Wait for New Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Chris T, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. Chris T macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
    #1
    I have an old, 8-Core, 2007 Mac Pro which is starting to get very taxed by the heavy usage I put it through with my music software. It's also still running OS10.6.8. As you can imagine, I need to upgrade asap.

    There's a rumor that a new MAC PRO might be out by end of this year (2014) / early 2015 with the new Xeon processors, so I'm wondering if I should wait till then?...

    Also, some say that an 8-Core machine would be better than a 12-Core, because each processor is a higher speed (i.e. 3GHz vs 2.7).

    For heavy audio use (I used Digital Performer with many VIs, plugs, video etc), are 8 cores at a faster speed better than 12 Cores at a slower speed?...

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated!

    Gracias!
     
  2. VirtualRain, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    There's no doubt you could benefit from an upgrade. I couldn't imagine going 7 years between computer purchases, but I guess the upside is that it will probably feel 100x faster when you do. Since you've waited 7 years already, I suppose it's hard to install any sense of urgency to buy now, but on the other hand, there's going to be little, if any, noticeable difference between today's nMP and a refreshed nMP assuming Apple even does a refresh in the near future. Either a current nMP or a refreshed one will be lightyears faster than what you're working on today.

    Here are some other recent threads on the same subject that may help (it's been a hot topic around here)...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1794837
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1760118
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1769895

    I can't really help you answer the question of what CPU is better for audio workflows. However, in general, fewer faster cores are usually better than lots of slower cores, and at least when it comes to the nMP, they are also a lot cheaper as well. With the 2013 (current) nMP, the sweet spot config is the Hex with 6-Cores at 3.5GHz. You will pay a steep premium to go to 8 cores or 12 cores. The only real way those upgrades make sense is if your workload can truly benefit from the added cores and your work pays for the hardware in a reasonable time frame.

    ps. rather than buying a bleeding edge system every 7 years, perhaps think about buying a more modest system more often. If you buy a 12-core now for $8K it will seem like a hot system now (if you can even utilize it fully) and in 4-5 years it's going to be a dog compared to what's out then. Whereas if you bought the best system for $4K every 3-4 years, you'd probably be happier and more productive during that second period of ownership.
     
  3. omenatarhuri macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #3
    Depending on your use case the 12-core can be be up to 50% faster than the 8-core according to preliminary benchmarks.

    If your software can't utilise all the cores it is true it can be probably be slower as well.
     
  4. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    #4
    No way. 12*2.7=~32ghz, 8*3=24ghz. Even considering the best multithreaded software it will be no more than 33% faster.
     
  5. Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #5
    Actually, the real question for DAWs is - should you get the 6 or the 8 core?

    The 8 and 12 can run more plugins than the 6, but the 6 is faster per-core, and so for running CPU heavy plugins and low latencies (something which runs on a single thread), the 6 might beat out the bigger brothers. New plugins that come out over the next 4-7 years are going to be very single thread heavy, too.

    However the 8 turbo-boosts nearly as high as the 6.

    Overall, if you can afford it, i'd probably go for the 8.
     
  6. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    #6
    The 8core boost is not nearly as high as the 6core, it is exactly the same;) If you consider the bigger cache it will be probably slightly faster in most operation.
     
  7. rueyloon macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2013
    #7
    If you are using it for work go with the 8. I feel the 6 is too slow. I have the 6.
     
  8. fastlanephil, Oct 13, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2014

    fastlanephil macrumors 65816

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #8
    Maybe posting this question at MOTUNATION or MOTU support would help in your decision. But I think it will come down to the six or eight core upgrade of the base four core model with the 300 GPUs and how much of the fast pcie flash onboard storage you'll want. You'll probably want at least your OS and apps onboard and the rest(samples, recording, backup) on TB SSD and SATA connected drives.

    Like me, you are also probably having to hassle with copy protection which makes buying a new computer with as much longevity as possible a consideration. Benchmarks seem to show the 8-core about 20% faster than the 6-core when it comes to average 64-bit multicore use. The difference is $1500 but if it gives you two or three more years of usefulness then it’s probably going to be a good investment.
     
  9. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #9
    For professional audio, I would definitely go 6-core or above. Depending on which plugs and software you run, you can easily max out the processing on a 4-core system. Plus all of the major DAWs are highly multi-threaded these days.
     
  10. Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    #10
    Great advice. The 2007 MPs don't have any hyper threads. I have an 8-core 2007 MP that I used for audio and am experiencing much faster audio processing with an 8-core Sandy Bridge system - with hyper-threading (seemingly, but not nearly fully) giving me 16 threads. Also, I recommend that Op consider going for a 2013 refurbished MP model, rather than waiting for a 2014 MP (if any) to save some money for more plugins, etc. [ http://store.apple.com/us_smb_78313/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/mac_pro ], particularly since Op says, "I need to upgrade asap."
     
  11. omenatarhuri macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #11
  12. fastlanephil macrumors 65816

    fastlanephil

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    #12
    I see there is an 8-core, 512 storage, 16GB memory and D300 graphics Mac Pro at Apple's refurb section with a nice discount if you need it soon.
     
