CPU Upgrades: price/performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ActionableMango, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    With all the CPU upgrade threads recently, I decided to do some comparisons between the Xeons available for a base 2010 MP.

    I notice some processors are essentially the same price despite having different performance (W3690 and W3680). I also notice there are huge price differences between processors even with the same clock speed (W3565 and W3570).

    I finally determined that the big price gap occurs in both the Quad and Hex CPUs when the QPI and memory speed increase. Here is my information:

    W3690 3.47, QPI 6.4, 1333
    W3680 3.33, QPI 6.4, 1333
    --------------------------------------- huge price difference
    W3670 3.20, QPI 4.2, 1066

    W3580 3.33, QPI 6.4, 1333
    W3570 3.20, QPI 6.4, 1333
    --------------------------------------- huge price difference
    W3565 3.20, QPI 4.2, 1066
    W3530 2.80, QPI 4.2, 1066

    So, bang for the buck, the W3565 appears to be the best Quad and the W3670 appears to be the best Hex. But I cannot help wonder what are they missing from the CPUs supporting faster QPI and memory? Is there a dramatic performance difference that justifies the huge cost leap? If so, what is the difference? If not, why would anyone get a W3570 for example?
  2. philipma1957, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    The simple truth is if you have a stock 2.8 you will buy the W3670 or the W3690 or the W3565.

    That is if you do not have a spare cpu in stock. It is also true if you want a real seller with warranty.

    I had a seller offer me a W3690 for 879 and with my ebay discount I would have paid about 770. He had it as a pull. I had another seller offer a w3680 for 750 it was a pull. Frankly since I am new to dropping cpu's in as a mod I wanted a real seller with a warranty.

    Well a W3570 will overclock better then a W3565, and
    but that is in the land of pc more then the land of mac. I did a lot of reading on pc speed sites. Basically think of the hot rod cars in the 50's and the muscle cars of the 60's and 70's.

    A lot of sites are dedicated to the fastest computer possible. And the higher Qpi allows better overclocking. Some of the price differences are a question of timing.

    The W3670 is the newest of the W3600 series. So it saved some money in design and saved some money With the slower QPI of 4.8 but since overclocker is less important in a mac pro it is a good buy. The W3690 is also a lot newer then the W3680 so design and production sees some saving over the W3680. It has a qpi of 6.4 and this keeps cost higher then the W3670 on all the pc sites dedicated to speed this is a well like cpu lots of claims of clocking it to 4.1GHz and higher with water coolers. Now mind you I am not an expert in cpus I just read a lot of in of on a lot of sites.

    My conclusions for mac pros were the 2010 2.8 is a modders delight.

    can be found for low cost under 2200. will allow a hex core straight swap in under 35 minutes.

    pick one of the three available.

    W3670 600usd 15260 64 bit geek bench

    W3680 1050usd 16100 64 bit geek bench

    W3690 1065usd 17000 64 bit geek bench this number is my guess no documentation on it.

    so for under 2800 I get a hex 6-core that runs a 15260 geek bench.

    Who care if it has a qpi of 4.8 since I am not going to overclock it.

    If I pay 3265 to build the hex 3.46 I get a 17000 geek bench. I also get bragging rights for the fastest single cpu mac pro. I used to have the fastest 2009 mac mini with xbench scores over 231 and had the first real stand alone mac mini xbench score over 200. That was fun but the mini was still too slow. Having a really fast mac pro that is a bargain is a lot more fun.
  3. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2011
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    How about..

    someone like me who has a w3680.. would it be worth it to go to a w3690 just for 5% speed increase? According to my calculations, 5 percent isn't really much..

    w3690 3.40/w3680 3.33 -1 * 100 = 2.10 or 2.1 percent difference.

    I guess not worth it from those who have w3680.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    W3565 was released 7 months after the W3570 and AFAIK, it also replaced the W3570. W3570 was the fastest CPU when it was released, thus the price.

    W3690 replaced the W3680 so again, that explains why they both have the same price. W3670 was released 5 months after the W3680 and its release price was 885$. When W3690 was released, its price was dropped to 563$.
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    Absolutely not worth it. I wait till at least 500MHz or some serious architectural changes before upgrading anything. Also I have seen some benches and the boost is closer to 2-5%. Not a straight 5% on everything. Some games 3.33 is faster. Go figure.
  6. ActionableMango thread starter macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    To illustrate the point, Google Shopping prices added (as of 23 March 2011):

    W3690 3.47, QPI 6.4, 1333, $1020
    W3680 3.33, QPI 6.4, 1333, $1044
    ---------------------------------------------- huge price difference
    W3670 3.20, QPI 4.2, 1066, $585

    W3580 3.33, QPI 6.4, 1333, $1035
    W3570 3.20, QPI 6.4, 1333, $860
    ---------------------------------------------- huge price difference
    W3565 3.20, QPI 4.2, 1066, $336
    W3530 2.80, QPI 4.2, 1066, $286
  7. Joshuarocks, Mar 23, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2011

    Joshuarocks macrumors 6502


    Mar 12, 2011
    Somewhere in Cyberspace

    I am sticking w/ w3680.. It does everything I throw at it, though the stuff I do mostly on my mac pro my G5 and PB G4 can also do :)

    Hint: Its not video editing or any multi-threaded apps.

    Oh, the w3580 is fetching around 500-600 mark on ebay.. I have seen them, and since I had a w3580 I sold it for 550.00

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