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MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld

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Craig Seeman
MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 1:15:23 pm

Meet the new Mac Pro, about the same as the old Mac Pro
http://www.macworld.com/article/1167386/meet_the_new_mac_pro_about_the_same...

Interesting takeaways for me are their comments that most apps benefit more from CPU speed rather than number of cores. That for the most part the 15" MBPr is faster than the MacPros.

Key to me (to us) is that Handbrake benefits from number of cores. Encoding is the key finisher for most jobs. No matter how fast you edit, if you're dragged down when creating the deliverables, that's what the client sees.



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Andrew Richards
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:17:32 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Interesting takeaways for me are their comments that most apps benefit more from CPU speed rather than number of cores. That for the most part the 15" MBPr is faster than the MacPros."

Many of their real-world tests were more of a storage I/O test than a CPU test, so it makes sense that the 6G SATA SSD in the MBPr would skunk the 7200 RPM 3G SATA HDD in the Mac Pro. They should also test with an OWC Accelsior and make a bigger point about how much their tests are biased to storage performance.

They also pay way too much attention to the old ports on the Mac Pro and barely mention its old microarchitecture. If Apple had revved the Mac Pro with the new Sandy Bridge Xeons, there would be no contest- the Mac Pro would be stomping the new laptops (and the old Mac Pros) in every test by a wide margin. Thunderbolt and USB 3 are a minor footnote compared to the importance of the CPUs and their host chipset with its attendant PCIe 3.0 and 6G SAS/SATA storage controller.

I even take issue characterizing the 2012 Mac Pro as having had a "speed bump". All they did was make formerly optional CPUs standard kit.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:33:46 pm

Generally I agree with you.
That's why I thought the Handbrake test was more important than some of the others. To me, the most important evaluation relates to decode, render, encode.

[Andrew Richards] "Many of their real-world tests were more of a storage I/O test than a CPU test, so it makes sense that the 6G SATA SSD in the MBPr would skunk the 7200 RPM 3G SATA HDD in the Mac Pro. They should also test with an OWC Accelsior and make a bigger point about how much their tests are biased to storage performance. "

Their tests are certainly limited. It was pretty much a "stock machine" test rather any attempt at level playing field. It would have been a bit more useful to see the MP with SSD system drives given the limit of 3G vs 6G SATA on the MBPr.

Personally outside of very short ROI, I think doing anything to "enhance" a MP at this stage, throwing good money after bad. I do think, overall, if one is buying a "stock" machine, for a large number of people, the MBPr is a better choice given the all around speed. As I've noted before, encoding is important to me and I really am not sure I want to be limited to Quad i7 . . . nor do I want to invest heavily in a computer that's going be in leagues behind current technology already and even more so next year.



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 2:36:54 pm

It's nothing new to the production paradigm of hurry up and wait.

There's always Microsoft and a slew of PC makers, right?

;)


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Andrew Richards
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:05:25 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Personally outside of very short ROI, I think doing anything to "enhance" a MP at this stage, throwing good money after bad. I do think, overall, if one is buying a "stock" machine, for a large number of people, the MBPr is a better choice given the all around speed."

Yes. I think Mr. Galbraith's article is missing the forest for the trees. The real story isn't how the new MBPr is faster than the Mac Pro in many respects, it is that the Mac Pro did not get an update of any consequence. Pouring money into a 2010-vintage tower today is only a good idea if you bought it in 2010, and only if the updates are offset buy incremental revenue. My suggestion about the Accelsior card was more about how MacWorld could have been more transparent in the biases of their tests with a demonstration than it was a recommendation that anyone buy an Accelsior card for an old Mac Pro.

Incidentally, storage I/O is a factor in encoding performance as well, since the system is doing a lot of reading and writing of large files to do it. This is much more of a factor in clustered encoding scenarios than with single-system encoding though.

Best,
Andy


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 22, 2012 at 3:31:29 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Incidentally, storage I/O is a factor in encoding performance as well, since the system is doing a lot of reading and writing of large files to do it. This is much more of a factor in clustered encoding scenarios than with single-system encoding though."

And I think Apple is aware of this. There's a lot of little things going on that give clues to Apple's direction. In the latest update to Compressor, it now works with "headless" Macs. I think there are a lot of dangling pieces that may be future indicators that people aren't really seeing yet. I don't want to speculate because that often starts a war here but I think the Apple ecosystem for the "Pro" is going to be very interesting in a couple of years.



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Jim Giberti
Re: MacPro 2009-2012 and MacBookPro 2012 speed tests from MacWorld
on Jun 23, 2012 at 12:07:34 am

[Craig Seeman] "I think the Apple ecosystem for the "Pro" is going to be very interesting in a couple of years.
"


Interesting Craig, I said virtually the same thing in a recent post.


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