Lehman terms quad vs 8 core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Soura2112, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Soura2112 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    #1
    I have been out dated by all this quad core to 8 core technical talk, and I'm trying to get simple answers.
    I do video editing as a side job and pictures also, I have been reading about a possible final cut update so I just want to cover myself, and hear the 8 core won't help with the current FCP.
    This is what I use
    FCP ( and all it comes with)
    Adobe Photoshop
    Aperture
    Logic
    GarageBand, yeah I know it's not a serious app.
    I currenty have a 2005 G5 so time for an upgrade. Been putting it off for abbot 2 years, the last year has been a struggle with my G5.
    I'm looking at the 8 core, middle of the road. I'm just getting lost in all this forum talk that the quad may be better in some situations, but I want to be covered for about 5 years.
    I know ram, graphic cards, and the simple stuff, I enjoy swapping out parts on my G5 but it's just putting more money down the drain at this point.
    With the applications I use would the 8 actually be slower, unless FCP goes 64?
    Mainly just need some simple terms on which Mac is the best for me. No iMac i7 cause I again I like to expand with ease.

    If someone could take a little time and tell me the real difference between the two, not bias, that would be awesome, and I would be grateful for their advice. Thanks so much. Again, it's mainly all ts core stuff. Simple and sweet. What a difference 5 years makes on some of this stuff.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    The 3.33GHz six core would be sweet spot for you. An easy way to compare theses is:

    2.80GHz x 4 = 11.20GHz
    3.33GHz x 6 = 19.98GHz
    2.40GHz x 8 = 19.20GHz

    That's not very accurate but seeing that most apps cannot utilize all 8 cores, it's wiser to get high clocked six core than low clocked 8-core. It costs 200$ more than 8-core does and you lose 4 RAM slots but you get overall a faster machine. Another plus of 8-core is the upgradeability as you can upgrade the CPUs to dual six cores or higher clocked quads in the future, but that is expensive
     
  3. Sepp macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2010
    #3
    What could the new Quad be upgraded to in the future?
     
  4. macusersince5 macrumors member

    macusersince5

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    Mar 13, 2010
    #4
    I disagree with the statement 8 cores won't help in final cut. The newer version of final cut studio released in july 2009, is multi core aware to some point. It just doesn't take advantage of hyper threading. It will tap into most of the cores usually for me at about 50-70 %. But the virtual cores just sit there idling.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #5
    It can be upgraded to the W3680, i.e. the 3.33GHz 6-core
     
  6. Sepp macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2010
    #6
    so no 8-core possible on the Quad, then?
     
  7. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #7
    Applications can't (or shouldn't) be aware of logical cores vs. real cores. The operating system is meant to provide a transparent layer to applications that need to execute multiple threads, i.e. it's the operating system that decides what is executed on what logical core.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    No, because quad and six core models have only one socket while eight and twelve core models have two sockets. 8-core is 2x quad core.
     
  9. MacSince1985 macrumors regular

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    Oct 18, 2009
    #9
    No. There's only one socket on those machines that can be filled with one 4- or 6-core processor. The 8- and 12-core machines have 2 sockets, each filled with 4- or 6-core processor.
     
  10. Sepp macrumors member

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    Aug 7, 2010
    #10
    ok, I might change my order then - depending on what I learn until the MP is available...
     
  11. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    UK
    #11
    Best bang for buck for you is the quad base or even the 3.2 quad. The six core machine is a great option but i think the £1000 extra is a high price to pay. There has been alot of talk about programs moving over to 64 bit and taking advantage of multiple cores but there are barely any programs written for dual core let alone quad, hex or octo core. With the hyper threading available on this machine you will be able to use 8 threads so will still be very fast and continue to offer you the flexibility of upgrading components.

    By the sounds of things you dont use the machine primarily for your main income. So that £1000 may be alot of money you could put toward upgrading a quad. £1000 would buy you an ssd for a boot drive, a three 2tb drives and 8+gbs of ram to add to your machine. If you bought the 6 core you would still have to deal with the standard configuration.

    Now if money isnt an problem the 6 core is a good choice and may be a legendary apple machine, but to me in my opinion it offers nothing than a stop gap. But offers alot more than the 8 core, apples base 8 core machines have been odd choices in the last 2 iterations of the mac pro. The 8 core wouldnt be the best option for clock speed, but in terms of multitasking, multithreading and taking advantage of programs that use multicores then the 8 core will be faster, but only in these small circumstances and by the time you will be able to take advantage of this you will be ready for a new machine. The G5 is a good example of how software never caught up with hardware, it was 64bit and multicore and were only just starting to see the benefit from it! 7 years later! and of corse apple has dropped support for it.

    This is where the 2009 mac pro finaly looks like a good purchase! you will be able to pick up a 2.66 or 2.93(if your lucky) 8 core 2009 for about the same price as the 6 core. This will probably be around the same speed or even abit quicker than the 6 core and you get the extra 2 cores for future safety. You also get two ram trays to max ram. I feel the 2009 and 2010 are just stop gaps in the pro market while apple works on something really worthwhile or when there is something worthy of apple shouting about. This is why in my opinion we have only had incremental updates, the 2010 models are nothing to shout about unless you get a 12 core beast! otherwise the new offerings are pretty poor and small updates. The difference in speed between the 2009 and 2010 will be minimal until you compare the 12 core.

    So in conclusion

    The quad is your best option, it may not be the best bang for buck apple has ever made, but in your situation and in the current lineup that may be a good one.

