We don’t know how much Apple’s 12-core Mac Pro will cost, but we know it’ll shred benchmarks

“Ever since the first updated Mac Pro result appeared on the Geekbench Browser back in June, everyone has been curious about how the upcoming Mac Pros will perform,” John Poole writes for Primate Labs.

“Arguably the most important component when it comes to performance is the processor. While Apple hasn’t announced which processors will be used in the upcoming Mac Pro, they have provided some details on the Mac Pro specification page,” Poole writes. “Using this information, and information from the Intel ARK processor database, here are the processors I expect to see in the upcoming Mac Pro:

Mac Pro processors

“Even though some Geekbench 3 results have leaked for the upcoming Mac Pro, results are not available for all of the upcoming models,” Poole writes. “Luckily, since Geekbench 3 is a cross-platform benchmark, we can estimate the missing Mac Pro scores using results from Windows workstations that use the same processors as the Mac Pros. Here are my estimated Geekbench 3 scores for the upcoming Mac Pros.”

Read more in the full article here.

34 Comments

  1. I’ll wait until on actual Mac Pros before judging.

    ” using results from Windows workstations” is a waste of time. Over and over again Apple has tweaked it’s designs to max out performance . Although its a bit different as it’s custom designed the A7 blew away all the pre launch estimates of an ‘arm chip’. I remembered a well known ‘battery expert’ saying pre launch that the original iPads 10 hr battery life was fake and impossible and got so much press that Jobs had to respond.

    1. Your points are well taken, but it’s not as though Apple has exclusive use of Xeon chips, nor has Apple done anything to dramatically improve OS efficiency versus Linux or Windows.

      Note also that Hackintoshes regularly put factory Apple machines to shame in performance benchmarks using “inferior” components, engineers, and design. For example: http://www.macworld.com/article/2048914/bride-of-frankenmac-revisited-how-our-os-x-pc-compares-against-an-imac.html

      I really wish Apple would spend as much time on Mac performance optimization as we used to believe they did, but now it is clear that mobile devices are getting all the resources, leaving the Mac platform little ability to differentiate itself with truly world-class internal components. I don’t like this direction, but you’ll have to ask Apple’s corporate accountants why the user experience is taking a back seat to corporate profits.

            1. You know, there’s this stuff called hardware in computers too. Ever heard of it?

              There’s practically nothing that software can do to improve system performance that isn’t eclipsed by hardware updates in 12 months or less … that is, assuming Apple decides to update its hardware accordingly. If you wait multiple years to significantly update hardware, then it is not astounding to see a jump in benchmarks. A highly predictable jump in benchmarks, that is.

    1. In response to your rather crude outburst: Poole is very much for real.

      With the amount of data on chipsets and architectures that Poole has complied, prediction of performance is as easy as predicting any other trend — only Poole isn’t prone to emotion-driven speculation. The numbers seem very plausible.

      Don’t act so surprised.

    1. It might be more complicated than that. From what I can see on the Apple website, there are really two basic models. They’re differentiated by the graphics processors rather than the core count. You can get the same numbers of cores as options on each base model. The 4-core you currently see is based on the less-capable graphics engine and the 6-core on the more-capable engine.

      So there will be an 8-core with blazing graphics and an 8-core with double-blazing graphics. We won’t know the difference in cost until Apple tells us.

      I think the price matrix has a chance of being pretty complicated.

  2. There’s a saying that if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Those Intel chips are quite expensive but they’re really specialized items. I can only guess the amount of R&D that goes into a processor like that.

    What gets me is how tech geniuses keep saying they can build more powerful hackintoshes at half the price of a Mac Pro. Intel components have a relatively fixed price and it seems hard to believe anyone can get them near half-price. Anyway, I can’t take a hackintosh to Apple for a replacement if something goes wrong.

    It’s a shame how Apple spends all that time and effort designing and building a state of the art computer like the Mac Pro and all people have to say that it’s not all that powerful. I wonder why Apple even bothers to keep Jony Ive around when there must be dozens of people out there that figure they can take his place. I can count on zero fingers how many people I know that can build their own computers. For me, it isn’t all that difficult but I’ve had computers I tinkered too much with and I’d spend more time working on them than actually doing something useful with them. I now prefer a computer I don’t have to touch and it just runs nonstop. Hackintosh? Give me a break. I couldn’t be bothered.

    1. I once thought I would build an XBMC box cheaper than a mini. I gathered my BOM, tried to find great components, cases, cpu’s, memory, ssd, mini-atx motherboard with Bluetooth, wifi, hdmi, digital audio, power supplies. I found everything I wanted. I was ready to build my entertainment system. It would blow away a mini and I used to build pc’s for a living.

      Then I stepped back, sigh’d and said, “what the hell am I doing just to save $50. Actually might cost more!”

