PDA

View Full Version : New Mac Pros released



dsol
03-03-2009, 07:24 AM
http://www.apple.com/macpro

Is it me or are they distinctly unimpressive, spec-wise? I guess Intel's not cutting Apple any special deals on pricing for the new Nehelem Xeons. I guess they're milking the bleeding-edge tech.

I might wait for a die shrink next year. Or a price drop later this year anyway. Anybody else tempted and going to jump onboard with them? (G5 owners?)

littlewaves
03-03-2009, 07:36 AM
I've been waiting for this update for a while now. My imac 24" 2.16 core 2 duo is coming up to 3 years old and I was hoping to get serious with a mac pro but was holding off for an update.

Unfortunately thanks to the UK's terrible economy the price for an 8 core mac pro is now £700 more than it was yesterday! There's certainly no way I'm going to pay 1899 for a quad core machine. (PC users would never let me hear the end of it!)

I realise they're saying that the nehalem processors are much fast for their clock speed but that much faster?

I can't see apple selling many of these in the UK.

Anyway this is just my own take on it and I'm no expert. I'll be interested in what other people round here think of the updates

dsol
03-03-2009, 07:51 AM
Yeah, I want to upgrade from my octo-core 2.8Ghz pro, but the new ones are horribly expensive and not enough of a speed boost (looking at their own performance figures) to justify it.

If you haven't got a mac pro already, it might be worth having a look on their refurb store to see if they've got any of the old mac pros for a good price.

The problem seems to be that they're using a completely new architecture. All the previous mac pros were based on the core architecture which was already well established by the time the first mac pro came out.

Also - sucks to have such a bad exchange rate. That definitely doesn't help!

littlewaves
03-03-2009, 08:06 AM
cancomuk.com has this system for 1690.25 inc vat

Apple Mac Pro Two 2.8GHz Intel Quad Core Xeon
2GB / 320GB SATA / SuperDrive / ATI Radeon 2600 XT 256MB
Twin 2.8GHz Intel Quad Core Xeon, 2GB, 320GB SATA 7200rpm, ATI Radeon 2600 XT 256MB

They seem to have pretty much every variant of the Mac pro ever available so I'm thinking of keeping an eye on them and then maybe upgrading the Ram and Graphics myself.

dsol
03-03-2009, 08:32 AM
Yeah, see that's a really good deal. Very similar to my current setup (which is hellafast) and costs less than the new single quadcore MacPro. It'll be quite a bit faster too. Graphics card is a bit crap, but then again on OSX the graphics card doesn't seem to make THAT much difference IMHO.

Edit: And yes, it is much cheaper to buy your ram from 3rd Parties. Be careful about who you buy it from though - it uses custom modules with heatsinks. I always recommend Crucial.com for MP ram personally.

littlewaves
03-03-2009, 08:40 AM
thanks for the memory tip.

I expect cancom will update their site sometime soon once they start offering the new ones. Maybe then they'll be more deals on older stuff although like you say this offer seems pretty good anyway

Thing with the graphics card is I think Chilton said that LWcore would take advantage of faster GPUs so maybe it'll now start to make more of a difference if you've got a good card

4dartist
03-03-2009, 08:50 AM
On the performance site, it shows them only being 1.3x faster than previous gen 8cores for applications like modo or lightwave. Not really enough for us to upgrade either. If they release 16 cores, they will have quite a few orders from us. :) Oh and hyperthreading doesn't count in my book.

Lightwolf
03-03-2009, 09:48 AM
Oh and hyperthreading doesn't count in my book.
Yup, it only gives you 20% of performance or so (on the i7). 1.3x really isn't a lot, especially compared to some single CPU i7 benchmarks I've seen for PCs.

Cheers,
Mike

Chilton
03-03-2009, 10:59 AM
This isn't the most exciting announcement I've seen in awhile.

On the other hand, it looks like the Mac Mini finally got a decent card. My MacBook Pro has that 9400M in it, and it's not half bad.

-Chilton

biliousfrog
03-03-2009, 11:51 AM
I thought that the specs were great for the price...I'm actually considering getting one to stick windows on!

I know you Apple guys are a little behind with modern tech ;) ...but seriously, the I7 consumer chips are blazingly fast, I'm sure the Xeon's will be stellar. As an example, I've got a BOXX with 2 x 1.86ghz quad Xeons and some Q6600 (2.4ghz quad) render nodes. I just had an I7 920 (2.26ghz quad) based node built and did some tests with the 3d speedmachine benchmark scene...it was almost 100% faster than the Q6600's and about 10-15% faster than the BOXX.

Now consider that the Xeons are going to be faster than the consumer chips, you can get a 4 core workstation that's going to wipe the floor with most current 8 core's for a fraction of the cost...the 8 core Mac's are going to be really, really fast.

The speed difference between chips is marginal so there's no point in considering a CPU upgrade unless you have money to burn. I'd go for the base model and add memory from somewhere else (if needed). The only thing that bothers me is the graphics cards because they're all atrocious, they're going to be a nightmare for 3d work.

Sande
03-03-2009, 12:16 PM
If the HD4870 upgrade won't come available for my '07 MacPro my Apple user days are over. I've just about had it with Apple's graphics card upgrade policy. Nightmare, indeed.

JonW
03-03-2009, 01:37 PM
I would like to get a new Mac, but at AU$4499 for 4 cores or AU$5899 for 8 cores for the base units let alone the up grades, I will be sticking with my old Mac for other work & PCs for Lightwave.

One can have built a 920 with 12gb ram for less that AU$2k, & that's with an appalling exchange rate, less than 2/3 US$. Also Mac’s 4 core appears to take a maximum of 8 gb ram, not enough these days.

JeffrySG
03-03-2009, 02:17 PM
I'm still pretty happy with my quad-core MP. These new MPs don't look ground breaking but if I was in the market for a new mac they seem pretty good. It's nice to see that they updated the mac mini too.

mlinde
03-03-2009, 03:31 PM
If the HD4870 upgrade won't come available for my '07 MacPro my Apple user days are over. I've just about had it with Apple's graphics card upgrade policy. Nightmare, indeed.

This one bugs me as well. There is no "technological" justification for Apple not supporting ALL Mac Pro systems with the GRFX cards. The cards themselves require a 16x PCIe slot - which exists in all Mac Pros, so WTF?

dwburman
03-03-2009, 03:44 PM
Apple's lack of backwards compatibility has always annoyed me. :)

DiscreetFX
03-03-2009, 04:39 PM
Yup, that's right dwburman. We can't upgrade to one of these systems and dual boot OS X & Windows XP for VT[5]. Apple refuses to give even on legacy PCI slot. DAMN!

Liber777
03-03-2009, 05:33 PM
Am I reading this right that we now have only two graphics card choices, and the ATI is the high-end one? Ugh.

toby
03-03-2009, 08:23 PM
The speed difference between chips is marginal so there's no point in considering a CPU upgrade unless you have money to burn. I'd go for the base model and add memory from somewhere else (if needed).
Really? So in your opinion, will the new base model 8 core at 2.26ghz be at least as fast as the old 3.2ghz 8 core? That would be great, it's a lot cheaper than the old one, even a refurbished one, and with more ram too.