  13. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    #13
    Why not? This is not rocket science;) If your software can use efficiently all available cores the overall performance is just the sum of the core number*core speed, some slight adjustment because of the stepping but surely a good method for figure out a CPU performance, many multitreaded benchmark show this.
    Example using Cinebench15:
    6core@3.6ghz(including turbo)=21.6ghz
    8core@3.4ghz(including turbo)=27.2ghz
    There's ~26% difference.
    Running Cinebench you get:
    6core=960points
    8core=1220points
    There's ~27% difference, so yes adding core*speed works quite well;)
    What you can't do is to mix and match different CPU architectures, like Haswell vs IB.
     
  14. RhymeAnimal macrumors member

    RhymeAnimal

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #14
    every time i come on here to find news about the new mac pro coming out, these threads turn into longer & longer exchanges about calculations & hyper-tech speak.

    I generally have 0% idea what the hell anyone is talking about.

    I simply need to know if I will have a new mac pro option by the end of October.

    But since a lot of you will get annoyed by my reductive inquiry, this is for you:
    I 8.6% hex slashed my EVI-F back in 2011, but heatsink algorithms bottlenecked on th 2.7ghz singlecorethread, so my question is, should move to a 2.8 zanglecore funkyhertz? :mad::eek::D
     
  15. omenatarhuri macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2010
    #15
    This was exactly what I meant as well. Performance per hz has increased wildly over the years. The frequency has been more or less the same since P4 while even single-core performance is vastly superior to those days.

    ----------

    Rhymeanimal, arguably that is a more interesting question. You're also probably aware that nobody can answer that since Apple keeps their plans to themselves. The buyer's guide probably provides the best answer to your question.

    The tech talk on the other hand can be had since Apple most often uses standard components that have lots of leaks and are often published before Apple uses them in their products.
     
  16. RhymeAnimal macrumors member

    RhymeAnimal

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #16
    yes- but there seems to be plenty of "leaked" info about ipads, retina iMacs, etc. we need a god damn spy in Cupertino. ;)
     
  17. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #17
    Like you, I'm also getting tired of the discussion and totally wild baseless posts (A Haswell refresh isn't even worth it, it's such and such and Apple won't do such and such because of such and such or they will because such and such and Apple will do it tomorrow and such and such and here's the math to prove my superiority over everybody else). Blahhh. The signal-to-noise ratio here hasn't been that great in the last couple of months.

    If you really want the bottom line about all of it: The parts for a refresh of the nMP are all there. Haswell-EP was released last month. New GPU options exist. DDR4 RAM has been out since mid-August.

    Aside from that, that's all anybody really knows. They could potentially do it in two days. They could wait until next month. They could do it in December on the one-year anniversary. Or they can wait until after the holidays. But the parts are there and Apple being an OEM partner of Intel and AMD and RAM suppliers have likely had them for awhile now.
     
  18. RhymeAnimal macrumors member

    RhymeAnimal

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    #18
    man you said it. too easily this place turns into a pissing contest between the engineering-ly-gifted... and ya know, it's really boring.

    come on kids, let's get back to gossip and sleuthing.
     
  19. MacTCE macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    #19
    I have a few friends that feel the same way.
     
  20. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #20
    And once again, you start the argument all over. The parts have been there for solar power since the late 70's. But the economics don't allow for it. So above all else, economics rule the day. :cool:
     
  21. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #21
    I love false equivalencies. Good show.
     
  22. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a

    Thunderbird

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    #22
    No one on here knows. If you really need a new machine by the end of this year, the best strategy would be to wait until end of November. If nothing is announced or imminent, or even any rumors by then, it's safe to assume no nMPs will be coming, and you can go ahead and get the Ivy Bridge 2013 model.

    If on the other hand, there's a hint or an announcement on Thursday, or if the rumor mill starts heating up in late October/November, then you will need to decide if you want to wait.

    But I would say if nothing is announced by March, then it's pretty likely they will skip Haswell and jump to Broadwell.
     
  23. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #23

    Yeah, no body knows. We should just ask the mods to make a sticky post at the top of the forum so we can all focus on the important topics around here... :confused:
     
  24. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    #24
    Not really. Just because they're available doesn't mean squat. But to super fanboys who pretend Apple plays by their own rules...I guess it does.
     
  25. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #25
    ...Which was exactly my point. It means what it means. The parts are available. That's all anyone knows. This was entirely my point. You're the one speculating as to "economics" and other things you, nor I, nor anyone else would know for sure. The dude I quoted wanted to know what is up, and I gave him the straightest answer possible: What we know for sure. And nothing else.

    And insinuating that I'm an Apple fanboy (if that's what you were going for, your comment could be taken a number of different ways) is laughable. I use Apple computers because my industry relies on working with a stable implementation of OS X. Nothing more, nothing less. If Windows was an option, I would buy a PC in a heartbeat, and if Hackintoshing was stable enough to rely on it for income-driven work, I'd be there. (I also think Samsung makes better mobile devices and Android is superior to iOS, so calling me a fanboy is just wrong).
     

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