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New Mac Pros and VSL
Last post Fri, Mar 06 2009 by Nick Batzdorf, 25 replies.
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Posted on Tue, Mar 03 2009 18:15
by aplanchard
Joined on Tue, Feb 06 2007, New York City, Posts 144

I am surprised by the new specs/pricing and will be interested in hearing feedback regarding the VSL performance boost one can get with the base line 8-core model over the previous generation. 

Posted on Tue, Mar 03 2009 20:35
by magnumpraw
Joined on Tue, Oct 04 2005, Los Angeles, Posts 143

Yes, me too. The clock speeds are quite a bit lower on a similarly priced machine from last year. I know the Nahalem architecture is supposed to be much faster and each core is hyperthreaded (can run 2 simultaneous threads). But I wonder how much (if any) faster these machines will really be for DAW processing performance of plugins which I believe is still tied to a single core per plugin for most apps and hence still affected most by clock speed not necessarily core count.

Basically what I'm wondering is will the $3200 price point machine (2.26 GHz 8core) actually perform worse than the old $3200 price point machine (2.8 GHz 8 core). I guess time, reviews, and forums will tell.

Posted on Tue, Mar 03 2009 21:57
by Austin
Joined on Thu, Oct 31 2002, California, Posts 373

I am hopeful that performance will be much better than the previous 8 core 2.8 Mac Pro...I find it strange that Apple has included the new Nehalem processor in their machines at very low clock speeds while upping the actual price of the machine. It's as if we are buying the same power that we could have had a year ago in their now old Mac Pro. I hope that I am wrong and the performance is very noticeable in the 2.26 8 core. I think the real main benefit will be the faster ram that these machines can now utilize. 

Potato
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 05:27
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9117

 well, as usual the early models of new CPUs simply don't meet the specs for highest frequency, so it doesn't take me wonder the fastes available is *only* 2.93 GHz ...

 

what troubles me more - besides the 1066 memory is that it is not specified the memory modules beeing fully buffered or not and i don't get my head around the number of slots - how should a triple channel memory controller efficiently spread across 8 slots?

christian

 

edit: as posted earlier - you can compare a 4 core i7 X58 chipset equals an 8 core XEON 5400 chipset and memory dependent loading times actually are about 50% better ... but consider 1066 is in fact 20 - 25% slower than 1333

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 09:14
by Stéphane
Joined on Tue, Mar 11 2003, Nantes, France, Posts 149

It's not Fully buffered Dimm, but DDR3 ECC.

And Apple put a 35xx Xeon in the single cpu Mac Pro, so you can't upgrade to dual Cpu without exchanging the Cpu.

I have the same questions regarding triple channel and the number of dimm slots.Huh?

Stéphane Péneau
CASAWAVE
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 14:28
by morphlite
Joined on Mon, Sep 17 2007, Posts 86

This might help expalin the 4/8 slot memory situation....


http://www.anandtech.com...wdoc.aspx?i=3448&p=5

My issue with the new Mac Pros is that to get a machine that can take more than 8GB, you have to pay £2500....seems crazy.....

Paul

Macbook Pro 2011, Logic 8.0.2, Sonar X1
Dell Studio XPS Core i7 Slave W7

Special Edition/VE PRO
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 14:50
by Stéphane
Joined on Tue, Mar 11 2003, Nantes, France, Posts 149

I understand, but loosing some bandwidth on this type of computer (workstation, server) doesn't make any sense.

About the 8GB on the single Xeon, technicaly it doesn't make any sense too...

Stéphane Péneau
CASAWAVE
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 15:02
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9117

 the benchmark and bandwidth tests do surprise me to say the least ... i'll try to perform a VI loading test tomorrow with the i7 X58 board (2 vs. 3 channels)

btw: has anybody read about the used chipset?

and what just came into my mind ... is there something like hyperthreading existing in OS X? because interestingly the i7 with active hyperthreading turned up to be overall more performant than without ... this might be related to the design of the calculating units ont the processor ... obviously intel did their homework this time ...

christian

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 17:19
by Floren
Joined on Wed, Nov 19 2008, Posts 8
This is just the thread I was looking for.

At this point I'm currently dissappointed with the specs and its price for the new Mac Pros.

And I'm currently comparing the "Early 2008 2.8GHz 8-core Mac Pro" with the "New Nehalem 2.26GHz 8-core Mac Pro".

The price tag which Apple set for both Mac Pros are similar,
so thinking that the "New Nehalem 2.26 8-core Mac Pro" should have at least more processing power than
the "Early 2008 2.8GHz 8-core Mac Pro" which were released about a year ago with the same price tag as the 2.26GHz 8-core Nehalem Mac Pro.
Because it wouldn't make sense paying the same price for a New Mac Pro which is more slower...

