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Apple introduces new Mac Pro topping out at 3.2GHz - Page 6

post #201 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think you mean "kudos"

back on topic:

I was a bit surprised to still see FB-DIMMS. I thought Intel was go to phase out the use of FB because of the extra latency, power consumption and cost?

I think you mean "was going to"...

Back on topic:
Still waiting until next week to decide whether I need to start thinking about how to pay for a Pro...

 

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post #202 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

I think you mean "was going to"...

Doh! Thank you. All fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Still waiting until next week to decide whether I need to start thinking about how to pay for a Pro...

The disillusionment with Apple is over?
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post #203 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

How many pro's are REALLY going to use them? Really?

That's why there are TWO 1 GB Ethernet connections on the back.


um...well, i am a pro, as are the six people i work with, i sit here surrounded by G5 and Intels, DVCams, video capture cards and RAIDs. We use wireless mice and keyboards, we need to update work schedules to our mobile phones, use Wi-fi for remote (as in a Cat 5 wouldn't be convenient) control of audio and video equipment

Also, if you're going to supply your lowest spec machines WITH these 'basics' yet not your £3000 flagship, it SEEMS a little shite....

So, yeah, as a pro i do REALLY use them. Really.

i don't give a shit about the numbers and who's got what PCI architecture and a SCSI jock strap, i just want my video to render quickly so i can go out with some girls...
post #204 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

8 core vs 4 cores for the mid line models.

Faster bus, faster memory, faster cpu's etc.

It's all theoretical.

We'll find out when they land in the sites hands and we see tests.

Yeah I know, they went from a four-core 2.66GHz, to an eight-core 2.8GHz, and they only got a 1.3x increase in Photoshop?

That's a bit of a let down from '2x faster'.
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post #205 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

If it keeps the cost down I'm glad the 2600xt is the default card. Not everyone uses a 30". I'm on a 24" and I think the 2600xt would be fine for most things besides any semi-serious gaming. They could have done worse... Like they did with the last rev... 7300gt as default card? LOL ... they could have put a x2300pro or 8300gt as default card.

I'm going to use the ATI 2600XT with a 30" and it will be just fine. I don't game. I just edit RAW photos and render HD video. People are really too spec-oriented. The stock card is great for most of us. It is the faster GPUs, FSB and RAM that are going to make the difference.
post #206 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

When Nehalem comes out, supposedly in the 3rd quarter of this year, Apple will be required to make a massive makeover of the internals of the machine, at least.

At that time Express 2 should be completely supported, and I would expect a new case to mark that major shift. This case will be 4 years old, and that's pretty old.

Nehalem, its supporting chipset, and full support of Express 2, will also allow for more lanes, giving more options in video, among others.

I would expect eSATA by then as well.

Why are you so bothered (assuming a few comments up was you too.. forgot to look)
about having the ports of the Mac Pro be PCIe 2.0 ??? Is there even a video card on the market that can saturate a PCIe 1.0 x16 slot?? For that matter, is there *ANY CARD* available for the Mac Pro that would get ANY benefit from a PCIe 2.0 slot? I mean 4 gigabytes a second seems to be enough for anything that we have now. Am I missing something?
post #207 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Yeah I know, they went from a four-core 2.66GHz, to an eight-core 2.8GHz, and they only got a 1.3x increase in Photoshop?

That's a bit of a let down from '2x faster'.

Photoshop might not even be optimized for more processors yet.
post #208 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Photoshop might not even be optimized for more processors yet.

So for all you heavy-duty Photoshop pro users out there get an iMac because Photoshop can't handle more than two cores effectively!

On a more serious note, this announcement doesn't bode well for new Cinema Displays or pricing. I doubt Apple would bother launching the new Mac Pro with all the sales collateral showing the old Cinema Displays if there were a new generation of Cinema Displays just around the corner.

There again, there are probably a good few Pro users who have been holding on for this update and they'll probably order up a Cinema Display as well. If Apple do have a new generation of Cinema Displays just around the corner, they could shaft the early Mac Pro adopters, shift the obsolete stock and then introduce a more realistically priced generation of displays in a few weeks time. Sounds like the kind of move Apple would pull on it's early adopters know I come to think of it!
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post #209 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoshen1983 View Post

The standard configuration uses the Radeon HD2600XT? That's such a horrible mismatch for Intel's mighty 8 cores @ 2.8Ghz @ 1600FSB!!!!!....You will be crawling at the 30 inch resolution for anything 3d. I don't know if iTunes can use the visualization at that resolution.

