Just got nMP - Base Model (Developer) - disappointing ....

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by udflyer, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. udflyer macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    For my use case .. SW Development, I must say though the nMP is impressive design wise and from a benchmark perspective kills my i7 2013 MBA, BUT my overall development tasks are not that different time wise.

    I realize not all apps use all cores etc... but now I debating keeping the unit.

    I also realize a main strength of the nMP is the 2 dedicated graphics cards, but still , I was hoping for more of a $3,000 difference.

    Anyway...any other developers out there...curious on your thoughts.


  2. koban4max macrumors 68000

    Aug 23, 2011
    honestly..if you don't expect much, you would get lot more out of it.
  3. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    my 6-core nMP is definitely quicker than my Mini from a CPU perspective. I've not had a chance to push the GPU's yet, but Lightroom is more responsive. It's not massively quicker for every day tasks, but that not why I bought it.

    The main reason for buying the nMP for me (and you may appreciate this as a developer) is being able to upgrade to 64GB RAM (unofficially 128GB). Having this much RAM in such a small machine is brilliant. I've been able to consolidate 2 machines onto 1 and that has improved my workflow.
  4. udflyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    That is a great point.

    I need to ask myself if $3,000 is worth that flexibility.

    I'm putting it through its paces and it sure is sweet.
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    It's all about what you develop.... At my office (insurance industry), most of our developers do ios/android apps and build/upgrade/maintain our webpages. Originally all our Devs were given high end super powerful (ie heavy) laptops. Ultimately they all realized that for our kind of development an ultra book was just as powerful and wayyyyy more convenient.

    So my question is, what kind of development are you doing? Unless it is serious number crunching, gaming, or video based there is virtually no benefit of a Mac Pro vs a maxed out MBA. The RAM MAY limit you, but again it really depends on what you are doing. Maybe an rMBP with 16GB is enough and still considerably cheaper than a Base MP.
  6. udflyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    I'm a hobbyist developer trying to release 1st ever ios app. At this point I plan to release something that integrates with healthkit and is available day 1 of ios8 .

    I also do web service development both consuming in my apps and creating some for others to use

    I think you are right in that my tricked out mba 2013 was plenty

    I also was going to use 3 or 4 monitors since I have extra but it only supports 2 DVI #

    Thanks for your help and money saving facts

    I thought i did my research upfront and feel bad returning

    nMP sure is sexy
  7. Thermonuclear macrumors 6502

    May 23, 2009
    A caution on the 128 GB RAM configuration

    A caution on the 128 GB RAM configuration:

    Factory RAM 16 GB SDRAM (PC3-14900) runs at 1,866 MHz while the only 32 GB SDRAM modules I've seen (PC3-10600) run much slower at 1,333 MHz. That's a 28.6% slowdown.

    The Mac Pro can handle either flavor, but not both at the same time.
  8. Ryan0751 macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2013
    Just for what you're doing... The Mac Pro is definitely overkill. You can use more dvi I believe by using active adapters.

    What I love about it is having the horsepower to throw up VMs without any issues.
  9. udflyer thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2011
    Good Point - but lately I have been leveraging Windows Azure for compute instead of local VM's.

    Microsoft has a cool program called BizSpark for businesses just starting.

    They gave me a free 3 year MSDN Ultimate subscriptions after I applied. I will not pay for it after 3 years (10,000 + / year for the level they gave me)

    I am very thankful for that.

    With MSDN comes free dev units for Azure.

    I am ADD when it comes to development. I love trying new stuff just so can be better informed. I will fire up a VM install/play throw out.

    On my MBA I do have 1 VM going with Fusion, but not more than 1.

    Tough call. I have another week plus to decide but I always like to return sooner than later if I am going to.

    Hate returning stuff.
  10. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    All of this. "Development" is both, well, a pretty open-ended task, and actually not all that demanding. For all manner of use cases, basically any modern machine is sufficient, and system questions are more about monitors, keyboards, etc.

    Now, I do heavy number crunching based development - some of it native on the Mac, some of it on a VM on the Mac, and some of it on a cluster. I regularly max out all my cores, so for my purposes, I would love a new MP (I have a 5,1). But it all depends on one's usage.

    I know one guy in my lab who actually does *more* serious number crunching than I do, and uses a Macbook Air, because anything he does needs the cluster.
  11. jlsm511 macrumors 6502


    Feb 26, 2008
    I do some iOS development and Visual Studio (on Windows) based development. Definitely faster then my 2010 Mac Pro on both these tasks. I also use Aperture as a hobby and the difference is night and day between my 2010 and the nMP.
  12. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    It's a 4c Ivy Bridge and it can't be overclocked. I don't think the performance has been much of a secret.

    In highly threaded workflows the 6-8-12 core models make an impact and the nMP offers pretty good thermal characteristics (ie you can leave the cores pegged for long periods of time). Otherwise the iMac i7 is the right choice usually.
  13. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    The nMP is really for people that have GPU intensive applications and require a good CPU. If you have no plans to do anything GPU intensive you should take it back to be honest. You might be better off with a rMBP.


