MacPro Processors...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jrowell, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. jrowell macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    #1
    I have about a two year old Mac Pro that has a Dual QC 3.2Ghz processor. I'm looking at getting a new Mac Pro, but noticed that the speeds have dropped to 2.8ghz or 2.66ghz. Can someone school me on the differences in the old processors and the new ones? I assume my 2YO system is not faster than a new one...

    Thanks,

    Jeremy
     
  2. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #2
    The 2.8GHz quad-core processor in the base Mac Pro is barely faster than one of your quad-core 3.2GHz processors for most things. Some things like video encoding are much better with the newer processors however. Memory performance is also increased a lot.

    Maybe tell us what you use your system for and why you are thinking of upgrading? I'd avoid upgrading now unless your system isn't enough for your workload. While new Mac Pros are some time away (7-12 months), you would be buying a Mac Pro half way through it's life and right near the end of the life of the architecture it uses.

    You would likely find only the three most expensive Mac Pro models felt like a big improvement: 3.33GHz x6 and 2.93GHz x12 and the 2.66GHz x12 if your work-flow is heavily multi-threaded.
     
  3. jrowell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    #3
    Thanks for the info.
    The system will be used for video editing and graphics... After effects and Premier and such. We are adding these Mac Pros to our production suite. Just trying to figure out if I should hang on to the system I am using and hand off the newly purchased Mac Pros to other producers, or take one of the new systems for myself and hand my current one down.
    Do you see a major architecture change like the one we went through with the Power PC to Intel?
     
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601

    Umbongo

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #4
    I'd probably only give up the system you have for a 3.33GHz 6-core or 2.93GHz 12-core if it has served you well so far.

    No it's just another Intel transition, nothing amazing, just more performance for your money.
     
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    There are certainly improvements between the 2008 and (current) 2010 MP models (Penryn-based Xeons versus Nehalem-based Xeons), such as more efficient use of clock cycles and improved memory architecture. However, these improvements are not anywhere near as groundbreaking as the PowerPC to Intel transition was.

    I agree with Umbongo here. The 6- and 12-core machines are probably the ones you'd want to look at if you're itching to upgrade from what you have right now. But I would venture to say that you really don't NEED to upgrade if you find your current system satisfactory. If you're working in AE a lot (especially CS5), upgrade your RAM to at least 16GB if you haven't already. That's my next upgrade on my 2008 8-core 2.8, anyway.
     
  6. jrowell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    #6
    Thank you guys, that is good info. I'm now leaning towards handing the new system off to another producer and keeping my "old" Dual 3.2 and doubling my ram from 8 to 16. It certainly works great right now.
    Are there any other things I might be missing? Better graphics card perhaps?
     
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Depends on your specific kind of work and your current card.
    There are certainly better cards out there for your system, reaching from about $200 to $1000, but more information from your side is needed to recommend one (if needed).

    However, the biggest bottleneck usually is IO. Depending on your current drive setup, there might be room for improvements.

    At any rate, I'd hold on to the machine for at least another year. The upcoming Sandy Bridge Mac Pros will most certainly bring a huge performance jump compared to all previous generations.
     
  8. jrowell thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    #8
    Ya, I am concerned here. My current system has a SCSI raid drive setup with a "huge" systems Media vault. It has rockin IO speed.

    The new system may only have an ESata raid array... or even a firewire 800 drive... I don't think either of those will hold a hat to my current drive setup when trying to edit HD video
     
  9. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #9
    Yeah, to be able to use your existing array (I'm assuming it's internal) on a new Mac Pro, you'd have to buy different drive sleds (MaxUpgrades makes a kit for this). The 2009/10 models have their SATA ports soldered to the backplane board, so that would count out using an iPass cable to bypass the internal ICH. And this is also assuming you're using a 3rd-party RAID card. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure the 2009/10 Apple-branded RAID card is different than the one offered in the 2008.
     

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