'Nehalem' Mac Pro unboxed and benchmarked

A MacRumors forum user who got his Nehalem Mac Pro has shared his experiences unboxing the new beast and benchmarked the system's memory and processor performance in GeekBench Result Browser. Below is the system configuration of the "Nehalem" Mac Pro he got.

  • Processor 065-8315 Two 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
  • Memory 065-8333 6GB (6X1GB)
  • Graphics Card 065-8316 ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
  • Hard Drive Bay1 065-8537 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb
  • Optical Drive 065-7923 One 18x SuperDrive
  • Wireless Option 065-7925
  • Mini Display Port Adapter 065-8677
  • Mini Display Port Adapter2 065-8679
  • Fibre Chl Card 065-7929

The Geekbench benchmark for the 2.93GHz, dual Quad-Core Nehalem system gave a total score of 17,665, giving it the second place in the list of all GeekBench 2 scores. Multi-threaded functions and memory performance contribute to the highest gains in the scores of the new system. The 3.2GHz 8-core Mac Pro has got a score of 11,030 with many results in the 9,000 range. The multi-core performance of the new 2.93GHz processor has significantly outpaced the previous generation machines.

The Geekbench benchmark score of the new Nehalem 2.26GHz Mac Pro turns out to be in the range of 11226-13113. Also the 2.26GHz 8-core Nehalem performed comparably to the previous 2.8GHz 8-core processor in multi-threaded tasks, but worse at single threaded tasks. Nehalem processors driven by lower clock speed excelled at multi-threaded tasks, but the performance turned out to be slower at single-threaded tasks due to the lower clock speed. The Cinebench benchmark results chart compiled by MacRumors users as shown below reiterates the same fact.

Based on the Mac performance benchmark results, Macrumors concludes that it makes more sense to buy a faster Quad-Core than a slower Octo-Core.

For more unboxing pictures posted by the user, visit here. You can also see Apple's performance charts for Mac Pro's and GeekBench's Mac Performance Chart to know all the Mac performance benchmarks as of February 2009.

*Images Courtesy: MacRumors:Forums

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Meet the Staff, Episode 1: Daniel Fleshbourne

Next Story

Splash Damage snipes Killzone 2 lead

70 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Wow, I just priced this system up on the UK store ...

* £4,739.00 incl. VAT
*
* Ships: 6 business days
* Free Shipping

But, it has free shipping, so that is ok

Helps if you ready this section

Workstation class PCs

A significant segment of the desktop market are computers expected to perform as workstations, but using PC operating systems and components. PC component manufacturers will often segment their product line, and market premium components which are functionally similar to the cheaper "consumer" models but feature a higher level of robustness and/or performance. Notable examples of this are the AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon processors, and the ATI FireGL and Nvidia Quadro graphics processors.

A workstation class PC may have some of the following features:

* support for ECC memory
* a larger number of memory sockets which use registered (buffered) modules
* multiple processors
* multiple displays
* run a "business" or "professional" operating system version

Wow

Some people here sure don't do a lot of things with their computer to say powerful computers are useful to play games only.

Hey kids there's people around actually WORKING with computers and not only playing games, watching pron and surf the net.

How many times are you going to say that? Do you know what a workstation is? It's a desktop computer that's not a server. That's it.

GreyWolfSC said,
How many times are you going to say that? Do you know what a workstation is? It's a desktop computer that's not a server. That's it.

WHAT?! Because now theirs no more difference between Desktop PC and Workstation PC? I'm sorry but you're plain wrong. I would not want to run mission critical stuff on a plain desktop PC. I'll want something better.

TruckWEB said,
WHAT?! Because now theirs no more difference between Desktop PC and Workstation PC? I'm sorry but you're plain wrong. I would not want to run mission critical stuff on a plain desktop PC. I'll want something better.


Why would you not run "mission critical" things on a desktop? Are you worries about data loss? Go with a RAID 1. BAM! Problem solved.

GreyWolfSC said,
How many times are you going to say that? Do you know what a workstation is? It's a desktop computer that's not a server. That's it.


+1

That's something a lot of folks don't get.

There really isn't a lot of difference between the workstation and the desktop anymore, and there hasn't been since even before the death of Windows ME, and even most of that difference can be blamed on *marketing*. (The same motherboards used in workstations are also used in gaming/enthusiast builds; I'd know, because I've used two of them, ASUS' P4C800-E Deluxe, and ABIT's VP6, in my own desktops.) CPUs? Haven't you been listening to Intel since the introduction of the first XEON? Every XEON that Intel has introduced, without exception, has been mirrored by a desktop and/or mobile CPU elsewhere; the only difference has been the pinout because of motherboard differences. Until now, the mirroring has been in the LGA775 pinout (Core 2); the current ones are mirrored in LGA1366 (Core i7). However, the mirroring is still happening.

