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Old Mar 15, 2013, 08:17 AM   #1
Sophia.
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PC Workstation vs. Mac Pro

Hello All,

I know this is a bad time to ask questions about the Mac Pros as they are currently unavailable in Europe and most likely due a major upgrade. I thought I would ask anyway.

I do a lot of video and graphics work and my boyfriend is a professional photographer. Our current Mac Pro is old and we're thinking of buying a new computer. I can decide if I want to wait for the new Mac Pros or just build a custom PC.

Currently I have something like this in mind for a PC:


Case: COOLERMASTER COSMOS 2 ULTRA TOWER (I love this case)

CPU: Intel® Xeon® 8-Core E5-2687W (3.1 GHz, 8.00 GT/s, 20M L3 Cache)

Motherboard: ASUS® P9X79 WS - SOCKET 2011, QUAD DDR3, USB 3.0, SATA 6 GB/s

RAM: 64GB SAMSUNG QUAD-DDR3 1600MHz (8 X 8GB)

GPU: PNY QUADRO K5000 - 4GB GDDR5, 1536 CUDA CORES, 2 x DP, 2 x DVI

HDD: I'll use my current SSDs and HDDs

1st Optical Drive: 12x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW

2nd Optical Drive: 12x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW

PSU: CORSAIR 750W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX750 V2-80 PLUS® BRONZE

Processor Cooling: INTEL BXSTS200C THERMAL SOLUTION FOR XEON E5 CPU

Sound Card: ONBOARD 8 CHANNEL (7.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)

Network Facilities: DUAL-BAND WIRELESS 802.11N 450Mbps PCI-E CARD

USB Options: 2 PORT USB 3.0 INTERNAL PCI-EX CARD + STANDARD USB PORTS

Firewire: 1 x IEEE 1394a FIREWIRE PORT ONBOARD

Do you think Apple will release something with a similar or better spec? Could you tell me your thoughts Mac Pro vs. PC?

Obviously I could boot Windows via Boot Camp but I'm still torn. There are things I hope they address with the new Pros like lack of internal HDD space etc.

Thanks for your advice and opinions I apologize for such a large post.


Sophia

Last edited by Sophia.; Mar 19, 2013 at 08:45 AM.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 08:31 AM   #2
Pjotr28
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Hi,

How old is your Mac Pro? Perhaps you can speed it up a bit with a ssd, Graphics card and more ram.

Why do you want to use windows?

How many hard disk space do you need. Is 4 not enough?

If there will be a new Mac Pro no one here can tell for sure. I decided not to wait anymore and give my Mac Pro a new life by upgrading the Graphics Card and even the CPU.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 08:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Pjotr28 View Post
Hi,

How old is your Mac Pro? Perhaps you can speed it up a bit with a ssd, Graphics card and more ram.

Why do you want to use windows?

How many hard disk space do you need. Is 4 not enough?

If there will be a new Mac Pro no one here can tell for sure. I decided not to wait anymore and give my Mac Pro a new life by upgrading the Graphics Card and even the CPU.
Thanks for your comment Pjotr28. I can't remember how old our Mac Pro is but we have the money to replace it. Besides I've already promised to give it to my youngest Sister.

4 HDDs isn't ideal we have six in our current PC, four in our Mac Pro and five in a Drobo that's not including externals.

Now that you mention it I might get it upgraded before giving it to my sister. I would not have thought of doing that thanks.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 09:52 AM   #4
handsome pete
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Originally Posted by Pjotr28 View Post
Hi,
Why do you want to use windows?
I don't think she necessarily wants to use Windows. A Windows machine just offers better hardware at this point and if someone needs a new system, then it's certainly a viable option. As long as the OS stays out of the way while you're working on projects then what does it really matter which one you choose?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia. View Post
Hello All,

I know this is a bad time to ask questions about the Mac Pros as they are currently unavailable in Europe and most likely due a major upgrade. I thought I would ask anyway.

I do a lot of video and graphics work and my boyfriend is a professional photographer. Our current Mac Pro is old and we're thinking of buying a new computer. I can decide if I want to wait for the new Mac Pros or just build a custom PC.

Currently I have something like this in mind for a PC:
I'm actually in the same boat. I'm in the market for a new editing/motion graphic machine so I've been strongly considering building a PC. One, because I'm not tied to Apple software anymore. Two, as already mentioned I can more for my money. And three, I kind of like the challenge and idea of putting it together from scratch.

