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  #1  
Old 02-16-2011, 04:48 AM
Detlef Brockmann Detlef Brockmann is offline
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Default 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Hello everyone,
so I want to replace my G5 and have to decide between the 6-core (3.33GHz) or the dual quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere processor setup.
I usually have mid size mixes (64 tracks) and a couple of VIs.
I know that ram has a lot to do with performance but just to keep it simple I want to choose between these two setups.
Cheers, Detlef.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2011, 05:08 AM
Stig Eliassen's Avatar
Stig Eliassen Stig Eliassen is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Detlef Brockmann View Post
Hello everyone,
so I want to replace my G5 and have to decide between the 6-core (3.33GHz) or the dual quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere processor setup.
I usually have mid size mixes (64 tracks) and a couple of VIs.
I know that ram has a lot to do with performance but just to keep it simple I want to choose between these two setups.
Cheers, Detlef.
I've sent countless mails around the world to get some user feedback the last couple of weeks. I'm basically in the same situation as you, except I'll keep the G5/PT 8 HD3 Accel as my TDM mixing system, and outsource all VIs to a 6-core 3.33 Westmere with 24 GB of memory, and pipe the audio into the PPC via ethernet.

My experience with the PPC, and others experiences with the new Mac Pros, is that higher clock speed is (marginally?) better than 2 processors. And since I've seen countless times that some VIs behaves badly with 2 RTAS processors on my old rig, I chose the single-processor MP with the fastest clock speed. The 3.33 6-core also has faster RAM (1333 MHz) than 2x2.4 quad-core (1066 MHz) according to the Apple Store.

Fast clock speed and fast RAM (and lots of it) is important to me, as I'm huge on VIs. Since you only use "a couple of VIs" it may not matter to you at all, but I just wanted to share my thoughts.

Best of luck!
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Studio rig - Pro Tools|HDX 2018.7 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | Avid HD I/O (8x8x8) | 6-core 3.33 Westmere w/24GB RAM | OS 10.12.3 | D-Command ES | Eleven Rack | Vienna Ensemble Pro 5
Mobile rig - Macbook Pro i7 w/16GB RAM | UA Apollo 8p | Pro Tools|HD 2018.3 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | OS 10.12.6
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2011, 12:24 PM
drenkrom drenkrom is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Hi,

Real-life MacPro benchmarks are very hard to come by, so it's always hard to determine how much we'll gain with a given Mac. There are artificial benchmarks, though, and Primatelabs compiles all Geekbench results into one table, found here: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

The two computers you're looking at are the "Intel Xeon W3680 3.33 GHz (6 cores)" and "Intel Xeon E5620 2.4 GHz (8 cores)", which score 13904 and 12525, respectively. A 1000 score in Geekbench is the equivalent of a 2004 1.6gHz G5, so the 6-core is about "one G5 faster" than the dual-4-core. This means very little in practice, especially in PT, but gives a relative idea of maximum performance.

Going from a G5 to any of these two machines will be scary-fast, the 6-core being a tad scarier-fast. If that is worth the extra 200$ is down to you, really.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2011, 03:13 AM
Niels B Niels B is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT Lover View Post
....and pipe the audio into the PPC via ethernet.
Can you please explain how you do that?

Thanks!

Niels
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2011, 03:25 AM
Stig Eliassen's Avatar
Stig Eliassen Stig Eliassen is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niels B View Post
Can you please explain how you do that?

Thanks!

Niels
You can do that via ethernet using a VI host called Vienna Ensemble Pro on the slave machine. I actually haven't done it yet since most of the gear I've ordered hasn't arrived, but it's been discussed frequently over the last six months or so here on the DUC.

