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CPU Upgrade Best Case Benchmarks

See 2013 Mac Pro: Choosing CPU Speed.

The prior OWC post on CPU upgrades had an error in one case, and I let OWC know.

Now the latest tests with upgraded CPUs match exactly what I’d expect from each in terms of theoretical best results:

  • A single thread runs 2.5% faster on a 3.7 vs 3.5 GHz CPU (4.0/3.9 = 2.56%). That’s TurboBoost at 4.0 vs 3.9 GHz.
  • The 8-core 3.3 GHz CPU is definitely the very best choice; it gives up almost nothing on single-core execution and yet offers a ~21% boost over the 6-core 3.7 GHz CPU when 8 cores are used. In the 3/4/5 core range, it’s going to be a wash, depending on actual task.
  • The 10-core CPU 0ffers a modest advantage over the 8-core only if all 10 cores are used. Given software overhead and less than 10 cores at 100% usage it offers essentially zero value over the 8 core for real world usage. With 9 cores in use it will scarcely differ from the 8-core.

A key point is that these are the BEST possible improvements. Real world software has implementation inefficiences, involves the disk at times, etc. Hence the real question is what each CPU does for a particular workflow. That will be my focus when I obtain a Mac Pro for testing—real world metrics for real workflow challenges, including how these CPUs stack up against my 3.33 GHz 12-core Mac Pro (2010 model).

CPUs tested by OWC in 2013 Mac Pro
Turbo Boost Speeds with 2013 Mac Pro Intel Xeon CPUs
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