8-core Mac Pro - list of Multithreaded apps?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMike G5, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. PowerMike G5 macrumors regular

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    #1
    So I am contemplating the eventual coming of an 8-core mac pro. Can anyone list software that is multithreaded that would take advantage of more than the 4 cores currently available with the Mac Pro.

    I have the Quad 3Ghz Xeon currently ... would 4 cores at 3.0Ghz be better than 8 cores at 2.66Ghz (the fastest Clovertown)? I mainly use Final Cut Pro, so I am always looking for top performance ... but is Final Cut Pro a porgram that'll take a performance gain from more lower clocked cores?
     
  2. ammon macrumors regular

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    #2
    Final Cut Pro is multi-threaded, but only some of the effects are... As for normal editing, you won't notice any difference.

    As for appz that are multi-threaded, the only two that I use frequently are Compressor and Lightwave 3D. Both can max out all 4 cores that I currently have!
     
  3. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

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    #3
    Compressor only maxes out 2 cores at a time for me.
    Are there tuning options for it that can make better use of the cores??
     
  4. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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  5. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    Mostly HDV, DVCProHD, and Uncompressed HD footage. I noticed when I render certain stacks of effects, it uses mostly all 4 cores. I'm just wondering how much that will scale to 8 cores.

    I use Compressor quite frequently too and notice it using most of the cores as well. But I can't determine whether 4x3Ghz cores is better than 8x2.66 ...
     
  6. FF_productions macrumors 68030

    FF_productions

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    #6
    I think 8 is better than 4. I'm sure having loads of ram (4 gigs+), fast hard drives (raid), and a real good video card would also factor in.
     
  7. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Well if the program just uses 4 threads. Then the 4x3 will be faster. If the program uses as many as there is cores then 8x2.66
     
  8. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Ok, well I guess my question is ... is it worth it to upgrade to the 8-core Mac Pro when it comes out?

    I have a friend that wnats to buy my current 3.0Ghz Mac Pro setup and I won't really be losing anything off the purchase. So should I sell now and buy the 8-core or just hold on to my current Quad core setup?

    I have a C2D Macbook Pro that I can use in the meantime if I sell ... what would you do?
     
  9. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #9
    Well I guess the question is, if you can live with a MB pro then why is it you will need a 8 core. As if you can live with a MB Pro for 4 months or however much it will be, then why do you need a 8 core mac pro. I think a 4 core system would be fine for you. I would stick with the current setup and then maybe sell on ebay when the 8 core out if you think you need it that bad.
     
  10. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    I would stick with the current Mac Pro and upgrade the CPU's when they become available and cheaper. I read somewhere that the quad-core chips are going for about $900 each.

    Spymac did a test and found that an octo-core Mac Pro was about 31% faster than the quad-core, but the 4-core processors were 2.66 GHz compared to 3.0 GHz 2-core.

    www.spymac.com/news/article.php?contentid=5463
     
  11. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #11
    Swaping Processors In Future Will Not Work Efficiently At All

    I think it's not fair to expect the released version of Apple's Dual Quad Core Mac Pro to be without Stoakley-Seaburg (SS) inside. So all these processor swap experimental performance reports are totally off the wall compared to what we will get from Apple with SS.

    The idea that you can easily swap processors in future is also not true. It was pointed out by the AnandTech geeks that they had to BREAK part of the computer to get them in. They were quite explicit about telling readers not to try to do this themselves. You want to destroy your Quad Core Mac Pro's AppleCare Warranty instead of buying the Dual Clovertown with SS on board? I don't think so. :eek:
     
  12. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #12
    Think About What You Can Do Simultaneously Instead Of What One Thing Will Use

    Your premise that you need applications that can use all 8 cores or even more than 4 is a bit off the point of making use of an 8, 16 or even 32 core Mac Pro in future years. Developing a Multi-Threaded Workload is not about running one thing on a lot of cores as much as it is running a bunch of things in different cores simultaneously.

    For example, I regularly run 1-3 copies of Toast 7 at once to crush multiple sets of video recordings into DVD Images as well as compressing Dual Layer images to Single Layer DVDs. I also run multiple copies of Handbrake to take DVD Images down to mp4 files.

    Each copy of Toast can use up to 4 Woodcrest cores.

    Each copy of Handbrake can use up to 3 Woodcrest cores.

    When I run the above on the Quad G5, each is compromised for lack of cores. When I run all that above on an 8-core Mac Pro - only two applications but multiple copies simultaneously - they will still be compromised for lack of cores.

    So you see, it's not what applications can use more than 4 cores at all. It's how much stuff can you think about running at once a lot of the time. I am severely compromised most of the time on the Quad G5 and would expect to also be so if I were to buy a Quad Mac Pro. So I continue to wait for the 8 core with Stoakley-Seaburg on board hoping that It will feel much more responsive when I am running all this stuff and more at once.
     