Your parts list does look pretty solid. My only question would be are you sure you want to put all of that money into a 2687w? If money isn't an issue then it's probably no big deal. But you could easily direct a good portion of that money elsewhere by going with a 6 core i7, which can easily be overclocked to 4ghz+. You do lose 2 cores, but gain clock speed and I'm not sure what you'll be doing where you'll see that much of a performance difference between the two especially since the 2687w will cost you roughly $1400 more. Doesn't seem like a good value when you put it that way. Of course there is the allure of using the best Xeon out there, but from everything I've seen there aren't many arguments for paying that premium. Even vendors like Boxx are now selling systems with overclocked i7s, so they can be built just as stable and reliable.

For what it's worth, I was looking into building a 2687w rig originally, with 1 cpu on a 2 socket board leaving me the option to expand to a 2 cpu system down the road. But in my case I kept reading of issues running it in that configuration especially with the K5000 (which I was also eying up). So I've also looked into a single CPU option as well, hence my comparison between a single 2687w and hexcore i7.

Despite what you decide I'd also consider upgrading your CPU cooler. I don't think there's anything wrong with the intel one you picked, it's just that for another $40 you can get something like the Noctua NH-D14 which is widely regarded as one of the best air coolers around.

Also, what software will you be using? That could also play a part in what you do here.

As for Apple, no one can really speculate with much accuracy on what, when, and if they're going to deliver it. We're all pretty much in the dark at this point.

I'll probably pull the trigger on my build sometime over the next month. Still working some things out with it. I'm just mad that I didn't buy back before the holidays when it looked like I could save another $500 or so. Oh well. I'll be keeping an eye out for any news on the Mac Pro just in case, but in all likelihood I'll be making the move back to Windows.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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If your not tied to OSX, the specs you posted looks to be a nice editing machine. Apple has ticked off allot of pro's by keeping silent on the new mac pro, if it will happen. If your making a living from your computer, wouldn't hesitate. Move on. Apple's loss for dragging their feet. Cook did say something about another one in 2013. Talk is cheap. Doesn't pay the bills. But, if you can wait, might be worth it. Only you can make that choice. Good luck.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:18 AM   #6
deconstruct60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia. View Post
Currently I have something like this in mind for a PC:


Case: COOLERMASTER COSMOS 2 ULTRA TOWER (I love this case)

CPU: Intel® Xeon® 8-Core E5-2687W (3.1 GHz, 8.00 GT/s, 20M L3 Cache)

Motherboard: ASUS® P9X79 WS - SOCKET 2011, QUAD DDR3, USB 3.0, SATA 6 GB/s

Why the E5 2687? It is a single socket board. You are just flushing money on something from the 2600 series which is meant for boards with two sockets.

A E5 1660 is better bang for the buck. ( the price gap used to buy faster I/O : more memory and/or faster storage. )

If your had several apps that needed more cores to scale on then 12 is better than 8.


Quote:

1st Optical Drive: 12x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW

2nd Optical Drive: 12x BLU-RAY WRITER DRIVE, 16x DVD ±R/±RW
Really need two ?

Quote:

USB Options: 2 PORT USB 3.0 INTERNAL PCI-EX CARD + STANDARD USB PORTS
Errr Why? There is already USB 3.0 on the motherboard. Or is this a PCI-e USB 3.0 card to bring it into closer hackintosh compliance. As a Windows workstation it is a bit questionable.


Quote:
Do you think Apple will release something with a similar or better spec? Could you tell me your thoughts Mac Pro vs. PC?
Apple would release something with at best 1 DVD drive. There is a decent chance there will be none. You probably would get hit by an meteorite before get Blu-ray from Apple. Let alone two.

There is no way under the Sun Apple would sell a single E5 2600. It doesn't make sense ("but HP/Dell do it " ... isn't a good justification. It is dubious for them too.) . An E5 1660 , 1650 , or 1620 , yes.

Pretty good chance FW is still on board but it would not be 'a' (FW400) it would be 'b' and there would be two ports ( maybe four like current, but likely will drop.)

Better chance there will be USB 3.0. ( It may push FW off the Mac Pro. as it requires an embedded controller. )

Probably at least a 1000W Power Supply so an upgrade over that 750W one.

