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Mac Pro

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by deram_scholzara, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    Do any of you have experiences with the new Mac Pros? I'm trying to decided whether I need a few more tenth's of Gigahertz or not. My plan right now is to get the 8-core 2.8 Ghz model with an 8800GT GPU and I'm going to order an additional 8GB or RAM from another supplier.

    So, is the slight increase in speed useful? Is it worth the several hundred dollars more I'd pay for it?
     
  2. Dakta

    Dakta

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    I'm developing on a Dual core Mac Mini, so I wouldn't know. My goal is to get a Mac Pro with Dual 2.8ghz quads and the second best graphics card, but that's a long way and a lot of cash away.

    If you can afford it, I'd up the processors, but if it's on the edge, I wouldn't bother.
     
  3. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    The ram increase at least in term of Unity does not make a difference if you already have 4-8GB present.

    The sad thing with the MacPro is that they don't offer any acceptable current gen GPU.
    8800GT is 1.5 generations behind (GTX260 - GTX280 would be the current and it is 4-8 times as fast, the more shaders you use). So just be aware that for 3D gaming and realtime development, there sadly is no real option right now for higher end usage. (and no, multiple ATIs don't solve it, they are only usable for rendering and GPGPU, not gaming)
     
  4. kevinr

    kevinr

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    but don't the new macbook pros have a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M / 9600 GT? How does that stack up?
     
  5. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    ATI's supposed to be releasing a Mac Radeon HD 4870. Anyway it might be better to wait a little longer for the next Mac Pro revision, since the current one is nearly a year old.

    --Eric
     
  6. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    When do you suppose Apple might release the new Mac Pros?

    When they do come out, what improvements could they make? Aren't the Xeon's they're using already just about as fast as they can get?
     
  7. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    I think this answers things about as well as they can be at this time. Also, Mac Pro buyer's guide.

    --Eric
     
  8. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    Cool, thanks Eric...

    I may or may now wait. Cinebench improvements are only about 29%, which is the program I use. The specfp rates are almost double, but actual performance gains don't seem overly significant.
     
  9. NathanWarden

    NathanWarden

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    Yeah, you should definitely wait. The next Mac Pro's should be coming out within the next few months (or maybe even weeks). As far as pricing for the current Mac Pros, if all your other specs like RAM, GPU and HD for the machine are the same, you can just divide the total GHz against the price, like this:

    Where GHz is the base CPU speed multiplied by 8 cores:

    $2800 / ( 2.8 ) 22.4 = $125 per GHz
    $3600 / ( 3.0 ) 24 = $150 per GHz (you're losing $600 compared to the 2.8 model)
    $4400 / ( 3.2 ) 25.6 = 171.88 per GHz (you're losing $1200 compared to the 2.8 model)

    In conclusion, the 2.8 GHz machine definitely has the most bang for the buck... and so that's the one I bought back in February! :) Unless you absolutely need that extra little bit of speed (which really isn't much in comparison), then getting the lower end machine is better. :)
     
  10. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    As Core i7 was launched on Nov 17th and the new Xeons are comming soon, the MacPro definitely will get an Upgrade in Q1 09 with the new flood of Core i7 with much better server class performance and therefor considerably more speed for rendering, database etc.
     
  11. crockett

    crockett

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    While this is true, there is nothing at all wrong with a 8800. I'm running one in my PC and I've yet to run into anything I couldn't play as far as games go.

    It might be a problem in the mac pro though, because who knows what card they are using. It might be a sub par one and their drivers might not work as well as Nvida drivers but I'd assume it would still preform pretty good.
     
  12. Dreamora

    Dreamora

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    Well, you would have run into various things if OSX had OpenGL3 at all. But right now, we already would be happy if the drivers from ATI weren't that trash that OpenGL 2.1 is already more than a small problem.

    Without DX10 class the old graphic cards can keep up better (not needfully on 1920x1200 and higher with 8x FSAA and 16x Anisotropic filter, but at least on MBP size).
    On the other hand there are only a handfull of higher end games anyway on the mac so far.
    Thought for stuff like QuakeWars, the GTX would be worlds better suited than the 8800 (the iMac has a GS ...) which can easily be killed with the amount of texture data and shader calcs present there.
     
  13. NathanWarden

    NathanWarden

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    Same here. I have a 512MB 8800 GT for my Mac Pro, I just loaded Dead Space onto my Mac's Vista partition about a week or two ago, cranked ALL the settings to the max and it runs perfectly! :) Can't say the same for Crisis as it get's slow when I crank the settings really high, but, my roommate has a PC with 2 of the new, latest and greatest, top of the line NVidia 768 MB cards running together and Crisis is still a little choppy.

    My argument is this, it's very true that the 8800 GT isn't top of the line hardware, but, it has given me 0 problems thus far and it works great for games on Mac and Windows and for my 3D work in Unity, Modo and LightWave! :)

    We'll see where everything goes, but, the new lineup of macs usually comes with a new lineup of video cards as well, so, some of the arguments one way or the other may be invalid in a few months. To top that off, if Apple continues their trend, Mac OS 10.6 should be out within the next year (probably a lot sooner) as well, and who knows what that will entail. :)
     
  14. Alec

    Alec

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    As much as I'd like having an amazing looking game I'd still want to reach a wider audience and have a playable game for people with lesser cards.

    PS: sick avatar Nathan!
     
  15. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    You can have both...that's what QualitySettings are for.

    --Eric
     
  16. Alec

    Alec

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    crytek must've forgotten about that lol
     
  17. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

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    Maybe they should use Unity. ;)

    --Eric
     
  18. Alec

    Alec

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    I've said it before and I'll say it again: CryEngine2 SUCKS!

    in comparision to unity it takes about quadruple the time to make a decent terrain than in Unity
     
  19. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    So.. I decided I'm going to wait and see what happens with the new models. So when they roll out, I'll be sure to let you know as soon as possible what my impressions are. I may even post some pictures.
     
  20. deram_scholzara

    deram_scholzara

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    So how likely do you think it is that Apple will upgrade the type of RAM that their Mac Pros use, and what kind do you think they will switch to?
     
  21. NathanWarden

    NathanWarden

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    I think that's a really great choice. Yeah let us know what you think, that would be awesome! :) As far as RAM, I think the best place to get some hints is to check out the MacRumors website: http://www.macrumors.com/

    Thanks Alec! You can see my whole rendered image here, it took me a few days since I had modeled the HK and Christine about a year earlier. Not the greatest render ever, but, it was fun to put together:

    http://web.mac.com/nathanwardenlee/Forum_Images/HK_Tank/HK_Smashing_Christine.jpg
     
  22. Alec

    Alec

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    love it dude!
     
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