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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:18 PM   #1
KBS756
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Question about a Mac Pro and 3D Animation

I currently own a 2009 Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM and Dual 2.93Ghz Quad Core Xeons and an ATI Radeon 5870.

I am going to be taking some 3D modeling and animation classes next year and intend to do some Rendering and Animation for work purposes as well as some personal & school projects so I was wondering for 3D animation what would be a more effective upgrade a Graphics Card or a CPU Swap to Hex-core Xeons to get the most out of my Pro especially in when rendering.

Autodesk Maya and Newtek Lightwave are the 2 programs I will be learning and using if that makes any difference. Also use After Effects a decent bit.

Thanks
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Honestly your machine is very good as it is but would benefit from upgrading to hex xeons, if you can get dual 3.33 or 3.46 that would be AWESOME!

Your sig says 4870 but your post says 5870. Which is it? 5870 is noticably more powerful than 4870 and if you don't have one then get that first as it will be much cheaper. It won't help a lot with rendering but will definitely benefit 3D modeling and animation playback.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 10:34 PM   #3
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Honestly your machine is very good as it is but would benefit from upgrading to hex xeons, if you can get dual 3.33 or 3.46 that would be AWESOME!

Your sig says 4870 but your post says 5870. Which is it? 5870 is noticably more powerful than 4870 and if you don't have one then get that first as it will be much cheaper. It won't help a lot with rendering but will definitely benefit 3D modeling and animation playback.
Sorry typo in my sig I have a 5870 HD forgot to update my Sig when I did it.

Can my Mac Pro take 2 Hex Core 3.46 or 3.33 GHz Xeons without problem? Considering their TDP seems significantly higher than my existing processors Heat output.

Thanks in advance for your reply
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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Can my Mac Pro take 2 Hex Core 3.46 or 3.33 GHz Xeons without problem? Considering their TDP seems significantly higher than my existing processors Heat output.
If you upgrade the firmware, the X5675 should work, although I don't know what modifications would be required, and they're extremely expensive. If it's just for classes, I'd probably leave it as is. I don't think Apple ever used the the 130W versions in a dual mac pro. I doubt it would work without modification of some kind. Didn't the 2009s use lidless cpus? Perhaps someone like Tutor will discover the thread and comment.
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Old Dec 16, 2012, 11:48 PM   #5
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Apple didn't put the 130W Xeons in their dual processor configs, however many users on this forum have done this without trouble and I would recommend it for maximum rendering performance ... if not then just get 2x 2.93 (what I have) or 3.06.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ighlight=w3690
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ighlight=w3690
HOW TO: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:05 AM   #6
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If you upgrade the firmware, the X5675 should work, although I don't know what modifications would be required, and they're extremely expensive. If it's just for classes, I'd probably leave it as is. I don't think Apple ever used the the 130W versions in a dual mac pro. I doubt it would work without modification of some kind. Didn't the 2009s use lidless cpus? Perhaps someone like Tutor will discover the thread and comment.
Thanks for the advice, I plan to also do things with 3D rendering long term including some rendering for my dads business as well as some personal projects I really want to do. Hopefully I'll do more professional work later as well.

Does being lidless mean they require something special to install?


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Originally Posted by Zwhaler View Post
Apple didn't put the 130W Xeons in their dual processor configs, however many users on this forum have done this without trouble and I would recommend it for maximum rendering performance ... if not then just get 2x 2.93 (what I have) or 3.06.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ighlight=w3690
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ighlight=w3690
HOW TO: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551

Thanks for the info, strongly considering doing it.

BTW noticed first you mentioned 3D Modeling and Animation Playback in terms of Graphics Card Related the 5870 would be sufficient for this correct?

Thanks
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:31 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, I plan to also do things with 3D rendering long term including some rendering for my dads business as well as some personal projects I really want to do. Hopefully I'll do more professional work later as well.

