Originally Posted by McPHEE
I currently have on order a 8-Core Mac Pro with two 3.0GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon and this is not available if I go with the state of the art. If I upgrade to 2.66 it increases my price by about $400 or if I go with the 2.26 I save $1K. Graphics card in my order is NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512 and this is no longer available if I upgrade. Everything else is a plus (memory drive speed, etc.) (eventually I will run 2 monitors.)
Current Apple base price offering below:
8-core Mac Pro ($3,299):
two 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 series processors with 8MB of shared L3 cache
6GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 32GB
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics with 512MB of GDDR3 memory
640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm
18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD+/-R DL/DVD+/-RW/CD-RW)
Mini DisplayPort and DVI (dual-link) for video output (adapters sold separately)
four PCI Express 2.0 slots
five USB 2.0 ports and four FireWire 800 ports
Ships with Apple Keyboard with numerical keypad and Mighty Mouse
Ok. I get it now.
For me, the sweet spot is the dual 2.66 model with the 4870 card, which is a pretty damn good card, and much better than the 8800 series from Nvidia, which is why I ordered that.
I don't know what you're doing with the machine, so it's difficult to know what's most important to you.
If you're not doing much 3D graphics work on big models, then the 120 card will be fine. Of course, OS 10.6 will leverage that graphics card more than ever before, so the best card will get you more processing power. A slower machine may even, on certain apps, be more powerful than a faster machine, because those apps may better leverage that faster board in 10.6 and beyond. he older 3.0 GHz machine could also use that 4870 board. It would then help its performance later on. You can add this board later, and still use the 120 in another slot.
My feeling though is that Nehalem offers much upside as time goes on.
One area that's interesting is that being at the very beginning of the curve, the chips, which likely will be replaceable, as they are in the older machines, are the slowest that Intel will be offering during the current "Tock". When 32 nm arrives next year, they can be popped out (more easily hopefully, than in the older machines, as it appears), and newer, faster 6 core (and possibly 8 core as some hints from Intel lately have been giving us (no, not Becton) chips can be put in.
Also, the older machines have two Express bus 2 slots and two Express 1 slots. The new machine has four Express 2 slots. Two of those are 16 electrical lanes. The older only had one 16 lane slot.
Hyperthreading, for well threaded apps, has been shown to give a 10 to 30% boost in processing.
Money can be tight right now, so it's a tough decision I know.