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Go Back   Avid Pro Audio Community > Legacy Products > 003, Mbox 2, Digi 002, original Mbox, Digi 001 (Mac)

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  #1  
Old 08-24-2009, 12:38 AM
abenkori abenkori is offline
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Default Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig Ram

Hello to all:

I will be running Pro Tools V.8.0 on my mac-which apparently will either be a used 8-core 2.8 Harpertown machine (which I will upgrade to 16 or even 32 gig RAM), OR: a reconditioned 2.66 Nehalem quadcore machine, which as we all know, is limited (according to mac formalities ) to 8 Gig RAM.


I know many people say that with aftermarket chips (which I'll be using anyway-so as not to grossly OVERPAY!), we can cram in double the apple spec, and get 16 gig of DDR3 RAM in the new quadcore.

I plan to use BFD's latest version, a bit of soft synths, and plenty of compressors, eqs, F/X, and I'd like to Keep things flexible (in the MIDI realm) and not bounce to audio , so I know RAM is important....but the advantages of a newer quadcore vs the Harpertown 8 core can be blurred according to who you talk to...usually computer salespeople who don't know much about pro audio, and couldn't care less! They talk up what they have on hand to peddle... Only PT users are gonna' have real world answers.


My Question is:

Would you rather have a year-old 8-core Harpertown machine upgradeable to 32 GIG of DDR2 Ram, or the new 2.66 Nehalem machine, which may max out at 8 GIG of DDR3 (or even 16 GIG DDR3)?

Thanks so much.
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2009, 12:45 AM
tamasdragon tamasdragon is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

If you have money, I vote for the new one. Nehalem is faster, though both computer is beast.
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  #3  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:13 AM
NHH NHH is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

I'd be tempted to wait a couple of weeks as Snow Leopard is imminent.

Evidently this can access the CPU for basic tasks a lot quicker than Leopard which could have massive impact on the performance of ProTools.

I've seen Snow Leopard running - flicking through photographs etc. and the re-draw is much much tighter than Leopard on the same machine.
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2009, 10:35 AM
abenkori abenkori is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

Do you mean that you think a Nahelem single quadcore processore is likely to work better with Snow Leopard than an 8-core harpertown Xeon machine? I believe I could upgrade to snow leopard, backwards compatible to a year-old harpertown intel processor machine.. I think the cost of an upgrade is either free or affordable...what I want to find out is whether thr 1-yr old 8 core is better than the 6 month old quadcore nehalem.

What I am really asking everyone, is their opinion about two-to four times the the RAM capacity (albeit DDR2) in the harpertown 8-core-which is 32gig-versus the single quadcore nahalem-which, according to mac, will max out at only 8 GIG... and (may be upgradeable, while voiding Mac's warranty) to 16 gig.

that's the critical question.
Slightly an apples-to oranges comparisson, but I'm sure some one among us has real experience comparing

Thanks.
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:30 AM
tamasdragon tamasdragon is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

I would rather have the new one with "only" 16gigs of ram.
I think it is better, and more future proof if we can say something like this in the computer world.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2009, 11:34 AM
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sunburst79 sunburst79 is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

Quote:
Originally Posted by abenkori View Post
Do you mean that you think a Nahelem single quadcore processore is likely to work better with Snow Leopard than an 8-core harpertown Xeon machine? I believe I could upgrade to snow leopard, backwards compatible to a year-old harpertown intel processor machine.. I think the cost of an upgrade is either free or affordable...what I want to find out is whether thr 1-yr old 8 core is better than the 6 month old quadcore nehalem.

