Which Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by davewolfs, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. davewolfs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #1
    I've decided that I am going to probably purchase a Mac Pro :) That being said, the Octo 2.93 is well above what I would like to spend.

    So I am considering either the 2.66 or 2.26, between the two do you folks think the 2.66 is worth the premium? Another alternative is trying to get one of those great business discounts on last years 2.8 Octo.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. MCHR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #2
    A better question might be: what do you plan on doing with said machine?

    Do you do video, 3D , 2D, have a lot of open apps running, or just surfing the web?

    A 2008 2.8 is a lot of machine as it is, despite what you might read here. The newer 2.26 octos look to be a smidge (5-40% better depending on task), but again, are starting at $3300. The 2.66 and 2.93 have a serious premium, so I'd recommend thinking long and hard about those, since they only seem to make sense if you're using them 40-60+ hours per week. The gains in performance might not justify the added expense for a casual user.

    Depending on your intent, budget and workflow, even an iMac might be a good choice for a desktop.
     
  3. davewolfs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #3
    iMac is definately out of the question. This will be used for Photoshop and Development and I also plan to run a few VM's on the system. Just looking for something that will last a long time. What is the gain in performance with the 2.66 over the 2.26?

     
  4. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #4
    Call around for the business discount. I supposedly found the last one in washington. 1899, 2060 out the door.

    Just letting you know the business discount can still be found.
     
  5. MCHR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #5
    That's something I was asking as well. The 2.66 at this point is an enigmatic beast, since Apple deployed the 2.93 in a stratospheric price point, and the 2.26 in the midline of the Mac Pro offerings. Since the 2.66 is a $1400 price premium over the already high 2.26, I was asking myself if that was even worth considering. So. . I spent (or wasted) a day looking at any and all available benchmarks to date regarding the Nehalems. The chart below shows the Nehalem family performance overlaid on last year's Harpertown processors, so you can see a trend in the performance of each respective family.

    I'd like to try these 'boxes back to back, but I can only parrot what I found online at this point. I'd wager that I'd not be utilizing the 2.66 capacity unless I was pulling animations through Alias Autostudio, Maya or any of the video editing softwares. Meaning that I'd have to be "hitting" that processor often and hard for me to justify that $1400 premium.

    The 2008 2.8 is a great machine, no doubt. But as I'm coming off of a G5, dual 2.5s, I'm looking to have this next Mac Pro for another four + years. Starting with last year's technology isn't where I'd like to begin.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    phased to this universe
    #6
    I had been waiting for the Nehalem's to be released, but once I saw the price point, I jumped at a octo 3.0 for $2700 CAD. Love the machine. Here's a comparison:
    I teach video and broadcasting and work as an editor outside of teaching. I often transcode video for different purposes. On my Macbook 2.16 machine I would leave it all night to transcode a 2 hour video. It would take anywhere from 4-6 hours depending on the settings (painful if you got the settings wrong).

    I redid a project just to see how my new pro would handle it... 12 minutes. That means I can try different settings that I would never have dared before, because it will only take about 12 minutes before it's done.

    So if you need every minute of your day, the Nehalem's are great, but if you only need to pick up roughly 4+ hours of production, the Jan 2008 machines rock.
     
  7. MCHR macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    #7
    That's interesting that you mention "trying different settings". With some 3D apps, I like to set different shaders, animation loops, etc., so you're reminding me why faster is better, just for experimentation's sake.

    The 3.0 you got was probably a good deal. There's an Apple store nearby that has a 2008 3.2, but it's at $3499, then add tax on that, so it's already above the cost of a 2009 2.26, which (depending on applications) is faster than that machine. Not much of a financial incentive to get last year's "best" machine, unfortunately.
     
  8. davewolfs thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2007
    #8
    Last years 2.8's are $1899, definately some incentive there. Given the price of the processors in the 2.26 $373x2 I'm still having a tough time understanding how the rest of the system is worth $2553.
     
  9. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #9
    The margins on the 2008 and 2009 are about the same. One possibility is that Apple was getting good discounts on the 2008 Intel processors but not on the 2009 Intel processors. The other possibility is that Apple is paying a premium on the Intel 2009 processors in order to get them first (it's not the $373 (at least yet)).
     
  10. mcavjame macrumors 65816

    mcavjame

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
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    #10
    Yeah... this was a private sale, not an Apple refurb. I like to calculate the fact that no tax was paid as well. It's like a little bonus.
     
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
    But how can you be certain on that? Even if Intel is charging Apple a price premium of 20% (in lots of 1,000) for the E5520s, we'd have $895.20 on the processors for a machine that sells for $3,299 ($2,043.08 on the remainder of the system). E5462s still hover around $850 a piece in OEM form - that's $1,700 worth of processors in a system that sold for $2,799 ($1,099 system remainder).

    To be fair, Apple does include 6GB of RAM (as opposed to 2GB) and a 640GB hard drive (as opposed to 320GB) on the base 2.26GHz 8-core. But we're realistically talking maybe $100 for the increased memory and a very insignificant (if any) difference in price for the larger hard drive. Let's call it $150, tops. I find it hard to believe that R&D is contributing to the price increase this significantly. It's pretty clear that Apple is trying to turn a higher profit with the new models. Because even at the original selling price of $2,799, the base 08 2.8GHz Octo was an outstanding value. You can't buy a comparable PC workstation with a similar configuration for that cheap.
     

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