Snow Leopard as 64-bit only - Please! XP Professional 64-bit was bigger news. (And it well should have been, considering this was actually the only operating system Microsoft initially gave away to the public at large.) I can picture this now....

Steve Jobs riding his new 4-bit kitty onto (fittingly) Interstate 64. However, as soon as he completes the merging, he gets two mail messages on his iPhone. The Apple boss pulls over (no reading while driving for Steve) and growls in consternation. The messages are from Linus Torvalds and Steve Ballmer, and both say the same thing.

"What kept you?"

The Xeon brand refers to many families of Intel's x86 multiprocessing CPUs – for dual processor and multi-processor (MP) configuration on a single motherboard targeted at non-consumer markets of server and workstation computers, and also at blade servers and embedded systems.

Consumer products such as PCs (and even game consoles) today use components that provide a level of power, at a reasonable cost, suitable to tasks which do not require heavy and sustained processing power. However, for engineering, medical, and graphics production tasks, where time is essential, the workstation is hard to beat.

I see. Apple defined what a "workstation" is. They're lying as usual. A workstation is a computer you do everyday work on, as opposed to a server which usually hosts files and services for a group of workstations.

@ PGHammer: Apple would reply to that message: We were there a couple of years ago and we even had 64 bit hardware that came with it! What took YOU guys so long?

Besides all that, it's really stupid to go 64 bit because it's 64 bit. The 64 bit market has been there for years (15 years or so) but has never been very successful. For a simple reason actually: it wasn't all that necessary. It's becoming necessary nowadays because of the huge amounts of memory (4 GB is becoming standard). That's why the 64 bit train is just starting to roll.

Firstly, don't consider this mac bashing or trolling. I'm just relatively new to Mac's in general and have (what is in my mind) a perfectly valid question:

From what i've heard, one of the biggest deals with Snow Leopard is that it will be 64bit. And as far as i know, you need 64bit OS in order to utilise more than 3.25gb of Ram. So my question is, if this machine is running Leopard (which im assuming, maybe foolishly, is a 32bit OS) how is 6gb of ram not redundant?

Both Leopard and Snow Leopard are 32 AND 64 bit capable at the same time, meaning: you can run 32 and 64 bit software on the same machine at the same time. There is a difference between the two operating systems though. Leopard is 32 bit at it's core and is able to run 64 bit on top of that. Snow Leopard is the other way around: it's 64 bit at it's core and is able to run 32 bit on top of that. So in Snow Leopard you do not need to do crazy stuff to support 4 GB and more mem. In Leopard you do and that trick is called PAE (FusionOpz mentioned it already). PAE is something Intel came up with and is also supported in Windows and Linux so it's not Apple-specific.

Unless you're rendering movies on the side for Pixar you don't need two quad-core server processors for audio/video.

You're right. You don't need two quad-core processors - unless you want to do it fast.

Time is money. For a lot of people it's WAY cheaper to pay more for a workstation and spend less time, say, waiting. Maybe the improvement is only 10%. But if you're fighting for a small time-to-market as part of your business strategy and you're paying your A/V guy $50/hour, then you better believe that that 10% is worth the paltry $2-3k extra.

Never mind the science, engineering, and other research-related uses having that much power can help. You've probably never tried to simulate complex hardware, perform fourier analysis on multi-gigabyte data sets in parallel, or process billions of lines of log files.

Computers aren't just bought by individuals, businesses buy them too. People do more than just look at porn and post on Internet forums all day.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16819115202
Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
$288.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16813130221
MSI X58 Pro LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
$189.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16820148246
Crucial 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory - Retail
$75.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16814125256
GIGABYTE GV-R487D5-1GD Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
$199.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16811215009
ABS Aplus ABS-CS-Monolith Black SECC Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Retail
$99.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16822152102
SAMSUNG Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive - OEM
$99.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827106273
LITE-ON Black 4X Blu-ray DVD-ROM 12X DVD-ROM 32X CD-ROM SATA Internal 4X Blu-ray DVD-ROM Model DH-4O1S-66 - OEM
$84.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16827106281
LITE-ON Black 22X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 22X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 12X DVD-RAM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM 2MB Cache IDE 22X DVD±R DVD Burner - OEM
$20.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16826105073
Microsoft B5W-00001 Silver 4 Buttons Tilt Wheel USB Wireless Laser Notebook Mouse 6000 - OEM
$16.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16823175103
Saitek PZ30AU Black 104 Normal Keys 4 Function Keys USB Wired Standard Eclipse Keyboard - Retail
$34.99

