Mac Pro differences...then and now.

laslane007

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2004
8
0
I have a Mac Pro that was purchased a few years back; it's a 2x2.8 Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 6GB 667MHz memory and a few 1TB discs. I've not been keeping up with changes in the desktop line since and was wondering what's significantly different about today's options vs. my model.
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
The biggest difference is with CPU and RAM. The new Mac Pros use new generation of CPU, Nehalem and Westmere (the latter one being a die shrink of Nehalem and used only in the quad core model). The RAM is also faster (DDR2 vs DDR3). Those are the main differences I think as you can put better GPU in your Mac Pro.

Your Mac Pro is probably the biggest bang for buck Mac Pro and you would have to get at least the six or eight core Mac Pro to get faster system than your current is
 

trankdart

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2010
60
0
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Is PCI express 2.0 also a difference?

I know it's a difference between my 2006 1,1 and the current models, because the PCIe 2.0 spec wasn't finalized until 2007. So my 2006 MP's expansion bus is definitely version 1, but I'm not sure when version 2 entered the MP line.

Version 2 doubles the speed of version 1 from 250mB/s/lane to 500mB. While not huge, the increase can make a difference in graphics performance, reducing latency in add-on DSP music cards, etc.

TD
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
Is PCI express 2.0 also a difference?

I know it's a difference between my 2006 1,1 and the current models, because the PCIe 2.0 spec wasn't finalized until 2007. So my 2006 MP's expansion bus is definitely version 1, but I'm not sure when version 2 entered the MP line.

Version 2 doubles the speed of version 1 from 250mB/s/lane to 500mB. While not huge, the increase can make a difference in graphics performance, reducing latency in add-on DSP music cards, etc.

TD
The 2008 Mac Pro has PCIe 2.0, just like 2009 and 2010 Mac Pros

http://support.apple.com/kb/SP11
 

evilalien

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2009
5
0
The biggest difference is with CPU and RAM. The new Mac Pros use new generation of CPU, Nehalem and Westmere (the latter one being a die shrink of Nehalem and used only in the quad core model).
:confused:

Unless I'm missing something, the 6-core Xeons should be Westmeres (32nm process), hence the information at Everymac is wrong (http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...ro-six-core-3.33-mid-2010-westmere-specs.html) - they note the CPU is a 45nm Xeon. They also mistakenly refer to the 6-core as a 4-, so I suspect there is a relatively high error rate in the preliminary information they have for the various mid-2010 Mac Pro models.

Xeon W3680 information from Intel:
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47917

If the rest of the information is accurate, I think my decision has been made. A 6-core 3.33 GHz Westmere Mac Pro is in my very near future.
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,085
1,097
faster cpus with more cores, faster ram, QPI instead of the older FSB, EFI 64,
2008 Mac Pro has EFI 64.

Really the differences are faster CPU's, faster RAM, and QPI. 2008's are still very good, solid machines.
 

beto2k7

macrumors 6502
Jan 6, 2010
339
0
::1
2008 Mac Pro has EFI 64.

Really the differences are faster CPU's, faster RAM, and QPI. 2008's are still very good, solid machines.
2008 Mac pro came with 800 MHz ddr2 ram. That's why I thought it was a 2006/07. Even though there wasn't a 2.8 model on those years
 

Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,164
581
Finland
:confused:

Unless I'm missing something, the 6-core Xeons should be Westmeres (32nm process), hence the information at Everymac is wrong (http://www.everymac.com/systems/app...ro-six-core-3.33-mid-2010-westmere-specs.html) - they note the CPU is a 45nm Xeon. They also mistakenly refer to the 6-core as a 4-, so I suspect there is a relatively high error rate in the preliminary information they have for the various mid-2010 Mac Pro models.

Xeon W3680 information from Intel:
http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=47917

If the rest of the information is accurate, I think my decision has been made. A 6-core 3.33 GHz Westmere Mac Pro is in my very near future.
My mistake. I meant Nehalem is only used in quad core while 6, 8 and 12 core models are using Westmere. There isn't a big difference though, Westmere has few extra thingys but it's still based on Nehalem
 
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