    The iMac is a bit expensive for what it is. You're better off with a rMBP.

  14. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I doubted it for a while, but now I've been running it for a few weeks I wouldn't go back to the old setup - mac mini + a Windows PC.
  15. h9826790 macrumors G4


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    My understanding is the 1866 run with CL13, but 1333 run with only CL9. The difference is not that much.

    13/1866 = 0.006967 microsecond per cycle

    9/1333 = 0.006751 microsecond per cycle

    I think the real world performance difference is not that much, and actually not noticeable.
  16. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    In instances where more RAM is necessary it's preferred to have larger amounts of lower bandwidth memory as opposed to smaller amounts of higher bandwidth memory. The speed gains obtain by having sufficient memory vastly outweigh any bandwidth losses.
  17. lemonade-maker macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2009
    I do full-stack dev in jvm, node.js and client-side. I use four monitors and work exclusively remote. I went from a 2009 maxed out 12-core that I had since the day it was released to a 6 core nMP.

    I tried to use my rMBP as a desktop but it has limits. It won't handle the monitors, the mdp ports disconnect too easily and it runs hot/loud for VMs and other apps like google hangouts.

    The nMP has been great and it accomplishes all I need.
  18. Riwam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2014
    Basel, Switzerland
    There is not a single computer perfect for everybody and every task.
    In one way or another one must use the best of any new one and the nMP has many good features and capabilities.
    My nMP is powerful, silent and relatively small. Better than any other I ever had.
    I am just a non pro who wanted a computer with high quality components and OSX and am not disappointed at all.
    Until now it performs fine. Hope it continues so for years to come.
    Expecting too much is always the best way to be disappointed.
    It is the same with any machine... with a friend or with a wife or husband...:)
  19. 0x2102 macrumors member

    Feb 1, 2014
    What exactly is slow or not much faster than before? Can you give us some tasks and how long each takes now and what you hoped for?
  20. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    Is it really expecting too much for him to expect the nMP to improve his productivity over a MacBook Air for software development? This is kind of a rhetorical question and kind of not. It's kind of rhetorical because the nMP has much higher performing parts compared to an MBA. It's kind of not rhetorical in that many people feel that, just because it has higher performing parts, that their workflow will see a benefit.

    IMO there are many people buying the nMP because they think it will benefit their productivity when in fact something like a high end iMac might be a better choice. The OP appears to be one of these people. It's important to evaluate ones needs based on the work they need to perform and then buy accordingly.
  21. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    I agree wholeheartedly. Anymore, I believe in "right sizing" your technology for your needs, rather than just buying "the best".... In many cases the technology has outpaced our needs in many areas. That's why work stations continue to become a smaller and smaller portion of the overall PC sales. It used to be that if you were developing software (no matter what) you needed the fasted computers (i.e. work stations) you could get. That just isn't true anymore.
  22. SeattleMoose, Jun 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014

    SeattleMoose macrumors 68000

    Jul 17, 2009
    Der Wald
    I was pretty disappointed during the early reviews of the base 4c nMP when it was beaten in some tasks but a high end iMac.

    But since my last Mac was a 2007 MBP the difference is night and day. And, since my main usage is recording (using Logic), having a completely silent computer for recording has eliminated a major source of noise from my studio....MBP fans kicking in under heavy usage. And then having to be removed from the audio tracks. And Logic runs MUCH better on the new HW. No jitter/latency like I had on the MBP.

    And remember that the nMP comes with TWO powerful GPUs that most programs do not yet take advantage. Once (if) they do, it will be a shot in the arm to performance of any program that taps into using the GPUs. There is a lot of "potential" in the nMP that for the most part, has yet to be realized.

    And...almost everything is upgradeable. With any other Mac you are pretty much locked in with respect to the HW.

    Let's hope that utilization of the nMP GPUs comes faster than the adoption of thunderbolt by 3rd party HW developers (still hearing a lot of crickets for that technology...after 3 years).

    I have zero regrets. It can only get better for us nMP users. :cool:
  23. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    Such a comparison isn't very telling given your reference system is at least six years old. You could very well make the same comment about the current Mini...silent and a lot faster.

    As for the dual GPU this is something that sets the MP apart from other Macs. But it's use case is limited...and I suspect it will remain so for the foreseeable future.

    The nMP is cool but it's, IMO, a very niche product. The tasks which really benefit from it are limited. Many who chose it, or are considering choosing it, might be better served with an iMac or Mini.
  24. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    There is now 1866 32gb modules available. It is about 700 a stick though
  25. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    They've been available since before the Pro shipped. The issue is they are LR-DIMMS (load reduced) and only work with E5-2600 series CPUs. The ones being sold as Mac Pro compatible are standard Registered DIMMs and are quad ranked. Because of how the memory controllers work this means they will not run faster than 1066MHz - yes even those being sold as 1333MHz run at 1066MHz.

    No one seems to have confirmed whether LR-DIMMs work with the E5-2600 V2s in a Mac Pro, but no reason they wouldn't from my understanding.

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