Help choosing specs for new Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by seenew, Dec 2, 2014.

  1. seenew macrumors 68000


    Dec 1, 2005
    Hi everyone,

    Assuming price is no object (but it is), where should I concentrate when backing down from a fully spec'd-out Mac Pro? This is a new purchase for my studio team as we're starting to get more demand for higher-end video and motion work on a more regular basis and want to bring it in-house.

    I've selected this so far:

    3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache
    64GB (4x16GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    512GB PCIe-based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D500 GPUs with 3GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

    I don't really know the advantages of multiple cores vs higher clock speed or how much VRAM I need on the GPUs (I fear I sound like a grandma).

    I know this is a totally annoying post and there is no one right answer, but I'd appreciate any insight. My priorities are future-proofing our productions and also of course, price. If we're already investing over $5,000 in a computer, it seems to me we might as well sink another 1-2k into it now to avoid purchasing another computer sooner.

    TL;DR :

    Need to be able to work with 4K video, high-framerate video, and potentially motion graphics.

    Is there a major difference between the 6-core 3.5GHz and the 8-core 3.0GHz

    Is it easy/safe/recommended to buy the 64GB of RAM myself, or should I pay the premium for Apple to do it?

    Any huge difference in the video card options?

    And finally, any monitors you can recommend besides the Apple TB display? Seems pricey for what it is, quality-wise.

    Thanks for any ideas!
  2. koyoot, Dec 2, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2014

    koyoot macrumors 603


    Jun 5, 2012
    I think more you would benefit, from buing pair of D700 GPUs than 8 core CPU, for that kind of work.

    If the coding process is on GPU then you need all the power possible there.

    Great Config IMO for that would be:

    6 core, 32 GB, 1 TB SSD, FirePro D700.

    The config you proposed is 7k USD.

    This one is 5800$.

    And if you really want the config you proposed, in Refurbished section there is model that you would be interested: 8 core, 32 GB, 512 SSD, D500 for 5270$

    Edit. Monitors:

    Dell 4K display: P2415Q for 600$ with SST.

    P.S. There is a plethora of third party DDR3 sticks. And upgrading them is really easy, I have never came across any computer, that could have such easy way of upgrading the RAM as Mac Pro has.

    Of course, third party RAM will not look as good as the Apple ones... ;)
  3. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Aug 15, 2008
    It really comes down to the software you'll be using and what exactly you mean by "higher end." You can edit 4k video on an iMac, MacBook pro, or entry level Mac Pro if you want.

    If your software will take advantage of the beefier GPUs then get them, since there is complete uncertainty about their upgrade path.

    You're fine buying third party RAM.

    As for the CPU, it again comes down to the software. It sounds like you'd be more than fine with the 6 core. But it's hard to say with any certainty.
  4. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    There's nothing wrong with buying third party sticks. I would just run memtest on them prior to putting your machine back in service, because bad sticks do come up at times.
  5. MacProCard macrumors 6502

    Jun 3, 2014
    He's referring to the color of the 3rd party sticks. Which are green. Apple's are black.
  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Ahh that's extremely funny.

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