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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > mac pro update in january?

mac pro update in january?
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mr. burns
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Nov 28, 2006, 03:07 AM
 
hi, i plan on ordering a mac pro in december or january but wanted to check if there were rumours of any kind of revisions being made to the mac pro for mac world or anything. wouldn't want to order one and have rev B come out a couple weeks later.

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booboo
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Nov 28, 2006, 09:33 AM
 
Well I'm too in the positio of being about to order a Mac Pro.

I'd like to know if there are any - specifically audio- or noise-related - issues with these Rev A's. I'm not aware of anything thus far so was feeling quite confident in buying one.

It's hard to see how a rev B could improve on the existing models apart from a speed-bump?
     
dankar
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Nov 28, 2006, 09:47 AM
 
Me too, told my dealer to hold till early next year, I have waited for 2 months what is another month more.

Rev B might come with Quad Processors X 2, blue ray and OS 10.5.
( Last edited by dankar; Nov 28, 2006 at 06:25 PM. )
     
lookmark
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Nov 28, 2006, 12:10 PM
 
Honestly, if you're going wait, you're most likely going to be waiting until early spring for a significant update.

If you can hold out, hold out. Otherwise, now is as good a time for a Mac Pro as any. They're fast, solid machines, with lots of room to expand.
     
Xyrrus
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Nov 28, 2006, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by dankar View Post
Me too, told me dealer to hold till early next year, I have waited for 2 months what is another month more.

Rev B might come with Quad Processors X 2, blue ray and OS 10.5.
I seriously doubt you're going to see an BR drive at a "reasonable" price point, given how expensive stand alone drives currently are. The 8 core thing is tempting, but its not clear how exactly it'll play out. At each price point, the 4 core chips run slower than ther 2 core counterparts so their could be a tradeoff there depending on if you need more clock speed or more cores. And Leopard will probably only be $100 or so. I wouldn't be surprised to see the base config bumped up to 2GB, though - and that's a $2-300 savings right there. If we're lucky an nvidia 8800 will replace the X1900 as the BTO graphics option, but again at a premiumn

So as with all things, it depends on if you have an immediate need or not and how much you want to spend. A lot of people who buy rev/b machines do so to make sure all the kinks have been ironed out, but it seems like the Mac Pros have been pretty trouble free.

-Xy
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mr. burns  (op)
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Nov 28, 2006, 03:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by lookmark View Post
Honestly, if you're going wait, you're most likely going to be waiting until early spring for a significant update.

If you can hold out, hold out. Otherwise, now is as good a time for a Mac Pro as any. They're fast, solid machines, with lots of room to expand.
hmmm... yeah, i can't wait 'til spring. this gigabit dual 500MHz G4 has to go lol.

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paulc
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Nov 28, 2006, 06:04 PM
 
OK, the MacPro was introduced in August, but wasn't it late September, early October before it shipped? I seriously doubt we'd see any bump until maybe next summer WWDC. Then again, they have not been following the "hardware at a major event" thing for quite a while now.

Can't see them doing an 8 core machine, it's only useful in very narrow circumstances and only in a real production machine. As in one churning out stuff 8-16 hours per day.

That being said, I'd advice waiting on 2 events. Shipping a Universal Photoshop (and then only if you use it a LOT, it's pointless for the person who may use it for 10 minutes every other week) AND arriving with 10.5 installed. And both those events may very well happen before any new introduction of hardware.

Another view is that the price differential from 2.66G to 3.0G is far, far more than any speed increases. My guess would be that 3.0 may become to "standard" system at the 2500 dollar price point.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression is that there seem to be less hardware issues than most major shifts over the past 5-10 years. THAT I find a bit surprising!
     
dankar
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Nov 28, 2006, 06:29 PM
 
I am trying to avoid the same problem that I had with my Macbook 2ghz (CD), two months later after my purchase, the CD2 came out at almost the same price. 64bits and dual layer DVD are just too good to pass up....
     
brokenjago
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Nov 28, 2006, 06:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by paulc
OK, the MacPro was introduced in August, but wasn't it late September, early October before it shipped? I seriously doubt we'd see any bump until maybe next summer WWDC. Then again, they have not been following the "hardware at a major event" thing for quite a while now.
The Mac Pro shipped the same day it was announced.