I am surprised that the Geforce 8800GT 512MB wasn't the default standard configuration. On the other hand, the 200 dollar upgrade for 8800GT isn't that bad. It costs $275 retail to buy a 8800GT. Considering the retarded 2600XT costs 80 bux, it's almost trivial to upgrade to the 8800GT.

Most pro's don't need a good 3D board, why charge for it? It's perfectly reasonable to expect those who do need it to upgrade.

Let's understand something. You don't get something for free. If Apple made the 8800 the standard, they would have raised the price on the computer by another $100 . The same is true for WiFi.

Then people would complain that the price was even higher.

No, it's better to have the upgrade.

I'm disappointed that the card wasn't the 8800GTX, or some higher performance version. The GT is not a great card, considering that the next one up the line costs $2,600 more.
post #210 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

Having worked on efficient coding of multiprocessor software for my PhD about a decade back (look for it at http://www.itee.uq.edu.au/~philip/Publications/), I wouldn't be too surprised if the problem is that too few people understand the performance issues. If you don't have a good grounding in computer architecture with some understanding of OS and other hardware-software interactions, it's hard to get decent speedups. This is especially true as the speed gap between DRAM and processors grows. There's been a bit of a stall in clock speed increases the last few years, but DRAM hasn't been improving that dramatically either -- transfer rates have been going up but total time to start a new random access is still pretty slow compared with CPU cycle times. To look at some numbers, if you get a DDR3 SDRAM from Micron with a 1.5ns cycle time, it has an overhead of at least 24ns before any data starts to move. If your shiny new 8 core 3.2GHz machine is only trying to deliver a conservative 1 instruction per clock per core, it can execute over 600 instructions in the time it takes this kind of DRAM to heave into life. The DDR2 stuff the Mac uses is not far off this sort of speed.

But anyway, the point is that any code that uses all the cores has to avoid touching DRAM as much as possible, otherwise memory accesses become a serious bottleneck.

That's one reason why these processors have so much cache.
post #211 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I think you mean "kudos"

back on topic:

I was a bit surprised to still see FB-DIMMS. I thought Intel was going to phase out the use of FB because of the extra latency, power consumption and cost?

We have to wait for Nehalem for that. They will allow DDR-3. By then the price for those should be lower, and the speeds have been going up nicely.
post #212 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by taoshen1983 View Post

The standard configuration uses the Radeon HD2600XT? That's such a horrible mismatch for Intel's mighty 8 cores @ 2.8Ghz @ 1600FSB!!!!!....You will be crawling at the 30 inch resolution for anything 3d. I don't know if iTunes can use the visualization at that resolution.

It's standard practice on workstations. The "standard" model of most workstations in the last decade a board that's promoted for 2D use, if you want better, you can pay a little more. It would probably be fine for Motion, and if you don't do anything massively complex Motion, and just edit photos, music or videos, 3D is not that important. Those three things are Apple's biggest markets for high end machines.
post #213 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosstheboss View Post

um...well, i am a pro, as are the six people i work with, i sit here surrounded by G5 and Intels, DVCams, video capture cards and RAIDs. We use wireless mice and keyboards, we need to update work schedules to our mobile phones, use Wi-fi for remote (as in a Cat 5 wouldn't be convenient) control of audio and video equipment

Also, if you're going to supply your lowest spec machines WITH these 'basics' yet not your £3000 flagship, it SEEMS a little shite....

So, yeah, as a pro i do REALLY use them. Really.

i don't give a shit about the numbers and who's got what PCI architecture and a SCSI jock strap, i just want my video to render quickly so i can go out with some girls...

I have to tell you that's unusual.

I'm assuming that you're not using Apple's new wireless keyboard?

I can hardly see what use WiFi is in a pro environment. Exactly what pro audio and video equipment do you control with WiFi? Offhand, I don't know of any.

Besides, what's the big deal? If you really need WiFi, add the module to your order.

