Is the entry level MP going to be fast enough for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rossagrant, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. rossagrant macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #1
    Hi guys,
    Sorry for such a noob question but this is my first folly into the world of MP.

    I'm about to launch a website which will focus heavily on video interviews and podcasts.
    I've used a MBP for years and currently have a intel Core 2 duo 2.4ghz MBP with 4GB RAM.

    Editing video is fine but when it comes to rendering the final project it's just too slow on my MBP.

    I do a lot of audio editing in Logic pro as I am a voiceover artist too.

    I really want to upgrade to a Mac Pro but will I see significant speed gains in the new entry level MP when it comes to working on these tasks?

    Any advice on what would be the most efficient scenario without spending too much would be great. I could afford limited upgrades like maybe upgrade from the standard CPU to a 3.2ghz quad core but don't have the budget to do much more.

    Thanks.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #2
    The entry level Mac Pro will be more than enough to handle what you want to do. :cool:
     
  3. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #3
    what rendering SW are you using? Most currently don't take advantage of multiple cores. That should change by early 2011.

    Also, I personally think the 3.2 GHz is a decent upgrade from a price/performance perspective. See sig. :cool:

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  4. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #4
    Thanks guys, I use Final Cut Express although I have FC Studio and haven't installed it yet as it takes up about 50GB. One to leave until I get the MP and can have multiple Hard Drives.

    Are there any benchmark scores anywhere that show the difference from the standard CPU to the 3.2 GHZ?
     
  5. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

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    #5
    For benchmarks check out barefeats.com

    Also I highly suggest a minimum of 8GB of ram (3rd party), 2x 1-2TB Caviar Black hard drives set to Raid plus a beefy external system for daily backups.

    Good luck!
     
  6. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #6
    Thanks Reboot!
    Yeah I've just been looking at 2TB Caviar blacks as they are supposed to be faster than 1TB drives.

    I'll check out RAM prices too. To get 8GB is it best to buy 4 x 2GB sticks or stick with the 3 x 1GB sticks I'll get with it and add to those?

    I've only ever had MBP so it's been a bit simpler in the past.
     
  7. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    #7
    A quad MP will feel a lot faster than your laptop for any number of reasons - faster clock speed, Nehalem architecture vs Core2Duo and much faster disk IO (with options to distribute the load over multiple channels and drives).

    I also went with the 3.2 as a modest cost jump. The 3.33 6-core is big cost jump for 2 more cores which many apps do not use effectively.

    Either of the quads with enough RAM and properly configured storage will be much faster on most anything than your MBP.
     
  8. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #8
    I'm using FCS also.

    Here's a tip if you install an SSD for boot/apps and plan on loading FCS. During the install you will be given the option of where to load the library files. Select a scratch/data drive for those libraries. The library files are humongous (> 30 GB's) whereas the rest of FCS is on the order of 10 GB.

    FCS is rumored to be updated sooooooon. Will have 64 bit and multi-core enabled. :D. Until then, sadly your MBP won't be terribly slower than any MP. However, an updated FCS should make the MP really shine!

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  9. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #9
  10. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    Cheers for that Philip but I'm in the UK. Does anyone know the cheapest place to get Mac pro memory from in the UK at the moment. I usually use Crucial but am open to suggestions!
     
  11. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #11
    Also, a couple of other things guys.

    1.) Is the MP silent enough to have in the room where I record my voiceovers?

    2.) I would like numerous Hard drives. A decent SSD for boot drive with some 2TB caviar blacks for other stuff and maybe a seperate drive entirely for Windows 7.

    What's the best set up to use for this and how cheap can i get an SSD for that will do the trick as a boot drive. I don't really know how a boot drive would work as I've never done that before.
    Any advice would be so greatly appreciated! :)
     
  12. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    #12
    Mine is very quiet even with 4 hard drives in it. It sits on the floor beside my desk and I can barely hear it with the ceiling fan on medium speed.

    As far as boot drive - Logic dumps a bunch of content into /Library. Even with that, a 60 GB SSD would likely be large enough. A 120 GB is more than enough assuming you relocate your home directory elsewhere. I moved that stuff out afterwards using symlinks (command line UNIX stuff), but I found no way to avoid having it installed there in the first place (tried several approaches unsuccessfully). I have OS X, all of my apps (Logic, CS5, Office, etc) plus about 20 GB of piano samples that I use all the time, and still only have about 50 GB used.
     
  13. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #13
    1. JMO, but that's an absolute NO. I have posted measured results on MR in this thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1024897&highlight=johng
    You will have to 'sound box' the MP to use it while recording audio. Again.............. JMO!

    2. SSD's are commodities now. Get at least a 120 GB. SSD's with the Sandforce controller are probably the best for OSX. I'm partial to OCZ's but there are plenty of SSD's that are competitive to them.

    cheers
    JohnG
     
  14. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #14
    Once again, thanks SO much for all your help guys!

    Just speccing up my MP but boy when you add on the extra bits I'll be buying from elsewhere it soon adds up doesn't it! hahaha!

    To bring the price down a little, I'm toying with settling for the 2.8 quadcore to enable me to be able to afford the SSD.
    Is that a mistake do you think?

