6-core or 8-core MacPro

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
What would be the best deal/most bang for buck/ fastest machine...etc
Since its a big investment this purchase should last 4-5 years.

6-core is 200$ more expensive than the 8-core (2.4GHz) does the 200$ extra justifies the speed difference in comparison to the 8-core?

Programs i use are:

Indesign CS5
Photoshop CS5
Illustrator CS5
After Effects CS5
Final Cut Pro
Cubase/music editing software

I'm asking because to be honest i don't know anything about CPU speeds or computer hardware in general.

All the help would be much appreciated!
 

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
@Jessica
Could you maybe explain a bit why please?


which is better?

also i just called the Apple store and asked them about what would be best, mentioning the programs i pointed at earlier in this post...the guy claimed that the 8-core would be a much better and interesting deal, since its cheaper and it has more expansion possibility's for RAM.

He also said that Adobe software doesn't really make use out of pure CPU power but that its the RAM that counts.

ok the confusion is starting to soak in
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
I'm sort of in the same boat - but if you do a bunch of FCP, it only uses 1 core (not Compressor, tho) so it might be a tad faster on the single 6 core.

I want to see performance results on all these machines - single 6 core, dual 4 core and dual 6 core. Anyone seen any yet?

D
 

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
been comparing prices, how about this?

the 6-core 3.33 is priced at 3649Euro's
the 8-core is priced at 3449Euro's

both have the ATI Radeon HD 5770. Now if i was to update the card on the 8-core system (HD5870) that would make the 8-core with better graphics card coast about the same as the 6-core with the HD 5770 - 3648Euro

what would be the best thing here in this case...or do you guys say without a doubt "go 6-core"?
 

grooveattack

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
511
1
really hard choice. apple people are telling me 8-core but the 6-core 3.33ghz just seems like it will be faster.

i think if the clock speed was slower on the 6core it would make more sense to go 8, but because its got a much bigger speed gap i think its going to be faster for a long time.
 

Magaman

macrumors regular
Aug 14, 2009
132
1
I'll throw my hat in to this debate. Heavy FCP and Compressor use, amongst other things like After Effects, and Logic.

Now yes FCP only supports one core, but we all know that an FCP update is well over due, since it's also still only 32 bit. That being said more cores might be better for the long run.
Now I don't know about the rest of you, but FCP edits pretty damn smoothly on my 2008 MBP, but Compressor takes FOREVER even with the little Qmaster workaround using both cores.

So yeah would the two extra but slower cores be a better buy?? I'm leaning toward yes, for a few reasons. A it's at least the newer chips, and B more RAM in the future! There are two downsides from what I see, slower CPU's and slower RAM.

I've been waiting on buying a machine since November, and this will be a BIG upgrade from my Pentium 4 windows machine(hell my MBP is a major update from that machine) and I gotta pull the trigger sooner then later cause my current desktop can't handle HD capturing via a Blackmagic Intensity card.
 

grooveattack

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
511
1
ok, i am going 8-core.

A. more ram as standard

B.with it being cheaper i am looking at either getting a better graphics card or another hard drive as well

C. everything seems to be about more cores in the future and i want this computer to last

D. better RAM expansion for the future.
i dont think the 300MHz memory speed is going to be noticeable at all

I have always known that more GHz/MHz is faster but that is changing now and i just have to get my head around that. I think it just seems counter intuitive to get a slower clock speed but over all, more cores is better.

thats me....
 

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
what a difficult choice :mad:

so if i get i correct: 8-core is better towards the future than the 6-core in the long run.

i have read somewhere in a previous post (cant find it) that the 6-core's speed wil put the 8-core 2.4 to shame. is this true or just exaggerating at its best?

also 6-core comes with only 3GB while the 8-core comes with 6. isn't this going to make up for the speed.

Isn't future software, maybe adobe even) going to make sure all cores will be used..if this would be the case, than again the 8-core is a better choice wright?

sorry for all the questions guys but i really don't knwo a thing about hardware.
 

314631

macrumors 6502a
May 12, 2009
909
0
iDeaded myself
Buy the 12 core to future proof your investment. ;) I just ordered 2 of them. We'll soon be seeing cost analysis research reports that prove the highest cost MP machine delivers the biggest bang for your buck.
 

eponym

macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2010
297
3
ok, i am going 8-core.

D. better RAM expansion for the future.
i dont think the 300MHz memory speed is going to be noticeable at all

I have always known that more GHz/MHz is faster but that is changing now and i just have to get my head around that. I think it just seems counter intuitive to get a slower clock speed but over all, more cores is better.

thats me....
re: D)

It probably won't be noticeable at all. See this article on the subject.

