Difference between the core 2 duo and xeon woodcrest procs?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cmm, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. cmm macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2006
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    Manhattan & Zürich
    #1
    What's the difference? I assume speed, but by how much? I'm trying to decide which one to get for heavy duty math and physics work...iMac or mac pro loaded with ram (4GB or so).

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
  2. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #2
    Well, the iMac uses the Core 2 Duo's mobile variant, "Merom" but many of the same things apply to the big desktop version not currently used by apple, "Conroe".

    Basically,
    *Woodcrest has a much faster FSB- 1333MT/s (1.33GHz) versus Merom- 667MT/S (667MHz)
    *Woodcrest (and some versions of Merom) have a larger L2 Cache- 4MB- versus the lower end Meroms (2MB). In your price range, this is probably not so much of a factor
    *Woodcrest has a higher TDP- 65W (2.0 and 2.66GHz) or 80W (3.0GHz) per chip versus Merom (31 max)
    *Woodcrest supports multiprocessor configurations- only one dual-core Merom can be used at once on the same computer, while Woodcrest supports two.
    *Woodcrest supports Quad-Channel memory with 256-bit something or other. Merom only handles dual-channel.

    Basically, the C2D will do a lot, but if your apps are sufficiently multithreaded and you have enough RAM (2GB bare minimum, preferably 4+) the Woodcrests in the Mac Pro will eat it for breakfast.
     
  3. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 30, 2006
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    Manhattan & Zürich
    #3
    Thanks for the very detailed response. The only intensive apps I use are mathematica and matlab. Do you think that justifies the price of the mac pro or should I go with the 24" iMac and lots of external HDDs? (I will also use this machine as a server)
     
  4. cynerjist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    #4

    As far as benchmark comparison between C2D and Xeon, it depends on the task, but the bottom line is that Xeon will beat the crap out of the C2D in the tasks you are likely planning to use it for.

    I asume when you say heavy duty math and physics work, I imagine you are doing a combination of modelling and data analysis. This decision is very easy if you have the $.
     
  5. cynerjist macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2006
    #5
    I'm no Matlab guru, but it is often ridiculed for how inefficient it is in solving problems. It is not compiled. I am not certain how much performance can be gained from MP or multi-core machines by default.

    Anyway, if you are an undergrad, you won't need the Mac Pro to run your data sets through Matlab. However, if you have a programming background and are able to author multi-threaded data analysis progs then you should by all means get Mac Pro.
     
  6. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    How much ram should I go with? A plus would be able to be doing physics work while tv is playing through a tuner card. ; )
     
  7. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Well, I have to get used to it (the DoD uses it and I have an internship with them this summer). I'm undergrad but I take grad courses and I do some programming.
     
  8. cynerjist macrumors regular

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    Nov 8, 2006
    #8
    Yes, everyone uses Matlab. There is nothing wrong with it until you want to start doing real time apps or working with very large data sets. When you get to that point, you really need to turn to the compiled languages for peak performance.

    If you do not have those needs, then save the $ and get the iMac. I used to run Matlab on Pentium IIs and IIIs and it worked fine for my needs at that time. When I got to grad school, some things changed, but I could still use Matlab for most things. Just my .02
     
  9. mckvakk macrumors regular

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    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Oslo, Norway
    #9
    one can never get enough ram. get as much as you can afford:)
     

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