3.33GHz 6-Core or the 2.4GHz 8-Core Westmere?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 3282868, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    They're both Intel Xeon Westmere's, but I was planning on buying the 8-core today. However, another commentator mentioned the 3.33GHz 6-core Westmere being a faster/better choice than the 2.4GHz 8-Core Westmere. Is this due to the 1 6-Core processor versus 2 Quad-Core processors and how the system utilizes threading, etc of each?Thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    3.33GHz + TurboBoost for single threaded applications vs. 2.4GHz + TurboBoost.

    That should be a no brainer.

    3.33GHz x 6 = 19.98GHz for multithreaded apps vs. 2.4GHz x 8 = 19.2GHz.

    As you can se, due to the much higher clock speed of the 6-core, it beats the slower 8-core in any possible application.
    Just check out the various benchmarks around the internet, or search this forum if you don't trust these numbers.

    Since the 6 and 8-core are roughly the same price, it doesn't make any more sense to buy the 8-core, unless you want to upgrade the 8-core with 6-core processors, or need more than 32GB of RAM.
  3. lbeck macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2009
    Easy, get the 6-core. Faster processor is better than more cores right now, period.
  4. w00tini macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2008
    if given your financial resources the Hex is not cost prohibitive, get it. it smokes the quad in just about everything except a program that uses 8+ cores (which is nary a few).
  5. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks! I posted another thread when I a lot of people suggested getting the 6-Core. I'm surprised but after reading the reasons it makes perfect sense.

    Just one question. I'm assuming the 12-Core is two 6-Core Processors. Would it be possible to purchase another 6-Core Westmere processor in the future and drop it in (assuming the 6-Core logic board is the same as the 12-Core)?

    Thanks again everyone!
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Nope, that's not possible.

    The quad and hex core systems use a daughter board with a single CPU socket only, so no chance to upgrade to 12 cores later on.

    The 8-core, however, apparently uses a two socket daughter board, hence is upgradable to a 12-core system.
  7. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Huh, really... That makes sense, the board is a dual Quad Core. Oi. I suppose the question I need to ask myself, will I EVER actually drop in another chip into this system? Voiding the warranty is one issue, but at the time that happens I'll most likely be out of AppleCare any ways, which would put me at the 3 year mark, and getting a new system would be more economical then spending money on another chip.

    Soooo I'll take everyone's advice, the 6-Core it is :)

    And thanks again guys, you've been a serious help to me!
  8. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have compared top Geekbench scores for both the 6-core 3.33GHz Mac Pro and the dual processor 2.4GHz 8-core Mac Pro. The single 3.33GHz 6-core machine comes out slightly faster, it is just barely faster at the multithreaded tasks, and MUCH faster for ALL single threaded tasks.

    I would definitely go with the 6-core over the 8-core, but if you plan on upgrading those processors with a couple X5680s or X5690s in the future, then go for the 8-core, it's upgradable to a 12-core machine. But, those processors will set you back over $1700 a piece, it's nearly a $3500 upgrade.
  9. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yeah, I did the math and figured it would make more sense to get a new Mac Pro than to upgrade the processors, even if the prices were to drop. For $3500 I might as well just get the 12-Core now, but it's much more than I need.

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