At least WiFi 'n' ( some chance 'ac'. ). Would also have bluetooth 4.0

There should be a K5000 for Mac available. Whether that is a BTO option is a toss up. ( there is a change that there will be a model with no PCI-e GPU card. You could buy your own and put it in. )
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:53 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sophia. View Post
Hello All,

Do you think Apple will release something with a similar or better spec?
Yes. That looks like just about the minimum expectations of what they will offer.


Quote:
Could you tell me your thoughts Mac Pro vs. PC?
No difference. They're both OS's, they both work - hardware is the same all around. The respective OS's are both about the same speed (Windows might be a little faster as it can [historically] take advantage of some hardware options that OS X doesn't. They're both massively customizable - although most users seem to ignore these aspects. They both have all the apps you will likely ever need - although Windows has more options and a few really sweet apps not available in OS X. Windows is worse in the privacy department if that's important to you - MS is dang near a government agency and offers backdoor access to government agencies and so on. Although I'm not sure this matters at all as everything going out over the wires is tracked, traced, and recorded anyway (100%). There are still quite a few virus threats on Windows whereas I think there is like only one on OS X and no one is ever affected by it.

I own and have used all versions of OS X from 10.4 on and from MacOS 9 and prior (back to version one). And I also own and have used all versions of Windows with the exception of ME and couple of their Enterprise Server editions This includes all versions of MS DOS from V1.0.

In the past there have been times where one OS was quantifiably "better" than the other for whatever reasons but currently Win8 and ML are neck and neck practically identical in all the areas most users seem interested in. Win8 has a very slight edge in some areas as noted above - but yeah: No difference.

Buy whichever you like and use it with confidence.


Quote:
Obviously I could boot Windows via Boot Camp but I'm still torn. There are things I hope they address with the new Pros like lack of internal HDD space etc.
Currently you can boot either OS on either machine. OS X on PC Hardware and Windows on a Mac - both virtualized and directly. I think it's interesting to set up and play with but unless there is a specific super resource hungry, application available on only one platform which you absolutely have to use, direct dual booting setups are not actually useful. I'm sure some users have adapted to such a usage style but thee's almost always a better way available when investigated. So yeah, interesting but not useful. Virtualization is different - that can actually be useful.

"lack of internal HDD space"? You mean only 4 bays and other case design restrictions? My guess is that this will either remain the same or get even smaller yet in the next MacPro. It's only a guess but with the recent advents of USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt there is reason to believe that they may try and maximize profits by forcing users to rely on external storage more-so than is the current case. I know if I were on the BOD or part of Apple Engineering I would be pushing for this as an obvious no brainer.

If it were me I'd put a couple of tiny mSATA III SSD connections and only one HHD bay and then offer an I/O Box in various configurations from 2 HDDs + 1 Optical to 8 HDD bays + 2 Opticals. Profit margins on MacPro system units could be increased considerably plus I would sell an order of magnitude more drives and drive cases. Who knows what they will actually do though. Ya just have to wait and see I guess.

.

Last edited by Tesselator; Mar 15, 2013 at 11:03 AM.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 10:59 AM   #8
Sophia.
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First of all thank you all for replying to my thread, in particular a big thank you to Pete.

Quote:
Originally Posted by handsome pete View Post
I

Your parts list does look pretty solid. My only question would be are you sure you want to put all of that money into a 2687w? If money isn't an issue then it's probably no big deal. But you could easily direct a good portion of that money elsewhere by going with a 6 core i7, which can easily be overclocked to 4ghz+. You do lose 2 cores, but gain clock speed and I'm not sure what you'll be doing where you'll see that much of a performance difference between the two especially since the 2687w will cost you roughly $1400 more. Doesn't seem like a good value when you put it that way. Of course there is the allure of using the best Xeon out there, but from everything I've seen there aren't many arguments for paying that premium. Even vendors like Boxx are now selling systems with overclocked i7s, so they can be built just as stable and reliable.

For what it's worth, I was looking into building a 2687w rig originally, with 1 cpu on a 2 socket board leaving me the option to expand to a 2 cpu system down the road. But in my case I kept reading of issues running it in that configuration especially with the K5000 (which I was also eying up). So I've also looked into a single CPU option as well, hence my comparison between a single 2687w and hexcore i7.

