Time for an upgrade, need advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by metalaxe, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. metalaxe macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2008
    Hi everyone. Thanks in advance for the help.

    I am finally ready to upgrade to a Mac Pro from my G5 dual 2.0 ( I know, 4 years old). I am a photographer and do heavy Photoshop work. Basically Bridge and Photoshop are open all the time using RAW images. I know I need to add a hefty portion of RAM for this to the machines and faster hard drives will help, too.

    On to the advice; I was thinking of the refurb in the mac store with these specs:

    Refurb model:

    Refurbished Mac Pro 8-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (2 x 1GB) of 800MHz DDR2 ECC fully buffered DIMM
    500GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    Two 16x SuperDrives (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (two dual-link DVI ports)

    versus the 2009 model Mac Pro:

    Two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processors
    6GB (six 1GB) memory
    640GB hard drive1
    18x double-layer SuperDrive
    NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB

    Go ahead an "school " me on which would be better for me. I think the refurb might be better. Thanks again and I can give any more details if needed.:)
  2. Abidubi macrumors 6502

    Feb 13, 2009
    The refurb would be better if you add lots of RAM and fast HDs.

    For photoshop the quad processor model would benefit you a lot more than the slower 8 core. The only down side is your are limited to 4 slots. So $$$ wise you are limited to 8GB for the time being unless you have really deep pockets.

    Look at this chart. For photoshop the single core bar is what matters to you. If you are comfortable swapping CPUs, you can get a quad 3.33 for almost the same price as the 8 core 2.26. You get way way faster single core performance, and practically identical multi cpu performance.

  3. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    I agree with Abidubi, you are spending high on cores where it isn't going to benefit your app so much.

    The 2008 is your better choice with the highest clock freq you can get.

    Think about huge RAM like 12 or 16 GB. And go for blindingly fast SSD system and apps drives for the stuff you are just juggling around.

    80-160 GB SSD will blow you into orbit from the G5, particularly if you software RAID0 2 x 80 GB.

    Use those huge 2 TB disks for storage and backup.

    Of course eight cores are nice and future proof but not if you cripple your RAM, I/O speed storage and backup capacity.

    Ideally I would take the 8 core 3,2 GHz with 12 GB of RAM, 2 x 80 GB Intel Gen2 SSDs and three 2 TB WD Grenn HDDs. Two of those would be initial mass data storage, one would be backup.

    That fills all of your five SATA drives including one of the ODD ports. If you go for the 2008 MP you can even use both ODD SATA and go for 4 TB storage and 4 TB backup. :D
  4. JarredWagner macrumors member


    Jul 29, 2009
    I agree.

    I have a 2008 octo @ 2.8. With 10gb ram, a dedicated scratch/cache drive and dedicated photo drive it blows through 5D2 raws about as fast I can work. I'm not using fancy drives either, just WD Caviar Blacks.

    Actual conversion (ie raw to jpeg or raw open to tiff) can be a touch slower than I would like, but that, honestly, is just being picky.

    As far as sorting, culling, opening to ACR and editing - including heavy adjustment brushing - it's perfect, couldn't be happier!

    It should be noted that I shoot weddings and typically work with 2-3k files per shoot, ~50+gb usually. There are no hiccups or slowdowns while moving through the files in Bridge. I can batch to jpg from ACR while doing heavy editing in Ps, ie liquify, Portraiture, etc, with no problems whatsoever.

    It's a dream machine, seriously!

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