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx...N82E16826105081
Microsoft JR9-00001 Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows - Retail
$44.99

For a total of $1157.89

Nymite said,
Right... now replace the Intel i7 with a Xeon (like the one in a Mac Pro) and see how that affects the price.

lol

Nymite said,
Right... now replace the Intel i7 with a Xeon (like the one in a Mac Pro) and see how that affects the price.


There is a Nehalem-based Xeon!?

Please clarify, because I know the i7 series is the latest and greatest, ATM.

David3k said,
There is a Nehalem-based Xeon!?

Please clarify, because I know the i7 series is the latest and greatest, ATM.

EDIT: whoops wrong section...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeon#5500-ser...22Gainestown.22

Gainestown is the codename for the successor to the Xeon Intel Core microarchitecture, is based on the Nehalem architecture and uses the same 45 nm manufacturing methods as Intel's Penryn. The first processor released with the Nehalem architecture is the desktop Intel Core i7, which was released in November 2008. Server processors of the Xeon 55xx range were first supplied to testers in December 2008.

It's funny to see everybody here comparing the Mac Pro to a normal gaming PC. Check for the price of real Workstation, from HP or DELL, try to find a Workstation with the same clean internal design and then, look at the price.

Mac Pro, when compared to any other real Workstation, don't cost that much more. And you get OS X, not everybody is a Windows Fanboy. And owning a computer is not always about gaming, some work needs to be done from time to time.

And yes, if you work with BIG Photoshop/Aperture project, you could need a powerful PC. And it gets worst when you move to audio and video (Final Cut Pro). Rendering/compressing a movie does not require the best and most powerful video card. In a sense, the GT 120 fit quite well in there. And you can upgrade if you need more power.

TruckWEB said,
It's funny to see everybody here comparing the Mac Pro to a normal gaming PC. Check for the price of real Workstation, from HP or DELL, try to find a Workstation with the same clean internal design and then, look at the price.

Mac Pro, when compared to any other real Workstation, don't cost that much more. And you get OS X, not everybody is a Windows Fanboy. And owning a computer is not always about gaming, some work needs to be done from time to time.

And yes, if you work with BIG Photoshop/Aperture project, you could need a powerful PC. And it gets worst when you move to audio and video (Final Cut Pro). Rendering/compressing a movie does not require the best and most powerful video card. In a sense, the GT 120 fit quite well in there. And you can upgrade if you need more power.


For Photoshop you need bad ass Video Card and as far as Fina Cut Pro -> bad written application. Rendering/compressing a movie should be done by GPU not CPU...whoever wrote that app have no clue about hardware.

jjrambo said,
For Photoshop you need bad ass Video Card and as far as Fina Cut Pro -> bad written application. Rendering/compressing a movie should be done by GPU not CPU...whoever wrote that app have no clue about hardware.

This shows how ill-informed you are on the subject. Rendering in any form has traditionally been done on the CPU for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, the GPU has always been incapable of doing it for you.

It wasn't until the last year or so that they gained the ability to do this kind of stuff to any useful degree with GPGPU technologies like CUDA.

See? People still buy these! :D

Anyway...

Based on the Mac performance benchmark results, Macrumors concludes that it makes more sense to buy a faster Quad-Core than a slower Octo-Core.

You shouldn't need a benchmark to verify this. Many apps barely even take full advantage of a quad core system. I mean, architecture-wise from the multiple cores. Even a fast dual core may often be faster than a slower quad core.

Advantages from an octo core only comes from quite special circumstances where the app was specifically designed for multiple cores, and among those I can think of, I think I can count them on one hand.

People who buy a mac pro are either rich folk or people that need it for work. I personally I'm thinking of getting one of the 2,26 dual quad for Logic Pro. If you know anything about music production you know what Logic Pro is and that there is no competition at its cost in the market right now.

I dont see any use for that set up as a MAC. would be a great gaming rig if it were windows PC!

My family owns a graphic design business, and we use macs. We would NEVER need that much power to do PS, Indesign, Fireworks, DW, projects. Who uses this thing???

-Bryce- said,
I dont see any use for that set up as a MAC. would be a great gaming rig if it were windows PC!

