6 Core Gulftown. Better than Quad Nehalem?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by theapplefreak, Oct 16, 2009.

  1. theapplefreak macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #1
    So I've been STILL looking for a new Mac, and decided for a Mac Pro. But with recent rumors, I now want to wait until the new one comes out.
    So my question is.

    Is the 6 Core "Gulftown" worth the wait until next year? I was planning to buy the Quad Core "Nehalem"

    Thanks
     
  2. tribe3 macrumors 6502

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    Vienna, VA - USA
    #2
    I got the one on my sig replacing a 2006 2x3GHz dual core and I don't notice any increase in speed with photoshop CS4. Other stuff was just as snappy with my old computer. I didn't do any specific testings... just my butt dyno.

    The limiting factor at the moment is software related so it really depends on what you need it for.
     
  3. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    #3
    How about using it for HD Video Editing with Final Cut and photoshopping? Oh and also music recording/editing stuff.
     
  4. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I think it always comes down to what's the "supposed" benefit of the new one. 3D apps and rendering apps always benefit from more cores, you can make the assumption that more applications in the future will benefit from more cores as well.

    But really, if you upgraded a current gen 8 core pro to a 8x3.33 monster, can you use all that power? Because that's a lot of power. That's an insane amount of processing power!

    If you're a professional and you will use whatever you have to the fullest because of rendering (editing or whatever) then it's all about a cost benefit analysis. Suppose a cost of (what's the top level Mac Pro now a-days?) $6k for your machine. Now, imagine that the new machines will come out in 6 months and will cost roughly the same amount of money. With your current setup, can you justify the wait versus the known benefit of getting a new machine? When you're thinking about the time you'll save by having a new machine, think about what makes sense (in regards to waiting) with the most pessimistic timeline in mind. It's apple, they will put out a new machine whenever the hell they feel like it, it's not going to be determined by your wants or thoughts.
     
  5. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #5
    You'll have to see benches before making a decision, but the Gulftown is rumoured to have a 6 core 2.4 GHz base. All else the same specifications, multithreaded (modern editing applications) will work better on a 6-core machine (provided the clock speed is slightly similar, on-die components are similar, and similar architectures [No More Pentium Four]).
     
  6. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #6
    I'm planning to like I said; Photoshopping, HD Video Editing, Editing Music, etc.
    I also want them to last for roughly 6+ years. I'm sure they do obviously because of all the upgrades you can apply to the machine.

    Just wanted to see how much a different in power can the 6 Core Gulftown and Quad Core Nehalem can have.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Assuming the clock is the same and the software can use all cores available, the next line will be able to do a job faster than on an SP or DP Gainestown based system (4 or 8 core systems respectively). So you end up with 1.5x the core count, and theoretically, it will speed up the same process by that amount.

    That said, there's a few things:
    1. We don't have much details on Gulftowns yet (available clocks or pricing), and the clocks may not end up the same as what's available now. To meet a price point, they could end up slower. I.e. the base Quad could be 2.4GHz, not 2.66, and some slower clocked variant for the 12 core base system as well. It will certainly have a negative affect, for both single and multi-threaded systems if this ends up the case.

    2. MP Gulftown pricing (which is likely to be on the ugly side, assuming they continue with the current pricing strategy used in the '09 models).

    3. Exactly how they'll even offer the systems (my guess, is it will be a 6 or 12 core model, no more 4 or 8 core systems).

    Details are really scarce ATM on Gulftowns, so it's a hard choice to decide to wait. So it comes back to the old addage you see. If you need a system now, get it. If you can wait, it's up to you to "bet" on whether or not the pricing & overall system value will be worth it. Let the software you're using now determine the choice, as you'd end up wasting money if you dont', as it's much farther behind than the hardware.

    Hard choice right now, my gut lends me to think now would be a better time, as either the clocks will get lower, or the pricing will go up (maybe even both). Software will stay the same for awhile, so there's only a few applications worth looking into that many cores.
     
  8. nullx86 macrumors 6502a

    nullx86

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    Jun 26, 2009
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    Wilmington/Jacksonville, NC
    #8
    Once the gulftown is released and gets put in the Mac Pros, I'm getting one. 8 cores is great, but 12 cores would have one hell of a performance boost, especially in multithreaded apps.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    If you primarily use software that can utilize all the cores, it would be worth it, especially if you derive an income from the system. ;)

    But if such software usage is limited, or non existant, it won't be worth getting a system with so many cores. It would be a waste of funds.

    My concern though, is the 2.4GHz part would be used in the base DP system. So it won't be as fast as you might hope, given the lower clocks, and the pricing is yet unknown. It will depend on what the exact P/N's used, but there's no data out yet on this. Pure speculation at this point, as Intel has only given info on this one clock speed. :(

    We need more info. ;)
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #10
    I would not wait for a Gulftown 6 cores. We do not even know if Apple will offer such a system and you can have an 8 core now. So what is the point of waiting? IMO the Gulftown makes only sense for people who use multithreaded apps, buy 8 cores now and will go from 8 to 12 cores. And then it will still come down to the available clocks. Imagine a 12 core 2,4 GHz vs an 8core 3.33 GHz. It would not be worth going for the 12 cores. My current system would be unbeaten.
     
