Why is everyone dismissing 8 core Mac Pro -is it bad value ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by hwill2008, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. hwill2008 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #1


    I am currently about to buy an 8 core Mac Pro 2.4 to run Logic and Pro tools

    But i can't seem to find anyone talking about this model ..most of the comparisons seem to be between the 6-12 models

    Is the 8 core model no good ? or really bad value ?
     
  2. NickCG macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #2
    The 6-core will out perform the 8 most of the time.

    A lot of software cannot make use of all the cores, so the 6-core's significantly higher clock speed's makes it the faster machine, most of the time (hell, even the 3.2 Quad will out perform the 8 in many situations for the same reason - a lot of software doesn't utalize more than 4 cores). So, thats why there is more talk about the 6, rather than the 8.


    The 8 core is better at processing in some situations, however. What other programs do you use? Or is your focus only on Logic and Pro tools?


    As for the 12 core, it has more cores and higher clock speed's than the 8. So, it blows it out the water - it just costs a lot more. ;)
     
  3. hwill2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #3
    I'll be mainly using Audio programs like

    Pro tools /Logic /Abelton and Reaper

    also Final Cut and CS5

    I am at a loss now at which computer to buy :(
     
  4. studiox macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    Location:
    Stockholm / Sweden
    #4
    I got the 2.4 8-core and its the best price/performance along all models.

    If your on an "unlimited budget" then hell, go for the 12-core.

    But one of the main reasons why I didn't go with the single 6-core box where the fact that you cant upgrade it to dual cpu.

    My two cpu where really cheapest, and when the processor prices goes down i might upgrade to a 2x6-core or a 2x8-core as my CPU board would support it as well as my PSU
     
  5. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    The problem is that most major software, even pro tools like logic still cant benefit from the multiple cores efficiently. Therefore the new 2.4 8 core will run single threaded applications at 2.4ghz. This is woeful by anyones standards, so the clock speed is still a considerable factor.

    Applications will eventually run 64 bit and multi cpu compatible and will run efficiently, but at the moment there not and by the time they are you will be ready for a new machine. Also apple seems to be screwing over the 8 core fans, 2009 - 2.26, 2010 - 2.4 yet 2008 was a 2.8.

    So basically your better off buying the quad 6 or 12, 6 because of its clock speed and for the future when aps are made multithreaded, quad if you feel you want to save money and buy a new machine later on and 12 if you just want to be completely future proof.

    Clock speed is more important than cores at the moment, seen as tho the base mac pro is a quad anyway and there are little mainstream programs that can take advantage of it. I have the 2008 2.8ghz and i have only stressed it to about 60% but the new 3.2 quad is nearly as fast as the 2008 8 core although it has 4 less cores because of hyper threading it is nearly faster.

    It is the same old story hardware is miles ahead of software, think of it like the Powermac G5 the first 64 bit workstation in 2004 it was amazing yet snow leopard is the first os that is fully 64 bit and does not support the g5 chips!

    To be honest the new mac pros didnt impress me a great deal, they are just a small upgrade and a late one, if you dont already have a mac pro yes go out and buy one, but if you have a 2008 or 2009 wait till the next gen, as it will be as big as moving from a pentium 4 to the core 2 duo. Big leap! and at the moment who knows, apple might not even support the 2010 pro in 3 years as word on the grapevine is that the 2006 mac pro wont be compatible with 10.7 which will be out in about a years time.

    The sweet spot is the 6 core, id go for that or the 3.2 quad. :apple:
     
  6. Atoulmin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    #6
    I bought the 8 core machine, more expandable down the future. I plan to put 2 x 3.33Ghz 6core cpu's in their in 2 years time. And I know most programs do not use more than 2+ cores but hey, everything I use does and with 8 cores running a little slower will keep up if not beat the 6 core when they are all used. And it's cheaper.

    Amd the money I save I bought a 120Gb SSD
     
  7. sochet macrumors regular

    sochet

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    #7

    Errrr you do know Logic can utilise all 8 cores efficiently right? And it is 64 bit.

    You're right about single threaded apps though, games run slightly slower on my '10 MP compared to my old '08, but Logic certainly is faster and the extra ram slots over the 4/6 core will be very useful for music.