I'm personally very conflicted right now. I know the 6-core is significantly faster than a Nehalem dual quad (prev. generation). That clock speed and big cache just power through a lot of the tasks I would be doing (graphics apps, programming and lots of virtualization). But that comparison I read isn't completely applicable now since these are westmere quads with the better caches. And core support should hopefully get better in the near future, so the advantages the 6-core has over the 2x4 should diminish. And since RAM is a huge part of what I do, starting with more memory/slots for less is quite attractive.

Bah. Decisions, decisions.

/first world problem
 

MacSince1985

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2009
319
210
i have read somewhere in a previous post (cant find it) that the 6-core's speed wil put the 8-core 2.4 to shame. is this true or just exaggerating at its best?
It will be faster for software that doesn't take advantage of multi-core. But I don't think it'll put the 8-core to shame.

Future versions of OS X and software manufacturers will improve task distributions with multiple cores.

I ordered an 8-core because the apps I use that require lots of power (3D rendering) have good multi-threading support. The other apps will run fine at 2.4GHz. The additional RAM capacity is more important for some tasks too.
 

StofUnited

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2010
44
0
This might provide you with some good ideas - this guy thinks that the 6-core 3.33 is the sweet spot here. He goes into detail about the software now and in the future taking advantage of the extra cores. He also estimates the speed comparisons related to software that:

1 - uses a single core
2 - uses multiple cores a little bit
3 - a future when all cores will be used by the software (def. not the case now with most software).

- take a look at this article (estimates):

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-Estimates.html
 

cohen777

macrumors regular
Jul 23, 2009
122
16
Lakeland, FL
I believe that all the Westmere's have turboboast built in, so if the app really needs a faster speed, a 2.4 Gz processor will go at 3.33 Gz with turboboast.
 

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
how about music production software, i'm planning to pick up some of my music recording, kind of moved to the background with college and stuff.

for music (beat making...) does most music edit software take advantage of multiple cores?
 

harlem

macrumors member
Original poster
May 28, 2010
56
0
This might provide you with some good ideas - this guy thinks that the 6-core 3.33 is the sweet spot here. He goes into detail about the software now and in the future taking advantage of the extra cores. He also estimates the speed comparisons related to software that:

1 - uses a single core
2 - uses multiple cores a little bit
3 - a future when all cores will be used by the software (def. not the case now with most software).

- take a look at this article (estimates):

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-Estimates.html
so the article states that the 6-core 3.33 beats the 12core 2.93? (clock speed):confused:

going by the article the 6-core is pretty much up there with the 12core?
 

grooveattack

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
511
1
I believe that all the Westmere's have turboboast built in, so if the app really needs a faster speed, a 2.4 Gz processor will go at 3.33 Gz with turboboast.
the 2.4 quad only turbos to 2.66GHz
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47925

i did think it would go much high than this but alas not.

also MacSince1985 made a good point: 8-core because the apps I use have good multi-threading support. The other apps will run fine at 2.4GHz. The additional RAM capacity is more important for some tasks too.

all these apps that aren't written to use all cores are not the important ones i am using. final cut studio and other pro apps are going to be much better prepared for 8 cores.
 

marcos73

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2010
26
0
Toronto
Where did you guys see 1 6 core configuration on Apple's website?

It only shows 4 cores, 8 cores and 12 cores. There is no 6 cores configuration.

Could anyone please clarify this?

Thanks
 

grooveattack

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2008
511
1
Where did you guys see 1 6 core configuration on Apple's website?

It only shows 4 cores, 8 cores and 12 cores. There is no 6 cores configuration.

Could anyone please clarify this?

Thanks
go for quad then you can upgrade to 6 core, it is not a standard config
 

stujmac26

macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2009
119
0
Where did you guys see 1 6 core configuration on Apple's website?

It only shows 4 cores, 8 cores and 12 cores. There is no 6 cores configuration.

Could anyone please clarify this?

Thanks
BTO option on the 4-core machine :)
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA

I really like the looks of this for the single 6-core option - but I really don't like the idea of dropping the cash until i see some real results. Estimates are only really speculation, even if there is some math behind the results.

One thing that gets me is that Apple has *no* comparisons of the 6vs8vs12 core machines

What does that mean? What are they hiding?

D
 

ExplosiveDuck

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2010
4
0
A key thing to consider is how long you will have this machine. Ideally you will have this Mac Pro for 4 years? Think about two entire years from now, when you'll definitely have it. I think by then -everything- (pro apps) is going to be optimized for multiple cores. Not to mention you'll have better upgradeability RAM-side.

I vote for the 8-core.
 

ExplosiveDuck

macrumors newbie
Jul 29, 2010
4
0
A key thing to consider is how long you will have this machine. Ideally you will have this Mac Pro for 4 years? Think about two entire years from now, when you'll definitely have it. I think by then -everything- (pro apps) is going to be optimized for multiple cores. Not to mention you'll have better upgradeability RAM-side.

I vote for the 8-core.
 
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