What model Mac Pro to equal i7 iMac Speed?

powerbook911

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 15, 2005
3,734
158
I have been considering a Mac Pro. I love the accessibility to everything inside.

However, I'd hate to buy one that is slower than an i7 iMac.

Which Mac Pro should at least equal i7 iMac Speed.

Would the 2.9x GHZ quad core do it? The entry level system would surely be slower?

Thanks.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
What are you doing with the system?

Also, if you're interested, here's a comparison chart of MP's with Cinebench (might be useful, especially if you need more than a Quad). It just doesn't have the i7 based iMacs on it.
 

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kxfrog

macrumors regular
Aug 9, 2009
175
3
UK
Just vuy the 2.66ghz quad in all the benchmarks and real world there is virtually no difference between the speed and useability of the 2.66 quad 2.8 imac and the 2.93 quad mp. Save your money get the base quad mac pro and some extra ram
 

Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
The base quad and octo will more than match its power.
Eh?

The 2.66 Ghz Quad Mac Pro is *way* slower in single threaded apps due to the iMac having a 3.46Ghz Turbo Boost compared to a max 2.8Ghz of the W3520 in the Mac Pro. In multithreaded apps again the 2.93Ghz Boost vs the 2.8ghz max of the Mac Pro means even in multithreaded apps it gets beaten! The lack of triple channel memory and the QPI will close the lead a touch but overall its still ahead.

The 2.93Ghz Quad in multithreaded tasks would be quicker than the iMac but slower in single/dual threaded as the max core speed for the 2.93 is 3.06Ghz compared to 3.46/3.3 IIRC.

The 2.66 Octo would beat it in multithreaded but get smashed in single threaded apps.
 

smacman

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2006
451
2
I hate to say it, but I would steer clear of any 09 machine as they are all plagued by a CPU / Audio issue that Apple refuses to acknowledge / support. Pick up an 08 machine or buy the iMac....
 

Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
No such thing in OSX outside of synthetic benchmarks.
Photoshop CS4 as a number of single threaded items (none of which I can remember off the top of my head).

Some games in Windows, MATLAB,.

There are a number of things that only use a single core on my Mac Pro, but thats beside the point. The iMac is, in any condition, faster than the 2.66 Quad Mac Pro.
 

300D

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2009
1,284
0
Tulsa
(none of which I can remember off the top of my head).
Exactly my point. Single threaded programs either haven't been updated in years or (in the case of some PS tools) are infrequently used.

Some games in Windows
Windows sucks nuts all around. If you want Winblows, buy a PC.

The iMac is, in any condition, faster than the 2.66 Quad Mac Pro
Except when graphics are involved.
 

smacman

macrumors 6502
Feb 7, 2006
451
2
Except when graphics are involved.
So true. Everyone keeps comparing the iMac to the MP as if they are comparable. No contest in my opinion. The 4870 or GTX285 in a MP will blow the iMac graphics out of the water, and they can even be upgraded. Furthermore, even if the CPU is slightly faster than a MP Quad 2.66, 90%+ of people don't even know how to come close to maxing this out...

I still would avoid 09 Mac Pros though unless Apple fixes the CPU / Audio thing.
 

Inconsequential

macrumors 68000
Sep 12, 2007
1,977
1
Exactly my point. Single threaded programs either haven't been updated in years or (in the case of some PS tools) are infrequently used.
From this thread:

"About 15% of PS CS4 native filters and tools are multithreaded. If you use those particular tools and filters a lot then multiple cores will help a lot! If not they won't."

I use Photoshop and Indesign alot, they would be faster on the iMac.

Windows sucks nuts all around. If you want Winblows, buy a PC.
Wow, big comment. I use both because im not a tunnel vision fanboy and I use both for aerospace work, I just happen to have Macs because OS X IS better overall, games however it isn't and the CAD, CFD and FEA work I do doesn't come on mac. Its comments like that which give us mac users a bad name!

Except when graphics are involved.
I was talking about the CPU, not the GPU.
 

