8 core vs 12 core - Please help with purchase decision

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by brucku, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. brucku macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    #1
    Hey Guys,

    Trying to help my brother choose between the current (2.4) 8core and (2.6) 12core offerings. We do realize that the 12 core machine means faster ram and a higher processing speed. As a graphic designer and a small project film editor he spends a lot of time in a slew of heavy applications. He'll be working on a file in indesign with a bunch of linked files, or inside a 5gb photoshop image with upwards of 50 layers - or in final cut pro. and motion - Often he's in all of these at once hopping back and forth between them. Either machine will have 8gb of ram (4x2) to start with. His current machine is a 2.7 dual G5 with 5gb of ram and we're wondering how much of a difference he'll see in the upgrade.

    Recently when working with 1min standard definition clips in Final Cut Pro he'll be waiting up to 15 min for a compress and export

    Also when working a 1min HD 1280 by 720 clip - during an optical flow render in motion - this can take 5hrs to process.

    If anyone can offer some real world experience and opinions on how much of a difference he will see when performing tasks of this nature with this proposed upgrade- it would be very useful - as apple doesn't even offer benchmarks to compare the 2 systems, they simply made a chart comparing LAST YEARs 8 core to this years 12core which is not nearly as useful to me.

    Thanks!
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    My own real-world experience is that it's even difficult to stress my 2.93GHz Quad when running a lot of heavy applications. There were times when I was doing some blog work where I would have Photoshop, Dreamweaver, FCP (1080p video), Safari, and CuteFTP all open doing stuff and the Quad and 6GB of RAM was ample.

    As far as the best performance... at least on paper, the 3.33GHz Hex is the machine to have. It will outperform the Octo for sure and even the 12 core in many tasks.

    However, as I said, even a 3.2 Quad would probably work just dandy.
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3

    The model Apple uses in their comparison chart is last years 2.93GHz octad, which is 22% faster than the current 8-core model. Just calculate the difference in the charts Apple provides. That should give you more detailed numbers.

    But I wouldn't rely too much on these numbers. There are a bunch of people here that have a lot experience with the applications your brother uses and can give you a more detailed recommendation which model to buy.

    Although I don't work in this field I'd recommend a current 6-core model (fastest you can buy for single threaded applications), or if you really have the dough for a 12-core system and use all applications at the same time, go 12 core.
    No matter which system you chose, I can assure you that 8GB won't be enough.
    Chose the smallest amount of RAM you can get from Apple and buy 3rd party RAM afterwards.
     
  4. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    #4
    Why is the hex more popular round here than the octo? Is it higher clocked? Or do you mean you get more bang for your buck?
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    Cause it's faster. The question about the clock speed is answered at www.apple.com. :rolleyes:
     
  6. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #6
    It seems like the 6 core 3.33GHz is the fastest MP in most cases, except a few where the 2.93GHz 12 core is faster. The 6 core is also a lot cheaper than the 12 core.

    See this article:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-CoresExplained.html

    If he uses motion, then get the best graphic card (5870) since it is very dependent on the graphics card.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    Because 8-core is horrible in single-threaded tasks due to its clock speed. Too many apps are still single-threaded, one unfortunate example is Apple's Final Cut. In those tasks, the 6-core is a beast (2.66GHz vs 3.6GHz with Turbo, that's ~35% difference).

    6-core also offers more raw CPU performance (19.2GHz vs 19.98GHz). Only downside is less RAM slots :(
     
  8. brucku thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    #8
    What about CS5 will that take advantage of the 2.4 8 core?

    Also what about the 3.3 6 core vs the 2.6 12 core - how often and with what kind of work will the machine be faster in a 12 core / dual configuration.
     
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Except for Premiere, no Adobe apps can utilise more than 4 threads as of yet.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #10
    I'm pretty sure After Effects can as well

    http://www.barefeats.com/wst10c.html
     
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Oh right! Missed that. Apps like PS, Illustrator, Indesign etc. can't benefit from more than 4 threads, though. To be more precise, they are still heavily single threaded, but some filters of PS can handle up to 4 threads.
     
