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  #1  
Old 01-13-2008, 12:17 AM
pasanta pasanta is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
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Default 8 Core Mac Pro, Leopard and Windows results

Since there are posts and questions within several other threads about the 8 core Macs, Leopard, etc, I thought I'd just post this in a new thread.

My 8 core Mac Pro came the other day. It's not the newest model; it's one of the "older" 8 cores. But it came with Leopard installed. And since my only OSX 10.4 install discs are for a PowerPC laptop, I can't install Tiger. So what the heck, I decided to try PT on Leopard anyway. Yeh.......I know it's not supported. Yes, I'm aware others have reported glitches and problems. But I cloned the drive before installing (with Carbon Copy Cloner) so I can restore back to the state it shipped in easily. Plus, for serious work I still have my previous rig in action.

I've not had time to do extensive mixing or recording. But I did load a 24/48k session and could put 48 tracks (DV toolkit) in record while running 230 Dverbs. I've not tried tweaking or optimizing anything; not that there's that much to tweak on a Mac. And I didn't get very scientific.....i.e., I might be able to get a few more dverbs by rebooting or cycling the buffer once the CPU maxes out.

FWIW, I did a Windows XP install using a Boot Camp partition. It was simple and even WAAAYYY easier than installing XP and all the accompanying drivers on an actual PC. Running PT 7.4 on that, I got pretty close the same results; 221 Dverbs. Again, let me stress that this is with very little attention to optimizing XP and by no means doing any "real" work.

If I remember right, people were getting around or even better than these dverb results on quads, weren't they? If so, this isn't very impressive and may be a result of Leopard and PT incompatibility for now.

However, something that impressed me though is how quiet this 8 core is. Honestly, it's 4 feet away from me and I can hardly tell it's running. And while I've not had a mac in a couple of years, I do work on dual G5s in other studios most every day. I really don't recall any of them booting as fast as this thing boots up. Of course, PT still loads in whatever time is relevant to the installed plugins. But this MacPro itself boots much faster than I'm accustomed to.

Oh........one more very nice thing........I ADORE the drive bays with no cabling! That and the removable RAM risers are simply a work of art. It literally took me 5 minutes to add 3 drives and 2GB of RAM..........it took longer to unbox, unseal and unpack the drives and RAM than to install them!

So.........I'll be interested in seeing the results of using OSX 10.4 instead of Leopard. But the real interest will be when a Leopard supported version of PT comes out.






------

Original 8 core 3.0 Ghz Mac Pro
3Gb RAM
4 Seagate SATA drives
OSX 10.5.1
PT LE 7.4 cs2 w/ 002r
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2008, 08:07 AM
Smithcok Smithcok is offline
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Default Re: 8 Core Mac Pro results

Did you know that if you called Apple, you can probably exchange that for a new one (and save about 600 bucks if you stay with 3.0Ghz or pay a little more for 3.2)?

Its nice to know that though. Gives me a little hope I have a 3.2GHz coming Tuesday, I will post up what happens.

I do have a question for people:
With Leopard, I understand you need to use 7.4
I have a disc with 7.3, but got a free update via email to 7.4. Can I just install 7.3, and before I open it for the first time, just upgrade to 7.4?

Thanks
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2008, 02:41 PM
pasanta pasanta is offline
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Default Re: 8 Core Mac Pro results

Quote:
Did you know that if you called Apple, you can probably exchange that for a new one (and save about 600 bucks if you stay with 3.0Ghz or pay a little more for 3.2)?

I asked. They said.........."No". Not sorry, wish we could, let me ask or anything else other than "no".

Right now I'm not concerned with it. Even if I could have traded up, I would have had to change out RAM since I added some to this one and the new ones have different.

At the moment I'm looking to see if 10.4 will run any better. PT 7.4 seems to be running stable so far in both Leopard and XP via Boot Camp........with the exception in both of not supplying any more power based on my dverb test compared to reports of quad core PCs (probably quad Macs, too). Changing the processor settings to "4 processors" will show a drop in power. But obviously I'm not getting full benefit of all 8 cores. So I'm wondering if updating PT for Leopard will also update it for use with 8 cores.

BTW.......I can't be the only one here with an "older" 8 core Mac Pro. Has anyone posted their results with PT using 10.4 Tiger on an 8 core and I've missed them?
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Old 01-13-2008, 03:11 PM
jonathan_w_kerr jonathan_w_kerr is offline
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Default Re: 8 Core Mac Pro results

I purchased an "old" 8 core mac pro at the end of December. When you look at price per performance, a refurb 3ghz 8 core was only $3349 and the retail on the processors alone was over $2500. It is still beating the 2.8 ghz 8 cores in floating point performance - which is what you want in audio. It is also cheaper than the 3.0ghz new model by a decent amount (even if you factor in the upgrades inside). It is also guaranteed compatibility with Pro Tools in the near-term. I was fully aware of a pending upgrade - which I chose to skip. Not to mention ram is cheaper. I fully recommend everyone getting the 3ghz 8 core old model for the refurb price. It is as future proof as the new mac pro (better cost per performance than the same amount spent on a new 8 core today) with the only exception being SSE4. However, that won't be fully implemented for at least a year (maybe in benchmarks, but not real-world tests) and won't be that remarkable in the speed increase department.

Look at it like this from an audio standpoint:

- A graphics card gets the image to your monitor (who cares about the 2600 vs. the nvidia 7300).
- Add bluetooth yourself for $50 bucks if you really need it.
- comes with 1gb less of ram (but you are going to buy additional ram anyway and it will make up for it in the price of 667mhz ram)
- 320gb hd vs. 250gb hd (250gb hd has better performance via macworld, and the difference in retail price is about $5)
- you can always upgrade the processors to peryn if you care to (albeit not as easily as a pc)
- Compatible with Pro Tools today
- best floating point performance for the buck
- who really likes the new keyboard aside from cosmetics?

Ultimately the new mac pro is an excellent purchase - I just think that the refurb older 8 core is still a very very good deal.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:51 PM
pasanta pasanta is offline
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Default Re: 8 Core Mac Pro results

Quote:

- A graphics card gets the image to your monitor (who cares about the 2600 vs. the nvidia 7300).
- Add bluetooth yourself for $50 bucks if you really need it.

- who really likes the new keyboard aside from cosmetics?

Ultimately the new mac pro is an excellent purchase - I just think that the refurb older 8 core is still a very very good deal.
Yep. After the new model came out and I did a bit of researching, I came to the same conclusion..

Plus, I already had a Kensington Bluetooth module. And Logitech has
this wireless keyboard and mouse out now. Just don't buy it from Apple. Do a google search and you can find them for $40 -50 dollars cheaper than the Apple store.
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