Advice on possible purchase

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by NYCDOP, May 18, 2011.

  1. NYCDOP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #1
    Yeah... another one of these threads. But hopefully you guys can shed some light on a system I am trying to spec out.

    I am primarily a filmmaker, more production geared than editing geared. I have a first gen Mac Pro, 2.66 dual core with 4 gb of RAM that's pretty much on it's last leg. I have been getting more and more work as an editor combined as a cinematographer, so I am looking to purchase a new MP.

    I will be editing in FCP primarily, with a bit of Color work. I don't dabble in AE or effects that much, so I'm looking for something beefy enough to edit a feature film, short films, music videos, commercials, etc. Basic straight editing, nothing 4K yet. Just HDV, DSLR 1080p type stuff.

    My budget is $4,500-6,000. I already have a 30" ACD. I know the story about not getting Apple RAM and whatnot, so I'm just looking for a basic system that I can upgrade when needed as far as RAM and peripherals go.

    I have this:
    http://g-technology.com/products/g-speed-es.cfm

    Which I haven't used yet, so I guess I'm looking for advice on what processors would benefit me the most, and what exactly I can do with RAID. Obviously I have the G Raid external tower, but do I need a RAID card for the MP to get it to work? And if I get an SSD for boot drive, can I not RAID my internal drives?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #2
    First off, your workflow isn't extremely complicated, so...

    1. You'd likely be fine with the base quad-core 2.8 model at $2499, but I'd also look at the hex-core 3.33 model as well ($3699). The hex-core outperforms in the 8-core 2.4 in most everything, with its only drawback being memory ceiling (32GB on 4 memory slots, versus 64GB on 8 with 8/12-core models).

    2. 8GB of RAM minimum should do you fine. 16GB if you think you'll venture into After Effects later on. Buy your RAM from OWC or Trans International; don't waste money on this with Apple.

    3. For your G-Tech enclosure, you need a Mac-compatible eSATA controller card supporting port multiplication at the very least. You don't necessarily need a RAID card and can run software RAID-0 or -1 in OS X. If you need RAID-5 or -6, then yes, you need a hardware RAID card.
     
  3. NYCDOP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    Thanks for the reply! Workflow isn't super complicated true, but I have 2 possible features to cut so space is obviously an issue.

    I keep hearing about the 3.33 hex but unsure of where this is in the Apple store. I know there are refurbs...

    Reading a lot about RAID but still confused about 0,1,5, etc. What are the benefits and pitfalls of one over the other?

    And how would a Blackmagic, or equivalent card, benefit my workflow?
     
  4. NYCDOP thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    What are the benefits of RAID 0 or 1 over 5 or 6 for video editing? And where might I be able to find this controller card? Any recommendations?
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    The memory ceiling is per CPU, and is actually the same between the SP and DP series (the CPU's use the same memory controller). What allows users to double up the total capacity in DP systems, is the second CPU (just clarifying matters, as some could get the impression Intel intentionally borked the SP series Xeons). Consumer grade can't go this high, because Registered memory is required for such capacities per stick (register chip is required to handle the impedance issues of the additional memory chips).

    Now as it happens, the ceiling on the SP's is going to be higher than 32GB, as 16GB and 32GB RDIMM's have been released by Samsung. So these being available pushes the limit quite a bit (assuming Intel designed the controller limit around or above the addressing requirements for 32GB sticks at the max number of DIMM's per CPU, which is very likely, we're talking about 128GB on an SP MP (4 * 32GB) and 256GB on a DP MP (8 * 32GB) :eek:).

    The ultimate limit for 64bit CPU's would be 2^64. But users are more likely to run into memory limits with the OS before the memory controller (i.e. Windows Server Standard 2003 has a limit of 32GB per instance, but the Enterprise edition of it has a limit of 1TB). Now why the larger capacity is still usable, would be for VM purposes (n VM instances per CPU, say each running at the OS's memory limit, can put the total memory requirement much higher than a single instance of an OS on the same system).

    For other boards, there's up to 9 slots per CPU (typically 6 for SP based boards). Now imagine a DP system with 18 slots filled with 32GB RDIMM - you get a whopping 576GB of RAM. :eek: :D

    To get you started on the differences with the RAID levels, I'd suggest you read the RAID Wiki page, and pay particular attention to the levels (even follow the links for further information).

    Now in the case of the Mac Pro, it's only capable of performing 0/1/10 and JBOD without the need of a hardware RAID controller. For any other level, such as parity or nested parity based (5/6 and 50/60 respective examples), you must install a RAID card that supports OS X. Of the few that do, I'd recommend sticking with either Areca or ATTO (both offer EFI boot support as well as have drivers for OS X).

    Please note that there are products that claim to do RAID 5. But you must be careful, as it could be via a software implementation, which cannot handle the write hole issue associated with parity based arrays (this will be covered in the RAID wiki). So stay away from such products (BTW, the G-Speed you have is such a product - it's fine for 0/1/10 or JBOD, which includes single disk mode, but don't try to run it as a RAID 5).

    Once you've digested the Wiki page, we can go from there (take your time, as it is detailed and the smallest difference can separate you from a wonderful success or total disaster).
     
  6. mikeyg36, May 23, 2011
    Last edited: May 23, 2011

    mikeyg36 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Maryland
    #6
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_3 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8J2 Safari/6533.18.5)

    OP,
    To find the hexacore model you have to select the Quad Core and it is a CPU upgrade option when you build the quad (confusing web site setup by apple). If you want to save money on this upgrade and if you have the experience you could buy a quad and upgrade the CPU yourself (this is what I'm doing). Here is the upgrade thread http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1122551. Sorry I couldn't link it, I'm on my iPhone.
     
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #7
  8. you39 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #8
    Careful, that's a 2009 3.33 quadcore, not a hex...
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
    Howell, New Jersey
    #9
    my bad i missed that.

    the 2010 hex is 3169 and a good deal the 2009 is a quad and cost 3149 bad deal
     

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