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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Mac Pro - Quad Core vs Eight Core Mac Pro


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Fiercehairdo

 
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Hi,

I'm buying a new Mac Pro. But I'm struggling to figure out the best config for my needs.

My main use is hi-res image manipulation and retouching in Photoshop (large layered files - 2gb to 5gb files). A little bit of 3D work also.

Anyway, will I see a big difference between a quad core and an eight core?

Also, will a 2.26GHz Eight core with 16gb RAM be faster than a 2.93GHz Quad Core with 16gb RAM?? (before you correct me , I know apple claims that quad cores only take 8gb RAM but I've read elsewhere that you can install 4 x 4GB Dimms of RAM and it works fine).

Is RAM more important than the processor speed?

Please help, this is all getting very confusing...

Thanks,
Mr hairdo.
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rman

 
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Just for clarification you are speaking of 1 x 2.93Ghz quad core (16GB RAM) verses a 2 x 2.26Ghz quad core (16GB RAM) ?

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Fiercehairdo

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rman View Post
Just for clarification you are speaking of 1 x 2.93Ghz quad core (16GB RAM) verses a 2 x 2.26Ghz quad core (16GB RAM) ?
Yeah, that is correct.
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R0GV3

 
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to tell you the truth if ur just using it for 3d application id suggest a better video card like the 4870 mac edition or the quadro fx 4800
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Alexis

 
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Tell us exactly what 3D work.

2D work such as Photoshop won't tax the slowest Mac Pro at the moment. A full Cocoa Photoshop which takes advantage of 4 cores, let alone 8 cores is some time away.

If you only dabble in 3D, get the cheapest Mac Pro and 8Gb RAM.
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Always buy the most computer you can afford. You will never regret having too much power and you will always regret not having enough.


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rman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss View Post
Always buy the most computer you can afford. You will never regret having too much power and you will always regret not having enough.
That is what I go by

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Hello,

Just found this review which might help answer your question.
Prepare for ludicrous speed: Ars reviews the 8-core Mac Pro - Ars Technica

It reviewed the 2009 2.93 8-Core Nehalem MacPro with 12 gigs ram. As far as I know, Adobe softwares still only utilizes 2 cores at the most. From the review's test benchmarks, there is not much speed difference between a Quad Core and an 8-Core as far as graphics is concerned. The speed difference was with 3D apps.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baggss View Post
Always buy the most computer you can afford. You will never regret having too much power and you will always regret not having enough.
I don't know that I can agree to this anymore.

I recently bought a quad-core system with 4GB of RAM. Only one program uses all four cores, and only Photoshop really wants the excess RAM. Few use dual cores, and many use only single core processing.

For many other tasks, because the quad cores are slower individually than some of my 5-year-old single-core systems, my older computers actually function faster on certain tasks.

The software has not caught up to hardware. Extra cores is really nothing more than extra profit for Intel or AMD. The end-users don't benefit a whole lot.

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I would go with the fastest clock speed you can get. Right now, that is the determining factor for how quickly Photoshop will crank through difficult stuff, assuming you have equal amounts of RAM. Whatever your budget is, maximize your core speed and your RAM, not your number of cores.

If you want to prove this to yourself, go to your nearest Apple Store and bring a USB stick with a large layered Photoshop file on it. Play around with it on a variety of different Mac Pros and iMacs (and they are only TWO cores). You will see a direct correlation between the core speed and your observed performance, and pretty much NO correlation between the number of cores and your observed performance.

Spend your money on GHz and GB, not number of cores!

My two cents, but I feel like I know what I am talking about here - I use Photoshop extensively, and ran exactly the sort of tests I am speaking of before buying my current machine (of course I ended up maxing out EVERYTHING, but not everyone will have that luxury). In my case, it came down to a choice between the 3.06 GHz iMac and the 3.2 GHz Mac Pro. In the end, I let my techno-lust for that little bit of extra speed, plus a desire for more than two cores, win out, and I got the Mac Pro. However, there was almost no difference between Photoshop's observable performance between the two.

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