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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

Preliminary Performance Take:
October 2013 Apple Event Products

Posted Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Mac Pro "Turbo"

  • Xeon E5 processors with 4, 6, 8, and 12 cores. Be smart in choosing. If your key apps don't use all 12 cores, consider a model with lesser cores but with higher core frequency.
  • Faster memory bus (60GB/s) with 1866MHz modules, but only four memory slots limit you to 64G (16G x 4). We are running 96G in a 2010 Mac Pro 12 core tower.
  • Dual AMD FirePro GPUs on a faster PCIe 3.0 bus. Of the three models, the top D700 is on par with Radeon R7970 we tested but with more VRAM per card. Excellent OpenCL acceleration but until pro app developers get off their "CUDA only" kick, GPU acceleration will be lacking for apps like OctaneRender and After Effects ray-traced 3D.
  • Supports up to three 4K displays. Too bad Apple doesn't make 4K displays. The 4K displays available from third parties are u-g-l-y plastic 'ducks.'
  • Up to 1TB internal Flash storage is faster than PCIe flash in other 2013 Macs (1200MB/s vs 780MB/s). If you need more storage, you must purchase external USB 3.0 or TB enclosures or use a TB expansion chassis for existing SAS/SATA host adapters. Messy, noisy desk top clutter.
  • Thunderbolt 2.0 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 1.0. Plus the Mac Pro sports three channels with two ports each. (Other Macs with TB are single channel, two ports.)
  • Quiet at 12 dB (though peripherals with fans will raise the dB level on your desk).
  • Haswell CPU in 13" -- dual core only; Crystalwell quad core in 15"
  • PCIe flash (like iMac and MBA; not as fast as 2013 Mac Pro PCIe flash)
  • Thunderbolt 2.0 (twice as fast ast TB 1.0, single channel, dual port)
  • Iris and Iris Pro integrated graphics (OpenCL support and dynamic video memory allocation with Mavericks OS)
  • GeForce GT 750M discrete GPU available in top 15" -- same GPU as top 21.5" iMac; faster than GT 650M in current 15" rMBP
  • Faster 802.11ac transfers than Mountain Lion as shown by Anandtech
  • OpenCL support for integrated graphics with dynamic video memory allocation without limits
  • Main memory compression makes 4G act like 6G
  • Same A7 chip as iPhone 5s
  • MIMO WiFi gives faster transfers with 802.11n; no 802.11ac
  • Still has 5MP backside camera (Why no 8MP camera and True Tone flash like iPhone 5s?)
  • Puzzling choice for low priced alternative. Why not the iPad 4 with A6 chip as the low priced model? Price challenged consumer is better off buying a used iPad 3 or iPad 4 on eBay.

iPad mini with Retina display

  • Higher ppi than iPad Air (same 326 ppi as iPhone 5s and 5c)
  • Same A7 chip as iPad Air and iPhone 5s
  • Still has 5MP backside camera (Why no 8MP camera and True Tone flash like iPhone 5s?)
  • MIMO WiFi but no 802.11ac

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copyright 2013 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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