time to upgrade my macpro? advice please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sejanus, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. sejanus macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005
    hey guys

    I have one of the original macpro's. It has the dual dual core 2.66ghz xeon 5150's. It has a 1900XT video card, and 16gb ram from transintl.

    I am a photographer and my new cameras have seriously big files (cameras are 21 megapixel). I use aperture and would like a bit more speed but I am wondering specifically for aperture/photoshop if a new 8 core macpro with the nvidia 8800 video card and 16gb ram as well would be just a little bit faster in real life use, or if it would be a lot faster?

    Basically before I splurge I'm hoping theres someone reading this that has done it, and can tell me if the speed bump is worth the cash outlay, or if it wasn't that big an increase and I should wait for the next macpro refresh.

    cheers & thanks for any advice
  2. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA

    You have absolutely no reason to spend the several thousand dollars for what amounts to a minor upgrade. At the most you'll gain a couple of seonds here and there, significant from the CPU's perspective, but a negligible amount in human-perceptible time. Most people that do upgrade do so on someone else's dime or do it just for bragging rights.

    Besides, the new Mac Pro's 8800 while great for gaming is thoroughly trounced by the X1900 in Pro-Apps, like Aperture.

    Unless thousands of dollars is pocket change to you, I'd wait for Nehalem, at the earliest, to upgrade.
  3. macdot macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2005
    I'm pretty sure your set up is fast enough and as said before, won't get that much speedier with the bumps.
  4. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    If you can wait for Nehalem (hopefully early next year), you should. It'll be a much bigger jump and well worth the wait. That said, check the aperture benchmarks and benchmarks for your other software and see if the difference is worth the cost of upgrading now.

    It won't cost thousands of dollars, assuming you can still sell your old one for 1700 or so.
  5. sejanus thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005
  6. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I have the identical Mac Pro and the Canon 1Ds Mark III that you speak of - and I use Aperture. No need to upgrade, friend! The difference will be absolutely negligible.

    If you are itching for a slight speed bump, buy the 8800 upgrade for the original Mac Pro. It should be a bit faster than the X1900 and won't break the bank.
  7. tuxtpenguin macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
    I don't think you'll see that much of a speed increase as others have said.
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    wait for the nehalem mac pros which you will see a huge speed upgrade from the first gen.
  9. uMac macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2007
    If he has a 21megapixel camera, yeah a couple of thousands is pocket change.:D
  10. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    Considering the size of the files that you are working with and I assume large numbers of them you may benefit from a RAID 0 or 0+1 array. They are not terribly expensive and can significantly decrease the time it takes to load, save and copy large files.

    Their are many different RAID arrays you can set up but the Mac Pro will only handle RAID 0,1 and 0+1 without adding a RAID controller. RAID 0 requires two hard drives and 0+1 would require four.

    For a bit more you could do an external RAID 5 array allowing for multiple hard drives giving both increasing your read/write rates and providing data protection.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I know I saw a hit when I went to my 1dMIII RAW files, and you must be shooting 1dS, so I feel the pain.

    You won't at all be impressed with a new machine for routine PS/Aperture work - take a zip drive with some files into a local apple store if you want to try.

    I updgrade from the x1900 to the 8800 and it's not any faster that's noticeable, but I'm not shooting the file sizes you are.

    You would see speed up with PS with faster cores, but not enough IMO to justify the money at this point unless you're production is being limited and financially it will pay for itself.

    It looks like ATI maybe coming out with an upgrade card soon - personally I would wait until barefeats does some pro-app testing of this card. If it's a step up from the x1900 then that's probably a very good upgrade for the money and I'll probably dump my 8800 and go back to ATI myself.

    Another relatively cheap upgrade as another poster mentioned would be making sure you have fast hard drives - the 750 and 1TB drives with higher platter densities will definitely be faster and could be carried over with you to a new machine.
  12. sejanus thread starter macrumors regular

    May 3, 2005
    thanks for the info guys

    heh, well I can afford it but it's not pocket change. I'd prefer to put that money towards advertising or more glass or similar.

    I'm actually looking at the moment into buying a Raid card for the mac, and making a raid5 array for the aperture library. This is more with redundancy in mind than speed. The box currently has 4 x 1tb drives and I'm using Raid1 at the moment for the aperture library. And yes it is backed up externally :)

    cool, I'll keep my eye out. I'm not unhappy with the 1900XT, though I think a faster card would help given how aperture offloads a lot of it's work to the gpu supposedly.


  13. Bubba Satori Suspended

    Bubba Satori

    Feb 15, 2008
    We have a winnah. You should see a 50-70% increase over your current rig if you wait six months for the Nehalem machine. Go for 32GB and a couple of raid 0 15Krpm hard drives, imo. Good luck.
  14. Help! macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2006
    Actually the 8800 has been shown to be slower than the x1900, with the current drivers at least, when used in apple's pro apps.
  15. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Agreed. The 8800 is for gaming... but the X1900 is optimized for Apple pro applications.

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