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Old Nov 15, 2006, 07:53 AM   #1
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8-Core (Clovertown) Mac Pro Benchmarks

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Intel officially introduced its family of quad-core processors on Tuesday. The new processors include the Xeon 5300 (Clovertown) and Core 2 Extreme (Kentsfield) models.

The quad-core Xeon 5300 (Clowertown) represents a pin-compatible replacement for the current dual-core Xeon 5160 (Woodcrest) processors that currently reside in the Mac Pro. This possibility was previously demonstrated by AnandTech when they successfully dropped Clovertown samples into the current Mac Pro. No benchmarks were available at that time, but CNet has now posted benchmarks of this same configuration:

Quote:
As the Xeon 5355 is pin-compatible with the Xeon 5160 processors that came installed in our Mac Pro, we proceeded to swap out the two dual-core processors with the new quad-core processors. .... With the pair of Xeon 5355 processors installed, we booted the system back up and were greeted with eight active processing cores in both the Mac OS and Windows XP via the Boot Camp Public Beta.
Benchmarks compared 3.0GHz 4-core Mac Pros (Woodcrest) vs 2.66GHz 8-core Mac Pros (Clovertown) and showed a 31% improvement in highly multithreaded benchmarks such as Cinebench. iTunes and Quake saw much less improvements. Their conclusion was that "unless you do work normally relegated to high-end workstations, perform massively multitasking workloads, or just want the bragging rights, eight cores is definitely overkill...at least for now."

Apple had been rumored to be introducing 8-Core Mac Pros as early as this month.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 07:57 AM   #2
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8-Core Mac Pro!

***drool***
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 07:58 AM   #3
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Gosh, I'll be able to email and type Word docs SO much faster!!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:01 AM   #4
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They say that the changes in speed aren't going to effect most people because the programs aren't written for multiple cores. Do you think that we are going to see more consumer apps optimized for multiple processors, or do you think that it just isn't needed?

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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:02 AM   #5
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How long before it ends up in the MacBook Pro?













(joking)
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by carletonmusic View Post
Gosh, I'll be able to email and type Word docs SO much faster!!
yup, and my webpages will load in the blink of an eye... definitely worth whatever apple will charge.

seriously though, how hard is it to get a program to multi-thread? (if thats the right term; being a complete programming novice, i've no idea)
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by P-Worm View Post
They say that the changes in speed aren't going to effect most people because the programs aren't written for multiple cores. Do you think that we are going to see more consumer apps optimized for multiple processors, or do you think that it just isn't needed?

P-Worm
They're going to have to go multi-thread capable, demands on consumer software is only going to increase as we take what is cutting edge today and integrate it into everyday life.

They're going to need every ounce of grunt they can find. Especially when HD video content becomes the norm - encoding that takes some serious brawn and consumers aren't willing to wait for their results, they don't understand the processes behind it like Pros do, consumers want it all done right now so the quicker we get software over to multi-thread aware the better.

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How long before it ends up in the MacBook Pro?













(joking)

Next Tuesday...
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:11 AM   #8
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well, OSX whooped xp for multicore usage then
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by speakerwizard View Post
well, OSX whooped xp for multicore usage then
I noticed that too. Wonder how Vista will do. XP is 5 years old while Apple has had multiple OS updates since then which were probably optimized for this sort of thing.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:21 AM   #10
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Gosh, I'll be able to email and type Word docs SO much faster!!
So funny
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:22 AM   #11
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[incredibly naive question]

is there any way to tell what software is multithreaded and will take advantage of the quad cores? (on the tech specs, etc...)

[/incredibly naive question]
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Chundles View Post
Next Tuesday...
Oh good!

***gets credit card ready***

Quote:
Originally Posted by speakerwizard View Post
well, OSX whooped xp for multicore usage then
I enjoyed that benchmark result as well.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chundles View Post
They're going to have to go multi-thread capable, demands on consumer software is only going to increase as we take what is cutting edge today and integrate it into everyday life.

They're going to need every ounce of grunt they can find. Especially when HD video content becomes the norm - encoding that takes some serious brawn and consumers aren't willing to wait for their results, they don't understand the processes behind it like Pros do, consumers want it all done right now so the quicker we get software over to multi-thread aware the better.
Yes, I hope they do start to properly multithread consumer apps, as in many ways this is overdue for Mac users (anyone remember the 533MHz dual-G4 powermac?!).

