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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

"BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"
Rob-ART, Main Mad Scientist (aka Dr. Frankenstein)
Bet-TAY, Special Features Edtior (aka Frau Blucher)

POWER USAGE, NOISE LEVELS:
'Harpertown' vs 'Clovertown'

Originally posted January 21st, 2008, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Many of you are asking about power usage and noise levels so we've collected some data on the 3.2GHz "early 2008" 8-core Mac Pro "Harpertown" and the 3.0GHz "April 2007" 8-core Mac Pro "Clovertown."

Using a Watt Meter, we measured the peak wattage during the following activity:

Peak Watts
8-core 3.0GHz
Clovertown
8-core 3.2GHz
Harpertown
Startup
412
295
Idle
274
208
Compressor
486
380
Quake 4
449
335

We also measured the noise levels 8 inches from the back of each Mac Pro while running Compressor using QuickCluster (all 8 cores at 100% each):

decibels
8-core 3.0GHz
Clovertown
8-core 3.2GHz
Harpertown
Idle
< 40
< 40
Compressor
48
< 40
WoW
48
48

Our dB meter does not measure anything below 40 decibels. According to Hardware Monitor, the fan speeds doubled from 600 rpm to 1200 rpm on the Clovertown when encoding a DVD with Compressor in QuickCluster mode, revealing the main cause for the increased noise level. The Harpertown was "loafing" at 600 rpm no matter what we ran.

When we were running our World of Warcraft "Village Nirache" test that stresses the graphics card at 100%, the Radeon X1900 XT's fan kicked up. Hence the 48 dB measurement on both models of Mac Pro.

NOTE: Both Mac Pros had the same amount of memory (16 GB) and the same graphics processor (Radeon X1900 XT). Each had one hard drive installed.

CONCLUSIONS
The cores on the new Mac Pro obviously use less power than the cores on the previous model. Save energy and go green. Buy a 2008 Mac Pro!

The 2008 Mac Pro's fans not rev up like the 2006/2007 Mac Pro (or the 2005 G5 Power Mac) which accounts for the lower noise levels.

MORE TO COME
In the days ahead, we will be installing four drives and dual GeForce 8800 GTs to see how it affects power usage and noise levels. Stay tuned.

RELATED LINKS
Bare Feats' CPU crunch tests on the 3.2GHz Harpertown Mac Pro versus others.

Bare Feats' GPU intensive tests on the 3.2GHz Harpertown Mac Pro versus others plus our advice on which Mac Pro graphics card to buy.

Bare Feats' memory speed and heat tests on the 3.2GHz Harpertown Mac Pro versus others. (Plus 800MHz vs 667MHz FB-DIMMs in the 2008 Mac Pro.)

Apple has posted some 2008 Mac Pro benchmarks.

See Apple's technical briefing on Mac Pro memory expansion.

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY A MAC PRO
When ordering products from Apple Store USA, please click THIS TEXT LINK or any Apple display ad as your "portal" to the online store. In so doing, you help to support Bare Feats.

(DON'T LIVE in the USA? See links for Apple online stores in other countries.)

Also check with Small Dog Electronics and Power Max. (Power Max takes trade-ins.)

WHERE TO BUY MAC PRO MEMORY
Apple charges and arm and a leg. We recommend ordering your Mac Pro (or MacBook Pro) with the minimum RAM config and the matching set of memory modules from...

Other World Computing or Trans International

MaxUpgrades makes max_flow, a kit to keep your Mac Pro memory running even cooler. They also have a kit called "MaxConnect" which enables you to use the lower optical bay to add four more internal hard drives for a total of eight.

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2008 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster