BareFeats speed comparison: 4-Core vs 8-Core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sigmadog, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #1
  2. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    I think it confirms what many non-biased folks here have been saying, that the best choice of machine depends on the applications you use, and whether you earn a paycheck with your machine to justify the cost of that added performance in some apps.

    In my (now biased) mind it demonstrates that for most day-to-day apps, the 2.93 Quad will be a much better choice at around $3K than the 2.26 Octo. The main advantage the Octo has is that it's cheaper to load up with RAM but that advantage will disappear over time.

    This is also interesting...

    It indicates that you can only get max performance from the Octo core with trial and error... bizarre?!
     
  3. macrumors 603

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    But look at the RAM pricings. 3x4GB costs $1458 compared to 6x2GB which costs $208.

    Think about it, you can have 12GB or even 16GB of RAM for your 8 core 2.26GHz machine while being whatever % faster than the Quads and overall cheaper than the $2499 + $1458= $3957!

    I would much rather pay, $3246 (2.26GHz 8 core) + $208 (12GB of RAM) = $3454!

    You dont have to wait almost a year or two for the 4GB dims to drop in price + you get superior hardware for much cheaper. No brainer.
     
  4. macrumors regular

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    #4
    People buying a quad wouldn't necessarily need 12 gb right away..
     
  5. macrumors 603

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    True but thats the whole argument anyway right. Basically you get higher clock speeds and it does take 4GB dims so their saying that you should get the Quad. But only problem with that is the 4GB stick prices.

    Plus I would be dying to put in 12GB of RAM in one of those and with a 2.26GHz octo you can buy the 12GB of RAM right away still end up costing nearly $500 cheaper.

    I wouldnt want to wait almost 2 years for the 4GB sticks to come down to a reasonable price. And when it does, even better for the octo users.

    Basically to me I wouldnt want to pay $1500 for RAM when I could use it to get a superior hardware in the beginning.
     
  6. macrumors 601

    Plutonius

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    Where did you get your RAM pricing from. 3x4GB for the quad is $750.00 while 6x2GB for the octo is $219.00. If you need lots of RAM now, the octo is probably a better choice but you are paying much more for the octo in the first place.

    I'm also curious why you think the octo is superior hardware ? If you need lots of RAM or run the few apps that will take advantage of the 8 cores, you should be looking at the octo. Otherwise, you will get a much faster computer for the money if you get a quad. If you say you are buying for the future, there will be much better Mac Pros out by time many of the apps are able to take advantage of the current processors.
     
  7. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    4-core offcourse :) now this is nice test that shows how quad is definatelly better > cheeper way then octo for users that are not hard core video or 3d users ... but for most of the adobe things and other everyday work quad is much better choice.

    jjahshik32: you are comparing totally wrong 2 products. compare prices of quad 2,93 and octo 2,93. Btw. where did you get those prices for 4GB sticks? OWC 16GB (4x4GB) = $979.99 and OWC 12GB (3x4GB) = $749.00 ;)
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Keniff

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    #8

    These comparisons mean nothing until 'Snow Leopard' has been released/installed.
    We're going to see a big change, imho...
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    Current prices at OWC have 3x4GB for $750. That's still plenty more than the 2GB sticks, yet far easier to stomach than prior prices.
     
  10. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    I wouldn't be so sure, you might be dissapointed.
     
  11. macrumors 603

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    [​IMG]

    From Transintl.com

    I dont trust OWC. Their RAM always goes bad or haywire later on. But if you do go with OWC's RAM:

    2.66GHz quad ($2489 after tax and student discount) + $749 (12GB RAM) = $3238.

    2.26GHz 8 core ($3246) + $208 (12GB of RAM) = $3454


    Difference of $216 dollars. I'd still pick the 2.26GHz 8 core model.

    My whole point is I dont feel comfortable paying $750 bucks on RAM, I'd rather use it towards a higher end model, which the 8 core is higher end.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Plutonius

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    #12
    I wouldn't base any buying assumptions on what you think Snow Leopard will do.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    #13
    On the contrary. For people considering a purchase now, the promise of Snow Leopard means very little. My decision to purchase in the next few days is based more the interactions of current hardware and software configurations than the hazy speculation (which is really all we have right now) of Snow Leopard improvements.
     
  14. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    OWC is almost 50% cheeper and I trust them :) Btw how come those prices are cheeper for 4*4 then 3*4 :rolleyes: weird, like this its more afordable to buy 4x4 the 3x4.
     
  15. macrumors 603

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    Either way:

    2.66GHz quad ($2489 after tax and student discount) + $749 (12GB RAM) = $3238.

    2.26GHz 8 core ($3246 after tax and student discount) + $208 (12GB of RAM) = $3454


    Difference of $216 dollars. I'd still pick the 2.26GHz 8 core model.

    My whole point is I dont feel comfortable paying $750 bucks on RAM, I'd rather use it towards a higher end model, which the 8 core is higher end.

    I still think its insane to pay 2k+ on a w3500 series. Basically you either pay for an overpriced X series xeon or you pay for the over priced w3500 series (QUAD) AND overpriced RAM.

    I'd rather avoid the latter.
     
