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BARE FEATS - real world Mac speed tests

"BARE facts on Mac speed FEATS"

SHOOTOUT: Three Fast Macs

Originally posted December 26th, 2008, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

One of the requests we get from readers is to compare the fastest MacBook Pro with the fastest Mac Pro with the fastest iMac. This request usually comes from professional users of Apple Pro Apps or Adobe Studio Apps. So here goes...

LEGEND of GRAPHS
RED bar indicates the fastest time.
Mac Pro 3.2 = Mac Pro 3.2GHz "Harpertown" ('early 2008') with Radeon HD 3870 "Mac and PC Edition" and 16GB of RAM.
iMac 3.08 = iMac 3.06GHz ('early 2008') with GeForce 8800GS and 4GB of RAM
MacBook Pro 2.8 = MacBook Pro 2.8GHz ('late 2008') with GeForce 9600M GT and 4GB of RAM

All three were running Mac OS X 'Leopard' 10.5.6.

CONCLUSION
Pro apps typically use all available cores for rendering and often use all available memory. So that gives the Mac Pro an advantage over the other two Macs we tested since it has four times the cores and four times the memory.

On the other hand, you'll notice it's not always four times faster.

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY A MAC
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.

Also check with...

  • Power Max (takes trade-ins; also has refurbs and used)
  • Silverado (custom order one with Velociraptors and SSDs)
  • Small Dog (also has refurbs)

Don't live in the USA? We also have affiliate relationships with the following Apple Stores:

WHERE TO BUY ADOBE STUDIO PRODUCTS
Adobe Systems
is offering
Free World Wide Shipping (Use Coupon Code: adobe2008bf). You can save up to $200 on Upgrades. Did you know you can download full working trial versions Photoshop CS4, DreamWeaver CS4, LightRoom 2, and other Adobe pro apps.
If you live outside the USA, visit...

WHERE TO BUY GRAPHICS CARD UPGRADE KITS for MAC PRO
The Radeon HD 3870 Mac & PC Edition ($219 MSRP) is available direct from ATI's Online Store or from Other World Computing. Unlike the GeForce 8800 GT, one card is compatible with ALL models of Mac Pro (2006 - 2008).

You can order the GeForce 8800 GT kit for whatever Mac Pro you own by going to the Apple Store USA and clicking on the "Displays" link in the left column. You'll see two versions of the GeForce 8800 GT listed: The "early 2008" and "1st Generation" models. The price for both is $279.

The Radeon HD 2600 XT kit will work on the older Mac Pros as well as the new one (thanks to having both a 32-bit and 64-bit EFI driver in the ROM). Search on "MB198Z/A" when you visit Apple Store USA ($129).

WHERE TO BUY MEMORY FOR YOUR MAC
We recommend ordering your Mac memory from third parties from companies that respectApple's specs and test their memory on Macs ....

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