Which Mac Pro - Quad 2.93GHz 8-Core 2.26GHz? Buying tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by craiginbminor, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. craiginbminor macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hey everyone,

    I have a pretty big dilemma here. Tomorrow is the final day that I can use my education discount and I'm set on a Mac Pro. This means that tomorrow is the day. I have a $3500 budget (give or take a few 100), excluding Cinema Display.

    So, should I go with the Quad Core 2.93GHz OR the 8-Core 2.26GHz, and why?

    I will be using the MP for professional graphics, web design, and audio work. This means that my primary applications are going to be the CS4 design premium suite, Logic Pro, and Aperture. I don't really do any video work, but maybe in the future.

    I'm on a 2 year old MBP Penryn 15" 2.2GHz right now; it has served me well. But now, it's time to upgrade.

    So anyways, here are my concerns:

    1. Longevity. I'd like to get at least 5/6 years out of this Mac Pro. This is why I'm putting so much cash down.

    2. Futureproofing. Obviously, we don't know what's coming next with Apple, but I do think that with Snow Leopard on its way, multi-core processing is going to increase big-time. So does this mean that core power should be regarded more than clock speed?

    3. Speed. My natural inclinations tell me that 2.93GHz is much better than 2.26. I mean, my MBP is a 2.2GHz. But with 8-cores, is this a completely innacurate assumption?

    I've already done a ton of research on this and I haven't really reached a solid decision yet. If anyone can help, this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Quad one will be OK, even iMac would handle those tasks well. If money isn't a problem, get the 8-core one, it's much more future proofing, because it has more RAM slots and two times more cores. Clock speeds are yesterday, cores are today
  3. MikeDTyke macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2005

    For the stuff you do now ie. CS4 the quad core is the fastest and will be for the foreseeable. Adobe will take their sweet time (if ever) updating for Grand Central.

    For video, i suspect at the moment you wouldn't see much difference between the two models. However post Snow Leopard releases of Apple's Pro tools will probably take advantage of available cores for video processing. So in the long run if you feel video editing is something you'll spend a lot of time doing then the 8 core will finish faster.

    The poster above made a good point about the memory, it's criminal that the quad core supports less memory than i can squeeze into my quad from 2006.

    Cheers M.
  4. morphin1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2009
    Well from what you need it seems an IMAC would suffice or the Quad 2.66.
    There isn't much of a real life difference in performance between MACPro 2.66 and 2.93 unless micro second benchmark result counts for you!
    Save that cash and invest in stuff like RAM,GPU, Wacom Tablets?

    Now lets talk about:
    1. Longevity.
    Most of the computers will last you 3-4 years easily so a Mac Pro should last that long.

    2. Future proofing.(Not possible)
    Well in today's date and time where tech upgrades every quarter you really cannot future proof. Yes you can future poof in the sense that you can upgrade some parts over the next year or so, but I think that's about it.
    Mac Pro is an excellent machine and is already future proof from the perspective of your needs.
    Also since Snow is not out, no one can speculate how much better or worse the OCTA will be as compared to the Quad.

    3. You are correct. For your needs a Quad is better than Octa. Again just get the 2.66, don't waste your money on 2.93.(Unless you have benchmarks proving the performance improvement of the 2.93 big enough for the premium you pay,save your money:)
    Also there have to be apps to use the 8 cores and other than pro apps(video,AE,scientific research) I don't think your suite of software will make use of the 8cores.
    Remember you can have a 100 cores, but the real question is will your software ever use them(in a real near future)!!!!!!

    Hoep this helps.

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