Mac Pro 6 vs 8 core

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by tpavur, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. tpavur macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    #1
    Why does the hexacore cost more than the octocore when building a Mac Pro on apple.com?

    EDIT: that clock rate does not justify the price difference... I need to look at some benchmarks for these.
     
  2. Behemecoatyl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #2
    A fast 6 core CPU is much more expensive to make than two slower 4 core cpus.

    The 6 core is still $425 more expensive, and you also lose 4 ram slots in the process.
     
  3. tpavur thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 8, 2010
    #3
    What is faster? 8 lower clocked cores or the 6
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
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    England
    #4
    The 6-core uses a $1000 processor, the 8-core uses two $375 processors. There is a premium for upgrades from Apple, just as there is for faster clock speeds from Intel. This combines to make the 6-core cost more, however for most users it is going to be the better system.
     
  5. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I went 8 core instead of Quad when I got my 2009 mac pro despite people saying that almost no applications are multithreaded today and all that crap however the extra 4 ram slots are sweet.
     
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

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    England
    #6
    It was a bit different with the 09 models, as the original two (2.66Ghz and 2.93GHz quads) couldn't compete when it came to multi-threaded usage. The 3.33GHz 6-core however is at the same sort of level of the 2.4Ghz 8-core when fully utilized and for anything that can't fully utilize the 12/16 threads available then that 40% extra clock speed can make a huge difference.
     
  7. Behemecoatyl macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    #7
    Those are the ignorant ones, they're probably still using old single cpu G4 systems and have never used a multi-cpu computer for more than a few minutes. EVERY app today is multithreaded. There are very few apps that don't fully utilize multiple cpus, even with them OSX will try to spread as much work evenly across every cpu as possible.

    Now back in the good-ol OS9 days what they said would have been true, OS9 apps had to be specifically written to use more than 1 cpu. With OSX that functionality is built in for developers.
     
  8. MacFanJeff macrumors regular

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    Jan 28, 2008
    Location:
    IL, USA
    #8
    Those people would be totally wrong about the applications too. They just are not into high-end 3D or CAD. That type of software costs anywhere from $1,500-5000 each and most certainly do take advantage of all the cores and multithreads you can throw at it. Another area where Apple is very lacking is with nVidia due to their "CUDA" cores and a lot of software like that takes better advantage of those video cards.
     
  9. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #9
    Have a look here.
    The 6 beats the 2.4 8 in pretty much all tests. Embarrassingly so.
    And yes the clock speed does make up for it as it can boost single threads to 3.6GHz.
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere.html

    Not sure how you can be on this site without seeing this stuff everyday.
    Also, EVERY app is not "well" written for parallel processing and it is NOT built into OS X. Read up on GSD and get back to us.
     
  10. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    Mar 12, 2011
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    #10
    I highly doubt this.. Microsoft word? Multi threaded? For what? Data recovery software? Small 3MB files of junk on the app store? Yeah, right.. multi-threaded. The only apps that are truly multi-threaded are:

    FCP
    Maya
    Cinema 3D
    Aperture
    Motion
    Logic Pro
    and some applications of CS5.

    ALL OF WHICH I DON'T EVEN USE.
     
  11. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

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    Mar 12, 2011
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    #11
    For what its worth.. I have a 6-core mac pro.. though it used to be a 2009 mac pro, I got for 300 dollars the backplane and processor boards to make the move to prolong my mac pro.. Then in December of 2010 I decided to get for 700 dollars the w3680 processor to replace the w3580 - also 3.33 1333 mhz capable.

    Now having looked at what I did.. I see I truly made a mistake. I went from 2009 to 2010 to 6-core back to Power Mac G5 because for everyday stuff the mac pro is extremely overkill, however I do plan on keeping my 6-core mac pro and hopefully one day I will get into having an interest in video editing or anything to make use of all 6 cores.. Right now I am using my PB G4 and Power Mac G5 for my everyday stuff - email, word processing, skype, ichat, burning dvds/cds, some light dvd encoding.

    Do I think one day I will get into using extreme multi-threaded apps? Hardly, since I can not afford such apps and although I have CS5, I never use it nor have a need to use it..

    I was wrong about the Mac Pro being like the desktops of the PowerPC days where everyone wanted one and it one time made up most of Apple Computer's computer profits. I am much better than that.. sad to say, this will be my LAST Mac Pro.. this is enough power for me to last a very long time.. And right now, my mac pro sits on the floor while my PM G5 Quad(just got for 500) is taking its place, though once I get an 8 foot table the mac pro will be on the same desk as my PM G5.

    I am not too concerned about multi-threaded apps at this point as only a very select few are considered multi-threaded, while the majority of everyday applications most people use are single-threaded.
     
  12. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #12
    As mentioned, the cost difference is that a high-end 6 core processor is more expensive than two low-end 4 core processors.

    It is true that not every application can use multiple threads. The OS can help by trying to distribute work across all cores, but the application needs to written with for multi-threaded in order to really use them. For instance, if the logic is serialized (A needs the result from B before it can run) then it doesn't really matter if it is single threaded or multi threaded. A can't do anything until B is done. There is no difference between A and B running on different threads or cores or servers. A is just sitting around in a loop waiting. There is absolutely nothing the OS can do to make A and B work at the same time. The OS can only let A do its waiting on a different core than B is running on. Only the developer that wrote the code can change the logic so that A is not dependent on B.

    But a multi-threaded program is not the only reason to buy more cores.

    You could be running multiple single-threaded applications at the same time.

    I have an 8 core 2009 and have done all of the following at the same time:
    2 virtual machines running
    1 cgi application rendering (set for 8 threads)
    1 web browser (with many tabs)
    1 iTunes for music
    At no time does my system seem bogged down or unresponsive. I hardly noticed anything was running.

    My previous machine was a single core Pentium 4. It locked up when I did 3d rendering with 1 thread. Forget trying to do anything else at the same time.

    If you're going to be doing a lot of "things" at the same time, then you want more cores.
    If you want a "thing" to be finished in less wall-clock-time, then you want faster cores.
    If you want lots of "things" done in less wall-clock-time, then you want both.
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    Is that your definitive answer?

    FCP itself isn't really a multithreaded application. Under the majority of its operations, it's largely single-threaded. One exception would be rendering on the timeline with some effects/plug-ins. But that's about it.

    There's quite a few other applications that take advantage of multithreaded computing, such as Compressor (through a QMaster virtual cluster) and Handbrake. Additionally, most modern video encoders in general are multithreaded.


    I still get your overall point here, though. For users that don't use speciality software, 8- and 12-core machines are not necessary. But as a video editor, you're gonna have to pry my 8-core from my dead hands. ;)
     
  14. leandroc76 macrumors regular

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    Oct 27, 2003
    #14
    Upvote button... desparately needed in these forums.
     
  15. Behemecoatyl macrumors member

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #15
    Thanks for demonstrating for everyone to see how little you know.
     
  16. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

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    #16
    CS5 sucks at scalability.... at most CS5 would use 2-3 cores.... maybe... maybe 4.
     
  17. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #17
    Nicely done. All of the Pro's are fast. All depends on what you do and the understanding of what your tools want.
     
  18. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #18
    I guess that is a good way to curb e-waste. Use until it completely burns out.
    Most people I know can't watch any net videos with G4 PB's. Chug chug. 8-15FPS. Your logic is impressive though.
     

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