Power Consumption

The big advantage of Westmere is power consumption. If we compare last year’s Mac Pro with the GeForce GT 120 idle power consumption is actually lower than the new Westmere system thanks to the Radeon HD 5770 drawing more power at idle. If you look at the 2009 Mac Pro with a GeForce GTX 285 however, the 5770/2010 Mac Pro has a significant idle power advantage.

Idle Power

The same is true under load, although the GPU plays less of a role in our Cinebench render test for load power. The Mac Pro we’re testing here is clocked much lower than our 2009 Mac Pro, which explains some of the power advantage but not all of it.

Load Power - Cinebench 11.5

We’ve been tracking Mac power consumption in OS X vs. Windows for quite a while now. I decided to see how power consumption changed under Boot Camp. As expected, idle power was a bit higher while load power consumption was identical:

Power Consumption Comparison
Mac Pro (Mid-2010) Mac OS X 10.6.4 Windows 7 x64
Idle 144W 159W
Load (Cinebench 11.5) 256W 253W

The 15W difference in idle power usage is significant, but honestly it matters a lot less in a system like the Mac Pro than a mini or MacBook Pro. The Cinebench scores are identical under both OSes in case you were wondering. This wasn't always true, Apple has significantly improved OS X performance with 10.6.x vs Leopard.

Performance Final Words


View All Comments

  • Zokudu - Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - link

    A Mac Pro has been tempting me for years. It seems like such a wonderful machine. Anand would you say getting a Mac Pro over saw a build it your own of the same caliber is worth it? I can understand if your deeply ingrained into the Apple system but for an outsider does it hold a lot of value? Reply
  • brausekopf - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    Just buy a 999$ Mac Book or maybe a used one and check it out for yourself!

    I am just using a Mac Book Pro as a development system targeting the iPhone. And after having used many Windows versions and many Unix flavors I would not put Mac OS on the top of my list. But it is usable.
  • xype - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    Weird, after using OS X, I wouldn't even put Windows or Linux on my list. :P Reply
  • rqle - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    friend recommended i try osx. my day job is all unix, and osx annoy the shit out of me. Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, October 08, 2010 - link

    If you're used to Unix, Linux is probably the best bet for a desktop OS. Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, October 07, 2010 - link

    No idea why anyone who is capable of building there own system would buy an over priced Mac. Theres nothing special or magical about them regardless of Apple advertising. They just use PC components. Learn to "Think Different" ... or rather think for yourself.
    You can not only get faster hardware, but also higher quality hardware for the same sort of price as a Mac Pro. Not to mention a graphics card that's actually good and a fully capable and more advanced OS.
  • marioyohanes - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    Because I want everything to become simple so I can focus more on my job rather than busy fixing this and that from my computer. Simple thing should remain simple, while complex thing should be simpler than ever.

    at least that's my opinion...
  • zero2dash - Monday, October 11, 2010 - link

    "Because I want everything to become simple so I can focus more on my job rather than busy fixing this and that from my computer. Simple thing should remain simple, while complex thing should be simpler than ever."

    Sounds like you should spend more than 10 minutes putting one together with shoddy parts or bother stress testing your overclock - then you might not have to fix anything either.

    The only computers I have to "fix" these days are prebuilts with the garbage psus that usually crap out in the 2-3 year window. Gateway, Dell, HP etc. doesn't matter, they all use crap psus. If they actually used something decent like a cheaper Antec or Seasonic, they'd run practically forever.
  • TD912 - Monday, January 03, 2011 - link

    That's kind of what he means. You need to spend the time to build and test and tweak everything instead of having something that is ready to use out of the box. Reply
  • cotak - Friday, October 15, 2010 - link

    That's because you never opened one up right? Never owned one and used it day to day?

    If Dell, or any of the built it yourself case vendors do cases like the Mac Pro they'll charge you more then apples does for the same hardware.

    It's like saying why buy a BMW 323 over say an accord. the BMW's a basic car, doesn't have a lot of features, doesn't have a lot of power. And no it's not for everyone. But by god it rotates on corners vs feeling like the front's going to fly off. That's why my brother basically drove one for 10 minutes and decided to buy it.

    That's what apple brings to the laptop, the desktop and the smart phone.

    If you never had the money to buy one or work where they give you one, you'll never know.

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