Mac Pro - Do I need two processors?

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I'm a graphic designer who does a lot of photoshop work and am about to purchase one of the new mac pros - a huge outlay for me! I can save $500 by choosing the single processor version of the system, my question is, how big a difference does the second processor make for real-world task speeds?



In my case I do a lot of CS3 work, often having photoshop, lightroom and bridge opened simultaneously. When working in lighroom I could easily be viewing folders containing 1,000 - 2,000 print resolution images while also having mac mail, firefox and more opened in the background. I also do occassional video work in Final Cut Studio. I was thinking it might be smarter to save the $500 and spend the cash on an extra 8GB of ram for the system as well as some fast hard drives, any thoughts on what the best bang-per-buck return for someone like me would be?



Any advice would be much appreciated. I am also curious if anyone could recommend good internal drives for my new mac (i need about 2TB of storage!) and whether choosing one of the fancier graphics cards will make any difference for photo/video editing?



Sorry for being such a technical dumb ass!



- Sophie

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 8
    Hmm, I think having more RAM would benefit you more, as you tend to have lots of applications open at the same time, don't get your RAM from Apple though, they charge an arm and a leg.



    As for the rest: No idea Sorry
  • Reply 2 of 8
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    If you wait a little while MacWorld news site will most likely have photoshop benchmarks between both systems.
  • Reply 3 of 8
    Also, have we found out if one can add the extra CPU later? I was following the threads for awhile, but no one said (I ordered two with double chips). If one could, then the single chip option with extra ram would be the way to go at the start, then later, you could upgrade to the secone chip. If that's possible.
  • Reply 4 of 8
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,208moderator
    The graphics card won't make much difference for 2D stuff but I'd get the 8800GT anyway for future resale value and maybe if you want to dabble with motion - the extra VRam will come in very useful.



    For your kind of work, I'd go with the quad model and more Ram. You only really need more if you are doing rendering for motion graphics (not motion though as it's hardware rendered but AE) or 3D. For still images, designs etc, a quad is enough. It may help with video encoding but even there I doubt the improvement you'd see would be worth the extra money.



    Crucial doesn't have Ram for the new Mac Pro yet so you'd have to get it from Apple or shop around. What I would do is get the base model with 2GB and check your Ram meter to see if you are using it all with what you do. If you find that you don't have enough, upgrade to 4GB and so on. I wouldn't go all out and buy 8GB Ram because it's expensive and you might not use it all.



    For hard drives, check out newegg and look for the 3GB/s SATA drives:



    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=400GB+-+750GB



    I reckon it'll be cheaper with 4 x 500GB (around $400) than 2 x 1TB (around $600). As for model, Seagate and Western Digital have good reputations but it's one of these things where opinion varies a lot. Hard drives can fail at any time no matter the make so you really just have to try them out for yourself.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    .......................

    I reckon it'll be cheaper with 4 x 500GB (around $400) than 2 x 1TB (around $600). As for model, Seagate and Western Digital have good reputations but it's one of these things where opinion varies a lot. Hard drives can fail at any time no matter the make so you really just have to try them out for yourself.



    That's what I got for mine. 4 x 500 GB's. And 4 x 2GB OCZ RAM. I have everything but the computer. lol.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    Thanks for the responses. Seems like I'll go with the single processor and get 8GB of ram from OWC. I'll probably get some of the Seagate Barracudas from Newegg, though I think I'll stick to 1TB drives since I often shoot a couple of thousand images a week and I literally cannot have enough storage right now!
  • Reply 7 of 8
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Sophie_D View Post


    Thanks for the responses. Seems like I'll go with the single processor and get 8GB of ram from OWC. I'll probably get some of the Seagate Barracudas from Newegg, though I think I'll stick to 1TB drives since I often shoot a couple of thousand images a week and I literally cannot have enough storage right now!



    Good choice. Also, get the cheapest graphics card. it will have almost no affect on resale, and by the time you wish to sell your Mac Pro, it's highly likely that many PCs will be EFI. What that means is that macs will be able to use cheaper PC graphics cards and no-one will pay a premium for an old card that was 35% better than the cheap option, in its heyday.



    I was going to say that you need to work on an extremely large still image (as in, 400+ megapixel) for the CPU to start having impact these days, but I think you made the right decision before I even said that. Besides, you'd need a lot of memory either way.



    Good luck, use the Mac Pro to make something awesome (or some things awesome).
  • Reply 8 of 8
    If you're doing Photoshop work, I'd have thought the Quad model enough with the stock card.



    However, bring in 3d work? GT plus the extra cpu? Worth it.



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    PS. Look at the benches on Apple's site...
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