How does my Mac Pro 1,1's processing power compare to, say, a low-end Intel processor of today?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PowerMac G4 MDD, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. PowerMac G4 MDD macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #1
    I'm wondering how my Mac Pro 1,1 holds up to a budget processor these days... I just want to know if it makes sense to run this beast. The computer hardware is great, no doubt, but I'm curious to know if some cheap processor today could match this machine in terms of responsiveness.

    I know that clock speed doesn't always matter - I am wondering how a new and cheap processor compares to this one because of the fact that my Xeons (even if they are Xeons) are 9 years old.

    So I have the 3Ghz Quad-core model; that's two dual-core processors at 3Ghz. (These are Woodcrest Xeons.)

    How would this compare to, say, an Intel i3--dual/quad core? Can one really build some 300-dollar machine and have it be speedier than this? (Of course, the speed I am talking about is responsiveness, not raw computing power. I am sure that this machine, as a whole, still has a great amount of raw computing power left.)

    Also, I would like to mention that this is solely about performance. I am not regarding the computer's build quality or anything like that, just specifications. Obviously, no other non-Apple computer today gets close to this machine in built quality. I wouldn't foresee having some cheap Hackintosh in place of it.

    (BTW, I have 4GB of RAM and an ATI Radeon 5770)
     
  2. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Just compared some Cinebench CPU scores: When it comes to raw (multi-threaded) computing power, the 4x 3.0Ghz MacPro 1,1 is approx. on the same level as a new (entry-level) Haswell i3 (Dual Core).
    This matches my personal experience pretty good: My 2010 hackintosh (Intel i5-750) is roughly on the same level. For my personal use this is still enough, but comparing it to some modern Haswell i7 Monster would show that it has become old, too.

    When talking about responsiveness, I'd say that even an entry-level MBA is at least as good as these old machines.
     
  3. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #3
    I built a hackintosh for a gent it had an i3 2120 8GB DDR3 1333 and had a geekbench 2 score of 7804 yours is 6577. That hack had all the things we've come to expect of a modern computer like PCI-e 3 and SATA 3 and that i3 was a 65w processor
     
  4. Morpheo macrumors 65816

    Morpheo

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    #4
    I have the exact same model as yours, with the 5770, except mine has 16GB of ram. I also work on a mid-2012 MP (see my sig). In terms of raw power, the mid-2012 is well ahead (handbreak encode of a 120mn 1080p mkv for example, on my 1,1 it can take up to 4 hours or so, on the 5,1 it's done in 50 mn), but responsiveness and everyday use (web, mail, etc) is about the same. I use both of these machines to make music (film music using Pro Tools, Digital Performer, lots of VIs) and Photoshop work, and I can assure you I'm not ready to let my 1,1 go - it's still a pretty solid performer. In fact I'm even suprised it's still so effective. I think I'll add an SSD to the old beast in the near future, it's such a good performance boost.
     
  5. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

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    Feb 22, 2015
    #5
    You still can make CPU upgrade to 8-core 53xx. And throw in a XP941 512GB (I have not read or used the SM951 in mine but if it works great) which is 3x faster and better I felt than any SATA III controller - native booting and 800-1300MB/sec in the 8x slot. Limitations of GPU unless you are running Mavericks+ might change your mind.
     
  6. fhenry macrumors regular

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    #6
    Hello, which card do you use with the xp941 in order to be able to use the 8 lines ? Thx
     
  7. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

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    Feb 22, 2015
    #7
    Lycom - meant 8 lane slot?

    Also, I would definitely look at adding 4x2GB $45.
     
  8. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    Sep 21, 2010
    #8
    For general responsiveness instead of raw computing (or graphical) power, to me there has never been an upgrade as good as an SSD*.

    You are a bit short of RAM too, but that's fine if you aren't exceeding its capacity. If you are exceeding it, then getting more RAM will help a lot with responsiveness too.