VE Pro
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you'll see Mixing Over Network.
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Studio rig - Pro Tools|HDX 2018.7 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | Avid HD I/O (8x8x8) | 6-core 3.33 Westmere w/24GB RAM | OS 10.12.3 | D-Command ES | Eleven Rack | Vienna Ensemble Pro 5
Mobile rig - Macbook Pro i7 w/16GB RAM | UA Apollo 8p | Pro Tools|HD 2018.3 | Logic Pro X.4.2 | OS 10.12.6
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2011, 10:12 AM
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O.G. Killa O.G. Killa is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Fr...roNehalem.html

These are some close to "real world" benchmarks based on how much ram is in the computer.

What i've seen first hand pretty much mimics these results. i've setup several computers now for composers I work for. A couple have gotten the 6core and one got the dual quad westmere. Having them side by side while setting them up, the 6core was a little faster, especially once I put the ram upgrades in them (32GB of RAM each).

Apple will tell you that for music applications more cores is better than faster processors. That is actually because they messed up the way Logic handles multiple processors, in essence there are very common setups using busses, auxes and channel strips in logic where each aux/channel strip reserves it's own core, even if it only needs 5% of that core. So Apple's audio software works better with more cores because of their own shortfalls.

Protools does not have this problem. So then it comes down to processing speed, data transfer speeds and the speed of the ram.

Also, the westmere processor are designed to automatically overclock themselves... so the 3.33 can get up to around 3.6... the 2.4 Dual Quad can get up to around 2.6 or 2.6.

Another factor is the chip design. The 6core is ONE processor with 12MB of L3 cache on it. The 2.4 is TWO 4Cores, each with 12MB of L3, but there has to be a "bridge" between the processors so they can share information and pass computations back and forth. Normally a processor uses it's L3 cache to do this between cores on the same die. But because you now have two processors, the information can't move as quickly between the two processors as it could if it were all included on the same die.

So A single 8 core processor would be faster than a single 6 core processor. But a single six core processor is faster than two 4 core processors linked together.

How much faster? Well... to be honest, not that much faster. But when doing real time audio it might allow you to set the buffer lower or it might give you the ability to add a plugin or two more to your session.

For what it's worth, after setting up both machines and installing lots of VIs on both and really "testing" both to make sure they work... I went for the 6core.

The only downfall to the 6core compared to the dual 4core is the max ram. The 6core can take a max of 32GB of ram whereas the Dual Quad can take a max of 64GB of RAM.

And if you look at the benchmark tests above... the real world speeds of a 2.4 Dual Quad westmere with 64GB of Ram is slightly faster when dealing with large files than a 6core with 32 GB (but still slower with medium and small file processing and slower with realtime processing like motion Graphics). So if you plan on dropping the $2000 on 64GB of RAM and run so many VIs with Kontakt and Vienna Ensemble Pro that you could use up most of that 64GB of RAM... then the Dual Quad might be the way to go for you.

If you are only going to do 16GB or 32GB anyway... I would suggest the 6core. I am extremely happy with my 6core and PTHD3 system. And I still haven't even bought the ram upgrade yet! (I still only have 3GB in it!) Anyway, either way you will be happy, but if you do a combination of processing (Plugins like Eleven and Altiverb) in conjunction with VIs, you might be happier with the 6core.
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2011, 11:35 AM
woodsdenis woodsdenis is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by O.G. Killa View Post
http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Fr...roNehalem.html

These are some close to "real world" benchmarks based on how much ram is in the computer.

What i've seen first hand pretty much mimics these results. i've setup several computers now for composers I work for. A couple have gotten the 6core and one got the dual quad westmere. Having them side by side while setting them up, the 6core was a little faster, especially once I put the ram upgrades in them (32GB of RAM each).

Apple will tell you that for music applications more cores is better than faster processors. That is actually because they messed up the way Logic handles multiple processors, in essence there are very common setups using busses, auxes and channel strips in logic where each aux/channel strip reserves it's own core, even if it only needs 5% of that core. So Apple's audio software works better with more cores because of their own shortfalls.

Protools does not have this problem. So then it comes down to processing speed, data transfer speeds and the speed of the ram.

Also, the westmere processor are designed to automatically overclock themselves... so the 3.33 can get up to around 3.6... the 2.4 Dual Quad can get up to around 2.6 or 2.6.

