MP 7,1 2019 Mac Pro for high end retouching...

pierre1610

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2009
131
6
I have a couple of 2010 Mac Pro's in the studio, they're far from "stock" with PCIe SSD's and upgraded ram / cpu's.
My work is mainly Photoshop and some Capture One, typically working on multi-part comps 10-20,000px wide. They tend to be anywhere between 3GB and 20GB in file size.

I'm finding the 2018 Mac Mini 6-core with 64GB ram is faster than the 2010 Mac Pro, will the 2019 Mac Pro be much better than the 2018 Mac Mini for my needs? It doesn't seem like graphics card will help at all, from what i'm seeing the 16" MBP would be the fastest machine for the task, it doesn't seem like a very permanent solution though.
 

Adult80HD

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2019
423
448
If all you are doing is retouching with those apps, then I'm not sure the Mac Pro is the best use of your money. I have one but I use it for a ton of different things at once. Photoshop loves RAM, but isn't affected much by graphics cards. Capture One uses the graphics card, but not very effectively in my limited experience.

What I have found is that the 7,1 is fabulous for bulk imports and exports of lots of raw files from my cameras. Given that you are using some 2010-era MP's then a new MP might be good from a long life cycle view--it can have upgraded video cards, and the memory capacity is much higher than the iMac.

Where my new MP excels is it in allowing me to do what I love to do--multi-task. I typically will have half a dozen or more applications open on two screens; the new MP takes everything I throw at it and seems to just shrug it off. Based on what I'm seeing, I'll get a very long life out of this machine as I'm not even close to testing it's limits.
 

fuchsdh

macrumors 68000
Jun 19, 2014
1,606
970
I think the bigger question here is how much you are willing to pay for that speed. The Mac Pro will definitely be a faster machine, but is it going to be 3X faster than a mini to commensurate with the 3X and up cost? Probably not.
 

Adult80HD

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2019
423
448
I think the bigger question here is how much you are willing to pay for that speed. The Mac Pro will definitely be a faster machine, but is it going to be 3X faster than a mini to commensurate with the 3X and up cost? Probably not.
That's only part of the equation. The value of the time saved only has to be equal to or greater than the cost of the Mac Pro. Then everything balances, so it's not a question of purely how many times faster it might be. Time is money after all.
 

RyanFlynn

Contributor
Nov 24, 2006
292
197
Los Angeles
I have a couple of 2010 Mac Pro's in the studio, they're far from "stock" with PCIe SSD's and upgraded ram / cpu's.
My work is mainly Photoshop and some Capture One, typically working on multi-part comps 10-20,000px wide. They tend to be anywhere between 3GB and 20GB in file size.

I'm finding the 2018 Mac Mini 6-core with 64GB ram is faster than the 2010 Mac Pro, will the 2019 Mac Pro be much better than the 2018 Mac Mini for my needs? It doesn't seem like graphics card will help at all, from what i'm seeing the 16" MBP would be the fastest machine for the task, it doesn't seem like a very permanent solution though.
I do comps for AAA video game titles with hundreds of layers and 20gb+ files. I went from the 16” MacBook Pro to a beefy 2019 Mac Pro with 384gb of ram and it’s a dream to work with. Feels very future ready
 

high heaven

Suspended
Dec 7, 2017
522
222
iMac 2019 is already enough for Photoshop and Capture One Pro. Mac Pro 2019 itself is overpriced for photography.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
499
256
germany
I'm finding the 2018 Mac Mini 6-core with 64GB ram is faster than the 2010 Mac Pro, will the 2019 Mac Pro be much better than the 2018 Mac Mini for my needs?
Single core speeds are probably the deciding factor here. Large difference in that regard between those early i7/Xeon's and a recent Intel CPU. The difference will be a lot smaller between the Mini and the new MP.

You could also check out Affinity Photo for the work you'd normally do in Photoshop. I'm using that and loving it for working on large files at 16bpp.
 

zhpenn

macrumors regular
Aug 27, 2014
211
85
if time is important to you than $$$
then go for Mac Pro 2019, but focus more on RAID0 SSD as a scratch disk, and bigger RAM and more cores of CPU and decent Graphic card
 

Adult80HD

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2019
423
448
Single core speeds are probably the deciding factor here. Large difference in that regard between those early i7/Xeon's and a recent Intel CPU. The difference will be a lot smaller between the Mini and the new MP.

