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Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon
  
 
15Bit
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p.1 #1 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


For those of you wanting to know more about the new 12 core chips, a short review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ivy-bridge-ep-xeon-e5-2697-v2-benchmarks,3585.html


Aug 13, 2013 at 05:31 AM
jimmy462
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p.1 #2 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Hi 15-Bit,

Thankfully we can always count on Tom's Hardware (amongst others) to keep us abreast of important performance becnhmarkings.

What I took out of that article was this... it should be clear to most folks, by now, that the wonderful world of home computing is migrating to mobile devices and that home/small office desktop computing solutions will further become niche products. The future-proofing question for users (like us in the visual arts) has become one of a consideration towards their particular computer and software company's commitment to their existing markets. There are even considerations, we should be mulling, about commitment to, and future viability of, OSes, in general. To hear my youngest nieces and nephews speak, "The Home PC wars are so 1990s. Who won? Smartphones and tablets. Win 8? OSX Mavericks? Ho hum, who cares?"

The cushy base of millions of home users that once fluffed up our editing chair cushions has moved on, we're no longer high-end power-users we're low-end business customers. And over the next five years (I'm guessing) we'll see our home-editing computing choices become even more refined (read: confined) by those few players who choose to remain in the game of servicing our niche craft and its software and hardware needs. IMHO.

So, am I grateful to see Apple has again re-upped its commitment to me for the next few year, and that I can, at least, remain hopeful that I'll have a platform to migrate to when my 2011 iMac needs retirement? You bet. But things might not have been so...

Steve Jobs reportedly mulled axing Apple's pro products:
http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/08/09/steve-jobs-reportedly-mulled-axing-apples-pro-products

My musings for today,
Jimmy G



Aug 13, 2013 at 02:38 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #3 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


I would wait and see the price before thanking Apple for their commitment to you. I suspect that your bank manager will in turn be thanking you for your commitment to him - those top of the range 12 core Xeons will cost in the region of $3k for the CPU alone.


Aug 13, 2013 at 03:26 PM
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p.1 #4 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


jimmy462 wrote:
So, am I grateful to see Apple has again re-upped its commitment to me for the next few year, and that I can, at least, remain hopeful that I'll have a platform to migrate to when my 2011 iMac needs retirement? You bet. But things might not have been so...


I wouldn't be rejoicing yet if I were you. Given Apple's history of pricing strategy (like the markups on their MacPro workstations), and the likely $3,000 to $4,000 pricetag that the upcoming Xeons alone will no doubt be sporting, I would wait for pricing details to be released before popping the cork on the champagne bottles.

So, the new 12-core Xeons will be somewhat faster in heavily multithreaded tasks (like Cinebench), but only marginally faster than an overclocked consumer line i7 hex or quad core processor at most tasks. And they will run at a measly 2.5GHz with all cores loaded and likely be multiplier locked like all the current Xeons. And it will cost 10 times as much as the quad that can be clocked to 4.2 to 4.5 GHz. I think I will be sticking to SandyBridge and SandyBridge-E for the foreseeable future for my needs.



Aug 13, 2013 at 04:29 PM
15Bit
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p.1 #5 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


aubsxc wrote:
So, the new 12-core Xeons will be somewhat faster in heavily multithreaded tasks (like Cinebench), but only marginally faster than an overclocked consumer line i7 hex or quad core processor at most tasks. And they will run at a measly 2.5GHz with all cores loaded and likely be multiplier locked like all the current Xeons. And it will cost 10 times as much as the quad that can be clocked to 4.2 to 4.5 GHz. I think I will be sticking to SandyBridge and SandyBridge-E for the foreseeable future for my needs.


Horses for courses. I will also not be buying one for home, a decision based both on price and performance for what i do at home. At work though, i have no doubt a couple of these (in Dell wrappings) will appear to sit beside the dual 8 core workstations we use for DFT modelling.

As for the Mac Pro, if the CPU is costing $3k i definitely wouldn't expect to see too much change from $6k for the full system. It will be reasonably comparable in price to equivalent offerings from Dell, HP etc. but very expensive as a home PC.



