Upgrading from a 2.6 dual core x2

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by goin3d, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. goin3d macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #1
    I'm currently using a late 2006 2.6 dual core x2 Mac pro w/ 8800gt and 4gigs. My main machine usage comes from Aperture/Photoshop/iphoto/Final Cut and yes....World of Warcraft :) More times that not i'm working in a 3 monitor environment with PLEX, Warcraft, and one of the photo/video apps each running on it's own monitor. I've followed as many of the posts concerning the 2009 single chip vs. dual chip threads across the various sites as possible, but it all seemed to boil down to the following upgrade choices given my budget:

    1. 2009 2.93 quad core w/ 4870 for ~3200 (i'll up the memory to 8gig at a later date from macmall)

    2. 2009 2.26 octo core w/4870 for ~3499

    Unfortunately this year both models have some sort of "deficiency" IE the quad core is limited in terms of total RAM and future upgradability...the entry level octo core is limited in terms of it's single thread processing speed and it's comparable performance (thus far) to the 2008 octo vs price. For the apps that i use most, i don't think any of them are limited to just single threads....but i am not sure if i'm at the point where having 16 virtual cores at a lower clock speed would be all that beneficial to me versus 8 virtual cores at a higher clock. Now, i'm expecting either choice to provide a good performance increase than what I have today....but the way these 2 models now stack up has really made me think about ditching the whole upgrade idea :mad:

    Any words of wisdom out there?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2008
    #2
    Go for a 2008 Octo-core 2.8GHz refurb. Add a 4870 and tons of ram.:D
     
  3. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    #3
    ^^^
    This

    However, if you are definitely going with one of the new ones, get the octo.
     
  4. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2008
    #4
    Exactly. Last thing you want to do is get stuck with a limit of 8GB of RAM. It may not seem bad now, but in a few years, you will really feel the RAM bottleneck. And that feeling is not very good.
     
  5. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #5
    for $500 you could double your RAM and buy two quad core CPUs on ebay. That's a big upgrade. Not a lot of money.
     
  6. goin3d thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #6
    Hey Bozz...do you mean for my current box?
     
  7. Salavat23 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 7, 2008
    #7
    Why would he bring up an upgrade, and call it a cheaper alternative if it involved buying another box and upgrading that one?
     
  8. goin3d thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #8
    Was that necessary?

    Bozz's idea does provide cheap access to 4 more cores (But wouldn't this come at the expense of being able to use the 4870 and HT?)
     
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    Yes. I have the same 2.66 GHz 4 core machine you've got. I considered my options for upgrading and decided that the most attractive option for me was replacing my 2 dual core processors with 2 quad cores. It is a huge upgrade. only cost me a little over $300, and about an hour and a half. Plus, it was fun.:D
     
  10. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #10
  11. goin3d thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #11
  12. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #12
    I bought mine used on ebay for $155 each. They were used engineering sample 2.66 GHz models. I've mentioned before that people may have reservations about buying used, and so did I. But most sellers offer a 30 day warranty by refund or exchange, as most sellers put up their auctions in batches rather than single units. And these are server processors, built like a tank (or a brick sh*t house, as my mom says). And how many people do you know who've had a processor die? I mean, for all the computer hardware problems people experience, I don't think I've ever personally known someone whose processor died.
     

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