Which MAC Pro is better?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xdread, May 23, 2012.

  1. xdread macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    I am going to be editing HD & SD video on FCP and don't know which is the better deal. They both seem pretty close would like an expert opinion.

    1) One 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Nehalem” (4 cores)
    •4GB RAM
    •640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    •NVIDIA Geforce GT 120 512 MB (Duallink DVI + Mini display)
    •One 18x SuperDrive - $1399

    2)•Two 3.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Harpertown” (8 cores)
    •6GB RAM
    •500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
    •ATI Radeon 5770 1GB VRAM (HD Duallink DVI + 2x Mini Display Port)
    •One 16x SuperDrive - $1699

    I guess my question is can #1 do the same job as #2 because of the HT & Turbo?

    Thank you for any info.
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    2008 Harpertown is faster, value is up to you. Real cores all at 3.2GHz. 2.66GHz only hits 2.93GHz on single threads, lower on multi and hyper threading is not as great as having real cores. PLUS the 5770 is 500% better than a GT120. GT120 should be used to boot faster cards only:)
  3. zerb macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2012
    You will like your editing experience much more with a 5770, especially in fcpx.
  4. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    In terms of 'future proofing' your system, you may want to consider this:

    the Mac Pro 3,1 (3.2GHz 8 core) uses DDR2 RAM which is expensive and there are no upgrades possible for CPU's for this system

    the mac pro 4,1 (2.66 quad core) used cheaper DDR3 memory and has possible CPU upgrades available to it.
  5. lixuelai, May 24, 2012
    Last edited: May 24, 2012

    lixuelai macrumors 6502a

    Oct 29, 2008
    Probably the newer one. In terms of performance the 2nd option is better upon purchase. However if you are to upgrade the 1st it will be very close. You can put in a 6x i7 if you don't need ECC. RAM will be cheaper. Likely to be supported longer.

    p.s. TBH you should consider an iMac as well, more bang for the buck at that performance level.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I don't mean this to be rude in any way shape or form, its only meant to be informative.

    MAC and Mac are not the same thing.

    MAC = Media Access Control (You usually see this with regards to networking, such as a MAC address).

    Mac = Apple computer line.

    Again, I only mean to be informative :eek:
  7. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    I think in the context of the forum, everyone knows we are talking about Apple computers.
  8. Amethyst macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    As owner of both model.

    I recommend 4,1 and it all about the upgradable ability of 4,1.


    If you want to push these machine to 16GB of Ram.
    (Reasonable for today pro apps)
    you must paid around $500 for 3,1.
    but $100 for 4,1


    If you go 3,1 you have another one cpu to upgrade.

    Xeon X5492 Quad 3.4 GHz That cost you at least $2000.

    But, If you go to 4,1 there are bunch of CPU you can choose!!!

    maximum is $1000 w3690 hex 3.47 GHz.
  9. iAmRod macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2006

    I, being one of "those guys" who is a stickler for details as well, applaud your attempt to educate the public!!
  10. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    In terms of "out-of-box" performance, the Harpertown (2008) machine you listed is superior. It has more raw crunching power and a better GPU installed.

    But as mentioned before, the Nehalem (2009) machine has more potential:

    1. Cheaper RAM - 1/3 the price, actually.

    2. CPU upgrade options. You can easily install a W3680 hex-core with a 5,1 firmware flash and that will outperform any 8-core Harpertown Mac at virtually everything.
  11. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    2-3 x as much RAM and/or 2-3 x faster SSD additions would be factors with much more impact. The Quad primarily operating out of RAM has a edge over 8 cores that is primarily operating off a single HDD.

    Similarly, with the price gap on RAM upgrades could replace (or augment) the video card to bring them into parity. With FCPX, that would also help level the playing field between the two.

    If using the older FCP with the 32-bit (4GB) constraints then large RAM upgrades may not matter as much. If the primary purpose is to run 2008 era software in a static bubble for the next 3-4 years then the 2008 model may be a better fit.
  12. xdread thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2012
    Thanks for all the useful info. Especially chrono 1081 :) :apple:

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