Tony5787

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2009
73
0
i was in the same problem that you currently are in on whether to buy an 09 mac pro or to buy an i7 imac. i instead of buying either of these bought an 08 2.8 ghz octad with 10 gb of 800mhz ddr2 ram for 2500 on ebay after bing cashback and ebay bucks (originally it was 2750). my computer also came with the newest version of final cut studio, adobe design suite cs4, adobe after effects cs4, and shake 4. and with that purchase you don't have to worry about it arriving doa or with a screen flickering problem, screen temperature inconsistency, etc. i'm not saying that the imac i7 is a bad computer, the specs on it are extremely good. i was just too weary to buy one after all the reports (especailly engadget's) of people receiving theirs doa or with screen problems. now with the 08 octad i know you'll have to "suffer" with slower ram than the 09 mac pro or i7 imac but my system seems to chug along just fine with its 10gb of 800mhz ddr2 rather than the 3gb of ddr3 i was going to get with the 09 base mac pro
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,081
287
Indianapolis
No such thing in OSX outside of synthetic benchmarks.
I haven't heard this a lot since before Snow Leopard hit retail but does anyone have proof? We bet a lot on Apple magic just because they said so. The same thing happened when Leopard came out.

Also yes, the Core i7 860 is faster than the Core i7 920/Xeon W3520. You have a higher base clock on the i7 860 and an even higher Turbo Boost at 95W.
 

TheStrudel

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2008
1,133
1
I'm sure you've heard this before, but holding out for the 2010 Mac Pro might enable you to get that speed at a much lower price - or at least buy a refurbished older model Mac Pro way cheaper.

That said, the i7 iMac can't equal a Mac Pro in terms of memory link speed, potential to install a much faster hard drive or SSD (I can't stress this enough, it's the number one bottleneck in the system), so that higher CPU speed might actually be irrelevant in the face of these and other listed factors.
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
That said, the i7 iMac can't equal a Mac Pro in terms of memory link speed, potential to install a much faster hard drive or SSD (I can't stress this enough, it's the number one bottleneck in the system), so that higher CPU speed might actually be irrelevant in the face of these and other listed factors.
With a MacPro you've got much more hard drive options, like eSATA RAIDS, internal RAIDS up to 20TB and of course the option to have internal SSD(s) plus internal hard drives.
Not to forget the option of more than one graphics card and the advantage of multithreaded apps in case of the two CPU MacPros.

Just because the iMac has a very fast CPU that is a little faster than the base Quad MacPro, both systems are not comparable at all. They address completely different user groups.
 

seisend

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2009
506
0
Switzerland
I think the fact power usage increases by 50W, temps rise to dodgy levels and that it looses 25% of the overall performance, would make people would notice...
Well, It's a point we could struggle about ;-) . After all, I did many testings on my Mac Pro as you see in the thread. I am happy with temps around 40-55 C° . And they stay constantly on these temps. But always, the lower - the better.
If you have to respond, please respond in the other thread =).
 

TheStrudel

macrumors 65816
Jan 5, 2008
1,133
1
That isn't a universal OS X problem. Doesn't happen to me and a lot of other people. It is agreed that the 09 Mac Pros have a lot of design flaws - like the throughput-limiting chipset - and waiting for an improvement is advisable.
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
I haven't heard this a lot since before Snow Leopard hit retail but does anyone have proof? We bet a lot on Apple magic just because they said so. The same thing happened when Leopard came out.
nope there are literally no indications of this! how the hell can we test it? :confused:

Also yes, the Core i7 860 is faster than the Core i7 920/Xeon W3520. You have a higher base clock on the i7 860 and an even higher Turbo Boost at 95W.
CPU is faster yes, but then RAM comes into it, QPI v DMI etc.
 

justit

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2007
640
1
i was in the same problem that you currently are in on whether to buy an 09 mac pro or to buy an i7 imac. i instead of buying either of these bought an 08 2.8 ghz octad with 10 gb of 800mhz ddr2 ram for 2500....
The 08 MPs were the last bastion of true no compromise expandability. I regret selling mine :( but love the fact that it appreciated in value thanks to 09 MP blunders :)

Simply put: iMacs are laptop components cobbled together with higher CPU clocks as a slick pro-sumer marketing gimmick..... That's not to say I wouldn't buy one :D

Once you've owned a MP you understand the chasm of differences between the two.