Upgrading consideration for 2009 Mac Pro (future proofing too)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MCHR, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. MCHR macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    I've been lurking for some time, gaining information on the new 2009 Mac Pros. I'm now looking for advice on which machine may best fit my needs, while allowing me to grow into future software apps.

    I'm now doing product design, mostly in the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator), scanning images and editing 2D work. I'm looking to get into 3D software like Rhino or possibly Alias (I hear their 2009 release will be written to run native on a Mac). Of course, this will be used for rotating math models, and rendering stills. I can see possibly running an occasional animation from time to time.

    Keep in mind, I'm not using this machine professionally(yet), so I can deal with less than peak efficiency.

    Up until now, I have been considering the 2008 2.8 octo. I have the feeling that future software will be able to take advantage of the threading architecture of the 2009 MPs, so I am leaning toward those machines. However, I feel that the 2.26 is a lateral step from the 2.8 octos.

    Thoughts? Does the software I'm looking to run warrant a Nehalem machine, or am I money ahead getting a good deal on a 2008 2.8 octo? I may be able to swing the bigger 2.66 if it's an investment for future proofing.

    Keep in mind, I'm running a 2005 2.5 DP PowerMac. The old water cooled baby.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Wow. Seriously, nobody has ANY advice on this? I'm asking to distill some of the talk regarding "single thread" vs. "multi thread" and I need a little help. Please.

    I'd very much appreciate it.
  3. omegasyn macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2007
    New York
    I always said I wanted something "future proof" and end up grabbing a new system every 6-8 months.
  4. Pika macrumors 68000


    Oct 5, 2008
    You should go with the 2.28GHz 8-Cores Nehalem because you can upgrade it up to 32GB of RAM. The 2.66GHz 4-Cores Nehalem one is limited up to 8GB of RAM. So if your looking for a machine that will last longer... go with the low-end 8-Cores and upgrade later in the future.
  5. eeboarder macrumors member


    Jul 29, 2005
    I seem to do that with laptops. There's been a lot of significant changes over the past few years. iMacs could also fit into this category.

    With desktops like a MacPro, it's easy to keep them longer, I think. My buddy has a dual 2.0 G5, and it is still a significantly fast machine. Hopefully, the slide-out tray will lead to possible available CPU/RAM upgrades in the future.
  6. eeboarder macrumors member


    Jul 29, 2005
    I would stick with at least a Nahelam system. I'm not looking to start a fight here. That's just my opinion.

    My reasons:

    1) SATA optical drives
    2) Slide-out tray could possibly lead to easier CPU upgrades
    3) Faster, cheaper RAM
    4) Better graphics out of the box
    5) More RAM/bigger HD out of the box

    If you buy a 2.8, you're buying an older model. This may not be a big deal for anyone, but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to sell your MP, the newer model will have a better resale value.

    It's your money. Both choices are good, but if it was my money, I'd buy and new one.

    ....And I did.

    Most negativity in these forums are from people who've never owned a workstation or they are defending their last generation vigorously. Anyways....Good luck!
  7. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
  8. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Well put, I feel exactly the same way.
  9. nemodomi macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2008
  10. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    Perhaps. However, loosely scrolling down the thread, it seemed to be a recommendation.
  11. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    It seems a recommendation to me as well, considering your original question.

    I'm more curious as to how (and even more curious as to why) eeboarder is putting 9G or RAM into a machine with 8 RAM slots. :confused:
  12. omegasyn macrumors regular

    Feb 16, 2007
    New York
    Stop TALKING

    MCHR +1
    Lucibelle +1
    nemodomi -1000
  13. superpalmtree macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009
    North Dakota
    Hey: I'm glad you finally feel the same way. I tried telling people these same things and got bashed...but seems like I made some good points all along.

    Do you post in every single thread on Mac Rumors? HAHA
  14. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    Pretty much, LOL. I'm just waiting for the Good OLLL benchmarks monday morning before I march down to the Apple Store. (Got my eye on the 2.66GHz model).
  15. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Seriously, eeboarder needs to answer the 9G of RAM question, because my head is starting to hurt.
  16. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    The whole concept of "futureproofing" in technology is wishful thinking. It's not even that good of a wish since it requires outside development to halt for your system to maintain it's relevance over time. Better to wish for a new machine every 2-3 years because that is the only true way to "futureproof."

