On Wednesday, MacRumors reported on the leaked results of a performance test conducted on Apple’s high-end Mac Pro line of desktops.
Conducted with a tool called Geekbench, the benchmark reveals that Intel’s top-of-the-line CPUs really haven’t improved all that much in the last three years.
Marco Arment, creator of Instapaper and early Tumblr developer, wrote up an analysis of the results in comparison to previous generations of the Mac Pro on his blog yesterday.
Marco notes that while the new model gets better performance than previous generation Pro with a single-processor, it is limited by the reduction in the number of available CPU sockets. Users with big budgets in the past could opt for two processors – that’s no longer an option.
He also says that many apps simply aren’t coded to take advantage of the “more cores, lower speed” design of the CPU that was benchmarked.
However, it makes up for it with insanely powerful graphics hardware, which will become more useful in the next few years as developers start to take advantage of the thousands of processing units the Mac Pro’s two graphics cards make available:
The new Mac Pro is also extremely power-lopsided: it will initially max out at 12 cores (almost certainly this exact CPU), which is upper-midrange by Xeon standards, but it comes with a ridiculous amount of GPU power. This is overkill to just be about future desktop Retina Displays — clearly, Apple’s pushing for pro and scientific apps to shift more of the heavy lifting to OpenCL.
If they succeed, the new Mac Pro will probably crush everything else in its price range (and the rest of the Mac lineup).
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