One thing that's puzzled me for ages is the fact that the encoding speed in iTunes fell off when I switched from encoding CDs as mp3 to AAC files.

If I'm not mistaken AAC-encoding is done on only one of my 867MHz G4 processors, not both, as was the case for mp3-encoding? I'm sure I read that somewhere.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:26 AM   #14
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How long before it ends up in the MacBook Pro?











(joking)
The heck with the MacBook Pro.....how about the Mac MINI!!!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:34 AM   #15
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8-Core Mac Pro!

***drool***
I'd love to see these test done in Vista, slower than XP i suspect.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:37 AM   #16
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Perhaps this would allow me to play a large map on Civ4 without the terrible huge long pauses...
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:41 AM   #17
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Parallelizable

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Originally Posted by andrew050703 View Post
seriously though, how hard is it to get a program to multi-thread? (if thats the right term; being a complete programming novice, i've no idea)
That really depends on the program, on how "parallelizable" the application is.

The simplest way to think of it is like this: Let's say you have a program that first has to calculate A. Then, when it's done that, it uses the result of A to calculate B. Then, when it's done that, uses the result of B to calculate C, then C to D, and so on. That's a *serial* problem there. The calculation of B can't begin until A is done, so it doesn't matter how many processors you have running, all computation is held up on one spot.

On the other hand, let's say you have an application that needs to calculate A, B, C and D, but those four values are not dependent on each other at all. In that case, you can use four processors at the same time, to calculate all four values at the same time.

Think of it like baking a cake. You can't start putting on the icing until the cake is done baking. And you can't start baking the cake until the ingredients are all mixed together. But you can have people simultaneously getting out and measuring the ingredients.

So that problem is partially parallelizable, but the majority of its workload is a serial process.

Some software applications, just by their very nature, will never be able to do anything useful with multiple processors.
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:42 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Allotriophagy View Post
Perhaps this would allow me to play a large map on Civ4 without the terrible huge long pauses...

Maybe, although the lag in Civ IV may have more to do with the program itself, rather than the hardware (depending on what type of Mac you are using).
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:47 AM   #19
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How can this get negative votes? In fact, how do a lot of perfectly benign threads get negative votes? Are there just members out there who vote negative on everything?
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:51 AM   #20
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This is very cool, however I think the article says it all:

"unless you do work normally relegated to high-end workstations, perform massively multitasking workloads, or just want the bragging rights, eight cores is definitely overkill...at least for now."

Of course at some point 8-cores will be the standard and will be slow compared to the 32-core systems, but until that happens, I think quad-core would suit me just fine. Hell, I'm getting by with a single core G4 right now with no complaints, so this isn't a big deal for me in the grand scheme of things!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:56 AM   #21
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Going from MHz-myth to MultipleCores-myth...
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 08:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allotriophagy View Post
Perhaps this would allow me to play a large map on Civ4 without the terrible huge long pauses...
It depends whether Civ IV was coded to take advantage of multiple cores or not. If it is indeed a multi-threaded app, then fine, it could probably share the load across all 8 cores, however this may not be the case as the app may not be able to to take advanatge of all 8 cores. Not sure, guess you'd need to test it out...
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 09:12 AM   #23
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Gosh, I'll be able to email and type Word docs SO much faster!!
If all you do is email and type freakin Word documents, why the heck would you spend so much money on a new Mac Pro? You could have been fine buying an iMac or even a MacBook

Using applications like After Effects, Photoshop, Flash, and other media apps these 8 core computers will ANNIHILATE my render times and cut production times in half, if not chop them into little pieces and spontaneously combust.

Obviously these machines are geared towards video editing, 3d animation, and motion graphics.... hence the PRO after the MAC.

I'll take all the cores I can get, for this will be a huge improvement!!
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 09:19 AM   #24
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I wonder how Handbrake, iDVD encoding, or Quicktime encoding will take advantage of the extra cores?
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Old Nov 15, 2006, 09:28 AM   #25
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How can this get negative votes? In fact, how do a lot of perfectly benign threads get negative votes? Are there just members out there who vote negative on everything?
The negative for me is the tiny caveat at the bottom of the article. Apple releasing 8-core Mac Pros this month? Highly doubtful, in my opinion.

Also, negative sometimes just means you don't believe it (as in this case) not that it's a "negative" announcement.
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