If you wanted Airport or an X1900XT card, however, that's another story.
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Xyrrus
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Nov 28, 2006, 08:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by dankar View Post
I am trying to avoid the same problem that I had with my Macbook 2ghz (CD), two months later after my purchase, the CD2 came out at almost the same price. 64bits and dual layer DVD are just too good to pass up....
One of the great things about the intel switch is their roadmap is much more open than IBM's was. We basically know what intel is going to be releasing over the next 12 months, and the name of the game is more cores. If you do work that threads well and is CPU bound, then waiting for 8 core machines is a good idea. Otherwise, I just don't see any huge changes coming down the pipe.

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dankar
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Nov 28, 2006, 08:44 PM
 
I am holding out for the 8 cores, I am expecting the price to be slightly more than the current 4 cores. The huge advantage of 8 cores outweights the waiting period and price differences, as that makes my purchase more future-proof. Don't see any 16 cores in Apple pipeline.
     
garyton
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Nov 28, 2006, 11:03 PM
 
I am in the same boat as you guys.
I have been reading and waiting to order my wife a new Mac Pro. She keeps stalling to order for various reasons and now with the new 8 core machines coming out I figure in Jan or Feb I plan to wait and hopefully the graphics card will be better and maybe ram deals. My wife now wants it around April, so that works out good I figure. The 8 cores will be shipping with a goo graphics card and be available and have Leopard.
Gary
     
confuzedwizard
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Nov 29, 2006, 08:59 AM
 
I think Apple will ship a Quad Dual Core (8) machine in January. Intel announced that they have that processor ready to ship, so it doesn't hurt apple to include it in their top top top of the line machine.

I wouldn't purchase a new machine, however, until BluRay or HD-DVD is supported and has a BTO option.

That's the driving factor for me.
     
lookmark
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Nov 29, 2006, 03:19 PM
 
Quad-core is nothing to get excited about, folks. It'll have a minimal effect on the vast majority of non-server tasks.
     
TiDual
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Nov 29, 2006, 03:29 PM
 
Two points:

Current machines are superb. Mine is often running at 300-400% CPU (i.e. approaching full saturation of all 4 cores) for sustained periods (running computer intensive simulations), and even then doesn't make a sound. The only real noise comes from the 4x500GB baracudas :-)

However, I also think there is a real chance 8 cores will appear soon, possible announced at Macworld. I won't buy any more machine until 8 core machines show up. But if you need something now, the current machines are fantastic.
     
TiDual
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Nov 29, 2006, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by lookmark View Post
Quad-core is nothing to get excited about, folks. It'll have a minimal effect on the vast majority of non-server tasks.
I don't want to be rude, but that's a pretty naive statement. I would agree that not everone will fully utilize or benefit from 8 cores, but there are many pros and scientists for whom such an increase in capacity is a tremendous boon. For me it means I can run 6-7 simulations (simultaneously) instead of 3, on one machine. The high-end Mac Pros are aimed at people who can use, and even need, that power. And there are lots of us out there.
     
confuzedwizard
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Nov 29, 2006, 10:20 PM
 
If 8 cores didn't do much more than 4 cores...why would they make these things.

what till u see apple's benchmark results using 8 instead of 4.....it's gonna be HUGE.
     
Bigfoot
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Nov 29, 2006, 11:10 PM
 
(Rumor) has it any time after mid-November. I guess that means any day now.

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=2176

Could it be the reason Adobe is taking so long is because they were waiting to optimize PS only once... for eight cores?