Does being lidless mean they require something special to install?
They're not the same as retail parts. I haven't personally modded a mac pro. Someone with more experience in the area will probably comment at some point.


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BTW noticed first you mentioned 3D Modeling and Animation Playback in terms of Graphics Card Related the 5870 would be sufficient for this correct?
Your primary concern would be viewport performance. You mentioned maya and lightwave, both of which are available on OSX. The 5870 is certified by Autodesk under OSX. I don't think it is under Windows. On Windows machines the consumer cards can present bugs, as they aren't technically supported. If you're going to use one, you simply have to be careful what you purchase. Also sufficient is a relative thing. You won't get real time playback of heavy models, but I'm not sure what would offer that. That's the reason playblast and proxies exist.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:19 AM   #8
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If OP really wants to go there
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:22 AM   #9
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I am a 3D modeler, rigger, and animator and I use a 2010 Mac Pro with a 5870.

CPU wise, it is fantastic. I have a 12-core 2.93.

GPU wise? Not so much. Really, not good at all.

I use Maya and Mudbox mainly. The biggest problem I have is with the viewport. Working with even a medium-poly rig is fairly slow in the viewport. As an animator, you know that seeing your animation play back in real time is important to making the correct adjustments. Well if you are working with extremely basic rigs when animating, it will be fine.

But if you are working with any bound rig that is even slightly above low-poly inside of Maya, you will have a hard time getting realtime play back in the viewport.

Going away from animating and now on the modeling side, even just rotating around some high-poly models was painful. I had a realistic-ish human bust I was playing around with. It was only 3.3 million polys, and with textures off, I was getting 5-6 fps inside of Maya.

My biggest complaint about the Mac Pro is the GPU. If you are set on getting a Mac Pro, get a proper workstation card like the Quadro 4000 or the Quadro K5000, if the Mac version for that one is already out.

Otherwise, get a Windows based workstation. Going that route will give you MUCH better workstation GPU support and you will have much more options.

And here is a Quadro 4000 in OS X getting smooth realtime perspective camera movements with 16 million polys:


I can't get anywhere close to that with only 3.3 million and no textures with a 5870.

And let me know if you have any questions or if you want me to try something specific.

And I am on 10.6.8 using Maya 2013.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:24 AM   #10
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I am a 3D modeler, rigger, and animator and I use a 2010 Mac Pro with a 5870.

CPU wise, it is fantastic. I have a 12-core 2.93.

GPU wise? Not so much. Really, not good at all.

I use Maya and Mudbox mainly. The biggest problem I have is with the viewport. Working with even a medium-poly rig is fairly slow in the viewport. As an animator, you know that seeing your animation play back in real time is important to making the correct adjustments. Well if you are working with extremely basic rigs when animating, it will be fine.

But if you are working with any bound rig that is even slightly above low-poly inside of Maya, you will have a hard time getting realtime play back in the viewport.

Going away from animating and now on the modeling side, even just rotating around some high-poly models was painful. I had a realistic-ish human bust I was playing around with. It was only 3.3 million polys, and with textures off, I was getting 5-6 fps inside of Maya.

My biggest complaint about the Mac Pro is the GPU. If you are set on getting a Mac Pro, get a proper workstation card like the Quadro 4000 or the Quadro K5000, if the Mac version for that one is already out.

Otherwise, get a Windows based workstation. Going that route will give you MUCH better workstation GPU support and you will have much more options.

And here is a Quadro 4000 in OS X getting smooth realtime perspective camera movements with 16 million polys:


I can't get anywhere close to that with only 3.3 million and no textures with a 5870.

And let me know if you have any questions or if you want me to try something specific.

And I am on 10.6.8 using Maya 2013.
I have an older mac pro 2009 considering upgrading it if I can at the right price. For work purposes I intend to do some model building of simple things like jewelry pieces and rendering them for my dad as he sells jewelry and we often get orders for custom pieces and the customers want to see what their custom pieces will look like and paying others outside do it is not cheap. But also I am interested in actually learning and hopefully working with animation on a more character based way which is more my long term concern.

