Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Mac Pro – Two months on

It’s been a while since my last post, so it’s about time I wrote some more drivel.

In my last post, my Mac Pro had been with me for 2 weeks. Now after 2 months I’ve had a good chance to take it through its paces and, boy, it hasn’t disappointed.

The machine itself is understated, sitting silently on my desk calmly and effortlessly coping with whatever I throw at it. My old Mac Pro struggled to run Windows 8 under Parallels, this new machine performs that job admirably whilst being perfectly capable of not only running Windows 8.1 but also running Windows XP under Parallels and several programs under OS X Mavericks all at the same time. It hardly gets warm while doing it.

Internet Babble That Makes No Sense
That, really, is my point about the Mac Pro. I’ve read several blogs and watched a few YouTube videos where so called experts have said that no-one needs the power of a Mac Pro unless you’re editing 4K video. Some also point out that the single threaded Geekbench score of the latest iMac is slightly faster than the equivalent single threaded score on the entry level Mac Pro.

My response to all this is that no person uses their Mac Pro just to do one thing. We all perform multiple tasks on our machines, whether or not we consciously set out to work like that. Unlike the Haswell chip in the iMac, the Ivy Bridge Xeon processor in the Mac Pro is capable of 2 threads per core, so those commentators who are comparing the quad core iMac to the quad core Mac Pro and saying that it’s the same have no idea what they’re talking about. The new Mac Pro not only has a minimum of 8 threads available but it also has faster memory, faster PCIe based flash storage and faster “everything that connects those things together”. There’s simply no comparison. So stop it.

Astonishing speed
I bought the 6-core model so the 12 threads on my machine are ample for all my work and all the tasks that I need to perform simultaneously. The boot up time of the machine and the software is amazing. My old Mac Pro took several minutes to start up – and that was before I opened any software. I always used to put it into sleep mode instead for that reason. My new machine starts up in seconds – and that includes loading several programs. Photoshop appears in 2 seconds when it took about 3 minutes on my old machine.

In summary
In summary then you can rest assured that I’m not sorry about the money I’ve spent on my new machine. I spend a good deal of my time sitting at it working so, for me, it makes sense to splash the case on my main workhorse. To those naysayers who think it’s a waste of money I say this: “Go back to your crappy Windows machines and see if you can find your way around the badly thought out interface while you scan your system for viruses and leave me to enjoy my new toy.”

And yes, that was over the top. I should probably edit that last bit out…