I'm on the fence for a mac pro too. Can't really justify the move until Adobe ships Creative Suite... or Apple ships an eight core mac pro.
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MacHeadChef
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Nov 29, 2006, 11:46 PM
 
If Apple release the 8 cores Mac Pro, I don't think it will be cheap. The 8 cores speed demon will be for Professional who really need the speed. But for most people they can do without the 8 cores Mac Pro. (The Xeon X5355 runs at speeds of 2.66GHz per core and will retail in lots of 1000 for $1172 each)
     
Simon
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Nov 30, 2006, 03:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by TiDual View Post
I don't want to be rude, but that's a pretty naive statement. I would agree that not everone will fully utilize or benefit from 8 cores, but there are many pros and scientists for whom such an increase in capacity is a tremendous boon. For me it means I can run 6-7 simulations (simultaneously) instead of 3, on one machine. The high-end Mac Pros are aimed at people who can use, and even need, that power. And there are lots of us out there.
I couldn't have it said it better.
     
Madrag
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Nov 30, 2006, 11:44 AM
 
I'm waiting for Photoshop to become Universal, after that, if Leopard and 8 cores are arround, then, goodie!
     
Xyrrus
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Nov 30, 2006, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by confuzedwizard View Post
If 8 cores didn't do much more than 4 cores...why would they make these things.

what till u see apple's benchmark results using 8 instead of 4.....it's gonna be HUGE.
Its not that they're useless, its that more cores only benefit certain types of computing tasks. Furthermore, at each price point, the 4 core chips will run slower than the 2 core chips. For people on a budget, the choice will be between say, a 2.0 Ghz 8 core box or a 2.66 Ghz 4 core box. There are plenty of tasks that don't break down across that many cores well, where you'd want the raw clock speed instead. There are also lots of situations where the 8 core box will make a huge difference. There are also lots of times when both cores will be limited by how fast your hard drive can read data. Lifetime of the machine comes into play, also. For instance, right now games don't scale across processors well. But moving forward, games are more and more likely to be well threadded now that intel and AMD have made it clear that "more cores" is where engineering is headed. If you're keeping a machine for 2 years, things probably aren't going to change *that* much. That might not be true if you keep the machine for 4 years.

Anyways, the point is that sometimes people make posts asking if they should wait for 8 core machines without really considering what their computing requirements are going to be. So saying "8 cores are worthless except for server tasks" or "apple's 4 vs 8 benchmarks are going to show a huge difference" aren't naive comments so much as they just explore only one set of requirements.

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MacHeadChef
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Dec 1, 2006, 01:42 AM
 
Buy a computer now then a new one will be release a couple of months from now. If the question is should I wait? Then you'll always be waiting for the next great thing that's coming out.
     
DrBoar
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Dec 1, 2006, 05:44 AM
 
At least it does not appear to be a generation shift coming but rather more of the same instead. There is no new CPU generation or slot coming just now. Perhaps later there will be graphical cards with HDMI instead of DVI and CPU/Motherboard that enable the Quadcore to have more busses. I also expect Apple to get Memory modules with lower latencies than the current ones.


All good solid upgrades but how much the user benefit really depends on the application used and especiallay with the octacore stuff how well the app and OS support and use that many cores
     
mac128k-1984
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Dec 1, 2006, 08:10 AM
 
It will be interesting see how Apple handles this situation. I'm in agreement that the vast majority do not 8 cores but there is a niche market. I wonder if this will be more suited for xserve then the MacPro.
Michael
     
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Dec 1, 2006, 04:43 PM
 
I too am waiting, on the following things:

1. Leopard installed (or upgradable for free)
2. Universal version of Adobe CS
3. iLife 07 (again, don't want to pay for upgrade)
4. one of the next-gen DVD drives installed (probably want BluRay to go w/ PS3)
5. ideally universal version of Office, but I could deal w/ 2004 for now
6. screen quality issues seem to be resolved

In general I'd feel better with Rev B, as I got totally screwed with Rev A on the AlBook (I didn't have the option to delay my purchase at that time, but now that I can afford to wait, I am).
     
