Comparing nMP performance with PC workstations?

Loa

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 5, 2003
1,603
46
Québec
Hello,

I'm reading that a lot of people here are disappointed with the 18% increase in geekbenched performance for the top Mac Pro compared to the top 2010 Mac Pro.

Is there anyone here that knows PCs enough to make a comparison? How much have they increased in performance from 2010 to today?

Thanks

Loa
 

Umbongo

macrumors 601
Sep 14, 2006
4,934
54
England
Well you can see how much they have improved if a single CPU has 18% more performance of a Mac Pro with two CPUs from years past while having a lower clockspeed.

As for PC workstations, you can have two CPUs in them still for 3.5GHz x 12, 3.4GHz x 16, 3.0GHz x 20 or 2.7GHz x 24 as budgets and needs permit. 3.5Ghz 6-core CPUs have the same sort of cost as the 3.46GHz ones did, with two architecture revisions to improve performance.
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,494
21
How much have they increased in performance from 2010 to today?
Compared to the 2010 Mac Pro it could be theoretically 136%, as each 12-core processor will be around 18% faster, and you can put two of them in a traditional PC workstation.

Of course it's highly dependent on workload. With the new Mac Pro Apple has taken the decision to push towards OpenCL by including two workstation class GPUs; these days a GPU isn't just for graphics anymore, it's also a powerful computation unit with a ton of untapped potential.

Hopefully more apps will see that potential and add OpenCL support, as there are many things that will simply run faster on those two GPUs then they would on two CPUs.

Plus, the comparison with other workstations is difficult, as even in 2010 a PC workstation potentially had better performance than the 2010 Mac Pro, certainly better value, as you had a lot more choice of components to put in it. Also, I don't know many PC workstations that are 6.6" x 9" in size :)

But yeah; while the Geekbench scores are interesting to measure the potential of the CPU, we really need to start looking at OpenCL benchmarks to get a better idea of the potential performance of the new Mac Pro compared to other systems.
 
Last edited:

omnious

macrumors member
Mar 24, 2013
52
0
@OP,

You cannot compare the two because in PC land you have a wider gamut of choices than what Apple gives you in their products.

Without going into reasons why Apple does this, bottom line is that if you want to have a workstation that you can upgrade, nMP is not the one. The most you get there is a single 12-core CPU, while you could technically get a PC with dual or quad 12-core CPU configuration, if you need it.

If you need more power, then nMP is not the choice, and like a motor vehicle, the moment you leave the dealership it is obsolete. With a custom PC you will still be able to replace components and extend lifetime and increase performance over time, and ultimately ROI.
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
Original poster
May 5, 2003
1,603
46
Québec
Hello,

Ok, thx for the info. (I don't buy that 136% math though... % don't scale like that!)

A more general question then: what happened to Moore's Law?? Aren't computers supposed to double in power every 18-24 months??

Loa
 

Nameci

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2010
1,944
8
The Philippines...
We cannot put the blame to Apple if the computational power of a single chip does not increase a hundred fold over time. Most often it is overlooked that the CPU's are from Intel, and we often blame Apple for the things that we want that they cannot give. I think personally, Intel will almost certainly hit the wall on CPU performance without a rethink and a shift in paradigm on how we do personal computing.
 

mtasquared

macrumors regular
May 3, 2012
193
38
Hello,

Ok, thx for the info. (I don't buy that 136% math though... % don't scale like that!)

A more general question then: what happened to Moore's Law?? Aren't computers supposed to double in power every 18-24 months??

Loa

Moore's Law is dead for CPU's. I mean power is still increasing, but not at the rate or density it used to. We need a new technology to replace silicon, like carbon nanotubes. Meanwhile, PC makers are eyeing GPU's as the next big source of computational power.
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,876
1,532
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I wouldn't really compare a new Mac Pro with current workstations. Why? Apple customizes their hardware. For instance, you can easily get a small sized motherboard for two process with the Mac Pro, but in a comparable PC setup, you'll get a whole lot of space issues. Not only that, thermals are customized on a Mac Pro vs the standardized PC.

The factor in direct linking of the GPUs instead of going thru regular PCIe slots (some of which are just added thru extra chipset [like nVidia]).
 
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