Sandy Bridge

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 3282868, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Does anyone know the status on "Sandy Bridge" with regards to it being utilized in future Mac Pro's? I ask as I just sold my 2008 2.8 8 Core and am considering a 2010 8 Core Westmere. However I can live without a system, so if in 5-6 months Sandy Bridge appears in the Mac Pro, and it's worth the wait, I'm for it.

    Thoughts? Thanks! :)
  2. Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    I think it's a safe bet that yes Sandy Bridge will arrive and yes it will make its way to the Mac Pros. If by waiting "5-6 months", you mean that you're ok until 2012 or so, then sure, wait for it. If you actually need a computer sooner, then I wouldn't hold my breath.

    The iCrap is Teh Most Important Thing to Apple, followed by the MacBooks and iMac, with the Mac Pro, over there, around the corner, just step over the pool of vomit and walk down the dark alley, then wait patiently [years pass], and it'll get updated.

    Seriously, the Mac Pro is just not making the tippy-top of Apple's URGENTLY UPDATE SOON list, ever, lately. Personally, I'd like them to issue an update every other month, but checking back in with the real world and how my Apple stock is doing, I kinda understand why things are the way they are, and I don't lose any sleep over it.
  3. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    LOL Nice way to put it ;)

    Yeah, the "Pro" market hasn't been Apple's focus for quite a while. IOS and iDevices have allowed the company to accumulate a $40 billion bank as well as leaps in market share. Yet the professionals who have used PowerMac's and ACD's are left behind for the market with the most immediate payback, even though it was the "professional" market that helped keep Apple afloat before Steve Jobs regained complete control in the late 90's/early 2000's.

    Guess I'm gonna bite the bullet and get the 8-core Westmere. I doubt we'll see Lightpeak, Sandy Bridge and/or USB 3.0 in Mac systems any time soon...
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Unless your applications require more than 32GB of RAM, get the 6-core instead. It's faster by any means.
  5. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Really? I didn't know. They're both Westmere, but the 3.33 6-core is a better choice than the 2.4 8-core?
  6. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010
    I think it really just depends on what you are using it for.

    But I think, if you buy either or, you will not be disappointed.

    As said on this thread which you started

    3.33GHz x 6 = 19.98GHz for multi-threaded apps vs. 2.4GHz x 8 = 19.2GHz.

    All the reports say that the hex is quicker, but that's mainly for photoshop and so on, I wonder what it will be like when applications start using more cores, maybe the octo would be better.

    I don't think apple would release something that would not be of use, seems a waste of money.

    The RAM is also substationally cheaper on the octo than it is on the hex, that is something to take into consideration.
  7. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    :eek: You caught me lol. When I got that response I immediately thought "uh-oh" as I told my ex-colleague at Apple to order the 8-Core. I do a lot of work in Adobe and Final Cut, Photoshop and high-def film are on the list as is many other tasks so it would appear the 6-Core model would be much more beneficial than the 8-Core.

    Who would have thought? :p

    Thanks for the help everyone!
  8. gabicava83 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2010

    It's a hard one.

    Memory cost is something to take into consideration......

    You going for the hex now then?

  9. lbeck macrumors 6502


    Dec 5, 2009
    Hex is the way to go now and for the next few years. Adobe software barely uses 2-3 cores most of the time, no way they will start using 8 within CS6 or even CS7. Quad cores have been out for what, 4-5 years? And adobe still only uses 2-3 cores.

    Faster processors are the way to go until software catches up, and that wont be for awhile. Some will start to take advantage here and there but it wont be standard for years to come.
  10. seek3r macrumors 6502

    Aug 16, 2010
    I agree with your general conclusion but I think it's important to point out that you can't do this:

    to get usable numbers for a purchase. More cores doesn't mean higher frequency, it means more things run concurrently at the same frequency. A better way of looking at it is to know that the 6 can do less things at a time, but much faster per thing. If you need actual numbers to compare you should be looking at FLOPS for specific types of work or one of the composite scores created by benchmarking apps, not ghz.

    A point, but the difference is a few bucks (literally, 8GB on otherworld: $254 vs $257), so probably not what you're going to base a $3k+ purchase on, especially since the 6 core is slightly more expensive than the base oct
  11. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yeah, I think so. It seems like the right one to get.

    A question I posted on the other thread I started. As the 12-Core is simply dual 6-Core Westmere processors, is the 6-Core logic board the same as the dual 6-Core logic board? If so, there should be the chance in dropping in another 6-Core Westmere chip into the open slot, no?

    A few comments below are discussing the threads/cores being used. I have iStat Pro installed checking on my RAM/CPU/HEAT stats. Interesting, Adobe doesn't use the cores logically (seems very sporadic). When using "Final Cut Pro" in rendering, etc. ALL my 8 cores kick in at about 90-100% (yet my system run well with multitasking). As it appears Final Cut makes use of the total 8-Cores, would getting the 6-Core (even with the faster GHz per core) make a difference?

