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Old Apr 25, 2009, 12:08 PM   #1
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2.66 Quad vs 2.93 Quad Buyer's Guide (Includes Octos)

2.66 Quad Core vs 2.93 Quad Core

Bragging rights only, does not show “real world” performance difference (Courtesy OWC):



CINEBENCH
14251
15800
10.86941267279489%

GEEKBENCH
9390
10236
9.00958466453674%


Real World Single Thread Difference:



3x2GB Sticks – Total Ram 6GB
28.78
27.28
5.211952744961779%

4x2GB Sticks – Total Ram 8GB
28.82
27.66
4.02498265093685%



Real World Multi Thread Difference:



3x2GB Sticks – Total Ram 6GB
177
165
6.779661016949152%

4x2GB Sticks – Total Ram 8GB
177
163
7.909604519774012%



Recent BareFeats Benchmarks:

GRAPH LEGEND
m2.9 4c = 4-core 2009 Mac Pro 2.93GHz with 12G of RAM and Radeon HD 4870
m2.7 4c = 4-core 2009 Mac Pro 2.66GHz with 6G of RAM and Geforce 120 GT



7.344632768361582%

This percentage gain is misleading because if the 2.66 were equally equiped with 12GB Ram the percentage gain of the 2.93 over the 2.66 would now only be 6.395348837209303% in this multi threaded test.




0% Difference



0% Difference



Our Testing:

In real world use it is impossible to detect a performance difference between the 2.66 and 2.93. And I need to emphasize the word “impossible”. Five of us used both configurations for an hour each and not a single one of us could tell the difference. Your money is better spent elsewhere. What can you buy with the extra $500? Three 1TB WD Blacks (you can use the stock 640GB Blue for TM) plus add 6GB Ram and have $75 in extra change. $500 off a ACD. A SSD for $300-360 and the 4870 upgrade with it. Once we jumped on a 2.66 with SSD we could feel a dramatic performance difference. The difference is very significant and not minor like the processors. In regard to the VelociRaptor's I would stay away from them for the same insignificant speed bump difference as the processors. Here is a quote from a Raptor user:
“Not a quantum leap over a 32M cache 7200k

Pros: The fastest consumer desktop SATA hard drive money can buy. I was expecting a bit more speed, however, all in all this is a pretty good drive. Runs very cool, cooler than my 750GB caviar black I use now as a storage drive since I got the raptor. I also think its pretty quiet for the most part as I cannot hear it over my case fans, which are of medium loudness.

Cons: To me 230$ is a bit hard to swallow for the incremental performance over a fast, modern 7200K 32M drive. I gave this 4 starts simply because of its price/performance. Here are some quick results using HD Tune 2.55 vs. my WD 750GB WD7501AALS caviar black.

Average Transfer rate:
VelociRaptor - 101.4 MB/s
750GB Caviar Black - 90.5 MB/s

Burst Rate:
VelociRaptor - 182.2 MB/s
750GB Caviar Black - 143.1 MB/s

Access Time:
VelociRaptor - 7.0ms
750GB Caviar Black - 11.1ms

Modern 32MB cached 7200k drives like a WD Caviar Black series are not too far behind the velociraptor in benchmarked speed and you will be hard pressed to notice a real world difference.

Other Thoughts: Price is kinda steep for marginal speed increase over a 32MB cached caviar black. Makes you want to think about shelling out some more $$ and just take the SSD plunge. A newer SSD like the new OCZ Vertex or even Intel's SSDs wipe the floor with a conventional HD like a VelociRaptor. In my humble opinion, unless you have money to burn and don't want to get an SSD, pass on a velociraptor and get a large capacity 32MB cached Caviar Black as you will notice zero real world performance difference, save a lot of money and have much greater capacity. Again the VelociRaptor is a great fast SATA drive, but after my experience, when the rubber meets the road, this drive is not at all worth the price premium over a fast 7200k drive. If extreme storage speed is what your after, especially a drive that will serve as a boot drive or gaming drive, nothing short of a new high performance SSD will satisfy you. “
Note: To make matters worse, the 750GB Black that he used in his test is the worst performer of the blacks. The 500GB and 640GB are faster, and the 1TB the fastest. In other words, the VelociRaptor is even less appealing when pitted against one of the "better" WD Blacks.

Remember all of this is just our opinion and we would love to hear feedback from other users.


