Mac for animation work

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macrunn, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. macrunn macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2015
    Hello everyone!
    I'm in need for a new mac and I just can't decide on what to choose, if you could help me out it would be awesome!

    First of all let me tell you my doubts and what the mac's for.
    I mainly use autodesk maya for my work, a lot of animation and the occasional render. My doubts is that I don't know what maya asks for both for animation and render. I'm assuming maya is a single threaded application while using just one core for animation but for render it wants to use all of the cores it can find.
    If that is correct what would you think it would be worth getting:
    - iMac 27" retina with i7 4.0Ghz 4-cores, 32Gb RAM, 512gb SSD, AMD Radeon R9 4Gb ($3,899.00)
    - Mac Pro 3.5Ghz 6-cores, 32Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD, Dual AMD firePro D500 3Gb ($4,699.00)
    - Mac Pro 3.0Ghz 8-cores, 32Gb RAM, 512Gb SSD, Dual AMD FirePro D500 3Gb ($6,199.00)

    (I will buy the RAM separately, those prices was just for simplicity sake)
    Note that I also use final cut, photoshop, lightroom and some mudbox.
    Thank you guys!
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3


    Nov 23, 2011
    I can't say this for certain (hopefully a MR poster will correct me), but I believe OS X is now moving more towards OpenGL - which from what I understand uses the GPU rather than the CPU for intensive tasks. If this is the case and if you're doing a lot of animation work then I'd recommend something fairly graphically powerful.

    From my assumption above I'd recommend a Mac Pro with dual D700s as a priority, other components secondary -- also because the CPU and RAM on the nMP are user-upgradeable (and thankfully are non-proprietary). That way you can get more RAM/a better Intel CPU in at a later date, whilst it might be a little more difficult to upgrade the graphics cards in the nMP.

    Of course I'm not 100% sure on all this so I'd wait for somebody to confirm or deny my claims. :)
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    They will all do it...

    ... and do it well. So it'll be down to what you want to spend and attach to it.

    If you just work on one screen the imac will be best bang for buck.

    If you use multiple screens especially 4k screens go with the MP if so bump up to the d700's on the 6 core and I think that'll be your best compromise. Lots of thunderbolt and USB connections will probably be useful to you for storage as well.
  4. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Long time Maya user here on both Mac and PC (mostly PC).

    I am not sure how Autodesk is dealing with the new D700s (best Mac Pro GPU to date).
    I am not sure if there will be an NVIDIA option in the future for the new Mac Pro design.

    I still use Maya on my 2008 Uni MBP since it has an NVIDIA chip.

    Maybe wait till Apple Dev Conference to see if new MP has NVIDIA?

    My suggestion and its not the best one is to find an old MP 2012 and load it with a few Quadro 4000s.

    This is what I use at home for Maya but again most of the time Im on a Dell.

    The MP 2012 is my Motion/NLE box.
  5. Pootan macrumors member


    Oct 28, 2014
    I did some freelance work in maya, and I would recommend keeping all your old macs or PCs for offloading all the rendering to. With some shell scripting you can distribute the processing and speed up render times while you move on to the next scene.

    As for the workstation I would be perfectly content with the retina iMac but if you wanted to stick to same system for rendering and got paid per frame, I would get the 8-core.
  6. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    You can check out this video that may help with your decision. The video explains the new Mac Pro may not be a good fit for 3D animation. Most 3D softwares are single threaded and only uses one graphic card. With the dual GPUs in the new Mac Pro, only one will be used and it would be a question if you would want to spend that much if the other GPU will always be idle.

    This thread also explains the Viewport performance on the new Mac Pro

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5 March 13, 2015