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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Looking to get a new MP, some questions...

Looking to get a new MP, some questions...
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IFLY2HIGH
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Jun 23, 2008, 10:50 AM
 
My current system is a Dual 1.0 g4 machine. I'm looking to upgrade to a new MP. I'm looking at just getting the stock MP but with only the 4 cores instead of eight. I really don't have anything that needs that much processing power, but then your going to say why not just get an imac then, but let's not go there...

If I got the MP with just a 4 core setup, if the future holds out, could you replace the 4 core processor with a set of 8 cores in the future? Does the 4 core setup ship with a different mobo or do they all use the same mobo now adays and they all have two processor slots no matter what you order?

My next question is graphics cards, I do play some games here and there. Is the 8800 upgrade worth it right now or should I hold out for a possible better "less-buggy" card for 150$ less and plop it on a better card down the road, like the ATI 3870? My biggest game I play right now is WoW, and I have a feeling anything at this point from what I am currently running will be better overall but should I wait right now and cross my fingers they fix the 8800 or just wait for a possible sucessor in the near future?

Thanks!!
- Eric
     
EuropeBetterThanAmerica
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Jun 24, 2008, 08:42 AM
 
I do not need 8 cores on a home machine. I'll be happier if the 4 cores where used at full!
I can't help you more but there are a member with a lot of tech stuff speaking , maybe he'll notice and help. I get loose as soon as gurus start naming mobos!

Eva.

24" iMac >> MacBook >> iBookG4
     
IFLY2HIGH  (op)
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Jun 24, 2008, 10:17 AM
 
I went ahead and got the 2.8 4-core model and went ahead and licked my lips and got the 8800 graphics card, so I hope all goes well. Just ordered me another 2 gig of memory so crossing my fingers it will all be here on friday, if not I'm gona have to go nuts till monday lol.
- Eric
     
EuropeBetterThanAmerica
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Jun 24, 2008, 01:39 PM
 
Oh I almost envy your MP

24" iMac >> MacBook >> iBookG4
     
mduell
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Jun 24, 2008, 01:44 PM
 
AFAIK there's only one logic board design, so you may be able to add another CPU later (assuming Apple hasn't pulled some firmware/software shenanigans). The 8800 is a great choice for games (faster than the 3870); the only issues with the 8800 series I know of are the price (should be at least $100 cheaper, like the 3870) and Apple's pro apps don't run as well as they should on it.
     
IFLY2HIGH  (op)
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Jun 27, 2008, 02:16 PM
 
Hello from my new mac pro. Thing is really nice so far, fast, quiet, and lepord was really a big overhull from what I see so far. Can't wait for updates to finish so I can shut down and add my extra 2 gig of ram. I can't tell what or where the processors are sitting, can't tell if it's the same mobo or not. Not sure how to pull off the processor shroud to see.
- Eric
     
roller
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Jul 9, 2008, 11:26 AM
 
This response is somewhat moot now, but for other readers, it is my opinion that as of today and into the foreseeable future, your money is better spent on graphics cards and RAM than on processing. The standard MP chipset is more than powerful enough for the vast majority of users and, frankly, most software cannot/does not take advantage of it anyway. However, where you will see the most impact for your dollar is in a better graphics card (especially as many programs and the OS are written to push work to the graphics card) and in RAM, where 4 gigs will have much more impact than a couple of more cores. FWIW...
My Macs: 15" Macbook Pro, Mac Pro,
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imitchellg5
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Jul 9, 2008, 02:36 PM
 
Until Snow Leopard comes out, really anything more than four cores is pretty useless. You made a good choice.
     
mduell
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Jul 9, 2008, 05:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
Until Snow Leopard comes out, really anything more than four cores is pretty useless. You made a good choice.
Depends entirely on the apps you're running. Some developers write great threaded code.
     
sadpandas
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Jul 21, 2008, 03:31 PM
 
I got the dual 2.8 and although i am not a 3d animator... why not learn it now ? Kidding. I just figured it's there why not get it now and make use of it over the next 4 years like my ppc 1.67. I am going to put 4 more gigs of ram into it and 1 more hard drive for after effects and logic pro. Those are the only plans i have thus far....

