updated 09:53 pm EDT, Fri September 27, 2013
Scores compare to previous dual-six-core Mac Pro benchmarks
On Friday, Geekbench published new processor scores for what appears to be a legitimate new Mac Pro model that utilizes eight cores on a single processor. A previous score from the unreleased 12-core Mac Pro appeared back in June -- suggesting that Apple is planning on releasing more than one model when the redesigned workstation is finally premiered. Though the scores of the two models can't be directly compared due to technical differences, the eight-core Mac Pro solidly beats current eight-core Mac Pros.
The previous 12-core new Mac Pro benchmark was compiled under Geekbench 2, while the new results come from Geekbench 3, which uses a different baseline -- making direct comparisons difficult. A different hardware site tested the Intel Xeon E5-2697 v2 model most likely to be used in the final 12-core Mac Pro and found 64-bit scores in excess of 30,000, which would put it about twice as fast as the top-of-the-line Core i7 chips.
While those results can't be directly compared, other Mac Pros tested under the latest Geekbench release offer points of contrast. Presuming the new Mac Pro benchmarks are legitimate, the eight-core version (using an Intel Xeon E5-1680 v2 chip) scored 24,429 on the multi-core test -- in the same range as the dual-six-core (12 cores overall) 2012 and 2012 model Mac Pros, approximately a 33 percent improvement in per-core performance.
The eight-core machine was also a clear winner over comparable previous eight-core Mac Pro models. The new Mac Pro, which is expected to be released soon, also features all-SSD storage using PCIe SSD, and dual AMD FirePro graphics cards -- meaning overall real-world scores are expected to be significantly higher than previous Mac Pro models due to the combination of faster processors, faster RAM, greater software efficiencies under Mavericks, 10x-faster-than-HD SSD storage and improved GPU power.
In particular, the FirePro GPUs will grant new Mac Pro owners the ability to run up to three 4K HD displays simultaneously in conjunction with the advanced Thunderbolt 2 connections. The switch to SSD and the continued use of the GPU as a secondary co-processor helper may bring very significant improvements to pro users' typical workflows, which tend to stress all components of a given computer rather than just the CPU.
As with the previous 12-core Mac Pro score, the eight-core version was seen to be running a custom and unreleased-to-developers build of OS X Mavericks (10.9), a forthcoming update to the Mac OS also seen as likely to arrive next month. The build number on the custom build was 13A3010, compared to the most recent developer release of build 13A584, released on September 16.