12 core Mac Pro tests
“The 12 Core shows up as 24 CPU’s, all flat out in compressor!”
My new Mac Pro arrived yesterday so I spent my evening installing apps and getting it set up ready to take over as my main editing machine. Once I had the basics installed I couldn’t resist running a few tests to see how it compared to my old machine…
The specs are as follows:
Mac Pro Quad Core (2006)
- Two 2.66 Ghz Dual-Core Intel Xeon ‘Woodcrest’ Processors
- ATI Radeon HD 4870
- 8GB 667MHz DDR2 RAM
- WD Corsair ‘BLACK’ Hard Drives
Mac Pro 12 Core (2010)
- Two 2.93 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon ‘Westmere ‘ Processors
- ATI Radeon 5870 GPU
- 16GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM
- 512 GB Solid State ‘SSD ‘ drive
I set up compressor on both machines to use a quick cluster which allows compressor to use the full power of all of the available cores. For the test I compressed the ProRes 422 version of my recent short film ‘Adrift‘ into a 1280×720 H.264 file. I used the same file and compressor settings on both machines.
Both machines used a standard WD ‘BLACK’ hard drive for the encode. The new mac does use an SSD drive for the system but it wasn’t used in this test to make things fair. Later testing actually showed very little difference in using the SSD anyway.
Mac Pro Quad Core: 17:22
Mac Pro 12 Core : 02:32
As you can see, quite a staggering improvement, mostly due to the following…
The 12 core shows up as 24 processors – all running flat out in compressor.
Regarding the SSD, as noted above it didn’t seem to make any difference in this test so I can only assume apple claims of improvements in rendering relate more to full uncompressed files. It does make a dramatic difference to boot times and app starts though, my mac boots from the start sound to the desktop in 17 seconds.
With all this processing power it’s a shame that Final Cut Pro still doesn’t see most of it. I tried rendering a Timeline and Final Cut managed to use a measly 6% of the available CPU resources. Apple should be ashamed for the state of their pro apps at the moment considering they are one of the few NLE manufacturers who actually makes their own hardware!
Here’s a few more pics.