  12. lbeck macrumors 6502

    lbeck

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    #12
    Honestly, I'd go for the 6-core. It will serve him and the apps he uses much better. Below is a link to a bunch of good articles regarding the 6/8/12 core as well as photosohp performance in all of them. The 6-core had the best performance.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/index_topics.html
     
  13. brucku thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2003
    #13
    Thanks everyone!

    Hey guys,

    Thanks a ton for all this wonderful feedback. Placed order for 3.3 6 core + 30 inch display today.
     
  14. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #15
    That's what I've heard too. Frequency is usually more important when dealing with Creative Suite apps as most things are still single-threaded, thus the 6-core is a beast.
     
  16. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502

    JavaTheHut

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #16
    Hi,
    I understand the apps may have limitations at this time to use the multithreading available but...
    What happens if you are running multiple apps though? *theoretically lets say CS5
    1. AI uses 2 threads*
    2. PS uses 4 threads*
    3. ID uses 1 thread*
    4. Bridge 1 thread*
    Does this mean they are sharing only 4 threads? or do they use what is available out of the grand total of 6cores or 12cores respectfully?
     
  17. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #17
    They all run as individual apps. If all those apps you listed would max out the thread(s) they can use, it would mean that 8 threads would be in use. If you're running multiple apps, especially if they are CPU intensive, more cores/threads will definitely help. That's how I think it is
     
  18. Garamond macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    #18
    So the number of threads showing up in Activity Monitor isn't the same kind of threads your guys are talking about?

    Because on my computer InDesign CS5 shows up with 77 threads (!) and above, while Illustrator uses 65.
     
  19. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #19
    The execution speed on the higher clock CPU would outweigh any core advantage. That's not to mention the latest Xeon processors have HyperThreading, for each physical core you have 2 logical ones.
     
  20. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #20
    The way I see it, the 3.33GHz is the best machine to get, most bang for your buck, but if money is no object get the 12 core 2.93GHz...although the 3.33GHz 6-core will still be faster at single threaded tasks. Whatever you do, I would NOT get the 8-core 2.4GHz, it's slower than the 6-core even at multithreaded tasks, and at single threaded tasks it's pitifully slow.
     
  21. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    Unfortunately, those are not that relevant... it's the large CPU consuming tasks we're concerned about such as rendering a transition, transcoding video, processing a RAW image, applying a photoshop filter, etc. Unfortunately, the applications do a poor job of multi-threading those.
     
  22. Garamond macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    #22
    I had a hunch it was not the same thing, thanks for answering :)

    When deciding for my 12-core it was as much an investment for today as it is for the future - in the hopes that developers writes applications that are more multi-processor aware. That goes for OSX as well. Hopefully 10.7 brings it even closer to that goal.
     
  23. JulianBoolean macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    #23
    brucku -

    Just offering my own real world experience fwiw. Noticed your brother is working on 5GB photoshop files on a G5 with 5GB of ram. Been there, and it's a world of hurt!

    Yes clock speed is really important, I'm the proud owner of a 6 core myself. Lots of really good points about thread count, and clock speed here allready. But I think it's really often overlooked, that there is a certain point (with really large files) and 5GB is a really big file! that ram is king, and clock speed plays a minor role. the hexcore does indeed outshine the competition with the dig lloyd medium test often linked to, but only stands in the middle of the pack on the huge file test. Don't overlook ram. The eight core and 12 core really outshine the competition with big photoshop files. Not because of the core count, but because of the available ram slots. More ram will even reduce your save times (which is single threaded) in photoshop. Never expected that one, but I put 32GB in my 6 core and my save times dropped. That's a really big deal with photoshop, it's the slow save times that really kill you.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-Photoshop-diglloydHuge.html

    JB
     
  24. JulianBoolean macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
  25. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #25
    You do know, we don't add together clock speeds per core. Don't make me pull out cow2beef.exe picture
     

Share This Page