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Old March 8th, 2009, 04:53 AM   #1
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Old Mac Pro or New Mac Pro?

HELP! I have limited budget and can only afford the following. I have to make a quick decision. Should I go for the 1 or 2? I am looking to run FCPS2 or 3 when it is out.

1. Old Mac Pro
2x Quad core 2.8Ghz, 2Gb, ATI 256Mb Card (intend to but 3rd party 2Gb RAM to add up to 4)

or

2. New Mac Pro
1x Quad Core 2.26Ghz, 3Gb, Nvidia 512Mb Card
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Old March 8th, 2009, 08:11 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
HELP! I have limited budget and can only afford the following. I have to make a quick decision. Should I go for the 1 or 2? I am looking to run FCPS2 or 3 when it is out.

1. Old Mac Pro
2x Quad core 2.8Ghz, 2Gb, ATI 256Mb Card (intend to but 3rd party 2Gb RAM to add up to 4)

or

2. New Mac Pro
1x Quad Core 2.26Ghz, 3Gb, Nvidia 512Mb Card
Go with the more physical cores if the pricing is close. Nehalem is indeed a fast architecture but you'll want those extra cores when you use Compressor.

http://www.barefeats.com/image08/tri08_comp.gif <---- check out the performance.


Three Fastest Macs Compared for the whole battery of tests.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 09:10 AM   #3
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As I thought. How does the graphics card measure thou? I like to try motion and I believe the graphics card would matter a lot right?
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Old March 8th, 2009, 10:59 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sean Seah View Post
As I thought. How does the graphics card measure thou? I like to try motion and I believe the graphics card would matter a lot right?
I agree with Harrison, and you are correct about the graphics card mattering for Motion (as well as Color). Either card is fine. You may as well go with that ATI card and save up for an upgrade to one of the new cards coming out, which will be compatible with the 2x2.8GHz Mac Pro.

I have been running it on a similar system, but with the NVIDIA 8800 and have had no issues. Many have good things to say about the ATI as well. Key thing is to up your RAM to at least 4 Gigs, which you already are planning so you should be good.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #5
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Sean, I was in the same situation not even 24 hours ago. After reading the responses about the new MacPros vs the 'older' ones, I ordered an older one.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 02:59 PM   #6
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No question, you get more bang for the buck with the previous generation. To anyone considering a new Mac Pro: Scoop up these "older" machines while you can.
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Old March 9th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #7
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thanks folks! I'm on the way to grab one b4 it goes!
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Old March 9th, 2009, 01:45 AM   #8
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add an 8gb kit from macsales: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other.../64FB2MPK08GB/

I personally LOVE my 8 core 2.8ghz (early 2008) mac pro, and it screams with 10gb of RAM. I suggest running a couple of 1TB drives as a RAID0 in bay 2 and 3, then throwing a 1TB drive in bay 4 and backing the raid up to it via time machine for redundancy :)

As far as graphics go, 512mb is optimal in my opinion, but going with what you can get for now is awesome, and the new 512mb upgrade card (cant remember what the model# is on it right now - its the one that can currently be added to the new mac pros) will be rockin, so just hop on that when you can swing it.

ETA: Here's the upgrade I was talking about - Radeon 4870 http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB999ZM/A I'm SO hopping on that!
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Old March 9th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #9
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Bad news.. the old Mac Pro is all out! looks like i will have to shelve my plans for a while to go for the 8 core.. sob sob...
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Old March 10th, 2009, 02:32 AM   #10
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HT Enabled

The new Nehalem is HT enabled, hence there is more virtual processors at work.

Rajiv
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Old March 10th, 2009, 06:10 AM   #11
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Sean bro,

If you need to order fast and get a pretty good price, let me know! Spend on RAM now as well since the prices are going back up!

Cheers

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Old March 10th, 2009, 09:35 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Rajiv Attingal;1025302]The new Nehalem is HT enabled, hence there is more virtual processors at work.

Does this mean that a 'new' Mac Pro with one Nehalem four-core processor with HT [hyper-threading] could be as fast in non-linear editing with FCP as an 'old' Mac Pro with two four-core processors?

Wikipedia says: 'A processor with hyper-threading enabled is treated by the operating system as two processors instead of one. This means that only one processor is physically present but the operating system sees two virtual processors, and shares the workload between them. Hyper-threading requires both operating system and CPU support'.

I guess it depends on whether the current version of Final Cut Pro can take full advantage of hyper-threading. And on whether the current operating system (OS X 10.5.6) is also able to take advantage of hyper-threading.

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Old March 10th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #13
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I guess it depends on whether the current version of Final Cut Pro can take full advantage of hyper-threading.
It does not.
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Old March 11th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #14
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My experience has been that Final Cut Pro rarely uses more than 2 cores at a time. There seem to be a lot of processing paths, filters, and/or codecs which are still single threaded, leaving most of the processor to sit idle waiting for the results from that one thread.

Compressor is the complete opposite. If you set it up right it will use every ounce of computing power available. Motion is somewhere in between but is especially hungry for RAM.

So, if you spend most of your time waiting on FCP, it would be better to go with fewer but faster cores. Compressor will do better with more, slower cores.

Keep in mind that you can't compare the different CPU types clock-for-clock. The Nehalem-based processors can do more work per clock tick, especially in situations that demand a lot of memory bandwidth or communication between cores. The old 8-core systems will very often have most of their cores go idle because the front side bus and RAM are relatively much slower than in the new Nehalem systems.
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Old March 12th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jason Livingston View Post

Keep in mind that you can't compare the different CPU types clock-for-clock. The Nehalem-based processors can do more work per clock tick, especially in situations that demand a lot of memory bandwidth or communication between cores. The old 8-core systems will very often have most of their cores go idle because the front side bus and RAM are relatively much slower than in the new Nehalem systems.

In addition new OS and new versions of FCP and other apps (CS4...5) may
take advantage of full potential of the Nehalem architecture.
Keep in mind that upgrading OS and other SWs is much easier than upgrading
hardware (Mac pro CPU).
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