Four or Eight?

I bought my Power Mac G5 in January of 2006 – several months before the Intel processors were available in a desktop form factor. This was not intentional – no one knew when the Intel-based computers would hit the market.

In August I purchased a MacBook Pro, which was based on the Intel processor, and I was able to run Windows (for development purposes only) in either a Parallels instance or in Boot Camp. I even blogged about this in my old blog.

As my weekly trips to Redmond come to an end in May, I find myself wondering how I could sit here with my PowerMac (which is no slouch, mind you – 4 processors and 2 gigs of ram) but work on my laptop all day long just because I need to use Windows.

To that end, I have decided to sell my PowerMac (as well as a Dell Latitude D600 laptop that I gave up in favor of the MacBook Pro) and purchase an intel-based Mac Pro. The thing I’m struggling with is how many cores to get.

I’ve already decided the 3 GHz processors are a must, but could I possibly make use of 8 cores? I run Final Cut Studio for video and sound editing and production, and I plan to run two virtual machines concurrently throughout the day, but I just worry that I will regret not spending the extra money now ($700) to get twice the processing power.

Does anyone have much in the way of advice?

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