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Mac Pro Westmere Conclusions

Last updated 2010-09-05 - Send Feedback
Related: Mac Pro, Macs

Many dollars and hours of free time died to bring you this report— please use one of my links to GET YOUR MAC PRO, thank you. Or subscribe to one of my photography guides.

The sweet spot

For most users, the “sweet spot” is the 3.33GHz 6-core model. Upgraded to the MPG Pro Workstation it can really sing, because a balance is required to reliably exploit CPU performance: memory and fast drives.

12 cores is a mixed bag

The 12-core model sounds promising (at huge cost), but paradoxically can result in impaired performance with Photoshop CS5. On the other hand, it offers a big step forward with well-written programs, such as Photozoom Pro, or Logic Studio or Bibble Pro.

The quad-core models

For those looking to keep the cost down, the reality is that for most tasks, the 4-core models running at 2.8GHz or 3.2GHz are solid choices. And 6 months or a year from now when CPU prices drop, you can upgrade to a faster CPU.

Always consider total system cost before dismissing a faster CPU; think in percentages.

The 2.4GHz 8-core

The 2.4GHz 8-core model is a dud; at best it can only come close to the 3.33GHz 6-core model, with the sole exception of apparently more resilient performance with Logic Studio. However, the fact that it has 8 memory slots might make it a viable choice for specific purposes. For most users, ignore it.
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