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View Full Version : 2009 Mac Pro for video build




c2g
Feb 2, 2010, 10:32 AM
Hi, I've been researching this forum as well as a few others. Quick background - suffered past 3 yrs with a buggy Dell 690 and now making the move to Mac. I'm primarily a webmaster, but I have a greater demand for video after producing an hour-long video that was shown to everyone in the company last year. I use the CS3 Master's Collection but will get Final Cut studio as part of the new Mac config. My IT support is only familiar with a PC environment, so they're basically leaving it up to me to recommend a system based on my needs. Here's what I've come up with (I already have 2x24" monitors and a 19" preview monitor):

From Apple:
2.26 8-core, 6 GB memory, 1 TB system drive, 2x Nvidia GeForce 120 video card = $3549.

From other vendors:
4 TB CalDigit HDElement RAID5 (incl. card) = $1499. (most people seem to agree that this is better than going with the Apple RAID card and $600 extra for 3x1 TB drives.)
32 GB RAM from OWC = $1197.99.

Total system price: $6200.

They are OK with the price if this is something that won't give me a headache like my PC did for the last 3 yrs. I don't work for a big production company or anything. Would like to run FCP or Premiere, AE, and PShop at the same time, when needed. Majority of video will be for the web and some projects shown on big screens at corporate functions, but color isn't a major concern (no broadcast monitors). I store all archival footage on tape or external HDs, and I rarely work with massive amounts of raw footage at one time.

Does this machine sound like something that will do the job for the next 4 yrs? My only concerns are: A. 2010 MP's coming out soon, but I figure I'll just end up going over budget trying to get something similar; and B.the "Audio Decoding KILLS MacPro (2009) green factor" thread - although I don't do a heck of a lot with audio and I could always listen to music from my ipod instead.

Any advice on areas I could improve or don't need that stays under my current price is appreciated. Thanks.



Concorde Rules
Feb 2, 2010, 11:22 AM
Does this machine sound like something that will do the job for the next 4 yrs? My only concerns are: A. 2010 MP's coming out soon, but I figure I'll just end up going over budget trying to get something similar; and B.the "Audio Decoding KILLS MacPro (2009) green factor" thread - although I don't do a heck of a lot with audio and I could always listen to music from my ipod instead..

I would EMPLOR (sp?) you NOT to purchase a 2009 Mac Pro. You wouldn't buy a faulty car so why a faulty computer?

Im assuming that video also means there is going to be some sort of audio, no? As a hour long silent video isn't great ;)

If its mission critical, buy a 2008 Mac Pro 3.2Ghz Octo. Apart from the VT-x bug in virtualisation I *think* its a solid machine.

The 2010 Mac Pro should be out around March time.

c2g
Feb 2, 2010, 12:44 PM
Like this?

http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB451LL/A?mco=MTA4MzI5NTk

How much RAM can I put in that though?

bearcatrp
Feb 2, 2010, 12:55 PM
With the audio headache for the newer mac pro's, you will definately be better with the one you linked. I have the 2.8 version and its an awesome machine. Apple jacked up the prices on the new mac pro's and personally don't think they are worth it. I hate to see what they want for a dual 6 core system coming out.

Cynicalone
Feb 2, 2010, 01:01 PM
How much RAM can I put in that though?

As much as you can afford. :)

32GB will definitely work.

EDIT: Here is the link from OWC for 32GB of RAM for an 08 Model.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/64FB4MPK32GB/

Chaos123x
Feb 2, 2010, 02:09 PM
08 model is the most bang for the buck. Upgrade the video card to a 4870 or GTX285

nanofrog
Feb 2, 2010, 03:19 PM
Hi, I've been researching this forum as well as a few others. Quick background - suffered past 3 yrs with a buggy Dell 690 and now making the move to Mac. I'm primarily a webmaster, but I have a greater demand for video after producing an hour-long video that was shown to everyone in the company last year. I use the CS3 Master's Collection but will get Final Cut studio as part of the new Mac config. My IT support is only familiar with a PC environment, so they're basically leaving it up to me to recommend a system based on my needs. Here's what I've come up with (I already have 2x24" monitors and a 19" preview monitor):

From Apple:
2.26 8-core, 6 GB memory, 1 TB system drive, 2x Nvidia GeForce 120 video card = $3549.
As others have indicated, the 3.2GHz '08 Octad is a better machine. It has fewer problems, and offers a better value.

