Is the Pro for me?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Tharr62, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Tharr62 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #1
    So, about 6 months ago I bought the 27" i7 imac.. 16GB RAM, and the 1TB HD. I got it for my photography / video business. I also use a second 27" LED Apple display too. I have a ton of external drives connected.. I have three g-safes and one g-tec drive for time machine. They all have to be daisy chained together. The g-safe drives store photo files, and video in RAID 1, and I work from them often.

    So, the issue is that the system is slow as hell.. and I want to throw it out the window. I feel like I either need to buy an SSD, or sell it and buy a Pro. I use Aperture 3, CS4 and Final cut all the time.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #2
    If you do video editing, then yes the Mac Pro is for you.. but also if you are used to a desktop tower where you can expand to your hearts content, then the mac pro is for you also! The questions remains is if you wanna wait until a refresh comes out in 2012 or get one now. The best bang for the buck is the 6-core which I have. Cuts through video like cheese! But all in all a great workstation class computer to own.

    I have one because I like expandable towers.. it works alongside my POwer Mac G5 Quad which is mint.
     
  3. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    Ya, I'm thinking you'll be happier with a Pro. Your usage goes a bit beyond what the iMac was designed for. The problem is that you'll spend a good bit of money. Also, to get the full advantage of an upgrade like this you'll want to make sure you give careful thought to your i\o and storage systems. Getting that part right will make a nice difference.

    I'm probably the wrong person to ask this question but I suppose you'd have to budget between 6-10k for this project.
     
  4. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #4
    He can get a refurb 6-core 2010 for like 3300 sometimes when they are available. He should go with OWC for all his external drives and other I/O.
    SSD's would be better through OWC, rather than with Apple.
     
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    It definitely does sound like you would benefit from a Mac Pro over the iMac. What is your budget for the Mac Pro? Also, if you open up Activity Monitor and then click on the Memory tab, how many page outs are you getting in comparison to the page ins and how big is the swap file on the iMac?
     
  6. phantomsd macrumors 6502

    phantomsd

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #6
    Whoa... 27" i7 + 16GB RAM = slow?

    This makes me rethink my plan. I'm also contemplating Mac Pro over 27" iMac/17" MBP for print/web design/video.
     
  7. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #7
    One question..

    Other than size, what exactly is the major difference or differences between the 27 inch LED cinema display and the 24 inch? I am not bashing the 27 inch, just wanting to know if its worth the 800 or so dollars, even though I have no room for such a huge display on my desk?
     
  8. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8H7 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I am guessing that this "slow" is related to the use of external drives.
     
  9. beto2k7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    ::1
    #9
    Pixel density
     
  10. gpzjock, Apr 19, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2011

    gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #10
    Horses for courses.

    The iMac 27" i7 is a consumer Mac, the moment you start using external drives and Pro apps together you hit the Firewire external data transfer speed limit. The fastest CPU in the range still needs to wait for the 400 or 800 mb/s transfers.

    Internal storage bays on a 2010 Mac Pro run much quicker and the motherboard has up to 6 GB/s throughput available. Combining a SSD for OS and Apps and 3 huge HDDs in a MP would speed up your productivity considerably I suspect.

    The bad news: a Hex core Mac Pro fully kitted with 16 RAM, a decent size SSD and 3 x 2TB HDDs will be very expensive. I would buy a minimum spec Hex MP from Apple and purchase the RAM, SSD and HDDs from a 3rd party to half (maybe even quarter) the cost of the extras.
    With all the extras and a 27" Apple screen that is $7623 on the US store! A Hex core base unit is only $3699.
    16 GB RAM : http://www.memoryamerica.com/dk451272106au.html $220
    240 GB SSD : http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/OWC/Mercury_Extreme_Pro_6G/ $579
    2 TB HDD : http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Hitachi/0F12115/ $134 each.
    $1200 for that lot, just a nice monitor to find and still $2700 under Apple's price.
     
  11. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #11
    Ok, I take it thats not worth the 800 dollars then.
     
  12. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #12
    Pixels are in the eye of the beholder.

    Dell think a 27" IPS Ultrasharp monitor is a premium item too:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSharp-U2711-27-inch-Widescreen/dp/B0039648BO/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1303281086&sr=8-3 (2560 x 1440) $899

    The 21" is very cheap compared:
    http://www.amazon.com/UltraSharp-U2211H-21-5-1920-1080/dp/B003ULZ1C8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1303281244&sr=1-4 (1920 x 1080) $249

    Compare the pixel density with the Apple iMac models: 21" 1920 x 1080, 27" 2560 x 1440. Suspiciously similar considering the screens are made in the same factory. :D
    Even Dell can't make a 27" IPS cheap. Pays yer money takes yer choice.
     
