Processing Power

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Noxen, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. Noxen macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    #1
    OK, I'm a PC user just switching to Apple and I can't determine wether to get an iMac 2.4GHZ Intel Core 2 Duo Or a Mac Pro 2 2.8 GHZ Quad Xeon. I am really tired of getting games and them lagging so much I can't play them. I think Quad Xeon sounds good. Advice? Also, I am kind of lost on the subject of processing power. If you get a 2.4 GHZ core 2 duo processor does that mean you really get 4.8GHZ total processing power?

    Thanks
     
  2. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #2
    No, you don't double the processing speed.

    What you are essentially getting is two processors; each running at 2.4Ghz.

    Games should run acceptably on the iMac, you don't need the Mac Pro for that.

    But if you really want to game, then you shouldn't be on a Mac at all.
     
  3. CJRhoades macrumors 6502

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    Dec 4, 2007
    Location:
    Lafayette, IN
    #3
    Dual core, quad core, and octo core processors are great when you need extra cycles but they only really work with applications that support them. You could have a quad core processor and be running a game that only supports one core.
     
  4. smogsy macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #4
    i had this debate a year ago if to get mac or pc for gaming pc is much better fo gaming atm although mac is doing wel to catch up.


    i eventually go this
    Q6850 @3.6GHZ | EVGA 680i SLI | 4GB DDR2 OCZ 1066MHZ | 4x1TB Harddrive | 7600GT | 1000w antec Quattro | Coolmaster 832 | 24inch Samsung 1900x1200 | 30inch 2560x1600 | Vista 64Bit | 24MB Net Bethere Internet | Razer Tarantula | Razer Lachesis | Razer Mantis |Logitech G51 5.1 Speakers
    *New* Killer NIC M1|

    and getting macbook next week for internet use

    if you want a mac for gaming get the mac pro as you will need to upgrade your graphics card when new games comes out.
     
  5. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #5
    It doesnt work that way.

    If application supports only 1 core, it will use only 1 core (like absolute majority of games).

    If the application supports 2 cores, the performance is close to 2x, but not really 2x. Probably 1.8-1.9x

    So absolutely no point in getting even 4 core machine to play games.
     
  6. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #6
    Dual core does make single threaded applications faster though, even games. Instead of having one core doing all the work, you have one core for the game and the other core can handle all the other activities going on in the background. Such as, say, the operating system.
     
  7. smogsy macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #7
    all new games support dualcore+

    call of duty 4 supports qaudcore
    crysis supports as many cores as u can give it
    ut3 supports qaudcore
    c&C3 supports dualcore
    i could do more but im to llazy and at work
     
  8. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
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    Russia
    #8
    Makes a difference only when you have say iTunes playing music in the background, but it is hardly noticable.

    When my Macs are idling (running the operating system :p ) the CPU usage is 0-2%.
     
  9. Magnus Reftel macrumors member

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    May 16, 2006
    #9
    Yes, and especially on the Mac, since we have a multi-threaded Open GL implementation :D
     
  10. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #10
    That's true too, and even on windows graphics drivers use the CPU to convert shader code into a language the specific GPU can understand. Each conversion is pretty simple but when you think about how many conversions need to be performed it all adds up.

    Also when playing games a lot of sound cards can use up to 10-15% of the CPU time doing 3D audio positioing (such as EAX) which can be off loaded to the second CPU.

    Also for eXan, your mac idles at 2% but if you watch there are spikes in CPU usage when different processes need to do some work, such as time machine backing up in the background and spot light reordering it's database. These spikes could slow down your game on a uniprocessor system, but on dual core you won't notice.
     
  11. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    Jan 10, 2005
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    Russia
    #11
    Probably, but you have to agree that its not 2x performance if the game uses only 1 core run on a dual-core system.

    And the fact that you can't get a modern CPU with less than 2 cores renders our discussion rather pointless ;)

    The original question was about 2 core vs 8 core anyway O_O
     
  12. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #12
    Probably around 20-25% faster i'd say.

    And yes you can buy modern CPU's with only 1 core (Celeron).

    8 core might not be a lot faster but your e-penis will be so much bigger if you have it :D
     
  13. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #13
    Ah sorry I meant good CPUs... Capable of running modern/semi modern games
     
  14. Noxen thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #14
    yea, I heard that COD4 just came out for :apple:. That's all I really want to play and have the Mac stuff for the rest. Thanks BTW.

    -Noxen
     

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