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  #1  
Old 05-02-2009, 07:25 AM
davidman davidman is offline
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Default Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

Im finally making the switch to a Mac Pro, but I am reading so many conflicting reports. I have decided to go with one of the newer models rather than finding a deal on one of last years, but I am totally split between whether to buy a Quad core 2.66 machine or go all out and buy an 8 core 2.26 machine. If I were to go for the quad I would stick the max 8gb ram in it, if I were to go for the octo I would stick with the 6gb pre installed ram.

I have read that the quad 2.66 actually outperforms the 2.26 8 core on many benchmark tests but I havent read anywhere if this is true for audio applications.

I use a Digi 003r, PTLE 8 and write predominantly quite techy electonica/trip hop type stuff. I use Structure allot and several other VI's, and I get quite in depth with my programming - allot of automation, editing, allot of audio manipulation, elastic audio manipulation, fx proccessing etc.

I need a powerfull machine but will I actually notice much difference between an 8 core and a quad? Is the 8 core worth the extra cash for my needs. I know you can put a rediculous amount of Ram in the 8 core but will I really need any more than the 8 that you can put in the quad?

Also I am aware of the problems with hypertheading that peopl have had with these machines but I imagine that Digi and Apple will sort this out in time so that is not an issue to me.

Any genuine advice (especially from users of these machines) would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2009, 09:33 AM
dayadon dayadon is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

Hello.

I can't answer about the benefit of a newer Mac Pro, but I can say that I have the Mac Pro 2.66, and I have 12 gigs of Ram. My understanding is that this machine will take a max of 32 gigs of memory. I use the Digi 002r, but I don't do all the editing you do. I just use software instruments in PT8 and Logic 8, and things are fine on my Mac.

Dennis
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2009, 10:52 AM
strangeLoop strangeLoop is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

I just spent the past month asking the same question and doing research. I have a 003r also.
I decided on the Mac Pro 2.26 8 core with 8 gig of ram installed and then I ordered 3 WD6401AALS 7200 RPM (Caviar Black) drives that I will install.
This should work fine for now, but when OSX and Digi programming adapts more to multi core machines things will get a lot faster.
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Old 05-02-2009, 02:31 PM
shanestt shanestt is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strangeLoop View Post
I just spent the past month asking the same question and doing research. I have a 003r also.
I decided on the Mac Pro 2.26 8 core with 8 gig of ram installed and then I ordered 3 WD6401AALS 7200 RPM (Caviar Black) drives that I will install.
This should work fine for now, but when OSX and Digi programming adapts more to multi core machines things will get a lot faster.
I believe that the new update of leopard is written so that the computer will use multiple cores REGARDLESS of the whether or not the program is written for it. That update may not be out yet but if it's not it will be out soon. Then it won't matter what Digi programming does.
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Old 05-02-2009, 04:26 PM
davidman davidman is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanestt View Post
I believe that the new update of leopard is written so that the computer will use multiple cores REGARDLESS of the whether or not the program is written for it. That update may not be out yet but if it's not it will be out soon. Then it won't matter what Digi programming does.
So how does what you are saying translte in regards to my situation (quad or 8 core, is the 8 core worth the extra cash)? Does this mean that once Snow Leopard is released I will notice a considerable diffence between a quad and an 8 core? Surely if Pro Tools isn't written to fully utilise all of the cores then it wont make any difference how the operating system works with the machine?

Don't get me wrong, I fully appreciate what you are saying but could you please clarify for me.

(Also, bearing in mind how long it took Digi to sort out a compatible version of PT fo the original Leopard - Surely it will take a while until a compatable version of PTLE 8 will be released)
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  #6  
Old 05-02-2009, 05:09 PM
CME CME is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

You should notice a difference now in performance between 4-cores and 8-cores. IMO it's always best to get the most computer you can afford at the time. If I was looking to buy right now I'd def try and step up to the 8-core machines. The comment about OSX 10.6 is about it having the processor usage taken care of at the OS level instead of at the application level like is now the case. Now with 10.5 the application tries to divvy up the processor usage. With 10.6 the app will tell the OS what to do and the OS will divvy it up. So in theory 10.6 should be easier to program for. At least from my total lack of programming knowledge.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2009, 07:09 AM
davidman davidman is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

I have speced up two systems and there is actually more of a price differential than I first thought. I haven't included the price of an extra 3rd party HD as it will be the same either way. Plus I will be using my missus 12% teacher discount:

Octo - 2.26
8G ram (from apple)
Airport express card

= £2304.72

Quad - 2.66
8G ram (from apple)
Airport Express card

= £1882.31


This gives a difference of £422.21 between the two. I could save a bit on ram by getting the base amount from Apple and buying third party - but not a great deal.

Back to my original question with these prices in mind. Does anyone think that the quad system will be more than enough? My typical session is one instance of Structure (soft sampler) using many samples most of which output through seporate instrument channels, anywher between 1 - 4 soft synths (Hybrid, FM8, Pro 53, Vacuum, Boom etc), tons of automation, up to about 10ish audio tracks (some of which can have allot of elastic audio manipulation going on), usually a global reverb (most oftem TL Space) but quite often a few more, and each track (instrument, audio or aux) may have at least one plug-in (i use a lot of experimental side chaining), and the odd bit of hardware (KP3, compressors etc).

Does anyone think that the Quad that I speced up would adequately handle these scenarios?

Cheers again.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2009, 09:34 AM
davidman davidman is offline
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Default Re: Mac Pro (2009) Quad or 8 Core?

Any advice?
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