Mac Pro @ MacWorld

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by andyh2, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. andyh2 macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2006
    If apple at MW releases an 8 core mac, and they lower the price on the 4 core, what would be the big difference in performance between them? I'm debating to see if I should get an 8 core mac pro at the same price as the mac pros are now, or to get the old 4 core if they lower the price on it.

  2. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    The big difference will be in applications that are multi-threaded to make use of more than 2/4/8 cores of which there arent a huge ammount.

    Also it will allow you to run a load of applications all at the same time, but of course that is also dependant on you sticking loads of memory in there too, otherwise you have cpu processors free but not enough memory to carry it all effectivly.

    For some the 8 core mac pro will be the bee's knees. For many others it will offer little advantage at the end of the day. It all comes down to what and how you use your computer....
  3. andyh2 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2006
    Well, I'll be having dreamweaver, photoshop cs3, and soundtrack open at all the same time, and I'll have about 2 gigs of memory (more when the price of the memory comes down) I am a web developer and I really need a new mac, and I chose the mac pro because of it's expandability.
  4. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    It would depend on the price differential of course - I put through an order for a couple of additional Dell Precisions recently for work-related stuff and the processor price difference between a 3Ghz Quad Core (dual 5130) and 2.66Ghz Octo Core (dual X5355) was just 25% for the CPUs. Bearing in mind how long I'll probably hang onto all of my Precisions, it didn't really make any sense to go with the 5130's.
  5. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    A web designer doesn't need 8 cores. The currently shipping 4 core is overkill for that kind of work. Not to mention the 8 core is going to be more expensive in the long run when you consider how much ram it's going to take to keep those cores happy. Of course, if you're just using Dreamweaver and Photoshop, most of those cores will be sitting there idle, especially when the UB's come out. For a web designer working at 72dpi, an 8 core machine would be like using a dump truck to go to the store to pickup a loaf of bread.

    I'm a web designer with a MacPro 2.66. The only time I use the full potential of my machine is when I'm doing video side projects or playing around with 3d.

    I'd wait to see what comes out at MacWorld since it's just around the corner... but I wouldn't wait for 8 cores unless you need high-end processing power that comes from rendering in multi-threaded applications.
  6. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006
    I actually have a question:
    say a Octo-Core is revealed, and it becomes available for purchase.
    It would probably cost £200-300 (2.66 Octo) more compared to 3.0GHz Quad.

    Im going to use my Mac Pro a LOT for gaming-
    would I benefit much from Octo ?
    Other than gaming, my Mac Pro will not be stressed much.
  7. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Not now. Maybe in a year or so's time, who knows.

    Are we talking Mac games or Windows games?
  8. madyaks macrumors member


    Dec 3, 2006
    I hope they coe out with all kinds of cool new **** for the MacPro 8 core...
    Then I will jump on a 3.0 Quad core which is more than I need..
  9. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    For gaming an 8 core machine is still going to be over kill for the foreseeable future, while I do believe games will be more and more multicore aware (and are) over the comming years, they are still going to be targetted for and best played on machines with powerful graphics cards and 2 cores rather than workstation style configured machines.

    On pricing, Dell charge £440 to go from 2.66 to 3, and £1137 to go from 2.66 to dual quadcore 2.66. Apple charge £540 to go from 2.66 to 3. I'm not sure what Apple will do in regard to 8core machines, however I am certain that the current mac pro is unlikely to change in price or config at all until it's next major revision, especially as it is still cheaper than the compeition and individual component prices.
  10. Grenadier macrumors regular

    Nov 12, 2006


    And thanks for the comprehensive answer Umbongo.
    However, the Mac Pro is a pretty powerful piece of kit, and im certain it could hold its own against other gaming orientated machines (Since any GPU will work in Bootcamp)
  11. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Not necessarily.

    An 8800GTX, Core 2 Quad 2.66 (or Core 2 Duo 3.0) with 2Gb of PC8888 RAM, 10K Raptor boot drive + 400Gb data drive, X-Fi gaming audio (which won't even fit on a Mac Pro), G15/Copperhead keyb/mouse combo and 3-year onsite warranty comes to roughly £3K inc VAT from a UK 'boutique' builder.

    I guess it depends on what's more important: If it's mainly for entertainment on the Windows side, I honestly think the Pro is a mistake, as is going for similar-class Windows machines such as the Dell Precision or the HP xw workstations.

    I have an XPS 710 w 8800, Precision 490 w fx4500, and a Pro w X1900 at home and the XPS exhibits standout gaming system performance even leaving the relative inequality in GPU's out of the equation - and it's not even the state of the art (the Scan above beats it out).

