Speed difference between new 8 Core 2.8GHz and last year's 8 Core 3GHz Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by andboom, Jan 9, 2008.

  1. andboom macrumors member

    andboom

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
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    London
    #1
    Even with the slight reduction in clock speed, would the new 2.8GHz 8 Core machine still run faster than last year's 3GHz 8 Core machine (April 2007) when running Final Cut Studio 2 apps?

    Assuming apart from the processor, the new machines benefit from faster bus speed and memory speed...

    I put off buying last year's 8 core because of the hefty price premium. I am now considering which of the new Mac Pros to buy. My main concern is getting smooth real-time previews in Motion 3 and Final Cut Pro 6. I mostly use the HDV codec which is quite processor intensive. Would I see a big difference when running one of the new 3GHz 8 Core Harpertowns (or indeed a 3.2GHz 8 Core) as opposed to a 2.8GHz 8 Core Mac Pro? If the difference going to be noticeable enough in everyday use to justify the extra cost I would go for it. If it's negligible I would save the money. Whichever I choose, I will be putting in at least an extra 4GB of RAM as soon as supply is steady and the prices come down a bit.

    I don't mind waiting a little longer for non-realtime renders in FCS2 but being able to get smooth response from Motion 3 when creating graphics is important to me as it is hard to get a feel for your animations without smooth motion.

    Many thanks for your help. Now if Apple can release some new Cinema Displays or drop the price next week, I can put my order in! :apple:
     
  2. Crawn2003 macrumors 6502

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    Santa Rosa, California
    #2
    On Apple's Website for the new Mac Pro it's saying that the new 3.2GHz Mac Pro is 1.1x-1.2x better performance than the previous 3.0GHz Mac Pro 8-Core.

    New Mac Pro Performance on Apple.com

    EDIT: These performance specs are on Final Cut Pro only, not other applications. I based them on Final Cut because that is what the Original Poster was talking about.

    ~Crawn
     
  3. emeldahay macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #3
    This is a pretty paultry speed increase?

    im reading you right? 10% faster

    excuse me questioning my understanding of 1.1X :confused:

    I was expecting more really.
     
  4. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    #4
    Have a look here. It depends on the app. For the things I do it seems to be mostly 1.2x, which is 20% Not earth shattering but significant.
     
  5. jimN macrumors 6502a

    jimN

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    Jun 23, 2005
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    #5
    Well, you are only looking at a 7% increase in clockspeed on each core! Although the chips offer a slight real world speed increase at present you'll only see their true benefits when more code becomes available optimised for the SSE4 instruction set. Until then the main benefit will be in mobile computers where the reduced power demands of the 45nm process will come into their own.

    What did you really expect?
     
  6. andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

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    Aug 8, 2007
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    London
    #6
    So new Harpertown 2.8GHz 8 Core is faster or slower than last year's 3.0GHz 8 Core?

    Thanks for the reply. However, I'm trying to find out if the new base model (8 Core 2.8 GHz) will be faster in practice than last year's 3.0GHz model, because of the increased bus speed etc.

    I know that the new 3.2GHz 8 Core will be faster than the old 3.0GHz 8 Core... That stands to reason as it's a newer chip and a faster clock speed...

    I want to know whether the other improvements and the new Harpertown processor means that I will get better performance from a lower clock speed Penryn such as the 8 Core 2.8GHz than I would from April 2007's 8 Core 3GHz Mac due to the new processors and other technological improvements (bus speed, memory speed etc.), ignoring future software that may be written to take advantage of the Harpertown chip. Or, if we're still not clear, to cut a long story short, will Motion run better on a new 8 core 2.8GHz than it would on last year's 8 Core 3.0GHz with all other factors such as memory & graphics card the same? Thanks.
     
  7. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    Denmark
    #7
    I'm guessing (note guessing) that the new Mac Pro will do better in bandwidth limited scenarios, since it has access to higher overall bandwidth and lower latencies as well.
     
  8. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 8, 2008
    #8
    From what i've read, the new processors really really shine with SSE4 instructions. In normal non SSE4 day to day use they're only a tad quicker, probably not something you can easily see.
     
  9. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

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    Ontario Canada
    #9
    They are probably about the same in terms of speed.
     
  10. HDproducer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #10
    Andboom,

    As I was reading your post I thought I might have written that myself. I am in the same situation, FCS2, lots of HDV, and Motion 3 is a bit of a drag on my 2x2.0 G5. I just upgraded the graphics card in Nov. just to help get through the wait.

    Like the others have said, and from what I can tell, there is not much of a jump from last years octo to the new octos. But there is headroom for improvement on the specs with some updates to the software (Maybe around NAB) to take advantage of the SSE4.

    What are you upgrading from? It should be a big jump from what ever you have now. Plus the new 3.0 octo is cheaper then the old octo, so you did save some money by waiting.

