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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.
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?