The only thing that bothers me is the graphics cards because they're all atrocious, they're going to be a nightmare for 3d work.
Compared to my ATI9600 64mb, I couldn't care less if it's a little slow at displaying 3mil textured polys...

littlewaves
03-04-2009, 02:00 AM
Really? So in your opinion, will the new base model 8 core at 2.26ghz be at least as fast as the old 3.2ghz 8 core? That would be great, it's a lot cheaper than the old one, even a refurbished one, and with more ram too.

well here's some probably very flawed guess work;

the apple site says that the new 2.93 cpus render modo (so let's hope lightwave is similar) at 1.3 times faster than the previous 3.2 mac pros

so assuming (and this bit is really loose guesswork) that we can judge the 2.26 performance as a percentage of the 2.93 chip then it should be 77%

So... if the 2.93 is 1.3 times the speed of the 3.2 then 77% of 1.3 = 1 (ish)

So following my ludicrously simplistic logic then the 2.26 ghz should be the same speed rendering as as the old 3.2 top of the range mac pro. In which case it's a lot cheaper.

I guess we need to see more proper benchmarks on more of the systems

Personally what I really want to know is how the current base model 8 core machine (2.26) compares with the previous much cheaper machine (Roughly £7 - 800 cheaper here in UK - although you've want to upgrade graphics from 256 and add more than the standard 2GB ram) which we can probably pick up still from resellers (2.8ghz).

Sounds like it might be faster but not THAT much faster and not worth the extra dough.

As I'm moving up from a core 2 duo 2.16 imac then anything with 8 cores is going to blow my mind it's just that last week an 8 core would have been a lot kinder to my wallet.

But hey, I guess we'll soon start seeing proper performance benchmarks

biliousfrog
03-04-2009, 02:16 AM
I think that your guess work is pretty close but there isn't any data on the new Xeon's yet. The consumer chips are very fast, there are some benchmarks for Lightwave here: http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39

It's still new tech (newtek?...haha) so there aren't a lot of people using the chips yet, especially as many have been waiting for the xeon versions, but it's safe to assume that a single quad-core processor is going to be up there with the current 8 core workstations. The new 8 core Mac's are going to be very fast indeed, with hyperthreading they work as 16 cores plus you've got the increased memory bandwidth for compositing and editing.

littlewaves
03-05-2009, 07:35 AM
so here's a question for you all,

If I were to give up on Macs because of the prices who should I look to for an 8 core workstation?

They're obviously a pretty specialist thing. If I try pricing up one with dell (and my God I hate trying to navigate their ridiculous site - how many different families of systems do they need?) I struggle to get anything 8-core that competes price wise with apple. (Quad core on the other hand is cheap as chips but then there are other components to consider of course)

I guess Boxx is the big name (am I right?) and their 8-core systems also seem to be more expensive than the Mac.

Believe me I'm not trying to wave a Mac Fanboy flag and say Apple make the best value Octo-core workstations here but I'd love to know the options that are out there.

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 07:41 AM
Believe me I'm not trying to wave a Mac Fanboy flag and say Apple make the best value Octo-core workstations here but I'd love to know the options that are out there.
They do. Unless you want to assemble your own. The highest end MacPros are quite cheap for what they do.
It's anything below them that is overpriced (in terms of bang per buck).

Cheers,
Mike

littlewaves
03-05-2009, 08:03 AM
They do. Unless you want to assemble your own.

Well I've considered it certainly but the last time I assembled my own machine it was with the then state of the art Pentium 4 so I'd be a little daunted to say the least. An then there's that whole Vista thing to get my head around!

Incidentally the 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro system I mentioned in an earlier post as being on cancomuk.com has now been removed but they still have other 8 core mac pro's for under £2k inc vat on there and they're an official reseller meaning you can get apple care from them two

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 08:06 AM
Incidentally the 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro system I mentioned in an earlier post as being on cancomuk.com has now been removed but they still have other 8 core mac pro's for under £2k inc vat on there and they're an official reseller meaning you can get apple care from them two
And that's pretty much the same performance that a current i7 at the top of a range (3.2GHz) will offer (single quad core).

Cheers
Mike

4dartist
03-05-2009, 08:21 AM
I've built 4 PCs in my days by ordering all the components separate and putting it all together. Last year I did some research into a pretty cheap 8-core PC and realized the I could only build an 8core for slightly less then the macpro. I think at the time it was only $500 less. With around not as good hardware as the macpro.

Anyways, I only researched for a bit so there may be cheap pc solutions out there if what you need is processor power. But for a great all around workstation, I'd just suck it up and buy the 8core. Unless you already have one, then I'd wait for either bigger improvements or 16 core.

Sande
03-05-2009, 11:01 AM
so here's a question for you all,

If I were to give up on Macs because of the prices who should I look to for an 8 core workstation?


I wouldn't want to sound bitter, but... ;)

You wouldn't give up on Macs because of the prices - you would give up on Macs because of Apples lack of support for high end customers, especially regarding GPUs.

When I bought my MacPro 8 core in late 2007 it was the cheapest option for 8 core workstation. Too bad it now seems to be obsolete when it comes to upgrading it's GPU. In less than two years. Wow...

Even if you do have a shiny new MacPro your options with GPUs are very, very, limited. If you get a chance to buy a new GPU for your Mac (*) during it's lifecycle, it is already at least an year old left over from PC-side and you could get something twice as fast for a PC - usually also with half the price.

Since Apple seems to be more concerned with iPods, iPhones and everything related to the hippy happy lifestyle market segment, you also won't have a chance to buy any professional graphics card for your MacPro - like Quadro or something similar.(**) Yeah, you used to have that option if you had piles of cash, but now even excessive amounts of money won't get you one. Have fun with GeForce GT 120, which is the default option. WTF!

One can just wonder what the hell Apple is thinking when every pro app either already has or is currently implementing somekind of GPU-acceleration - even their own Snow Leopard! Why bother with OpenCL if you can't even buy a modern GPU for your Mac? Stupid - just stupid.

*remember: that miracle probably happens just once during the first two years, which is when Apple still offers some minimal support and upgrade options for your soon-to-become-obsolete-Mac.
**No, HD4870 isn't exactly top of the line pro card. Especially not with just 512MiB's of memory.

dsol
03-05-2009, 11:16 AM
Sadly I think you're completely right. Hopefully the release of Snow Leopard (with OpenCL) will make Apple focus on GPUs.

Given their past track record, I'm not holding my breath. Apple doesn't really care about hardware - beyond quiet, stylish cases.

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 11:22 AM
Sadly I think you're completely right. Hopefully the release of Snow Leopard (with OpenCL) will make Apple focus on GPUs.

But they just have. The complete range of current products is OpenCL ready.
Maybe not super fast... but ready.

Cheers,
Mike

dsol
03-05-2009, 11:40 AM
You're completely right in that - yes, their complete range of products (even going down to the mac mini) are OpenCL compatible. The problem which I think Sande was drawing attention to is that Apple don't support the high-end GPU solutions available for Windows and Linux workstations. There's no support for OSX with nvidia's new Quadro CX card with it's 1.5GB of onboard ram. It's very disappointing.

I don't treat internet blogs as reliable sources of information, but I thought this was interesting: http://silveradosys.blogspot.com/2008/10/nvidia-quadro-cxcoming-to-mac-soon.html

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 11:44 AM
The problem which I think Sande was drawing attention to is that Apple don't support the high-end GPU solutions available for Windows and Linux workstations.
Oh, absolutely. Hm, I suppose if they would have sold well with their previous generation, that might sell them now as well... *shrugs* Just as a different speculation.

