8-core 2010 v 4-core 2012

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CountBrass, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. CountBrass macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Everything else being equal (condition, Apple Care etc), which is the better machine?
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Just depends what you are doing with it. 2.4GHz vs 3.2GHz can be significant for many applications. Double the memory capacity is nice, but again depends if that matters to your use.

    What is your typical usage like?
  3. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    The 2010 and 2012 are essentially the same system, with that being said what are your application needs?

    If you do a lot of 3D work or video work the 8 core is better for you, if you do a lot of photoshop work a 4 core with a higher processor speed could be better for you needs.

    But all things being equal like you asked the 8 core is better. It has a better upgrade path, can hold more ram, has for the most part more processing power, and will have a better resale value.
  4. CountBrass, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009

    What I am looking for in my Mac Pro is longevity.

    I'm currently using the Mac Pro 1.1 I bought in 2006, the G5 PowerMac it replaced was about four years old (I think) and my brother in law used it for years more.

    I generally buy the top model because I know I will keep it a long time- I generally use it for games, maintaining my iTunes library, light photo work (keen amateur who likes to play) lots of photos in Aperture, light programming.

    My current MP is starting to feel a bit pushed. The fact ML isn't supported on it any more is a small but will be an increasingly important factor.

    I did consider replacing it a couple of years ago and was shocked that the price of the top of the range (ie a dual processor) model had nearly doubled compared to my current one. But despite that it was the terrible, terrible experience at my local Apple store when I tried to buy that sent me home empty handed.

    I've used an MBP for the last couple of years, with the MP relegated to home server duties, currently have an rMBP, but suddenly realised my rMBP isn't so much a desktop replacement as a desktop: it rarely leaves home. And compared to an MP is terribly noisy and I have so many cables and auxiliary devices (eg DVD burner, USB hub) cluttering up my desk I decided to bring back the MP into desktop service- until I can decide whether to replace it and if so with which MP.

    Hence the question.

    Oh and a quiet machine is important!
  5. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    PowerPC land

    It all depends on what you do and or use your system for. Like others have said, if you do light photo work, gaming, iTunes, etc.. and nothing heavy consisting of video and or rendering, then a 6-core or even a top end 4-core 2010/2012 will do the job. Personally, as the sweet spot between the 4,8,12 cores, I would get the 3.33 6-core 2010 and or 2012(same machine) - 6 cores will help with most of what you are doing, plus it will prolong your investment.

    UNLESS you plan on getting into heavy encoding or video rendering and you require more computing power for that, then the 8 core or 12-core would be the better move.

    Given what you are currently doing, I would have to say the 6-core or top end 4-core 2010 or 2012 would be your best bet.


  6. pyzon macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    I'm going for a 3.2 quad-core soon, I don't see any issues with it's upgrade path, I can pop my processor board over to OWC and have them upgrade it so I can have dual 6-core processors if necessary and associated RAM upgrade.

    Expensive but still it's an option available as part of an upgrade to dual processors.
  7. TomCat macrumors member

    Jul 12, 2000
    The 2010 8-core is 2 quad-core 2.8 MHz Gulftown e5620 Xeons with 12 G of L3 cache; the 2012 is a single quad-core 3.2 MHz w3565 Xeon w 8 G of L3 cache. The 2010 comes with 6 GB stock expandable to 64, the 2012 comes with 6 GB stock expandable to 32. The 2010 has draft-n wifi while the 2012 has n wifi. Everything else is the same.

    So if your software is capable of using 8 cores, the 8 core is better. If the software you are using has its strength elsewhere, such as in usage of L3, the 8 core is still better. If the software is not capable of using more than 4 cores it will run a bit faster (probably not really noticably) on the 4 core. If you will be handling a lot of simultaneous tasks, go 8 core.

    But as violst says, it depends, because these two boxes are really very similar. You would have to be using the system exceptionally intensely to see the benefit of one over the other, and even then that benefit is qualified by the usage pattern. Assuming you are not, the differences are negligible enough to lean toward the 8 core machine for the reasons violist states. On the other hand, the cutoff for upgraded OS may disenfranchise the 2010 long before the 2012, but then they are so similar that the eventual cutoff may come at the same time for both of them. That's about as educated a guess as anyone can make on that front.

    So even with all else held equal, one of those tiny advantages must really stick out for you to be the determining factor. Otherwise it is a virtual tie. Were it me, I'd go with the 8 core.
  8. violst, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    The OWC cost to get a 12 core from a 4 core is so cost prohibitive it makes no sense for most people. At that price point you might as well buy a new system.

    If you can afford the 8 core up front you have a much better and much cheaper upgrade path to a 12 core. All you need to do is pop in 2 new 6-core processors and recoup some of that cost by selling the 2 - 4-cores you pulled out.

    I stand by what I said with all things being equal the 8-core is a better long term option.
  9. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    I agree with PowerPCManMan that the 6-core 3.33 is the sweet spot for a lot of users, and may be a good option for your needs.
  10. pyzon macrumors regular

    Jan 31, 2008
    You can plug 3x16 sticks in = 48GB for the 2012.

    I did mention the processor upgrade from single to dual was expensive but it is available as an option. Also I would buy the 6-core 3.33 if I had the extra money available but I don't so 4-core will do for now. Since I will use it for photography only LR4 and PS, it should serve my needs well as LR and PS don't really do to well with multi core processors.

    Here is a good article:

  11. avemestr macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    You might get $300 each for the E5620.

    Upgrading to X5675 will set you back about $1500 each.

    So that upgrade will set you back about $2400. That's of course possible, but.... expensive. And I haven't heard about anyone doing it. You'll still be upgrading to old tech, and that $2400 is a severe write-off when/if a Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge based MP is released next year.
  12. violst, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012

    violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    The point of reference for what I said was based off of Pyzon's comment about upgrading a four core to a 12 core through OWC which would cost you for that approximate CPU upgrade anywhere from between $3300-$4000. So I think $2400 is a lot better option.

    The original question was
    And to that question I sill say the 8-core.
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Hate to be the stickler but the only 2010 8-core was 2.4GHz (Turbo 2.66GHz) and is Westmere-EP not Gulftown.
    4-cores: 2.8GHz, 3.2GHz
    6-core: 3.33GHz
    12-core: 2.66GHz, 2.93GHz.
    That was the 2010 fleet.
    Personally as a stop gap I would stay clear of it unless it is the same price. I would not pay more for it. The clock is just too slow and will hinder things later in it's life as most software still can't be bothered to be good citizens.
    Upgrade is pointless as well as you'd be dumping too much cash into EOL'd X58 and the need to get native USB 3, SATA3, and TB, will most likely win out before you want to invest in new procs that will most likely never go down in price unless you buy used. My 2 cents.
  14. bax2003 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2011
    Gainestown Xeons are: E5xxx, W5xxx, X5xxx and L5xxxx.
  15. CountBrass thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 17, 2009
    Thank you all.

    Thank you all for your responses: I've decided to stick with my 1.1 Mac Pro for the moment. Perhaps when (if!) the 2013 MPs appear I'll reconsider.

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