Despite what you decide I'd also consider upgrading your CPU cooler. I don't think there's anything wrong with the intel one you picked, it's just that for another $40 you can get something like the Noctua NH-D14 which is widely regarded as one of the best air coolers around.

Also, what software will you be using? That could also play a part in what you do here.
I would not have thought over-clocking appropriate due to the potential heat increase and heavy workload but I could upgrade the CPU cooler like you suggested.

The only thing is I would be having this built for me I wouldn't dream of building the machine myself I'm not experienced and the risk of error would cost too much. The company don't offer Noctua however they offer Corsair CPU coolers would that do? I have one in my PC it works rather well.

As for Software at the moment I'm using Final Cut and Avid Media Composer the latter being Windows friendly.

Please let me know what you decide to do regarding your new computer, best of luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bearcatrp View Post
If your not tied to OSX, the specs you posted looks to be a nice editing machine. Apple has ticked off allot of pro's by keeping silent on the new mac pro, if it will happen. If your making a living from your computer, wouldn't hesitate. Move on. Apple's loss for dragging their feet. Cook did say something about another one in 2013. Talk is cheap. Doesn't pay the bills. But, if you can wait, might be worth it. Only you can make that choice. Good luck.
You hit the nail on the head this is how I feel but I can wait a few months to see what happens. We already have a decent PC for anything too demanding at the moment.

To Deconstruct60:

I don't know a great deal about putting things together I just had a quick look at what they offered and "built" something from that. That's why I posted here if anything seems odd or unnecessary I was hoping someone would tell me. So thank you for pointing those out.

Their website said I only needed a 750 watt PSU I had selected a 1200 watt at first.

As for the Blu-ray drives yes I need two I copy video to Blu-ray disc and it's faster to do it on the fly if I don't happen to the original file on my system. It's easy enough to replace the optical drives on the current Mac Pro I've seen it done on YouTube I'm assuming the "New" Pro will be similar.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8HsjgtMzEg
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sophia. View Post
Hello All,

...
I do a lot of video and graphics work and my boyfriend is a professional photographer. Our current Mac Pro is old and we're thinking of buying a new computer. I can decide if I want to wait for the new Mac Pros or just build a custom PC.....
You didn't say whether you were a professional as well. I'm a professional photographer, and - imo - I would never rely on a custom built computer. PC or Hackintosh. I am a photographer, and not a tech shop. For the same reasons that I believe people get better photographs when they pay a professional photographer I believe I get, overall, a better computer if I pay for one from a company that builds computers for a living. (When comparing Oranges to Oranges).

You will always save money by building one yourself... whether it is Windows or Mac. And you will learn lots, and it can be fun. But it is not fun is when the system is cranky just before a client's deadline. At this point you need to learn how to diagnose the problem, how to narrow it down to the bare minimum of possible causes. If it's software - learn what needs to be reinstalled, or upgraded, or downgraded. If it's hardware which part(s) need to be replaced and where to get those parts from. And if those parts are not quite the same as the old parts which bits of the software need to be upgraded/replaced.

It is not always a huge problem when there is an issue...usually the issue can be resolved in few hours. But then there are those issues that can take days of your time to resolve. Time you really should be spending doing your client's work. With a store bought system, you have a professional shop that you can fall back on.

As an example... my 2008 Mac Pro blew a GPU card a few years ago that also took out the logic board. If it was a custom built system I would have had to deal with 2 vendors - one video and one logic board. Only one would have been covered by warranty.... unless I lied about the issue. If the vendors had been difficult they each could have claimed their "thing" had been broken by the other "thing" blowing first. Since it was a Mac covered by AppleCare I simply dropped it off at the an Authorized Apple repair shop and went home where I fired up by old laptop with the bootable cloned backup of the MacPro and kept working as professional photographer. Other than two ferry trips to drop off and then to pick up the system (and couple of sushi lunches while in town), I spent zero time as a Tech Person and instead continued working as a photographer.

These things happen rarely, of course. But if you (and boyfriend) are professionals then you should be paying a bit more to ensure that your businesses are interrupted as little as possible. Building a Custom PC (or Hackintosh) ensures that you will need to spend at least some time as a Tech Person.

