Workstation choices - high end PC or Mac Pro

Started Feb 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,342
Better than I expected...

That's better than I expected (specs on your older computer). But, even some of the entry level boxes with newer Core i5 processors test faster now (as technology improves at a rapid pace).

Something like a Core i7 4770 is roughly twice as fast as your Core i7 920.   Of course, memory bandwidth and speed, drive speed, etc. have also improved since you bought that box.

Personally, I'd just go with something with a Core i7 4770 in it with a mid range video card (not even spending as much on that Dell I mentioned).

Of course, if you really wanted to splurge, you can spent a *lot* on a PC. But, at the most, I'd go with something like a Core i7 4930K with 6 cores (and I think that's "overkill" for most still image editing). For example, Dell offers 6 Core CPUs with their Alienware boxes. But, there are many vendors that build custom computers that offer them, too (and if you really wanted to spend a lot, you could go with dual Xeons, etc. -- but for still image editing, I just don't see where you'd benefit from that kind of setup, and you'd end up spending a *lot* more money.

IOW, I just don't see where the price/performance ratio would be worth it though for the apps you're running; as you'll tend to see rapidly diminishing returns once you get to a given processor speed and video chipset speed with most apps used for still image editing (where you may spend 4 or 5 times as much to get an extra 10% improvement).

So, I don't see the point of spending a fortune on a workstation with dual Firepro cards, etc; unless you're using software specifically optimized for Firepro (and your software isn't).

IOW, for someone doing a lot of CAD or 3D work using software optimized for Firepro chipsets and drivers, perhaps a Mac Pro would be worth a look. But, for still image editing, it just seems like a *huge* waste of money from my perspective. I'd be inclined to spend around $1K on a new PC, then upgrade it 3 or 4 years later with another $1K PC running even faster chipsets; versus spending $3K on something like a Mac Pro, when the performance benefits are probably negligible, with newer generation boxes out performing it a few years down the road.

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