Do you think Apple wouldn't charge for it if it was included? Be sure they charge for the Bluetooth module, and everything else that comes with the machine. nothing is free.

I'm surprised you even brought this up.
post #214 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Most pro's don't need a good 3D board, why charge for it? It's perfectly reasonable to expect those who do need it to upgrade.

Let's understand something. You don't get something for free. If Apple made the 8800 the standard, they would have raised the price on the computer by another $100 . The same is true for WiFi.

Then people would complain that the price was even higher.

No, it's better to have the upgrade.

I'm disappointed that the card wasn't the 8800GTX, or some higher performance version. The GT is not a great card, considering that the next one up the line costs $2,600 more.

My son is excited about the WiFi option on the new Mac Pros. He got a Ninetendo Wii for Christmas and he says that if I order the Wifi option on the Mac Pro then he can use the Wifi option on his Ninetendo Wii to connect to the Internet via my Mac Pro. It seems to be reasonable, but I can't tell him for sure. Anyone got Wii and knows?

I currently have his Ninetendo Wii hooked up to the Internet with a router (hard wire) through my cable modem.
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post #215 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Yeah I know, they went from a four-core 2.66GHz, to an eight-core 2.8GHz, and they only got a 1.3x increase in Photoshop?

That's a bit of a let down from '2x faster'.

That's not the fault of the machine. It's the fault of Photoshop. PS doesn't use more than 2 cores yet. Adobe has told me that it's a priority for the next release, and possibly, they might be able to release an update that would help somewhat before then.

Of course, Apple's own tests are strange. They rate machines against the Quad G5, which according to them was still shipping as of December 2007!

Look to the botton of the page, just below the Mathamatica results in grey type.:

http://www.apple.com/macpro/performance.html

But some programs will use all 8 cores, and that will make quite a difference.
post #216 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by winterspan View Post

Why are you so bothered (assuming a few comments up was you too.. forgot to look)
about having the ports of the Mac Pro be PCIe 2.0 ??? Is there even a video card on the market that can saturate a PCIe 1.0 x16 slot?? For that matter, is there *ANY CARD* available for the Mac Pro that would get ANY benefit from a PCIe 2.0 slot? I mean 4 gigabytes a second seems to be enough for anything that we have now. Am I missing something?

I'm not "bothered". But, there are Express mobo's out in the PC world, and Express 2 cards have been out for months.

What you are overlooking it the longer range use of these machines. You can't ever consider the purchase of an expensive computer without thinking about how long you will own it.

It would be like having bought a PCI AGP bus machine a few months before everyone switched to Express. After a while, you would find that the latest cards weren't available, and the few that were didn't perform at the same level.

So, with this machine, Apple went halfway. It's not too bad, really, at least there are two 2 slots. I'd like to know if they perform at the speeds of 2 , or if there is some bottleneck there. 2 also offers more than just a speed jump from 1.

But, since they have added these two slots, once I know more about it, I may jump in and get this machine instead of waiting later this year for Nehalem, which will be the true successor to Apple's current machine.

I'm just disappointed with the video card line-up. If ATI was still producing cards for the machines, it would be different. I would just get the machine with the cheap 2600 card, and wait for a much better one. But, that might not happen.
post #217 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

My son is excited about the WiFi option on the new Mac Pros. He got a Ninetendo Wii for Christmas and he says that if I order the Wifi option on the Mac Pro then he can use the Wifi option on his Ninetendo Wii to connect to the Internet via my Mac Pro. It seems to be reasonable, but I can't tell him for sure. Anyone got Wii and knows?

I currently have his Ninetendo Wii hooked up to the Internet with a router (hard wire) through my cable modem.

My daughter's Wii goes through our 1 GHz Ethernet network. Latwer this year, I might pick upo an Apple router, if I can use it with my Internet Gateway, which I got from Covad.

I would get the WiFi for this as well, since it's so cheap. Actually this could serve as a basestation, but it's not on all the time.
post #218 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Royboy View Post

My son is excited about the WiFi option on the new Mac Pros. He got a Ninetendo Wii for Christmas and he says that if I order the Wifi option on the Mac Pro then he can use the Wifi option on his Ninetendo Wii to connect to the Internet via my Mac Pro. It seems to be reasonable, but I can't tell him for sure. Anyone got Wii and knows?