  11. artivideo.nl macrumors 6502

    artivideo.nl

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    The Netherlands
    #11
    When the 6 core will come available will the 12 core be launched at the same time?????
     
  12. iVoid macrumors 65816

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    #12
    More than likely.
     
  13. bonobos macrumors newbie

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    Sep 24, 2009
    #13
    Damn. I just picked up a base quad from Amazon.

    I hate technology sometimes.

    This is supposed to come out when, 2nd qtr 2010? So what like March?

    I am considering returning mine and just waiting...what would you guys do?

    Don't have a computer otherwise...have to share the wife's ~2008 macbook for all my computer needs, its passible now, but could really use my own computer. I guess I could hold it out if it will be that much better?
     
  14. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

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    Sep 4, 2006
    #14
    For me, I'm keeping mine. :)

    I learned many times these past 4-5 years of switching and waiting... Too much time wasted! Besides Nehalem architecture is just the perfect time to buy now! I'll upgrade in 4 years.
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #15
    Keep it.

    It will come down to the details when the Gulftowns release, and the clock speeds are very likely going to be an issue (i.e. slower for the same/similar money). And in this case, since the architecture is identical (cores, IMC, QPI,... are the same design, just core count increases, and the L cache), it will be slower for the same funds. Definitely NOT worth it, unless you're willing to spend the extra funds to get a clock speed suited to your needs, and use software that can use all the cores very often (i.e. rendering 24/7). If you don't render with it, then you'd be wasting your money. And as it's a Quad, it definitely seems to be the case, otherwise an Octad would have been in order. :p
     
  16. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #16
    +1. The people interested in real multithreaded muscle will be waiting for the supposed "dual die" 12 core per-chip Intel Gulftown model to be introduced. The only reason I would wait to buy one is related to the other specs Apple will upgrade in the machine, not just the CPU.
     
  17. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #17
    If Apple keeps up with the current trend, they will create the illusion of an update while hiking profit margins. We saw this with the comparison of system/chip price ratio from 2006-2009, now it is simply outrageous. It has become clear that Apple isn't at all interested in providing performance to their highest end customers as much as they are saving on slower clocked RAM modules and the like.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    No, they aren't. I'm guessing it's the other things they are planning to add (according to the front page on MR a day or two ago), such as 10G Ethernet to help sell the machine. Presumably, we could see an SSD option finally as well, larger HDD in the base, maybe a bit more memory, but I'm not seeing any real changes for additional graphics card choices or bluray, as it was scraped at the last minute on the laptops. Just some minor odds and ends, and all stuff that the user can upgrade themselves (even 10G can be added via PCIe if needed, but not likely useful for most users).

    What else can they really do?
     
  19. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

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    #19
    Well, not that it matters, but I'm actually crossing my fingers on 10 Gb ethernet. Even though adding a card via PCIe is a great idea, for those of use who've been budgeting in components that would fill all the PCIe slots (me, for instance :D) the 10 Gb ethernet plug on-board would be a great idea for future expansion when bandwidth to the network becomes an issue. XGrid, for instance:D
     
  20. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2008
    #20
    If they actually add more RAM slots and being able to add SSD, I'm probably going to wait. I think it would be worth it for me.
     
  21. dsiew81 macrumors member

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    Jun 29, 2007
    #21
    If you frequented the boards enough, you would have known something was coming. And if your computing needs are met with your wife's laptop (considering the lack of urgency in getting a computer), why are you considering a MP? Sure you may have the money ...

    The Mac Pro was not aimed at the general consumer market. It was always a professional workstation, not a gaming computer or a hobbyist machine. A professional recording studio probably won't hesitate on buying a fully-optioned 8-core MP considering that there is a ROI. Unless you are maximising the potential of the MP, there's no point talking about the cost. If you've bought your MP to do DVD/BR rips or be a gaming machine, I think you're barking up the wrong tree.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #22
    10G Ethernet on the board is nice, as it can save a slot in an already small availible pool to begin with. If you've a need (such as full PCIe slots), you've hit the "land of no choice", but if the existing system is more than adequate, and you have an open slot (4x is enough @ PCIe 2.0 spec) why bother? On an older machine, it might. So follow the absolute needs of the hardware.

    It sucks for those that will find themselves in this situation though. :rolleyes: :(

    But in most cases, there's not a network available that can utilize that much bandwidth. I mean, even 100M is more than is currently required for most ISP access (definitely for residential availability), and the ports on the board are 1G in existing machines. :p
     
  23. dsiew81 macrumors member

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    #23
    You think it would be worth it? And why can't you add SSDs? Third party works too.
     
  24. theapplefreak thread starter macrumors regular

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    #24
    Well considering i'm not REALLY great with technical stuff, I don't want to really ef up the MP. I know you can still add SSD in the current gen.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #25
    Adding in SSD, HDD, memory, and graphics cards are easy. Just follow the directions, and worst case, search/ask here on MR.

    It's worth it to save on the funds. The only real reason for having Apple do it, is so that it's covered under Apple Care. Not worth it IMO, as such items have warranties that are just as good or better from their manufacturers, save perhaps the graphics card (might only have 1 yr, due to the heat they generate).
     

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