    Motion is very dependent on the GPU so I think you will want to upgrade the graphics card. This is what I plan on doing, but I will wait a few more weeks for the dust to settle, get some reviews in and see what comes out of MW. Its hard to wait any longer, but I will let someone else work out the kinks and make sure FCS2 runs properly.
     
  11. xaje macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2007
    #11
    The new 2.8GHz CPU is obviously 7% slower than the old 3.0GHz for high compute tasks, but the 20% increase in bus speed will more than compensate for real world tasks (games, images video).

    You should also examine your disk configuration - are 7200rpm SATA disks going to be too slow? Is anyone thinking of purchasing solid state flash disks?
     
  12. andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

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    London
    #12
    HD Producer,

    I'm running a Dual 2GHz Powermac G5 too (3.5GB RAM, upgraded graphics card Nvideo GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL) so whatever I choose will be a big leap in performance! Would be interested in what you decide to go for, as it sounds like our uses for the Mac Pro and setups are almost identical. :)
     
  13. slackpacker macrumors 6502a

    slackpacker

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    An Island off the East coast of the USA
    #13
    Since Motion uses the GPU (the graphics card) for its realtime performance.... Buying a Nvidia 8800 for an Upgrade would be your best bet if you already have a Intel Mac Pro
     
  14. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    Location:
    London
    #14
    There is nothing obvious about it. The clock speed is obviously 6.6666% slower, but given that the new CPU takes SSE4 instructions, we won't be able to compare CPU speeds until 10.5.2 with SSE4 support is released and the machines are then carefully benchmarked.

    Correct that the increase in bus speed will speak faster to the faster memory and faster to video card which is also faster than that in the previous gen Mac Pro at the moment.

    We won't know until all of this is carefully tested but there is a reasonable chance that the new 2.8 octo will outperform the old 3.0 octo in a number very real situations.
     
  15. andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

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    Aug 8, 2007
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    London
    #15
    Thanks Netdog! That's exactly what I was looking for. Didn't realise that 10.5.2 would already be taking advantage of these new chips. That makes a lot of difference and makes me happier with the idea of going for a base model 2.8GHz 8 Core and saving some money. Am I right in thinking that the update is going to be released to coincide with Macworld next Tuesday? :apple:
     
  16. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #16
    Check out the thread about Geekbench benchmarks. Their results are that the new 2.8 GHz is faster on some things, slower on others, and overall slightly faster compared to the old 3.0 GHz. Nothing earth moving, but you save a good deal of money.

    Memory interface is better and there is more cache memory; that should mostly make a difference if you really use all eight cores.
     
  17. HDproducer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #17
    Andboom,

    I will let you know next week what I get. I think it will be the 3.0 with the 8800. I am waiting until next week just to see if there is something else I might want to add to the order? I am very curious about the FCP user group announcement. Then I will add two 1TB HDs and see if I can set them up as a Raid. Then back up to an external esata. And I think I will get 8GB ram (2GBx4) so I will still have two empty slots. That way when the prices drop I can add 4GBx2 and have a total of 18GB. I think that should cover me for a while. I need to make this one last me about 4 or 5 years.

    I wont have time to visit MacRumors any more while I wait for things to render!
     
  18. HDproducer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #18
    Do we know for sure if 10.5.2 will in fact make use of the SSE4 instruction set? Or was that just part of the rumor as to why Apple had not released the Mac Pro yet? I don't know anything about how that works and some or our friends here that are into the codeing may know? Do we know for sure the current build does not use SSE4 and do we know for sure the new build will use it?
     
  19. HDproducer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #19
  20. andboom thread starter macrumors member

    andboom

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
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    London
    #20
    18GB? Wow! That should cover it! Guessing you are probably going to be using that RAM for other apps too (can't imagine why you would need that for in Final Cut Studio 2... 3D work perhaps?)

    Just going back to Final Cut Studio 2 apps... can FCS2 address that amount of RAM? Thought 8GB was the max but can't remember where I heard that. Perhaps future releases will be able to harness more (FCS3?)... Glad to hear you are going to wait and buy it when it's cheaper! But just in terms of FCS2... does anyone know what the maximum is for Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro 2, Shake 4 etc. or indeed Adobe CS3 or Ableton Live 7?

    The reason I ask is that I have ordered an additional 4GB (6GB total) for my new 2008 Mac Pro 8 Core 3.0GHz 8800GT and want to know if I will see any real-world difference between 6GB and 8GB total memory when running these apps. I usually use them one at a time (maybe occasionally Final Cut Pro and Motion are running at the same time) and the highest-spec codec I will use for a while is ProRes 422 HQ. Just wanted to know if I should spend the extra or if the extra 2GB will go unnoticed... Also, I heard that because I am going to have 2x1GB plus 2x2GB in my machine it may perform slightly slower than a machine with 6x1GB because I am mixing 1GB and 2GB chips... is this really a problem or is this going to be negligible too? Thanks for any help! :)
     

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