nMP - Quad-core -vs- 6-core?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by michael_aos, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. michael_aos macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2004
    Coming from a Late 2012 Mac Mini (2.6Ghz Core i7, 16GB, fusion drive).

    I like that the nMP can natively drive 3 displays, and supports >16GB of RAM. CPU is nice, but not a deal-breaker for me. Not a gamer.

    Looking at the base models - 3.7Ghz quad-core E5, 12GB RAM, FirePro D300 w/2GB for $2759 -vs- the 3.5Ghz 6-core E5 w/16GB RAM, FirePro D500 w/3GB RAM for $3679 (discounted).

    Basically $1000 difference with taxes.

    Any thoughts or comments on what makes the 6-core version "~$1000 better" than the quad-core? I'll upgrade the RAM as time and funds permit, so that doesn't really play into the equation.

    This Late 2012 Mini was "only" $1159.92 w/tax back in Nov 2012 for reference.
  2. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    Three things make it better, the 6-core Xeon, The better Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each instead of the D300 with 2gigs each, and 16 gigs of ram instead of 12gigs.

    For someone who needs the added firepower its worth the extra $1000, If you don't need it then it may not be worth it to you?
  3. [G5]Hydra macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2004
    Also keep in mind it looks like you will be able to order a quad with D500's or 700's and even bump the quad to a hexacore and keep the D300's too. The way they word the specs page they might be pretty flexible in how you order stuff. If GPU isn't a big deal for your usage a quad bumped to a hexacore sticking with the base D300's with a little more RAM thrown in might be the way to go and cost halfway between the standard config quad and hexcore.
  4. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Since the OP did not list any uses that would stress a quad core it doesn't sound to me like a hex core is needed here. Spend the $$ elsewhere for something that will matter more to you. For its intended uses the hex core is WAY better. For the more common uses - probably doesn't matter - may even be slower (due to clock speed)!
  5. flat five macrumors 603

    flat five

    Feb 6, 2007
    it's sort of odd looking at the mac pro specs page and seeing only those two models and their relatively small difference in cost being shown (meaning- the cost difference between the other configurations is going to be way more drastic but none of those costs are shown yet)

    it seems as if the 6core configuration is the real entry point into this computer and/or the designer's base model..
    they knew they needed to be able to show $3g so that's what the quad is doing..

    they could of just as likely, as they've done in the past, advertise the 6core as the base model but allow a buyer to downgrade to the quad configuration.. except they can't have $4000 being shown so prominently.. it's too high

    anyway, without knowing what your software is or how you use the computer, the 4 will be just as sweet as the 6 in all but the most specific of tasks.
  6. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    It all depends on what the build-to-order price is for a pair of D500's, as that will determine how good the 6-core model is for value.

    If you have the money to spend though I'm not sure I'd bother with a Mac Pro without at least upgrading to the D500's, otherwise the CPU depends heavily on what you need to run that requires CPU cores more than OpenCL performance. I think the 6-core will probably have more longevity for possible future needs, and will allow you to multi-task more smoothly, especially if you run anything under virtualisation as even after assigning two cores to Windows you'll still have four cores for everything else.
  7. RodPinto macrumors regular

    May 16, 2012
    I'll try to go with a 8 core and the d700, specially to focus on longevity. Do you guys have any idea how much it might cost???
  8. ssls6 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 7, 2013
    This is a simple question. You came from a 4-core machine. If you spent a lot of time waiting for the 4-core to finish calculations AND your software can utilize more than 4 cores, then you should go to 6.

    I have software "comsol" that will bring a 6 core to its knees for 12 hours straight. I wish I had 12…I just can't afford it. When not running "comsol" 4, 6, 12 doesn't really matter.
  9. spaz8 macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2007
    I would guess between 5500-6000. The bto price of the d700's is the big unknown. My guess is about 5200 for the 8 core with the d500's.
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I know a lot of people buy computers this way… buy more than they need with the thinking that it will offer more longevity (future-proof).

    I've always maintained that it's better to buy the best computer for your needs TODAY (and no more). Because the best computer for your needs in two years, will not be a high-end configuration from two years ago… it will likely be a low-end configuration at that time.

    I think this philosophy of living in the present, is especially vital with the nMP which doesn't offer much in the way of upgrades. You're likely much further ahead in terms of bang-for-buck buying a $3K config every 2 years than a $6K config every 4 years. That last year or two of ownership with the $6K config is going to suck.

    Ask all the members on this forum that purchased the 2.26GHzx8 config with dual 4870s in 2009 if that was a smart move (because multi-threading and openCL we're the future!) :)
  11. propower macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2010
    Not only do I do it this way - Get a new rig every one to 3 years but I also get 50% to 75% of my original cost back in resale! My $3K rig only cost $1.5K... Not everyones cup f tea but I like new rigs... :)

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