MacPro 4 or 8 Core?

J

JeremyT

Guest
I'm evaluating an upgrade to my current PowerMac G5 (dual 2.'Ghz). The new MacPro comes in single 4-core or dual (eight) core configuration. For those of you who have the new MacPro:

1) Does LightRoom utilize all 4 cores during an import/export, etc in a 4-core config?
2) Does LightRoom utilize all 8 cores in an 8-core config at any one time?

I would love to buy the 8-core, but if there are always "dormant" cores, I might as well go for the 4-core.

Your feedback is appreciated!
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,750
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
The 8 core is fantastic... but even with 27 exports running concurrently, I have never yet managed to hit more than about 42'% CPU, and that was with me trying hard to max it out!!! I ran out of files to export before I ran out of CPU!

So yes it does use the multiple cores, but you'd have to be doing some pretty heavy duty stuff to actually NEED the 8-core. Spend the money on extra RAM instead - that's well worth the cash.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,750
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
J

JeremyT

Guest
Thanks, Victoria and Ian, for the quick responses. Now, to wait until the Apple Developer conference to see if they will introduce faster processors? :)
 

Ian Farlow

Founder
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
1,343
Location
Braselton, GA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
This is an on-going issue, when in my opinion it shouldn't be. If you would like one now, then get one now. There will always be something better just around the corner, and so if you wait for the better machine, you will always wait for the better machine.

I have the older Mac Pro quad-core and it works very, very well. I have absolutely no complaints, and while there is a newer version available, I won't even consider upgrading for several years. No need. This machine is great.

My point is simply that what is available now is excellent. There is no reason to wait if you are ready to buy.
 
R

Richard Earney

Guest
Agreed - there is talk of 6 core processors from intel, so they will come at some time, but you can be productive right now with a 4 or 8 core machine. The difference from a g5 is astonishing (it was my old machine too). You will benefit. Especially with the upgrade to LR 2.'.

To add to Victoria's point about RAM - OWC are brilliant - but also I wouldn't buy any more than 1 HDD from Apple as well - they charge large amounts for adding 2nd, 3rd and 4th internal drives. You can save more money by going to the likes of Dabs, Insight or OWC and stocking up there.
 

Mark Sirota

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
4,055
Location
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
The 8 core is fantastic... but even with 27 exports running concurrently, I have never yet managed to hit more than about 42'% CPU, and that was with me trying hard to max it out!!! I ran out of files to export before I ran out of CPU!

So yes it does use the multiple cores, but you'd have to be doing some pretty heavy duty stuff to actually NEED the 8-core. Spend the money on extra RAM instead - that's well worth the cash.

I'd bet that's a disk I/O bottleneck rather than a memory bottleneck -- spend your leftover money on a faster storage architecture.
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
22,750
Location
Isle of Wight, UK
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Yep, I'd agree with that. It would be interesting to know where the cut off point actually is. It wasn't maxing out RAM while running those exports (that'd be pretty tough to do with 1'gb!), but I like having the RAM available to do lots of different jobs at the same time.

This machine is currently running WD 75'gb's, which were the fastest big drives (within reason) that I could find, with the images on RAID '. Any suggestions on
how to make it even faster Mark......? Not that I could actually keep up if it went any faster..... :D
 

Mark Sirota

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
Messages
4,055
Location
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
What's doing the striping in your RAID ' set? What are the stripe parameters? How is the RAID controller connected to the host? What is the bus architecture, and what else is competing on that bus?

The specific example you gave involved multiple exports running simultaneously. Were all the image files on that RAID ' set? Where were the new image files being written?
 
R

Richard Earney

Guest
There is a faster drive spec on the newest MacPros the 1'k RPM SAS drives, but they max out at 3''GB each
 

JohnnyV

Active Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
120
I would love to buy the 8-core, but if there are always "dormant" cores, I might as well go for the 4-core.

I doubt Lightroom would use all 8 cores...but don't forget the unused cores will be used by the operating system, Photoshop and any other running apps. So while many exports are running concurrently in Lightroom, you could edit in Photoshop without much slow down.

But take note of Mark Sirota's advice about fast storage architecture.
 

Ian Farlow

Founder
Joined
Sep 29, 2007
Messages
1,343
Location
Braselton, GA
Lightroom Experience
Advanced
Lightroom Version
As I understand it, Lightroom can/will take advantage of all 8 cores if required by the tasks at hand. But, at JohnnyV stated, it certainly won't hurt to have them.
 
Top