I can connect my PSP to my Mac's airport card easily, it just detects it like any other wireless network. You just turn on internet sharing in system prefs. The Wii will be able to pick it up in the same way.

This is one reason why pros might want the airport card too despite the preference for hard-wired ethernet connections. They might have iphones or blackberries that need a wifi connection.

For the sake of the small fee for BTO, I'd be inclined to agree it should be included with the Mac Pro for free. They include bluetooth now and it would make the whole lineup the same.
post #219 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's not the fault of the machine. It's the fault of Photoshop. PS doesn't use more than 2 cores yet. Adobe has told me that it's a priority for the next release, and possibly, they might be able to release an update that would help somewhat before then.

Of course, Apple's own tests are strange. They rate machines against the Quad G5, which according to them was still shipping as of December 2007!

Look to the botton of the page, just below the Mathamatica results in grey type.:

http://www.apple.com/macpro/performance.html

But some programs will use all 8 cores, and that will make quite a difference.

the part about listing the quad g5 for sale in dec2007 is odd, but i don't think it's an odd comparison. many people bought the quad g5 to tide them over through the intel transition, just like i did. i'm happy to see the comparisons. there was so much confusion when the mac pros came out because CS was running in rosetta. so the mac pros weren't faster. even when it went native, the photoshop tests were still close enough for most imaging professionals to just put off upgrading longer.
post #220 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

My daughter's Wii goes through our 1 GHz Ethernet network. Latwer this year, I might pick upo an Apple router, if I can use it with my Internet Gateway, which I got from Covad.

I would get the WiFi for this as well, since it's so cheap. Actually this could serve as a basestation, but it's not on all the time.

just get a real WiFi router like this with N and 5 gig-e ports
1 for the internet side and the other 4 for your network. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...&Sku=D700-5426
post #221 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

many people bought the quad g5 to tide them over through the intel transition, just like i did.

Me too. And I decided to wait for the second generation of Mac Pros before buying one.

It'll be interesting to see what a Quad G5 will sell for on eBay, which is where mine is headed as soon as my new Mac Pro arrives.
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post #222 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

the part about listing the quad g5 for sale in dec2007 is odd, but i don't think it's an odd comparison. many people bought the quad g5 to tide them over through the intel transition, just like i did. i'm happy to see the comparisons. there was so much confusion when the mac pros came out because CS was running in rosetta. so the mac pros weren't faster. even when it went native, the photoshop tests were still close enough for most imaging professionals to just put off upgrading longer.

I agree. We all know that a new Intel platform will be faster than an older Intel platform and there are plenty of PC sites that will compare the most current and 2nd most current chips long before Apple puts them in their machines. But only Apple and its staunch consumer base will want to compare performance between PPC and Intel platforms.
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post #223 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Me too. And I decided to wait for the second generation of Mac Pros before buying one.

It'll be interesting to see what a Quad G5 will sell for on eBay, which is where mine is headed as soon as my new Mac Pro arrives.

i had an interesting turn of good luck/bad luck recently. my quad g5 started having serious issues. i had problems before which i thought were bad ram, but when i put the ram back to its stock configuration the machine was still having major issues. i took it to my apple store and they checked it in. report came back that one or more of the processors had gone bad. a week later they called me back to offer me a replacement machine, a macpro quad 2.66.

but since i had ordered the nvidia card on my quad g5 they were going to do the same for my macpro, which would delay the replacement computer order. of course, yesterday they upgraded the macpros to 8-core base. so i just called the apple store today and i'm happy to report that they've agreed to elevate my issue such that i will receive an 8-core 2.8 macpro as my new replacement machine. gotta love apple customer service.
post #224 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Supposing that the only difference between the 3.2 and 2.8 GHz chips is sheer clock speed -- no architectural differences, no difference in cache sizes -- the 3.2 is 14% faster than the 2.8 for any task that's purely bound to CPU speed (and the 3.0 is 7% faster, of course).

Anything you do that has elements of disk I/O speed, bus speed, RAM speed, etc. -- i.e. most things you probably do -- won't see all of that 14% increase. Only a solid set of benchmarks will tell you how much for what tasks.