Cheers,
Mike

dsol
03-05-2009, 11:45 AM
Of course the reason there's such a paltry selection of upgrade cards for Macs is because it's such a small market.

Now if Apple were ever to release a small single-socket tower (the mythical xMac) with PCI-E slots and a reasonable price (about $1000 USD) that situation might change. But I think Hell's gonna freeze over before that happens.

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 11:47 AM
Now if Apple were ever to release a small single-socket tower (the mythical xMac) with PCI-E slots and a reasonable price (about $1000 USD) that situation might change. But I think Hell's gonna freeze over before that happens.
That's what the current small MacPro is. Don'T get fooled by the name Xeon, it's just a single socket board.
And looking at the specs, it's _very_ close to the current x58 (i7 chipset) board from Intel (which is the only x58 based board that has 4 DIMM slots as opposed to 6).

Cheers,
Mike

dsol
03-05-2009, 11:48 AM
Oh, absolutely. Hm, I suppose if they would have sold well with their previous generation, that might sell them now as well... *shrugs* Just as a different speculation.

Cheers,
Mike

You've probably hit the nail on the head there. I guess it's a chicken and egg situation. I'm still hoping that the release of Snow Leopard will really shake up the market, since it will make OSX the premiere platform for OpenCL support.

dsol
03-05-2009, 11:50 AM
That's what the current small MacPro is. Don'T get fooled by the name Xeon, it's just a single socket board.
And looking at the specs, it's _very_ close to the current x58 (i7 chipset) board from Intel (which is the only x58 based board that has 4 DIMM slots as opposed to 6).

Cheers,
Mike

That would make sense - apart from the fact it's still using very expensive server-class components, and as such is about 50% more expensive than a similarly-specced Dell using standard desktop i7 parts. I still want to see a mid-range machine for students/hobbiests/poor designers :)

EDIT: I mean, hell - it doesn't even need to use i7 core parts. A previous gen quad-core would still be great and be positioned nicely between the mac pros and the iMacs in terms of power/price

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 11:58 AM
You've probably hit the nail on the head there. I guess it's a chicken and egg situation.
I was just thinking of hitting a chicken while having a nail in my head... :stumped:

Cheers,
Mike

dsol
03-05-2009, 12:04 PM
Hah - too many metaphors in one go there :)

Anyway, to further underline the point I just took some prices from Apple and Dell.

MacPro Quad-Core
One 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Nehalem" processor
3GB (three 1GB) memory
640GB hard drive
18x double-layer SuperDrive
NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 with 512MB
£1,899.00

Dell Studio XPS
Intel® Core™ i7 Processor 920 (2.66GHz, 8MB cache, 4.8GT/sec)
3072MB (3x1024) 1067MHz DDR3 Tri Channel
640 GB Serial ATA non Raid (7200 Rpm)
512MB ATI® Radeon® 4850 Graphics card
16X DVD+/- RW Optical Drive (DVD & CD read and write)
£849.00

The CPU on the Dell is likely to be identical performance-wise to the Mac (unless the Xeons have more L2 cache). The GPU on the Dell is far superior. And it's less than 50% of the price.

Now it doesn't have the lovely aluminium casing of the Mac (with it's near-silent acoustic properties), but hey - is that worth £1000?

I love OSX - can't stand Windows. Apple's software design is second-to-none. But damn - I wish they were a bit more flexible on their hardware options. Oh well... just have to build a hackintosh!

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 12:12 PM
The CPU on the Dell is likely to be identical performance-wise to the Mac (unless the Xeons have more L2 cache).
8MB as well, I just checked.

Cheers,
Mike

mlinde
03-05-2009, 01:52 PM
8MB as well, I just checked.

Cheers,
Mike

But the Mac Pro is using the next generation processor - you can't buy a Dell with that proc yet. They aren't shipping to other vendors for weeks. They aren't the same thing. How many slots and how much RAM can you put in the Studio XPS? I guess the Mac Pro is limited to only 32GB of RAM in the 8 slots (4 per processor).

I'm not going to argue the GPU, except I'd like to know which application you are running on your Mac that actually needs a FireGL or a Quadro card, because it isn't Lightwave.

But let's look at the Studio XPS vs. Mac Pro again
XPS
Core i7 Processors
3 hard drive bays
up to 24GB RAM
Single Gig-Ethernet port
8 USB 2.0 ports
1 FW400 port
1 16x PCIe slot
1 8x PCIe slot
1 1x PCIe slot *
1 PCI slot
475 W Power Supply
Built-in 7 channel surround connections

Mac Pro
Xeon 5500 processors
4 hard drive bays
up to 32 GB of RAM
dual Gig-Ethernet ports
5 USB 2.0 ports (+2 ports on included keyboard USB hub)
2 FW800 ports
2 16x PCIe slots *
2 4x PCIe slots
980 W Power Supply **
Built-in digital-optical TOSLINK audio
$3399 ($3648 with 3/yr warranty like T5400)

So yep, twice the price. And you think they are comparable machines? It is closer to the Precision Workstation:
T5400
Xeon 5440 processors
3 hard drive bays
up to 32 GB RAM
single Gig-Ethernet port
8 USB 2.0 ports
1 FW400 port
2 16x PCIe 16x slots *
1 4x PCIe slot
2 PCI-X slots
1 PCI slot
875 Power Supply
1/8" stereo output only
$4398 ($3386 with "instant savings")

So that's comparable. Almost Apples to apples, except Dell doesn't have the 5500 processors yet.

* Mac Pro has 4 PCIe slots total, one is a dual-height slot so all are always available. Both Dell systems do not have dual-height slot, so one is almost always blocked by GFX card. XPS has 4 PCI slots, T5400 has 5
** 980W Power Supply was on previous gen Mac Pro. Current model power supply wattage not available at this time

Lightwolf
03-05-2009, 02:17 PM
But the Mac Pro is using the next generation processor - you can't buy a Dell with that proc yet.
There is virtually no difference between a Nehalem single socket Xeon and an i7 - except for the socket.


They aren't shipping to other vendors for weeks. They aren't the same thing. How many slots and how much RAM can you put in the Studio XPS? I guess the Mac Pro is limited to only 32GB of RAM in the 8 slots (4 per processor).
That's only the dual, the single core only has 4 slots. Any decent i7 board has 6 (as does the XPS).


But let's look at the Studio XPS vs. Mac Pro again
...
Mac Pro
Xeon 5500 processors
...
You'll need to look at the single socket one:

Quad-core: One 2.66GHz or 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 series processor
Quad-core: Four memory slots supporting up to 8GB of main memory using 1GB or 2GB DIMMs

The point is to compare the more affordable offerings, not the ones that cost more than a used car ;)
So in that sense the 1100US$ XPS 435 is the equivalent to the single CPU Pro. And you can get two of them for the price of the Pro.

The dual socket is an entirely different league - mind you, it's also 4,699.00US$ if you get the 2.66GHZ CPUs which is the minimum you need to get double the performance of the single socket.

Cheers,
Mike

OneShot
03-05-2009, 02:58 PM
Question I have two 23" Apple DVI LCDs. Should I get 2 NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card with 512MB or ATI Radeon HD 4870 with one of those :thumbsdow stupid mini to DVI adaptors?