    Second - try and get hold of the 2009 2.66 or 2.93 8 core these are better value than a single quad core and offer better future proofing.

    third - buy a 6 core if money isnt too much of a problem

    forth - ***** it go all out and get yourself the 12 core! in my opinion the only worthwhile upgrade from any of the previous intel mac pros, this will keep you going for a while :)
    :)
     
  12. eponym macrumors 6502

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    Jul 2, 2010
    #12
    For the foreseeable future, this simply won't be true. Nehalem vs Westmere.

    The 6-core will be faster. Even with ideal future app optimizations (and taking advantage of 2x the RAM slots in the 8-core), you're probably only going to get about equal performance.

    The raw clockspeed will give the 6-core the edge in simpler, non-optimized tasks (read: majority). And in big, multi-thread, multi-core tasks, the 6-core is still going to win. The frequency, 50% larger L3 cache, better stock GPU and faster RAM will nullify any theoretical core advantage.

    I read a review somewhere (for the life of me, I can't find it) where a 6-core went toe to toe with a dual quad. The 6-core kicked its ass. The only reason to go for the previous 8-core over the 6 is to use bucket loads of RAM.

    @ OP:

    Just wait for reviews and benchmarks to come out so you can see how they apply to typical tasks you do.
     
  13. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    #13
    6 x 3.33 = 19.98
    8 x 2.93 = 23.44

    And you only get one tray for the ram, in useable terms the difference will be minimal, and with the extra cores with programs that take advantage of multi-cores. If we are talking about general work like the op is doing the 50% extra cache wont be noticeable. Using a program that take advantage of all cores the 8 core will win out. It will also be cheaper, and the specs of the basic 6 core for £3000 is pathetic 3gbs ram and a tb hdd, the money saved will buy better components.

    At the end of the day your talking improvements that in real terms will not be noticeable.
     
  14. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #14
    2.93GHz is 4999$ from refurb store, 1300$ more than six core is. For the same price, you can get 2.66GHz 12-core. Sure you can get 2.26GHz 8-core and upgrade to 2.93GHz later on but you can get 2.8GHz quad and put W3680 in it.

    I think he, and thus whole discussions was about 3.33GHz 6-core vs 2.4GHz 8-core, not about previous 8-cores. 2.93GHz 8-core is not cheaper by any means, it's terrible value so I really don't get your point
     
  15. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #15
    The refurb prices havent even dropped yet...



    And why is it that whenever I ask whether 1333MHz RAM compared to 1066MHz RAM will matter, everyone says pretty much never, but when it comes down to a 6 vs 8 core comparison and they are trying to make a point, they say it matters?
     
  16. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    #16
    give it a few weeks and the prices will fall
     
  17. iRobertM macrumors regular

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    Seattle WA.
    #17
    Correct but not my much. If memory serves the top 2008 model was still up there in 2009.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #18
    Not enough to be worth it. 200$ price cut isn't enough as 12-core is 4999$. If they drop it to near 4000$, then it might be worth it
     
  19. OptimusP83 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 4, 2010
  20. Soura2112 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    #20
    Thanks for the info

    One day I hope I can use a Mac Pro for my main income, I did about two years, then took a so called "real job", those are not my words so you know. I had a small client list who I did video work for but to keep it simple I had to get a job with benefits, etc. I want to get my video production business up and running again. This economy has not helped, plus I moved, thankfully I am getting new customers, and old ones back. So I was in limbo for a bit, now I'm trying to start fairly fresh. My only real concern now is this, what happens if 64bit shows up?
    There are other issues too such as:
    - new monitor, still have the Apple 20"
    - video camera which will set me back also

    I never learned how but I would like to take my current G5 and hook it up to my drum set and hopefully find a way to import my drumming from 2005 G5 to a new one. I hope the programs allow this with ease, for that will be 100% hobby.

    Thanks for your comments they really helped, I'm also going to wait till full reviews are up. I was looking forward to this release so much, 12 core is out of the picture, wish it wasn't, but the 8 core $ wise is not, just don't want to pay more for less. Thanks again!
     
  21. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Texas
    #21
    I thought that since the 2010 quads weren't westmere and dont have the new firmware that the westmere ones do, you won't be able to just drop in a 3680...
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #22
    They should still carry the 2010 EFI instead of 2009 EFI as they are 2010 models. I can't see why Apple would make it so complicated and use 2009 EFI on quads and 2010 EFI on others.
     
  23. Quash macrumors regular

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    Sep 27, 2007
    #23
    Before you would consider upgrading the dual cores cpu's i would read anandtech.com on upgrading the 2009 mac pro ;)
    Also Xeons don't get that much cheaper over time.

    The quad core is not so bad as the cpu's are not lidless. Still there is no one that can guarantee now, that the current quad will be upgradeable to a hex core in the future.

    Now i don't use FCP but:
    The 2.4, 8 core will be fairly slow compared to even an dual core i5 imac for a lot of the software (and i mean like 95%) currently on the market. You need a very specific use case for that machine. Otherwise i would not buy it.
     
  24. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #24
    The person upgrading just needs to make sure they dont switch up the heat sinks haha, that'd be awful!
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #25
    The 2010 Quads use D0 stepped CPUs (W3530 & W3565 respectively). The W3680 used in the SP Hex core, has a B1 stepping.

    It doesn't make sense from a systems engineering POV (ability to use the same SP daughterboard for all models), as the ROM should be of sufficient capacity to contain firmware code for both steppings (inclusive). If the ROM is actually too small, there wouldn't be a choice, but it's not that hard to use a larger ROM (unless the code is so large, such a part doesn't exist; not likely, as other vendors are able to do so, including Intel's own server boards that offer both BIOS and EFI firmware versions).

    But it's possible that they could be separate boards due to the firmware as a means of control (one P/N for the Quad cores, and another for the SP Hex core). DP boards are all B1, so that will be the same board for the Octad and both Dodecas.
     

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