Aug 13, 2013 at 04:49 PM
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p.1 #6 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Apple, please don't let this come in at $5,000+, I need to replace my old MacPro but couldn't afford that!

Edited on Aug 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM · View previous versions



Aug 14, 2013 at 12:31 AM
jimmy462
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p.1 #7 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


15Bit wrote:
I would wait and see the price before thanking Apple for their commitment to you. I suspect that your bank manager will in turn be thanking you for your commitment to him - those top of the range 12 core Xeons will cost in the region of $3k for the CPU alone.


Hi 15-Bit,

Well, silly me, I should have elaborated more... ...Apple's decision to finally refresh and redesign the MacPro tells me that they're committed to both high-end users and OSX for the time being. My market space in this is the iMac line until/unless Apple decides to offer a mid-range tower somewhere along the way (unlikely, I know). Would I love to have a shiny black trash can? You bet. But I also wanted an 8-core Nehalem at the time, my needs and budget just didn't, and still don't, justify the investment.

Apple's commitment to new hardware also communicates to me a commitment to its software developers writing to their platform. And software choices are, of course, paramount in any user's platform decisions.

So, for me, looking ahead to 2016 when I'll be looking to upgrade my system, the new MacPro has got me feeling better about Aperture, FCP and a lot of other software I use still being alive on OSX.

My apologies for any confusion!
Jimmy G

Edited on Aug 14, 2013 at 02:05 AM · View previous versions



Aug 14, 2013 at 01:43 AM
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p.1 #8 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


aubsxc wrote:
I wouldn't be rejoicing yet if I were you. Given Apple's history of pricing strategy (like the markups on their MacPro workstations), and the likely $3,000 to $4,000 pricetag that the upcoming Xeons alone will no doubt be sporting, I would wait for pricing details to be released before popping the cork on the champagne bottles.

So, the new 12-core Xeons will be somewhat faster in heavily multithreaded tasks (like Cinebench), but only marginally faster than an overclocked consumer line i7 hex or quad core processor at most tasks. And they will run at a measly 2.5GHz with all cores loaded
...Show more

Hi aubsxc,

Uh, make that a sparkling cider for me.

Yeah, those were interestingly disparate performance numbers on those Xeons between single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks, clearly not processors designed to end up in the home. As for bang-for-the-buck I'll have to concur with your observations.


Jimmy G



Aug 14, 2013 at 02:03 AM
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p.1 #9 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Sandybridge (2nd gen Core i7) and Xeon-E3 are EXACTLY the same CPU except Xeon E3 has ECC enabled (which is a good thing). And, BTW, Snow Leopard runs really well on a E3-1240 . .

These days the differences between Xeon line and Sandybridge/IvyBridge, etc are pretty minimal, more down to cache, TDP, ECC.

Xeon E3 CPUs are pretty inexpensive and have turbo modes like Core i7, even if the base clock is "locked".

- slrl0ver




Aug 17, 2013 at 06:36 AM
15Bit
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p.1 #10 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


It was always the case that the low end Xeons were basically identical to their desktop counterparts. You only buy those models for the ECC RAM or because Dell / HP etc won't sell you a decent workstation box which isn't Xeon based.

The real fun in the Xeon range is the models with more cores, bigger caches and multi-socket capability. Dual or quad socket layouts with 8 or 12 cores per socket gives the kind of performance for multi-threaded applications that can't be replicated by anything in the consumer lineup no matter how much you overclock.



Aug 17, 2013 at 06:58 AM
 

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rico
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p.1 #11 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Xeon processors are server-grade products and are expected to support much more memory (with ECC, of course). Sandy Bridge E3, for example, addresses 768GB versus just 64GB for the equivalent Sandy Bridge i7. My dual E5-2650 is motherboard-limited to 512GB and I have 64GB (a paltry config).

The new Ivy Bridge Xeons look great for a new build, but are less attractive for an upgrade - call it a half-step improvement. Old E5-2650 gets a clock upgrade from 2GHz (2.8 turbo) to 2.6 (3.4 turbo), while retaining the same L3 and TDP. Other than the crushing budget, I don't deny the full-bore upgrade to 12 cores would work for me.