What I am really asking everyone, is their opinion about two-to four times the the RAM capacity (albeit DDR2) in the harpertown 8-core-which is 32gig-versus the single quadcore nahalem-which, according to mac, will max out at only 8 GIG... and (may be upgradeable, while voiding Mac's warranty) to 16 gig.

that's the critical question.
Slightly an apples-to oranges comparisson, but I'm sure some one among us has real experience comparing

Thanks.
AFIK you should be able to replace your RAM without voiding the warranty. Apples configuration options seem more geared towards forcing you to upgrade to a dual processor machine rather than giving you a capable single processor one.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2009, 05:56 AM
elmostephane elmostephane is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

Hey, I'm no big tech or anything, but in my amateur geek opinion, you are still better off with 8 processors to allocate to your plugins. even if it's against 4 better processors. The Nehalehem cores are not twice as good as the harpetown, so technically, you get more with the old 8 core. Remember though that until PT is 64bit compatible, 8, 16, or 32 gigs of ram won't make a difference...
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2009, 01:17 PM
abenkori abenkori is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey, I'm no big tech or anything, but in my amateur geek opinion, you are still better off with 8 processors to allocate to your plugins. even if it's against 4 better processors. The Nehalehem cores are not twice as good as the harpetown, so technically, you get more with the old 8 core. Remember though that until PT is 64bit compatible, 8, 16, or 32 gigs of ram won't make a difference...
------------------

Hello Elmostaphane:

with respect, no insult intended....about PT not seeing all that extra RAM until it is 64 bit...HUH?

Maybe I gotta' do some reading...too bad Digidesign's website makes as much user-friendly sense as a Yamaha MOTIF.

Anyway, My friends at Colorado Sound Studios are certainly using 32 gig on their new 8-core mac- but of course they are running HD, not LE....

Hey, if you can clarify your last remark, please do... how much RAM will PT 8 (LE) currently utilize?

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2009, 06:47 PM
rainsong rainsong is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

I just went through this decision process, too. After reading a bunch of benchmarks and reviews online, I went with the Nehalem 2.66. From my understanding, the processor and RAM are both significantly faster on the Nehalem than on the Harpertown. In fact, the Nehalem-quad actually beats the Harpertown-8 on a good amount of tests/applications.

Either machine is pretty damn fast, but I felt the newer (and faster) processor might have a longer future. We'll see. I'm still waiting for my RAM upgrade to show up before I'll know what I truly have on my hands.

All that being said, I'm not a computer geek or complete expert on this stuff either (I sort of quit caring about following computer specs when I switched from PC's years ago).
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2009, 07:06 PM
elmostephane elmostephane is offline
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Default Re: Mac 8core 2.8 gHz Harpertown 16-32 gig RAM vs. New 2.66 gHz Nehalem with 8-16 gig

Quote:
Originally Posted by abenkori View Post
with respect, no insult intended....about PT not seeing all that extra RAM until it is 64 bit...HUH?

Hey, if you can clarify your last remark, please do... how much RAM will PT 8 (LE) currently utilize?
If you google or even just search the DUC about how much RAM can ProTools See and use, you'll see that the maximum for a 32bit system (which is, leopard & Win XP) is 4GB (actually a bit less, more like 3.7GB). In order for ProTools to recognise more RAM, it has to be 64bit compatible.
Good news! Snow Leopard coming out this friday is written in 64bit, meaning that future applications written in 64bit will fully use the MacPro's abilities and RAM. We'll just have to wait until Digidesign rewrites a new version of ProTools in 64bits (which WILL take a while, my guess is, minimum one year). One last comment on that, ProTools 32bits (the one we're all using right now) will be compatible with Snow Leopard as this OS also supports 32bit aplications :)




Quote:
Originally Posted by abenkori View Post
Anyway, My friends at Colorado Sound Studios are certainly using 32 gig on their new 8-core mac- but of course they are running HD, not LE....
Don't get me wrong, I got an 8-core MacPro with 32GB of RAM (installed this morning BTW, they make a lot more noise than when I only had 4GB but hey...), and in any case, more RAM is always better, I'm just saying that PT cannot recognise and use more than 4GB right now. It's not to say though that the loading of your application and plugins will be faster, some third party plugins WILL work better as they might have been written to recognise more RAM, and finally, you can easily now run PT, Reason, internet, photoshop, and more at the same time with more RAM :)

One more thing, The HD setup of your friend will obviously beneficiate the extra RAM, but yet again, only 4GB can be recognised by PT. And while I'm on the subject of HD, why would you bother spending so much money on such a system when running LE on an 8-core machine will be more power than you'll ever need?





Hope this all helps! Cheers.




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