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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:17 PM   #1
mitsu13gman
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Which Refub for Photos and Video

It's time to upgrade my 2006 Mac Pro. Far and away the best machine I've ever owned, but the video card won't support Final Cut Pro X, and my 13" MacBook Pro just doesn't cut it for video editing.

The two machines in the refurb store that have my eye right now are the quad-core 3.2GHz machine and the 8-core 2.4GHz machine.

The only task where I wish my current Mac Pro were faster is in running NIK's DeFine noise-reduction on 21 megapixel digital images. And of course, for video, there's never "too fast."

So which of those two machines would do better with video and photo post-processing? Are 8 cores running at 2.4GHz going to outperform four running at 3.2, or vice versa?
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 12:55 PM   #2
92jlee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitsu13gman View Post
It's time to upgrade my 2006 Mac Pro. Far and away the best machine I've ever owned, but the video card won't support Final Cut Pro X, and my 13" MacBook Pro just doesn't cut it for video editing.

The two machines in the refurb store that have my eye right now are the quad-core 3.2GHz machine and the 8-core 2.4GHz machine.

The only task where I wish my current Mac Pro were faster is in running NIK's DeFine noise-reduction on 21 megapixel digital images. And of course, for video, there's never "too fast."

So which of those two machines would do better with video and photo post-processing? Are 8 cores running at 2.4GHz going to outperform four running at 3.2, or vice versa?
I'd suggest looking at a new graphics card for your current mac pro (6890 apparently works out of the box with 10.6 up but I haven't got the money to test that yet)

Then you can run final cut and it should be faster. This should keep you up and running until next year with the new pro. I understand its a refub so cheaper but you are better off putting that to the next gen rather than 2 year old hardware.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:18 PM   #3
slater-k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 92jlee View Post
its a refub so cheaper but you are better off putting that to the next gen rather than 2 year old hardware.
That could be very true, but only you can say if you have the need / inclination for a refurb (though I hope you do, cos I've just got one!). One of the reasons that I pulled the trigger was that I had to make some repairs to my 2008 and other hardware that I got at the same time. The time spent sorting things out was really rather detrimental.

What I would say is to try your apps when you can see what your system is doing. For example, Lightroom is my main app, and when it's exporting I can see on my 2008 that all the processors are cranked up to the max. I can't remember what the disc activity was, but it wasn't high enough for me to think that it was a limiting factor. From this I think that extra and faster cores would be good for me.

If you we're to do this with your apps and find that mainly just the one core was at max, then the 3.2 would be faster. If they're all in use, then the 2.4 would be faster.

One thing I don't hear people say often is that if you have lots of apps open at the same time, and sometimes i find myself with perhaps as many as 15, then each can have its own core if you have quite a few ... don't know if this is how things work, but for example FileMaker often maxes out one core, and if there are other apps that do the same, things probably run smoother if they each keep to their own core - though I'm sure that if what im saying is ill informed BS, and theres a good chance it is, it won't be long before someone points it out!

Good luck
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:27 PM   #4
mitsu13gman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slater-k View Post
That could be very true, but only you can say if you have the need / inclination for a refurb (though I hope you do, cos I've just got one!). One of the reasons that I pulled the trigger was that I had to make some repairs to my 2008 and other hardware that I got at the same time. The time spent sorting things out was really rather detrimental.

What I would say is to try your apps when you can see what your system is doing. For example, Lightroom is my main app, and when it's exporting I can see on my 2008 that all the processors are cranked up to the max. I can't remember what the disc activity was, but it wasn't high enough for me to think that it was a limiting factor. From this I think that extra and faster cores would be good for me.

If you we're to do this with your apps and find that mainly just the one core was at max, then the 3.2 would be faster. If they're all in use, then the 2.4 would be faster.

One thing I don't hear people say often is that if you have lots of apps open at the same time, and sometimes i find myself with perhaps as many as 15, then each can have its own core if you have quite a few ... don't know if this is how things work, but for example FileMaker often maxes out one core, and if there are other apps that do the same, things probably run smoother if they each keep to their own core - though I'm sure that if what im saying is ill informed BS, and theres a good chance it is, it won't be long before someone points it out!

Good luck
NIK definitely spikes out all 4 cores, as can Lightroom.