You could also check out Affinity Photo for the work you'd normally do in Photoshop. I'm using that and loving it for working on large files at 16bpp.
Man, I tried Affinity and it was awful for retouching. Dog slow compared to PS or LR. It might be great for some things but just trying to clone/heal out dust spots was awful.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
499
256
germany
Man, I tried Affinity and it was awful for retouching. Dog slow compared to PS or LR. It might be great for some things but just trying to clone/heal out dust spots was awful.
Fair enough. I use it for texturing (the paint tools, mostly) and it gets me through 4k or 8k documents with a stack of layers a lot better than PS used to do. File sizes are also considerably smaller in the native format (im/export to PS is doable).
I'd say its worth a try in any case since it seems to have a speedier internal data management that may be an issue with PS when handling very large files.
One annoying thing about it for me: no background file load/save. That might hurt a bit with really big files.


Btw does a raid-setup for SSDs really make a difference for a scratch disk? My impression with PS so far has been that ever since SSDs became available that the internal processing of files is where its taking its sweet time, not the actual reading from/to disk part.

Perhaps I'm just not running into the issue often enough or am very insensitive to the effects but on the systems I work with even just a SATA SSD seems to be sufficient, I can't really distinguish between that and the NVMe in my Trashcan for anything (due to system limitations capped at 50% of its theoretical throughput).
 

now i see it

macrumors 603
Jan 2, 2002
5,225
10,575
As stated-
The 7,1 is a poor choice for Photoshop work. Not that it can't handle it, (cuz of course it can) but because it's way too expensive for the marginal if any improvement it provides over other Macs except for niche processes like batch converting RAW photos etc.
 

Adult80HD

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2019
423
448
Fair enough. I use it for texturing (the paint tools, mostly) and it gets me through 4k or 8k documents with a stack of layers a lot better than PS used to do. File sizes are also considerably smaller in the native format (im/export to PS is doable).
I'd say its worth a try in any case since it seems to have a speedier internal data management that may be an issue with PS when handling very large files.
One annoying thing about it for me: no background file load/save. That might hurt a bit with really big files.


Btw does a raid-setup for SSDs really make a difference for a scratch disk? My impression with PS so far has been that ever since SSDs became available that the internal processing of files is where its taking its sweet time, not the actual reading from/to disk part.

Perhaps I'm just not running into the issue often enough or am very insensitive to the effects but on the systems I work with even just a SATA SSD seems to be sufficient, I can't really distinguish between that and the NVMe in my Trashcan for anything (due to system limitations capped at 50% of its theoretical throughput).
I was using huge raw files from a Sony A7 RIV, so that may have also been a problem. As for the scratch disk thing, that seems to be old advice that just sticks around. Pretty much since everyone has been on SSD it's been a non-issue. If you are working with massive files, an NVMe RAID setup can help, but the additional speed gained is pretty minor.
 

MGrayson3

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2013
65
118
As stated-
The 7,1 is a poor choice for Photoshop work. Not that it can't handle it, (cuz of course it can) but because it's way too expensive for the marginal if any improvement it provides over other Macs except for niche processes like batch converting RAW photos etc.
While I am a strong believer in "NEVER buy a product because of what might be released in the future", I do believe that Adobe will have to come to grips with the rise of multi-core CPUs combined with powerful GPUs. MHz (remember MHz?) are no longer obeying Moore, so the software will have to catch up with the new hardware.

Until that time, I'll probably stick with a high end iMac or MacBook Pro. (My 13" MBP is a bit slow on 100MP files, but it works well enough).
 

blackadde

macrumors member
Dec 11, 2019
99
146
While I am a strong believer in "NEVER buy a product because of what might be released in the future", I do believe that Adobe will have to come to grips with the rise of multi-core CPUs combined with powerful GPUs. MHz (remember MHz?) are no longer obeying Moore, so the software will have to catch up with the new hardware.

Until that time, I'll probably stick with a high end iMac or MacBook Pro. (My 13" MBP is a bit slow on 100MP files, but it works well enough).
Some math problems are just inherently serial by nature. As much as Adobe deserves criticism for their software, you can’t expect 9 women to band together and give birth to a baby in a month.
 