Given my current Pro's specs at this point in time would a CPU upgrade or GPU upgrade be more effective in improving my overall ability to work with 3D? Honestly just starting out next semester, but confident I will try things that will push what is expected in the class as well as hopefully do some stuff on my own, so was hoping to figure out which upgrade would really be the most cost effective way to improve my Mac Pro for this purpose.

Thanks in advance
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:07 AM   #11
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I have an older mac pro 2009 considering upgrading it if I can at the right price. For work purposes I intend to do some model building of simple things like jewelry pieces and rendering them for my dad as he sells jewelry and we often get orders for custom pieces and the customers want to see what their custom pieces will look like and paying others outside do it is not cheap. But also I am interested in actually learning and hopefully working with animation on a more character based way which is more my long term concern.

Given my current Pro's specs at this point in time would a CPU upgrade or GPU upgrade be more effective in improving my overall ability to work with 3D? Honestly just starting out next semester, but confident I will try things that will push what is expected in the class as well as hopefully do some stuff on my own, so was hoping to figure out which upgrade would really be the most cost effective way to improve my Mac Pro for this purpose.

Thanks in advance
I actually started school for 3D modeling a couple years ago so our situations seems fairly similar.

Even in my first animation class, I was animating rigs that were not high poly, but the 5870 just could not play it back in real time. It was extremely frustrating. Because you really need to see the animation in real time in order to know if it needs more work.

As for rending, the same thing can be said. To see the final image you need to see a render to see if it needs more work.

As for which one will provide for a better upgrade, I am not sure I can give a definitive answer for your usage. But dual quad-cores will be no slouch. Especially at 2.93 GHz and hyperthreading for 16 threads recognized by Maya. So essentially on your current machine Maya will render as if there are 16 cores.

Now if you really plan on doing a lot of modeling and animating and want to push your skills, my personal recommendation would be a Quadro 4000 or K5000. Just looking at that previous video, going from 3.3 million polys and 6 fps to 16 million and what looked to be smooth playback (~30 fps), the upgrade will be a huge performance boost when working in Maya, maybe even like 10 times better. Just getting smooth playback on 3.3 million polys would mean a 5 times improvement in fps. And to get that playback speed on something that has around 5 times as many polys makes me think of a X10 better performance. But maybe I am thinking about that wrong.

Will a CPU upgrade give you that kind of "upgrade ratio"? Probably not. But don't get me wrong, going from 2.93 dual quads to 2.93 or 3.06 dual hex will indeed be a nice improvement in renders times.

If you will be rendering small jewelry pieces, I can't imagine render times will be that bad. But it really depends on how high poly they are and your light setup. Maybe you already have a scene you could test and let me know the render times?

But if basic jewelry pieces will be your main renderings and you plan on doing more complex models and animation, a better GPU might be the way to go.

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If OP really wants to go there
Go big or go home, right?

I actually plan on getting one of those in the next year for my own build.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:49 AM   #12
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Thanks for the advice strausd. I don't have a model I have made for my dad yet, going to start teaching myself how to do this once I get through with my finals this week. But jewelry will just be something I am doing for my dad as I can make some money that way rather than having it send it out where they charge quite a lot to do it. I really hope to get into 3d animation on a personal level for now hopefully professional in the future.

Doesn't seem the Quadro k5000 for mac is on sale yet, so I guess I'll keep my eye out for it once it comes out hopefully soon. From what you have told me it seems GPU is the right way to go in this case.

Thanks again for your advice
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 02:54 AM   #13
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Now if you really plan on doing a lot of modeling and animating and want to push your skills, my personal recommendation would be a Quadro 4000 or K5000. Just looking at that previous video, going from 3.3 million polys and 6 fps to 16 million and what looked to be smooth playback (~30 fps), the upgrade will be a huge performance boost when working in Maya, maybe even like 10 times better. Just getting smooth playback on 3.3 million polys would mean a 5 times improvement in fps. And to get that playback speed on something that has around 5 times as many polys makes me think of a X10 better performance. But maybe I am thinking about that wrong.
You know a portion of that is ram. Dealing with a lot of geometry and textures is going to severely choke some of these. I'm a little surprised that your lighter rigs still lagged.