    Edit: In fact the 6 core MP performs badly for Logic right now, it's a software issue (I don't think it's been written to handle the new processors, but they should be rectified with a software update)
     
  8. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    my bad, thought i read somwhere that people were waiting for the new logic as it doesnt run natively as 64 bit + you need to turn it on, and isnt very efficient with multiple cores. nm
     
  9. iondot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #9
    The 8 core isn't a bad value. It just just doesn't provide as good a value with the current software as the hexacore or quadcore models.
     
  10. craigcomposer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #10
    2.4 and Logic

    I got the 2.4 and put in 12 gb of ram for with the intention of upgrading it in a few years.
    Im able to do everything I want to do in Logic effortlessly, the computers been taking it really well. This includes using BFD2, Omnisphere, Trilian, and Vienna Special Edition. Logic spreads the tracks over the cores and I have yet to have an overload or the need to freeze tracks. Im sure as the project Im working on gets more complex Ill start to push it pretty hard, but so far so good.
     
  11. typecase macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #11
    The reason I ultimately went with the 8-core was because of the price and upgradability down the road. The hexacore was more considerably more expensive when the two machines were equivalent (6GB of RAM, 5870 Video) and I just didn't budget that much as the 8-core is already quite a pocketbook dinger :(. In the benchmarks, the higher clockspeed of the hexacore is enviable. But practically, I'm not sure it will make a night and day difference vs. the 8-core.

    Further, I run VMs and can assign 2 or more cores to the VM, which makes it fly. Even doing so, I still have 6 cores to run Mac OS X.

    Down the road, I may have the ability to upgrade the processors to higher clockspeed processors and I have more memory slots which makes memory upgrades cheaper in the short term.
     
  12. craigcomposer macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 28, 2010
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    6 core issues

    I should also add that Logic has poor support for the 6-core. Lots of users are reporting needing to shut down 2 of the cores.
     
  13. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #13
    I have the 8-Core. And I love it.

    It's not bad value at all. Just more of a niche model. I personally think it's naive to believe that software optimization isn't going to catch up to these machines soon enough. At least in a capacity to make good use of them before they're obsolete. For many of us, it already has ;)

    Everybody keeps harping on raw horsepower in single threaded contexts and how there's very little use for multi-core at the moment. Total b.s. in my opinion. :p

    Photoshop and MPG (whose opinions are heavily biased towards PS use) are constantly being used as a reference benchmark. That usage scenario isn't remotely universal. Once you step out of the narrow world of high res Photoshop work, you start to see many uses. Even the non-PS MPG benchmarks are demonstrating that.

    Apps like Logic and After Effects are already showing us the power of a "slow" 8-core. Lots of simultaneous processing, 3D renders, VMs... there's plenty of uses for multi-core now, and it's only going to get better. And the octo doesn't suffer from the same limited, expensive RAM/CPU upgrade path.

    That isn't to say the 6-core isn't a good piece of kit. IMHO, it's the best all-around choice. It's a great machine now and in the future. But it's not the be-all and end-all. It has its own flaws.

    As for the 3.2, I think it's more of a "dud" than the 8 will ever be. Sure you get a good clock speed. But you lose out on the extra cores the 6/8 has (not to mention the cache). And you also lose out on the memory capacity of the 8. The quads are the least future-proof (but again, still very capable machines).
     
  14. cjt3007 macrumors member

    cjt3007

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    Jul 6, 2008
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14

    Why would you need to manually shut them down? Wouldn't it just not use them?
     
  15. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    I have had my mac pro for 2 years, 2008 8 core, and software is only starting to catch up, look at powermac g5 the 64 bit workstation that never ran 64 bit, when osx finaly became 64 bit it didnt support the g5, and it looks like the 2006 version will be discontinued with 10.7. The 2010 8 core is niche, which is why people arnt impressed with it, if it were a 2.6, or 2.8 8 core it would be a good buy! even the 2008 was a 2.8! and tbh with nearly all but a few pro aps still run single threaded so for now GHZ is still winning over cores, well in this scenario, were not talking dual core anymore! And even if these programs become multi threaded and support multiple cores wel see how well they run. Most of the programs with muliti cpu support are really inefficient at using the power, because of bad programming.

