Anyone willing to counsel me 1 to 1 over skype or chat...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by straightryder, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. straightryder macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    I have a budget of 7,000 for a MacPro. I've been researching the threads and WOW... what a wall of confusion this all is. lol But its fun... learning a lot.

    But if i could have a 1 on 1 with someone who's up to snuff in building a MacPro that would be great. What it will be used for are the following:

    FCP (for videos to be put on the web only)
    Most footage will be shot with the Cannon 5D MII and a simple sony HD handycam.

    Is there anyway someone would be willing to offer a few moments of they're time for this?

  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    If I were you, I would consult more than only a single person for a 7k budget.

    Just wait for the replies you get in this thread and form your own opinion.
    My 2 cents.
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I would just go for the 2.93GHz 12-core with ATI 5870. That leaves 600$ (or more if your budget is flexible) for SSD(s) and HDs. Maybe two 120GB SSDs in RAID 0 (for OS X, apps and scratch) and then bunch of 2TBs are what you need
  4. straightryder, Dec 3, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2010

    straightryder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    Sounds like a good idea then....

    We already actually have over 5 TB drives (i forgot to mention that) sorry.

    But I was considering what you posted.... thanks.
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Go find a Pro Photo shop. If they can't build you a system, they will know someone who can, likely. On the one hand you will pay their mark up on parts, on the other hand they will be using 3rd party RAM and HDs (which will save you a ton of money). They will know what works and what doesn't, give you advice, and most importantly - they should then support the system in case anything goes wrong.

    Good Luck.
  6. cutterman macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
  7. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I know PS and LR very well
    its my living :) can give you some thoughts on those but I dont know video much ? but seems to be good to get a decent speed out of your storage for working with video ? from what I read that is never do much but play with video

    most of what I know I shared in threads here about setup

    bigest thing SSD for cache in LR and PS scratch is key
    but more important get enough memory so you dont hit scratch to much
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    More details would really be helpful (I presume you're mainly using it for video editing, but if there's other usage such as animation, that needs to be stated, and split out as to how much time is spent in each area).

    This will not only get you to the best MP model, but upgrades to make it usable for your specific needs (i.e. RAM, and disk I/O, which may mean RAID will need to be used).

    Good advice IMO as well.

    Be careful, as this is a blanket/shotgun approach (premature just yet).

    Most of those applications do not support true n core multi-threading (one or two sub applications within a suite might), and those that do multi-thread, may have a fixed core count (Photoshop for example, is only good for 2x cores right now).

    Specific software usage is really needed to nail it down to a solution that will truly benefit the OP (best use of the budget).

    Reading the RAID threads would be a really good idea IMO, as there's usually more in it than just RAID (specifics to RAM, disk configuration, software settings <most of this from you in regards to PS and LR>, ....).
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Mac Pro would do.

    Probably get after market ram, more harddrive, set as RAID.

    Perhaps check your local Apple consultants
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    some examples of what we need to know to help more :)

    how big will the video files be meaning how long ? a hour show or a 3 minute clip ?
    how much raw footage is the base project 10 gigs or 500 gigs ?
    how much other work effects that might need to be rendered ?
    meaning something like I want to do raw documentaries in 5 minute chunks :) or
    I want to recreate LOTR !
    output we know is online :)

    Photoshop use idea of file size ? meaning are you going to make massive layered images or just basic retouching
    LR ? 500 images a week or 5000 a week

    in general the 3.2 or 3.3 machines with 24 gigs are going to do a good job but again more info might help more

    does that $7000 include a monitor ? if you are getting into wanting accurate color budget in a nice quality monitor and profiling solution like the NEC PA series a 27 inch just under the $1500 mark
  11. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    How much benefit would someone see with a 5870 over a 5770 doing video editing?
  12. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
    Hellhammer is never wrong
    And knows how to spend another mans money well
  13. straightryder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    All the responses thanks guy's.... I think i will leap off a very tall bridge and hopefully that will solve my problem.


    Okay, im gonna come back with specifics in a bit -- i must read more -- and turn into a f'n robot by the time i get through this.
  14. biggd macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2008
    Simplest solution is to get the best processor u can, everything else can be added over time
  15. straightryder thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2010
    Thanks for your response.

    Alright here I go:

    For video editing:

    We are basically going to be documenting our projects designs/ branding for clients. 4 videos in total over 2 week period. Each video would be 10- 15 min in length. Also, in the process, we're documenting our startup company and its move to Thailand as it sets up office.

    Most of the videos we'll be doing are for online use such as viral-videos for clients. That's pretty much it. The videos are going to be shot using a Cannon 5D Mark II. So i know that the computer is going to have to wrestle with those files once in editing but I know using a consumer camera like a Sony HD handy cam shouldn't really be that difficult -- I'm hoping.

    There will be a lot of use with pulling footage into Aftereffects... It's fair to say, FCP and AE are going to be abused. I understand the intensity that these two programs demand for processing and rendering - so if I can stay within 7,000 give or take that would give me a well oiled machine for the next two years i'd be really happy.

    As for PS yes... will be used for designing webpage mockups and abused as well for other things....

    Really, In the end... I would like this computer to be used mainly for the the above mentioned. Everyone else is using they're MBP's for Illustrator, PS, and other programs that the MBP's can handle without issues.

    As for LR... there will be some use yes... but like i said, I'd like to use this computer as the main muncher for video editing. I would like this computer to be configured 90% for AE and FCP as well as PS. Lots of hours are expected to be clocked on this computer. Right now, I can sit solid designing a site from PS all the way to coding for 15 hours straight. I am the same when it comes to editing.... I sit for hours and hours on end.

    We already have 5TB of storage, four 30' cinema Apple displays. I really don't want to go with dual monitor as i find the 30' fine. The extra screen-relastate doesn't matter to be honest.