    Take a look at the '06 Mac Pro. It was an impressive machine when it shipped 2.5 years ago. 2.5 years ago! Today it's power is rather ordinary and even bottlenecked. This time next year it will be regarded as a relic.

    You could spend a lot of money on new procs, upgraded video card, extra RAM. But in reality that would all be money down the gutter. It would be far more beneficial to just sell the old machine, take the proceeds and money that would be spent on serious upgrades and just buy the latest if raw speed and power is what you truly need.

    My advice is always to buy the computer you need for today as tomorrow's s/w requirements for max efficiency will surely be vastly different. Buying more computer than you need now based on presumed future requirements is an investment that will not pay off.
  17. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    +1, Well said.
  18. mrpinkfloyd macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    does anyone if all of the 8-core mac pros use the same logic board? if so, it seems like you could get the dual 2.26Ghz now and down the road you could buy two 2.93Ghz chips when the price difference isn't $2,400. is that possible at all or just wishful thinking?

    my other question is about the storage...it always says "up to 4TB" of storage. is that because Apple only sells 1TB drives for the computer? aren't 1.5TB and 2TB drives becoming available now (or very soon)? is the logic board limited to 4TB of internal storage or could you put four 2TB drives in the computer? :confused:
  19. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    I understand what you mean, though I'm not implying that all technology stops once I take delivery of the new Mac. I understand that I'm an unusual Mac Pro user, doing 2D, 3D etc, so my softwares, workflow and time of ownership are unique. I am still trying to understand "single thread", "multi thread" and what that means to my computer selection, no firm answers yet, BTW.

    Mostly, I just want to make sure that this new 'box will last and be usable fir the next 5 years, as my G5 has been fir these last several years.

  20. Lucibelle macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Well, maybe this will help. When you bought your G5, was it the current, top-of-the-line model, or had new machines been released? If your G5 was the latest technology of the time, I'd go with the Nehalem, 2.66 octo if you can swing it. If you got a deal on the G5 because it was a previous release, then go with the 2008 machine.

    The 2.26 Nehalem will be my third Mac since 1996. I can't afford to constantly buy a new machine, even if I always bought the previous model. I choose the 2009 for the very reason of wanting it to last for as long as possible. When it comes to longevity, newer technology just makes sense to me, especially when the 2008s are over a year old. If we were talking about 6-8 months between releases, then the 2008 would make more sense to me. (just my opinion) I agree with you. I do believe that future software will be able to take better advantage of the Nehalem processors.

    Just look back at why you bought your G5 when you did, and how well it has served you. I'm betting that will make the decision easier. :)
  21. joubex macrumors member


    Feb 20, 2008
    Montreal/ Canada
    quad vs Octo

    I wonder why everybody look for the Nehalem Octo 2.26, never considering the quad 2.93, cheaper and probably better in real life.
    Only because of ram limitations ?

    PS: I am looking for changing my old PowerMac G5 2X2 Ghz
  22. MCHR thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2009
    That is a big one for me.

    I'm a rather unusual user, since my "needs" range from Photoshop use, Painter, Rhino (3D), Alias, Illustrator to the occasional animation as these programs become integrated into a final presentation.

    So, future expandability and the ability to use the MP as a "can opener" for anything that comes my way is vital.

    It seems that there has been more confusion about these 2009 MPs that quantifiable, relevant information with the exception of digilloyd's recent benchmarks. However, that's only 1/5 of my workflow, so I am (as yet) unable to determine just how big to go (finances allowing).

    Add to that fact I usually keep my MP for five years, it's an unusual question in choosing a real-world successor to my G5 2.5 dual.
  23. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    That is a very real limitation. I know that I need more than 8GB of memory to do what I want to do with the machine. I need that more than I need a faster CPU clock. Even if it turns out the 4 core machine supports 4GB memory modules, their cost pushes the overall cost of the 4 core well above that of the 8 core machine.
  24. toming macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2009
    i guess most people that are buying a mp09, me included, consider this as a long term investment (talkin about 4-5 years).
    And as we all know, over the coming years we wont see dramatic increases of cpu speeds but rather increases op cores, which will force software developers more and more to make use of the multithreading technology. (hopefully :p)

    this is why i opted for an octad, and not for a quad.

Share This Page