P
*Dual 2.8 quad core Mac Pro, 512 8800 GT, 1tb boot, 500gb audio, 340gb video, 6gb ram
*15"pb*1.67*128vm*100hd*2g ram*
*PMac*Dual 2.0GHz* 4g ram*
*3.0 p4 630* gigabyte848p775* radeon X800 Pro 256* 2g ram*
     
kentuckyfried
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Jul 21, 2008, 04:58 PM
 
I'm kind of in the same boat...though not for the same reasons. I've been wanting to get a 2nd machine, especially now that my macbook is now seemingly on its last legs and I didn't buy Applecare for it like I should have. I suppose the iMac would be sufficient for my purposes, but I just picked up a 24" LCD panel several months prior, I don't feel like selling it off at a loss for no good reason. The intent's been always to pick up a Power Mac, but my friend's been trying to convince me otherwise. Besides, the iMac and the 24" won't even fit on the same desk in my cramped apartment.

Can I get by with the stock 2 gb of memory or do I still need the extra 2 gb like the TC has on his setup? I would like try and learn Maya on this (though I've said that many a time with Photoshop too in the past, I just couldn't get into the 2-d stuff).

Man, this bad boy is going to be expensive...what's really pushing the new Mac Pro's into the $3000 as opposed to the sub-$2000's for the Power Macs that were selling a few years ago?
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
     
kentuckyfried
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Jul 21, 2008, 05:02 PM
 
btw, when was the last hardware update on this machine?
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
     
mduell
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Jul 21, 2008, 06:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by kentuckyfried View Post
Man, this bad boy is going to be expensive...what's really pushing the new Mac Pro's into the $3000 as opposed to the sub-$2000's for the Power Macs that were selling a few years ago?
Current and previous generation refurbs start at $1999.

Originally Posted by kentuckyfried View Post
btw, when was the last hardware update on this machine?
January 2008; I expect the next upgrade (to Nehalem) in the 4th quarter of this year.

     
kentuckyfried
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Jul 22, 2008, 11:48 PM
 
bump:

Can I get by with the stock 2 gb of memory or do I still need the extra 2 gb like the TC has on his setup? I would like try and learn Maya on this (though I've said that many a time with Photoshop too in the past, I just couldn't get into the 2-d stuff).
Now I know, and knowing is half the battle!
     
roller
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Jul 22, 2008, 11:53 PM
 
kentuckyfried, if you are serious about running Maya, 2 gigs will work, but you are going to wish you had 4, and I suspect if you had 4 you would wish you could add more...
My Macs: 15" Macbook Pro, Mac Pro,
Lab of ~ 25 various models purchased over the last eight years

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Yearbook QR Codes, Yearbook Unlimited
     
sadpandas
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Jul 25, 2008, 08:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by roller View Post
kentuckyfried, if you are serious about running Maya, 2 gigs will work, but you are going to wish you had 4, and I suspect if you had 4 you would wish you could add more...
We have whole render farms devoted to maya and from what the 3d dudes are telling me they need as much ram as the program will allow since they are previewing a lot and reading and writing a ton. Ever see the DVD of the new(ish) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Came out about 2 years ago, and those dudes were KILLING their machines to make those menus look so great.

love,
pan DNA
*Dual 2.8 quad core Mac Pro, 512 8800 GT, 1tb boot, 500gb audio, 340gb video, 6gb ram
*15"pb*1.67*128vm*100hd*2g ram*
*PMac*Dual 2.0GHz* 4g ram*
*3.0 p4 630* gigabyte848p775* radeon X800 Pro 256* 2g ram*
     
   
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