cgc
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Dec 2, 2006, 05:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by dankar View Post
I am holding out for the 8 cores, I am expecting the price to be slightly more than the current 4 cores. The huge advantage of 8 cores outweights the waiting period and price differences, as that makes my purchase more future-proof. Don't see any 16 cores in Apple pipeline.
I read an article where some reviewing place (a magazine I believe) replaced the dual core XEONs in a MacPro with the quad core chips. There was a slight i ncrease in overall speed. Optimized apps did see a good increase but those apps are few and far between (examples are CineBench and Handbrake). I have a quad core MacPro and feel no regrets although eight cores will probably include a faster subsystem (e.g. system bus, video card, etc.) which will make it faster than mine.
     
Gossamer
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Dec 2, 2006, 06:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by confuzedwizard View Post
If 8 cores didn't do much more than 4 cores...why would they make these things.

what till u see apple's benchmark results using 8 instead of 4.....it's gonna be HUGE.
Of course it will be huge, Apple's well known for exaggerating their benchmarks.

Originally Posted by Xyrrus View Post
Its not that they're useless, its that more cores only benefit certain types of computing tasks. Furthermore, at each price point, the 4 core chips will run slower than the 2 core chips. For people on a budget, the choice will be between say, a 2.0 Ghz 8 core box or a 2.66 Ghz 4 core box. There are plenty of tasks that don't break down across that many cores well, where you'd want the raw clock speed instead. There are also lots of situations where the 8 core box will make a huge difference. There are also lots of times when both cores will be limited by how fast your hard drive can read data.
Exactly. Things like hard drives and front side bus speeds hurt performace. Eight cores is not twice as fast as four at an equivilant clock speed.

Originally Posted by confusedwizard
I think Apple will ship a Quad Dual Core (8) machine in January. Intel announced that they have that processor ready to ship, so it doesn't hurt apple to include it in their top top top of the line machine.
It will be a dual quad core, not a quad dual core.
     
mduell
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Dec 3, 2006, 12:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
I read an article where some reviewing place (a magazine I believe) replaced the dual core XEONs in a MacPro with the quad core chips. There was a slight i ncrease in overall speed. Optimized apps did see a good increase but those apps are few and far between (examples are CineBench and Handbrake). I have a quad core MacPro and feel no regrets although eight cores will probably include a faster subsystem (e.g. system bus, video card, etc.) which will make it faster than mine.
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pyrite
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Dec 4, 2006, 12:04 AM
 
it may not even be close to twice as fast as 4 cores, but come on people.. an 8 core mac pro?? i'm gonna wait! purely on principle i'd wait, but imagine how many simultaneous plugins you could run in pro tools (assuming pro tools can distribute across 8 cores, i dont know). thats reason enough for me
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P
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Dec 4, 2006, 06:45 AM
 
The next Mac Pro update is likely to be a silent one - just new CPU options and a price drop, and it can come at any time. The Mac Pro motherboard is the only one not due for an update. By all means, wait for Macworld if you feel like it, it's as likely a time as any, but don't be pissed if you buy something the day after Macworld and it's updated a week later.
     
cgc
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Dec 4, 2006, 06:49 PM
 
I was playing around on my work laptop (Windows Core2 Duo) and noticed the "CPU affinity" can be set in the Task Manager (hit ctrl-alt-delete, then T) so that a particular application runs on a particular CPU or group of CPUs. I know this has been brought up in other threads, but this would be pretty cool. Maybe not useful to all, but it'd be nice to assign a CPU for iTunes then use the other 3 (or 7) for gaming or whatever.
     
