MP 2008 versus MP 2010

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Michael73, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. Michael73 macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2007
    #1
    I usually hate these types of threads but I'm looking for some quick feedback...

    Take a look at my current MP specs in my sig. Yesterday I went online and built a new 12-core machine and made some basic upgrades, yada, yada and the total came to just under $6k.

    I use the machine for video encoding and CS5 (PS, DW & Ai), Fusion (WinXP but likely upgrading to Win7) the other piddly stuff web, email, MS Office, calendaring, iTunes.

    If I could get $3k for my machine (still under AppleCare till March 2011) which makes the upgrade to the new machine $3k, would you do it? Why or why not? How much productivity increases will I see?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Is video encoding a hobby or is it work related? That's the only task that could benefit off the extra horsepower so IMO it doesn't sound like you need a new Mac Pro.
     
  3. eponym macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I think the 12-core is a waste of money for all but a small niche market. And you aren't in that market.

    But the 6-core would probably do you quite nicely. :D

    That being said, I'd only do that if you really could get $3K. And I'm not so sure you could. I wouldn't pay $3K for it. :/

    Personally, I'd squeeze another year or two and upgrade when Sandy Bridge models are out.
     
  4. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    Hobby. My MP doubles as a media server with my ATV.

    My main reason in considering a new box is because I feel like it may be close to a tipping point of sorts where there's still some time left on my AppleCare and being 2 years old with it's specs I can still maximize my investment whereas after the warranty runs out and the box is 3 years old, it will drop in value.
     
  5. darwin022 macrumors regular

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    DC
    #5
    I'd say go for the 6core 3.33GHz. It seems to be the best bang for the buck (and what I'm ordering to replace my quad 2008).

    The only reason to go with a 12 core (or 8 even) is if you KNOW you're going to run out of RAM w/ 16GB. Based on what you're saying and using, that's not going to be an issue
     
  6. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

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    Nov 5, 2007
    #6
    I'm in a similar position to you. 2008 2.8 octo, 8800GT etc and use my Mac for basically the same things.

    I decided to spend some money on some upgrades and wait for another year or two before buying another MP - when hopefully they make some major revisions - be that case design, light peak, usb 3, FW1600 etc etc. I just don't see the point on spending that kind of money on a 2010 MP for around a 30% performance increase and no new features.

    I took my RAM up to 16GB, added another 2 x 2TB HDD, ordered an OCZ Vertex 2 120GB boot drive (might get another and Raid 0 them), and will probably upgrade to the new Radeon 5870.

    I reckon that will see me good until they come out with a new MP that's really worth getting excited about.

    If you do decide to buy a new MP now, bear in mind that for the vast majority of tasks the 12 core will be significantly slower than the top of the line 6 core due to it's lower clock speed.
     
  7. iRobertM macrumors regular

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    Seattle WA.
    #7
    Not sure I agree with this, are there test out there we can look at? Maybe I missed them.
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #8
    12 core is slower in tasks that cannot utilize more than 6 cores due its slower clock speed (6 cores @2.66/2.93GHz vs 6 cores @3.33GHz). It's important to find out can the software you are using take advantage of the extra cores but generally, things like video encoding can. It's best to wait for benchmarks, they are more reliable and accurate
     
  9. jrko macrumors regular

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    #9
    Its just that hardly any programs can take advantage of 8 cores yet alone 12. This means that cpu speed will be a greater determining factor in real life situations.

    None of the programs the OP uses can use more than 4 cores that I'm aware of so the reasons to go for the multi processor MP would be RAM (2 chips = 8 slots - 1 chip = 4 slots) and huge multitasking/compiling jobs.
     
  10. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #10
    So, I have 2 questions...

    1. Does anyone feel that by waiting 1-2 more years my current gen MP is likely to lose any significant value i.e. the value will gradually decline or will it fall off a cliff b/c AppleCare expires etc.?
    2. For my purposes would a 6-core machine with marginally slower or fast clock speed (2.66 or 2.93) perform noticibly faster than my 2.8 with 8 cores?
     
  11. sboerup macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I just sold my rig (see below as well) for $2600, so I doubt you'll get $3000 honestly . . . get the 6-core, it'll be much better IMO.
     
  12. iRobertM macrumors regular

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    #12
    Maybe this is just my thinking only but one would think having two physical processors and double the ram slots would improve performance. So lets say an application can only support 2 cores, would the Mac take those two core requests and put one core on each physical processor?

    All I know is my head hurts now :)
     
  13. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

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    #13
    If you have a process with two threads its actually better to put them on the same processor. If the threads share some data (which is often true), they will benefit from the shared CPU caches. Else they would have to exchange data over the system bus, which has a significantly higher latency.
     
  14. jrko macrumors regular

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    #14
    In which case (if i understand you properly) a single chip with high core count is the best solution. So the 6 core single chip with as high a clock speed as possible would be the sweet spot.

    All we need to know now is if the 4 and 6 core machines can address 32gb of ram using 8gb dimms - digilloyd has one on order and will put it through its paces with real life tests......
     
  15. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

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    #15
    Yes. If you can use many cores, it's always better to have them on the same chip. And a high clock speed helps with EVERY application...
     
  16. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #16
    So it would seem my best option is a 12-core machine, right?

    Let's say my VM is running and I've allocated it 2 cores. Wouldn't it be better to have 2 chips so my VM could run on one CPU while freeing up the other 6-core CPU to do a processor intensive task live video encoding?
     