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Adult80HD

macrumors 6502
Nov 19, 2019
423
448
While I am a strong believer in "NEVER buy a product because of what might be released in the future", I do believe that Adobe will have to come to grips with the rise of multi-core CPUs combined with powerful GPUs. MHz (remember MHz?) are no longer obeying Moore, so the software will have to catch up with the new hardware.

Until that time, I'll probably stick with a high end iMac or MacBook Pro. (My 13" MBP is a bit slow on 100MP files, but it works well enough).
I agree but...as @blackadde pointed out, some problems are inherently serial in nature. That said, there are a huge amount of tasks in the Adobe application that can be parallelized, and aren't. In addition, powerful GPU's have been here for nearly a decade, and yet we just finally got GPU acceleration in Lightroom this past autumn. There are pieces of Lightroom that don't work on Catalina because they're STILL 32-bit. The iPad/iOS/Mobile versions of Adobe apps are woefully behind their competitors. If Adobe has shown anything, it's that they are terribly slow at keeping up with changes in technology. There was a time when they innovated, but in the past decade they've pretty much stagnated and focused purely on wringing as much money out of their users as possible while doing jack-**** to really update their products. They've gotten away with it because a lack of mature competition but that that is slowly changing.

I wish Apple hadn't dumped Aperture--it was innovative and amazing for its time, and if it wasn't for Aperture I doubt Adobe would have ever built Lightroom.
 

MGrayson3

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2013
65
118
Some math problems are just inherently serial by nature. As much as Adobe deserves criticism for their software, you can’t expect 9 women to band together and give birth to a baby in a month.
Sure, but 64 women will take 9 months to make 64 babies, not 48 years.

I can think of few areas less serial than photography. Two decades ago, you could see the poor CPU working 64x64 pixel squares one at a time. GPU architecture is based on the parallel processing of images.

Adobe, as has been stated often, is way behind.
 

Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,076
308
Denmark
We’ve had 8-core Mac Pros since 2008 and still Adobe haven’t quite managed to make use of it in 2020. Apple believed that everything would move to be more compute based with the 2013 Mac Pro and it’s dual graphic cards and yet here we are.

Software moves much slower than hardware.
 

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
499
256
germany
Adobe doesn't think so. At times, Lightroom makes use of 6+ of the 8 cores (and the GPU) in an iMac 2019. A big change from 2 to 3 years ago.
But does it do that for applying filters or the like or during the actual process of retouching and image editing with constant user input? Because that in my experience is the problematic part.

Rendering, processing - we got that covered pretty well.
 

gilby101

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2010
315
125
Tasmania
But does it do that for applying filters or the like or during the actual process of retouching and image editing with constant user input?
Yes. That is what is most noticeable about Lightroom compared with 2-3 years ago. Move the develop sliders and watch CPU load.
 
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jinnyman

macrumors 6502a
Sep 2, 2011
532
486
Lincolnshire, IL
Well. as others have said already, you will have to overspend to get MP 7,1 for whatever performance you are getting for the tasks. MP7,1 is too much for photo centric professional and software developing period.
 

sam80

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2020
16
4
My work is mainly Photoshop and some Capture One, typically working on multi-part comps 10-20,000px wide. They tend to be anywhere between 3GB and 20GB in file size.

I'm finding the 2018 Mac Mini 6-core with 64GB ram is faster than the 2010 Mac Pro, will the 2019 Mac Pro be much better than the 2018 Mac Mini for my needs? It doesn't seem like graphics card will help at all, from what i'm seeing the 16" MBP would be the fastest machine for the task, it doesn't seem like a very permanent solution though.
I'm a retoucher and work with similar files to you it seems. I aim to work in 16 bit, but on 6,1 I have to 8 bit very large files with lots of layers, otherwise it becomes too slow.

I'm planning to get the 2019 Mac Pro. But then, I also do some Resolve work.
For working with 20 GB+ files, more ram than 64 GB will be super useful.
Capture One uses the GPU, there should be a difference when processing say 100x 150MP files. Focus stacking in Helicon Focus will be faster too with more cores/better GPU.
If you fit the Mac Pro with a M2 raid card saving and reading 20 GB files should take way less time.
 
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