Apple's Nehalam-based 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro is a speedy, but expensive PC.
Mac Pro: RAM raiding
We ran a few tests with more RAM, but as our tests are run one at a time, there wasn't much of an impact. The 8-Core 2.93GHz Mac Pro with 12GB of RAM scored a 407 in our Speedmark tests, just 5 points higher than the 402 score earned running the tests with 6GB.
It is also worth noting that the next iteration of the Mac operating system, OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard has several technologies (most notably one called Grand Central), designed to take full advantage of computers with multiple cores.
This, in effect, will make it much easier for programmers to develop applications that perform faster on multi-core systems. Just how much advantage you'll see initially on Snow Leopard, versus how much you'll see in a few year's time when programmers have coded applications specifically for the operating system remains to be seen. Only time will tell.
Whether it makes financial sense to invest in a single, uber-fast core, or get a system with multiple slower cores is - in this respect - a moving target; in some respects it may be wise to wait until we have performance tested Snow Leopard before making such a big investment.
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