Worth it to go from 8 core 2008 to 12 core 2012?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mazuma, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. mazuma macrumors member

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    #1
    Looking to upgrade. The new new Mac Pro doesn't seem to suit me at this point. I'd rather wait and see how it does the first year or so. So, my original question. Is it worth it to go from a 2008 2.8 8 core to a 2012 2.4 12 core?

    This would be primarily used for photoshop, illustrator, indesign. I've also considered looking at an iMac. But, I'm skeptical on the shelf life. My 2008 has been great. But, it seems to bog down on multi-tasking and other large tasks.

    Just curious if anyone has any real experience between these two models. My biggest fear would be to get the 2012 and feel underwhelmed. I also have a 2013 rMBP that is pretty fast. So, my thought would be that an iMac should fit the bill. I'm just used to being able to drop in RAM, storage and other upgrades.

    Thanks to any that offer advice.
     
  2. funwithdesign macrumors regular

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    #2
    12 Core is overkill for those tasks. You'd be better off with a fast 6 core and max out the RAM etc.
     
  3. mazuma thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Are you talking about the yet to be released 6 core? Or, is there an older model 6 core. I can't recall of one?
     
  4. funwithdesign macrumors regular

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    #4
    The 2012 came in both a single 6 core and 2x 6 core (12 core). The apps you reference make poor use of more than 6 cores so you would be better off saving money and putting it towards memory and storage.

    I also use the exact same apps as you so I'm pretty confident that you'd be happier with the single processor.
     
  5. TyPod macrumors 68000

    TyPod

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    #5
    This is what I would do with your current rig. Going to a 12 core right now and possibly a nMP in a year or so seems insane.
     
  6. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    I'd say it's worth it.

    It is true that most of those applications won't see any benefit from multiprocessing (except Photoshop, if you're on a reasonably recent version like CS6 or CC). However, that 2008 uses FBDIMM RAM- which is inherently slower then the DDR3 RAM that the 2012 uses.

    If you can get the 2012 at a decent price, AND buy a reasonable amount of RAM (I'd recommend 16GB or more)- then the machine will definitely perform faster then what you've got right now.

    -SC
     
  7. funwithdesign macrumors regular

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    #7
    For most operations, 12 core performs worse than 6 in Photoshop, even CS6.
     
  8. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Please explain. If you have a dual processor machine running at the same clock speed and generation as a single processor.
     
  9. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

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    #9
    That's possibly a lower clocked 12core.
     
  10. funwithdesign macrumors regular

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    #10
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #11
    BUT it is nice a future proof as people like to say :p. Besides the new Mac Pro's are looking to offer better performance than even a top level 2012 Mac Pro so if you can foot the bill why not? Otherwise a 6-core model with the money saved on some pretty powerful GPU's would give photoshop a good boost.
     
  12. choreo macrumors regular

    choreo

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    #12
    I was faced with the exact same decision a couple weeks ago. I prefer the design of the 2008-2012 Mac Pros and my Early 2008 had served me well over the past 5 years. I did not want to be an early adopter again of a new configuration, so I started searching for a new 2012 12-Core - everywhere I checked, they were sold out. I finally decided on a new 2012 3.33 6-core (got one of the last ones available at B&H apparently). Will now sell my Early 2008 (hopefully as it does not even have a scratch on it).

    Been running the 6-Core 2012 for a week now AND LOVE IT! I added 32-Gigs of OWC Ram, 4 1TB internal drives (2) ATI 5770 graphics cards and added an Apricorn Velocity x2 PCI card with a Samsung EVO 500Gig SSD Drive as a boot drive.

    Only thing I had to sacrifice was my 2nd Internal LightScribe Optical drive as it had the old IDE connection (and apparently nobody sells LightScribe drives anymore).
     
  13. Celedral macrumors 6502

    Celedral

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    #13
    Nice setup, but looks like you dont have a open slot for usb 3.0 though. Unless its trivial.
     
  14. thekev, Nov 21, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #14
    You don't mention how much ram is in the thing. Ram and disk access should be your only significant bottlenecks with those applications. A 2012 or nMP quad would do it, assuming enough disk space and ram. Otherwise you will have many cores sitting idle, as none of those tasks really lend themselves to a lot of background work.