    So in essence it is not stupid to feel that software isnt going to catch up quickly, hence why apple have gone back to quad cores and having to pay a huge premium for the extra cores. I hope they do catch up but im not holding my breath! and for 95% of users the 8 core isnt worth buying purely for its cpu speed.

    I wouldnt fancy spending £2800 on a computer with the thought of spending another £1000 on buying two 2.6 6 core cpu's because the sandy bridge architecture will wipe the floor with them. Yes you get the extra ram space, for cheaper modules but imo it isnt worth sacrificing the speed.

    TBH i want impressed with the 2010 upgrade there is nothing worth spending money on, the 2008 2.8 set me back £1500 discounted and the newer offerings compared to my configuration are not much faster, the 2010 is just a stop gap until the next iteration. I feel sorry for the new mac pro users being offered these configurations. just a gimic.
     
  16. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    http://barefeats.com/wst10.html

    That shows the 6-core beating out the 8-core, but only barely. If you need a lot of RAM, go for the 8, if you need more CPU power, go for the 6. It looks like the higher clock speed beats out the 8-core even though it has 2 extra cores/4 extra threads. You should also keep in mind the 6-core is $200 more expensive than the 8-core.
     
  17. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #17
    I got one of the 2.93 2009 refurbs. 150$ extra for a 22% processor speed increase. Seemed like a good deal to me...
     
  18. englishman macrumors 6502a

    englishman

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #18
    Its not just clock speed v cores if comparing across generations. Cache and memory bandwidth make the Nehalem 2.26 faster than higher clock speed earlier generations.
     
  19. eponym macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    #19
    That was a good buy. It's too bad they're hit and miss to find. :(

    I probably would've gotten one of those if the logistics (company machine) had been easier.
     
  20. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    The one I bought was up for 20 minutes, and the one that was put up a week beforehand that I missed was up for 15 minutes. (According to refurb.me)


    So yeah, they're not easy to find.
     
  21. hwill2008 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #21
    Am now more confused ... :(

    Worried that if i purchase the 8core i am losing out ... I cant really stretch to the 12 core and i am slighlty worried about not having enough cores for Logic and Pro Tools when they do get everything going ..

    Has anyone actually got some realworld test for Pro Tools ie VI usage and plugins as well as logic

    Also in some of these posts people mention VM ( i don't know what this is ?



    Thanks for all the help ..just wanna make the best informed decision
     
  22. Ravich macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Currently logic runs faster on a 4 core than it will on a 6 core. This is a mistake and will likely be fixed whenever Apple gets around to updating logic.

    More importantly, logic doesnt support more than 8 cores, meaning that at the current point in time, a 2.8 quad will probably outperform a 2.4 8 core in logic. This will be addressed whenever Apple feels like it. We could be waiting an entire year for this sort of thing. Who knows.


    The 6 vs 8 core issue is a matter how many many cores your apps can utilize, or whether those apps do tasks that relegates certain loads to a single core (ie a bunch of plugins on a single track in logic cant utilize more than a single core.)
     
  23. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #23
    Been watching refurbme and those bad-boys only last about 1 hour. :eek:

    Congrats on the "new" machine! :cool:
     
  24. typecase macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #24
    Check out http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-LogicStudio.html

    For results on 6 vs 8 core on Logic (Hint: The 8 Core handles more tracks)

    VM = Virtual Machine. Running another OS in a virtualized environment with Virtual Box, VMWare or Parallels.

    Hope this helps.
     
  25. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #25
    A lot of people are recommending the 8-core purely for the memory. We know the hexacore can accept 8GB modules, and adding 24GB (3x8GB) on the hexacore costs about the same as buying 24GB (6x4GB) for the 8-core. The Hexacore clock speed will easily wipe the floor with the base 8-core on any single or double threaded apps . . . I see no point in getting the base 8-core when to me the hexacore is a much better route.

    So, if you need memory, the hexacore with 24GB is about $300 more than the base 8-core with 24GB. If you need more than 24GB then you are a rare breed. In the long run, the hexacore will be much faster at 95% of the apps you will use.
     

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