    When... it comes to RAID, RAM disk configuration and software settings im kinda lost in this regards as to how to set it up where it would get a respectful amount of use.

    Did any of this help?

    Feel free to ask if you need me to elaborate more.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'll presume ATM, it will all be HD (1080p).

    BTW, how will you deal with the frame rates?
    Looked up the camera, and saw Canon only specs it out for 3.9 fps. I presume you'll need 24 fps. :confused:

    AE can use cores, so I'd go with a Hex core as a minimum (but a Dodeca will do even better). What I'm not yet certain on, is if there will be sufficient funds for upgrades if you go with a 12 core unit.

    So more questions.... :eek: :p

    But how much time will be spent in each application?

    For this area, what are your file sizes, and how fast do you need to go?

    To quote Honumaui:
    This is the type of information we really need. ;)

    For example, you could end up with a really fast machine, but end up gimped as there's insufficient RAM and disk I/O. This is why we need file sizes, and better yet, target throughput rates (MB/s for example).

    Without it, we could still create a nice system, but may not be the ideal setup to meet budget.

    There may also be some areas that could make substantial improvements, but exceed budget (but hopefully, not horribly so; but where it can be argued out to the accounting side as a justified expenditure - cost/benefit analysis that's in favor of the additional costs).

    So such details really are critical.

    Good to know you won't need a monitor.

    As per the disks, they could be recycled as part of a backup or clone solution (hardware RAID will require enterprise grade mechanical disks, so you will have to be carefull; consumer grade disks tend to be unstable on a RAID card due to how recovery works - different timings in the firmware, so it's critically important).
  17. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    But After Effects and Compressor do. For Photoshop, 3.6GHz iMac would be the fastest ;) As OP said AE will be abused, then 12-core is a must IMO, it's so much faster. 6-core would be better for other apps but if AE is the main or one of the main apps that is going to be used, I would go and spend the funds on 12-core, especially as the budget allows it (maybe a bit more is needed for RAM upgrades if OP goes for 2.93GHz).
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Which is why a break-down of time per application is needed to find the best balance of machine (other questions, such as file sizes too).

    Ultimately, upgrades will have to be added to the system or it will end up running too slowly due to insufficient RAM and/or disk I/O. Even an approximation is better than just guessing. ;)

    Lots of cores without the ability to "feed" them properly is a waste of funds IMO. :eek: :p

    Budget wise, a Dodeca system is either $5k USD (2.66GHz) or $6200 USD (2.93GHz), which may not leave much money left for upgrades (won't, in the case of the 2.93GHz version). Even $2k for upgrades will likely end up a bit short, as to get disk I/O fast enough, RAID will be needed (software based probably won't cut it; throughput and capacity requirements will esentially dictate this more than the desired level).
  19. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    one way to configure setups on budgets is to figure out base needs
    so example the memory we are going to need is 24 gigs
    we need scratch 100 gig SSD
    boot 120 gig SSD
    storage doing raid 10 with 2TB WD blacks

    then figure out your base thats left and then put that toward the fastest machine you can get and decide if the budget can go up or down a bit
  20. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    ditto this !!!!!
  21. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    the one other thing that can come into play is time !!!
    how much time do you have to render out video

    instead of the top fastest machine getting two say 3.2 models can be close in funds and you can be rendering out stuff and doing work on the other one ?

    even getting one older refurb base model just to throw the project on and render things out or use as a batch machine can be a way to get more work done !
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Another possiblility, but storage could wipe out the savings, and then some (2x DAS so long as the workload won't need to share files, NAS or SAN for shared files). Given the throughputs I'm expecting, SAN would be the better solution for shared files (which I also expect would be the case).

    If PS for example could be loaded to a Quad with just a few drives (say SSD's for scratch and a simple level 10 for working data <external backup>), it might be doable. Rendering or any other application that uses multi-threading to at least 4x cores per CPU, would be better suited to an Octad or Dodeca.

    But even the cost of the systems will be pricey (say a pair of base Quads <2.8GHz>, would run $5k). Granted, a refurb, and even a 2009 refurb could drop this a bit (assuming you can find them), I'm not so sure that a Quad would be able to handle the multi-threaded applications (stuff that can actually use say 4x cores per CPU) fast enough to meet the workload requirements (job completed by the time the user is ready to start the next process on it). Start A on system 1, start B on system 2, and system 1 ready to begin Job C on it when the user comes back to it.

    I look at it this way;
    2x systems gives you 8x cores for $5k USD (2x 2.8GHz Quads), but a Dodeca (2.66GHz) gives you another 4x cores for the same money. So 2x Quads = hard sell IMO (unless each will have its own user to keep it busy). ;)
  23. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    the idea of two systems is something I used to do :)

    figure a batch or render takes 3 hours on a OK machine and 1.5 on a fast machine

    unless you can time everything to run when you are gone it can free up the main working machine and I only had enough storage and memory to get the job done so no heavy disc setup etc.. move it over render it move it back this way I could keep working on the main computer with no slow down

    also it was nice when we had huge uploads

    again not for everyone but can work for some :) but it does take more money to say put 16 gigs in and a few discs in the render/batch machine

    I push using XMP more now and set everything to go at night so my machine is often running all night long
    also why I like having redundant setups like raid 1 for the boot ! dont want to come back to a black cold machine in the morning just to wonder how much was done and uploaded
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Sounds like you've got the timing down for your workload, and it makes sense for you to move between systems to reduce dead time. :)

    But we don't have enough information to know if it will work for the OP or not (didn't want to add more confusion to the mix before we get answers to the questions already posted). ;)
  25. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    very true Nano was more just putting it out their for others who read the thread
    as options they might not have thought of :)

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