Which pro for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mediamab, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. mediamab macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #1
    Hiya,

    Im looking at gettin a Mac Pro and splashing out... I want it to last me a number of years and so im looking at my options.

    I primarily use my mac for the web so desigining in CS4, animating in flash etc and some small video work...

    What would suit me the most the quad 2.66 or the 8 core 2.26?

    i understand I can put more memory in the future on the 8 core which sounds great and im limited to 8gb on the quad?

    would i see a good performance increase on the 8 core for what I do? even if i need to wait for snow leopard to really make use of it...

    also I really desperately want a 30" screen... is the ACD still seen as a very good screen adn will last me say 5 yrs?

    many thanks for yoru advice..
     
  2. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #2
    The 8 core is more future proof and also keep in mind how much memory you can add for what you are doing...
     
  3. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #3
    You could do that on a Mac Mini. Get the cheaper quad core.
     
  4. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #4
    What could I do with a mac mini? and what is the reason for saying stick with a quad? it has less memory slots so surely its not as expandable in future?

    my biggest question is... is that 8 core still faster than the higher ghz quad?
     
  5. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #5
    Hello,

    3 things:

    1) PS CS4 is still MP unaware. So 2, 4, 8, 64 cores won't make much of a difference until Adobe gets their #$%@ in order. One day we'll see it, but for now, the # of cores is not really relevant.

    2) Very few apps will make use of the 4 -> 8 core difference. (Add to that the fact that each core in the Nehalem are really 2 virtual cores, so 8 - >16.) 3D and scientific research are 2 that I know of. Make sure your apps can make use of 5+ cores.

    3) You can go up to 16GB right now on a quad, it's just expensive. But in a year or two, prices should come crashing down like always.

    So to your question: is the 8 core 2.26 faster than the 4 core 2.66, the answer is not immediately obvious. Depends on your usage.

    Loa
     
  6. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #6
    Your workload. My thought has always been, if you have to ask, the answer is no. The Mac Pro is a crazy machine, and you would be crazy to buy the more expensive one for what the cheaper one can do easily. In fact, I would recommend you look into a 2008 Mac Pro, they are much cheaper right now and still more then what you need.
     
  7. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #7
    hiya,

    i see what your saying but since I am seeing this as an investment... would it not make sense to get best I can afford? surely in a year or two adobes suite will be able to make use of all the cores?

    I assume then for a "web designer" the quad 2.6ghz is more than good enough and will remain that way for years to come? Id plan to have as much ram as is sensible and also have 3 or 4 drives in raid to up performance..

    would it make more sense to get a faster quad machine then? i dont want to own something i never make use of but i really want this to last

    cheers
     
  8. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    don't worry, the quad will last...

    you'll barely use 4 cores, never mind 8 cores with your workload...so go with speed, to get it done quicker

    and despite what you've read about multi-threading, it's only in its early infancy...no-one's made a truly multi-threaded app yet

    the only apps which use multiple cores are movie editing/3D rendering/some science programs

    in short, get the quad core
     
  9. msmth928 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #9
    For a web designer a 4GB MBP with a 9600 gpu and 7200rpm drive or 24" iMac would be more than enough.

    Web design does not require any significant cpu or gpu power - it's not 3D, just 2D.

    The quad MP would be more than enough, overkill - and the 8 core would quite honestly be a bit of a waste.

    I'd get the quad, then put the money saved towards software or a nicer display. Hope that helps!
     
  10. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #10
    thanks for your input...I am partly questioning the MBP ... as I like the portability.. buying a MP would be based on also shortly purchasing a MBA to use as an ultraportable system but I dont feel the air is good enough for a web designer - or is it?

    any one have a view on the 30" acd?

    cheers
     
  11. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #11
    I'm a web designer and a MBP (early 2008) works just fine. I can run Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Illustrator, Firefox, and Safari without breaking a sweat. The latest MBPs are even more powerful than mine.
    The Mac Pro is overkill for a web designer unless you are hosting websites off it (but even the Mini is more than enough for this).

    The Air is less powerful than the Mini. You will have trouble running lots of applications and this will slow down development.
     
  12. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #12
    Ya, you don't have to have the Pro model because you are a pro. ;)

    I just did a web project on my 13" macbook, 5 months of Flex, even hosted the test servers off a VM on it. With enough ram, any of the current macs is powerful enough (except maybe the Air, that processor scares me a little :) ).
     
  13. msmth928 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #13
    If you're getting a MBP anyway, then that's all you need :)

    Just make sure it's one with the 9600 graphics, and you put a 7200 HD in there. I run a 30" screen off mine at 1920 x 1200 via a mini display port > dvi connector (to run higher res you need the more expensive d-dvi connector).
     
  14. teohyc macrumors regular

    teohyc

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #14
    Just get the quad core will do. It doesn't sound like you're doing anything that requires processor intensive number crunching.

    Mine's the first generation Mac Pro and I figure it can still last me another 6 years? Until it physically breaks down.
     