    The Pro is an excellent all-purpose machine which can be turned to gaming - but if that's the primary use, you could do better elsewhere.
  12. hastyle macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2007
  13. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    Well, I'm extremely disappointed to see that they didn't announce the octo core today... but

    That's really cool! I didn't know anyone was giving you the option to buy dual quad cores yet (although it's delaying shipment since they're not exactly available yet).
    This makes things look up that maybe Apple will have them soon enough.

    Personally, I don't really need 8 cores, but I'd love to have them if I can afford it. I work for a website as a content developer and while nothing is very processor-intensive, I have a lot of applications running at once and have to view a lot of information simultaneously. Granted, most of this is in a web browser.
    The more I think about it, the more I think I should just give up getting an 8-core for the foreseeable future and just get a quad core and use the money I'd save on RAM. But 8 cores would be so awesome!
  14. PmattF macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2006
  15. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    Until more multi-core apps are developed, and RAM prices come down and capacities go up, then I think 4 cores are enough for now (until the 8 core mac pros come out that is)
  16. BiikeMike macrumors 65816


    Sep 17, 2005
    Excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is a multi-threaded application? Would Photoshop fall under this catagory? Final Cut studio? What?
  17. CTYankee macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2002
    THink of cores as people with a calculator. Now think of the application as a manager. If he has 1 'core' to work with he needs only to delegate one set of instructions. When the calculator guy is done, he proceeds to the next task. All the work is done when all the calculations are complete.

    Now add a second guy with a calculator. If the manager is smart, he'll give them both a calculation to do. The work will be done in half the time all things being equal. As the number of cores increase, the performance will only increase as the 'manager' (apllication) gets smarter and is 'trained' (programmed) to use these cores.

    A multithreaded application is one with a well programmed 'manager' that delegates as many tasks as there are 'people' to do them.

    With today's multi core chips and dual processor systems you can have 4 'guys with calculators' (soon 8 with the Clovertown 4 core chips). While some applications are written to provide multiple instructions others are not. In some cases the OS helps manage this, but few appls use more than 2 (I belive PSCS2 can use 4 cores for some, but not all prcesses so its performance depends on the task...thats why the dual 2.7G5 is faster than a quad 2.5). Those tend to be the high end, high price, resource intense apps. Final Cut Studio is one. Multiple cores also comes into play when you are doing multiple tasks with several resource intense applications.
  18. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Likely now that Apple has release all the Intel machines, they may go back to updating the machines outside the big shows.

    Remember, Apple tried to get away from these releases at shows -- since they tended to hammer the stock on Wallstreet if the rumors didn't pan out.
  19. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Jan 19, 2006
    North Carolina, US
    That's by far the best/easiest to understand explanation I've ever seen describing essentially how multiple cores function on a computer. I'm going to start using this explanation, as I know a few people that I still haven't been able to get to fully understand why multiple cores are good.
    I guess all it lacks is a mention of intelligence for each calculator guy (MHz/performance)- so fewer guys with higher intelligence may or may not be better than more guys that are each dumber.

    This is true. After having watched the actual keynote and not MacRumor's feed (they really messed up by misquoting Steve early on in the keynote.. see my comment here for further explanation ), I noticed he said they'd be releasing a lot of great stuff for the Mac over the coming months. I take this to mean Leopard, iLife/iWork, and speed bumped computers (hopefully including 8 cores)
  20. /"\/oo\/"\ macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2007

    interesting read for gaming on the windows side, and of course who knows how many other developers are going to keep up with valve on this.
  21. DigitalN. macrumors member

    Jan 3, 2007
    if you were indeed contemplating 8 cores, I would find it hard to beleive that you dont have enough cash for more Ram.
  22. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    They'll release them in the next few weeks.


    Yeah, I don't know.
  23. shayesky macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2006
    8 core speed for FCP

    What kind of speed increase are we looking at for rendering and
    encoding HD video? I am getting a pro, but need to decide if I get
    last years model, or the new one, depending on the price changes?
  24. Alpinism macrumors regular

    Oct 28, 2005
    difference is going to be FCS 6 or FCS Extreme that can take advantage of the 8 cores
  25. shelterpaw macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2006
    I'm on the fence whether to wait for an update on the Mac Pro or not. I can certainly use the cores as I'm working with Ableton Live and quite a few software synthesizers. I'm also a heavy photoshop user. Live is multi-core enabled, but doesn't require a lot of processing power. Once I start loading plug-in effects and instruments, I kill my PowerBook processor. From everything I've read, I'll be able to take advantage of those cores, which will be a big relief.

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