    For less than $300 you could upgrade your RAM and add an SSD.


    * Well, in modern times anyway. Back in the 80's when I switched from tape and floppy drives to a hard drive, that was probably a better boost. But in a way, that's actually the same scenario as an HDD-to-SSD upgrade.
     
  9. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #9
    Oh yeah, I have an SSD in my 2009 MBP--it made a huge difference. I also realize that my RAM is a bit skimpy. I am planning on adding 8GB (I may just bit the bullet and get the kind with the Apple heat sinks. It costs more, but better to be safe.) However, I am thinking more in the realm of computing power. Any computer can have more RAM put in or an SSD installed. I'd like to figure out how my Mac Pro would own up to some low-end Intel processor today, such as an i3 w/ dual and/or four cores. I guess I can compare Geekbench scores, but numbers on paper only go so far, eh?
     
  10. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #10
    I wasn't free all day, so it only came across my mind right now to go and check scores; but I see that you have already done so, so thanks for looking at that for me! Hmm... I think that would sound about correct. While a dual-core i3 may be low-end, it's great to think that a 9 year-old machine can own up to that. This thing definitely has that extra raw power that some newer processors don't have. I could see this being readily comparable to an entry-level MacBook Air, in terms of mere responsiveness. Of course, responsiveness can be greatly improved with an SSD, so I may get one soon. I already have one in my 2009 MacBook Pro, and it beats out many newer computers that still have HDDs, in terms of responsiveness.

    Of course, even an old Mac Pro has several advantages over a MBA, but that can go the other way around as well. Of course, it's also odd to compare a tower to an ultrabook. I'd like to think that, at least, this thing beats out a MBA in raw computing power, which is probably true, based upon your testing and reasoning.

    Given this machine's imposing demeanor and striking-sounding specifications, I suppose it does seem a bit more than it really is, assuming it's compared to a brand-new machine.
     
  11. Samford macrumors newbie

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    Jan 24, 2011
    #11
    I found by installing a Seagate ST1000DX001 hybrid drive as the boot drive overall responsiveness has doubled. Disc write speeds were 70-110 MB/s and now are 195 MB's. So good bang for buck.
     
  12. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    my sisters macbook pro with an i3 has single core performance which is almost double my macpro3.1 2.8ghz but multi core i win :D

    but the truth is most jobs are single core so you may have a amazing 4 core's but most jobs use 1/2 & when an i3 dual core is scoring higher thats with half the core going at double the efficacy on less power with almost no heat.

    but my macbook pro from 2008 is still rocking can handle all normal jobs internet/email etc..
    so it comes down to what you need it to do and if you have the time to wait the extra 10 mins to do a job or not.
     
  13. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #13
    This thread was about the Mac Pro's processing power; however, I do agree that choosing an SSD (or hybrid drive) is the best move for any computer. I put an SSD in my MacBook Pro (mid-2013 13-inch, and I now get a little over 200MB/s read/write speeds. I'm planning on putting one in my Mac Pro.
     
  14. PowerMac G4 MDD thread starter macrumors 68000

    PowerMac G4 MDD

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    #14
    Yeah, that's why I posted about this, as it can depend on whether or not the machine is running programs that take advantage of two or more cores. This makes the question have more than one answer. I am sure this machine is still great for single-core tasks (maybe not as great as an i3), but I am sure it can own up to an i3 when running intensive programs. I regularly use Adobe Illustrator on my Mac pro, in addition to the everyday applications. I do a little bit of gaming as well, and this thing handles it pretty nicely, especially with the upgraded card.
     
  15. orph macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    If you want to see a brake down of CPU speed look at cinbench or geekbench and check the single core performance and the multi core performance.
    lots of jobs are limited to 1/2 cores so a new 4core will outstrip an older 8core 90% of the time.

    the macpro 4.1+ have much more modern CPU's that dont show the age as badly.

    but for some jobs other things are the problem ie slow system buss, older ram etc
     

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