Mac Pro 2013 Speed Predictions - Help out a composer!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nick1981, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. nick1981 macrumors newbie

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #1
    I should mention I currently have a 2010 quad core MAC PRO.

    As a composer, I'm soon upgrading to the East West Hollywood Strings package (as well as other instrumental packages they offer). This is highly demanding software. Recommended specs for "optimal performance" are listed on their site. However, it has been stated by current users that even using the recommended MAC system is not nearly enough to work somewhat fluidly.

    In order to give you an idea of the speed required, I will emphasize this excerpt from the site:
    IMPORTANT: Some of the largest patches (in the "Powerful System" folders) can take up to 1GB of RAM to load per mic position, and are intended for systems that meet the optimal specs. "Light" versions of these patches are included for slower systems. Optimal specs may also be required to load multiple mic positions.

    Further, this is simply working with audio. At times, I will be composing to footage as well.

    I've been informed by the East West software users that the current fastest MAC falls ridiculously short of the speed needed for such operations. As I'm sure most of you are as well, I am currently in limbo. Yet, whether or not to wait is not my question because who knows except for the elves behind closed doors.

    My question is in fact fit to be in this forum as opposed to the actual East West software forum:

    In the event a new MAC PRO is released with a combination of, say, at least thunderbolt, native connectivity for terabyte-sized SSDs and usb 3.0, how would this speed compare to a fast pc (at an equivalent price)?


    The link is here if you are curious:
    http://www.soundsonline.com/Hollywood-Strings


    thanks for you help
     
  2. Tesselator, Apr 9, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #2
    It says the "Optimal System" is:
    • Mac Pro Eight-Core Intel Xeon 2.26GHz or higher
    • 16GB RAM or more
    • SSD (Solid State Drive) for optimal sample streaming
    • (SSD adapters are available for Mac Pro at online resellers.)
    • 310GB free hard drive space / iLok Security Key (not supplied)

    You mention "thunderbolt, native connectivity for terabyte-sized SSDs and usb 3.0" as meaningful but I think they aren't. As I've seen for heavy audio editing and multitrack composing the critical components are:

    1. Number of cores & RAM Amount.
    2. CPU and RAM Speed.
    3. Storage and scratch disk speed.
    And in that order (unless you need multi-channel disk-recording). As some intelligent fellow recently pointed out in another thread here: Speed is expensive and it costs money to go fast. :) I would imagine that a MP4,1 upgraded to a 5,1 and running 12 fastish cores would be a very sweet system. Probably the fast 3,1 or 4,1 native system with an SSD RAID0 would be comparable. And fast enough for intense "pro" use.

    And unless you are comparing a Xeon or Opteron workstation PC to the MacPro the MacPro models I mentioned (specifically the 4,1 or the 5,1) should utterly smash any PC. Any and every.. ;) 4 Cores (and dinky HT) just can't compete with 12 cores. ;)
     
  3. freejazz-man macrumors regular

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  4. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    i run tons of kontakt and play instances (man, play SUCKS) within VEP5 on a dual 2.93 machine with a fair amount of ram (64gb) - disk speed means almost nothing if you set your pre-buffers as high as they'll go so everything is in ram.

    if you run out of ram.. get more. up to 96 in our machines.

    YMMV. Best luck. Also, check out audiobro, 8dio and symphobia's string offerings. They're very, very good.
     
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #5
    Good point on the RAM amount vs. Drive Speed. Except for project loading and saving RAM amount is more important for sure, :)
     
  6. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Also, if one is using Kontakt... let it manage the memory on "manual" setting. That way, each time you load a template/sequence - if you're already using those sounds - no load time. Just purge what isn't being used if you're running low on available memory.
     
  7. nick1981 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #7
    mixed reviews

    Thank you. I appreciate the information. If you're right this is good news.

    However, based on those who have used the software, the current MAC PRO appears to not be fast enough ... yet.

    Hopefully Apple has something powerful up its sleeve.
     
  8. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    The Word is Play does a lot better under Windows. Use VE Pro and a second machine.
     
  9. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    #9
    Used the software in which Mac Pro configuration? It is an extremely dubious claim to say any configuration of a Mac Pro can't handle the software. At the extremes, a user can easily add more RAM and storage IOPs that cost more than the base Mac Pro.

    The "Optimal" specs are targeted at 2009 Mac Pro. A 2012 dual package model has 4 more cores than that at a minimum along with a clock bump. It is easy to do 4x amount of memory of optimal specs with a Mac Pro. The IOPs available now relative to a 2009 Mac Pro are in a completely different zip code.

    What this far more likely is " For $X,xxxx they couldn't find a Mac Pro that was as fast as the clone box they bought that has a better $/performance ratio. ". In short, not so much a can/cannot issue but a money one. Likely done by using more ( less dense) RAM across more DIMM slots (e.g., instead of 8 4GB DIMMs 16 2GB ones) and/or tweaking the CPU clock.


    Wouldn't be hard since the same set of evolutionarily better parts are available to Apple as they are with PC workstation vendors. In RAM, CPU, and storage there isn't that much were a PC can "gap" the natural next step of a Mac Pro.

