Single-processor Mac Pro 2009

To raise prices during a recession is unwise. How to believe in their superiority to still decide on it. And what should be the more expensive product that, despite everything, to achieve success…

Many, including myself, consider single – and dual-processor Mac Pro 2009 different computers. They have a lot in common, they were born and were removed from the shelves in the same day – but still they are different. Different chipsets, for example.

I decided to consider them separately, in turn. The uniprocessor.

In the online store single-processor Mac Pro was the only base configuration, which can be configured hundreds of thousands of ways. The exact number of combinations is unknown. Once these numbers are readily reported Phil Schiller or Steve jobs, and it was interesting to the public – but now, apparently, it is considered unnecessary.

The only processor in question – Quad core Intel Xeon architecture Nehalem: QuickPath Interconnect, HyperThreading, Turbo Boost.

Those who searched online store is the Mac Pro, was sufficiently informed to be interested in the new, but the crisis and its price decision on buying interfere.

It was even more interesting: the new single-processor Mac Pro was not only more expensive than its predecessor, but there’s processor frequency was below…

This is the fifth part of a series about the Mac Pro. Links to previous parts of the series here:
First part: Mac Pro 2006: “Apple” Apocalypse;
Second part: April, 2007, unknown Mac Pro…;
Third part: 2008 began with the Mac Pro…;
The fourth part: Mac Pro March 2009: a split personality….

Links to all the parts of a series about the PowerMac G5 can be found here or here.

The audacity and arrogance

At first glance, the audacity and arrogance of Apple was simply overwhelming: over the previous single-processor Mac Pro, released in January 2008 (he and his dual brother were the first Mac AMI, a week ahead of the first MacBook Air), I requested 2 $ 299, with a clock frequency of a single processor 2.8 GHz.

The same Mac Pro 2009, with a CPU speed of 2.66 GHz, 2 cost of $ 499. That is, according to MacWorld, at $ 300 more expensive than its predecessor. This typo went for a walk on the sources – and can still be found almost in every second.

We consider ourselves, and compare the performance – you never know what “written on the label”.

In Geekbench 2, two groups of tests – 32-bit and 64-bit. I will refer to (32) and (64). Than the number of points the bigger the better.

Results Mac Pro with Harpertown/Penryn is MacPro3,1: (32) = 5 669, (64) = 6 498.
Results Mac Pro with Bloomfield/Nehalem is MacPro4,1: (32) = 8 269, (64) = 9 237.

The superiority of the Nehalem – 1.46 and 1.42. Roughly speaking, in half.

Geekbench 4 two group test, SC test (separate kernel) and MC (test all available cores). Than the number of points the bigger the better.

Results Mac Pro with Harpertown/Penryn: SC = 1 832, MC = 5 226.
Results Mac Pro with Bloomfield/Nehalem: SC = 397 2, MC = 7 712.

The superiority of 1.31 and 1.48 times.

The results of the other tests were impressed even more, with the tasks of real life, the new Mac Pro has done it faster than its predecessor. In other words, the novelty was worth the money that she asked for. As for arrogance and self-confidence in Apple has been respectful and worthy causes.

Single-Processor Mac Pro (Early 2009)

The model identifier is MacPro4,1. It is called the Mac Pro (Early 2009), but no other model Mac Pro in 2009, it was not true in December, its completion and prices have slightly changed, but not dramatically.

From March 3 to December 4, 2009 the Configurator single-processor Mac Pro offers a choice of two versions Bloomfield/Nehalem. Default – Quad Core Xeon W3520 processor with a clock frequency of 2.66 GHz, and for an additional $ 500 – Quad Core Xeon W3540 processor with a clock frequency of 2.93 GHz.

In Turbo mode, the clock frequency of processors has increased to 2.93 and 3.2 GHz.

In other words, uniprocessor variants MacPro4,1 had two. The option of 2.93 GHz, and the clock frequency not differing from the base, passed through the same tests (with expected result), calculated the price (2 $ 999).