Aug 18, 2013 at 06:49 AM
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p.1 #12 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


rico wrote:
Other than the crushing budget, I don't deny the full-bore upgrade to 12 cores would work for me.


"Crushing" is a good descriptive for these in terms of a home build. As a server/workstation grade chip though, they are actually pretty good value.

Personally, whilst i'd love the geek value of a dual 12 core workstation at home, the most CPU intensive thing i do (actually the *only* CPU intensive thing i do) is LR processing. The only part of that i'd like sped up is the real time interaction during editing (i don't export large image batches), and that doesn't really scale all that well with increasing core count so a 12 core machine is unlikely to realise much (if any) speed up for me relative to an overclocked 4 or 6 core. For sure it isn't worth the money to me.



Aug 18, 2013 at 07:54 AM
rico
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p.1 #13 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Yeah, full core utilization is either a matter of independent operations (e.g. batch-processing of images in parallel), or a tool that is parallel internally. Image-processing algorithms are well matched to multiple cores, but I don't know if commercial products are making best use of the latest h/w offerings. I write my own tools.


Aug 18, 2013 at 08:41 AM
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p.1 #14 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


I don't see what there is to be so excited about, the only nice thing about the new Mac pro is its case design.

Other then that its just a glorified desktop, sure its a Xeon cpu, but only one and only 64gb of ram.... yeah no, I don't think so.

Henrik



Aug 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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p.1 #15 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


They are aimed at businesses which can squeeze every ounce of performance out of them by having them crank through clients work 24/7, thereby paying for themselves.


Aug 19, 2013 at 12:55 PM
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p.1 #16 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Henrik,

The excitement is because its from Apple. Many people will only buy Apple computers, and some of them need/want more than 4 cores. To get above 4 cores with a Mac you must buy a Mac Pro, so for these users it is a big deal. For the rest of us it is a nice looking computer that we won't be buying.

The release of a new Mac Pro also suggests that whilst Apple have been moving more and more towards a "consumer-grade only" business model, they haven't totally deserted their "Pro" level customers yet. This also gives hope to users of Apple's Pro level software like Final Cut Pro.



Aug 19, 2013 at 04:13 PM
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p.1 #17 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


tived wrote:
I don't see what there is to be so excited about, the only nice thing about the new Mac pro is its case design.

Other then that its just a glorified desktop, sure its a Xeon cpu, but only one and only 64gb of ram.... yeah no, I don't think so.

Henrik


Actually, the case design is what turns me away from it. Speed is great, but one of the hallmarks for the MacPro for my needs was the internal expandability.



Aug 22, 2013 at 11:36 PM
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p.1 #18 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


The reality is that, just like the 4-core machines, you will find a 12 core job spinning the beach ball, with near 0% CPU, no disk activity , and no network activity. If the software cant effectively use 4 cores, why would it run faster with 12?


Aug 24, 2013 at 03:03 AM
rico
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p.1 #19 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Example of parallel processing of images with a batch approach. Tool used here is dcraw by Dave Coffin that is entirely driven by command line. Your tool of choice must operate similarly (non-interactively). dcraw is single threaded.

$ time (for f in *.crw; do dcraw $f& done; wait)
real 0m10.722s
user 5m35.107s
sys 0m3.604s

$ time (for f in *.crw; do dcraw $f; done; wait)
real 3m11.541s
user 3m9.300s
sys 0m2.091s
Test used 256 RAW files processed either in parallel or sequentially with command line shown. Wall-time difference was a factor of 17.9, showing all cores occupied on my box and some hyperthreading, too.



Aug 24, 2013 at 06:37 AM
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p.1 #20 · Mac Pro Users - Review on the new 12 core Xeon


Yea, finding software that can make proper use of 12 threads is going to be quite a trick. Even my lowly X6 Phenom is overkill for most PP applications. Only Neatimage and a handful of PS filters (the ones I never use ) can fully load the cores. DPP does so in short bursts, but average utilization over time is only 50% or so.

For the price Apple will likely be charging... Well, 'no thanks.'



Aug 24, 2013 at 06:47 AM
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