Scotttheking
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Dec 4, 2006, 06:59 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
I was playing around on my work laptop (Windows Core2 Duo) and noticed the "CPU affinity" can be set in the Task Manager (hit ctrl-alt-delete, then T) so that a particular application runs on a particular CPU or group of CPUs. I know this has been brought up in other threads, but this would be pretty cool. Maybe not useful to all, but it'd be nice to assign a CPU for iTunes then use the other 3 (or 7) for gaming or whatever.
All modern operating systems automatically shift apps around to optimize use. Windows has that option so that you could, say, force a bunch of intensive apps to one core and allowing a single app to use the other core. There is little use for it, but the option is there for those who can use it. The OS scheduler will already do what you described above.
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Simon
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Dec 5, 2006, 04:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Scotttheking View Post
All modern operating systems automatically shift apps around to optimize use. Windows has that option so that you could, say, force a bunch of intensive apps to one core and allowing a single app to use the other core. There is little use for it, but the option is there for those who can use it. The OS scheduler will already do what you described above.
100% correct. And cgc, if you still feel like distributing processing priority yourself rather than letting the OS do it, you should take a look at the "nice" command. Type "man nice" in a shell and see for yourself.
     
dankar
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Dec 5, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
Decided not to wait, so I placed my order with a local distributor for a 3gHz, 4 GB (1GB X 4), 750GB HD x 2, XT1900, 23" screens x 2 and all the other bells and whistles. Set should be coming in around 28th December, due to the new airport components and Christmas holidays.

If the 8 processors comes in around January, I will shoot myself in the foot...
     
mduell
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Dec 6, 2006, 08:09 PM
 
Yow, nearly a month away.

I think Apple will go 8-way with the Mac Pro in January... the chip prices are the same as the duals except one frequency step lower.
     
Simon
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Dec 7, 2006, 04:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
the chip prices are the same as the duals except one frequency step lower.
Bullshit. The prices are down two clock steps.

$851 will buy you either a 3.0 GHz Woodcrest or a 2.33 GHz Clovertown.
$690 will buy you either a 2.66 GHz Woodcrest or a 1.86 GHz Clovertown running a lower clocked FSB.
$455 will buy you either a 2.33 GHz Woodcrest or a 1.60 GHz Clovertown running a lower clocked FSB.

I'd expect to see some variety here. Depending on the kind of use people might gain more from having fewer cores at higher clock than having more core running at lower clock. It would be wise of Apple to cater to both crowds. If Apple where however to introduce Clovertown systems running at the same speeds as the previous Woodcrests (bar the 3.0GHz models because no such Clovertown exists), they'd actually increase the system cost by roughly another $200 which is precisely the opposite of what they should be doing seeing that there is quite a price gap between the MP and the iMac already.

I do see the possibility for a more flexible line-up with Clovertown. Apple could introduce Clovertown MPs (2.33 GHz and 2.66 GHz) as the new general-puprose MP systems but keep the 3.0 GHz Woodcrest systems available for those that mainly need high clock speed rather than additional cores and at the same time keep the 2.0GHz Woodcrest or even a single CPU Conroe system as a lower cost desktop system for those that need expandability, but not the raw performance of the other MP systems.

So, the MP line up could look something like this:
$1799 - dual core system 2.66 GHz Conroe
$1999-$2999 - quad core systems (2.0 GHz and 3.0 GHz Woodcrests)
$2999-$3999 - 8 core systems (2.33 GHz and 2.66 GHz Clovertowns)
( Last edited by Simon; Dec 8, 2006 at 04:20 AM. Reason: spelling)
     
mr. burns  (op)
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Dec 7, 2006, 05:16 AM
 
didn't think this thread would be this popular. was nice reading everyone's opinions and insight. considering the machine i have right now, any mac pro would be a huge upgrade so i'm going to order it pretty soon. probably after christmas. 2x 2.6Ghz, radeon x1900XT, 2 gigs of ram for starters. i'm a photographer so that's what i'll primarily be using it for. having 8 cores wouldn't be too ground breaking, unless i was applying some crazy complex filter, which isn't too common, so i won't be waiting.

so excited. this current machine has certainly been a workhorse, and with a lot of ram and a third party 7200rpm HD, it performs pretty well for it's age. but the mac pro is going to blow my mind.