    That is not future proofing. That is simply bad budgeting. Even the 6 core is overkill, and you are not likely to fully utilize it. Photoshop also sees minimal gains from GPUs on anything. The sole time that should be a consideration would be something like a 10 bit display run under Windows if you want a full 10 bit path. Otherwise any modern gpu will be fine. On Windows there is a supported list which indicates those that have been tested due to the far greater pool. This advice makes me cringe, because it's the sloppiest possible way to budget out a new system. If money is left over, why not deal with things like storage upgrades? I hate to see people encouraged to buy the things that will offer the least benefit.
     
  15. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #15
    Yep, I have the same 6x3.33 5,1, love it (see sig). The Caldigit eSATA / USB3 card I have has really worked out well in actual use, pretty stable and my new Lexar USB3 card reader is flawless with it, fast too.

    I looked at a 5,1 that had been souped up to 12 x 3.46 and wondered how it might do on exporting raw files since CS6 does do a little better in that mode. So I poured over Diglloyd's site and as it turned out, for a whopping $2,600 it would have increased the speed by 20%...not at all worth it in my mind.

    I did my homework back when I got my machine in 2011, looks like for my needs, I got an A....

    Between my new 13" Retina and all these other upgrades, it's been a lot of fun, but man...I have got to get off of here and get back to life, make prints in my darkroom...:)
     
  16. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #16
    Yeah, I tend to agree. I asked on another thread about why someone would want a faster boot drive than my 840 pro in my V2 card kicking out nearly 500MB/s....and got no answer....?......maybe you can answer that one for me.
     
  17. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #17
    I'm not sure. I mean the faster the disk, the less painful pageouts will be, but under most circumstances a 10% speed increase won't make a big difference. I noticed the reference to Digilloyd. You might notice he places even more emphasis on ram than me. I go for slight overkill there for a specific reason. Creative Suite hasn't changed much in terms of cpu reliance in the last few cycles, and a massive codebase like that isn't likely to see any drastic year over year changes. For the most part Photoshop and InDesign run fast enough when you aren't running into bugs. I've gotten really tired of people worrying about if their gpu is powerful enough to compute constant color visibility of raster data with a constant normal. I'll say it again. GPU is the lowest priority there if it even is a priority.
     
  18. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    #18
    Well I am maxed on ram at 48GB, the only way to improve that would be to move up to more cores. So if I went with two SSD's in the V2 card and hit the max of 800MB/s, what would be my biggest improvements? I use my machine mostly for photography, mostly D800 raw exports, sometimes some big scans, huge stitch files that scratch out at 20GB+. I also do a bit of video work, but mostly B-roll for ad work.

    I am just learning about these things really. I upgraded my video card from the 5770 because it was faulty, got striped screens too often for my liking. So I ponied up for a GTX680 so I never had to look back and wonder, it seems to have made a good bit of difference in rendering previews.
     
  19. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #19
    Striped screens as in artifacts or screen tearing? Artifacts like single channel vertical stripes indicate a hardware problem, not necessarily inadequate hardware. Your use case is also toward the heavier end. Typically for an OP, they would mention that if it was the case. I wouldn't call D800 exports too demanding though. Consider the people who used to deal with P45 digital backs in the late powerPC era. That was painful. Regarding the two SSDs, your machine would write scratch data faster. If it's stuttering while writing scratch data, it will reduce that, regardless of whether it's noticeable enough to justify the expense. I'm not sure on that one. There are other places you can help control these issues. You can turn off thumbnails and rely on layer/alpha naming conventions. You can limit history states, optimize the amount of memory available to a given application. If the OS is starved, that will always cause problems. Most people these days can virtually eliminate scratch disk use by maxing ram, but you have an edge case:)
     
