8 cores? are you kidding?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by neverownedapc, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. neverownedapc macrumors member


    Jun 20, 2008
    near chicago
    it's kinda funny that an 8 core mac came out and the people with the money to spend on the "best", have come out of hiding and forked up the cash. can anyone outside of the pro video & audio editing world please explain why i would have the want for one of these? pc owners still haven't figured out you don't need more than one processor for the internet. and now we have 8? are they serious? what's pc's next move, 16?
  2. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    As a matter of fact, 16 is indeed the next move, at least as it comes to workstations (servers will go to 12, shortly).

    Do most people need two quad-core processors? Likely not. But Apple makes the value proposition of having them so good that it makes more sense to get the dual quad-core Mac Pro instead of a single.

    And Apple is moving to make those cores more valuable with new technologies like Grand Central.
  3. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    I think even a quad is a little much at this point. Well have to see when 10.6 comes out. I opted to get a used 2.0 DC PMG5 for 700 bucks to hold me off from a Pro for a while. The new generation will be something else thats for sure - and maybe by then I can afford one with out going too far into debt. :D

    PS: I do a ton of programming, light video editing, some gaming (quake 3 anyone?), data storage, and basically a bit of every thing (more programming though). The PMG5 is amazing for it all. With it being a dual core, and my windows box a dual core, I just don't feel the need for quad+ at this point.
  4. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    8 cores, 4 hdd drive bays, 2 optical bays, multiple expansion ports. 32Gigs RAM Max.

    I don't have to buy another computer for at least 5 years.
  5. Decrepit macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2007
    Foothills to the Rocky Mountains
    There are bottlenecks.

    More processing cores should lead to more smooth interfaces as the software improves.

    If we don't get expensive 8 core systems now, we won't have cool, energy efficient, inexpensive 8 core systems later.

    Voice recognition that can instantly determine the word without training, regardless of accent is going to need serious power.

    We still use keyboards and mice, which is fine for a lot of situations. But for using the TV or controlling the lighting/cooling of a house, or translating video/audio in real time, or... well, you get the point.

    It's a process. Just because you don't get how it works doesn't make it wrong.
  6. macintosh tech macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2008
    There are two things at play here.

    1. It doesn't cost more to make these multi-core CPUs.

    2. This is the new trend in computing.

    With these two things at work single core CPUs have been phased out. The problem is, the OSs and applications haven't all jumped on to take advantage of these cores.

    On your point about no one needing more than one CPU for the web, I would have to say you are wrong. First of all, as web technologies get better people will need more power. Especially when you consider the recent trend in web applications. Java, javascript, Web 2.0 technologies, etc. These things will get better and will need more power. How does this relate to single core computing? Well, it seems the chip makers smacked into a wall on the Ghz front. If we would have stayed with single core CPUs this capped speed, the technologies would have moved forward while we would be having a terrible experience. Hence, core computing was born.

    So, depending on one's usage a single cpu may not be enough even for the web. And this will be even more true in the months and years to come.

    One last point, you seem to be linking the offering of an eight-core Mac Pro with those who have lots of money. And in fact, the two are not related. The people who planned to buy a Mac Pro before the eight-core standard configuration update we going to get a quad for roughly the same price. Now, they get eight-cores instead and can save money by going to a quad. You seem to be suggesting that we have blown our money on an eight-core machine, I suppose we should all go back in time and pick up a Power Mac G5 1.6Ghz for $1999. That way, we won't be wasting our money on all these cores.

    Ok ok, I have one more point. While single applications may not take full advantage of the cores, the big advantage to having four, eight, or sixteen is multitasking.
  7. chaosbunny macrumors 68000


    Mar 11, 2005
    down to earth, far away from any clouds
    Yep you certainly need more than one core for all this porn! :D
  8. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    It seems to me you answered your own question. We have the money and we want one. No further explanation is needed...

    ....but I'll give you one anyway:D. I wanted another Home Theater PC. My old one was slow, outdated, and was becoming increasingly unstable. When pricing all the stuff I wanted to include, the price came within a couple hundred dollars of a refurbed Mac Pro. So I went with the Mac Pro. I had already been indoctrinated into the world of Mac with the purchase of the iMac in my signature last Christmas, so it was an easy decision.

  9. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    There's a reason it's called the Mac Pro. :rolleyes: Yes 16 cores is next and then 24 and then 32. That's the trend these days hence the reason for Apple's announcement about "Grand Central" development.

    Besides, it's not like it's expensive or anything. The Mac Pro costs the same as a well equipped MBP and no one is accusing the MBP crowd of "over buying". If this was a $50,000 machine like an SGI Tezro, then you'd have a point in that the average person doesn't "need" to spend that much for a good computing experience, but we're talking about a $3,000 machine here - well with standard consumer price range for a "premium" level personal computer.

    You're right in that *today* multi-core machines are under utilized because the vast majority of software isn't written to take advantage of it. As multi-core machines become more prevalent, this will change...
  10. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    And yet it's all still sitting still waiting for that 7200 rpm disk and slow ass system bus.

    Unless you're breaking military grade cyphers or searching for ET, that cpu power is a complete waste if you can't get data in and out of it any faster.

    Throwing in more cores is cheap, faster IO is a pain in the butt and requires a lot more expense to build. It doesn't matter that you can't use it, people think "bigger" has to be better so they'll buy it. PT Barnum knew the American consumer well.
  11. MBX macrumors 68000

    Sep 14, 2006
    I don't get it. You're complaining about 8-cores YOU don't need?

