Anandtech's Mac Pro Review Is Out!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Brandon263, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Brandon263, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013

    Brandon263 macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2009
    Beaumont, CA

    “It’s the most area efficient dual-GPU setup I’ve ever seen. “

    “Both GPU boards are custom, so it would appear that Apple has effectively killed the limited 3rd party Mac GPU upgrade market. It’s entirely possible that someone will clone Apple’s GPU card design here, but that seems like a lot of effort for very limited potential sales.”

    “You should, in theory, be able to upgrade the Mac Pro’s CPU down the road should you want to. It’s definitely not a simple task but at least feasible. Especially as Xeon pricing drops down the road, this may be a good way of extending the lifespan of your Mac Pro.”

    “ I poked around Dell, HP and Lenovo websites looking for comparable systems… Apple’s pricing is [not] out of touch with reality… ”

    “The DIY PC route is still going to be more affordable. If we go the Ivy Bridge E route and opt for a Core i7-4930K, you get more cores than either of the options above for around $600 for the CPU. Adding in another $330 for a motherboard, $180 for 12GB of DDR3-1866 memory, $1400 for two W7000 GPUs and $220 for a fast SATA SSD (Samsung 840 Pro) we’re at $2730 for a configuration that would cost at least $3499 from Apple. That’s excluding case, PSU and OS, but adding another ~$350 takes care of that and still saves you some money. If you opt for Radeon HD 7870s instead of the W7000 you can knock another $1000 off of that total price. All of that being said, I don’t expect there to be a lot of cross shopping between DIY builders and those looking for a Mac Pro.”

    “The 4, 6 and 8 core CPU options all offer the same peak single core frequency (3.9GHz). This is very important as single threaded performance remains the gate for system responsiveness outside of thread heavy applications. The 12-core CPU sacrifices around 10% of this peak single core performance.”

    “There is a very healthy increase in single threaded performance over the 2010/2012 12-core system. The 34% increase in performance is because the Mac Pro never got the Sandy Bridge bump. All previous Mac Pros topped out at Nehalem/Westmere. Couple all of the Sandy Bridge improvements with the much higher peak clock speeds (3.5GHz vs. 3.0GHz) and the performance gains make sense.

    “It is really surprising just how big of an impact GPU performance can have on Final Cut Pro 10.1. It makes total sense that Apple went dual GPUs top to bottom with the new Mac Pro. It seems the latest version of Final Cut Pro was designed with the new Mac Pro in mind, which is unfortunate for anyone who was hoping to get by with an older Mac Pro with a far less capable GPU. It's very clear to me that the Mac Pro is really designed to be an upgrade on all fronts (CPU, GPU, SSD and external IO).”

    “Under OS X games have to specifically be written to use both GPUs in the new Mac Pro. Under Windows however it's just a matter of enabling CrossFire X…. CrossFire is clearly working under Windows”

    Attached Files:

  2. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    tahiti roasting on an open fire and 463 watt balls to the walls on a 450w power supply. apple **** the bed on this one
  3. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    plus prime 95 and furmark causing the CPU to throttle down from 3.7 to 2.1ghz...

    I am happy to see crossfire enabled in Windows. Very solid performance if you aren't pushing it hard for a couple hours.
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    For those considering 4K displays. Perhaps easy to remedy, but something to have some caution over.
  5. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    I hope this gets fixed in the future.
  6. slughead, Dec 31, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013

    slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    CPU core was floating around 95°C on those tests.

    The tests I've wanted to see this whole time:
    1) Professional Windows Apps (especially those that enjoy a huge boost from FirePro drivers)
    2) HOT benchmarks - for gaming and professional applications

    I understand the boost clocks are decent on the GPU and CPU, what I would like to see are after 1-2 hours how it's doing with standard workloads and gaming.

    Even in the part about heat, Anandtech really only speculated how it would run. I would like to see how well it maintains the higher end of its capabilities after the heat is built up.

    Luxmark nearly fried the thing--but that's fairly typical :). I'd like to see how it acts in the real world: Will users have to put the nMP on an AC duct like it's some over-priced bitcoin miner?

    After all, a 29% drop in clock from boost to base clock on the D700 is going to have a huge hit in performance. The GTX780Ti with a good cooler will play all day.
  7. ha1o2surfer macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2013
    I totally agree here with what you said. I'd love to see that as well.
  8. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
  9. quagmire macrumors 603


    Apr 19, 2004
    The Mac Pro anandtech tested was the 12 core so it only lost 600 Mhz, not 1.6 Ghz when it throttled using a non-real world workload test.
  10. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    How is the Mac Pro review out before the Macbook Pro review? :(
  11. boast macrumors 65816


    Nov 12, 2007
    Phoenix, USA
    The part discussing the need for Xeon and the extra PCIe lanes was very interesting!
  12. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Great work From Anand as usual. One concern ...

