Help? New Mac Pro - Best Configuration for Graphic Design

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cojo, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. cojo macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2013
    I'm purchasing a new Mac Pro (was considering a maxed out iMac but can't deal with the glossy display). I'm not sure what configuration is best for my line of work - mainly Photoshop (often work with large PSD files for tradeshow displays), InDesign and Illustrator. I don't do any video or 3D work.

    I'm not sure what configuration would be best - especially when it comes to the processor.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. woodhouse macrumors newbie

    Dec 13, 2013
    Honestly, anything higher than the 6-core would be overkill for Photoshop and Illustrator work. You'd be good to go with the 6-core, but if cost is a factor, you'd be fine with the base quad model.
  3. motegi macrumors regular

    May 14, 2009
    The base model CPU/SSD/GPU. Max the ram to 64GB for big file handling in PS/IL/ID. Maybe bump the SSD if you think you'll use it.
  4. Thunderbird macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2005
    I agree. For 2D work, you don't really need anything more than the base configuration. The 3.7GHz quad core CPU will actually be better for Photoshop than a lower clocked 6 core.

    Then max out the RAM, and probably go for the 512GB SSD.

    You should be fine for a number of years with this configuration.

    Keep in mind, this is almost the same power as a maxed out iMac. You could always get a maxed out iMac and add a second display (put your pallettes on the glossy iMac and your image on the external matte display).

    Depends on your budget.
  5. cojo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2013
    Thank you so much for the advice.

    I wasn't sure what would be best for Photoshop/Illustrator since I'm not sure if they are multi-threaded apps.

    I have limited desk space so a second monitor wouldn't be ideal. I have a 30" Apple Cinema display that still has some life to it. I'm thinking of going for the 1TB storage as I have so many huge files. Current drive is 1.5 TB capacity with approx. 400 GB available. Mind you I do need to do some serious house-keeping!

    Thanks all.
  6. Salient macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2013
    How about if you've got PS with a 50+ layer file plus illustrator, indesign and the MS office suite running along with the usual mail and iTunes and a dozen tabs in firefox? This is a pretty common scenario, so I wonder if the hex would handle that any better than the quad?
  7. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Typically the best reason to go with the 6 core in such a situation would be for large amounts of raw processing. I don't see a truly compelling reason to go past the quad here.

    That is normal. Have you considered external storage and backup? They are multi-threaded, but you hit severe diminishing returns past a certain point. These are applications that have been patched many times over since their inception, and some of the algorithms used are still reflective of older software. Ram can be an issue depending on the number of applications open at once, the size of your typical file, and application settings.
  8. cojo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2013

    That's definitely my typical scenario.
  9. sigmadog macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2009
    near Spokane, WA
    This is what I am wondering as well. My uneducated guess is that the RAM will have more to do with this than the cores (not sure if Adobe CC is multi-core yet, however), although I've heard others suggest that having more cores does sort of help.

    Still, I'm putting my money on the RAM, especially if I project myself into this scenario, since I'm still using CS6 with no plans to upgrade.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Messy venture with Apple these days to be sure.

    IF* I was in your position, I would consider the Hex core which comes with the D500, go for at least the 512 SSD and then buy 3rd party RAM.

    My reasoning - The hex should perform as good or better than the 8 core. The 4 core is sufficient but as time marches on, we'll see more and more apps more readily take to task these quad cores and the 6 core opens up some breathing room as well as the better L cache. As for the GPU, it is also more about future proofing your purchase as Open CL is not a real plus in the Adobe world ( perhaps with the on line service but not so much with CS6).

    If you go with the 4 core - at least get the 512 SSD and at least 32 Gig of RAM (3rd party is cheaper of course). I would still opt for the middle of the line GPU.

    I do Photoshop and don't mind the chug along with a Mac Mini, 512 840 pro SSD and 16 gigs of RAM. The Intel 4000 GPU is doable though lackluster. I have used in the past older Mac Pros and perhaps next year I'll consider the new Mac (mini) Pro as stated above when I start working more with moving images (video, movie transfers etc.).
  11. hugodrax macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2007
    I would go for the 6 core model which comes with 16gb and up the ssd to 1tb for 800.

    That would be the sweet spot, and the ssd is fast as hell compared to regular non pcie ssd.
  12. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Note the response below. I quoted these because I'm going to add on to another answer.

    You are right about ram. There are a couple parts. One is that they gain a little from 4-6 cores, but the diminishing returns are pretty significant. CC should be able to saturate 4 cores. Out of the list of applications, no one is going to be actively messing with those applications simultaneously. Your browser might be up in the background. MS Word is behind a photoshop or illustrator document or docked. Those things consume a cumulatively trivial number of cpu cycles when they aren't in active use. Where possible Adobe has started to write OpenCL functions, but in my experience relative to modern processors, Photoshop is a highly IO bound application. Illustrator is just puzzling. Nothing seems to speed it up. Also in the few areas that do benefit from OpenCL (none of which are in Illustrator), even the D300 covers them more than adequately. Even an iris pro would probably be enough for those.
  13. Yeti89 macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Is there some reference or review material that show how the adobe applications preform with multiple cores?

Share This Page