Will OS X start having fine grained, multithreaded Applications with Leopard soon?


macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Now that Leopard is out I am curious if we will start to see fine grained, multithreaded applications coming to market that will take advantage of 8 or more cores?

I can only assume that CPUs are going to keep gaining more cores and I'm exited about the future, but I'm in a quandry. I started a thread about 2 weeks ago questioning which computer to buy. I've reached a settlement with my employer's workers comp insurance carrier and I can finally afford a Mac Pro.

All I'm really interested in that requires CPU power is video encoding. My current Mac mini (G4) takes 6 hours to encode 1.5 hours of video to h.264. I was advised to just get another mini beacuse because in 3 years the new mini's will out perform todays Mac Pros. Kinda makes sense as my mini is almost better than a 2001 Power Mac.

That all changes though if over the next year applications start to really take advantage of a 3 GHz, 8 core Mac Pro. A future 2 or 4 core mini surely will not out perform today's 8 core Mac Pro if applications get better threading, right?

I'm sorry as I have rambled on and on, please forgive me. I know MacRumors has a vibrant, technically skilled member base and I hope someone will help me.

Should I spend the money for an 8 core Mac Pro (or whatever MacWorld '08 brings) and bank on multithreaded apps (like VisualHub) or should I just get a Mac mini and replace it every 2 or 3 years with another low-end Mac?

Thanks :)


macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
The Land of Hope and Glory
Well buying a Mini now seems like a bad idea. It is slow NOW when compared to the Mac Pros. When the new Mac Pros are released I would expect it to get trashed in the speed stakes. If you are looking for fast video encoding the Mac Pro really is a great (expensive) option.

Saying that, the Mini is probably the sensible choice, but who wants to be sensible all the time? :)


macrumors 68020
Nov 3, 2007
if you get a MP I'd wait until after macworld. With Apple switching to intel so rapidly the PPC will be extinct soon. I wouldn't be surprised to to see a intel mac pro in the nearer future (within a year or so)


macrumors member
Nov 5, 2007
Yeah, I was a little confused for a second. I'd still wait for Macworld, just in case they do release a new Mac Pro. I mean, all the features of the current Mac Pro are insane, but you might be able to get better features if you wait. As for me, I can just dream. Sigh.


macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
The Land of Hope and Glory
Thanks for the replys, I was kinda hoping someone had some ideas about how long until more multithreading apps will be on the way to really take advantage of 8 cores.

I know that VisualHub is already multithreaded, what about HandBrake?
Most applications that would benefit from being multithreaded already are.


macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
Unless you're going into pro video editing, I'd just get an iMac. It's much cheeper, and will probably do everything you want/need it to do without a big speed hit.


Moderator emeritus
Jul 24, 2002
Apple have added an API to Cocoa in Leopard that makes multi-threading much easier, and it will automatically use more core if possible. A lot of current multi-threaded apps make assumptions about the number of cores and do things like create 2 threads even on an 8-core machine. I imagine that we may see a lot more apps using a lot more threads due to the availability of [urlhttp://developer.apple.com/documentation/Cocoa/Conceptual/Multithreading/articles/Operations.html]NSOperation[/url] and the ease this brings.

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