Last edited by tome viewer; Apr 28, 2009 at 09:39 AM.
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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The digilloyd test is not CPU constrained, it is constrained by the performance of the disk as explained here:

http://macperformanceguide.com/Optim...enchmarks.html

You can't compare CPU performance using a test designed to compare disk performance...
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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Why do the After Effects Render Tests show negative percentage results? Is finishing the test faster supposed to be a bad thing in their eyes? Same with the After Effects CS4 benchmarks from Barefeets...they give that a negative percentage result and yet the 2.93 QC finished 13 seconds faster.

best,
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 09:12 PM   #4
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Almost all the information including even the name of the thread is very confusing. Nothing is easily discernible or straight forward. You get an A for effort and an F- for presentation.
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 09:42 PM   #5
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i like the color coding. A for that
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 10:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tome viewer View Post

Bragging rights only, does not show “real world” performance difference (Courtesy OWC):

CINEBENCH
14251
15800
10.86941267279489%

GEEKBENCH
9390
10236
9.00958466453674%
LOL... this first test proves that a 10% clock increase provides approximately a 10% increase in benchmark scores... you can call that bragging rights, proof that the benchmarks work, or whatever you want... but it is an increase in performance directly proportional to the increase in clocks!
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Old Apr 25, 2009, 10:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by tome viewer View Post

In real world use it is impossible to detect a performance difference between the 2.66 and 2.93. And I need to emphasize the word “impossible”. Five of us used both configurations for an hour each and not a single one of us could tell the difference. Your money is better spent elsewhere.
If you ran a 10 minute encoding job, you wouldn't notice the 1 minute difference?

If you stripped out every advancement that only provided a 10% performance advantage over the years, where would you be? You can argue that it's not good value, but that's highly dependent on your workload and your budget.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 01:38 AM   #8
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If you ran a 10 minute encoding job, you wouldn't notice the 1 minute difference?
No, more like 5%-7%. Something you cannot really "feel". The reason I say the first benchmarks are not real world is because they are misleading. The actual difference is not 10% but more like 5% in real world use. And in terms of "feeling" this actual 5% difference it is even worse because you can't tell (like you can with some other upgrades).
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 01:55 AM   #9
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To summarize this thread is a few sentences, the difference is only felt if you are doing scientific research/calculations, simulations, or hard core CPU intensive tasks. For the average Pro user, higher clock speed makes a bigger difference. But for the ultimate Pro user, the number of cores makes a bigger difference.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:02 AM   #10
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Here is a link to another test by MacWorld:

http://www.macworld.com/article/1399...to_macpro.html

It is not a fair test because the 2.93 Quad is using the faster 1TB WD Black hard drive as opposed to the slower 640GB WD Blue in the 2.66. The 2.93 is also outfitted with the ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card as opposed to the much slower Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:15 AM   #11
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The Mac Pro CPU "upgrades" have always been worthless. Nothing new here.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:30 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by SnowLeopard2008 View Post
To summarize this thread is a few sentences, the difference is only felt if you are doing scientific research/calculations, simulations, or hard core CPU intensive tasks. For the average Pro user, higher clock speed makes a bigger difference. But for the ultimate Pro user, the number of cores makes a bigger difference.
Solving bottlenecks such as HDD throughput can make a significant difference. Both real world, and "felt" by the user.

For the increase in cost for faster processors, it may be possible to implement a decent RAID setup. YMMV, depending on usage of course.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 03:29 AM   #13
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This is getting funny so I'll summarize the whole thing...

Cinebench and Geekbench say the 2.93 Quad is roughly 10% faster than the 2.66 Quad. Is this true? Yes. But what is the real world difference when using applications? 5%-7% Will I be able to notice this 5%-7% difference? I couldn't. What do you suggest I spend the $500 on instead? 3x 1TB WD Blacks + 6GB Ram, or $500 off a ACD, or SSD + 4870, etc. These are things you will really notice. What about a VelociRaptor? I wouldn't.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 03:39 AM   #14
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This is the reason I went with the 2.66 as well. I just couldn't justify the upgrade to the 2.93. I also got more ram and storage.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 04:18 AM   #15
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This is getting funny so I'll summarize the whole thing...

Cinebench and Geekbench say the 2.93 Quad is roughly 10% faster than the 2.66 Quad. Is this true? Yes. But what is the real world difference when using applications? 5%-7% Will I be able to notice this 5%-7% difference? I couldn't. What do you suggest I spend the $500 on instead? 3x 1TB WD Blacks + 6GB Ram, or $500 off a ACD, or SSD + 4870, etc. These are things you will really notice. What about a VelociRaptor? I wouldn't.
EDIT: Upon some reflection, I retract these remarks. Everyone will and does place different value on this kind of thing... it was worth the $500 for me, but not for you. Fair enough.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 04:30 AM   #16
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I've run the digglloyd test in around 18 seconds on my machine.