Why:
1. It's an EFI64 system, so you will continue to be able to upgrade graphics cards and OS X once it goes to K64 exclusively (not that far off).
2. Cheaper to use a 3rd party internal RAID card with the HDD bays.
3. It's faster than the 2.26GHz '09 Octad in both single and multi-threaded applications. For the same money. :D

From other vendors:
4 TB CalDigit HDElement RAID5 (incl. card) = $1499. (most people seem to agree that this is better than going with the Apple RAID card and $600 extra for 3x1 TB drives.)
I'd stay away from CalDigit. It's slow as well, and pricey, given you can only use the HDElement enclosures. The drives used are consumer models (Hitachi), not enterprise units. They're also difficult to deal with in my experience (unstable, and dropped drives often enough, the data was gone). Supposedly this issue isn't what it was when I dealt with one, but I won't trust them again. Ever. There's also issues with them dropping support quickly for past products, which others have made note of (i.e. users left hung out to dry).

You'd be better off with Areca IMO. They're faster, have models able to boot OS X (once flashed with EFI firmware, and not hard to do), have better features (especially for recovery), and aren't limited to one brand of enclosure and the consumer drives included in it. They're also a good value, as their closest true competitor is Atto Technologies, which is more expensive. Both companies I mentioned design and manufacture their own gear, unlike companies such as Highpoint, CalDigit, or Apple.

32 GB RAM from OWC = $1197.99.
OWC memory is fine. You might also want to go with a HD4870 (MDP and DVI ports) and a MDP to DVI adapter to drive a pair of monitors. Perhaps a Dual DVI to Single DVI splitter, if you want to run the 3rd monitor (since all are 24" or under).

It's a much better card than the stock in the '08 or the '09 systems, and ATI has better drivers under OS X than nVidia's cards. If you can wait a bit, it's expected a 5xxx ATI model will release when the 2010 systems do, which is in the next couple of months or so.

Does this machine sound like something that will do the job for the next 4 yrs? My only concerns are: A. 2010 MP's coming out soon, but I figure I'll just end up going over budget trying to get something similar; and B.the "Audio Decoding KILLS MacPro (2009) green factor" thread - although I don't do a heck of a lot with audio and I could always listen to music from my ipod instead.
The above configuration would suit your needs quite well IMO.

c2g
Feb 3, 2010, 07:43 AM
Wow. Just when I thought I was getting close to submitting a proposal on a new machine, I feel like I have to go back to the drawing board.

After days spent trying to put together a machine, I really wanted to believe the Apple rep when he told me he never heard of this audio decoding issue in the 09 MPs. I check that thread hourly now as it's got me really paranoid.

After spending the last week on these forums, I can see why people recommend the 08 to the 09. I'm just not sure that's going to fly for me when I go to finance and tell them I want to spend $6K or so (with upgrades) on a 2008 refurbished machine that's replacing the machine we paid $9K for 3 years ago that never worked well from the get-go. Again, I'm coming from an all-PC environment. They like the fact that you can configure the MP with relatively few options (less variance, less potential for trouble, they would think) compared to a Dell, buy the 3 years of support, and then let me figure out the rest.

Now I have to factor in the 2010s coming out next month. With this, I can only imagine marked up prices and new bugs/issues like any other year.


PS - Anyone else have a bad experience with CalDigit? That really seemed like the easiest solution for me and got a lot of good reviews (at least, when compared to the Apple RAID). Looks like I have to look into this Areca RAID and a better video card.

nanofrog
Feb 3, 2010, 12:35 PM
PS - Anyone else have a bad experience with CalDigit? That really seemed like the easiest solution for me and got a lot of good reviews (at least, when compared to the Apple RAID). Looks like I have to look into this Areca RAID and a better video card.
Put the time into researching the Areca's, as they're far better cards than Apple or CalDigit. ;) They're used in large data centers/racks of servers (i.e. widely used in the enterprise storage market). You'll NEVER see either Apple's or CalDigit's junk in such locations, as it's way too unreliable (as well as slow).

joaoferro37
Feb 3, 2010, 03:53 PM
PS - Anyone else have a bad experience with CalDigit? That really seemed like the easiest solution for me and got a lot of good reviews (at least, when compared to the Apple RAID). Looks like I have to look into this Areca RAID and a better video card.