BTW does anyone know, if you can run two ATI Radeon HD 4870? If not why? Is it software drivers? Apple or ATI?

IMHO the new Mac Pros total more than $1500 USD more the the last model

BTW I'm going to have to lose some weight to get a new Mac Pro.....I have to fit into one of my wife's dresses and get out there in the evening to make more $$$$$$

Liber777
03-05-2009, 03:03 PM
...Should I get 2 NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics card with 512MB or ATI Radeon HD 4870 with one of those :thumbsdow stupid mini to DVI adaptors?

The photo of the 4870 on the Apple site has only one connector.

Sande
03-05-2009, 03:13 PM
The photo of the 4870 on the Apple site has only one connector.

Nope, it has two - it is just that the other is very small...

"Every new Mac Pro graphics card features two display ports for maximum workspace flexibility. A Mini DisplayPort connects the new 24-inch Apple LED Cinema Display with ease. A dual-link DVI port connects a 30-inch Apple Cinema HD Display or any other DVI display."

OneShot, if you're doing 3D I would definitely get a HD4870 if I were you - the GT 120 is a bit on the slow side, to put it nicely...

Liber777
03-05-2009, 03:14 PM
I'm not going to argue the GPU, except I'd like to know which application you are running on your Mac that actually needs a FireGL or a Quadro card, because it isn't Lightwave.

Looking forward, LightWave CORE will, and may other pro 3D apps do.

Liber777
03-05-2009, 03:16 PM
Nope, it has two - it is just that the other is very small...

Ah, gotcha... I see both cards have the mini-port.

littlewaves
03-05-2009, 04:07 PM
Ah, gotcha... I see both cards have the mini-port.

oh it's a "gotcha" alright! check out the price of the adaptor you have to buy if you want to run two bog standard dvi displays on a Mac Pro.

Who the hell spends a couple of grand on a workstation and is happy with a single screen?

littlewaves
03-05-2009, 04:09 PM
BTW does anyone know, if you can run two ATI Radeon HD 4870? If not why? Is it software drivers? Apple or ATI?

was wondering this myself. strange they don't give the option of using two or more if it's technically possible

OneShot
03-05-2009, 05:48 PM
was wondering this myself. strange they don't give the option of using two or more if it's technically possible


All four slots are now PCI Express 2.0 for up to twice the performance of the previous generation. And since the graphics slot in the Mac Pro is double-wide, your graphics card won’t cover an adjacent slot. Apple

Strange that NiVIDA GPU cards can used in multiples. I believe that the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT were able to be used in multiples :help:

toby
03-05-2009, 10:58 PM
I think that your guess work is pretty close but there isn't any data on the new Xeon's yet. The consumer chips are very fast, there are some benchmarks for Lightwave here: http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39

It's still new tech (newtek?...haha) so there aren't a lot of people using the chips yet, especially as many have been waiting for the xeon versions, but it's safe to assume that a single quad-core processor is going to be up there with the current 8 core workstations. The new 8 core Mac's are going to be very fast indeed, with hyperthreading they work as 16 cores plus you've got the increased memory bandwidth for compositing and editing.
That's good enough for me! 2.26ghz 8 core it is... when I can loosen these purse strings... damn they're tight...

littlewaves
03-06-2009, 03:45 AM
MacPro users can also gain a roughly estimated 9-10% in render speeds from installing Vista x64 and using their rendering software under that platform.

Do You think that's purely down to it being 64bit or would we also see an increase just using 32 bit Vista?

hdace
03-06-2009, 07:37 AM
I'm absolutely astounded to hear you say something nice about an Apple product. Has to be a first.

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 07:48 AM
I'm absolutely astounded to hear you say something nice about an Apple product. Has to be a first.
Well, at least the hardware... it's a start. ;)

Cheers,
Mike

wendoline
03-06-2009, 09:55 AM
i currently own a mac pro 8 core 3.2ghz harpertown and am very happy with its speed..

I think the new cpu's will be quicker when combined with the faster ddr3 ram. But to run the ram at its fastest speed it runs triple channel (3 ram modules accessed simultaneously..) now do the math, 8 slots, maximum performance from sets of 3, how do you fill 8 slots and maintain maximum ram speed? answer - you don't.... so it will be interesting to see how a mac pro with full capacity ddr3 ram performs..

The benchmark link provided by billiousfrog is interesting

http://www.3dspeedmachine.com/?page=3&scene=39

i can't explain the 7th (core 2 quad @ 2.5ghz) and 8th (core i7 @ 266ghz) entries, how is the core2quad beating the core i7 in these entries? This casts doubt over the whole benchmark list as this shouldn't be right...

The i7 will be faster clock for clock than the harpertowns, (in some very specific programming circumstances this boost will be significant) but we must remember that the i7 is called the "CORE i7", it is simply an update on the existing core architecture and therefore we could never expect a quad i7 to outperform or even match 2 x quad core2's.. We couldn't even expect a doubling in performance from an entirely new architecture, never mind a simple update...

We got a very significant upgrade when intel went from the pentium to the core architecture as the core was entirely new, but even then i don't think it was actually DOUBLE or anywhere near. The waters were clouded by the release of dual and quad cpu's but a single cpu core in a core2 cpu is not twice as fast as a comparable single core pentium4 processor.

In the whole, i'm very happy with my harpertown based mac pro, and will upgrade in 2010 possibly, when the i7 has matured and has taken a few price cuts and clock speed increments..

cheers
ian

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 10:12 AM
...it is simply an update on the existing core architecture and therefore we could never expect a quad i7 to outperform or even match 2 x quad core2's..
That depends on what you compare. The i7 965 has a Cinebench score of roughly 18700 (3.2 GHz + HT and TurboBoost), 2 3.4GHz Hapertowns reach roughly 21500 (on a Skulltrail reference system).
Both are the highest end of what is available right now. At least in this case the i7 is faster than any dual socket Harpetown with less than 2.9GHz per CPU (roughly, on the same platform CineBench tends to scale almost linearily with clock speed).
...and then look at the prices...

Edit: Plus, Nehalem has a few tweaks that speed up 64-bit mode, mainly micro-op fusion which was previously only available on Intel CPUs running in 32bit mode. I haven't seen any benches targetting that area, but it is to make a difference of another 5-10%.

Cheers
Mike

mlinde
03-06-2009, 10:13 AM
The point is to compare the more affordable offerings, not the ones that cost more than a used car ;)
So in that sense the 1100US$ XPS 435 is the equivalent to the single CPU Pro. And you can get two of them for the price of the Pro.

The dual socket is an entirely different league - mind you, it's also 4,699.00US$ if you get the 2.66GHZ CPUs which is the minimum you need to get double the performance of the single socket.

Cheers,
Mike
Ok. I was looking at a performance machine, not the lower end. I hate the car comparison, but it's like shopping for the "low-end" Mercedes and comparing to the "mid-range" Honda. You get a lot of value in the Honda. You get a lot of engineering in the Mercedes. It all depends on what you want.

On a side note, if the Core i7 is the same processor as the Xeon 5500, why are there two product lines? Is it all just marketing to make you spend more money then?

dsol
03-06-2009, 10:16 AM
The i7 will be faster clock for clock than the harpertowns, (in some very specific programming circumstances this boost will be significant) but we must remember that the i7 is called the "CORE i7", it is simply an update on the existing core architecture and therefore we could never expect a quad i7 to outperform or even match 2 x quad core2's.. We couldn't even expect a doubling in performance from an entirely new architecture, never mind a simple update...