  16. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    Hmhm again you are comparing 2 different CPU clocks. Compare 2,66 4-core with 2,66 8-core or 2,93 4-core with 2,93 8-core and see prices :) But still your comparison is 216$ difference and you get bigger speed. I'm telling this from single cpu hard user not from dual. And believe me a lot of the mac pro buyers use only apps that are single cpu based. They just buy slow octo to say "yeah I have 8-core" lol.
     
  17. macrumors 603

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    If you think about though, I'd rather have 2.26GHz 8 physical cores as to only 2.66GHz 4 physical cores. To me it feels like a step backwards.

    I look at the machine as a whole, 2.26GHz(x) 8 cores = 18.08, 2.66GHz(x) 4 cores = 10.64.
     
  18. macrumors 603

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    #18
    Ummm no. Most Mac Pro buyers use their machines to take advantage of as many CPUs cores as they can.

    What do you think the main purpose of more cores are anyways to begin with?
     
  19. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    Hmhm ok ... but you are looking wrong. Check how many applications work and use 8-core and you'll see. but like I said if you need all thos 8-cores then octo is a way but if you don't need them like I don't then it is waste of money for such a slow machine. I use 75% of the time photoshop and since photoshop doesn't use 8-cores its waste of money mate. When it will use it we don't know and I don't care, when it will I'll buy anyway something new ... until then 4-core is faster in photoshop and other apps I use.

    To finish this thing, each user needs to know what he will use this machine for. If one CPU is gathering dust inside then you threw your money to trash.
     
  20. macrumors 603

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    The whole point of Snow Leopard my friend. And its only a few months away. ;)

    RAM it'll always get cheaper and you can always add more. Same goes for GPU. But the CPU is like the first thing you look to buy.

    To me paying $750 for RAM is a waste thrown into the trash.
     
  21. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    You might be right really on this one. I agree, but still I will not be suprised if it will not be such big step forward. But looking forward to it and hopefully it does what it should :p Still I think my 2,93 quad will keep me satisfied for 2-3 years and then we'll see what we will be new on market :p But yes I plan upgrade to 16gb ram max. 1 year. For now 8 will do.
     
  22. macrumors 603

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    I guess I'm just not comfortable paying that much money for RAM. Almost a 1k for RAM just listen to how that sounds!

    If anything, I would much rather have a 2.66GHz OCTO with 6GB of RAM than a 2.93GHz QUAD with 32GB of RAM. :p
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    Maybe I can provide some insight as to why.

    Taking advantage of multi-core systems requires overhead to manage the processes. The same is true with multi-CPU systems. This is why when you double the core amount you will not see a doubling of the speed across the board. Some applications are written to take advantage of multiple cores or are written where the OS can easily farm out the tasks to multiple cores.

    To make an analogy, think of it in terms as the management of a small office. In this office, let's say that you have a manager (the OS) and 8 employees (the cores).

    Say I have a project that requires 8 tasks (A through H). In this case, each one of these tasks is reliant upon the prior task being completed. So A must be completed before B, and B must be completed before C, and so on. In this case, you could have each person do one task, however, they would be waiting on each other to complete the prior task. So in essence one employee could complete the 8 tasks as quickly as 8 employees. And in reality, the one person could probably do it quicker since they would not need to wait on the prior task person to pass them the information. If the manager were inexperienced in this type of situation, he would probably assign it to one person and wait for that one person to be done.

    Now take the example above, but you have a manager that has more experience with similar type taskings. He knows that within each task, there are subtasks that other individuals in the office could help with saving the main employee some time and effort to complete the tasks. This manager would then farm out the project to one employee, but also have other employees assist the one to complete all 8 tasks. The more experienced the manager, the more he can involved the other employees.

    In the examples above the more experienced and effective the manager, the faster the 8 tasks sequential tasks can be completed. However, no matter how experienced the manager, he will not be able to drop the time it takes to 1/8 of the total time required. Through his experience, he may be able to drop it some more but will not hit that level because the tasks required are not conducive to farming them out to the 8 employees.

    At the other end of the spectrum is a project that requires 8 tasks that can be accomplished at the same time. Each one is not dependent on the others but at the end the 8 results much be placed together in a package.

    In this case, the manager can easily divide the tasks out among the 8 employees. Each employee completes their tasks and returns them to the manager who then compiles the results into the final package or tasks that out to one individual. Either way, the the tasks are completed in 1/8 the time plus the time to compile the results.

    In the real world, there is combination of the two types of projects. The OS can only go so far. The way the application is written can greatly aide the OS in using the multiple cores that are available. Regardless, there is always overhead in both the app and OS to take advantage of multiple cores. So while it sounds neat on paper, the actual through put of multi-core systems can end up being somewhat disappointing at times.

    Anyhow, my attempt at a layman's explanation. Granted it glosses over some issues but I think gives a decent explanation of why you won't see doubling of speed when you double the number of cores available.
     
  24. macrumors 603

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    Could you also say that on a 8 physical core machine it will have 8 virtual personal assistants (2 threads on each core) to aid each employee before putting it into a package? HEHE.
     
  25. macrumors member

    DrawingArt

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    #25
    I agree 1k for 16gb ram is too much, absolutelly too much but I really think prices will drop in next 6 months like always do.

    Hehe ... go for octo then I think you are sure you will use all 8-cores. I'll go with my small quad and I'm also sure it will be my friend for quite some time and I'm sure I won't use 100% of its power every day, maybee 10% of the whole time working on it. For that percent I'm willing to wait few seconds more.
     

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