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Mac Pro Advice: 8 core w/ more ram or 12 core w/ less ram? DAW Software
Old 16th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 
DEastman's Avatar
 

Mac Pro Advice: 8 core w/ more ram or 12 core w/ less ram?

Hi Everyone-

I'm looking to upgrade my dual core mac pro to an 8 or 12 core. Because of cost, I'm considering either an 8 core with more ram, or a 12 core with less. I know I can upgrade ram later, whereas a processor can't be upgraded (or reasonably at least). So do you think a 12 core with less ram is the better option? I use pro tools and nebula pro primarily and I won't have the money to upgrade ram for quite a bit.

Thanks your help is appreciated!

Dave
Old 16th September 2011
  #2
Fhl
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It really depends on what work you'll be doing. If you're scoring with sample libraries you'll want as much RAM as physically possible. If that's not the case, you'll come a long way with 4-8GB. I have 10GB, and only want more when using libraries like VSL/LASS etc. So I agree with your reasoning. You can always upgrade RAM later.
Old 16th September 2011
  #3
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DEastman's Avatar
 

Thanks Fhi! Thats what I suspected. Does anyone have any experience with Nebula 3 pro and macs, in terms of what will get me the furthest? My hope is to be able to, at the minimum, have 5 or 6 instances running on busses, with ample power left over to mix a session. Thoughts? Thanks!

Dave
Old 16th September 2011
  #4
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clonewar's Avatar
 

I can't comment on using Nebula on the Mac, but I would always recommend spending the money up front on processor and adding RAM later down the line when you can.
Old 16th September 2011
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DEastman View Post
Thanks Fhi! Thats what I suspected. Does anyone have any experience with Nebula 3 pro and macs, in terms of what will get me the furthest? My hope is to be able to, at the minimum, have 5 or 6 instances running on busses, with ample power left over to mix a session. Thoughts? Thanks!

Dave
You can configure Nebula to set your preferred tradeoff between RAM vs. CPU. On a 12 core, 5 or 6 instances shouldn't be a problem at all.
Old 16th September 2011
  #6
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my experience,

most software just doesn't do core sharing well enough to warrant 12 cores. To be honest, i have 3 mac pros, 2009 , 2010 and 2011 each 8 core and they all pretty much function the same. Sure benchmarks will be different but in actual use, I see virtually no difference. The Mac Pro hasn't changed in 3 years as far as i'm concerned.

If you can, get a used 2009 8 core. I think that was the best model and bang for buck.
Old 16th September 2011
  #7
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Jim Stout's Avatar
I have a 2008 8core 2.8ghz machine with 16 gig of RAM and I have not run out of processing power yet.
Old 16th September 2011
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Jeff19's Avatar
I would get the 6-core 3.33 Ghz. For some reason the apple store hides this option under the 4-core ordering. So click on 4-core to order, then chose 6-core option. For only a few hundred more you can get 12gb ram with a fast 6 core vs a slower 8 core with 12 gb ram. It would cost almost 1000 more for the 12 core with 6 gb ram.
Old 16th September 2011
  #9
Never buy your RAM from Apple. Get the fastest processor you can manage - the newer generation of plugs is VERY CPU hungry and processors don't go as far per-instance as they used to.

You can purchase RAM from companies like Other World Computing or NewEgg for much cheaper than you'll get it from Apple. Two 8GB memory sticks = $285 from OWC or $750 from Apple. It takes 60 seconds to install it yourself in the new Mac Pros.

So there you go.
Old 16th September 2011
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Jeff19's Avatar
The 8-core 2.8Ghz are pretty powerful too. If u can get one used, for cheaper with plenty of ram, I would get that. You can only buy the 2.4 Ghz new (not 2.8), but it is a newer "westmere"
Old 17th September 2011
  #11
Gear Head
 
DEastman's Avatar
 

Thanks, everyone, for your help. What I'm getting from these responses is that its hard to go wrong with the 8 or 12 core (or even 6!). Most people seem to have the 8 and be doing just fine. One last question- multiple people have told me that a mac pro upgrade is right around the corner...any idea what this would be? 16 core, or faster processors for the 8 and 12 cores? Thanks!

Dave
Old 17th September 2011
  #12
Gear Head
 
DEastman's Avatar
 

Also, with these updates, do they tend to drive down the cost of older mac pro models? I'm assuming yes...
Old 17th September 2011
  #13
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valis's Avatar
The current year model that gets depreciated drops considerably more than older models. Ie, 2008/2009 model shouldn't drop too much when a late 2011 is announced, but a 2011 model sold in the Apple store currently will wind up dropping more when it's replaced with a newer model.
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