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Old Jul 16, 2009, 12:54 AM   #1
organicpixels
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Snow Leopard - 4 Core Nehalem Vs 8 Core Xeon Question

Ok, so I've come to that joyous season once again where I get to upgrade to an updated Mac. I've just sold my dual G5 Power Mac and I'm looking at getting a New Mac Pro. With several reviews pointing that the new 4 core Nehalem chips are out performing the 8 core Xeons. I'm left trying to guess what would be best.

Since Grand Central is designed to take advantage of the multi-core processors for the average app, Do you think I would be better off getting an 8 core Xeon or the 4 core Nehalem? I'm guessing that Grand Central will help the 8 core Xeons over take the 4 core Nehalems, and the added capacity of additional RAM, but I'm curious if any dev's out there running these could give me some advice or tips.

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Old Jul 16, 2009, 01:01 AM   #2
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When it comes to this matter i am no expert so let me just lay that out there. From what i have seen with the new snow leopard it will be able to utilize and maximize more cores than leopard currently can which will mean a larger performance boost once you are running snow leopard. This is random but it reminds me of the Xbox 360 vs ps3 debate, originally xbox 360 had the better performance but once the software is caught up to the hardware the full potential of ps3 will surpass the xbox. Until snow leopard comes out and has an update or two under it's belt i guess we wont really know for sure though.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 01:15 AM   #3
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Both the quad and 8 core Mac Pros currently offered are Xeon Nehalem. One is 2.66Ghz (quad) and the other is 2.26 (8).

Personally, I think 8 cores is a bit overkill, even with Snow Leopard on its way. Very few programs know how to take advantage of all the cores the highend Mac Pro can provide.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 07:16 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddyguyman View Post
Both the quad and 8 core Mac Pros currently offered are Xeon Nehalem. One is 2.66Ghz (quad) and the other is 2.26 (8).

Personally, I think 8 cores is a bit overkill, even with Snow Leopard on its way. Very few programs know how to take advantage of all the cores the highend Mac Pro can provide.
Quad-core is Bloomfield and 8-core is Gainestown. No difference though, Bloomfields are 130W and Gainestowns 80W-95W, maybe because it would be too with 2 Bloomsfields. Here are benchmarks:



Are you running apps that can take advantage of multithreading and more than 4 cores? If you can afford, get 2.66GHz octo
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 11:54 AM   #5
organicpixels
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I'm a video editor. I run apps like After Effect, Final Cut, Photoshop, and the occasional Cinema 4D.

I'm purchasing for my home office. I'm in the dilemma of either buying the refurb 8 core of last years Mac Pro or this years 4 core. I'm a little hesitant of the 4 core because of the reduced RAM capacity. But the processor power of the 4 core Nehalem seems to be out performing the 8 core of last years model. I'm not sure if we will see the substantial difference once Snow Leopard comes out using Grand Central. I would love the 8 core Nehalem, but I don't have the 4k to throw out.
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Old Jul 16, 2009, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by organicpixels View Post
I'm a video editor. I run apps like After Effect, Final Cut, Photoshop, and the occasional Cinema 4D.

I'm purchasing for my home office. I'm in the dilemma of either buying the refurb 8 core of last years Mac Pro or this years 4 core. I'm a little hesitant of the 4 core because of the reduced RAM capacity. But the processor power of the 4 core Nehalem seems to be out performing the 8 core of last years model. I'm not sure if we will see the substantial difference once Snow Leopard comes out using Grand Central. I would love the 8 core Nehalem, but I don't have the 4k to throw out.
2008 8-core outperforms current quad Nehalem in multi-threading and is almost equal in single threading (3.2GHz outperforms 2.66 Nehalem but 2.93GHz Nehalem outperforms 3.2GHz). Look at the benchmarks in my post above. Refurb is great if you want to save some money.
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