Too good of a price to pass on? 2.8/2.4 MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rmitchell248, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    Hey guys, I am currently using a MBP 2.8 core 2 duo for all my CS5 and Lightroom 3 work. Now that is my daily work and it is the heaviest work that I do or could ever see myself doing.

    I can get the Mac Pro 8 core 2.4 shipped to my door for $2969
    or I can get the 2.8 Quad for $2159 shipped.

    but if I want to go to the 6 core 3.33 or the 4 core 3.2 I must pay apples prices less either the Government employee or Student discounts. So nearly 12-1400 more.

    What I would like a few opinions on is that I am upgrading from the 2.8 core 2 in the 17"MBP from 2009/2010 will I see a great improvement going to the 2.8 quad or the 2.4 8core? If money was no object think that I would like the 3.33 6 core but for quite a bit less will I really see a difference running my photo editing software, from reading around it seems as if CS5 does not utilize all the cores anyhow? Id like to be set for about 4 years with whatever I get.

    Also what ever I get I will be putting 8-12gb ram in along with 4 tb HD aftermarket

    Thanks guys!!

  2. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I can say the jump from;

    a 2.66 ghz C2D mac mini to a 2.8ghz quad pro is huge.

    I can also say the jump from ;

    a 3.06 ghz C2D iMac to a 2.8ghz quad pro is very big.

    I can't give any other comparisons these I what I own.
  3. Xian Zhu Xuande macrumors 6502a

    Xian Zhu Xuande

    Jul 30, 2008
    The Mac Pros are far more powerful than any of the MacBook Pros when it comes to chewing through meaty tasks. I'm not sure you're going to get very large gains in a typical Lightroom workflow, but when handling complicated tasks in Photoshop (say, a fair-sized content-aware fill, or building a panorama) the speed difference is very impressive. Also, in general terms, everything is faster, which saves time (money?) in the long run.
  4. rmitchell248 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    Thanks guys, I really just dont want to get the 2.8 and feel that I have shorted myself in the long run if you know what I mean. I look at the results posted on here and wonder if I will be disappointed in it. I see that on Geekbench or what ever it is they show slightly better performance out of the i7 imac??

    Its funny because I know my tasks are not that heavy. I think my biggest improvement will be the upgradable hard drives.
  5. Stephen23 macrumors member


    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Whichever way you go, it's going to feel like a huge leap in performance. In comparison to jumping from the laptop to the Pro, anything else you're talking about is going to be pretty minimal. That said, if you want a comparison of generic performance of those two machines, barefeats has one here:

    One thing to keep in mind is that Photoshop and Lightroom are not especially good at utilizing multiple cores. On the other hand, the eight core has twice as many slots for memory and when you go to sell it a few years down the road, the eight core machine might be a bit more valuable.

    If it were me, I'd probably go for the cheaper machine, and spend that extra money on putting at least 12GB (the jump from 8GB to 12GB seems to be the sweet spot), and maybe even 24GB of RAM in there. I'd also consider getting one or two OWC SSDs to use a scratch drive. Those two things are going to more than make up for any difference in the speed of the two machines.
  6. NoManIsland macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2010
    I have to agree strongly with Stephen23: Photoshop and Lightroom will benefit far more by added RAM and an SSD scratch disk then they will by extra cores. In fact, the faster clock speed of the quad will likely do more for those two programs than the extra cores will. My recommendation would be to purchase the quad - you can always drop in a hex core processor later down the line if your software is rewritten to take better advantage of multiple cores. To my mind, the only advantages to the octocore in this instance is resale value and the ability to run 64GB of RAM - but you have to ask yourself whether you are realistically going to need more than 32GB.
  7. cjoy macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2008
    had to deal with the same question a few days back

    Since I also spend most time in apps that are not yet optimized for core mayhem, I settled on the Quad 2.8Ghz (still waiting for delivery)

    I'll fit the machine with 3x 4GB RAM.
    12GB seem fine for now - should I run out of mem, 16 probably wouldn't cut it either... as the 8GB modules are still aweful expensive, I'll wait for prices to drop before I consider a bump to 24GB to be a worthwhile investment.

    The OS and applications will reside on an OWC Mercury Extreme SSD (120GB). Data and internal backup drives will be 2TB WD Green Power, no RAID. The stock 1TB will serve as a scratch disk (although I might replace this with a smaller SSD at some stage or bump up the RAM and use a RAMdisk).

    ... guess the system will easily outperform my 2008 C2D Macbook Pro on all levels except power consumption: less noise, multiple displays, more storage, and of course plenty speed.
  8. rmitchell248 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    Okay then it looks as if I will do the 2.8 then throw 16gb ram at it and then install some HDs.

    Thanks for the input.

    One more question what benefit would I see running two video cards vs just one if I am going to run 2 27" displays?
  9. cjoy macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2008

    none - unless you plan to connect more than 3 displays
  10. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I just put 16 GB RAM in my MacPro and it is plentiful enough, you'll be stunned ! I stepped up from a 17" MBP 2.33 GHz Core2Duo... I still grin everytime I launch Aperture ^^

    When and if the 8 GB modules become more affordable it will be possible to double that again.
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    The 3.2 quad would be a nice setup for those tasks too.
  12. rmitchell248 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2010
    Liebsthal, Germany
    thanks for all the input guys. Seeing how these programs like processor speed, I am just going to go with the 3.33 6 core 16gb ram and 7TB worth of HD space. I think it will be better for me in the long term and it will be nice for when PS operates on more cores. I will order from BH photo tomorrow along with the HDs and the RAM from OWC.

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