    This I absolutely do not want to hear. If this happens with my computer I will return it to the store in the 30 day window. I'm buying the computer partially because of its noise performance, a problem like this would be completely unacceptable.
  13. Nugget macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    Houston Texas USA
    I am very disappointed to see that he did not include a video of the mac pro rolling across his desk. I thought Anand's reviews were supposed to be thorough!
  14. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    Indeed. Unacceptable. Maybe we should send a pm to hellhammer on this forum asking for Anand to sort this out? (Hh writes the ssd reviews for Anandtech)
  15. Mac Gus macrumors regular

    Dec 31, 2013
    New York City
    This was a great article. As someone who doesn't know a lot about the internal functions of a computer I really learned a lot. I found his graphs to be really helpful, especially showing how GPU performance is becoming more important etc.

    Looks like I made the right choice on ordering the Sapphire 3gb GPU for my 4,1. I'm just now trying to force myself to make the switch from FCP 7 to X.....:eek:
  16. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Oct 4, 2008
    Why no 12*2.93ghz or 12*3.06ghz Mac Pro 2010 comparisons?

    I mean, I guess it doesn't matter in the end, because finding that stuff on the internet is easy enough. I just find it weird that their charts look so "perfect", almost as if they went out of their way to find the appropriate systems so that the nMP would look better in the benchmarks.

  17. cirus macrumors 6502a

    Mar 15, 2011
    Anandtech doesnt buy anything- they depend on apple for review samples; not sure if apple provided those configurations for benchmarking.

    Anandtech also tested and benchmarked haswell so that it would look better too. And the rmbp 15 2012 throttle test was with HL 2, not a game that would be really demanding.
  18. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Hi ScottishCaptain. If I am not mistaken, the 8 core 2.93ghz was the model the author had that was available. In some ways though the review was detailed that gives us an idea of the other consumer Macs. Probably the new Mac Pro was targeted for users whose tasks are GPU instensive like FCPX users.
  19. Beta Particle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2012
    Finally, the review I've been waiting for.

    It's interesting to see that the Mac Pro does have CrossFire support in Windows, though applications in OS X will only use one GPU unless explicitly coded for using both.

    Performance is not where it should be though. A single GTX 780 Ti is putting out higher framerates than the dual D700 Mac Pro in games.

    As expected, the D700 does not include ECC memory, which is why the cards are "cheap" relative to AMD's workstation cards. Perhaps now everyone will stop comparing them to the W9000 cards.

    And this is one of the biggest problems I have with the Mac Pro design.
    With hard drives enclosed inside a PC tower and mounted on rubber grommets, I don't hear them when they're just sitting idle. (I never let my drives spin down)

    With the Mac Pro you need another unit roughly the same size, connected via a Thunderbolt cable if you need more than 1TB of storage. And that's significantly more expensive than putting drives inside the tower and hooking them up via SATA.

    Assuming the power supply has something like 92% efficiency, it means that the system is actually using ~425W, so it's not exceeding the limits of the PSU. (but it's not good to run a PSU near 100% load all the time either)

    Those CPU and GPU temperatures are something to be concerned about though. No wonder it's so quiet most of the time if they're letting it get that hot. Reminds me of another small form factor pro machine from Apple...
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yes, I was kinda disappointed that I didn't see any tests from SPECviewperf® 11/12

    Any chance of reaching out to Anandtech to update their review?
  21. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    I'm a bit annoyed that the light graphics tests were PS 5 and LR 3, a bit old there, and leaves me wondering if performance is still the same, or as he indicated, there are improvements in CS6.

    Doesn't give me the info I need.
  22. maflynn, Jan 1, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014

    maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Please join the discussion in the news thread
    After further review, I see the linked news thread while mentioning the anandtech review is not focusing on the review itself but rather 4k displays. Thread re-opened.
  23. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Jun 12, 2005
    It's great that crossfire is working on Windows. It should put everyone's worries to rest whether or not they could game with this machine. And on OS X it'll perform slightly worse than a single 280X, which is still quite decent gaming performance.

    What I wonder is whether game developers can actually support dual GPU's under OS X via some later to be released API by Apple.
  24. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

    Jun 13, 2013
    Especially interesting was the IO bandwidth discussion. Two points ...

    • The USB 3.0 is somewhat bandwidth limited (and it's still an external chip!), so putting tons of disks there as a poor mans TB 2 array isn't a good idea.
    • Even the TB is somewhat limited. If you have 3 4k displays, for example, the outbound traffic will be congested to your disks. I will have three 27" Cinema (non 4k) and I'm curious to take a look at the bandwidth usage.
  25. Lumpydog macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2007
    Amazing review

    This should be required reading for every nMP owner. Incredible perspective and information - in a format that is conversational and easy to read.

    Great work AnandTech

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