I really, really do like to buy the top-of-the-line models Apple makes. I'm typing this right now on my once top-of-the-line Quad G5. But I have to admit my craving for speed is not at all justified by any real-life business justification, or even any hobbyist uses that push my computer very hard. I just like nice toys.

But even though I like to spoil myself, in this case I just couldn't see spending the extra $1600, or even $800 dollars. I settled for the basic 8x2.8, with an extra optical drive, the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 (which sadly bumps my shipping time from 3-5 days up to 3-5 weeks -- I keep thinking about canceling my order and changing that!), and a 500GB hard drive instead of 320GB. I'll add an additional 4GB of RAM myself at a much more reasonable price than Apple's price.

how come you just don't order it with the ATI graphics board and get it within several days and go out and buy a $285 8800GT retail and put it in. I'd pay an extra $85 to get it before 3-5 weeks.
post #225 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by admactanium View Post

the part about listing the quad g5 for sale in dec2007 is odd, but i don't think it's an odd comparison. many people bought the quad g5 to tide them over through the intel transition, just like i did. i'm happy to see the comparisons. there was so much confusion when the mac pros came out because CS was running in rosetta. so the mac pros weren't faster. even when it went native, the photoshop tests were still close enough for most imaging professionals to just put off upgrading longer.

Yeah, but it's pretty old now. It would make more sense to compare against an Intel based machine.
post #226 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

just get a real WiFi router like this with N and 5 gig-e ports
1 for the internet side and the other 4 for your network. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...&Sku=D700-5426

Obviously, I would get another router. But then I have to decide what to do with the internet gateway they gave me. Hooking one router to another is a pain to implement. I use an 8 port switch off the one I have now. 4 ports isn't enough.

If I get one, it will like be the Apple unit, as it gets the best ratings.

I just mentioned the use of the computer as an aside, as Apple says you can do that.
post #227 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetline View Post

Me too. And I decided to wait for the second generation of Mac Pros before buying one.

It'll be interesting to see what a Quad G5 will sell for on eBay, which is where mine is headed as soon as my new Mac Pro arrives.

$1500 to $2000, depending on what's inside.
post #228 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I agree. We all know that a new Intel platform will be faster than an older Intel platform and there are plenty of PC sites that will compare the most current and 2nd most current chips long before Apple puts them in their machines. But only Apple and its staunch consumer base will want to compare performance between PPC and Intel platforms.

I don't mind the comparison. It just isn't helpful when deciding whether to move from an older Intel model.

I agree that this will be done in other places. But a lot of people will see what Apple has put up and think, "Whut?".
post #229 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by labelexec View Post

how come you just don't order it with the ATI graphics board and get it within several days and go out and buy a $285 8800GT retail and put it in. I'd pay an extra $85 to get it before 3-5 weeks.

It doesn't work out of the box. You have to be able to find kludged Apple friendly firmware for it, and burn it to the board.
post #230 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yeah, but it's pretty old now. It would make more sense to compare against an Intel based machine.

they do that too. you can compare it against 3 machines. including the quad g5 makes a lot of sense and i'm sure they have data to back up that a lot of print professionals are still waiting it out on quad g5s. if mine hadn't broken i probably would have held on to it for at least another year.
post #231 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I don't mind the comparison. It just isn't helpful when deciding whether to move from an older Intel model.

I agree that this will be done in other places. But a lot of people will see what Apple has put up and think, "Whut?".

Lots of shops still running G5s. I have three of them (first generation: DP2Ghz & DP1.8.) Heck, a printer I use still uses a graphite G4 for graphics work; apparently all he needs. One shop tried to get my business and listed their "up to date" equipment including a PM 8500!

Even a multi-billion dollar Fortune Five company I worked with just switched over to Intel Macs for their creative staffers, and these are people doing trade shows with 60 ft. square pavilions and fleets of corporate Gulfstreams.
post #232 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

8 core vs 4 cores for the mid line models.

Faster bus, faster memory, faster cpu's etc.

It's all theoretical.

We'll find out when they land in the sites hands and we see tests.

Yup. It's called Amdahl's Law. Study it before you believe "up to" speedup figures.