Here are my Cinebench scores.

CINEBENCH R10
****************************************************

Tester :

Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
MHz : 3800
Number of CPUs : 8
Operating System : WINDOWS 64 BIT 6.0.6001

Graphics Card : GeForce GTX 275/PCI/SSE2
Resolution : <fill this out>
Color Depth : <fill this out>

****************************************************

Rendering (Single CPU): 5352 CB-CPU
Rendering (Multiple CPU): 21949 CB-CPU

Multiprocessor Speedup: 4.02

Shading (OpenGL Standard) : 6800 CB-GFX


****************************************************
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 09:04 AM   #17
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How can you have 8 CPUs and only a 4X speed-up? (rhetorical) Those cores must REALLY SUCK nuggets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Solving bottlenecks such as HDD throughput can make a significant difference. Both real world, and "felt" by the user.

For the increase in cost for faster processors, it may be possible to implement a decent RAID setup. YMMV, depending on usage of course.

A+ for most accurate statement of the entire thread!


.

Last edited by Tesselator; Apr 26, 2009 at 09:16 AM.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:09 PM   #18
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* 2.66 quad plus 20% more cash = 2.93 quad = kind of some more speed, you may not notice
* 2.66 quad plus 14% more cash = 2.66 quad / Intel X25-M 80GB SSD = quite a lot of additional fun every day

Agree?!
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:13 PM   #19
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A+ for most accurate statement of the entire thread!
HDD performance is the single biggest problem for me, as the software I use is disk intensive. Graphics are nice, and CPU clocks are important as well, but if I can't get the data fed to the processor, it's speed doesn't make that much of a difference.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 02:20 PM   #20
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How much of a premium, if any, will someone pay for a 2.93 vs a 2.66 in two years? On eBay, Given two equal systems, save for processor speed... I think most people will choose the 2.93 over the 2.66...

something to consider when unloading the machine in the future.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 03:26 PM   #21
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* 2.66 quad plus 20% more cash = 2.93 quad = kind of some more speed, you may not notice
* 2.66 quad plus 14% more cash = 2.66 quad / Intel X25-M 80GB SSD = quite a lot of additional fun every day

Agree?!
* 2.66 quad plus 50% more cash = 2.93 quad / dual X25-M in RAID 0 = Priceless!
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 03:31 PM   #22
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HDD performance is the single biggest problem for me, as the software I use is disk intensive. Graphics are nice, and CPU clocks are important as well, but if I can't get the data fed to the processor, it's speed doesn't make that much of a difference.
Yes, I agree, one should always budget a portion of their computer spend on trying to optimize storage... great system performance is about balance.

I think we all agree that this is sound investment strategy when it comes to PC's.
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Old Apr 26, 2009, 07:00 PM   #23
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So if I buy a 2.93 Quad it comes with the better HD either WD Black (32MB cache) 640 or 1TB versus a WD Blue with 16MB cache in the 2.66 Quad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tome viewer View Post
Here is a link to another test by MacWorld:

http://www.macworld.com/article/1399...to_macpro.html

It is not a fair test because the 2.93 Quad is using the faster 1TB WD Black hard drive as opposed to the slower 640GB WD Blue in the 2.66. The 2.93 is also outfitted with the ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card as opposed to the much slower Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 01:38 AM   #24
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* 2.66 quad plus 50% more cash = 2.93 quad / dual X25-M in RAID 0 = Priceless!
How did I know YOU would add this option
The better one is always the good one´s enemy...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luba Cox View Post
So if I buy a 2.93 Quad it comes with the better HD either WD Black (32MB cache) 640 or 1TB versus a WD Blue with 16MB cache in the 2.66 Quad?
I don´t think so, but one with a 2.66 quad could tell us, please?! A Caviar Green system disk would be a no go for me.
So: who went for a 2.66 quad and can tell us, what disk has been in there?! But as I know: apple changes, also.

Last edited by Mac Husky; Apr 27, 2009 at 01:50 AM.
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Old Apr 27, 2009, 02:26 AM   #25
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So if I buy a 2.93 Quad it comes with the better HD either WD Black (32MB cache) 640 or 1TB versus a WD Blue with 16MB cache in the 2.66 Quad?
I believe if you opt for the 1TB HD (regardless of CPU choice) you will get a WD Black. If you opt for the standard 640GB disk, you may get either a WD Blue or Black (it's a lottery). Last I checked, WD does not make a 1TB Blue drive which is why the 1TB optional upgrade is a safe bet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Husky View Post
How did I know YOU would add this option
The better one is always the good one´s enemy...
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