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But if basic jewelry pieces will be your main renderings and you plan on doing more complex models and animation, a better GPU might be the way to go.
If he's working with CAD models of jewelry pieces, he may have to use fairly dense meshes. It's possible that he could use a lighter mesh for lighting and optimizing shader settings, but you can't exactly use smoothing for a highly technical piece. You'd be forced to use a much higher base level of tessellation for that.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 03:23 AM   #14
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Thanks for the advice strausd. I don't have a model I have made for my dad yet, going to start teaching myself how to do this once I get through with my finals this week. But jewelry will just be something I am doing for my dad as I can make some money that way rather than having it send it out where they charge quite a lot to do it. I really hope to get into 3d animation on a personal level for now hopefully professional in the future.

Doesn't seem the Quadro k5000 for mac is on sale yet, so I guess I'll keep my eye out for it once it comes out hopefully soon. From what you have told me it seems GPU is the right way to go in this case.

And good luck on your finals!

Thanks again for your advice
Just out of curiosity, how are you planning on teaching yourself? My university gives out free Digital Tutors licenses for those in the upper level 3D classes and I can personally suggest checking them out for self taught 3D and visual effects programs and really anything 3D related.

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You know a portion of that is ram. Dealing with a lot of geometry and textures is going to severely choke some of these. I'm a little surprised that your lighter rigs still lagged.
24GB at 1333 MHz shouldn't really be slowing down light rigs though.

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If he's working with CAD models of jewelry pieces, he may have to use fairly dense meshes. It's possible that he could use a lighter mesh for lighting and optimizing shader settings, but you can't exactly use smoothing for a highly technical piece. You'd be forced to use a much higher base level of tessellation for that.
Indeed. And seeing as how rendering jewelry seems to be more of a side thing compared to his intentions with modeling and rigging, I am starting to think the GPU upgrade will bring more benefit.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 11:04 AM   #15
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Just out of curiosity, how are you planning on teaching yourself? My university gives out free Digital Tutors licenses for those in the upper level 3D classes and I can personally suggest checking them out for self taught 3D and visual effects programs and really anything 3D related.
Was planning on looking through youtube and buying a book on it and trying to teach myself that way. Taking a 3D Modeling and Animation class in the Spring also, but want to familiarize myself before taking it. Hopefully that works out, if it doesn't I will look for online or in person tutors.

Any Idea when the Quadro k5000 for mac comes out? And would any consumer gaming cards be comparable in terms of performance in viewport and not have a negative effect on the final result since you indicated the GFX card doesnt do much heavy lifting in 3D rendering. Like an Nvidia GTX 680? Thanks.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 01:24 PM   #16
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Any Idea when the Quadro k5000 for mac comes out?
It was suppose to be:

"... The Quadro K5000 for Mac is slated to begin shipping "later this year" from resellers and system integrators—it's not clear if it will be directly available from Apple—with pricing starting at $2,249. ..."
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/09...u-for-mac-pro/


At this point that is either that is post Xmas. Or pragmatically early 2013.
The initial allotments are likely going to go to high value system integrators that Nvidia/Card Vendor has relationships with and into the general Linux/Windows market variant. The Windows version is out.

This probably partially hinges on when/if Apple takes it as an item for the Apple online store. If that tie-in is required then I'd bet it slides into 2013.


Quote:
And would any consumer gaming cards be comparable in terms of performance in viewport and not have a negative effect on the final result since you indicated the GFX card doesnt do much heavy lifting in 3D rendering. Like an Nvidia GTX 680? Thanks.
In some cases part of the viewport lack of performance is lack of local VRAM space. Game cards typically aren't going to help in that case since they tend to be smaller (e.g., maybe 2GB versus a K5000's 4GB ). But with drivers more tuned to throughput than in hyper high frame rates the non-workstations cards will do better.