We got a very significant upgrade when intel went from the pentium to the core architecture as the core was entirely new, but even then i don't think it was actually DOUBLE or anywhere near. The waters were clouded by the release of dual and quad cpu's but a single cpu core in a core2 cpu is not twice as fast as a comparable single core pentium4 processor.

Nehelem *is* a new architecture. For their yearly CPU updates, Intel operates a "tick-tock" policy, whereby in one year we get a "Tick" and a new microarchitecture, followed by a "tock" the following year with a process shrink of the same architecture. Next year the Nehelem chips get their 32nm versions (codenamed "Westmere").

Intel's marketing decided to call the chips "Core i7", but that's not indicative that it's the same basic design as the Core architecture. No more so than the Pentium III and IV (which were completely different designs).

Incidentally, all the current Intel chips (with the exception of Atom) are actually descendents of the Pentium Pro. The Pentium 4's "Netburst" architecture was proven to be a evolutionary dead-end once it was realised that high clockspeeds weren't much use when you hit the thermal wall!

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 10:17 AM
On a side note, if the Core i7 is the same processor as the Xeon 5500, why are there two product lines? Is it all just marketing to make you spend more money then?
Yup. Well, the Xeons support ECC memory, the "consumer" CPUs don't.
But that's about it. A lot like the Quadro vs. FX GPUs from nVidia (or the equivalent ones from Ati).
The boards targetted for Xeons also tend to have other priorities (i.e. PCI-X slots, SAS...).

Cheers,
Mike

mlinde
03-06-2009, 10:18 AM
Looking forward, LightWave CORE will, and may other pro 3D apps do.

Really? Core will specifically require (or provide unique services) that require or benefit from the FireGL and Quadro cards? I guess I missed that piece of the Core videos. Gotta go back and rewatch them. I realize that you can get benefit from other pro 3D apps, but which ones that run on a mac will benefit from those cards? I think that's the real reason Apple went EOL on the Quadro - lack of sales due to lack of software support.

wendoline
03-06-2009, 11:48 AM
dsol : my mistake, the i7 is a new architecture with many new additions over the core2 architecture.

my main point is that folks are quoting an i7 quad performing the same as a higher clocked 8 core system (with benchmarks to prove their point!). This is way way over the top and far too optimistic.. The apple site claims 20% increase when rendering (modo, but most renderers are similar), intel themselves are quoting a 39% increase clock for clock http://www.intel.com/performance/desktop/consumer.htm (a Q9450 @2.66ghz vs the i7-920 also @2.66ghz) and 30% when 3d rendering..

Given the official intel benchmarks and the official apple benchmarks (and lets face it, these 2 are always going to sit on the generous side of the figures) we can expect that performance boost at best (20%) for the new mac pro dearest option vs the old mac pro dearest option... and given apple have hiked the price considerably more than 20% i don't think i'll be loosing much sleep over the new mac pro for a long while yet... or indeed wishing i had one...

I just think that anybody hoping the new top of the range mac pro is going to be twice the speed of the 2008 mac pro top range, or indeed that the new entry level 4 core mac pro will be anywhere near any of the 2008 8 core systems will be disappointed.

cheers
ian

OneShot
03-06-2009, 11:58 AM
was wondering this myself. strange they don't give the option of using two or more if it's technically possible


The problem is not the PCI Express 2.0 slots but the power that was meant for them, because one HD 4870 uses over 200 watts of power it is basiclly impossible to put two HD 4870s inside a Mac Pro (early 2009). Mac Pro's specification are very clear: "300W combined maximum for all PCI Express slots".
From Apple's discussion board :censored: :twak: :cursin: :bangwall: :cry:

Lightwolf
03-06-2009, 01:16 PM
intel themselves are quoting a 39% increase clock for clock http://www.intel.com/performance/desktop/consumer.htm (a Q9450 @2.66ghz vs the i7-920 also @2.66ghz) and 30% when 3d rendering..

Those are 32-bit... The ones I've seen 64, that might make a difference.

Cheers,
Mike

wendoline
03-07-2009, 03:53 AM
64bit vs 32bit has in the past made next to no difference with performance (some times a marginal gain). I wouldn't think that will change this time. 64bit simply expands the addressable memory space for the cpu, internally, cpu's have been 64bit for a long long time now, floating point units inside all the pentium class cpu's have been 64bit units from a processing point of view, and i'm not so sure but i think the 80486 cpu had a 64bit fpu onboard. so from a performance point of view, rendering software has processed in 64bit for a long time, they just haven't been able to address memory using a 64bit wide address hence the memory cap which has been hit now if your not running 64bit o.s.

apparently toms hardware have an extensive batch of test setting the i7 against the core2, i know they are both consumer class chips, but the advantage will be the same for server class xeon's from both architectures.. the articles make for some interesting reading... worth a look for anybody who wants to see real world comparisons of the 2 architectures..

As a final note, for people who think that a 64bit wide memory bus can read and write twice as much data as a 32bit wide bus, consider that both 32bit and 64bit systems utilise exactly the same physical ram chips with exactly the same physical access speeds and setup (single, dual, triple channel etc), 64bit simply alters how much ram can be addressed, not how fast its accessed..

cheers
ian

Lightwolf
03-07-2009, 04:08 AM
64bit vs 32bit has in the past made next to no difference with performance (some times a marginal gain).
That depends on the CPU. AMDs usually perform quite a bit better in 64-bit mode, roughly 10%.
Not much you may say, but that's the difference between one or two CPU speed grades.

There's also the problem of the MS compiler being pretty bad at optimizing 64-bit code.


I wouldn't think that will change this time. 64bit simply expands the addressable memory space for the cpu...

Not quite. It should in general. However, when designing the AMD64 architecture (which Intel used, just renamed as EMT) they also expanded the instruction set and the amount of registers available.
Plus, code can rely on SSE2 always being available as a minimum requirement.



apparently toms hardware have an extensive batch of test setting the i7 against the core2...
I'd trust them more if they were a bit more specific about their testing methods, especially considering 64-bit tests (and frankly, 32-bit is of no interest anymore - at least in our trade).

Cheers,
Mike

littlewaves
03-07-2009, 04:26 AM
and frankly, 32-bit is of no interest anymore - at least in our trade

Although in general I agree with that it's still kind of interesting to me as for the moment I'm using 32 bit lightwave (and plenty else) on the Mac and probably will be for some time even if I do join hardcore.

As I'm upgrading from a 2.16 core 2 duo imac with 3gb ram and 256mb graphics I guess whatever mac pro I get now will knock my socks off.

Really I guess I'm only waiting to see a few genuine benchmarks from independent sources so I can judge whether I should go for a refurb/end of line/whatever 2.8 last generation 8 core Mac pro which I could get for under £2K even with a memory/graphics upgrade or if the current base 8-core (2.26ghz) is really worth he extra £500.

It probably helps me out that I won't really have the dough together for either for at least a couple of months

Lightwolf
03-07-2009, 04:29 AM
Although in general I agree with that it's still kind of interesting to me as for the moment I'm using 32 bit lightwave (and plenty else) on the Mac and probably will be for some time even if I do join hardcore.
But that's because you have little choice on OS X.