      Before anyone says I don’t know what I am talking about, this is my story with the prices I could find in my country.

      I bought a mini.

      1. Your experience is very true, and the reason why most people don’t build a Hackintosh instead of buying a mini. For the cost savings alone and not just tinkering, people are building Hackintoshes instead of buying Mac Pros.

        I was given an old PC tower (’08) and it is actually quite easy to do. Just convert someone to a Mac and then ask for their Intel PC!

      2. Well said. When Windows gaming aficionados harangue me with the cost they put together their own system for, I ask them if several hours of their time is worth $50. They usually don’t understand…

        1. Some of enjoy the building part. I saved alot more than $50 building my Win 7 rig recently, and I like that could pick and choose exactly what I wanted (Be Quiet power supply and ultra silent fans etc.) .I was looking for more horsepower / GPU power than a mini though. I considered a mini for a while in fact but don’t like Macs so much. I’m hear for the iDevices not Mac news 🙂

          1. Careful, ivid. There are some Apple fans who simply can’t get it through their minds that anyone could possibly want something that Apple doesn’t build. Your will be targeted hereforth.

  3. The best thing about this new Mac Pro? The eBay market
    for the old Mac Pro. Methinks 3k clams is too much
    for even the 4 core model. I betcha Apple is mostly using
    this for a test bed to ramp up manufacturing in the
    US; what they learn making this racing elephant they
    can apply to other product lines brought back ashore.
    Betcha they make this for only three or four years,
    and then it’s gone. The cost is already written off
    four years in advance. Because they know there are
    a number of people who will buy these, but it’s not
    really a growth stimulator product. It’s like a 200
    MPH car, yeah, some will buy them and find justification
    for the cost, but you don’t need to drive at 200 MPH to
    the store. No one flies supersonic anymore but the military.
    Bet there are more pros using Snow Leopard on custom
    built Windows workstations than there will be the number
    of first year buyers of this machine. Because this beast
    likely will only allow ‘Mavericks’.

    Y’know- AMD makes an eight core chip that runs at
    4Ghz base and costs about $200….

  4. I bet they won’t sell more than 50,000 of those per quarter; no more than 200,000 a year. Certainly not more than 250,000 max a year. Can’t see anyone but the most die hard Apple fan buying this. Not enough internal expansion ports, too damn expensive, not enough general market appeal.

    Bet they won’t even sell enough to recover a quarter of the cost of setting up the U.S. manufacturing facility. It’s ok though, it’s time Apple ate some costs due to insanely stupid design decisions from the Brit twit Ive.

    1. I bet they don’t sell 20,000 per quarter.
      I bet even further that this was one of
      Job’s last initiatives, and for legacy’s
      sake (they promised him to see it thru)
      they are doing it more than anything else.
      Probably at the actual release they will
      tell the story, tears and trembling lips on
      all the front row nerds… they all rush out
      to buy two of the 12 core models so they can
      talk shop on forums about it with other newly
      home-mortgaged owners.

  5. The new Mac Pro uses the same Xeon processors that will be found in dozens of servers, servers with PCIe slots.

    Linux has been shown to have far superior networking performance over OSX time and again.

    Nothing special here in terms of performance. Move along.

  6. It does not make sense for anyone to buy one of these pros. Everyone would have been psyched to have just gotten the same old enclosure with brand-new processors a boatload of thunderbolt ports tons of USB three and the ability to pop a few 4 TB drives inside Chuck in a ton of RAM. Happy campers with that. In the meantime we are stuck with chancing attaching external drives to the new pro and having them be instantly wiped because nobody tested external drives in maverick beta. Seriously watch out that’s still a huge huge issue look at the community message boards. Good folks are getting creamed. Thousands and thousands. Good luck to all

  7. 12 core, plus fully loaded with RAM and PCI Flash maxed out – $8000+, not including Thunderbolt 2 peripherals. I’m ordering at least three for our little editing suite. See ya!

  8. Isn’t everyone missing the entire point of the new mac pros. The computational performance is directed towards the gpu. Benchmarking against of pcs with the same CPU is fine, but the Mac Pro will only show it’s actual performance ability when using opencl heavy apps. The Mac Pro is a new direction and is about making the CPU irrelevant.

    1. Exactly. Everyone wasting breath on CPU performance, when GPU performance is what is going to get my comps closer to realtime rendering. I think this is going to be a beast of a machine where it counts, in reliability and speed in professional apps. Faster FX processing and less downtime mean much more to me than saving a few hundred or even thousand dollars of initial investment.

  9. On is right. The performance of this machine can hardly be measured accurately through a traditional benchmarking application. OpenCL in OS X will be responsible for tapping into the immense power of both GPUs. Realtime editing in 4K sounds unreal, this is quite the machine. I wish it had a Blu-Ray burner built in. I’ll have to go with this one from http://numac.co

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