The issue with the GTX 680 is that it isn't supported. If there are any glitches you're on our own.
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 03:48 PM   #17
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Was planning on looking through youtube and buying a book on it and trying to teach myself that way. Taking a 3D Modeling and Animation class in the Spring also, but want to familiarize myself before taking it. Hopefully that works out, if it doesn't I will look for online or in person tutors.
One of my professors was a character rigger at Rhythm and Hues for a while and worked on Chronicles or Narnia and other big movies. When I started learning to rig before taking any classes, he told me that most books for modeling, rigging, or animation are pretty much crap and that it is very difficult to find a solid book on that topic. Take it for what its worth, you might be able to find a good one. But in general, video tutorials are going to be much better than learning this stuff from a book.

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Any Idea when the Quadro k5000 for mac comes out? And would any consumer gaming cards be comparable in terms of performance in viewport and not have a negative effect on the final result since you indicated the GFX card doesnt do much heavy lifting in 3D rendering. Like an Nvidia GTX 680? Thanks.
Unfortunately I have no idea when the Quadro K5000 will be out for Mac. The PC version has been out for a while. This may be of interest:
http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/Release...K5000-861.aspx

As for gaming cards, you will never get the same performance in a professional application. Workstation GPUs exist for a reason. They are optimized for use inside of 3D applications to get the best performance. It is not just more RAM or different drivers, it is way more complicated than that.

Take for example a 5870 and its AMD FirePro (AMDs workstation GPUs) equivalent the V8750. They use the exact same hardware. Yet in some cases the difference is 50 fps vs 450 fps, so a 9 times improvement. Now when you are working with high poly meshes that cause a 5870 to get just 10 fps, the workstation GPU would get around 90. And the V8750 is a fairly old card. With the K5000 being brand new, it will destroy the V8750.

Essentially, gaming cards will not compare to workstation cards only in professional applications. Even a FirePro V4900, which is a bottom line workstation card that costs around $150, gets a better framerate (inside of Windows) in Maya than my 5870. And the raw specs that make up the V4900 are far inferior to the 5870. It is all optimization, and it makes a night and day difference.

Yes, a GTX 680 is a very powerful gaming card. However, most high end gaming cards still won't beat out a low-end workstation card inside of professional applications just because of the lack of optimization. And this might be an interesting read:
http://forums.overclockersclub.com/i...owtopic=194700

And the Mac Pro is considered a workstation, yet it is the only workstation that doesn't ship with professional graphics cards, but instead ships with gaming cards. I find that very interesting. Even Dell and HPs bottom line workstations ship with real workstation cards.
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Old Dec 18, 2012, 11:36 PM   #18
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One of my professors was a character rigger at Rhythm and Hues for a while and worked on Chronicles or Narnia and other big movies. When I started learning to rig before taking any classes, he told me that most books for modeling, rigging, or animation are pretty much crap and that it is very difficult to find a solid book on that topic. Take it for what its worth, you might be able to find a good one. But in general, video tutorials are going to be much better than learning this stuff from a book.



Unfortunately I have no idea when the Quadro K5000 will be out for Mac. The PC version has been out for a while. This may be of interest:
http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/Release...K5000-861.aspx

As for gaming cards, you will never get the same performance in a professional application. Workstation GPUs exist for a reason. They are optimized for use inside of 3D applications to get the best performance. It is not just more RAM or different drivers, it is way more complicated than that.

Take for example a 5870 and its AMD FirePro (AMDs workstation GPUs) equivalent the V8750. They use the exact same hardware. Yet in some cases the difference is 50 fps vs 450 fps, so a 9 times improvement. Now when you are working with high poly meshes that cause a 5870 to get just 10 fps, the workstation GPU would get around 90. And the V8750 is a fairly old card. With the K5000 being brand new, it will destroy the V8750.

