12 Core Mac Pro : 2.40Ghz or 2.66 Ghz !!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by anisatam, Jun 23, 2012.

  1. anisatam macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    hey everyone.

    I am considering buying a 12 core Mac Pro for visual effects and graphics design stuff. I use softwares such as Houdini, Nuke, Photoshop etc.
    So was just wondering how big of a difference will there be in a 2.40Ghz vs the 2.66Ghz 12 Core machine. Considering there is a 960 Pounds difference in price.

    Would it help me more if I put the money in SSDs, RAM and a Quadro card rather than the processor?

    Any advice would be brilliant and very much appreciated !
  2. RobinHood5 macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Well. A .26ghz difference really dosent seem that big untill you take in the fact that each core I .26ghz faster. Your total ghz will be 3.12ghz faster. 31.92ghz compared to 28.8ghz. It would be the difference between having a single core processor running 28.8ghz and 31.92ghz. Not to big of a difference but it can be the extra umph that you need.

    I'm my opinion you should get more ram. Don't buy ssd's from apple, you will pay waaaay more than getting it from OWC. You will get a bigger performance boost with ram than a faster processor.

    (also, don't buy ram from apple, much cheaper from other world computing)
  3. anisatam, Jun 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2012

    anisatam thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thanks Robin :)

    I actually was'nt considering buying the ram or ssds from Apple :)

    But what I wanted to know was, is that .26ghz worth 960 GBP (British Pounds). From what I understand from you its not, right??

    Are there any real world benchmarks out yet for any of these 12 core Machines? Also has anyone here got a 2.40ghz 12 core mac pro?
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010

    This is an older one from the 2010 models. The 2.4 would be slightly slower than the 2.66 (probably same margin). Apple didn't come out with Sandy Bridge E models which was disappointing. Basically the Westmere cpus that came out in 2010 and the board revision from 2009 (with updated firmware) are still in use today. The difference is unlikely (could search more on it) to be too noticeable when you're not rendering as this is just a bump between similar cpus of the same generation. Photoshop scales very poorly. The reason to go for the 12 core would be more for Nuke/Houdini, especially if you're rendering out on the same machine. Just a note on Quadro cards, they are faster than the 5870. The Quadro 4000 Mac edition is available on Amazon and other places for much less than Apple charges (Apple never passed along the price drop). It's faster in some applications. You won't see it with photoshop. There it might be slower on certain functions as it doesn't seem to support opencl http://barefeats.com/pscs6.html

    You should check benchmarks and stability with Nuke and Houdini. Those cards aren't as popular under OSX specifically, so they're not as well tuned. Sometimes they're missing features (no 10 bit displayport:mad:).

    If I had benchmarks with Houdini and Nuke from any site, I'd link them for you. They're just not so commonly found (specifically mac benchmarks).
  5. RobinHood5 macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    It really depends on what your doing. If your literally going to be pushing it to its limits with 3d rendering or video stuff it might be worth it but if you really do need hat much raw power you would still need to invest a lot of money on ram.

    Yes the bigger processor is WORTH that much more if you really require that much power but it would be a VERY VERY BAD trade off to get a slightly faster processor INSTEAD of getting SSD and/or RAM.

    If it's a choice between RAM/SSD's and .26ghz faster processor you would be crazy to go with the processor.

    Hope this helps, I'll be posting the benchmark specs between the two processors.


    For the software you stated the 2.4ghz + 32gb ram + SSD would be great! If your working with graphic arts you really shouldn't cheap out a monitor. Nothing gets better than an apple cinema display. You must get it!
  6. zzzachi macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2012
    i bought the 2.4ghz model and will sell it as soon as apple release a decent update to this line. if i get disappointed again, i'll switch to windows, and i will not just wait, i plan to use the time till 2013 to make tests with a pc. i wonder if i can live with windows .)

    ps i bought 24gb kingston ram (230$) plus samsung 830 ssd 512gb ($630), too
    and to top that out a 3gb gtx 580 + external psu.

    a lot to play with in 1 or 2 weeks .)
  7. Tutor macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    Here are my projections and the basis for each one.

    The 2012 Mac Pro 12-core lineup: 2.4GHz, 2.66GHz, and 3.06GHz systems.