  17. jrko macrumors regular

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    #17
    I dont think you can tell the MP which program to run on which cpu (Please correct me if i'm wrong).

    For the price of a basic 12 core MP you could put 16gb of ram, 4x hd's (from OWC etc) and the 5870 graphics card. Which I guess, and I am guessing, would be faster in many, if not most scenarios.

    6 cores all the way.....higher speed cores all on one die
     
  18. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #18
    I would wait to the next Mac Pro.

    This 2010 model doesn't offer anything significantly faster than what I already have, especially considering how badly optimized Final Cut Studio is for multicores.

    The next big "upgrade" will come from when software finally catches up to hardware. That will be a turning point.

    Can't wait for a 64-bit Final Cut Studio.
     
  19. macz1 macrumors 6502

    macz1

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    #19
    Simply said:

    You use multicore-capable apps: Go for as many cores as possible, one core more has more effect than 5% more CPU clock, its not sooo important whether they are on the same die or not.

    You use apps taking advantage of up to 4 cores (vast majority): Take a fast six-core, or even better a very fast quad-core. This will be faster than 12 cores in 90% of the cases.

    You use apps with very high RAM needs: Take a two CPU machine as it has twice the RAM slots. CPU speed is secondary. (20-30% speed difference is not really noticeable in my opinion, unless you can really saturate all your cores for extended periods, like rendering or video encoding)
     
  20. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    UK
    #20
    You wouldn't see a major improvement

    You wouldn't see a major improvement in speed over your current machine, the 2008 model was a sweet spot, good value and quick processors. In the programs you are using the 2010 wont take any more advantage than your current one. Reason why im not selling mine. I think that the newest one is just a stop gap and im in agreement the only worthwhile upgrade is the 12 core (if you already own a 2008/2009 pro), downgrading in terms of cores for the same money is in my opinion not a sensible upgrade even if they are fast. Evolution and price go hand in hand and in terms of specification (cores and cpu speed) we seem to be going backward not forward. Base models going from 8 core to 4, $1000 to upgrade 2 cores! and the price of a quad core more than the previous 8 core (2008-2009 continued in 2010) which are slower makes no sense in the evolution of buying a new machine. The 2010 is just a firmware update with a few new processors which to people that already own a mac pro would see limited improvement, especially when you are taking about spending 6k. Your expenditure to performance gain is quite low.

    Mac pros hold there value well and even the 2006 model still sells for a decent price. I would spend some money adding a few upgrades like an ssd and a new graphics card to give it some new life! its amazing what an ssd will do. In my opinion its worth waiting for some significant improvement, i feel the 2010 is a stop gap until apple see something worth shouting about, i doubt they are leaving their pro customers in limbo for no reason, because there is nothing revolutionary to report hence the thought of "itl do" comes to mind with the new upgrades.

    Even with the iMac apple make some cosmetic changes to make it more appealing, i love the mac pro design but it isnt perfect and is 10 years old. Would be nice if apple could work some new magic into the equation and create the product we all lust after, even if its just some small cosmetic changes.
     
  21. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    #21
    http://www.colorwarepc.com/c-3-computers.aspx

    Wouldn't it be awesome if they did the same stuff for Mac Pro's... not like I would actually do it though :p
     
  22. Vapor matt macrumors regular

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    UK
    #22
    Having only purchased my mac pro some 4 months ago iam happy with its performance and although the new i7 mac pro's are faster ect, the next upgrade for me will come after SATA 3/ USB3 / new intel chipset. and further increase in core tech.

    What i will be upgrading is the GFX card to a Ati 5870 if apple ever get them in stock here in the uk, for a GPU thats been out for about 8 months Iam surprised apple didn't have these all ready for the apple store way in advance, instead of listing them as unavailable.

    Anyway lets hope we can all upgrade if needed before Ati launch the newer tech 6000 series cards for PC's

    as the saying goes, speed is a disease and it costs £££££$$$$$
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    #23
    If you have the means to upgrade and the time saved for your encodings outweighs the cost then go for it. If you're not too concerned about the time then stick with what you have. No reason to upgrade.
     
  24. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #24
    JMO, but a 08 MP spec'd like yours would go for under $2500 in the US right now.

    Doesn't sound like a worthwhile 'upgrade' unless you're willing to shell out a lot more $'s.

    JohnG
     
  25. Michael73 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2007
    #25
    Lemme see if I can remember the timeline release of MPs:

    2006 - Aug?
    2008 - Feb
    2009 - ????
    2010 - Aug

    So if the consensus is to keep the 2008 machine until the next iteration, do you think that comes at the end of 2011 or first quarter 2012??

    If the refresh happens in the next 12 months, then it seems pretty obvious the specs will be those of "Sandy Bridge" although it's possible they could add some goodies like USB3, SATA3 and Light Peak.

    Apple could however choose to forego Sandy Bridge, get an exclusive on some new 22nm chip in 2012 and then do some more radical things like redesign the enclosure and add even more tech goodies.

    I know a lot of people would get their panties in a bunch if Apple waited 16-18 months to do a MP update and the forum would fill with threads about how apple is abandoning the "pros" and there'd be more "Waiting" threads than people in New York City but seriously every couple revisions, Apple does seem to hit a sweet spot and by many accounts the 2009 and 2010 MP revisions were lackluster so maybe the third is a charm.

    Thoughts?
     

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