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Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #233 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

That's one reason why these processors have so much cache.

That doesn't help you if you are doing interprocessor communication which in any form needs to go through memory. If your processes or threads very seldom communicate and don't have shared data structures, big caches will keep data traffic off lower levels of the hierarchy. Otherwise, you have a big scalability problem.

If you are just running a multitasking workload with lots of busy little processes that have nothing to do with each other, as long as Apple has fixed the OS bottlenecks, you should be fine.

BTW I find the terminology of a "processor" as meaning a collection of cores unnecessarily obfuscatory. Apple's figures say 12MB per processor but if you check the fine print, this means 3MB per core, with 6MB shared between 2 cores (still good but not as huge as 12MB sounds). A "processor" in every computer architecture text and research paper I've read is the same thing as a core. The only technical difference between a multicore design and a multiprocessor design is that you eliminate some off-chip latencies between cores as compared with the same design with the cores on separate chips.

In Apple's web description, the statement "6MB of cache is shared between pairs of processor cores, allowing an individual core to use all the available shared cache at any one time" is kind of interesting. This means that if both cores sharing the cache are active they can both use all of the cache at the same time. Interesting. Must be some new spin on quantum computing

I wonder if Apple's scheduler is clever enough to schedule a pair of related processes or the first 2 threads of one process on cores with a shared cache... and up to 4 related processes or threads on one chip?

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Department of Computer Science, Rhodes University, South Africa

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post #234 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

Yup. It's called Amdahl's Law. Study it before you believe "up to" speedup figures.

Familiar with that. Read it many years ago.
post #235 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

That doesn't help you if you are doing interprocessor communication which in any form needs to go through memory. If your processes or threads very seldom communicate and don't have shared data structures, big caches will keep data traffic off lower levels of the hierarchy. Otherwise, you have a big scalability problem.

I find it interesting that very few programs are specific enough to have that as a problem. Perhaps transaction processing.

Quote:
If you are just running a multitasking workload with lots of busy little processes that have nothing to do with each other, as long as Apple has fixed the OS bottlenecks, you should be fine.

BTW I find the terminology of a "processor" as meaning a collection of cores unnecessarily obfuscatory. Apple's figures say 12MB per processor but if you check the fine print, this means 3MB per core, with 6MB shared between 2 cores (still good but not as huge as 12MB sounds). A "processor" in every computer architecture text and research paper I've read is the same thing as a core. The only technical difference between a multicore design and a multiprocessor design is that you eliminate some off-chip latencies between cores as compared with the same design with the cores on separate chips.

I think most people here know that.

Quote:
In Apple's web description, the statement "6MB of cache is shared between pairs of processor cores, allowing an individual core to use all the available shared cache at any one time" is kind of interesting. This means that if both cores sharing the cache are active they can both use all of the cache at the same time. Interesting. Must be some new spin on quantum computing

That's per Intel's specs. If one core isn't using the cache, the other core can.

Quote:
I wonder if Apple's scheduler is clever enough to schedule a pair of related processes or the first 2 threads of one process on cores with a shared cache... and up to 4 related processes or threads on one chip?

That I don't know.
post #236 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Fridge? That looks more like a small apartment.

That's just what I was going to say! A lot bigger than my NYC closet space~!
"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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"Run faster. History is a constant race between invention and catastrophe. Education helps but it is never enough. You must also run." Leto Atreides II
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post #237 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by labelexec View Post

Is there a big performance difference between 2.8 vs 3.0 and between 3.0 vs. 3.2.

I know there should be a significant performance boost between 2.8 vs. 3.2 but is it really worth 1600? or is it really worth an extra $800 for a 200Mhz bump?

I don't do anything too hardcore graphics or video but I just want the biggest and best. I have two other PCs with quad cores and 8GB of ram and barely use its potential.