  15. 24usedtorock macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #15
    I don't know why everyone is insisting he get a MBP instead of a Mac Pro, unless he wants to get the cheapest MBP with a 13 inch screen and have to spend another $500 on a great monitor (assuming he needs a monitor), or if he would instead opt for a 17 inch MBP, you're going to basically be spending as much as you would on a Quad core MP, so why not just take the more powerful machine?

    Maybe the MBP pales in comparison to raw power but the 17 inch MBP is the exact same price as the quad core Mac Pro, which goes to show you how overpriced Apple is.
     
  16. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #16
    im planning on gettin MBA if i get the mac pro... as its perfect for use on the road and around the house...

    Part of me does feel a little unsure whether having just one compuiter is that safe.. and having a mac pro static and never moving plus a MBA to move around if the air is damage (or the pro) i can still do work...

    Will a MBP (Top spec) drive the 30"acd at full resolution really well then? - also is the SSD faster than the 7200 HDD?

    cheers
     
  17. msmth928 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #17
    Yes SSD is much faster - but you don't get as much space.

    If you get the 17" MBP you can use the ExpressCard slot and get an eSATA adapter to fit an external eSATA disk - that should give you plenty of fast storage, and when you don't need it (ie for client meetings) you just leave it at home :)

    Yes the MBP with the 9600 will easily drive a 30" screen.

    If you were going to get a MBP anyway, get that first and then decide whether you need a MP or not - I think you will be pleasantly surprised on just how powerful the MBPs are :apple:
     
  18. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #18

    if i was to just keep the cheapest apple loaded hdd and then purchase a 256gb SSD I assume this would be a real performance increase?
     
  19. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #19
    Change real with HUGE and you'll get the idea! :-D
     
  20. mediamab thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    #20
    that sound slike a definite option with the MBP and ssd then...

    another setup im debating..

    is the top end imac and the top mba... what would people say to this as a setup for a web designer?

    and on the mac pro route.. does any1 have a view on the 30" acd?

    cheers
     
  21. hehejames macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #21
    Hey -

    Do what your heart tell you! You can buy pretty much any variation of MAC to do what you are trying to accomplish, but if you want the best then go with the MAC Pro. Time = Money; the time you are spending to investigate and interact with forums and not being able to make up your mind and delaying your purchase... you could have been doing work on the fastest MAC!

    If you want dual/triple/quad external monitors driving the MAC with 16-32GB of ram and multiple HDD for RAID or lots and lots of HDD for whatever storage (internal/external/SAS options), go with the MAC Pro. If you don't mind having an ugly docking situation (limited to 1 external monitor) with cables running left to right from a MB/MBP then go with it. Yeah, there are stuff out there to let you use 2 or 3 external monitors from MB/MBP, but if you want more cables and pay for stuff like dual head2go from Matrox then go for it.

    Like some of the other folks have mentioned, you can also go with the iMac. It all comes down to the users preference. What do you want? Ask that question to your self.

    In terms of answering your initial question; go with the highest CPU clock on either Mac Pro (2.93GHz), iMac (3.06GHz) or MBP (3.06GHz); it will do what you want and some more.

    - Mac Pro (2.93GHz) = $2,999 or 8-core (2.93GHz) = $5,899
    - iMac (3.06Ghz) = $2,199
    - 15" MBP (3.06Ghz) = $2,599
    - 17" MBP (3.06Ghz) = $2,799

    On the lower end... it's a price difference of $800 max comparing Mac Pro (2.93Ghz) to a iMac (3.06Ghz) or just $200 betwween Mac Pro and iMac.

    Just pull the trigger on the Mac Pro!
     
  22. bob1982 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #22
    Which Mac Pro for Maya?

    Hi there,

    Im looking at getting a new Mac soon primarily for Maya and PS work, I'm currently using both on my macbook and although its doing an admirable job considering its spec- the render times are starting to stress the poor little fella out so I think its time for an upgrade..

    I was originally considering the top iMac, perhaps with the RAM upgraded to 8gig, but since that is so expensive I've been thinking more that the Mac Pro is the way to go..

    Can anyone advise me whether it is worth getting the Dual processor machine? Will Maya rendering take advantage of the extra cores? If anyone is using either mac pro for Maya 2009, I'd love to know how its performing!

    thanks
     
  23. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #23
    with 3D rendering...it'll eat up all the cores you can chuck at it

    also, 3D rendering is one of the few things that take full advantage of the nehalem Mac Pro's virtual cores

    *salivates over 16 cores running at 2.93GHz*
     
  24. hehejames macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    NYC
    #24
    If you think an iMac with RAM upgraded to 8GB is "so expensive", do you think Mac Pro is going to be any cheaper?

    As mentioned throughout the forum and elsewhere... If you are planning on using apps that can leverage all/good amount of the cores available on the CPU, then get the 8-core Mac Pro 2.93, which is the fastest as of today for $6,000 USD + plan on spending some more for the RAM and HDD upgrade.
     
  25. bob1982 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Thanks for the info that's what i needed to know!
     

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