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  1. #1
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build

    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2012
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    6
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build
    Hello. I am a fairly new Mac user, I have been working on a MacBook Pro for the last 3 years. I am also not the most computer savvy and could really use some tutoring from those more enlightened.

    I am going to purchase a Mac Pro for my office and could really use some advise on which processor configuration to choose.

    A Bit of Background:
    I am a landscape architect and designer so I use a range of programs including AutoCAD, ArchiCad, the Adobe Creative Suite, and will be adding more to my tool box as time goes by. In addition I will probably be required at some point to run windows through one of the program options available.

    I am looking for power, performance and longevity.

    My Question:
    Mainly I am looking for suggestions on which CPU configuration to choose. I have to admit I am very unclear on the advantages of the multiple processor and multiple core systems. In my situation which of the three builds I am considering is best for my use requirements and why.

    The options I am considering are:
    3.33 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”
    Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (8 cores)
    Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” (12 cores)

    Thanks very much for your help!

  2. #2
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
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    31,473
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by ANlMAL View Post
    I have to admit I am very unclear on the advantages of the multiple processor and multiple core systems.
    As you can imagine...more cores/cpus = more processing power. The biggest "homework assignment" you have...is to determine if the software applications you are going to use the most are written to take advantage of multiple cores/multiple cpu's.

    Surprisingly...there are not that many applications written to take advantage of multiple cores/cpu's...so if you purchase a 6, 8, or 12 core Mac Pro...many applications won't use more than 1-2 of them.

    Of course if the applications you use the most are "multi-core" capable...then your computer projects will absolutely fly the more cores it has!

    HTH,

    - Nick

    p.s. By the way...the other advantages of Mac Pro's (besides lot of cpu's/cores) is expandability:

    - 4 internal HD's
    - 4 video cards (run up to 8+ monitors simultaneously)
    - can install lots of ram
    - two internal optical drives

    But to get these advantages you don't need the highest end Mac Pro...a lower-end 4-core Mac Pro will be fine.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build

    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2012
    Posts
    6
    interesting reply, thanks.

    i have done some looking at the staple programs i run and it looks like they take limited advantage of multiple cores.

    in this case i assume i would look for higher GHz over a higher number of cores?

  4. #4
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build
    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    20,041
    Specs:
    iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.5
    As a suggestion go with the 2.66GHz 6 core model. Geekbench tests show it is some 50% faster than the 3.3 and 2.4Ghz machines, and nearly as fast as the 2.93GHz model.

    To check this out download a little utility called MacTracker and go into the Mac Pro section.

    http://mactracker.ca/
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  5. #5
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,473
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    Quote Originally Posted by ANlMAL View Post
    i have done some looking at the staple programs i run and it looks like they take limited advantage of multiple cores.

    in this case i assume i would look for higher GHz over a higher number of cores?
    Yes...that's probably the conclusion I would come to as well. If you want the most performance, and the software you use most often is not written to take advantage of 6, 8, 12 cores, etc....then higher cpu ghz...would be the way to go.

    And to take things one step further. If you don't need the expandability of a Mac Pro...then a nice iMac would probably get the job done just as well...and save you a bunch of bucks!

    And to take things EVEN one further step (and an iMac sounds like a better choice)...check out Apple's refurbished computer section...and you may find a computer that fits your needs...AND could save you even a couple to a few hundred more $$$!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6
    Help Choosing the Right Mac Pro CPU Build
    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    Posts
    20,041
    Specs:
    iMac i5 2.7GHz, 16GB memory, OS 10.10.5
    Give iMacs a miss with the single hard drive capacity and wonky slot loading optical drives, and no upgradable graphics cards.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

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