Just IMHO of course.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 12:24 PM   #11
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CPU: E5-1650 or Core i7-3930K is what you should be looking for. These are by far, the best value for money for performance computing with 6-cores at 3.2GHz. The next model up is almost twice as much for negligible performance gain. And that E5-2687W is three times as much for 2 more cores and less clockspeed. It makes more sense to build a dual 3.3GHz 4-core (8 total) system as you get twice as much memory capacity, more PCI-E slots and room to expand for the same sort of price.

In regard to the Core i7 vs. Xeon: the Xeon allows you to use ECC memory, which basically means more than 64GB of RAM can be used. The only real reason to go for the Core i7 would be a specific seller only offering it as the E5-1650 has been hard to source in Europe.

Graphics card: A Quadro card certainly has its place, but don't think you need one just because that is what gets offered on workstations. You have to look at your software and how you work to see if it is worth it to you, but a general rule of thumb at the moment is that if you aren't sure if you can use the advantages, or aren't doing complex 3D modelling, you are fine with a consumer card. An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 570 or 670 (570 has better non-gaming power) is great value and very capable for image editing.

We don't know what Apple will offer exactly, but we do know it won't be better than a PC, nor will it likely be cheaper. So how much do you value OS X is really what you need to ask yourself.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 01:32 PM   #12
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Thank you for the link I have seen his channel before but not this video.

To Snberk103

I to am a professional but I have several different roles in the small company I work for. I guess I'm a graphic designer/film editor as I do plenty of both and occasionally I need to do some animation.

Regarding the warranty the company I was going to buy the PC from offers 3 years collect and return parts and labour for roughly $100. Plus we have electronic insurance our computers and gadgets are fully covered.

To Umbongo

I think Avid Media Composer benefits from GPU acceleration which the K5000 supports (I think). I'm not sure about Final Cut...

Still I agree I'm unsure what to get GPU wise perhaps it's best to wait and see if the Mac Pro is released with updated hardware what it uses.

Thank you all again I didn't think I'd get as many replies and in such detail I really do appreciate it.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 01:44 PM   #13
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4 HDDs isn't ideal we have six in our current PC, four in our Mac Pro and five in a Drobo that's not including externals.
Have you considered external eSATA drive boxes. Unlike Drobo, you can get four drive bay eSATA boxes that will hold up to 12TB of data, and they are cheap, about a $100, and need only a PCIe eSATA card in the Mac Pro. LaCie makes a Thunderbolt eSATA hub, expensive like all Thunderbolt at $200, but will allow access to the drive in a future Thunderbolt Mac Pro, assuming they retain PCIe expansion slots.

While this would be rolling the dice on a future Mac Pro, what I like about eSATA, which being about the same speed as USB 3.0, it doesn't use the USB controller, so there is less to go wrong. Having lost a number of LaCie drives due to their crappy bridges, my view is to keep things as simple as possible.

Good luck on making a decision. Me, it's a no brainer, Mac is it.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 01:53 PM   #14
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Have you considered external eSATA drive boxes. Unlike Drobo, you can get four drive bay eSATA boxes that will hold up to 12TB of data, and they are cheap, about a $100, and need only a PCIe eSATA card in the Mac Pro. LaCie makes a Thunderbolt eSATA hub, expensive like all Thunderbolt at $200, but will allow access to the drive in a future Thunderbolt Mac Pro, assuming they retain PCIe expansion slots.

While this would be rolling the dice on a future Mac Pro, what I like about eSATA, which being about the same speed as USB 3.0, it doesn't use the USB controller, so there is less to go wrong. Having lost a number of LaCie drives due to their crappy bridges, my view is to keep things as simple as possible.

Good luck on making a decision. Me, it's a no brainer, Mac is it.
I had always though these were expensive and hard to set up. Am I right in thinking that all the drives have to be the same brand and capacity? Either way I shall investigate thanks.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 02:26 PM   #15
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To Umbongo

I think Avid Media Composer benefits from GPU acceleration which the K5000 supports (I think). I'm not sure about Final Cut...

Still I agree I'm unsure what to get GPU wise perhaps it's best to wait and see if the Mac Pro is released with updated hardware what it uses.

Thank you all again I didn't think I'd get as many replies and in such detail I really do appreciate it.

