Which Processor is Better?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SiskoKid, Aug 12, 2010.

  1. SiskoKid macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    Hey, guys!

    I'm definitely no computer expert, but with all these Mac Pros with all these cores, I'm not sure how to read their configurations.

    The single quad core is 2.8 GHz. But if you get an 8 core, you get 2.4GHz. And then there's the six core which is 3.33 GHz!!

    Which of those is faster and why? I'm trying to figure out the best bang for my buck, but I don't want to spend $1000 more for more cores if it's actually a slower processor.

    As I said I'm no expert, so any help on how to read this would be great. Thanks :D
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    I think the 8 core is a smoking machine for the price right now, especially since it gives you an extra 4 DIMM slots (or 3 if you are doing 3x channel).

    Get a slightly faster machine with the current SW and such with the 6 core, but if you plan on keeping it around awhile -- you'd likely welcome the extra memory space over the long haul.

    As with most stuff, the more cores at slower speed will come into play as more apps become Snow Leopard aware (aka, those apps in Cocoa that require 10.6+).

    Right now we still have a lot of 10.3/10.4 apps out there and some still in carbon which tend to work better with higher MHz.

    But as with most things Apple, more cores/CPU at lower MHz tend to become the speed champs near their EOL (aka in 3-5 years).
  3. ADent macrumors 6502a

    Sep 9, 2007
    What are you doing with it?

    If you are doing tasks that use multiple cores (video conversion) or multiple single cores tasks at the same time - the more cores the merrier.

    If you are just doing single core stuff (like some games) then generally the fastest core you can get is what you want.
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    A simple comparison:

    2.8GHz x 4 = 11.2GHz
    3.33GHz x 6 = 19.98GHz
    2.4GHz x 8 = 19.2GHz

    The real world difference depends on your usage though. 8-core is slow in single- and fixed-threaded (limited amount of cores can be used) performance. The 6-core is the king because it's the fastest in fixed-threaded performance due its clock speed and even though it has two cores less than 8-core, it's still faster in multi-threaded because of its high clock speed.

    It's all about your usage. If the apps you use won't benefit from the extra cores, then quad core should be just fine. As said above, the 8-core has 4 extra RAM slots and the CPUs can be upgraded to faster quads or even six cores making it a 12-core (not 100% sure yet though) so it might be more "future-proof"
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    ^^^ What he said.

    I wish we could collect some of the posts together into a sticky... I'm getting weary of reposting the same stuff in thread after thread. :(
  6. SiskoKid thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 12, 2008
    I use my machine for video and photo editing as well as gaming. So I'd be hitting all the points mentioned above.

    From what it sounds like, the 6 core is the way to go. Thanks, everyone :D

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