Another factor is the chip design. The 6core is ONE processor with 12MB of L3 cache on it. The 2.4 is TWO 4Cores, each with 12MB of L3, but there has to be a "bridge" between the processors so they can share information and pass computations back and forth. Normally a processor uses it's L3 cache to do this between cores on the same die. But because you now have two processors, the information can't move as quickly between the two processors as it could if it were all included on the same die.

So A single 8 core processor would be faster than a single 6 core processor. But a single six core processor is faster than two 4 core processors linked together.

How much faster? Well... to be honest, not that much faster. But when doing real time audio it might allow you to set the buffer lower or it might give you the ability to add a plugin or two more to your session.

For what it's worth, after setting up both machines and installing lots of VIs on both and really "testing" both to make sure they work... I went for the 6core.

The only downfall to the 6core compared to the dual 4core is the max ram. The 6core can take a max of 32GB of ram whereas the Dual Quad can take a max of 64GB of RAM.

And if you look at the benchmark tests above... the real world speeds of a 2.4 Dual Quad westmere with 64GB of Ram is slightly faster when dealing with large files than a 6core with 32 GB (but still slower with medium and small file processing and slower with realtime processing like motion Graphics). So if you plan on dropping the $2000 on 64GB of RAM and run so many VIs with Kontakt and Vienna Ensemble Pro that you could use up most of that 64GB of RAM... then the Dual Quad might be the way to go for you.

If you are only going to do 16GB or 32GB anyway... I would suggest the 6core. I am extremely happy with my 6core and PTHD3 system. And I still haven't even bought the ram upgrade yet! (I still only have 3GB in it!) Anyway, either way you will be happy, but if you do a combination of processing (Plugins like Eleven and Altiverb) in conjunction with VIs, you might be happier with the 6core.

Great info Derek thanks, real world experience too. The only info I got was from an Apple/Logic guru who gave the more processors route. Thanks for the explanation as to why.
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2011, 04:57 AM
Niels B Niels B is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by PT Lover View Post
You can do that via ethernet using a VI host called Vienna Ensemble Pro on the slave machine. I actually haven't done it yet since most of the gear I've ordered hasn't arrived, but it's been discussed frequently over the last six months or so here on the DUC.

VE Pro
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and you'll see Mixing Over Network.


Tanx!!
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2020, 09:29 AM
MacDaddy WGAR MacDaddy WGAR is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Glad i found this old thread. I just picked up an 08 2.8ghz dual quad for $41 and am looking at a 13 with that has 6 core 3.33ghz. Currently running an older PT 8 LE on rack02 on a mac mini with mavericks, it is stable but slow. So debating on if i should buy this newer 6 core.

I do have the 10,11,12 package at work but would be nice to have something faster at home for basic editing and mixing. I typically have 18 tracks with 6 subs for rtas plugins i use for producing commercials and voiceovers. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Bill
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2020, 10:39 AM
albee1952 albee1952 is offline
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Default Re: 6-core (3.33GHz) or 2 quad-core (2.4GHz) Westmere

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacDaddy WGAR View Post
Glad i found this old thread. I just picked up an 08 2.8ghz dual quad for $41 and am looking at a 13 with that has 6 core 3.33ghz. Currently running an older PT 8 LE on rack02 on a mac mini with mavericks, it is stable but slow. So debating on if i should buy this newer 6 core.

I do have the 10,11,12 package at work but would be nice to have something faster at home for basic editing and mixing. I typically have 18 tracks with 6 subs for rtas plugins i use for producing commercials and voiceovers. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Bill
I would go for the most speed, over the most cores. I would also recommend moving up to a current version of PT as 8(and 9, 10) is a 32 bit program, which is a performance killer. Of course, moving forward will require you to jump thru many more hoops with OS updates and plugin changes from the old RTAS versions. The upgrade can be stressful, but IMHO, its worth it in the long run(I would finish any current projects before making any big changes)
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