Software companies really only support workstation graphics cards (Quadro/FirePro) because that's all NVIDIA and AMD will give them support for. The hardware is pretty much the same. the K5000 is a slightly weaker GTX 680 when it comes to hardware, but the software drivers it users are optimized for certain applications giving it great performance gains. These gains tend to only be for 3D modelling software. Imaging editing and video editing tend to just use the raw hardware of a card, so other than a lack of official support you can get top level performance for a lot less than a Quadro card costs. Hope that all makes sense.

For Apple it is a bit different because they sit in the middle between users, software companies and the video card makers. A Quadro card under OS X doesn't give the same driver performance difference over a consumer card that it does under Windows and Linux because of this, making them even worse value for money. Really there is only Maya that has any popularity that benefits from better drivers.

I'd recommend a Quadro 2000 or GTX 670 for your graphics card needs. The K5000 isn't going to be worth it unless you are billing very high rates and this system will be paid off quickly.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 03:24 PM   #16
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T...
To Snberk103

I to am a professional but I have several different roles in the small company I work for. I guess I'm a graphic designer/film editor as I do plenty of both and occasionally I need to do some animation.

Regarding the warranty the company I was going to buy the PC from offers 3 years collect and return parts and labour for roughly $100. Plus we have electronic insurance our computers and gadgets are fully covered.
...
That's excellent. The "custom built" phrase often means "I am going to build this myself"... which I recommend against in a professional setting, usually. But a 'custom built' system from a company that provides solutions to other people who do what you do is probably the best solution. You get the best of both worlds ... a system that is tuned for the work you do, and not for the work or games that other people do. And is backed by a single point warranty. When I first started I was getting custom built PCs as well. Way back in the days of Photoshop v3.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 04:38 PM   #17
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Oooh, this is relevant to where I am. I'm an independent motion designer and I just finished a huge 7 month job and can finally afford to buy whatever system I want. Just not sure what I want. I just sold my hot rodded 2012 12-core Mac Pro because it only felt marginally faster than my decked out MacBook Pro except maybe during Cinema 4D renders.

I have quotes for a Promax-configured HP z820 and a Puget Systems-built Xeon workstation. Both are incredibly expensive but HP and Promax have such incredible warranty and service policies that it is hard to ignore.

I would happily pull the trigger but I still feel like even the top workstations are running on last-generation tech. Still tons of USB 2.0 ports and Firewire400 connections and stuff.

This video gets me pretty pumped about a z820, even as a hardcore Mac user.

BUT! My spidey senses are tingling about the distant possibility of a new Mac Pro but moreso about new Intel tech. I dunno. Never thought I'd be in this position.

Back to work.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 05:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
That's excellent. The "custom built" phrase often means "I am going to build this myself"... which I recommend against in a professional setting, usually. But a 'custom built' system from a company that provides solutions to other people who do what you do is probably the best solution. You get the best of both worlds ... a system that is tuned for the work you do, and not for the work or games that other people do. And is backed by a single point warranty. When I first started I was getting custom built PCs as well. Way back in the days of Photoshop v3.
My apologies for not making it clear I am not building it myself. I had yet to start school back in those days.

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Originally Posted by echoout View Post
Oooh, this is relevant to where I am. I'm an independent motion designer and I just finished a huge 7 month job and can finally afford to buy whatever system I want. Just not sure what I want. I just sold my hot rodded 2012 12-core Mac Pro because it only felt marginally faster than my decked out MacBook Pro except maybe during Cinema 4D renders.

I have quotes for a Promax-configured HP z820 and a Puget Systems-built Xeon workstation. Both are incredibly expensive but HP and Promax have such incredible warranty and service policies that it is hard to ignore.

I would happily pull the trigger but I still feel like even the top workstations are running on last-generation tech. Still tons of USB 2.0 ports and Firewire400 connections and stuff.

This video gets me pretty pumped about a z820, even as a hardcore Mac user.

BUT! My spidey senses are tingling about the distant possibility of a new Mac Pro but moreso about new Intel tech. I dunno. Never thought I'd be in this position.

Back to work.
Congratulations, whatever you pick I hope you enjoy it. Please feel free to post updates here if you do end up "pulling the trigger" I watched the video and although a lot of it goes over my head that looked like a very nice piece of machinery.

It seems like there are several people at least with the same problem which makes me feel better it's not just me. Thanks again everyone I didn't expect such a warm welcome to the forum.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 05:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sophia. View Post
My apologies for not making it clear I am not building it myself. I had yet to start school back in those days.