Front system bus, and its clock frequency, now. But it was QPI, QuickPath Interconnect, which is sometimes out of inertia, was called “the bus”, but he wasn’t, with data transfer speeds of 4.8 Gigatransfer/s (GT/s).

The CPU inserted into the socket LG1366, wherein the socket, the processor and memory slots located on the extendible tray. This simplified the installation of additional RAM, at the expense of complicating the replacement of the processor. Apple “not recommended” to change the processor, so everything is fair. Someone did it – but some-thin Flex wire moved from skyscraper to skyscraper.

The basic configuration includes 3 GB of RAM (PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC SDRAM) in a single Bank of a single processor MacPro4,1 had 4 slots (occupied were only three of them) – in the online store offered modules 1, 2 and 4 Gigabytes, the maximum amount of RAM (according to Apple) was 16 GB.

Apple out sold modules PC3-8500 DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory capacity of 8 GB with help of memory raised up to 32 Gigabytes. EFI MacPro4,1 has limited the maximum amount of 48 GB, upgrade the EFI allows you to use up to 64.

4 PCI Express 2.0 (3.1 was 2 slots PCIe 1.1 and 2 PCIe 2.0). 4 Firewire 800 ports (instead of 2 FW 400 and FW800 2 old models), SATA II (3GB/s) two independent Ethernet ports (10/100/1000Base-T) Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR. The Apple USB modem and AirPort Extreme – for an additional fee. 5 USB 2.0 ports.

Provides four bays for hard drives (SATA II), one of which in the basic configuration, was occupied by the drive capacity of 640 GB (7 200 rpm), an online store offered drives in 1 and 2 Terabytes (7 200 rpm). And for two optical disc drives, one of which was occupied 18x DL SuperDrive. The Configurator is proposed to insert a second in the second compartment. Instead of one or both optical drives, the craftsmen placed in their compartments two hard disk (SATA II channels in MacPro4,1 if it was 6).

The GPU in the base configuration – one. NVIDIA GeForce GT120 with 512MB GDDR3. This processor was criticized by fans of the “advanced games”, but the professional claims it did not. GeForce GT120 was installed in one of the PCI Express, and allow you to connect two external displays (up to 2560×1600, or analog up to 2048×1536), using a Mini DisplayPort and dual-link DVI.

With the installation of four GeForce GT120 to a computer you can connect up to 8 displays with a diagonal of 30 inches, an additional GeForce GT120 cost $ 150.

NVIDIA GeForce GT120 could be replaced by ATI Radeon HD 4870 with 512 MB GDDR5 for an additional $ 200 and also one to four, with the same ports.

Option with Xeon W3540 Quad Core with a clock frequency of 2.93 GHz scored:

In Geekbench 2: (32) = 9 070, (64) = 10 101.
Geekbench 4: (SC) = 2 572, (MC) = 8 247.

New year changes

4 Dec 2009 in the list of available processors, there is another Quad Core Xeon W3580 processor with a clock frequency of 3.33 GHz (Turbo Boost to 3.6 GHz). Replacement standard Quad Core Xeon W3520 on this monster costs 1, 500 dollars. The option with the W3580 3 cost $ 699.

Replacement cost Quad Core Xeon W3520 Quad Core Xeon W3540 (2.93 GHz) fell from $ 500 to 400. Now, this option cost only 2 $ 899.

The variant with Quad Core Xeon W3580 processor with a clock frequency of 3.33 GHz scored:

In Geekbench 2: (32) = 10 304, (64) = 11 475.
Geekbench 4: (SC) = 2 841, (MC) = 9 436.

After reviewing the results of these and other tests, the price tag 3 699 dollars more did not cause emotions. Of course, three Gigabytes of RAM this option was a little tight, the intended applications were forced to choose more expensive options – in the end, rare Mac Pro with a single Quad Core Xeon W3580 fit in 5 thousand. But in our days, in 10 years, most of them are still being used…

To be continued

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