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Old Aug 23, 2008, 01:35 PM   #1
L3X
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Maximizing Mac Pro Power

I have a brand new 2.8 dual quad with 10 GBs of memory. My production dept at work is just switching over to Macs. I use CS3 Master Collection and Final Cut Studio.

How can I maximize the resources in my Mac Pro. I did some simple encodes the other day in Flash and it was barely using 20% of my processor power. I just want to make sure I'm getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. I've definitely seen that I can be encoding in one project and be editing in Final Cut without any problems which is nice.

Thoughts?
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 01:52 PM   #2
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Not much at the moment. But I'll give it a shot.

Wait for Snow Leopard, as it will make more efficient use of the cores. Not too expensive, I should hope, assuming they follow past pricing.

Another possibility, would be a RAID implementation to speed up HDD throughput. If you're a graphics pro or just really serious, it may be beneficial anyway.

Don't know you're exact needs, and that makes things somewhat difficult.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 02:11 PM   #3
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If the software doesn't take advantage of multiple cores, you won't get that processor utilisation up much.

A faster hard drive would speed everything up a lot. If the 300Gb 10,000RPM models have enough capacity for you, go for some of those. The Mac Pro has 4 SATA ports accessible, meaning a total capacity of 1.2Tb (less after formatting). There are some additional ports hidden on the motherboard (I think an additional 2), so if you feel like going up to 1.8Tb, there are tutorials on the web. Make sure you don't overload the power supply, though.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanofrog View Post
Not much at the moment. But I'll give it a shot.

Wait for Snow Leopard, as it will make more efficient use of the cores. Not too expensive, I should hope, assuming they follow past pricing.

Another possibility, would be a RAID implementation to speed up HDD throughput. If you're a graphics pro or just really serious, it may be beneficial anyway.

Don't know you're exact needs, and that makes things somewhat difficult.
I basically just want Premiere Pro, Flash, Final Cut, etc to utilize all the cores and memory when doing encodes. I mostly work with video and compress it to FLV. I do some green screen work and such in After Effects.

I will definitely hope for some improvements in Snow Leopard.

I'll look at the faster hard drives too. Right now, we use externals via FW400.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 02:28 PM   #5
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A lot of the applications you are using aren't optimized for multiple cores. They should be able to use more than one, but the only app you might use that will use all the cores is Compressor in Final Cut Studio, everything else is up to the developer of the app.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by L3X View Post
I basically just want Premiere Pro, Flash, Final Cut, etc to utilize all the cores and memory when doing encodes. I mostly work with video and compress it to FLV. I do some green screen work and such in After Effects.

I will definitely hope for some improvements in Snow Leopard.

I'll look at the faster hard drives too. Right now, we use externals via FW400.
It sounds like there really isn't much that can be done at the moment.
Other posts have confirmed the apps you use aren't optimized for multiple cores, so that can't be helped yet. C'mon Snow Leopard!

Not sure if RAID would actually be worth it to you.
Maybe another member (graphics pro) can give you more input here?
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 03:06 PM   #7
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Isn't 10 GB of RAM not using the quad-channel RAM to its max efficiency?
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 03:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Firefly2002 View Post
Isn't 10 GB of RAM not using the quad-channel RAM to its max efficiency?
Based on some tests done on OWC, 10 GB of RAM placed correctly is a little more efficient than 8 GB. The links are floating around here somewhere.

Thanks for the info guys. I'm more of an audio tech and have just gotten into video the past 2 years so I'm learning a lot.

So far though, the Mac Pro is screamin and I have dual HP 22 wides to go along with it.

I'll look forward to Snow Leopard and just see if I can mess around getting faster speeds.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 04:52 PM   #9
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Isn't 10 GB of RAM not using the quad-channel RAM to its max efficiency?
I believe that 4x2GB in slots 1&2 on each riser will utilize quad channel and the extra 2x1GB in slots 3&4 on riser a will just work as dual channel.

http://barefeats.com/harper3.html is what L3X is refering to.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 05:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L3X View Post
I basically just want Premiere Pro, Flash, Final Cut, etc to utilize all the cores and memory when doing encodes. I mostly work with video and compress it to FLV. I do some green screen work and such in After Effects.

I will definitely hope for some improvements in Snow Leopard.

I'll look at the faster hard drives too. Right now, we use externals via FW400.

Yeah, your problem is that the programs that you are using aren't built for more than one or two processors. If you were to do your encodes in Sorrenson Squeeze 5, you would be using all of your processors, Edit in Avid or FCP you'd be using all your processors, doing your green screen work in Shake or another professional level green screen program, you'd be using all of your processors.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 07:47 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Umbongo View Post
I believe that 4x2GB in slots 1&2 on each riser will utilize quad channel and the extra 2x1GB in slots 3&4 on riser a will just work as dual channel.

http://barefeats.com/harper3.html is what L3X is refering to.
Here they are:

http://eshop.macsales.com/Reviews/Fr...m/article.html

http://eshop.macsales.com/Customized...uicksheet.html

Right now I have all the 2 GBs on the bottom and the two 1 GBs on the top. I'll have to change that when I get back to work and pair up the 2GBs. According to OWC, it didn't make much of a difference.

I guess I will use FCP (def not AVID) for all my editing now and I'll look at getting Shake for green screen work.

It's a shame Adobe doesn't get on the ball.

Last edited by L3X; Aug 23, 2008 at 07:53 PM.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 08:12 PM   #12
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If the data you're using is on FW400 drives, you might want to upgrade them to FW800 or USB 2.0. You don't need to buy a new hard drive for externals - you can just buy a new enclosure. It's a bit of manual work, but it's not difficult. Just open the old one, unplug the drive, and plug it in to the new one.

External drives are just normal hard drives with a converter from IDE (or SATA) to whatever interface (FW, USB). If they're SATA, you could plug them in to your Mac Pro and use them internally, for better performance.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 09:41 PM   #13
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If the data you're using is on FW400 drives, you might want to upgrade them to FW800 or USB 2.0.
Umm, usb 2.0 isn't an upgrade from FW 400. FW can have much more through put over usb. But Yes, FW 800 thats good. OR just wait till you can find some FW 1600/3200 stuff and upgrade to that.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 09:58 PM   #14
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just wait till you can find some FW 1600/3200 stuff and upgrade to that.
He will will be waiting along time for FireWire 1600/3200 to come to the market. Even when it does the limitation would be with the mechanics of the hard drive. Just because the bus can achieve 1600/3200 speeds does not mean the device connected to it can.
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Old Aug 24, 2008, 01:32 AM   #15
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He will will be waiting along time for FireWire 1600/3200 to come to the market. Even when it does the limitation would be with the mechanics of the hard drive. Just because the bus can achieve 1600/3200 speeds does not mean the device connected to it can.
well he would be better off upgrading to fw 3200 even with the wait over "upgrading" to usb 2.0. lol..

I did say OR.
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