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I am going to get a mac pro in the near future and I am debating on going with a newer less powerful machine or a older but more powerful spec spec wise model. When I say newer from apple even refuibished is completly out of my budjet but I am looking at 4,1 mac pros with low amounts of ram, HDD but I could get a newer older one with double the ram and multiple large HDD's. Graphics are not a problem because I have a ATI 5770 card for whatever I get. I need outside help making this critical decision.
 

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Well, if you only need it for a week it doesn't matter much. Save your money.

If you can get a super deal on an older machine fast enough to do the job, it's worth considering.

(psst... did you mean weAk?) ;)
 

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Newer machines will have more room for upgrades in the future. Are you considering this a long-term investment? RAM/Storage prices drop fast. OTOH, the machine you are looking at is very close in specs to the new Mac Pro, if you don't think your performance requirements will change in the next couple if years it should serve you well. What, if I may ask, do you plan on using your Mac for?
 

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I am going to get a mac pro in the near future and I am debating on going with a newer less powerful machine or a older but more powerful spec spec wise model. When I say newer from apple even refuibished is completly out of my budjet but I am looking at 4,1 mac pros with low amounts of ram, HDD but I could get a newer older one with double the ram and multiple large HDD's. Graphics are not a problem because I have a ATI 5770 card for whatever I get. I need outside help making this critical decision.
What makes you think the newer systems would be "weaker"? There are overall system architecture benefits as well as hyperthreading to consider with the newer systems.

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It clearly matters what you're using it for. My 3.0 GHz Mac Pro choked on a big Photoshop file at 6 GB of RAM. Better at 10 GB of RAM but you get my drift--you can't crank it if you buy a stingy machine.
 

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peek-a-boo
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that's true, if it's for work, and you need as much power as possible, lease the machine you need if the upfront costs are too high.

I've always regretted buying the lower power machine later on down the road, but I need some juice for what I'm doing.
 

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IAMSTIG
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I'd buy the newest model you can afford...then add ram and drive space as need be at a later date. It is a lot easier to upgrade ram and drives then CPU
 

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It does depend on use and some pro apps do better on some architectures set ups than others...we expect to see better use of multi-core hyperthreaading on the next round of apps.

High clock always benefits on all programs-
it's one reason we think the 3.33 Westmere is the pick as an all around performer do anything at a reasonable price. Music Pros and PS pros we think this is ideal balance of clock, threads, bus performance and value.

For value/multiprocessing the 2.26 previous gen with 24 gigs of ram is far better than the 2.4 current offering for AFX and Final Cut.
As the graph shows above there is little to choose between them in benchmarks.

Previous gen Nehalem 2.66 with 12 gigs is a very good balance for Photoshop and CS pros tho weak on Final Cut and AFX.

2.8 8 core non-hyper threaded are rock solid all around and in the $2k range are good value. We had rarely ever seen any traded into until very recently - good boxes.

Without enough ram to feed the processors tho its a waste.
Good article on Barefeats about that aspect....will try and find.

First gen 2.66 and 3.0 quads are good value sub $1500 with decent ram and can be transformed with the 5770 video care now out.

That they can run various OS is a benefit to some users.
 

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If money is tight, have you checked the ehmac desktop Mac classifieds??? There seem to be some nice Mac Pros listed there that still seem to be for sale.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It clearly matters what you're using it for. My 3.0 GHz Mac Pro choked on a big Photoshop file at 6 GB of RAM. Better at 10 GB of RAM but you get my drift--you can't crank it if you buy a stingy machine.
I am using this for alot of things everything from hd movie editing to gaming in bootcamp
 

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First gen 2.66 and 3.0 quads are good value sub $1500 with decent ram and can be transformed with the 5770 video care now out.
How big a transformation?
 

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Brings it up to at least similar video performance with current machines as there was little choice prior.
That makes them viable as intermediate machines whereas before the 7300 was slow and 1900xt flaky.

With the OS taking more advantage of the GPU, an early quad with 8 gigs, a decent drive and the 5770 should be fine for almost any graphics or music use except the most demanding and very viable for the home enthusiast who wants the extra storage and flex.

The 3.0 is still a desirable clock speed and many apps still are not very multi-core aware.
Many of the ..my mac is slow....complaints here and in office come from poor or no drive maintenance....fragmentation in particular. iDefrag over night can work wonders.

A 500 XT in a MacPro is another cheap treat.,,and both it and the 5770 can move forward to newer boxes.
 
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