    What should my priorities be and how much of an advantage would the 120gb SSD be to me over the stock drive?
     
  15. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

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    NW Indiana
    #15
    An SSD boot drive is a great idea but it really only speeds up application and OS boot time. (If everything else is loaded onto your data drives.)

    Don't quote me but the CPU bump will net you around 10-12% overall speed increase in every task. It's really a matter of preference at that point.


     
  16. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

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    Jan 19, 2002
    #16
    Something you may really consider is the 6-core model. Now, the price jump is significant and you'll really need to be sure it's worth it to you. I just purchased one because I couldn't justify $3k price tag without getting the latest processor technology. The 6-core Westmere has more in it than just 2 additional cores over than Nehalems. http://review.techworld.com/sme/3217560/intel-westmere-xeon-review/
    I ended up deciding on the 6 core because I figure it buys me a couple more years of useful life out of the Mac Pro. While some apps aren't designed for multi-core chips, you may be surprised about how many are and how well OS X itself does a good job of making use of all the cores when you're running multiple applications. As stated earlier, many apps are being released/updated to take full advantage of every core.

    On the topic of SSD, I have opted to hold off until the Intel 3rd Generation SSDs are out since they are reported to offer twice the capacity at the same cost of current drives, along with a significant speed improvement. They are supposed to be out within the next 3-6 months. I personally couldn't justify them at the current price/gb, but these new capacities on the horizon will more than likely tip the scales for SSD adoption.

    RAM is always best to get from a reputable 3rd party. I prefer Crucial still because I've had great experiences with their support/replacement/returns in the past. There are cheaper providers, but Apple trusts Micron(Crucial's parent company) memory in their computers so I figure it's good enough for me.
     
  17. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #17
    Thanks again Reboot!

    Tim, thanks for your inputtoo!
    It gets more of a dilemma doesn't it! Hahaha!

    In terms of the 6 core westmere. I could stretch to it but the 8 core (Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere” processors) works out a little cheaper than the 6 core and I'd get 6GB RAM as standard.

    Isuppose the tasks I am using the MP for aren't massively complex but for me it's all about render time on video editing. I am impatient when I have to sit there for 40 minutes to render a 10 minute video on my MBP and I would like to really speed things up with the MP. My knowledge on this is pretty limited though and in terms of what components to concentrate on is a struggle.

    I could stretch to the 8 core but there is no way I could then afford an SSD as well as a couple of 2TB Blacks.

    Difficult choice.
    Will also be influenced on what I get for selling my 2009 MBP.

    So in terms of processor speed, will it really aid render times or is it mainly down to RAM?
     
  18. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Boon Docks USA
    #18
    Not sure how computer savvy you are but you can build one for half what apple wants for a new Mac pro. After selling my 2008 Mac pro recently, I checked out apples prices. Way to high. I wanted a newer system for video editing but I think apple went nuts with the Mac pros prices. There is no solid evidence apple will come through on making FCS or FCE or any of there pro apps 64 bit like the rest of the industries are doing. Go look at some pro forums about apple software and you will see the complaints. Don't get me wrong, been a apple fanboy for many years but money is money when it comes to savings. I built a dual quad core 2.66 westmere system for around 2500. Apple wants 5 grand. Of course you will have to move to windows 7. It may not be as secure as OS X but it's allot better than vista. Handles all 16 threads my system has. I still have my 2006 24 inch iMac and a new mini. Since I stream my movies around the house, haven't found anything better than iTunes to do that. JMHO.
     
  19. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

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    Jan 19, 2002
    #19
    BLASPHEMY!

    Just kidding, dollar/performance you're always better off building high end machines yourself. The price of the 6-core chips by themselves are $1799 on newegg, so this current model at this point in time really isn't a bad deal. Dell's configuration of a similar machine (but they dont state the GPU) is slightly more expensive than Apple's.

    You'd also miss out on a comprehensive warranty, so for businesses that can save a lot of time which equals money if you're using it for work. The OS is undeniably better on the Mac though, how much that's worth to you is a matter of personal opinion.
     
  20. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #20
    Rendering is all processor, so a faster CPU will definitely do rendering faster.
     
  21. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #21
    Not sure about the new Mac pros but an asus or super micro board that takes the westmere processors are easily upgradable from quad core to hex cores. Just have to make sure the bios is updated. Soon as the hex cores drop, (probably when sandy bridge systems ship), I will update to dual hex and sell my quads.
     
  22. timbloom macrumors 6502a

    timbloom

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    #22
    The slower hard drives in MacBook Pro also are pretty detrimental to video.
     
  23. rossagrant thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2009
    #23
    Right then so I think I'll stick with the 3.2GHZ quad core and maybe upgrade to a hex when they become cheaper.

    I just don't think I can stretch to the SSD which is a shame.
    The MP ships with a 1TB drive and I'll buy another 2TB Caviar as well as upgrade the RAM. That will probably wipe me out for a while and then I can think about upgrades etc.

    Just out of interest does anyone know where a cheap but decent compatible SSD drive could be bought from in the UK? Do I need the icybox to fit it or can you get ones that just install now?

    Also what's the best thing to do with RAM? I'll get 3 x 1GB sticks with the MP. Should I replace these or add to them?
     

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