Choose your cores: 4, 6 or 12.
The Mac Pro offers two advanced processor options from Intel. The Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor is available in a single-processor, quad-core configuration at 3.2GHz. For even greater speed and power, choose a 6-Core Intel Xeon processor. Since the Mac Pro comes with either one or two processors, you can have a 6-core Mac Pro at up to 3.33GHz, or, to max out your performance, a 12-core system at up to 3.06GHz.
The single-die advantage.
Many multi-core processors are composed of two separate dies, which means some cached data has to travel outside the processor to get from core to core. That’s an inefficient way to access information. Enter the Quad-Core and 6-Core Intel Xeon processors. Their single-die, 64-bit architecture makes 8MB or 12MB of fully shared L3 cache readily available to each of the processor cores. The result is fast access to cache data and greater application performance. Combine that with the other technological advances and you get a Mac Pro that’s up to 1.5x faster than the previous generation.1
Fast memory. And lots of it.
System memory is often connected to a processor through a separate I/O controller. But Intel Xeon processors feature an integrated memory controller. By connecting memory directly to the processor, the Mac Pro processors have faster access to data stored in memory, and memory latency is reduced.
The integrated memory controller, along with fast DDR3 ECC SDRAM at either 1066MHz or 1333MHz, gives the Mac Pro an increase in memory bandwidth over previous generations. More bandwidth allows for more data to be fed to the processor faster, helping each core spend its time processing data, not waiting for information to arrive. And Error Correction Code (ECC) corrects single-bit errors and detects multiple-bit errors automatically. That’s especially important in mission-critical and compute-intensive environments.
Power when (and where) you need it.
The Mac Pro features Turbo Boost, a dynamic performance technology that automatically boosts the processor clock speed based on workload. If you’re using an application that doesn’t need every core, Turbo Boost increases the speed of the active ones, up to 3.33GHz on a 12-core Mac Pro, and up to 3.6GHz on a 6-core system.
Up to 24 virtual cores.
The Intel Xeon processors support Hyper-Threading, which allows two threads to run simultaneously on each core. So, for example, a 12-core Mac Pro presents 24 virtual cores that are recognised by OS X. Performance is enhanced because Hyper-Threading enables the processor to take better advantage of the execution resources available in each core.
Path of least resistance.
A bidirectional, point-to-point connection — called QuickPath Interconnect — gives the Intel Xeon processors quick access to the disk, I/O and other Mac Pro subsystems. In dual-processor Mac Pro models, there’s a QuickPath Interconnect between the two processors as well. This connection acts as a direct pipeline, so processor-to-processor data doesn’t need to travel to the I/O hub first. It’s another way the Mac Pro boosts performance across the board.
The Mac Pro meets the stringent low power requirements set by the US Environmental Protection Agency, giving it ENERGY STAR qualification. ENERGY STAR 5.0 sets significantly higher efficiency limits for power supplies, and aggressive limits for the computer’s typical annual power consumption.2
STREAM. Memory throughput.
- Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz compared to Mac Pro 8-core 2.93GHz (previous generation)
Up to 1.3x greater than previous-generation Mac Pro
Testing conducted by Apple in May 2012 using pre-production Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units and shipping Mac Pro 8-core 2.93GHz units, all configured with 12GB of RAM. Results are based on the STREAM v. 5.8 benchmark (www.cs.virginia.edu/stream/ref.html) using OMP support for multiprocessor-compiled builds. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.