New Mac Pro... 2.8GHz quad vs 2.4GHz 8-core?

Hi Guys,

I am about to replace my trusty old Mac Pro with a newer one - and I’m just keen to confirm I’m making the right choice between the two.

The options are:

  • Mac Pro (Nehalem) 2.8GHz quad core
  • Mac Pro (Westmere) 2.4GHz 8-core

Both are run out models and a lot less than they were when new. The quad is a couple of hundred dollars cheaper, but I am planning to keep this machine for 4 or 5 years so I want to make the wisest long-term choice.

I assume the 8-core is absolutely the way to go, but is there any reason why the 2.8 quad would be better, purely from a Cubase point of view?



Nehalem is a faster, and not just by clock speed alone.

Plus, a Nehalem will likely be able to keep up with OS changes over the next few years, while there’s a chance the Westmere may be left behind…

I’m running Cubase 6 on a 6-core Nehalem and don’t come close to taxing the CPU at all*. I’m sure a quad would be fine.

* ASIO issues with low-latency performance aside. But an 8-core won’t help fix that problem anyway…

Thanks for the reply. I understood that Westmere was the successor to Nehalem?

Aloha y,

Some two year old (but informative) discussion at Apple on this topic.


And have a look here:

Yup. My bad. I was thinking Penryn-to-Nehalem.

I don’t think there’s a big jump in performance to Westmere though… mainly a die shrink.

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the feedback!

I think I’m closer to choosing the 2.4GHz 8-core over the 2.8GHz quad.

I do have another question though… is there any implication for Cubase in terms of the processor speed? Our music is mainly centered around real audio with lots of effects (although we do have one processor-heavy virtual instrument - BFD and Superior Drummer for drum tracks)?

What I’m assuming is that the 8 cores (rather than 4) will mean I can run a lot more simultaneous audio effects on the system…

But what I’m worried about is that the slower 2.4GHz processor will have some negative impact on performance!

Any advice on this would be really fantastic…