My family owns a graphic design business, and we use macs. We would NEVER need that much power to do PS, Indesign, Fireworks, DW, projects. Who uses this thing???

Another example of Apple not growing with their popularity and as a whole company. Its great that they are building better, faster, and "cooler" systems..but whats the use if no one can fully utilize it? Not bashing, just stating my opinion.

Maybe Apple is gearing up for something????

techbeck said,

Another example of Apple not growing with their popularity and as a whole company. Its great that they are building better, faster, and "cooler" systems..but whats the use if no one can fully utilize it? Not bashing, just stating my opinion.


Film/Audio.

http://www.apple.com/pro/profiles/

Bingo. A good friend of mine is still using a dual G5 PowerMac, and when he hits "Render" in Final Cut Pro, the progress bar usually measures in hours. Compressing can take days for large projects. "Enough" computing horsepower does not exist (and likely never will).

random_n said,
Bingo. A good friend of mine is still using a dual G5 PowerMac, and when he hits "Render" in Final Cut Pro, the progress bar usually measures in hours. Compressing can take days for large projects. "Enough" computing horsepower does not exist (and likely never will).


Agreed. You sir, win the Internets for the day.

Never got the design of the Mac Pro. Its huge and weighs a ton. Of course the PC I built weighs around the same amount..so I guess if I complain to much that will make my a hypocrite huh? And are the things on the sides supposed to be handles or something? Or just a design thing?

I do like how easy it is to remove a drive and plug one in tho...no cables at all...nice and neat

Neither do I. It's got to be the most disgusting of all the Apple products.

I'll admit, the inside looks nice, but... who really cares? If you got something that costs THAT much money, you should have a damn warranty and shouldn't really be fooling around in there at all anyway.

I had a dual quad 3.2 GHz Mac Pro for work and it was probably the most enjoyable computing experience I've ever had (with the possible exception of my new-model MBP).

As much as I would love to own one again, the price is OUTRAGEOUS for the hardware. Maybe if I wasn't giving more than 1/3 of my income to the .gov...

Did we really need to know that he got this with his mac

# Hard Drive Bay1 065-8537 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/
# Hard Drive Bay2 065-7908 None
# Hard Drive Bay3 065-7913 None
# Hard Drive Bay4 065-7918 None
# Optical Drive 065-7923 One 18x SuperDrive
# Wireless Option 065-7925 None
# Mini Display Port Adapter 065-8677 NONE
# Mini Display Port Adapter2 065-8679 NONE
# Fibre Chl Card 065-7929 None
# MAC OS X SERVER 065-7932 None
# Apple Software App- iWork 065-7672 None
# Apple Software Final Cut Exp 065-7674 None
# Apple Software App-Aperture 065-7673 None
# Apple Software App-Logic Exp 065-7675 None
# SW APP-FILEMAKER 065-8307 NONE
# SW-MSO 065-8198 NONE
# Mouse from AOS 065-7938 Apple Mighty Mouse
# KEYBD + USER'S GUIDE FOR AOS 065-7943 APPLE KEYBD/USERS GUIDE
# Country Kit 065-7963 Country Kit Mac Pro

It makes no difference to the benchmark scores

rob.derosa said,
Did we really need to know that he got this with his mac
It makes no difference to the benchmark scores

If they know why would they leave it out and not put it in there, more info is better than none. I think you're just whinging for the hell of it to be honest.

# Hard Drive Bay1 065-8537 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/
# Hard Drive Bay2 065-7908 None
# Hard Drive Bay3 065-7913 None
# Hard Drive Bay4 065-7918 None
# Optical Drive 065-7923 One 18x SuperDrive
# Wireless Option 065-7925 None
# Mini Display Port Adapter 065-8677 NONE
# Mini Display Port Adapter2 065-8679 NONE
# Fibre Chl Card 065-7929 None
# MAC OS X SERVER 065-7932 None
# Apple Software App- iWork 065-7672 None
# Apple Software Final Cut Exp 065-7674 None
# Apple Software App-Aperture 065-7673 None
# Apple Software App-Logic Exp 065-7675 None
# SW APP-FILEMAKER 065-8307 NONE
# SW-MSO 065-8198 NONE
# Mouse from AOS 065-7938 Apple Mighty Mouse
# KEYBD + USER'S GUIDE FOR AOS 065-7943 APPLE KEYBD/USERS GUIDE
# Country Kit 065-7963 Country Kit Mac Pro


That's a lot of "None" results! I guess it's a clean version, but it seems like there should be more things that come up positive in that test.