Final Cut / After Effects ideal Mac Pro Config?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by maximaxi, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. maximaxi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #1
    I'm a FCP / AE / Compressor user and have been in the market to upgrade my painfully slow G5 for years now. I'm pulling the trigger on a 2010 and trying to decide the best set up. I'm going with a 12-core but thinking the 2.66. Not sure if the extra $1200 can be justified to go to the 2.99. Anyone have an opinion?

    I thought with that $1200 I could get more RAM instead. So, my second question is what the best move would be for RAM. I'm going with the base offering from apple and will remove and replace with either 2 or 3 8GB sticks or more 4GB sticks. Any thoughts here?

    I do this work professionally so time is certainly money but i have many needs and should be somewhat prudent.

    Thanks all!

    Max
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Location:
    On the fence
    #2
    I think that $1200 would probably be better spent on RAM and/or an SSD. I would probably stick with 4GB modules for the RAM as well, and use 6 of them, with 3 mods per processor, which allows triple channel to still be used. If you want that much memory, that is.
     
  3. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2010
    #3
    I'm curious to hear the responses you get, I primarily use After Effects CS 5.

    With a 12 core machine you would have 24 virtual cores exposed so I would assume After Effects would let you create 24 instances during a render session. I would think the absolute minimum for this would be 24GB of ram with more preferable. I'm not sure if 24 instances would start to create issues with memory bandwidth or disk utilization. A lot is probably going to depend on the exact operations After Effects is performing. It's quite possible that you could spawn too many sessions in parallel and create a thrashing situation slowing everything down.

    I find my first step of simply taking 1080p h264 footage from my 5D2 and converting it to animation lossless a very slow process and am hoping for some speedup when I spec out a new Mac Pro.
     
  4. maximaxi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #4
    Thanks for the quick reply! This sounds like a solid plan. Starting with 3x8GB was my other thought which would leave room too add later but realistically I think the 6x4GB would last me a long time. Is the difference between 3 and 6 sticks pretty noticeable with respect to the triple channel?

    Thank you also Ryan P. I'm in the same boat with my 7D footage. ;-)
     
  5. SCSnare macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    I'm in the same situation. I'm waiting for some benchmarks from Barefeats to see the difference between the 2.66 and 2.93 12-cores. I'm actually leaning towards the 2.66 and using the saved money on RAM, just as you're thinking. However, the question is how much RAM to get. I've found some useful links about After Effects and Multiprocessing/RAM here.

    From my understanding, AE can see the multiple threads, so you could potentially have 24 threads. Adobe recommends 1GB per thread for SD comps, 2GB per thread for HD. But they also say it may be best to not use all threads for AE.

    So....I'm still not sure about what I'll get. There's no way I'll be able to get 48GB of RAM to do 2GB per thread. I'm not even sure if I'll get 24GB, although I am considering it. It's basically a choice between 16GB and 24GB for me right now.
     
  6. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Right there with ya. I decided to start out with 16GB and see how that goes. Then if needed, I will just add 2 more 4GB sticks, easy upgrade and not too terribly expensive.
     
  7. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #7
    I would get the 2.66GHz and as others have said, spend the difference in RAM and maybe an SSD. In the future, you can upgrade the CPUs to faster ones, even 3.33GHz if needed.
     
  8. maximaxi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #8
    Thank you.

    Thanks for the advice everyone. 2.66 it is.

    One more quick question... I'm thinking of going with OWC for the RAM upgrade... looks like for a 6x4GB it's around $1100. On the apple site, it's $2550 to make the upgrade to the 6x4GB. Is the RAM the same quality and the Apple mark-up is that huge? Seems too good to be true.

    Thanks again!
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #9
    OWC RAM is great quality. Apple just loves the easy profit they can make with BTOs
     
  10. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #10
    How much time do you spend in each? If it is mostly FCP with final outputs in Compressor and occasional visits to AE, I would actually go with the 3.2 single 4-core or the 3.33 6-core. Spend the extra money on RAM and a good capture card with hardware encoding.

    If you are mainly in After Effects and spending little time in FCP and Compressor, then go with the best 12-core you can afford.
     
  11. maximaxi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    #11
    Thanks. I am more like what you first describe. I'd like to spend more time in AE but the renders are so slow with my current rig that I don't bother. I also have a fantasy that FCP will get upgraded to be able to take advantage of more cores in the next couple of years... wishful thinking?
     
  12. advres Guest

    advres

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    Boston
    #12
    My feeling is that when fcp finally starts to catch up to hardware (wishful thinking is right!) the procs will be so much better than what we have now. 12-cores+ will probably be standard at that point. So why not get the latest and greatest when that time comes? Macs have pretty good resale value compared to most electronics.

    I suggest saving the money on the actual machines for the next coupe of years. Seriously spend the extra money on good stuff that you won't have to replace. Get a good viewing monitor. If you are editing in your canvas window you need to "step it up". A HP dreamcolor is a good place to start. The time increase you will see in After Effects the times you are in there will be forgotten when the majority of your time is spent looking at correct colors and working more proficiently.

    my $.02
     

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