Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ashman70, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 20, 2010
    There are lots of Geekbench threads with some people boasting about how high there scores are, what do they really mean?

    For example, there are a few people who have more then doubled their scores by upgrading their CPU's, does that really mean their system is now twice as fast? I can believe that a stock 2.6 Mac Pro 1,1 (2 x dual core CPU's)which normally scores around 5000 is half as fast as a stock 2.8 Mac Pro 3,1 (2 x quad core CPU's) which can score close to twice that. But if that Mac Pro 1,1 gets upgraded to the fastest quad core CPU's it can take, it can score around the same or slightly higher even then the stock Mac Pro 3,1. However there are things about the Mac Pro 1,1 that should hold its performance back, such as a slightly slower bus and slightly slower RAM, not to mention less on CPU cache.

    I'm just trying to understand that the real world performance is relative to these scores. Obviously upgrading CPU's in a machine will increase the performance, but how much?

  2. Neodym macrumors 68000


    Jul 5, 2002
    If all CPU's run at 100% (e.g. during video crunching), Ram and storage are still fast enough - and i have my 8 cores (upgraded 1,1) fully loaded at times.

    In "normal" tasks (like word processing, internet-related stuff etc.) the user probably won't notice the slightly faster Ram, bus or other (minor) improvements - especially as the 3,1 is still on the same Core micro architecture as the 1,1.

    The only noticeable difference will probably be in demanding games, where the PCIe 1.1 in the 2006 MP actually does bottleneck capable graphic cards.

    Only with the 4,1 changing to the Nehalem architecture the difference got big enough to be noticed by the user without using a stop watch... (which then again is reflected nicely by the respective Geekbench scores).
  3. Tutor, Feb 25, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012

    Tutor macrumors 65816


    Jun 25, 2009
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    It all depends on what you mainly use your system to do and whether you can use the bench results to perfect your system.

    Except when tuning a system - something less important the more a system is closed, Geekbench scores mean less to me than Cinebench 11.5 scores, Photoshop test scores and Blender scores. Why? There is no Geekbench application, other than the benching software itself [but see below]. Because these other benches are measures of performance of applications that I use and I use Cinema 4d the most, Cinebench 11.5 is the most important bench to me on a day to day basis. If I used my system(s) mainly for web surfing, managing e-mail, creating word documents, etc. none of these benches would mean much. SSDs and adequate ram would give a greater overall feel of high performance, given how fast entry level systems are today.

    However, there is a ratio between Geekbench scores and Cinebench 11.5 scores from which one can be used to roughly predict the other. Moreover, Geekbench gives the user more task data to judge relative system performance at certain tasks, such as integer, floating point, memory and stream performance (any of which, however, can skew a test in a way that may be completely meaningless for most users). The integer, floating point, memory and stream performance tested by Geekbench 2 can be further broken down into elements that may or may not be useful to a particular user, e.g., the integer test consists, in part, of text and image compression routines, and the floating point test consists, in part, of blur and sharpening routines, either of which may be important information to one who is comparing a system because she/he compresses a lot of video or uses the blur and sharpening routines in Photoshop a lot. But there is another test geared to some of the most hoggish tasks in Photoshop. A Cinebench 11.5 score, for example, just reveals a single measure of performance of certain Ogl video routines and the speed at which a particular frame is rendered using one core or multiple cores, but I render thousands and thousands of frames so this gives me useful information about whether my system is tuned just right. There is also a relationship between how fast one core can render a single frame and all of your cores can render it, showing a number revealing how linear your core performance is additively and the speed up from hyperthreading. Thus, these benches do give some useful information to those who can put it to use. Geekbench 2 data gives me more particularized information to finely tune my systems than does Cinebench 11.5, but in the end when I successfully tune a system to the max using Geekbench, my Cinebench renders are faster also. So in sum, what is most important is whether any of the information yielded by the bench is relevant to what you use your system for and whether you can and do use this information and the features that they measure often enough to make them important to you.

    My most revealing bench was one that I created when I had used Geekbench 2 and Cinebench 11.5 to get my WolfPack1 (aka FrankMacWinTosh and FrankHacWinTosh) as finely tuned as I though was possible. I ran (all at the same time - low scores to prove it) (1) CPUTest to test for stability, (2) Maya [rendering a 90 frame HD animation that it completed at a rate of 3 seconds per frame], (3) Cinebench 11.5, (4) Geekbench 2 and (5) mCoreTest64. Note that WoffPack1 was underclocked, but turbo biased [13,13,13,13,14,14 bins per each w5680] to run at 2.2 GHz base at that time. This more greatly simulates my real workflows under crunch time. See pic below for results. So if you're curious about how your system stands up to your crunch time whatever that may be, I advocate coming up with those things you do and placing as much of a load on your system as you would under that crunch and see how it performs, then tune it some more if you can.

    Attached Files:

  4. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    For me it is just science. It is a line in the sand. We have agreed (more or less) that geekbench can predictably and reliably spit out an arbitrary number that scales with the different models. This number is a best case scenario for your memory and processor and cache speed's. It does not test HDD's, SDD's or GPU's.
    It does not mean that a Mac that scores twice as much as another Mac is twice as fast in real world. But it does mean you can compare Mac against Mac for pure processing power. "Real World" is a term no -one can define as it is only "Real World" for the person asking. Too many SW combinations and coding prowess. Macworld tries with their "Speedmark" testing. A suite of similar tasks (like iTunes rips, Photoshop rotates) but those tasks are all way too single thread based for my liking. HDD's slow down the system, SSD's speed it up and the GPU options can help and hurt your computing experience. So really just take a geekbench score and compare with other models for a general idea of performance and gains over others. So far is best we got as XBench is not very reliable. It can sway 100+ points depending on the barometric pressure. Meaning I don't trust it for too much. Users do use it for HD testing though. That seems to be fairly stable and repeatable.

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