    As for the RAM, I was surprised that the 6-Core only comes with 3GB RAM (which is initially subtracted from the price of the 6-Core system, odd). Of course selecting 6GB jumps the price up to $225. Is that reasonable or should I grab 4GB at Crucial or such (2x2GB DIMMS)?

    Thanks again guys, you've all been a serious help!
  12. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Different processors ===> different boards.

    There are a couple of mem threads currently on the first page of the MP forum.

  13. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The boards are different for the single and dual processor systems. Unfortunately the single processor does not have an extra slot, so you can't add another later.
  14. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Ah so the boards are different. Makes sense as it's a single 6-Core Westmere. I just read the dual Quad 8-Core would take a dual 6-Core upgrade, but at that time I'll be spending more money on a machine that will most likely be upgraded to USB 3/Lightpeak/etc., so it'd make more sense economically to get a new Pro in the 3-4 year mark...

    So six core it is! :)

    I'll check out the RAM threads. In the past I've purchased from Crucial, I'll see what else others recommend.

    Thanks again!
  15. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    Keep in mind, Sandy Bridge uses "Socket-R" processors and none of the current LGA1366 based Mac Pros will be upgradable to Sandy Bridge processors when they are available.
  16. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    I figured that, but is Sandy Bridge that much of an upgrade from Westmere that it warrants waiting for the possibility of a Sandy Bridge 2011 Mac Pro?
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    If can wait till next June-August 2011 yeah. If you don't have a computer now and have work to do , then no.

    There are going to be dozens of "Sandy Bridge" architecture CPU packages introduced by Intel spread over the next 12 months. The ones that are suitable for putting into a Mac Pro won't arrive until next June/August time frame.

    Apple is not likely going to put the Core-i7 models that limp out of the gate first this Fall into a Mac Pro. All indicators so far point to the Xeon class, Sandy Bridge arch stuff isn't coming till Q3 next year. The models that come out this Fall will ilkely go into an iMac late spring or early summer.

    Yes it will be better than the current one..... just like every Xeon update for last 4+ years.
  18. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    We don't know yet. Xeons may be a year away so predicting their performance is impossible. It will include at least SATA 6Gb/s and possibly USB 3.0 as well, those are nice too.
  19. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Ah my bad. I thought the Xeon chips were released alongside the others.

    SATA 6Gb/s would be sweet. As I understand it from reading other threads, there is a PCIe card for adding USB 3.0. Has any one tried this or knows of this functionality in the 2010 Pro's? Thanks!
  20. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Nope. Mainstream parts that use LGA 1155 socket are coming Q1 2011 but high performance and server parts that are suitable for Mac Pro (LGA 2011 socket) are coming H2 2011.

    You can buy SATA 6Gb/s PCIe card as well so you aren't missing anything with current Mac Pro, it's just an extra expense.
  21. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    you're kidding! That's pretty decent. So I should be able to stick in a SATA 6Gb/s PCIe and a USB 3/eSATA PCIe card into my soon to be here 6-Core Westmere. I read on another thread that there is a USB 3 PCIe for around $60. Throw in a PCIe SATA 6Gb/s and I'd be good to go.

    As I understand it, the PCIe SATA 6Gb/s would allow for two external SATA III connections. It's a shame that there isn't a way to get the Mac Pro's internal SATA HDDs to run on a PCIe SATA III unit (needing a bridge and all) or to boot your Pro off one of the eSATA drives.

    So I read though the thread you mentioned (which happened to be the thread I was thinking about). You can get a SATA III PCIe for about $50. Throw in another $50 for a USB 3 PCIe card and that's not too bad.

    Oh, and thanks again for your help. I know you don't have to and some people don't appreciate the help and information. So thanks to all you guys for taking the time in helping out :).
  22. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    Personally, I think that you just wasted your money by dumping your 2008 8-core at this time.
    You'll pay a boatload of money for minimal performance improvement since the hardware in the 08 8-core has not yet been pushed beyond its limits by the current crop of software and os.
  23. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Maybe. But I also got a 25% discount on the 6-Core so I paid a difference of about $500 with AppleCare. Some tests show minimal difference some show huge differences. For my needs having a six core chip will suit me better. As well, the memory controllers introduced in the 2009 Pro's make enough of a difference between systems. This will last me for a good three years, then when/if USB 3/SATA III/Lightpeak are utilized I'll sell this 6-Core and get a new Mac Pro. I'd rather get a new one every three years, keep the AppleCare up to date. The 2008 8-Core is a great system, don't get me wrong, but bench tests have shown for many tasks the 6-Core Westmere outperforms the 08 8-Core. Either way, I'm psyched for my new system!

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