  20. nateo200 macrumors 68030

    nateo200

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    #20
    I was actually being sarcastic in the future proofing comment since its overused as hell. I'm actually in agreement with you (well partially), I think 10-bit output from a powerful GPU is more important than an extra 6 cores...in this case (and plenty of others even more some video editors) I believe there is a work around in Photoshop to display 10-bit over DisplayPort, I mean any card made after 06 by Nvidia is likely going to support 10-bit if not 12-bit its just a matter of OS and display drivers and what not, if I continued though it would be speculation as I don't work with Photoshop allot. I do think that the 6-core 2012 Xeon's are still a good choice simply because of the clock speed though. As for storage, thats another good thing to spend cash on, SATA based SSD's should be fine but I believe the 2012 MP's are still SATAII (3Gbps) no? Even SATAII is still fast but I see allot of people with PCIe SSD's that are happy, usually around 700-850MB/s which is very useful for certain applications but I'm not sure how needed those speeds are unless you need to capture 12-bit uncompressed 4:4:4 video without a RAID array but the OP probably isn't doing that. Still with ultra high res RAW files I'm sure it couldn't hurt to have a 800MB/s PCIe SSD :D

    Sounds like a good way to get angry...I can't imagine using a powerPC for even a D800 let alone the very very large images of Digital backs from MF and LF cameras.....My old laptop (2010 13" MBP) just choked on drum scans of Medium format I had done once.
     
  21. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #21
    Quantification in bits is an area of frequent confusion, due to the multitude of ways things are described. I wasn't referring to RGBA or anything of that sort. I meant 2^10 or 1024 levels from program to framebuffer to display for red, green, and blue. There aren't that many displays on the market with fully 10 bit panels, and even then OSX doesn't support the feature at a driver level. You can't get a 10 to 10 to 10 chain, even if the hardware has a little more leverage in terms of calibration using certain oemed color calibration packages. I will add that I'm not talking about the bits used to describe the image files themselves. Those are different. There are a lot of things still in use that I find to be truly archaic with non-proprietary color management solutions.

    I used that example because 39MP backs came out late in the PowerPC era. They weren't unheard of as rental items. There were ways to make it less painful. As I mentioned, turn off thumbnails, limit history (can always set snapshots), etc. One thing was different. Few people kept images at 16 bpc. They didn't regularly make use of things like smart objects due to the time needed to decode them. It's just a case where for any given generation, you tailor your workflow to the hardware and software that is available to you at a reasonable/feasible cost. At that time more CPU power was still welcome under all circumstances.

    Also as soon as CS4 added OpenGL drawing, people became way too hung up on the priority of the gpu. Under OSX at that point, ram wasn't even as big a deal. If you had to capture on the same machine, you might have gone as high as to 6-8GB just to allocate for something like Capture One, Photoshop, and general OSX operations. After that it was a matter of balancing cpu power and whether scratch disks provided enough bandwidth.
     
  22. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

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    #22
    I think we might be misaligned on this a bit, I meant as an OS / apps drive, not a scratch disk. Obviously two SSD's in RAID-0 would be stellar as a scratch disk. I just wonder why people seek out faster boot drives from the apps / OS perspective.

    Also, I did indeed replace the 5770 because it had issues, not because it was less than I needed. I just figured at the time to move up a few notches while I was at it, it's a tax write off, no biggie.

    To be honest, I bet my current setup will be fine, it's not like I will even be shooting that much digital in the future, I have largely transitioned to shooting and darkroom printing black and white film for the most part and aside from some occasional B-roll, I mostly direct video productions. I do have some 18 years of digital images archived, I will never fully be free of it I guess...:)
     
  23. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

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    #23
    What's missing are the specs on your 2008. Is the amount of ram and or the specific video card the reason for the "bog down" pertaining to multi-tasking?
     
  24. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    #24
    I do the same thing if I think there's the possibility that I might be able to leverage the updated one in the future. What I try to avoid is misattributing what affects performance. That's quite a transition. Regarding 2x SSDs for booting, I'm not sure. Applications might launch a bit faster. If you specifically hit pageouts, they might be a bit more tolerable. Faster disks really just speed up operations that read or write to those disks, so I think of when I might notice that. I can tell you that I can still notice symptoms of low memory or pageouts even with an SSD.
     
  25. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #25
    I can't get my 2008 32gb ram GTX 680 to bog down unless I go way way past what I would normally do. Had to layer loads of raw files in photoshop cs6 to deliberately make it go slow!
     

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