The 6-core 3.5 GHz CPU is an outstanding performer (as predicted). It should match the 8-core 3.0 GHz on most things, based on testing so far.
Hence I have canceled my order shown below in favor of the 4-core 3.7 GHz Mac Pro with D700 GPUs—to be modified to a faster 6-core or 8-core. See discussion below.
This order for a 4-core has been in place since January 6th, so it is in the queue. My reasoning for going this way:
- I want to test a 4-core and this gives me that opportunity.
- I want to test the D700 GPUs, and Adobe’s recent first and very excellent (crashes aside!) stab at using GPUs suggests that the D700 option might pay off even more. It’s probably not worth it for most users, but I use Photoshop a great deal, and I doubt I'll get a hold of a D700 GPU model any other way.
- The 4-core is the most cost effective model for upgrading the CPU to either a 3.7 GHz 6-core or a 3.3 GHz 8-core.
My needs call for the fastest possible system, hence the upgrade path. The choice between those 6-core 3.7 GHz and 8-core 3.3 GHz is still pending additional testing. I suspect that the 6-core 3.7 GHz will be just as fast as the 8-core 3.3 GHz on almost everything, based on testing so far, and perhaps even a little faster on some tasks.
It has become clear that the D700 GPUs might be worthwhile now that support is emerging for huge speed gains in certain areas—more is likely to come. But how much more the D700 GPUs will offer over the D500 GPUs is uncertain as yet (specs vs real world usage).