Buying advice - nMP for graphic designers

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gonzokid, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. gonzokid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #1
    Hi folks,

    I'm hoping some of you, who are likely to be much wiser than I in these matters can help me out and offer some advice.

    I'm currently thinking about purchasing one of the new Mac Pros when they eventually land. I'm a graphic designer and tend to work in mostly InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Possibly on occasion, Final Cut, and I might start picking up a little 3D work.

    With those bits of software in mind, what would benefit me most? More cores on a CPU, more ram, or the best graphics card I can buy?

    With this machine being configurable in various forms (and expense) I'm wondering where the money should go as a priority. I was thinking about the 8-core to future proof a little, but maybe that would be overkill, and the money better spent on ram?

    Any words of advice would be fantastic.

    Thanks!
     
  2. CptSky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #2
    If you don't need more RAM, don't buy more RAM. RAM is user-upgradable (and easily). When you'll need more, 1866 MHz sticks will clearly be cheaper and more common. I bought 8 GB for my laptop for ~55$ while 4 years before, I would have paid more than the double. (Plus, you don't have the Apple tax on the RAM)

    For the GPU vs the CPU, I'm not aware of the GPU acceleration and computation used by the programs you specified.
     
  3. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    #3
    For your stated software then CPU and RAM rather then GPU.

    over at macperformanceguide then already saying that on the nMP that the second GPU card is wasted for Photography.

    As I understand it then Photoshop itself currently doesn't use more then Quad Core, hoever once you start loading up addons etc then can use more Cores and RAM.

    There is supposed to be a new release of FCP X that will make more use of the 2nd GPU and also talk about Logic Pro X being updated so that can accelerate with the 2nd GPU more, wether Aperture X makes a long anticipated arrival and uses as well then unsure.

    However so far where the nMP seems to be shining is as an FCP X machine and Video Editing.
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    If you shoot in RAW, and work on large (multi GB) composites, then you might benefit from the new Mac Pro's power.
     
  5. spaz8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #5
    My guess is you could get by with a the base Quad core/D300.. but up the ram to 24-32 GB.

    PS and FCPX will still get some acceleration from openCL if you keep up with the latest versions. I'm guessing occasional 3d work, means very little rendering. Modelling tasks are classically single-threaded. So I don't think adding an extra $2200 to the bill for the 8-core is worth it in your case.
     
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Location:
    Earth
    #6
    Hi Gonzokid. Take into account the return of your investment on the new Mac Pro in comparison to how much you will be earning with your graphic design for print. If you already have steady clients for many years would be easier to compute. The new Mac Pro specs seems targeted more for high end video editing or 3D that requires higher GPUs. Normally for graphic design with a little FCP you will only need one good GPU so the other GPU will be unused in the nMac Pro. For ram you can start with 16g or 24g. Good luck.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    I think it's worth specifying that for the majority of users working with 3D, the main improvements would be in how fast they can navigate through a scene or play back animations. When it comes to 3d paint software, the hardware framebuffer affects the amount of displayable texture resolution. It's really undetermined thus far whether it will be ideal for that kind of work.

    You benefit from ram there more than anything. With a given set of preferences, once it almost never hits scratch disks, you're good. Even periodic choppiness is annoying.
     
  8. spaz8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    #8
    Most 3d people I know (and I am one of them) don't feel the nMP is catered to them. More like Video editors, perhaps photographers, perhaps compositors. Dual CPUs and 8 ram slots, cuda, maybe then 3d ppl would be excited.

    As for Mari (the 3d paint app showed off), its all openGL based. AFAIK, currently there is not cuda or openCl acceleration in Mari. Its the 6GB of Vram, and the supper fast SSD that make it great for mari.
     
  9. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #9
    Mari on Windows used to only work with NVidia. I've never used Mari though. I was thinking of Mudbox, 3dcoat, etc. Mari is out of the price range of a lot of users if it's only one of many software licenses that must be kept up to date. The base mac pro cards are only 2GB per card. Upgraded models have more, but 2GB isn't anything crazy. Even the 750m got that on the rMBP. I don't know whether such an application can pool that. I don't know any way to do such a thing, as they each have separate framebuffers. I don't know how much difference the SSD will make overall for that aside from opening files, assuming it can contain everything in ram. Photographers won't benefit any more than they would from the prior mac pro. They're mainly reliant on ram after cpu with gpu being a non-issue. Iris pro would do it. Anyway I suspect Apple built this around anticipated changes in their own applications such as FCPX (in relation to the reference to video editors).
     
  10. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    Sep 6, 2009
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    Earth
    #10
    Hi TheKev. I may have been not correct to assume the new Mac Pro is also suited for 3D work and I don't do 3D work. Just assumed 3D is GPU intensive. And Spaz8 may be right that the new Mac Pro is not much targeted for 3D professionals.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    I guess it could be in some cases. It's just that you have to really analyze the need, not equate graphics processing unit with graphics software. I think Spaz8 was referring to the configuration that was demoed at WWDC. That will probably be a $6000+ computer, so it should perform well. The thing is if you're in a 3d paint program and want to preview multiple layers of 8k textures or whatever film guys use, the gpu needs a place to store that texture data. Otherwise it's too choppy to get any work done, and you must turn down viewing settings. Once it's actually out there, it will be interesting to hear how people implement them. I'm sure there are tons of details that I missed.
     
  12. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #12
    I have a feeling that they still have a surprise or 2 up their sleeves. Either an Apple 4K display or some nifty use of OpenCl that makes nMP more than the sum of it's parts.
     

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