Essentially, gaming cards will not compare to workstation cards only in professional applications. Even a FirePro V4900, which is a bottom line workstation card that costs around $150, gets a better framerate (inside of Windows) in Maya than my 5870. And the raw specs that make up the V4900 are far inferior to the 5870. It is all optimization, and it makes a night and day difference.

Yes, a GTX 680 is a very powerful gaming card. However, most high end gaming cards still won't beat out a low-end workstation card inside of professional applications just because of the lack of optimization. And this might be an interesting read:
http://forums.overclockersclub.com/i...owtopic=194700

And the Mac Pro is considered a workstation, yet it is the only workstation that doesn't ship with professional graphics cards, but instead ships with gaming cards. I find that very interesting. Even Dell and HPs bottom line workstations ship with real workstation cards.
Thanks again for the great advice. Was expecting that books wouldnt be as good as video tutorials which I plan to use a lot. Could u suggest somewhere good to find video tutorials?

Also thanks for explaining the Video Card I'm a noob when it comes to this topic so wasnt really aware of the differences in optimization. Hopefully the Quadro k5000 for mac comes out soon, think I'll do that upgrade before CPU
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:05 AM   #19
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I'm an amateur 3D animator that is self-taught.

I'd vote for the graphics card over the CPU upgrade.

As for how to self-teach, I used a book to learn the UI of the animation software. After that, I looked for video tutorials and forums with active users.

Good luck!!!
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 01:17 AM   #20
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24GB at 1333 MHz shouldn't really be slowing down light rigs though.
You misunderstood me. I meant vram there. We were talking about viewport performance with heavy geometry. It's not difficult to saturate a 1GB card, and dealing with paging would slow things down. 24GB is fine even with a lot of textures, especially being that you can still convert textures to .map files if it chokes. Regarding the rigs, I wasn't sure how light.

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Indeed. And seeing as how rendering jewelry seems to be more of a side thing compared to his intentions with modeling and rigging, I am starting to think the GPU upgrade will bring more benefit.
I get that. I was just saying that you wouldn't really want to render such a thing using any kind of subdivisions or smoothing. You could set up lighter proxies with the originals referenced for rendering purposes. The gpu upgrade may provide a higher benefit, but the references to Windows operations aren't that relevant. The drivers are handled in an entirely different manner on Windows, and if you look it up, you'll find endless complaints on AMD gaming cards under Windows. You find complaints about AMD no matter what on issues that don't exist under OSX. The Quadro 4000 was actually extremely problematic at launch. Stable drivers took several months to appear. At launch it had complaints of kernel panics. Barefeats actually had some realistic comparisons between the 5870 and Quadro 4000 a while ago. The Q4k won by a significant margin, but I imagine the differences would have been much greater under Windows. It's not that bad as a forced purchase under Windows, as their workstations are often a lot cheaper at a single package level. You can put together a 6 core with a Q 4000 within $3k or maybe slightly less.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 02:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by KBS756 View Post
I currently own a 2009 Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM and Dual 2.93Ghz Quad Core Xeons and an ATI Radeon 5870.

I am going to be taking some 3D modeling and animation classes next year and intend to do some Rendering and Animation for work purposes as well as some personal & school projects so I was wondering for 3D animation what would be a more effective upgrade a Graphics Card or a CPU Swap to Hex-core Xeons to get the most out of my Pro especially in when rendering.

Autodesk Maya and Newtek Lightwave are the 2 programs I will be learning and using if that makes any difference. Also use After Effects a decent bit.

Thanks
More than enough for what you want to do.

You'd be surprised at what people were doing with the G4's and G5's.

Also why 2 programs? Maya has fantastic modeling and animation tools, no need for Lightwave.