But honestly, if what 92jlee said is true, then that's the route I'm going. I'd much rather conserve funds right now, and apart from being unable to run certain software due to the video card, it is more machine than I need.

Thank you both for your responses!

Mike

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by 92jlee View Post
I'd suggest looking at a new graphics card for your current mac pro (6890 apparently works out of the box with 10.6 up but I haven't got the money to test that yet)

Then you can run final cut and it should be faster. This should keep you up and running until next year with the new pro. I understand its a refub so cheaper but you are better off putting that to the next gen rather than 2 year old hardware.
Wait, REALLY!?!?!

Since that saves me SO much money, what is the preferred brand for that card, money being no object?

Consider it purchased! That's the best news I've heard about the Mac Pros in YEARS!
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:38 PM   #5
seanm9
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check this thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1440150 , about nvidia cards working... it is the bible of what cards work and which ones wont (with out some hardware changes) and MacVidCards here and on ebay has some that many have used to put all sorts of new cards in their MP's

Last edited by seanm9; Nov 24, 2012 at 02:56 PM.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 02:10 PM   #6
monokakata
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I have a 2006 Mac Pro at my other worksite. It started as a 4 core machine. I put in an Apple-branded 5770 and it did successfully run FCP X. But it was slow. So I upgraded it to an 8-core and upped the memory to 14 gb (all via eBay), and FCP X ran OK.

Here, I have a 6-core 5,1 and it's noticeably faster and smoother than the 2006 box, for sure. But the 2006 box did the job.

I'm with 93jlee. If you can afford the upgrades that'll let you run FCP X acceptably, then do it piece by piece (starting with the 5770 or higher) and wait for the new machine.

True, there's no telling how long you'll wait.
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 03:30 PM   #7
mitsu13gman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monokakata View Post
I have a 2006 Mac Pro at my other worksite. It started as a 4 core machine. I put in an Apple-branded 5770 and it did successfully run FCP X. But it was slow. So I upgraded it to an 8-core and upped the memory to 14 gb (all via eBay), and FCP X ran OK.

Here, I have a 6-core 5,1 and it's noticeably faster and smoother than the 2006 box, for sure. But the 2006 box did the job.

I'm with 93jlee. If you can afford the upgrades that'll let you run FCP X acceptably, then do it piece by piece (starting with the 5770 or higher) and wait for the new machine.

True, there's no telling how long you'll wait.
That's very good info, thank you. I will say that my 2.4GHz MacBook runs FCPX acceptably for my needs, but the 13" screen is painful when there's a calibrated 30" display in the other room.

I'm not sure when I'll splurge on an all-new machine, but I really don't need a faster box right now. I would very much enjoy it, but I don't need it. Getting video compatibility would really solve all of my issues right now.

So clearly I need Mountain Lion to run an Nvidia card, which isn't a huge problem.

If I were to buy the current Apple-store 5770 upgrade, do I need Lion or Mountain Lion to get it to run on my 2006, or is Snow Leopard sufficient? I'm a firm believer in only changing one variable at a time. If I can just upgrade the card, then look to other changes in the future, that would be ideal.


Thank you all again for your help. I really felt trapped. I don't want to go to the iMac, and it looks like they're going to be delayed anyway. And the Mac Pro options just weren't good idea financially right now. Being able to poke away at my current machine is absolutely ideal. If I can run the Apple-branded 5770, it will be on order before I go to bed tonight!

Update:

I just answered my own question - the Apple Store discussion shows that this is compatible with my machine in 10.6. Going to order it up now!

Thank you all for your help. This really makes a HUGE difference in my computing life right now!
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 04:52 PM   #8
mitsu13gman
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Just put the card in last night, and it worked mostly well under 10.6.8. The DVI port is doing fine driving my 30" CD, but neither of the Mini Display Ports were able to drive my Cintiq. I just popped the stock card back in slot 4 and plugged the Cintiq into that and all is well.

The performance seems impressive. I don't have any current games, and I need to copy my FCPX project from my laptop to see how it runs there. Overall, I'd say this bought me at least a year of life from this machine, and with a little more RAM and an SSD, perhaps more.

Thank you all for the suggestion, This was extremely timely!
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Hi, glad I could help - You should have looked into other options other than apples own cards as they are very expensive for how old they are.

Glad its all up and running now and we can all wait for the 2013 mac pro!
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