Really I guess I'm only waiting to see a few genuine benchmarks from independent sources so I can judge whether I should go for a refurb/end of line/whatever 2.8 last generation 8 core Mac pro which I could get for under £2K even with a memory/graphics upgrade or if the current base 8-core (2.26ghz) is really worth he extra £500.
Unfortunately my independant sources are printed only and in German. But they're also they only ones I trust for decent benchmarks.

Cheers,
Mike

littlewaves
03-07-2009, 04:42 AM
Unfortunately my independant sources are printed only and in German. But they're also they only ones I trust for decent benchmarks.

Mike, I certainly wasn't questioning your sources. All I'm saying is that I expect soon enough we'll see people comparing directly the new Mac pro models with the previous ones in more detail than we get on the apple site.

Basically I just want someone with the current base 8 core and the previous base 8 core to do a comparison using lightwave and tell me if there's really £700 worth of difference there.

In short I want someone cleverer than me to make my decision for me

I realise that's kind of selfish and impatient of me:D

Lightwolf
03-07-2009, 05:36 AM
Mike, I certainly wasn't questioning your sources.
It was just an excuse as to why I'm not linking to them.

Cheers,
Mike

Johnny
03-07-2009, 05:56 AM
I have read this entire thread, understood much of it, but I don't have a clear picture as to whether the new Mac Pros are a better buy than last year's model (refurb or not).

from this thread, I am coming away with the sense of 3 major issues:

1. some/many apps aren't coded properly for Macs. no news there, but performance can be significantly affected by this fact.

2. cards offered for Macs aren't worth snot, but then, few if any apps written FOR Mac OS can use the better cards. Some say better cards are key, others say they aren't.

3. when people are comparing speed, bang/buck, there are so many qualifiers as to make it hard for me to glean what applies to a guy not in a lab somewhere.

then there are the software companies. right now, I'm so mad at adobe's snotware that I could spit clouds of radioactive gas. I remember when their 'ware was GREAT!

LW is great, and I hope to see a version that takes more advantage of Mac OS and hardware.

I know that I will never own the fastest box, but when I think about forking over $2K-$4K for a new one, I get that queasy, urpy feeling you get when you're not sure if you're doing something really stupid.

Sometimes, I wish that, in my work, I could just go Linux, get a blood-drinking killer of an intel-based box, and be free of some or most of this nonsense described above..

But then, Linux users have their problems, too..


J

Bill_Evans
03-07-2009, 02:54 PM
If the HD4870 upgrade won't come available for my '07 MacPro my Apple user days are over. I've just about had it with Apple's graphics card upgrade policy. Nightmare, indeed.

The belief now is that Snow Leopard will bring support for the older MacPros and the new graphic cards.
-Bill

Dexter2999
03-07-2009, 05:28 PM
But then, Linux users have their problems, too..


J

Lack of girlfriends.
Stunted Social Skills.
Carple Tunnel Syndrome.





I kid.

toby
03-08-2009, 03:58 AM
We will be looking into transferring our Adobe licenses to Windows as quite frankly they don't seem to prioritize the Mac at Adobe anymore, their applications have become increasingly worse under OSX for the past couple of releases.
Adobe has become increasingly fuktard altogether, did you see Chris Cox's arguing and BS against what *all* the customers wanted, and turns out it was to keep from having to update Photoshop to industry standard, and make EXR work for print but not for VFX, which is what exr's DESIGNED FOR, and BY. Unreal. Photoshop has become worse than Max, old crap with new stuff bolted on, reluctantly. How about upgrading the interface with nodes or at least some interactivity, you cheap, overpricing bastards!?

Anyway, just for fun ( and my benefit ), how can I ballpark the speed gain from a 2x2ghz G5 to a 2.26 8-core? 'A crapload', I know, but I may be rendering a friend's short film, so it is improtant to know how much. Total 4.52 times the ghz, but I assume it'll be a greater difference than that?

virtualcomposer
03-08-2009, 04:47 AM
as for photoshop, is there a better picture 2d editor? I was thinking of updating mine from cs2 to cs4 for a couple hundred bucks but would rather invest in what a client is going to value as a better software to work in.

Red_Oddity
03-08-2009, 04:51 AM
As far as i see it, you might aswell buy two dual quad core systems based on the Harpertown Xeons than one dual quad core system based on the Nehalem Xeons (whether it's a normal PC or one of those shiny aluminum boxes by Mr. Jobs and co.), same total cost and almost double the performance.

Since you're all using LW, render nodes don't count in the total cost (as with other 3D programs), so use one to work on , and use both machines when it is time to start rendering.

Johnny
03-08-2009, 06:46 AM
As far as i see it, you might aswell buy two dual quad core systems based on the Harpertown Xeons than one dual quad core system based on the Nehalem Xeons (whether it's a normal PC or one of those shiny aluminum boxes by Mr. Jobs and co.), same total cost and almost double the performance.


Am I reading this correctly: are you saying that the older, harpertown-based machines give almost double the performance as the newer, nehelem-based machines?

If this is the case, do you have any links to share?

J

Sande
03-08-2009, 08:02 AM
The belief now is that Snow Leopard will bring support for the older MacPros and the new graphic cards.
-Bill

Does that belief come from this article by Macrumors? (http://www.macrumors.com/2009/03/03/ati-radeon-hd-4870-coming-soon-for-older-mac-pros-requires-unreleased-os-x-10-5-7/)

The title is a bit misleading (ATI Radeon HD 4870 Coming Soon For Older Mac Pros, Requires Unreleased OS X 10.5.7) but it says in the article that: "Apple is apparently planning to make the ATI card available as a standalone product compatible with both the new Mac Pro and the previous generation of Mac Pro released in January 2008."

So judging by that I'm still out of luck with my late '07 MacPro... :thumbsdow

Lightwolf
03-08-2009, 09:03 AM
Am I reading this correctly: are you saying that the older, harpertown-based machines give almost double the performance as the newer, nehelem-based machines?
No, he's saying that two harpertown based boxes will give you more bang for the buck than a single nehalem box.
However, by that logic, four i7 based machines will give you the most bang for the buck hands down... and you'll probably have some spare change left as well.

Cheers,
Mike

Bill_Evans
03-08-2009, 10:46 AM
Does that belief come from this article by Macrumors? (http://www.macrumors.com/2009/03/03/ati-radeon-hd-4870-coming-soon-for-older-mac-pros-requires-unreleased-os-x-10-5-7/)

The title is a bit misleading (ATI Radeon HD 4870 Coming Soon For Older Mac Pros, Requires Unreleased OS X 10.5.7) but it says in the article that: "Apple is apparently planning to make the ATI card available as a standalone product compatible with both the new Mac Pro and the previous generation of Mac Pro released in January 2008."

So judging by that I'm still out of luck with my late '07 MacPro... :thumbsdow

No, though I may be part of the source for that comment, though they took it out of context. When they make the ATI card available for older MacPro's I expect they will run on any of the x86 based MacPros.
-Bill

Johnny
03-08-2009, 12:23 PM
No, he's saying that two harpertown based boxes will give you more bang for the buck than a single nehalem box.
However, by that logic, four i7 based machines will give you the most bang for the buck hands down... and you'll probably have some spare change left as well.

Cheers,
Mike


ah..well, that's some hopeful-sounding news.

