Well, lots more cores if you get a 16 core Mac Pro . Thus my updated advice is to buy ONLY a 16-core (or 24/28 core if warranted). An 8-core or 12-core Mac Pro is marginal in terms of CPU performance relative to the 2019 iMac 5K.
My testing shows that for single-threaded stuff, a CPU core in the 16-core 2019 Mac Pro is up to 30% slower per core than the 2019 iMac 5K.
Consult with me (Lloyd) and I’ll help steer you to the best machine for your own specific workflow needs at the lowest cost, professional or you just want the best (which might or might not be the Mac Pro). Along with whatever add-ons and backup procedures and related stuff you need to sort out.
Which means that unless 8 or more cores are used, a Mac Pro is a losing proposition for many types of work. It will be GREAT for video processing and similar, GREAT for expansion, but a quadruple-expense headache with inferior interactive feel for many types of work.
That said, there are lots of little things I do that actually do take a lot of CPU cores. Do they add up to a net win? I am dubious and that will take some time to answer. Some examples:
- Rebooting my development web server—see the CPU history image below.
- Focus stacking assembly—but not retouching where the Mac Pro is big loser with noticeably inferior response time.
- git gc (git is a repository system)—but I do this infrequently.
- IntegrityChecker—up to 60% faster—but it just doesn’t matter much as I can do other things.
$2400 SAVE $130 = 5.0% OWC 56TB OWC ThunderBay 4 RAID 5 Four-Drive HDD External Storage… in Storage: ThunderBay
$480 SAVE $120 = 20.0% OWC 14.0TB OWC Mercury Elite Pro 7200RPM Storage Solution with U… in Storage: Mercury Elite Pro
In short, if you are looking for workflow speedups, the biggest speedups might look good on paper, but the inferior interactive response time in which only a single core or a few cores are used will have you buying an iMac 5K as an accessory, just to improve the response time issue. This may in fact be how I operate at home, placing the iMac at 90° to the Mac Pro display, and connecting two two with 10 gigabyte ethernet in order to share files.