Time for a Mac Pro—Which One?


I've been plodding along with my old G5 Dual 2.0 for a long time, but I can't put off the upgrade any longer. I've been reading some of the issues people are having with both memory and CPU distribution, which have made me wonder whether I really need an 8-Core. I use Logic for composing and arranging, making sometimes heavy use of EXS, Kontakt, Vienna Instruments, East-West Play libraries and a number of other VI's, so I need a powerful system for sample streaming-but while I do record sometimes 12 or more audio tracks alongside the VI's, I don't do any final mixes in Logic and therefore don't need the extra CPU power if it won't noticeably improve my MIDI-based work. Will I regret going for the Quad? Is it possible the faster processors of a single Quad will benefit me more than the slower processors of an entry-level 8-Core? Any advice appreciated.
I have a quad that Ive been starting to use, get used to LP9 on it next to my G5 2.5 running LP 7.2.3...I notice that I can open a lot more plugs w/out any hiccups at all..I will mention that all of my East/West libs work better on the G5, as I get drop outs that I dont get on the G5. Everything else though, K2 player running Symphobia, All Spectrasonics products, EXS, as I also use Project Sams products w/EXS..they work flawless. I feel like I have more headroom as far as pushing plugs. I have 8 GB mem. I wonder what the diff would be if I had gone ahead and got the 8 core, but so far, I like it. people I speak to tell me Im crazy, but LP9 has a different sound to it than 7..cant put my finger on it, although I have considered it may be the upgraded drivers that I needed to install (RME FF800) on the quad. Id really like to side by side the RME w/ an Apogee....Actually, once you get working on it, there's really not that much difference..as I'll have 2 projects going at once on the quad and the G5.
But you know what they say...you can never have enough power...or memory...good luck w/your decision..
Interesting that your East-West libraries are giving you trouble, since they are supposedly optimized for Intel processors. In fact, it was when I added the Symphonic Orchestra Platinum and it was struggling mightily that I decided to upgrade. I assume you're using the Play version, yes? Are you running the system at 64-bits? And how are you integrating the G5 into your new setup? As a node? Sorry for the inquisition, but these are all questions that are on my mind right now.
Yes, I am using all updated Play...I update as soon as I install to insure Im running the latest version. Im still at 32 bit, as Ive got most of my libs loaded and working fine. Im not sure all of my plugs are 64 bit yet, and since the quad is a new setup, I do things 1 at a time and want everything working. As I mentioned, the EW stuff works good on the G5, sometimes I load an empty Logic song to do the Play trks, as it gets a bit funny if I have too many things open. The problem on the quad is..when I open Symp Orch, say I want to do a staccato string line, 16ths, 32nds...when Im striking a note, after so many strikes, the note disappears..now if I hit the note hard, I can still hear it, very low..but it basically disappears..I then have to reload the sample, it will then work for awhile, but then the same thing happens..I have spoken to their techs, they are very good, and I have done every suggestion there is, still does it, nothing has helped. I even went as far as to uninstall reinstall..same thing...Im puzzled, I thought w/the quad running 8 GB mem everything should work fine..so thats ongoing...I would like to add their choir w/wordbuilder, but not until I get this sorted..

As far as integrating the G5, I run both units seperate..1 running LP 7.2.3, the other running 9.02. The thought is to keep both going, add the newer more powerful plugs into the quad and integrating it into my everyday work..the G5 has been a champ though, its on 12 hours a day, getting beat, so Ive been fortunate in that respect.
I'd wait for the new MacPro to come out which should be within a few weeks max. Last year they came out with the new model around the same time. If you go to an Apple Store, not a reseller, the day that the new models come out you can get an amazing 'end of the line' price on the previous MacPro which in this case would be the Nethalem. Last February I bought the Xeon 2.6ghz MacPro for $1000. less than the sticker price by doing this. I also showed them my business card which put me in the 'business' category which helped too. I'll be doing this again when the new MacPro arrives. I'm waiting:)

Judith Gruber-Stitzer
Thanks for the info, Nuevo, and good luck with sorting out the Play issues. Keep us posted if you learn anything revealing. And thanks, Judith, for that suggestion. Unfortunately we don't have an Apple store in my area, but it will still be of benefit to buy right after the release of a new line. Are there any reliable rumors floating around about a release date?
The 6 core boxes are going to be sexy, no doubt. The short answer to the original question is the biggest, baddest box you can afford. Its the only way to not regret your purchase 2 weeks down the road.

Here's hoping the 6 way boxes don't cost the same as a new car...