    1. Cinebench is a close proxy to rendering prowess in Cinema 4d. Here is a 2.93 GHz 2010 Mac Pro on Cinebench 11.5 from the site [ http://www.cbscores.com/index.php?sort=rend&order=desc (ignore my WolfPack1's x5680s' higher score of 22.69)]:
    Xeon X5670 12 24 2.93 Radeon 5870 HD OSX 10.6.4 64-bit 15.45 31.52

    So unless Apple has added some secret sauce to the 2012 Mac Pro, this is about what you might expect to see:
    (a) 3.06 GHz system: 123.06 / 2.93 = ~ 1.04; ~ 1.04 x 15.45 = ~ 16.14 on the 2012 3.06 GHz system;
    (b) 2.66 GHz system: 2.66 / 2.93 = ~ .908; ~ .908 x 15.45 = ~ 14.03 on the 2012 2.66 GHz system; and
    (c) 2.40 GHz system: 2.40 / 2.93 = ~ .819; ~ .819 x 15.45 = ~ 12.66 on the 2012 2.40 GHz system.

    2. Geekbench 2 has components that are proxies for certain graphics and other tasks. Here is the average 64-bit score for 2.93 GHz 2010 Mac Pros on Geekbench 2 from the site [ http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks ] Mac Pro (Mid 2010) Intel Xeon X5670 2930 MHz (12 cores) = 24,276.

    So, again, unless Apple has added some secret sauce to the 2012 Mac Pro, this is about what you might expect to see on average;
    (a) 3.06 GHz system: ~ 1.04 x 24,276 = 25,247.04;
    (b) 2.66 GHz system: ~ .908 x 24,276 = 22,042.608; and
    (c) 2.40 GHz system: ~ .819 x 24,276 = 19,882.044.

    Of course, as always with every CPU, memory chip, benchmark and OS version, etc., your mileage may very and the projections for Geekbench are measures by an average with a larger data set. And yes, I do assume a lot of linearity based on my 25+ years of tweaking Commodore, Atari, Mac, and PC systems. But in the end, accuracy will come only with actual performance data. So first Geekbench and then the Photoshop Speed test [ http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=200558 ] and then experienced users like DigLloyd [ http://diglloyd.com/ ] and Barefeats [ http://www.barefeats.com/ ] are our best sources for actual, reliable data since that data is more up to date and trustworthy. That Cinebench scores site has not been updated for over a year.
  8. radug macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    no to the cpu upgrade

    don't bother with the cpu upgrade. i went from a 2009 2.26 octo to a 2.4 and the speed bump is almost inexistant, and this with rendering, processors running on 100%.
    with £960 you can get SSDs & RAM and turn it your machine into a very powerful workstation. you could even think about a raid0 ssd, or an OWC accelsior pci-e ssd in that price range.
  9. thekev, Jun 24, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2012

    thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    You're talking about the 2.4 quad cpus right so 8 core to 8 core with a minor bump in clock speed? That 2009-2010 update on the 8 core was never viewed favorably as it was a small gain. Assuming well threaded software, the hex cpus could be a different story, but when you get to exotic cpu configurations and clock speed vs core count, it comes down to exactly how you use your machine as even within a given application, many functions do not really feature linear n-core scaling.

    Looking at this again in context with the thread, gains may not be that great between the two cpu choices listed in the OP, and going for the best cpu is pointless unless you're also going for enough ram that your projects are not bottlenecked by it.
  10. anisatam thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2011
    Thanks for all the Awesome advice :)

    Hey Guys,

    THANKS alot for all your awesome advice on all my questions guys.
    You guys are awesome.

    So, I think I will be getting a 2.4 12core, with 5870 and will add an SSD & some RAM :)

    Thats the plan i guess.



    Could you please run us some geekbench scores when you get your machine ? :)

  11. kromekat macrumors member


    Jul 5, 2006
    Hold that last thought!

    You could get a refurb 2.66 for £3.4k which is £600 less than the 'new' one so that extra processing power is only really about £300 more than the 2.4!

    I bought the 2.66 this way last week, and it's a cracker! ;)

    Dont know why more people don't pick up these refurbs, as they are identical to the latest release bar the RAM, and you'll most likely pull all that and replace with a useful amount anyway!


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