J

wendoline
03-08-2009, 12:43 PM
after looking at everything available to date.. my belief is that for 3d rendering (which is why we're all here...) a new 2009 mac pro 2.26ghz 8 core will perform ever so slightly slower than the 2008 mac pro @ 3.2ghz 8 core. Being that it comes in a few hundred £'s less on the apple store than the 2008 3.2 did, it seems to me that apple have maintained some sort of price parity with regard to cpu horse-power. The 2 option speeds above that will be faster than the 2008 top of the range 3.2 and therefore cost more, makes sense really. The top speed 2.93ghz 8 core 2009 will render images approximately 20-30% quicker than the 2008 mac pro 3.2ghz but will cost ALOT more to buy.

So to summarise - A 2.26ghz 8 core 2009 mac pro should render images ever so slightly slower (perhaps 1 or 2% slower) than the 2008 3.2ghz 8 core but costs slightly less.

I have the 3.2ghz 8 core mac pro in my home office for rendering. At work i have 6 pc boxes based on Q6600 quads which have been overclocked from 2.4ghz to 3.2ghz each.. These boxes were all built by myself for a little less than the one macpro 3.2ghz 8core cost me and combined they will render more images than the mac pro can by far. So yes you can spend your money more wisely by building individual boxes and end up with more rendering horse-power. But these machines all need looking after and housed... it is sometimes nice just to have one very quick box instead of a small render farm... hence mac pro at home, loads of pc's at work where we have the space and don't care about heat / noise / tidiness etc...

cheers
ian

Red_Oddity
03-08-2009, 02:09 PM
Lightwolf already corrected me, this is how we got rid of our renderfarm, we bought a couple of extra 8 core systems (Harpertown) and cut down on license costs that way (cut down big time btw, one Maya license equals 2 dual quad core systems with 8GB memory in costs for example)

Also, you really need to weight in the fact that most systems and software aren't as optimized and don't perform aswell in real life as opposed to those nifty benchmarks.

The fact i still have to enable Caps Lock to disable After Effects preview render (so it won't try to redraw the interface and comp view every after every frame render) when doing actual render makes it render twice as fast.
Maya dynamics and render translation step is still single core only just to mention another one, same goes for LWs dynamics.

In the end you just have to check what you'll be doing the absolute most and based on that decide if that theoretical 10% speed gain is really worth twice the money.

toby
03-08-2009, 04:05 PM
Also, you really need to weight in the fact that most systems and software aren't as optimized and don't perform as well in real life as opposed to those nifty benchmarks.
But as long as you're comparing benchmark to benchmark, that's not an issue is it?

I haven't seen any harpertown machines that are half the price of a new one, maybe that's just in the uk, so I'm not so sure about that two-for-one analogy. Unless you mean two 2.8's instead of one 2.93, in which case I dont see the point of having nearly the same power, even if it's a little bit more, spread over two machines. The 2.93 comes with a lot more ram for that price as well.

I see the stats for a G5 quad, judging by that I would see a 7 - 8 fold jump in speed over my sloth

Red_Oddity
03-08-2009, 06:00 PM
we paid somewhere around 1500 euros for a system containing dual quad cores (Xeon E5420, 2.50Ghz) with a Tyan i5400XL mobo and 8GB memory, in an Antec Titan650 case.

So, not too expensive we thought, considering the new Apple 8 core system starts at 2999 euros (at its base config, so that would be the one with the 2.26GHz Xeons (which i guess would be the E5520 or L5520 Gainestown Xeons), 6GB memory and a crappy Geforce 120 (why a Geforce 120 Apple?))

For those wondering, a Geforce 120 GT is just a re-branded Geforce 9500 GT, which is basically a 50 euro low end video card (one you'd buy for you moms PC), these cards' performance pretty much craps out when you try to run anything with a resolution heigher than 1024x768, makes you wonder who made that choice to add it to their new top of the line workstations.

Not completely fair to compare them this way, but still, speed vs cost, it's clear that the Gainestown cpus are still too expensive to invest in at the moment they hit the streets (unless offcourse you really really need the fastest and the latest, right now)

toby
03-08-2009, 07:08 PM
we paid somewhere around 1500 euros for a system containing dual quad cores (Xeon E5420, 2.50Ghz) with a Tyan i5400XL mobo and 8GB memory, in an Antec Titan650 case.

So, not too expensive we thought, considering the new Apple 8 core system starts at 2999 euros (at its base config, so that would be the one with the 2.26GHz Xeons (which i guess would be the E5520 or L5520 Gainestown Xeons), 6GB memory and a crappy Geforce 120 (why a Geforce 120 Apple?))

For those wondering, a Geforce 120 GT is just a re-branded Geforce 9500 GT, which is basically a 50 euro low end video card (one you'd buy for you moms PC), these cards' performance pretty much craps out when you try to run anything with a resolution heigher than 1024x768, makes you wonder who made that choice to add it to their new top of the line workstations.

Oh you were comparing a build-yourself to a mac ( again :rolleyes: )

Good to know about the Geforce, sounds pretty lame.

Lightwolf
03-08-2009, 07:10 PM
Oh you were comparing a build-yourself to a mac ( again :rolleyes: )
What's wrong with comparing a quality system to one that Apple built ;)

Cheers,
Mike - *ducks but curses at his shoddy iMac*

toby
03-08-2009, 07:30 PM
Once wrong with comparing a quality system to one that Apple built ;)

Cheers,
Mike - *ducks but curses at his shoddy iMac*
Bringing up something for the millionth time, that everyone takes for granted anyway, is a bit tedious ain't it?

Lightwolf
03-08-2009, 07:36 PM
Bringing up something for the millionth time, that everyone takes for granted anyway, is a bit tedious ain't it?
You mean a viable alternative? What's wrong with that?

Cheers,
Mike

toby
03-08-2009, 07:51 PM
Oh so sorry, to anyone here who didn't know that building your own pc was cheaper than a ready-made mac, and everyone who likes to say the same thing over and over again, you have my deepest apologies for using -> :rolleyes:




:rolleyes:

Red_Oddity
03-09-2009, 03:16 AM
If it's any consolidation, i could have the shop put the parts in the case, in which case, it won't be a 'build-it-yourself-PC' anymore, so what's your point?

And warranty wise we're no worse off.

Sande
03-09-2009, 03:51 AM
No, though I may be part of the source for that comment, though they took it out of context. When they make the ATI card available for older MacPro's I expect they will run on any of the x86 based MacPros.
-Bill

I hope you are right. If I remember correctly, the previous HD 2600XT did work with first gen MacPros, even though it wasn't mentioned in the supported platforms.

Liber777
03-09-2009, 09:03 AM
Really? Core will specifically require (or provide unique services) that require or benefit from the FireGL and Quadro cards? I guess I missed that piece of the Core videos...

I think in the video they just barely touched on the topic by stating that CORE would be 'GPU aware.' There have been some other discussions that have gone into greater depth. My understanding is that these benefits should be realized cross-platform, and are such that the differences between a pro card and a gaming card would be noticeable.

Scazzino
03-10-2009, 10:17 PM
Some new Nehalem Mac Pro Benchmarks (http://www.macrumors.com/2009/03/10/nehalem-mac-pros-arrive-unboxing-and-benchmarks/) show the greatest performance boost with multithreaded applications.