    Just get a MacBook or iMac then and leave the 8-core pro Macs for the pro-users.
  12. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Starting with Snow Leopard, you will find that things have gotten a whole lot better.

    Won't be just the pro apps that make use of all the CPU cores and GPU cores, some of the other hoggy apps might take advantage of the easy threading to reduce bottlenecks.

    Where a lot of people specifically code for x86 assembly to improve things, on the Mac -- coding for multi threading would likely be just as good at reducing the speed penalty for that block of code.

    Heck, Norton AV would finally stop being a hindrance then ... but it likely won't get any money tossed at it for codebase upgrades.

    The good thing about Apple redoing such a bit chunk of the OS is that the GUI should cease to cause delays like it does now. aka, Windows users don't like that slight delay between click and action.
  13. stiles macrumors member


    Apr 19, 2008
    There's quite a few people/students in the "creative" business. (graphic design/sound production/video production). When i switched to the Mac Pro my work became way less frustrating, and thats priceless. For everyone else, who knows.
  14. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    I doubt it. Likely they are blocked on IO far more often than on cpu.
  15. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    Well wouldn't you like the day when an "average person" can convert an entire 1080P movie for the iPod in a couple minutes? There are reasons why we want faster computers.
  16. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Well...this thing isn't for the average person. That's the point.
  17. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    You can't read an entire movie off a drive in a couple minutes.....

    *sigh* I give up.
  18. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    That damn hard drive...always a bottleneck.

    I can't wait until they are all SSD and run faster because I can't stand current hard drives.
  19. PkennethV macrumors 6502a

    Aug 16, 2006
    I wasn't saying that a faster CPU is all that's needed to convert an entire movie in a couple minutes. All I saying is that there really isn't such a thing as "over kill" for a computer. Things need to be invented before they get cheaper for everyone (not that the MacPro is that expensive compared to the competition anyways).
  20. Spikeanator6982 macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2007
    I don't think he/she meant "minutes" literally, but any "average" user who puts their movies into itunes with encoding first knows that the MP is way better than 2 core machines. Sure some encoding programs will only use 4 cores, so...run two at the same time. :)

    And truthfully..I think this guy is just trying to show his wife that he does need it. and theres mayn threads saying the MP is too expensive when every time the OP admits its a great machine and good buy if you can use it.
  21. saltyzoo macrumors 65816


    Oct 4, 2007
    Let me say it more clearly.

    All those cpus are a waste if you can't get data to them. Which you can't with this architecture around them. You aren't investing in a machine that will "last you longer" because the real bottlenecks are in the IO not in cpu power. In 3 years buses will be faster, and (hopefully) drives will be as well. Therefore, an 8 core system isn't going to "last longer" than a quad because you need the faster IO that the current system doesn't have to take advantage of the cpus.
  22. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    I think you need at least two procs for web browsing at full speed. Two procs or some other form of multithreading (hyperthreading).

    I suppose you don't need it, per se, but if you wanted to listen to music or download/install a system update at the same time, it'd make a big difference.
  23. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a


    Apr 28, 2006
    That's what I said three years ago when I bought my G5 DP and there is no sign of it slowing down.

    The OS and software vendors are constantly creating fatter software, not leaner. They are making it do a lot more and taking advantage of the power. Somebody posted about only audio and video people taking advantage of it. Well, the truth databases are quite capable at utilizing as many cores as a business can afford as well as many CAD functions, a lot of CAE and even some CAM.

    One thing I've dreamed about for a log time is having one central computer in a house that would be powerful enough for everyone to use. Hmmm, sounds like a mainframe, doesn't it? I would love to administer one computer with all the user accounts instead of four computers, each with all their own copy of the OS with all its issues, security problems and incompatibilities. Not to mention the myriad of software and all of its shortcomings too.

    16 core? 64? 512? There is research being done with computers consisting of many low power processors and the early results are very promising.

  24. krye macrumors 68000


    Aug 21, 2007
    I knew a guy that did that. He had about 10 PII 450's that he found in a garage sale and set them up in a cluster that acted as a mainframe. The computer in his room, as well as the 2 in his sisters rooms were basically dumb terminals. The applications they ran actually executed on the server and the monitors in their room was basically just a display. Pretty cool.
  25. Wotan31 macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Don't worry Salty, I'm gettin ya here even if no one else is. ;) It's the I/O capability that separates high-end machines from standard computers. I used to work on AlphaServer GS series machines a few years ago. Back then, even the most serious intel server chipsets only had around 1 or 2 GB/s of I/O (if that) since they only had 2 or 3 PCI busses (at most). Your average desktop PC from 2003 has only a single PCI bus. The GS320 alphaserver had 50+ GB/s of I/O capability. Can you say 64 independent PCI busses? :eek: That's serious I/O. :cool:

    This is why intel is dumping the FSB concept in favor of "QuickPath" which is same thing as AMD HyperTransport, and also why shared busses like PCI has disappeared in favor of point-to-point PCI-E. Mega-Giga CPU's are meaningless if you can't keep them fed with data.

    Here's some of GS320 specs BTW, keep in mind this is an obsolete machine that's not sold any more!

    # Up to 32 1.224 GHz Alpha processors
    # Up to 256 GB of ECC memory
    # Over 51 GB/s aggregate internal bandwidth
    # 16 MB ECC memory onboard cache per CPU
    # Up to 224 PCI slots on 64 PCI buses

    The newer GS1280 model has over 200 GB/s of I/O bandwidth, 512 GB memory, and 64 CPU! :eek: :eek: :eek:

Share This Page