Barefeats tests Dual X5690 Maxed Out Mac Pro, with Dual D700s...check it out

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacVidCards, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Oddly enough, we were just discussing this in another thread, and HERE IT IS.

    Check out those numbers.

    X5690s can be had for a few $$$ and BINGO, you have a Hot Rod.
  2. N19h7m4r3, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816


    Dec 15, 2012
    I'd say it's inconclusive, he has neither a new Mac Pro to test, and he does not have the new Build of FCP X either.

    I use FCP X daily, and it hardly uses my CPU to it's fullest at the moment in many cases.

    The new FCPX build is being developed to take advantage of the new MP, so we can assume it uses more Cores, for CPU, GPU, and takes advantage more of high speed bandwidth of SSDs.

    There is also no concrete evidence that the 7970s are intact the D700's, other than being recognised so in drivers so far. Clock speeds, features and performance of the real D700's have not been measured and tested yet.

    I can't see how anyone can take that seriously just yet, until we have independent reviews comparing that Mac Pro set up to that of a new Mac Pro with 12cores and dual D700's.

    I also find the use of geek bench to be rather useless, as I just don't like synthetics, I much prefer real world tasks for comparison and benchmarks.

    Just another month or two, before we get to see the real numbers.

    EDIT: Just checked ole ebay here, and the X5690's will set me back around €800 each without shipping. Two of them roughly €1600, getting an extra 64GB of ECC 1333Mhz RAM will be an extra €700 with shipping

    That's €2300 without two 7970's already.
    Not to mention buying the external/optical bay PSU.

    It'll certainly work out cheaper than a brand new 12core dual d700 MP.
    I do wonder about the real performance increases though.
  3. MacVidCards thread starter Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    You're right, despite having identical cores but less RAM, the 7970s are clocked quite a bit higher.

    There is little likelihood that D700 will keep up, especially on a power/heat diet.
  4. mac666er macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2008
    San Francisco, CA
    I'll chime in since I have had the spec'ed mac as tested for more than a year.

    The first thing I will say is that for any type of performance analysis it will boil down to what you do with your mac. In my opinion, very rarely will users have the same requirements, specially in the macrumors Mac Pro forum. People use their Mac Pros differently, so bear that in mind. I will say how it applies to my case:

    Barefeat's benchmarks are, I think, close to what I have observed CPU - floating-point-calculations-wise. I use the Mac Pro mostly on floating point calculations first and graphics second. The software that I use is not ported to OpenCL yet and I am unsure it will ever be, even though it is clear a 7970 or a number of 7970s would be faster that putting these x5690s to the same activity, I am stuck with CPUs for number crunching.

    The benchmarks mean that for this type of work, the Mac Pro with these processors is indeed one of the fastest machines you were able to get up until recently. This has changed with the new generation of Xeons that just came out as these are faster. The new Mac Pro, as currently advertised, is going to be slower in this particular metric.

    Even if you consider only floating point calculations, this is not an open and shut case in favor of the old Mac Pro with the x5690s for the following reasons:

    • the new Mac Pro has a smaller profile that allows it to be in spaces that the old Mac Pro can't be in
    • the new Mac Pro has, to my knowledge, only 1 big fan, whereas the old Mac Pro has at least SIX that kick in when you use the CPUs to their full potential: front fan, back fan, 1 fan per processor, PCI Bay fan and PowerSupply fan. The x5690s use 30% more watts than top of the line CPUs included, and even though the Mac Pro can handle them, I would expect the fans to obviously kick in sooner when fully utilized. This makes an attractive advantage if the noise of the new Mac Pro, as measured in dB, is half or thereabouts of the old Mac Pro at full CPU utilization. At the expense of course of being a tad slower (probably around 10~15% - again, only for floating point calculations.)
    • Yes, the new Mac Pro has no internal expansion and that makes it look cluttered, BUT, what you gain in return is the ability to use the peripheral in question with any Mac that Apple will offer in December: MacBook Air, mini, any MacBook Pro, iMac. You can spend a litle more in a peripheral of choice, to be Thunderbolt, but in return you get usability with any current mac and some older macs.

    Another thing a prospective Mac Pro tinkerer should take into account is that depending on your software, even if you only look at floating point calculations, these processors can be overclocked in another motherboard for about 10 to 15% worth. If you are willing to forego the Mac Pro and are willing to put in some effort, you may get an extra performance advantage out of the processors. If this is worth to you, only you can answer.

    The last thing I want to mention is that graphics-wise (since that is my second requirement) the Mac has not the tweaked drivers that the professional windows drivers have. The silicon may be close to being the same (or even the same) as a desktop graphics version, but you will, very likely, not get the performance benefits that you get on the windows version, if one is available. This will be largely dependent on your application of choice. 3D design applications, video editors, sound processing, graphics manipulation, all will have different behaviors and take advantage differently from the video cards.

    As far as my understanding goes, Apple has specifically mentioned that Final Cut X, Mari (texturing of 3D models app) will benefit for performance with the new Mac Pro.Their angle has been so far that you will get graphics performance, ability to handle high resolutions in multiple monitors, all while not losing ability to use graphics for processing. Even if functionality of the Dx00s graphics cards is on par with consumer AMD cards, you still get a lower noise output, a smaller profile and no tinkering on your part (two 7970s need an extra power supply in the old Mac Pro if you are going to tax them, which is the point of putting them in anyway.)

    Whether all of the above makes sense in favor or against the new Mac Pro, is only dependent on your workflow.

    Based on mine, I don't think the new Mac Pro is a step backwards. It has very attractive and real advantages, even at the announced prices.

    The only criticism I would point out, are the drivers. The drivers really need to catch up with windows for the Mac Pro (either old or new) to be a clear-cut winner for a larger number of users.
  5. Tutor, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    Tutor macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    My experience has been that motherboards (MB) made by Gigabyte run multiple OSes best. Also, my experience has been that you can overclock Xeons and i7s as follows:

    Overclocking i7s
    Nehalems and Westmeres (133 MHz base clock): yes - if motherboard (MB) bios allows it; if MB allows it, generally up to 30+% w/proper cooling = safe range (unless you start dropping the multiplier) for most chips, but mileage may vary (MMV) per chip.

    Sandy and Ivy Bridges (100 MHz base clock): yes if MB bios allows it and you have a "K" series chip, but straps to hold down other DMI related functions, must work correctly to achieve significant overclock unless you rely predominately on increasing multiplier. Otherwise, you can overclock a non-K series by generally up to 7.5% (generally, cooling isn't an issue) with the right MB bios. But MMV per chip. Since Sandy Bridge intro, Intel locked the non-K chips down in virtually ever other way possible and tied together, with one clock, a host of functions to DMI, including things like PCIe. At about 8% and greater, other things, like your SATA drives, start to drop out because that increased clock rate is too great for them and your system won't boot.

    Overclocking Xeons
    Nehalems and Westmeres - Same as i7 Nehalems and Westmeres; except the good, dual+ CPU MBs w/tweaking options, other than the EVGA SR-2 MB, are few.

    Sandy Bridges and Ivy Bridges (100 MHz base clock): Same as for non-k series i7 Sandy and Ivy Bridges. Note that there are no K-series Xeons or the equivalent. The good, dual+ CPU MBs w/tweaking options, other than the Supermicro DAX MB series [ see (1) post #774 here: and (2) top/non-fake Geekbench 3.0 multi scores here: ], are few.

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