2009 4-core vs. 2008 8-core?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 321estrellas, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. 321estrellas macrumors 6502

    321estrellas

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I've had two sources of different information about which machine has the speed advantage.

    1) http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/
    This page says the 2008 8-core (2.8ghz) is faster with a benchmark speed of 9231 vs. the 8273 2009 4-core (2.66ghz)

    2) http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...erformance-compared-to-early-2008-models.html
    This page says "The new [low-end 2.66 GHz] quad-core's score in our overall system performance suite, Speedmark 5, was 16 percent faster than that of the previous 2.8 GHz eight-core Mac Pro. It was also 27 percent faster in our Photoshop tests, and 20 percent faster at Compressor than the older system. . . "

    So I need you guys to provide a third (or more) opinion perhaps with your own real world findings.

    I will be running a lot of Photoshop, Final Cut Studio, and I tend to run a lot of these things simultaneously. I'm also planning to use Adobe Premiere and maybe After Effects in the future.

    I'm hoping to sell my 2.8ghz 8-core for the same price I can buy a used 2.66ghz 4-core (which is likely the only Mac Pro 4,1 in that price range) but only if it's better of course!

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    Speedmark is a total joke. It is an opinion "suite". I love it that a 17" MBP with exactly the same components as a 15" scores just slightly higher to justify it's higher price. Macworld are Apple slaves.
    That being said in pure raw power the 8-core IS faster. It has a higher clock and REAL cores vs. the hyperthreaded (maybe not used all that often) 4-core. The newer Mac Pro's ship with faster HD's and faster memory so maybe that is why. Or possibly it could just be Macworld/ Apple not "allowing" an older Mac to beat a newer one. So just buy a new gen HDD and bump up the memory. Buuut a 2009 can be flashed and a hex put in it. So that could be a boon to go for the 2009.
     
  3. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I think if you get a 2009 4-core, and drop a 6-core chip in it after updating the firmware to 5,1, you'll get benchmarks in the 15,700 range. I use all the same products you listed, and it's a joy to work with! :)
     
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
    Wonder, I meant to ask are you quoting 32 or 64-bit on those numbers?
     
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    [​IMG]

    64-bit. It now boots that way ever since I updated the firmware. I got slightly slower (15,646) with all four RAM slots filled (32GB). The chart above was after removing one stick leaving 24GB in the supposed triple channel mode.

    I also ran the same tests booting in 32-bit mode, and the fastest I got that way was a bit slower still. I posted a ton of these tests in a thread somewhere a while back.
     
  6. kgapp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #6
    Sounds like he is referring to 64 bit numbers. My 2009 MacPro 4,1 upgraded with 5,1 firmware and a 3.33ghz 3680 scores just under 15k (14,956) on the 64 bit Geekbench. However, I am still running my original 1066 memory so that may cost me 100-200 points on the test.

    Geekbench results here: http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/489164

    As a point of reference, dropping a W3680 @ 3.33ghz into a 2009 Mac Pro (with 5,1 firmware upgrade) is undoubtedly the best bang for the buck. It will smoke many 8 core machines and it costs WAY less. The upgrade is easy.
     
  7. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I thought it was average to slow... someone said they got in the 16,000 range with this setup when I was considering doing the swap myself. Don't recall seeing a chart or if it was only numbers typed up.
     
  8. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #8
    My 2010 hex nets 16220 in 64-bit with 12GB triple channel 3x4GB 1333MHz. Was just wondering. The difference is in the memory speed. You may get a higher score with less memory but functionally it wouldn't be as awesome. Thanks.
     
  9. Atomic101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    Location:
    Nottingham
    #9
    Which is faster will depend on what you are doing. For multi threaded apps such as cinema -the 8 core 2008 will wipe the floor with the 4 core 2009. I have a 2008 & upgraded the processors to X5482's 3.2 -I can overclock to 3.6 GHz & score cinebench 8.44. I have a 6 core 3.33 2010 at work, this cannot be overclocked & the cinebench score for this is 8.90 -this amounts to a few seconds extra for the 2008 in hour long renders compared to the 6 core.
     
  10. rchaney macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2013
    #10

    I'm hopiing to buy a 2009 and do just what I've read here. I've also been warned about it.

    In any case, can you tell me - where is info on how to do this? And will ANY 2009 Mac Pro be compatible with this upgrade?

    Thanks MUCH,
    Ralph
     
  11. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #11
    Hi,

    Just do a general search on google: Upgrade 2009 mac pro to 6-core westmere w3680. Google is your friend or any other search engine. Its not hard to do. If you can change out a PC processor then upgrading a slower processor on the mac pro is just as easy.

     
  12. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #12
    I recall reading about some troubles with certain refurbished models with a different firmware from Apple.

    I think it was in this thread (link):
    http://forum.netkas.org/index.php/topic,852.0.html

    If you read that thread (yes, it's over 30 pages... sorry) you will have answers.
     
  13. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    PowerPC land
    #13
    For those who have the special B08 firmware, I can provide that should you need to revert back from 5,1 to 4,1 firmware. As mentioned before should you downgrade from the 5,1 to 4,1 firmware and it was B08, that firmware version will be gone forever.. But I have made an attempt to find a way to back it up so if anyone needs it, let me know through private email.

    Thanks,
     
  14. Tesselator, Mar 9, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #14
    Keep the 8-core.

    Performance will be almost identical until you have 2 or more apps actually doing something and then the 8 core will take the lead and a huge lead too. You can't trust and don't need to look at (utterly meaningless!!!) GeekBench (or other synthetic system benchmarking) scores BTW. ;)

    If you're actually pushing your system with multiple apps as you say then don't reduce the number of cores you use.

    The new 4-core can be upgraded to 6 or 12 cores if I'm not mistaken. With 12 it will actually be faster for what you're doing. Upgraded to 6-cores it will be the same overall as your current machine.

    I dunno what else you have in your MP3,1 but if you're in the doldrums over it's performance there are a few relatively inexpensive options that will speed it up. I guess you already know but here goes anyway:

    • 32GB of 800MHz ram for your machine can be had for $350 to $400 on ebay. I recently took one of my older Pros from 12GB to 32GB ($280 I think) and the difference is pretty nice.

    • A modern 2012 NVidia video card really helps with adobe apps and many others too. For your video and still work this is fairly major! And I guess if you spend the time hunting or flash your own card then about $200 to $250 will do it.

    • An SSD as the system drive. It doesn't need to be a super-fast top rated model. If it can do 300MB/s it's already overkill. Use it for your apps and system files. One of these under your DVD drive for about $150 or one of these in the same place for $90 should do ya.

    • Internal RAID storage. Two of the new Samsung 3TB drives on your SATA II ports in RAID0 is the same speed as one very fast consumer SSD drive on SATA III for video and PS images - only of course it's 6TB ;). These drives are about $120 to $140 a pop (you can find both of those prices). I saw a pile of them for $100ea in a department store no less, and just bought the whole pile. I'm running 4 in RAID0 and get between 680MB/s and 750MB/s out of them. :)

    • Turn off Apple's lame Dynamic Pager for a nice little (free) speed boost!! To turn it off just enter:

      sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist​

      in the terminal, followed by a reboot. You can turn it on again with:

      sudo launchctl load -wF /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist​

    When you do go to upgrade to a newer mac (as the 4,1 models come down in price) all those things except the RAM can be moved over to the new machine - and the RAM you'll likely be able to sell for about the same as you paid for it (assuming a 2 or 3 year window).
     

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