Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Doing some math with the new "Nehalem" powered Mac Pro's

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OK so a buddy of mine at a local Los Angeles advertising agency sent me a link with benchmarks of the new "Nehalem" powered Mac Pro towers. People are scratching their heads about the higher priced & slower clocked Mac Pro's.

MacRumors.com Benchmarks

This is very reminiscent of the old "Megahertz Myth" days.

So Vic & his aerospace engineering degree did some math and is playing Devil's Advocate.

The previous generation "low end" 2.8 GHz 8 core got a score of 18,245 on high end render work, and the current "low end" 2.26 GHz got a score of 18,088 on multi-render operations.

Old 2.8 GHz 8-core: 18,245.
New 2.26 GHz 8-core: 18,088

18,245 / 18,088 = 1.008679787705, so the old low end was less than 1% faster. So if they made the new one 2.28 GHz, it would be faster than it, ho hum.

Yeah the new 2.93 smokes the old one (it would have been nice if they had benchmarks for the old 3.0 GHz and 3.2 GHz 8-core systems, but I did more math to address that below).

My only concern is the public perception that the old ones are slower, but I think pro users can see the pure benchmarks. Mom & Dad buying iMacs would scratch their heads if they released a slower clock speed machine for a higher price.

What I'm going to look for are the prices of the just discontinued systems, as the new ones cost more ... would like to compare bang-for-the-buck old vs. new.

And while these new ones are clocked lower, it just means that the new Nehalem processors are faster at a lower clock speed, and that'll give them more room to speed up for the .... ahem ... next generation.

If the old 3.0 and 3.2 GHz 8-cores increased speed linearly over the old 2.8, their scores would have been:

3.0 GHz 8-Core: 19,548
3.2 GHz 8-Core: 20,851

Thank makes the new 2.93 GHz 8-core 1.2298x as fast as the old 3.2 GHz 8-core. (25644 / 20851 = 1.229869071028), so a 23% improvement.

Scaling the new Nehalem to 3.2 GHz would give it a score of 28007, so...

28007 (Nehalem scaled to 3.2 GHz) / 20851 (Old 3.2 GHz 8-core) = 1.343 - so, at the same clock speed, the Nehalem is 34.3% faster than the previous generation.

So who has the previous generation price list for me?


1 comment:

Victor Orly said...

More math on the new systems....

Exclude the differences in hard drives (retail difference less than $50) and RAM (retail difference, less than $200.00)....

Old model prices:
8- core 2.8 GHz / 2 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / ATI 2600XT Bang: 18,245 Bucks: $2,799.00 Bang / Bucks = 6.518 per $
8- core 3.2 GHz / 2 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / ATI 2600XT Bang: 20.851 Bucks: $3,999.00 Bang / Bucks = 5.214 per $

New model prices:
8- core 2.26 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 640 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 18.088 Bucks: $3,299.00 Bang / Bucks = 5.483 per $
8- core 2.66 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 320 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 23.281 Bucks: $4,699.00 Bang / Bucks = 4.954 per $
8- core 2.93 GHz / 6 GB RAM/ 640 GB HD / 512 MB Nvidia GeForce GT 120 Bang: 25,644 Bucks: $5,899.00 Bang / Bucks = 4.347 per $

So basically the new models are a wallet ass kicking. Old models better bang for buck. The new low end 2.26 GHz system is just a little better in value than the old high end.

For the new high end bang / buck to be equivalent to the old high end (ignoring differences in hard drive, RAM and video card), it would have to be priced at $4,918.10 ((4.347 / 5.214) * $5,899) ... New 2.93 is 19.44% too expensive.