen), otherwise - iMac.

    lol I can't actually believe you are looking at Mac Pro, save 8 core Mac Pro for that uses!!! O_O

    But you want Mac Pro, then go ahead... they look awesome ;)
     
  12. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816

    MIDI_EVIL

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    For your uses the 8 Core is absolute overkill.

    Go quad, keep the standard card as once again, you don't need the 8800 GT.

    I'd bump the RAM to 4GB so you have roughly a GB of memory per core.


    It is your money after all, but I can't fathom why anyone would be considering the 8 Core with the usage you describe.

    I'm a videographer/video artist, film photographer working with huge files and a sound designer, who doesn't even need the 8 Core.
     
  13. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

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    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #13
    I would go with the 24" 2.8GHz iMac, if I were you. You will save money and still have a great machine.

    Also keep in mind that with the Apple wireless keyboard, you don't get a number pad, which was a definite turn-off for me.
     
  14. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    Go 8 core now. Better ROI. You can add the other stuff later. Now you know what to ask for come you Birthday and Christmas.
     
  15. matt321 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #15
    Definitely go for the 8 core! If you find that you aren't using them to their full potential, start Folding! Plus you will get more for it if you ever go to sell it.

    Not to mention, you can get a PC 8800gt for under $200 and flash it.
     
  16. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 11, 2007
  17. Roy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    #17
    But he can get an 8800 from Apple already installed, ready to go, for $180 on the education discount.

    Folding. Nice to be benevolent, but he's trying to save money, not join the Bill Gates Foundation.
     
  18. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #18
    True, but if you bought a seperate 8800, then you could have multiple video cards. This would be beneficial for two or more monitors.
     
  19. chaosbunny macrumors 68000

    chaosbunny

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    #19
    "Standard home uses; e-mail, web, photo editing, DVD conversion for my iPod Touch, word processing, etc..."

    Yeah, sure he'll need 2 8800s, better get the 3,2 ghz octo too AND 3 30" Monitors of course! I bet anything below 8x3 ghz really struggles if you have word and itunes opened at the same time! Not to mention how much it must suck to use handbrake on only 1 monitor if you can't see your full iphoto library at the same time! Or even better get 3 8800s, and put one in the iPod Touch to have some serious psp killer!
    :)
     
  20. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

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    Oct 31, 2006
    #20
    I was referring to the standard ATI card plus the 8800
     
  21. lfielder06 Guest

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    #21
    If I were you I would go with the 24" iMac. They are great machines. I put 4gb of ram in mine from newegg for under $100. I work with HD video editing and I love my machine. For your uses even the 24" iMac is overkill tbh. If you are going with the mac pro, go with the 8 core because you can always upgrade the graphics if needed later.
     
  22. adjuster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #22
    Adjuster refers to Public Insurance Adjuster

    You asked what "adjuster" refers to. I represent insureds who have property damage insurance claims. Have PC's in the office, but Mac's at home.
     
  23. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #23
    How long do you want to own this machine for. If its only for 3 years, get the single quad. But if you want it for 4 or 5 or more years, get the octo. The only thing you can't upgrade is the processor, so spend your money on that now. You can always add drives, cards, and ram, when your budget allows.

    Question. Why do you need 2 superdrives? I would think one is fine. Then you have room for a Blu-Ray drive down the road.

    Its your money though...................
     
  24. docprego thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Henderson, NV
    #24
    I had a 24" iMac, glorious machine but I never got used to the glossy screen so iMacs are out.

    Thanks, the reason I ask is that I am a chiropractor who is also an "adjuster"-just not the same kind. :)

    I am the type to upgrade as soon as something better comes along. This is a double edge sword. Some might say the machine is so powerful why bother? I figure the resale is so great, why not bother?

    The dual Superdrives just seemed like a nice convenience. I would be able to burn 2 discs at a time or read one while burning another or read 2 simultaneously. Am I thinking correctly?
     
  25. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

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    #25

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