The CalDigit RAID card is using much older RAID CPU vs ATTO, Areca and other manufacture are using the latest one. Why!!! CalDigit don't build the RAID Card their own. They had Accusys build the product for them and I believe you've never heard of this company.

Using hdelement and caldigit raid card is the bad solution. You are tied in to their hardware only and there is no go around. That means, you are at their mercy.

I totally agreed with Nanofrog, and yes they phased out their products once they discovered it's a faulty design. Again, why is that!!! They phase out their esata card, firewire vr, s2vr hd, s2vr duo on the 2008 which they launched on 2007.

I am a apple consultant specialized in video and audio post. I sold quite a few of their products and I got no support after they phase out the product.
They have sexy looking products and good tech support but their business direction is simply wrong and I will never want to deal with them for the rest of my life.

nanofrog
Feb 3, 2010, 04:20 PM
The CalDigit RAID card is using much older RAID CPU vs ATTO, Areca and other manufacture are using the latest one. Why!!! CalDigit don't build the RAID Card their own. They had Accusys build the product for them and I believe you've never heard of this company.
There's more than just the differences in the processor or cache capacity. The features are different (more extensive), and in a totally different class. Partition Tables stored in the card's ROM, Remote Management, SMNP, DIMM slot to increase the cache capacity (on some of Areca's models), and NTP server support is a world apart from what CalDigit offers, or Apple's own card for that matter.

If you're after a serious (proper) RAID card, then Areca and ATTO Technologies are the top of the offerings. Even over Adaptec, LSI or 3Ware (which none work on Macs).

I've even heard CalDigit is no longer using Accusys, and the viablility of that card is in question (support). So who knows what would happen. :eek:

I totally agreed with Nanofrog, and yes they phased out their products once they discovered it's a faulty design. Again, why is that!!! They phase out their esata card, firewire vr, s2vr hd, s2vr duo on the 2008 which they launched on 2007.
They're just not in it for the long haul IMO, and I really can't stand the fact they only use consumer drives in the HDElelement boxes (Hitachi's consumer line, which don't have the best track record). :rolleyes: :( :mad:

ekwipt
Feb 3, 2010, 08:19 PM
I think you might be wasting your money on a mac pro why not just top model Imac, you most likely don't need Raid 5 (are you working with Hi Def files?)

Imac config:

2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7
8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive
ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB
8x double-layer SuperDrive
Apple Magic Mouse
Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) and User's Guide
AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac - Auto-enroll

$2568.00

One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
6GB (3x2GB)
640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB
One 18x SuperDrive
Apple LED Cinema Display (24" flat panel)
Apple LED Cinema Display (24" flat panel)
Apple Mouse
Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
Apple Mini DisplayPort - DVI Adapter
AppleCare Protection Plan for Mac Pro - Auto-enroll

$5,325.00

everything bought from Apple

If you need extra Hard Drives just buy them from you local computer shop

By a good quality firewire enclosure, your done

c2g
Feb 4, 2010, 07:07 AM
I think you might be wasting your money on a mac pro why not just top model Imac, you most likely don't need Raid 5 (are you working with Hi Def files?)

- I already own the 3 monitor setup
- We're only working with SD right now, but will be moving to HD eventually

Wouldn't that link to the refurbished 2008 MP be the best bet? I'm definitely holding off on the 09 being an option until the audio decoding issue is addressed. What a time to switch. :confused:

Concorde Rules
Feb 4, 2010, 07:38 AM
- I already own the 3 monitor setup
- We're only working with SD right now, but will be moving to HD eventually

Wouldn't that link to the refurbished 2008 MP be the best bet? I'm definitely holding off on the 09 being an option until the audio decoding issue is addressed. What a time to switch. :confused:

You can tell accountancy that the 3.2Ghz is 90% the performance of the 2.93Ghz Octo which is WAY more.

So I think you should be able to swing that :p

ekwipt
Feb 4, 2010, 08:09 AM
- I already own the 3 monitor setup
- We're only working with SD right now, but will be moving to HD eventually

Wouldn't that link to the refurbished 2008 MP be the best bet? I'm definitely holding off on the 09 being an option until the audio decoding issue is addressed. What a time to switch. :confused:

We've used 09 Macpros in a professional television environment when they first came out last year, don't believe the hype and don't buy old technology.

If you are sticking to SD for a while I'd stick to the Imac and upgrade if/when you start HD, you can still edit HD on a Imac anyway. and then the new macpros will be out,

You can keep the imac for digitising tapes etc