6-Core D500 Mac Pro Slower than i7 GTX 780M iMac? Real World Tests & Benchmarks

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jonathan.tld, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. jonathan.tld, Jan 27, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014

    jonathan.tld macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    Hey everyone,

    Still waiting on my 8-Core D700 Mac Pro to arrive but in the mean time I spent a good amount of time comparing the 6-Core D500 model against the current top spec'd 27 inch iMac configured with an i7 CPU, GTX 780M 4GB GPU & 3TB Fusion Drive. I covered Final Cut Pro X (1080p & 4K video), Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro.


    I understand the Fusion Drive vs PCIe SSD on the Mac Pro is a toss up since the iMac CAN be configured with one as well but it's what I had available :)

    Pretty interesting results and Adobe, please update these apps to take advantage of the power! As a lot of reviews have noted, there isn't a whole lot that takes advantage of these twin GPUs yet.

    Really interesting results in Final Cut Pro X as well, as it looks like the iMac supports Intel Quick Sync, while the Mac Pro does not. On a 3 minute 1080p export using single pass compressor settings, the iMac did the job in under a minute, while the Mac Pro took just under 3!
  2. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    If you are solely interested in the FCX issue, there's already a mega thread here about that.

    Plenty of benchmarks here as well for other Adobe apps.


    And of course, you ignored PS and LR. But I guess you're more interested in pimping Hulu anyway. :rolleyes:
  3. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    He also missed Premiere Pro, it does support dual graphics even though just on export. Perhaps more support in the future.

    Edit: He did kind of mention it, but mainly on an export test.
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    Thanks for the extensive tests and very professional video. Your audio, narration, editing pace, and camera methods were excellent.

    Several of these things have been discussed in this thread, although you have to look through it to find the substantive posts: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1699116

    The overall situation is the expected consequence the current processor evolution. Previously, a faster CPU in a faster computer accelerated currently-written software without any effort from the software developers.

    Today, Intel has mostly exhausted the ability to wring more performance out of single-threaded code (instruction-level parallelism). All the known tricks have already been exploited to the degree possible -- deeper instruction pipelines, out-of-order execution, branch prediction, etc. The thermal limit constrains higher clock rates.

    This leaves multiple cores and "asymmetric" compute resources like GPUs, Quick Sync, etc. However harnessing these requires specific coding methods.

    This places the ball firmly in the court of software developers. A new generation computer will not automatically run existing code dramatically faster -- unless those specific processor features are tapped.

    This is a tremendous business opportunity for the software vendors. If they aggressively utilize these new processor resources, it will give them a major advantage over slower-reacting competitors.

    To a degree this means purchasing a nMP is an exercise in optimism. However if Adobe, etc. move slowly in leveraging that hardware, Apple will exploit that.

    I've done simple video export tests on my 2013 iMac7 27 which were 4x faster than Premiere Pro CS6 on my similarly-equipped Windows PC. This is likely due Adobe not supporting Quick Sync, but a similar situation could apply to GPU assisted functions. IOW if software vendors are slow to use these features, they will fall by the wayside.

    Despite all the talk about Quick Sync, the broad range of tests by jonathan.tld show a more complex picture. A 6-core nMP is already faster than the top-tier iMac in various areas, and the degree of improvement will likely increase as software is further developed.
  5. jonathan.tld thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2014
    I featured Photoshop in there :/ and I wasn't solely interested in FCPX, just sharing some results from a different perspective. Chill on Hulu, I didn't come in here blasting it in the thread, it was just part of the video ;)


    Thanks for the feedback sir, much appreciated. Thanks as well for that link, I should have searched a bit, I was just trying to share some results from a different perspective. Completely agree with everything you said though :D
  6. CouponPages macrumors regular


    Jan 16, 2014
    Staten Island, NY
    GREAT VIDEO! I've had the same basic observations, but since I haven't received mine yet, all I've been able to test so far was the 4 core, D300. It's good to see you had your hands on the next model up (6 core, D500).

    I'm waiting for a six core / D700 / 32 GB / 1TB rig.

    In a perfect world, instead of comparing iMac to Mac Pros, I would love to see somebody run a test like BruceX, but longer using multiple Mac Pro configurations, so we can see which tasks benefit from more cores, and which ones from the GPUS.

    So, I created a benchmark that uses 5 easy steps that all come from built-in generators, titles and filters and I posted it on YouTube... It's nowhere near your production qaulity, but my goal was to just put it out there and I'm hoping some people will report the results from their setups.


    Like you, the reason these results seem like a surprise is the way Apple went out of their way to say how much the hardware and FCPX were engineered to work together.

    In your summary, you pretty much said the Mac Pro isn't for everyone, unless they work heavily in Final Cut Pro X, but most of the gains in your video were either marginal or it as slower. So, my question is, now that you have both, do you "feel" the difference? Not just the final export (We've had a long discussion of that elsewhere), but is the Final Cut Pro X experience faster / smoother?

    Do you feel the gains in edit productivity overcome the loss in compression times?
  7. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    If you did, I missed it, and you certainly didn't touch on any of the other apps.

    Video would be better titled with the ..."for a video user". and then I'd have no qualms about it.

    But then, there are 30-page threads here about one benchmark. :rolleyes:

    The ironic thing is, as some of your tests have shown, the nMP is not necessarily the wonder device that some expected for video, but it's turning out better for still image work.
  8. chfilm macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    Please, everyone send feedback to adobe to optimize for the nMP! I already filed to requests! :)

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