  13. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Thanks for your response, but I was inquiring on whether there are any programs that specifically scale to use all 8 cores?

    I am well aware of the workflow advantages of having an 8-core mac, but would like to know specifically whether Final Cut Pro would be able to use all 8 cores during rendering of multilayer effected HD video (as that is what I edit most of the time). When I edit, I usually stay away from doing anything else to maximize resources to FCP ... so I am particularly interested in whether FCP will use all 8 cores when running alone. Thoughts?
     
  14. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

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    #14
    I think apple will probably make it so it can if it can't right now. If they produce a 8 core system they better as well make there pro apps work well on it.
     
  15. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

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    #15
    STATA/MP (http://www.stata.com/statamp/) supports up to 32 cores (although, i would shudder to think how much that would cost you). It has absolutely nothing to do with the work you are doing, but it is an example of a single package that makes use of many cores. I picked up a 2-core license (my mac pro is on the way) because I couldn't justify the added cost of going to 4-core and don't really want to cripple my computer while it is running. Interestingly, while on average you don't see 2x gains in speed (in the 2-core version), there are certain procedures which actually break the theoretical two-fold speed improvement limit.

    cheers.
     
  16. Multimedia macrumors 603

    Multimedia

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    #16
    FCS 6 Is Likely To Be Fully 8 Core Ready But We Can Only Guess It Will Be So

    Well I am also a FCStudio person and expect Apple to make it 8-core compliant soon after the 8 core Mac Pro ships or by the April NAB at the latest with the anticipated release of FCS 6. Of course this is only a guess. But seems like Apple would want to lead the way in 8-Core capable application development once they have an 8 core Mac Pro for sale. :)
     
  17. countach macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2006
    #17
    Start up the CPU history graph from Activity Monitor in your dock. When multiple CPUs are getting hammered, you've found your multi threaded app! You've already got a multi-core Mac, you should know the answer!
     
  18. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

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    #18
    This doesn't tell you if anything will make use of 8 cores, though. Just because a program can make use of 4, doesn't mean that it can make use of more.

    cheers.
     
  19. countach macrumors regular

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    Oct 23, 2006
    #19
    It probably means it can. There's probably only a handful of people in the world that have an 8 core Mac to give a better answer.
     
  20. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

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    #20
    Nope. It doesn't mean that it can. Since there (until very recently) weren't any 8 core intel workstations on the market, most software wouldn't have been developed to split the load over more than 3 or 4 cores. That doesn't mean that it isn't possible. But, I doubt that you can buy much off the shelf that will actually make use of all those cores at one time (for one instance of the program).

    cheers.
     
  21. rgomez macrumors member

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    #21
    Well... I'm a software developer and usually when you're working or doing a multithreaded app you don't think in the limit of threads you can create. You create as much as you need. It depends on the Operating System how it distributes those threads in the available processors. For instance, even if I don't have any 8-core computer here, lots of my apps have more than 4 or 5 threads running at the same time.

    Final Cut Pro, for instance, has, IDLE, 12 subprocess running. And I'm not doing anything! :). So, even in this case, it will use the 8 core Mac Pro, or the 16 core Mac Pro when they get out. Check the Activity Monitor when youre rendering, or applying some effects, and check the "Number of subprocess" column and see how many are running. Of course, not all the 12 threads are using the processor at the same time, I'm sure there are a lot that are just there IDLE waiting for some signal or so, but that means that if something happens that makes they wake at the same time, the OS could distribute the load between all the available cores.

    Usually the number of cores/processors is not taken into account in the software itself. You just let the OS take care of that. In any case, I would be greatly surprised if the software engineers at apple set a constant with the maximum number of cores/working threads they can use, instead of just asking the OS about that, and dinamically creating the corresponding threads.

    Regards,
     
  22. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #22
    Exactly, it has confused me recently when people start asking if programs are compatible with 2, 4 or even 8 core systems. It is not the applications job to make sure that it uses all the processors, all it needs is for it be written using threads and then the OS deals with allocating those threads to the processors.
     
  23. PowerMike G5 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #23
    Thanks guys ... rather than going out and getting an 8-core, I have decided to stick with my Quad 3.0 and do massive upgrades with the money instead ...

    I now am running 6GB of RAM with a RAID 0 drive setup along with my Raptor boot drive and got the x1900xt. Wow, did this stuff make a difference!!! My computer just feels so much "snappier".

    I figured a Quad 3.0 more fully upgraded would be better than the stock 8-core ...
     
  24. Grenadier macrumors regular

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  25. jaguarx macrumors regular

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    #25
    Asking about a specific number is a bit pointless I agree with you but whether an app can efficiently take advantage of multiple cores is a software design not OS issue, as is up to a point, how many. FCP may have 12 threads but when's it's crunching video how many can it split that work into? People aren't looking to buy 8-way boxes so finder is on a different proc to their widgets.
     

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