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Old Jan 5, 2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Please help configure best Mac Pro for Photoshop & Modo


I need help on the best configuration of a new Mac Pro.

My main work is large, hi-res Photoshop files with many layers. I also do 3D work in Modo but this is only on still images rendered out at large file sizes - no animation work. Apart from this the machine would also be used for iTunes, email, safari -the usual stuff.

So I am looking at the best configuration for those requirements. I am currently looking at these two options:

Apple Mac Pro 6 Core 3.33GHz costing about 1,999.00


Apple Mac Pro 12 Core 2.66GHz costing about 3,349.00.

In both options I would install 32GB RAM.

So, does the extra cores in the 12 core model really justify the huge price increase for my type of work?
My concern is that the cost increase simply wont be justified against the actual performance improvements?
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

A further detail which might make a difference: I currently have an 8 core Mac Pro (late 2008 model). In theory I could utilise the cores in this machine to perform network renders in modo thus benefitting from 14 cores worth of render processing. I'm not sure how efficient modo network rendering is but at least theoretically this seems like a good option to me. But again, advice from anyone with this more figured out would be appreciated.

Many thanks.
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Old Jan 5, 2013, 05:39 PM   #2
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The 12 cores will be irrelevant in Photoshop, but will give you twice as much rendering power in Modo as it scales up well and uses all available Cores for pretty much all elements of the rendering process. Since you're not rendering out animations though, this could be a moot point....are your 3d projects ever based around tight deadlines?

I guess you could also utilise some cores for modo and leave some free so that you could carry on with photoshop work and the 12 core machine would be useful in that regard. But personally, I would go for the 6 core machine and if you need the extra rendering muscle, just build an i7 based PC. The current Mac Pros are poor value for money comparatively speaking.

Hope this helps.
If in doubt, use a car analogy.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 05:06 AM   #3
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Thanks, that helps. In the end I decided to hold out for the promised new Mac Pros due later this year and upgrade the RAM in my current Mac in the meantime.
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 09:34 AM   #4
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smart decision, the current mac pros are a waste of money, heck I'm still on my 2008 because the update isn't worth it.

especially for photoshop data, check out www.macperformanceguide.com if you haven't already - always the best source for data and performance info regarding macs and photoshop that I've found.
2013 nMP 6core 16GB RAM, Promise Pegaus2 R6 12TB RAID; uMBP 17/Matte
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Old Jan 17, 2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Fiercehairdo View Post
Thanks, that helps. In the end I decided to hold out for the promised new Mac Pros due later this year and upgrade the RAM in my current Mac in the meantime.
I got tired of waiting for something that may disappoint me anyway. I went ahead, and bought the 12 core 3.06 machine with 24 gigs of ram, an Ssd, and I filled up the other three bays with drives. I also upgraded the video card to the 5870. This machine replaces my aging 8 core 2.8 gig machine. I mostly do 3d rendering in Lightwave. I can't believe the difference! 3 times faster render speeds, and now I can move 1 million polys in modeler in very near real time. In layout absolutely real time. I am very happy with my purchase, and should Apple come out with something that really blows my socks off ( which I doubt), I'll simply sell it. I love this case. Tons of room inside. I have no use at all for thunderbolt, just need to get a USB 3.0 card, and I'm set!

Last edited by tony3d; Jan 17, 2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Even faster

You might be interested in reading up about these:
I have been able to use an older Mac Pro for a lot longer then I should have by using the accessior, which was only running at half speed. I will be putting it into the 6 core 3.33 which can accommodate full 16x speed. It should be at least twice as fast as running off of a ssd.
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