Look into Gnomon if you want to learn the technical side of 3d...self-learning is another route, but usually takes longer and you're pretty much on your own.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:00 AM   #22
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Thanks again for the great advice. Was expecting that books wouldnt be as good as video tutorials which I plan to use a lot. Could u suggest somewhere good to find video tutorials?

Also thanks for explaining the Video Card I'm a noob when it comes to this topic so wasnt really aware of the differences in optimization. Hopefully the Quadro k5000 for mac comes out soon, think I'll do that upgrade before CPU
The best place I can suggest for video tutorials is Digital Tutors. Not only do they have professionals doing all their videos, but each video takes you through a series and they provide the files they worked with so you can follow along.

Other than that, YouTube, but that lacks the educational structure that Digital Tutors has.

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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
The gpu upgrade may provide a higher benefit, but the references to Windows operations aren't that relevant.
Which is exactly why I explained my experience with a 5870 on OS X and showed how well a Quadro 4000 under OS X performs. That seems very relevant.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:33 PM   #23
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Unfortunately both Maya and Lightwave run better on Windows 7 than OS X.
The 3D programs that run best on OS X are probably modo and CINEMA 4D.

Have you considered selling the Mac Pro and buying a Dell Precision?
Putting one of the new Quadro cards in a 2009 Mac Pro may not deliver the optimal performance.
Another option might be to use one of the new Ivy Bridge based MacBook Pros with a Mac mini as a render node.

In the case of Maya there are huge performance benefits to using the Quadro 4000 or AMD FirePro GPUs. Well worth researching this a bit.

In terms of training for Maya your very best bet would be a Digital Tutors subscription.

It would be worth checking out the forums at cgtalk.c if you haven't done so already.

In essence, I think that you won't get the best possible value for money if you upgrade the Mac Pro.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 04:52 PM   #24
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Unfortunately both Maya and Lightwave run better on Windows 7 than OS X.
Recent versions run quite well on OSX. What I'd argue makes Windows compelling is that you can put together a very nice workstation under 3k if you're sticking to the single package types. You can configure something like an E5-1650 + Quadro 4000 gpu within that price range from most of the Windows oems. Specialty vendors would be a bit higher.



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Originally Posted by strausd View Post
Which is exactly why I explained my experience with a 5870 on OS X and showed how well a Quadro 4000 under OS X performs. That seems very relevant.
I didn't mean to downplay that. Sorry if it seemed like I was doing so. AMD is always blamed with driver bugs on Windows, which is why I tend to cringe at certain comparisons. I would if I switched to Windows, I'd probably just go with something along the lines of the Quadro 4000 or its eventual replacement. The Firepros have one feature I like. They enable 10 bpc display output with photoshop.
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Old Dec 19, 2012, 07:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 24Frames View Post
Unfortunately both Maya and Lightwave run better on Windows 7 than OS X.
The 3D programs that run best on OS X are probably modo and CINEMA 4D.

Have you considered selling the Mac Pro and buying a Dell Precision?
Putting one of the new Quadro cards in a 2009 Mac Pro may not deliver the optimal performance.
Another option might be to use one of the new Ivy Bridge based MacBook Pros with a Mac mini as a render node.

In the case of Maya there are huge performance benefits to using the Quadro 4000 or AMD FirePro GPUs. Well worth researching this a bit.

In terms of training for Maya your very best bet would be a Digital Tutors subscription.

It would be worth checking out the forums at cgtalk.c if you haven't done so already.

In essence, I think that you won't get the best possible value for money if you upgrade the Mac Pro.
Thanks for the additional advice on where to go for tutorials.

On the Mac vs PC thing I'll stick with my Mac Pro vs a Dell. I Prefer OSX and I have all the software I have on the Mac side + can bootcamp if I need anything on Windows.

Gonna wait for the k5000 Quadro for Mac and to be tested on the Mac side before making a decision on upgrade. emailed NVidia about the release date and was old mid to late january for Mac availability with drivers.
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Last edited by KBS756; Dec 19, 2012 at 07:53 PM.
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