But this is just a guess.

And this is my question.
For use with various sequencers(I use Digital Performer) and VSL as a plugin,
which do you think has better performance ?

"Early 2008 2.8GHz 8-core Mac Pro" or "New Nehalem 2.26GHz 8-core Mac Pro" ?

Notice: I'm talking about the """2.26GHz""" 8-core model, NOT the """2.66GHz""" 8-core model.
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 18:02
by julian
Joined on Fri, Jan 07 2005, UK, Posts 720

When I purchased my MacPro the top clock speed option (3.2) was around an extra £500 but with the new MacPro choose the highest speed and the price ramps more than the cost of a complete entry level MacPro. That's a bit steep isn't it?

Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 19:50
by PaulR
Joined on Mon, Dec 22 2003, England, Posts 2370
julian wrote:

When I purchased my MacPro the top clock speed option (3.2) was around an extra £500 but with the new MacPro choose the highest speed and the price ramps more than the cost of a complete entry level MacPro. That's a bit steep isn't it?

Mine is 3.0 the same as yours only slightly slower clock. I guess they are thinking that the new processors are way above the old ones in terms of performance and that may very well be so. But for musical applications I don't think you would even notice it. To me, it's always been a ram and 64 bit thing. Therefore Julian, I would agree - that's a bit steep.

Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 20:42
by Stéphane
Joined on Tue, Mar 11 2003, Nantes, France, Posts 149

Not sure about the chipset but it should be one of the 5500 serie.

PaulR, audio at low latency is one application that perform way better with the Nehalem. One Quad Core i7 can beat a dual Xeon Hapertown.

Stéphane Péneau
CASAWAVE
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 21:21
by aplanchard
Joined on Tue, Feb 06 2007, New York City, Posts 144

Stephane,

Are you saying that a 2.66 Quad Core  I7 will provide more performance than the last generation (Harpertown) Dual Quad Core Xeon 2.66?

Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 21:45
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9117

 i can confirm this at least for the comparision i5400 2 x 4 x 3.2 GHz XEON 16GB 1600 MHz vs. x58 1 x 4 x 3.2 GHz i7 12GB 1333 MHz

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 22:48
by aplanchard
Joined on Tue, Feb 06 2007, New York City, Posts 144

cm,

I am not sure what you are confirming.  You mean that x58 1 x 4 x 3.2 GHz i7 12GB 1333 MHzi provides more performance than 5400 2 x 4 x 3.2 GHz XEON 16GB 1600 MHz ?

Posted on Wed, Mar 04 2009 22:52
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9117

 yes - the used *benchmark* was the MIR - can't comment on use of other apps eg. altiverb though ...

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Thu, Mar 05 2009 00:19
by Jack Weaver
Joined on Sat, Mar 27 2004, Tucson, AZ, Posts 391

My understanding regarding the new Macs is:

If you have 3 DIMMs or 6 DIMMs, you get tri-channel modules (ca. 19GB/sec).

If you have 2 DIMMs, 4 DIMMs or 8 DIMMs, you get dual-channel (ca. 13GB/sec).

Maybe someone else can check on ECC, but I think at least some of these models are ECC (after all they are servers) - though no promises from me on this.

Mac Master:
2010 Mac Pro 12-core. 3.46GHz, 64 GB RAM, OSX 10.12.3, Logic Pro X 10.3.1 ,VEP5, SSD system drive, etc.

PC Slave:
12-core e5650, 48 GB RAM, Win7, MIR Pro/VEP5, SSD system drive
Posted on Thu, Mar 05 2009 13:30
by Banquo
Joined on Sat, Apr 09 2005, Dublin, Ireland, Posts 395

Can't find an existing thread about the new Macs, so I'll assume this is the first.

My opinion in a photo:

It's ok though. Free Shipping.

Posted on Thu, Mar 05 2009 14:43
by wolfgang
Joined on Fri, Jun 13 2003, Long Island, NY, Posts 134

Hi Robert,

There's a discussion about the new Mac Pros in the main Vienna Instruments forum:

http://community.vsl.co.at/forums/t/21055.aspx

Posted on Thu, Mar 05 2009 22:58
by Nick Batzdorf
Joined on Tue, Apr 29 2003, Los Angeles, Posts 2546

Do we actually care about the memory speed? I've never heard of that being a bottleneck, but is it one?

Mac Pro 5,1 12-core 3.46 GHz, 64MB RAM, latest macOS available. Metric Halo 2882 interface.

VisionDAW Windows 7 Pro i7 950 3.07 4-core, 24GB RAM. Has an RME Hammerfall HDSP9632, but I just use VE Pro. Also several ancient P4 XP slaves, rarely used.
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