You won't see much of a difference under normal applications. Here's a few points to mention:

- CPU core clock (thus FSB speed to the North Bridge and DDR speed) are the same in all the systems. This means that, regardless of CPU multiplier, your data transfer rate outside the CPU is fixed.
- All three CPU steppings have the same cache size. Going to a faster CPU isn't gaining any internal storage space (which *would* speed up many applications).
- At relatively small CPU speed deltas, it is my opinion that RAM size/speed plays a larger role in perceived speed/response than the CPU speed. Money would be better spent upgrading to at least 4GB of RAM. HD swapping is a UI response time's worst enemy. Eliminate swap and you're computer will *feel* faster.
- Again with the RAM: If you can offload as much video computation to the video card, you're system will have more time to crunch other numbers - get a bigger video card if you like high-demand video applications and you're performance will go up.

Of course, if you just like having the biggest and best, then go for the 3.2GHz, but I think the better option is the spend half the money and bump the RAM.
post #238 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by philipm View Post

That doesn't help you if you are doing interprocessor communication which in any form needs to go through memory. If your processes or threads very seldom communicate and don't have shared data structures, big caches will keep data traffic off lower levels of the hierarchy. Otherwise, you have a big scalability problem.

If you are just running a multitasking workload with lots of busy little processes that have nothing to do with each other, as long as Apple has fixed the OS bottlenecks, you should be fine.

BTW I find the terminology of a "processor" as meaning a collection of cores unnecessarily obfuscatory. Apple's figures say 12MB per processor but if you check the fine print, this means 3MB per core, with 6MB shared between 2 cores (still good but not as huge as 12MB sounds). A "processor" in every computer architecture text and research paper I've read is the same thing as a core. The only technical difference between a multicore design and a multiprocessor design is that you eliminate some off-chip latencies between cores as compared with the same design with the cores on separate chips.

In Apple's web description, the statement "6MB of cache is shared between pairs of processor cores, allowing an individual core to use all the available shared cache at any one time" is kind of interesting. This means that if both cores sharing the cache are active they can both use all of the cache at the same time. Interesting. Must be some new spin on quantum computing

I wonder if Apple's scheduler is clever enough to schedule a pair of related processes or the first 2 threads of one process on cores with a shared cache... and up to 4 related processes or threads on one chip?


The new north bridge (Seaburg) has a Snoop Filter with four affinity groups - one per atomic L2 cache block (i.e. 1 per 6MB block). This improves data-sharing latency across cores and physical sockets by intercepting memory requests and reducing superfluous and expensive reads/writes from main memory. Cache coherency management and data pre-fetching really speed up multi-threaded/multi-core computing, and that was one major upgrade Seaburg provided over the old Blackford/Greencreek architecture (the old Mac Pro's north bridge).
post #239 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by acr4 View Post

You won't see much of a difference under normal applications. Here's a few points to mention:

- CPU core clock (thus FSB speed to the North Bridge and DDR speed) are the same in all the systems. This means that, regardless of CPU multiplier, your data transfer rate outside the CPU is fixed.
- All three CPU steppings have the same cache size. Going to a faster CPU isn't gaining any internal storage space (which *would* speed up many applications).
- At relatively small CPU speed deltas, it is my opinion that RAM size/speed plays a larger role in perceived speed/response than the CPU speed. Money would be better spent upgrading to at least 4GB of RAM. HD swapping is a UI response time's worst enemy. Eliminate swap and you're computer will *feel* faster.
- Again with the RAM: If you can offload as much video computation to the video card, you're system will have more time to crunch other numbers - get a bigger video card if you like high-demand video applications and you're performance will go up.

Of course, if you just like having the biggest and best, then go for the 3.2GHz, but I think the better option is the spend half the money and bump the RAM.

What do you mean when you say:

"HD swapping is a UI response time's worst enemy. Eliminate swap and you're computer will *feel* faster."

Appreciate if you could elaborate

Thx
Mike
post #240 of 253
Quote:
Originally Posted by newnew View Post

What do you mean when you say:

"HD swapping is a UI response time's worst enemy. Eliminate swap and you're computer will *feel* faster."

Appreciate if you could elaborate

The computer will actually operate more quickly, but the CPU isn't really any faster on its own, you're taking away some of the delays that prevent it from doing its thing. If there's not enough memory, the computer will swap to hard drive to clear memory for new things. That will slow down the computer because it's waiting for the hard drive.

For a Mac Pro, I suggest 4GB or more. But I'd wait first, until third party memory is available because Mac Pro memory is specific to that kind of machine.
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