    It isn't "faster than everyone" that Apple will likely to deliver. It is going to be more so a " plenty fast enough for most to get work done" box. There is no ultimate speed prize they'll be shoot for. It will be a more balanced box that doesn't throw away "noise" for speed or drift heavily in any one direction.
     
  10. Mactrunk macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2005
    #10
    So, they are saying that the current 12 core 3.06Mhz MP falls "ridiculously" short.
    I find very little credibility in that assertion.

    I am also waiting for the new MP, but the current "top of the line" is no slouch.
     
  11. Tesselator, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #11
    No, it's possible that it runs like crap on all MacPro models. If the application was poorly ported over to OS X then for sure. The audio frameworks in Windows work very differently than OS X. If the developers don't code around the strengths of each one or the other will suck. Unfortunately the Windows framework is entirely more robust and if the inside design of the application took advantage of that fact it would make it extremely difficult to port - enticing developers to cut corners and/or sacrifice performance.

    So it is possible. I dunno "Play" myself tho. I use these if you know the icons with 10 audio I/O channels and several MIDI chains via the EDIROL UA-1000:


    [​IMG]
     

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  12. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

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    #12
    There's been a lot of software that had bad ports over to the Mac environment in both the audio and video world the past 10 years. Some speculate that is the main reason why Adobe took Premiere out of the Mac game several years ago - their port just couldn't compete with FCP at the time with the functionality that was built in. (Granted, there were a slew of other reasons for this as well.)

    Even more standard programs like Word and PowerPoint don't function 100% the same in both PC and Mac environments. They are compatible, but text formatting and issues still arise often.
     
  13. Tesselator, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #13
    Yup. Video is the same deal as I described above too so that excuse for Adobe makes sense. I think if there are troubles with page layout and text apps it's only because the developers suck tho - which is actually pretty common! :p

    If you want a stable pro environment on Mac its best to select apps which are properly developed for the Mac. One of the indicators for this is that the app or suite in question will have it's primary (and historical) roots in OS X as opposed to Windows. Adobe used to be all about Mac. Then Apple dropped the ball by selecting a crazy-arse processor for their systems and over-charging. So Adobe all but washed their hands of Apple for a good little while and now they're primarily a Windows company.

    But I think Adobe is a poor example because their coders and designers are fairly second-rate from what I'm seeing. I know 3D/CG application developers better. If we look at Side Effects Software Inc. (makers of Houdini), NewTek Inc. (makers of LightWave3D and the VideoToaster), Autodesk Inc. (makers of Motion Builder, Maya, 3Ds Max, AutoCad, The Alias suit, and etc.) we can see examples of coders and company structures for multi-platform development that don't bite the big one. Although I guess it's a bit difficult for end users to see inside so to speak, of these organizations so I'm not sure how anyone else is supposed to tell these things besides experiencing and comparing the application stability/instability on the respective platforms first hand.
     
  14. nick1981 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Yes, currently this appears to be the most promising alternative to working solely with Mac Pros.
     
  15. Derpage Suspended

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    #15
    Autodesk still develops software? I thought they just acquired properties and repackaged them as independant tools or modules for existing packages? I only really use Maya and the last significant build of that was in 2002.
     
  16. Tesselator, Apr 10, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #16
    Yeah but when you point to an organization's structure it's best to point to the top node in the hierarchy. :)

    And while Maya 2014 software will be available soon, you can try out Maya 2013 for yourself right now:
    http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-maya/free-trial Lots of differences since 2002 my friend. :)

    and so on. It's a pretty different package from it's 2002 incarnation. :p
     
  17. bsbeamer macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Yes. They've moved some of their custom high-end bundled hardware configurations to standard desktop configurations using Mac Pros in the past several years. At one point you could ONLY get their software by buying their very expensive hardware along with it, and there was no support after 2-3 years when those hardware products were discontinued.

    Their video and graphics tools were/are merging to better compete in the market, but they're still really expensive. They were operating like the way Avid was for a number of years and (unsurprisingly) were very much "in trouble" just like Avid, last time I read about it.

    Smaller places aren't paying their high prices anymore, so their market really relies on the larger studios and networks to keep their business model going. They're still big in feature films and high-end compositing work.

    The Smoke systems for Mac run $3500 for software and require fairly "mainstream" hardware in order to operate. The Flame Premium systems start at over $100k last I looked and believe they are Linux based only. It gets really confusing after awhile trying to decipher which application you need in their suite in order to do some part of work vs. others, then reading in-between the marketing lines to see what you have to pay to "unlock" additional features. I know some systems are well over $300k once configured.
     
  18. Derpage Suspended

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    #18
    Yeah I definitely have moved on from 8 but that seemed to be the last release that was a major overhaul. Since it's been UI changes and bolt-ons. I guess what I'm trying to say is that they provide some cool tools with questionable pricing yet sometimes that top node is just a null object with a lot of fancy nodes below that were bought up and assimilated. Borg node man...borg node.
     
  19. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #19
    Absolutely true...
     

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