8-Core versus 4-Core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by netdog, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    I know that there have been little bits here and there, but if somebody really in the know could post a clear and concise summary of what is going to cruise on a set of 2.5 or 2.8 Harpertowns versus what will cruise on the 3.0 or 3.2 Wolffies, it would really be helpful as they may again have a 2 x Dual-Core MP in the lineup.

    I know that CS3 doesn't take advantage of multi-cores today, and so would currently be faster on the 3.0, but how much faster? Also, isn't it safe to assume that Adobe will support multi-core soon enough?

    My bottom line is I do periodic video editing and importing of HDV tapes, would like to transpose my DVD collection to hard drives so that they are networkable (a lot of rendering there, but it can be overnight too), do a fair amount of RAW photography, but use my machine most of the time for Safari, Mail, iTunes, iWeb, etc. I am sure there are a lot of people waiting to buy a Mac Pro who have similar usage patterns and would also like to benefit from the wisdom here to make an informed choice.

    Assuming that everything will start to support multi-core in the next year or two, what sort of Mac Pro configuration would I be best off with for the next 5-6 years?
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    In my limited experience, everything will run on multi-cores soon enough...and leopard will help particularly.

    bottom line is that we're quickly moving towards total GHz (i.e. #cores x #GHz), therefore, buy the best machine you can right now.

    and all other things being equal, between cores or GHz, more cores will be more power efficient (i think).
  3. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    Toast 8 + Handbrake Both Will Use All 8 Cores

    I am working with two Quad Macs. Both are hosed as soon as I start a second of the above applications or second instance of the above applications.

    If you plan to do DVD importing, the best way is with Handbrake and it is fully multithreaded as is Toast 8. If you want to keep one computer for 5-6 years you better buy the biggest bad boy they offer next. I would not recommend that strategy. It is much wiser to sell each system right after buying each new top of the line revision. Your hit is only a few hundred dollars each time and you stay on top of the heap.

    Myself, I work alone and plan on keeping the Quad G5, the 2.66 Quad Mac Pro as well as adding the top 8 core with 16GB of RAM. I'm going to do my encoding in a large RAM drive so I get maximum speed possible encoding. I am also adding more RAM to both these Quads since both can take 16GB and the price is down to less than $50/GB for the Mac Pro and only a little more for the last generation October 2005 G5 PowerMacs.

    $386 for FOUR 2GB Mac Pro Sticks
    $436 for FOUR 2GB Quad G5 Sticks

    taking both to 12GB ram from 5 and 4 respectively for $822

    The other thing to keep in mind is that you will be able to multitask big time on the 8 core Macs. So all the mundane single core hogs like Mail will no longer impede what the other cores can continue dealing with at full throttle. Those here who think just because they see their Activity Monitor peaking at 100% for each application they use forget that when they are running a lot of stuff at once, the 8 core will prevent them from getting in each other's way.

    I really don't understand those who are so short sighted as to think they don't or won't need 8 cores soon enough. It reminds me of when Bill Gates said 640k of ram was all anyone would ever need. :rolleyes:
  4. desenso macrumors 6502a


    May 25, 2005
    Here's hoping the next round of updates brings down the price of 8-cores! I'd really love a Mac Pro, but there's no way I could afford anything more than a 4-core right now.
  5. Multimedia macrumors 603


    Jul 27, 2001
    Santa Cruz CA, Silicon Beach
    Everyone Will Be Able To Afford 8 Cores

    The Quad Core Penryn Harpertown Processors that are used next have prices the same as the old Dual Core Woodcrest processors. So you'll be able to afford an 8 core even though you thought they would be more expensive - they won't.
  6. psychofreak Retired


    May 16, 2006
    I can't wait until all of us who can afford Macs can afford 8-cores...
  7. disconap macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2005
    Portland, OR
    Actually, everything I've read on the multi-core machines (16 and above) says they operate independently and can run individual OSes per core.

  8. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    I hope you are fully aware of the dangers associated with taking this route.
  9. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    What I have heard,PS CS3 is almost on par on present 4core xeons and 8 cores. Neglible differencies. Havent seen much real world test though.
    And adobe might support multicore awarness in the future, if they re-write the CS3 code. Apparently the current code doesnt scale too well for it.
    So,if we are lucky, by CS4 they will be much better multicore aware than today. And CS4 is about 18 months away since adobe has almost allways their 18 month cycle between the generations. I bet my money that no patch will correct the core issue,as it is deep in the code.

    Sometimes it feels stupid to do stuff in photoshop and watch the processors doing 100-150% of their 400% capacity. Especially if you sit and watch the meters for 15-20 seconds...:mad:

    Go for the 8 core harpers as they will be practically the same price.
    And you can multitask like Multimedia while working... :)

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