How a PC (E8500 3.16GHz) compared with the MacPro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by hajime, Sep 6, 2008.

  1. hajime macrumors 68030

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    #1
    Dell has a PC on sale. The specifications are: CPU (E8500 3.16GHz, 6MB Cache, 1333MHz FSB), 4GB NECC DDR2 800MHz SDRAM. Regardless of cost, could anybody please let me know how such machine performances (3D and floating computations) compared with the MacPro (8-core at 2.8GHz and 3.0GHz) running Vista under Bootcamp? Thanks.
     
  2. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #3
    Not really sure. Depends on whether the applications in question are multi threaded.

    All I can say is regardless of speed now, you will be very glad you bought that Mac Pro in a few years time as applications do become more and more multi threaded.
     
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #5
    I mainly want to run simulations under Matlab/Simulink. I read that only a few routines in Matlab/Simulink are multi-threaded. Not sure how the higher clock E8500 compared with the 8-core Xeon in this case. Other applications I may run are: AutoCAD, Solidworks and 3D Max.
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    #6
    The Dell will be faster on single threaded applications (10% or so over the 2.8GHz). If your software or workflow can use multiple threads (such as 3D rendering or multiple applications fully utilizing the processor cores at the same time) then the Mac Pro will complete tasks much faster.
     
  5. gazfocus macrumors 68000

    gazfocus

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    #7
    I'm not sure how much the Dell costs in comparison to the Mac Pro, but the way I would look at it is, the Mac Pro will fetch more when you come to upgrading than the Dell will.

    Basically, PC's values seem to fall dramatically where as Mac Pro's tend to keep their value quite well
     
  6. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #8
    But then again, PCs are easier to upgrade. That might be worth the cost.
     
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #9
    A BTX Dell is not necessarily all that upgradeable. But that aside...

    Personally I'd say if you're going to be doing a lot of modelling / high-stress work, forget a 'consumer' desktop and opt for a Xeon-based machine. It may work fine for a while, but hammer it enough and you will notice little annoyances cropping up here and there over time (Of course it depends on how long you'll be keeping the machine). If cost is an issue go single-socket for now and add another CPU later. If the work is high-stress, I'd also say to forego the home computer that is the Pro and opt for a Dell Precision or an HP xw-series machine.

    This is one of the problems on this board - people are comparing bottom-feeder experiences they've had in Windows vs experiences on intentionally "sold-up" Apples. Use Vista64 on a Precision for example and you will realise just how rock-solid and fast the OS is (in a way that even the Pro + BC isn't, let alone Pro + Leopard).

    While all three are based on the same chipset, there are differences between the Apple and the other two: Improved cooling at pretty minimal noise tradeoff (both HP/Dell are completely usable at home in terms of noise), better functional engineering for upgradeability / maintainability inside despite it not looking as neat. Some Dell configurations allow for higher memory density than the Pro, or possibilities for SLI pairing.
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #10
    Tis a fine dual core desktop but it ain't a workstation.
     
  9. mpshay macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I ran the Geekbench on my Q6600 vista machine and came away with a score of 3800. I see they list a 2.8 GHX imac with a score of 3714. Does that imply on average they will perform at comparable speeds? The only demanding task I ever use the Vista machine for is video encoding with Handbrake. What Mac would I need to do that as fast (or faster) than the Q6600 PC?
     
  10. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #12
    I'm sorry but I have to disagree with Vista being rock solid on any platform. The HP wx workstations running 64 bit vista are always in my ticket queue with vista specific problems. Its a sluggish OS on any system and shame on MS for releasing it with no focus on speed. I'm not a windows hater by any means but Microsoft really screwed up with Vista. My company is currently "downgrading" everything back to XP its so bad.
     
  11. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #13
    You cannot have seen the Mac Pro if you think any PC holds a candle to it in terms of ease of upgradability.
     
  12. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #14
    Any of the 8 core machines Handbrake uses all the cores in the machine when encoding so it will be faster than any 4 core machine.
     
  13. mpshay macrumors 6502

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    #15
    I understand that an 8 core Mac Pro would be much faster, but what about one of the higher end imacs? They score at or above my quad core PC on geekbench. Does directly tranlate to video encoding ability?
     
  14. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    My Q6600 at 3.2 ghz give a Geekbench score of over 6700, which places it above the quad core Mac Pro, but lower than the 8 core MP.

    It's not about ease, it's about upgradability. A PC (and hackintosh, for that matter) has far more video and cpu options, especially into the future, for upgrading the computer.

    Handbrake can only utilize 4 cores.
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #17
    Then it's time for two instances of it. ;)
     
  16. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #18
    So true.

    Hmm learn something new every day seems rather stupid not to use all of them if present. In that case then a higher GHz rated 4 core Mac will beat a lesser 4 core machine depending on the ram in the machine(s).
     
  17. mpshay macrumors 6502

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    May 19, 2008
    #19
    Are the geekbench numbers a good indication of handbrake performance? Does anyone know if it takes full advantage of all cores? I'm looking at an imac with roughly the same score as quad core pc. Would it be right to assume they would have comparable handbrake encoding times?
     
  18. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000

    MacUser2525

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    #20
    No clue as to its rating vs real performance of a machine.
    Depending on what you encode too it will use anywhere from a 60% to 100% load on the cores. Encoding to h264 video uses 100% on my machine (Q6600 based) if encoding using ffmpeg or Xvid then around the 60% range.
    No the extra cores are better/faster as you would be getting roughly double the encode minus the overhead of having them. Usually going from single to dual gets you 80-90% increase then when you double again you get the same increase so a quad is only like ~3.5x faster than a single.
     
  19. Jak3 macrumors regular

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    Jul 11, 2008
    #21
    if by regardless of cost you mean you have lots of money...buy both! :p
     
  20. nick9191 macrumors 68040

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    #22
    Mac Pro's do not have a wide array of graphics options because OS X doesn't have the drivers. Therefore if you are running OS X on a PC how will it be any different, you still have to use the select few graphics cards. Or am I missing something?

    And you said ease of upgradability, not choice of upgradability.
     
  21. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #23
    There's more to it than this, such as bus speed and cache size.

    On my hackintosh, a 2 hour movie takes about 35 minutes to transcode with the Apple TV preset.

    There are many more drivers available for hackintoshes because they are not constrained by Apple's silly EFI (firmware).

    OK, it's much easier to put in an NVIDA 9600 into a hackintosh (10 minutes, tops) than it is in a Mac Pro (in which it can't be done). It's also easier and cheaper to replace the cpu.
     

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