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mduell
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Dec 7, 2006, 09:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
So, the MP line up could look something like this:
$1799 - single core system 2.66 GHz Conroe
That's about $800 too high for a Conroe system if they want to be competitive in the market (and before you say Apple doesn't care because you can't get OSX elsewhere, consider that they make the comparison to another OEM at most pro desktop launches). At the $1800 level you're looking at 2.66Ghz C2D/4GB/500GB/GF7900/etc from competition.
     
lookmark
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Dec 7, 2006, 10:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by TiDual View Post
I don't want to be rude, but that's a pretty naive statement. I would agree that not everone will fully utilize or benefit from 8 cores, but there are many pros and scientists for whom such an increase in capacity is a tremendous boon. For me it means I can run 6-7 simulations (simultaneously) instead of 3, on one machine. The high-end Mac Pros are aimed at people who can use, and even need, that power. And there are lots of us out there.
Originally Posted by Xyrrus
Anyways, the point is that sometimes people make posts asking if they should wait for 8 core machines without really considering what their computing requirements are going to be. So saying "8 cores are worthless except for server tasks" or "apple's 4 vs 8 benchmarks are going to show a huge difference" aren't naive comments so much as they just explore only one set of requirements.
That's what I was getting at, thanks. Apologies if I oversimplified. I'm sure 8 cores are great for people for who have concurrent tasks that can be spread over many cores (e.g. servers & scientific and other multicore-savvy high-performance tasks), but they're far from ideal for people who need dedicated raw speed devoted to a focused task at hand, e.g. Photoshop wizards and many other creative pros. In fact that lower-clocked 8-core machine could well be less fast. Just keep in mind what you need that Mac Pro for.
     
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Dec 8, 2006, 04:32 AM
 
Hey Everyone, just jogged through this thread. It might be somewhat relieving to a few to note that all Intel Xeon series CPUs are all being built upon the same socket and compatible voltage for this platform. Hence the reason new HP, Dell, and IBM servers could come with Woodcrest (Intel 5100 Series) Dual-Core or Clovertown (5300 Series) Quad-Core CPUs. The good news is the same 5000 Series Intel Chipset is used by both systems for both CPU types. So, there is possibility to drop upgrade your current MacPro down the road to the latest Quad-Core CPUs if you needed that horsepower. Also remember the cycle times for the Quads will naturally be a bit slower; remember it isn't about GHz anymore but bit path throughput on the bus and all the peripheral controllers and I/O playing nicely.

Lastly, even for the CS2, FCP 5.1-HD, Pro Tools kind of crowd the current Xeon Dual-Core 5100 CPUs is blazing fast! Truly the best upgrade you could do is just buy 4-8GB RAM and populate 4 sockets to get the full benefit of the CPUs and the 256-bit memory pathway. That will make your apps screem, not the CPU cores. If you are doing rendering or 3D object Mathmatica or ProE CAD then the Octo's will be able to break down the flop cycles faster for live rendering - that is the way these apps are written. But the way Photoshop filters and such are written today you would not see that much of a speed bump. Anticipated with's Adobes forthcoming CreativeSuite 3 we'll start to see more benefit from the Universal Code written for Xeon instead of the Altivec Code in G5's. If you haven't done so, do check out the Intel site docs for public domain (http://www.intel.com/business/xeon/index.htm). They will help explain a lot and will demystify what you think is uber secret with the Quad-core which is now in production for the PC Server market.

Cheers,

[email protected]
     
Mattical69
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Dec 8, 2006, 04:37 AM
 
Forgot to add... if you are thinking about using VMware or virtualization on your Mac (very cool stuff) the extra cores might be a viable rationale to wait. But do remember the real key is matching memory for the CPU uses. 2GB RAM on an Octo (Dual Quad-Core) host would not do it justice in a 64-bit environment like Leopard.
     
   
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