...
Ouch....
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 05:49 PM   #20
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Have you checked out systems from super micro? Not cheap but 2 to 4 processor systems with mega ram. Built my dullie Xeon system around a super micro motherboard. Been rock solid for around 2 years now running 24/7. Good luck with whatever you decide to get.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 05:52 PM   #21
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I just recently had a workstation configured from Thinkmate. I'm super happy with it. It's quiet and super fast. They had tons of options too, so you should be able to make your workstation just about what ever you want it to be.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 05:53 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by snberk103 View Post
Ouch....
*hug*

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Originally Posted by bearcatrp View Post
Have you checked out systems from super micro? Not cheap but 2 to 4 processor systems with mega ram. Built my dullie Xeon system around a super micro motherboard. Been rock solid for around 2 years now running 24/7. Good luck with whatever you decide to get.
No I haven't I will do so first thing in the morning. Thanks for contributing to my thread and I hope your computer is a rock for many more years.

Completely off-topic but is there a section of the forum for software? (DVD/Blu-ray Authoring software). I have a few questions and I'm not sure where to post here or on another forum.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 06:50 PM   #23
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Personally, I wouldn't waste money on anything from the E5-2600 series unless you actually plan on running dual processors. E5-1600 series chips are far better values for single-processor machines. You don't get 8 cores, but the faster clock speeds offset the absence of the two extra cores a little bit. Just as an example:

E5-1660 (about $1100): 6 cores @ 3.3 GHz = 19.8 GHz at full core utilization. In single-threaded tasks, Turbo Boost will clock the CPU as high as 3.8 GHz.

E5-2687W (about $2000): 8 cores @ 3.1 GHz = 24.8 GHz at full core utilization. In single-threaded tasks, Turbo Boost will clock the CPU as high as 3.8 GHz.

So in the above scenario, the 2670 is faster on paper, assuming it's given an appropriate multithreaded workload that will actually saturate all the available cores. But in a single-threaded situation where Turbo Boost is utilized at max frequency, they'll be about the same. You'd be paying almost double the money for (up to) 20% better multithreaded performance. And the E5-1650 is better bang for the buck still at $600 (3.2GHz and same max turbo speed of 3.8 GHz).

That's just something to think about.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 08:44 PM   #24
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Pretty much what others have stated. There is little reason to just cherry pick the most expensive components available unless you have a specific purpose for them and a billing rate that will recover these costs rather quickly. A Quadro K5000 is a rather specialized card. It will handle huge 3d scenes like a champ. I'm not sure how it is with playback in something like Premiere relative to cheaper cards. There is no reason to go with a 26xx as opposed to 16xx unless you plan to populate both sockets. The extra bandwidth provided by the dual setups is tied to cpu packages rather than the board itself, so this makes little sense. You pay a huge premium for these parts, which is only sensible if they are true requirements.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainChunk View Post

So in the above scenario, the 2670 is faster on paper, assuming it's given an appropriate multithreaded workload that will actually saturate all the available cores. But in a single-threaded situation where Turbo Boost is utilized at max frequency, they'll be about the same. You'd be paying almost double the money for (up to) 20% better multithreaded performance. And the E5-1650 is better bang for the buck still at $600 (3.2GHz and same max turbo speed of 3.8 GHz).

That's just something to think about.
If the 1650 isn't enough, the OP should probably look at 26xx parts with both sockets populated rather than one of the most expensive cpus in one with the other bare.
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Old Mar 15, 2013, 09:25 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by thekev View Post
Pretty much what others have stated. There is little reason to just cherry pick the most expensive components available unless you have a specific purpose for them and a billing rate that will recover these costs rather quickly. A Quadro K5000 is a rather specialized card. It will handle huge 3d scenes like a champ. I'm not sure how it is with playback in something like Premiere relative to cheaper cards. There is no reason to go with a 26xx as opposed to 16xx unless you plan to populate both sockets. The extra bandwidth provided by the dual setups is tied to cpu packages rather than the board itself, so this makes little sense. You pay a huge premium for these parts, which is only sensible if they are true requirements.




If the 1650 isn't enough, the OP should probably look at 26xx parts with both sockets populated rather than one of the most expensive cpus in one with the other bare.
Good point.
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