  13. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #13
    1) Oh yes it is. For anyone doing any kindve work the extra pixels and density are incredibly useful (And more space to put stuff on your desktop = More stuff getting done).

    2) OP: I wouldn't pull the trigger on a MP until we know what Final Cut Pro X is bringing. If its massively parallel, you may well be better off with a slower+more cores machine, depending on your workflow/how Apple does stuff. It may turn out an 8-Core at a slower speed can eek out an edge over a 6-Core Machine thats faster. The 8-Cores also have more RAM slots - which is an advantage for any kind've heavy work.
     
  14. Joshuarocks macrumors 6502

    Joshuarocks

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere in Cyberspace
    #14
     
  15. Tharr62 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2011
    #15
    WOW - Thanks for all the reply s. Yeah, my business partner was a little disappointed when I told him I think I need a new computer after only 6 months.. hahah..

    The imac I have is nice.. and it is fast.. but, I am stressing it out too much with the large RAW files.. and every wedding I shoot I come home with about 4K images.. and that is a lot for this system to chew on. After awhile I have to dump the library in Aperture to the external, and work from that.. and yes, that is SLOW as crap with the imac. Oh, and forget video.. which lives entirely on the external drive.

    Budget? LOL.. <sigh> I guess I'll ask amex for a blue card with $10K. I will plan on only using $8K for the computer, and another 27" ACD.

    - So, what do I need to connect my 4 external drive to the pro via e-sata?

    - How should I configure the internal drives? I was thinking of having only one internal drive.. a SSD for OSX, and apps.. and current working photo library. Once the photo library gets big, I dump it to the external drive I already have.

    - What SSD drive is BEST for the MP? How does "trimming" work under OSX?
     
  16. chrismacguy, Apr 20, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011

    chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    The problem is once you go past 24" and 1920*1200 Apples Cinema Display is actually one of the cheapest displays out there - 2560*1440/2560*1600 displays always ahve been expensive, and will continue to be for the forseeable, which is a shame as I would love a second Apple Cinema...
     
  17. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #17
    Your bottle neck is the fact that your drives are external and the iMac is waiting for info to come through the USB/Firewire connections. To do the same thing with the Pro and expect any performance improvement is going to be met with huge disappointment.

    Get as many big/fast drives inside directly connected. For anything you're working on at the moment, you want it to be internal, and then anything you're done projecting, put it on the external for pure storage and not work. You'll need a PCI card for e-sata. Search for RAID in mroogle for more speed from your internal drives in the Pro.
     
  18. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #18
    What haven't you added eSATA ports for faster external speeds to your iMac yet?
     
  19. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    Talk about lowering resale value and creating massive amounts of visual interference right in front of your eyes - that has got to be really distracting.
     
  20. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #20
    Remember you could grab an external storage solution (an 5-bay unit for RAID-5 at least) with 1Gbit/s ethernet for 125 MB/s transfer speeds.

    This should be fine for your line of work. You don't necessarily need to invest in a Mac Pro, if you are otherwise satisfied with the 27" iMac.

    Even the Mac Pro will choke on 4-thousand RAW images, especially in Aperture.

    You should probably replace Aperture as your image library "processor" and look into something more robust and professional instead.
     
  21. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #21
    If he didn't mention video I'd agree, but I have had bad experiences with Gigabit based NAS boxes trying to host anything Im using in Final Cut Pro tends to cause it to fall over...
    Also, Aperture is perfectly professional, its certainly better than Cumulus and decent in comparison to LightRoom.
     
  22. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #22
    +1 but you won't really see 125 MB/s. More likely you'll get around 100 MB/s, which is still a lot better than around 20 MB/s for USB 2 and 30-40 MB/s for FW800. I would recommend options from QNAP and Synology.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/bar/6-r5-filecopy-read
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/bar/5-r5-filecopy-write

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/bar/17-r10-filecopy-write
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-charts/bar/18-r10-filecopy-read

    For better performance, if you can swallow the extra costs, I would recommend RAID 10 instead of RAID 5.

    The Synology DS411+ can't be beaten from a price versus performance point of view in my opinion.

    Oh and the last thing, if you do go the NAS route, then please don't forget that it needs to be backed up. If your NAS itself packs out, your RAID array is gone.
     
  23. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #23
    I have a Buffalo Linkstation Duo and it has a USB port which is used to back up the NAS! I connect an external USB to that and transport it to my safe deposit box from time to time.
     
  24. chrismacguy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #24
    See this is why I love my Mac Pro - I just periodically dump my backup 2TB HDDs in Bay 4, and clone Each Drive to them. Then take the 4 clones and send 'em 200 miles away (Should be enough to avoid most things)
     
  25. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #25

Share This Page