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Mac Pro Westmere Conclusions

2010-08-21 updated 2010-09-05 • SEND FEEDBACK
Related: Mac Pro, Macs

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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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