Red_Oddity
03-11-2009, 04:34 AM
Some new Nehalem Mac Pro Benchmarks (http://www.macrumors.com/2009/03/10/nehalem-mac-pros-arrive-unboxing-and-benchmarks/) show the greatest performance boost with multithreaded applications.
Isn't that the case with any multi core cpu combined with software that does proper multithreading opposed to a program that is single threaded, using all cores is faster than using a single core?
Or am i reading that article wrong?

Scazzino
03-11-2009, 07:58 AM
The article is simply stating the obvious.

Not quite... ;)

The article is making the point that the the new MacPros are comparable or even slower than the older systems for single core operations, but significantly faster (than the older systems) for multi core operations. They have better multi-core throughput than the earlier systems, breaking some of the earlier bottlenecks to other system components, such as memory...

:D

littlewaves
03-11-2009, 08:13 AM
just going from the chart in the article though it looks like the current 8 core base system (2.26ghz) is actually slightly slower than the previous base system 2.8 ghz (non-nehalem) at multicore stuff and is drastically slower at single core tasks

So if these figure are representative then I would have been a lot better off buying the older base machine a week ago which was sever hundred pounds cheaper than the current machine now.

Conclusion: New base system is slower than old base system and lots more expensive to boot!

(I know some of the other spec is bumped too but not by that much)

It's a bummer because it looks like cancom have stopped flogging the old 2.8 system now. Hopefully some other places will still have it in a couple of months when I actually have the dough together. Otherwise I'll end up back waiting and hoping for the next Mac pro updates which could well be over a year away.

Ho hum! Just hope my imac lasts that long. Might buy a cheapo dell quad core to tide me over so i can at least render stuff a little faster.

Scazzino
03-11-2009, 09:27 AM
I am looking at the Geekbench 2 results (http://browse.geekbench.ca/geekbench2/top?page=1) in the article, showing the new Mac Pro (2.92 GHz model) second only to a 32 core IBM 3850 Enterprise Server... of course that speed comes at a hefty price though...

Notice the fastest results were with the 64 bit Geekbench... hopefully LightWave UB 64 will unleash a similar speed boost for multicore rendering...

:hey:

JonW
03-11-2009, 11:46 PM
My accountant would have my head on a platter if I bough the Mac instead of a i7 920. 2/3 of the performance at a of fraction of the price. For animations I would have been drawn & quartered.

toby
03-12-2009, 01:22 AM
Oh my god here we go again.

JonW
03-12-2009, 05:26 AM
I have 2 MACs, my other half uses a Mac at her work & also at home, I do everything on MACs other than 3D, I only have so much money to buy 100Ghz of processing & 70gb of ram, and have said many times that MACs & PCs work really well together. But for bulk processing power cheap & nasty PCs are the way to go.

avkills
03-13-2009, 12:15 PM
I think I may just have to get the high-end quad system. The writing is on the wall that Snow Leopard is going to drop PPC support - but I may just wait and see.

The quad is probably the better choice for people who do general computing stuff as well as higher end stuff.

It will certainly be much much faster than my dual G5.

-mark

Scazzino
03-14-2009, 08:45 PM
Looks like some of the early benchmarks may have underestimated the performance of the new Mac Pros, particularly in single threaded tasks...

http://www.macrumors.com/2009/03/14/updated-mac-pro-benchmarks-and-video-of-internals/

http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=7255676&postcount=148

And that new CPU/RAM drawer looks like it'll make adding RAM even easier than it already was in the previous generation... I remember trying to troubleshoot RAM in the old Power Mac 9500 in which you had to basically disassemble the whole bloody thing to get at the RAM, that was a real nightmare. This looks like a dream...

http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/14/apple-nehalem-based-mac-pro-unboxing-and-hands-on/

:hey:

toby
03-15-2009, 12:30 AM
"2.26GHz 8-Core machines appear to have both single-threaded and multi-threaded performance equal to or better than the previous generation 2.8GHz 8-Core"
Doesn't sound like it's worth the extra 600 goats. Since I don't have deadlines and I don't throw every feature at the same time into the renders, I'll just get a 2.8 fer cheap.

Sande
03-15-2009, 06:32 AM
And that new CPU/RAM drawer looks like it'll make adding RAM even easier than it already was in the previous generation... I remember trying to troubleshoot RAM in the old Power Mac 9500 in which you had to basically disassemble the whole bloody thing to get at the RAM, that was a real nightmare. This looks like a dream...

This is actually a bit surprising. I have the '07-model MacPro and it already had hands down the best, no-competition-at-all, computer case ever designed - in my opinion, of course. :)
I can't wait to get my hands on one of these things and see what they've done this time... *

(* though I'm still not buying a MacPro ever again if I don't get a real chance to upgrade my current GPU.)

Scazzino
03-15-2009, 10:54 AM
This is actually a bit surprising. I have the '07-model MacPro and it already had hands down the best, no-competition-at-all, computer case ever designed - in my opinion, of course. :)...

:agree:

My old dual G5 was the best computer inside design I'd ever seen. Then I got the 07 8-core and thought it was even better... now the 09 looks even better... Just shows how even when Apple already has the best designed computers (inside and out) they just keep raising their own bar...

:D

avkills
03-16-2009, 07:32 PM
I'm glad at work they let me make no compromise and just get the 3.2 Ghz 8 core monsters. Man I love them. Mike, we just bought 2 more for live show work. Whenever I get some free time I am going to set up a 3 way 8-core machine renderfarm. I may be messaging you this week. :D

-mark

virtualcomposer
03-19-2009, 03:36 AM
I have the first generation mac pro 2.66 quad and is the middle of the road newest much faster then mine? Will and 8 core render LW much faster? Enough to convince my wife? LOL should I wait for snow leapard to come out?

4dartist
03-19-2009, 08:41 AM
If you have 1st gen 4core, a new 8core would render a bit more that 2 times that. I don't think a whole lot more. Rendering was only boosted 1.3x with slightly lower clock speed. So core for core the new mac pro is only 1.3x faster with rendering.

So i guess simple math (that is probably wrong)
old 4 core = 4
new 8 core = 1.3 x 8 = 10.4

10.4 / 4 = 2.6

new computer will be ~2.6 times faster.

Videocard may be better than yours, but 1st gen cards work fine in LW, not sure you would actually 'notice' a difference. Maybe in games.

Just my thoughts.

Scazzino
03-26-2009, 10:03 AM
:agree:

My old dual G5 was the best computer inside design I'd ever seen. Then I got the 07 8-core and thought it was even better... now the 09 looks even better... Just shows how even when Apple already has the best designed computers (inside and out) they just keep raising their own bar...

:D

Here's a new InfoWorld article on the Nehalem Mac Pro (http://weblog.infoworld.com/enterprisemac/archives/2009/03/nehalem_mac_pro.html) that echoes the same sentiments...

:D

Scazzino
03-26-2009, 10:07 AM
And now that the CPU and RAM are on a separate tray, this could really make upgrades interesting... I still have a few Power Mac 9500's that had been upgraded twice with CPU daughter cards to dual G2's and then dual G3's. I used those old 9500 workhorses for many many years with the upgrades... I didn't need a new machine until Apple's dual G4's finally appeared...

It'll be interesting to see what type of upgrades may become available for the new Mac Pros, though of course they won't need to be upgraded for quite some time since they are already top of the line... but they should have a VERY long lifespan indeed...

Can't wait for the first true 16 core Mac Pro... (32 hyperthreaded)...

:hey: