Mac Pro Buying Recommendation

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cloud888, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. cloud888 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #1
    Hi, I'm about to purchase my first Macpro and need some advice. Have to buy before the end of this year and here are my choices.

    Macpro 6 Core 3.33ghz
    Macpro 12 Core 2.66ghz

    The system will be for heavy video editing on Final Cut Pro, light After Effects CS5 and light Photoshop CS5 work. Done my research and 6 core are most people's recommendations. Just wanted to see if anyone has bought the 6 core for Final Cut work? Will have the system for a few years. Also the system could be possibly used for rendering Red footage.

    Any recommendations?
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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  3. khollister, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010

    khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #3
    Be careful - the OP said he was a light After Effects user, and the only part of FCP that really takes advantage of the 12 cores is Compressor. FCP in general is not well-setup for multiple cores (notice the Color benchmarks - 3.33 hex wins).

    The answer today is the 3.33 hex. The answer for a future version of FCP might be the 12 core, but who knows when that is. After Effects clearly can leverage the 12 core, but the OP said that was not the main application.

    The problem is we are already talking about up to 12 cores (with Hyper Threading) on the 3.33 hex. Gaining significant throughput with double the cores is tough due to not only software support, but scalability on large number of cores. The advantage of a 4 core over a 2 core is a lot bigger than going from 12 to 24 due to the difficulties of scaling the software to such large numbers of cores. The real world starts to limit the theoretical linear scaling. The 12 core 2.93 should be 1.8x faster than the 3.33x6, but it is not even close to that with the exception of After Effects with 32GB RAM. The only reason AE scales as well as it does is it is written to permit manual assignment of cores and memory. Compressor and Handbrake don't scale anywhere near that well.

    Until software is rewritten to take advantage of large core counts, clock speed is still the driver. To me, the hex is the answer with the money saved being spent on a fast RAID setup with a good SAS controller to get > 500 MB/s throughput into the array.
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #4
    Considering that Apple is in the process of dumping the "Pro" line of their hardware (XServe RAID, XServe, Matte displays, Mac Pro?), probably not very soon.
    It's gonna be a long time till consumer hardware will see 12 cores on a single chip.
     
  5. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Sep 24, 2008
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    Boon Docks USA
    #5
    Just saw a blurb about FCS being release early next year. If I find it, will post the link. Don't know if they are going 64 bit or not but would be stupid if they didn't. I think most of the NLE's have moved on to 64 bit.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #6
    Exactly. :)

    Addressing the bottlenecks that exist in the base 3.33 Hex system (memory capacity and disk I/O) is a better expenditure of funds than cores that won't be utilized but in a rare instance here and there. And such upgrades will be quite noticable for the described usage.
     
  7. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

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    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #7
    That gets you past the 4 GB memory limit, but does not necessarily guarantee the software is redesigned to make efficient use of large numbers of cores. In the case of OS X and 64 bit Cocoa apps, this would best be served by leveraging the Apple Grand Central Dispatch API's. There are plenty of 64 bit apps that do not scale well to multiple processors (Photoshop CS5 comes to mind).
     
  8. cloud888 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 19, 2005
    #8
    Bearcatrp,
    If you could find that link to FCS info that would be great.

    I'm planning to start a small production company as I do freelance shooting and editing. Business is picking up and I need to get a Macpro to really pump things out on time. My current machine is:

    Macbook Pro 15inch 2.66ghz i7
    8G ram
    500g 7200rpm

    Served me well. I usually shoot on Canon 7D & 5D
    - Canon 7D & 5D 1080p footage H264 Codec
    - Panasonic P2HD 1080p footage AVC-Intra Codec
    - Red Codec (will eventually buy a Red Rocket Card to help with rendering real time 4K)
    I have a friend who has a Red One but he only has a laptop so he doesn't render his footage. Will rent my edit suite to his clients.

    Also if I use the 6 core, how well will the system run if I have open at the same time, Final Cut, Compressor, Motion, Photoshop, After Effects, Handbrake?

    I've read the "barefeats guide as well as "mac performance guide" but the tests has been on 1 program running. Will the 6 core run well or better to get the 12 core when running multiple programs?
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #9
    That is true. 12-core is still faster in encoding or rendering (assuming we are talking about software that supports that many threads like Compressor) but significantly slower in tasks that do not take advantage of those extra cores. 6-core should be the sweet-spot.

    Okay, time to confess. I guess I was too excited about my MBA which arrived yesterday so my post ended up being a bit short and not looking at things from all angles :eek::p Thanks for the correction and broader analysis
     
  10. simsaladimbamba

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    Nov 28, 2010
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    located
    #10
    Adobe Premiere (or as it is known as "Premier") is 64-bit, but Avid Media Composer is still 32-bit, though Sony Vegas Pro is 64-bit too.
     
  11. cloud888 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #11
    Thanks everyone for the advice. Will probably get the 6 core 3.33ghz as with the money I save, I can add the following:

    - refurb 30" cinema display
    - 240g owc ssd
    - 4 x 2tb wd black drives
    - 24g ram or maybe 32g ram

    When the software takes advantage of 12 cores and business really booms then I'll just sell the 6 and upgrade when Sandy Bridge comes out. Plus I'm getting 25% off this purchase :)
     
  12. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

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    Nov 16, 2008
    #12
    Smart plan! Good luck with the business!

    JohnG
     
  13. strausd macrumors 68030

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    Jul 11, 2008
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    Texas
    #13
    When it comes to rendering like that, you can always have faster render times. So my advice would get the most processing power you can afford.
     
  14. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Boon Docks USA
  15. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #15
  16. Garen macrumors regular

    Garen

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles Area
    #16
    If money is not an issue I'll go with the 12 core, but I doubt you'll see any improvements in your work flow in the short run, until apps can utilize the additional cores effectively. I have a 3.33 6C and 3.0 8C and my 6C is the king at this moment. the programs that I use are FCP, CS5, LR3 and just started experimenting with CS5 Suite.

    Garen
     
  17. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Boon Docks USA
    #17
    Octo is cheaper than a 12 core at this time. You can upgrade those quads later when SB comes out. Should drop in price then.
     
  18. brentsg macrumors 68030

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    Oct 15, 2008
    #18
    If I hadn't had a 6 core CPU on hand I certainly would have bought the octo now, with the intention of making it a 12 core down the road once those CPUs have been driven down in price.
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #19
    I know I sound like a broken record in these threads, but what's wrong with the 3.2GHz Quad for this kind of work?

    If it's not good enough, it's presumably because you can't wait for things to render, and time is money, so only you can decide if the added income you make with faster turn-around times on the 12 core or even 6 core can justify the added investment.
     
  20. cloud888 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2005
    #20
    Well I went with the 6 core Macpro and was to be delivered on the 10th but it came on the 9th. :)

    Booted it up and was amazed at the speed of the machine. everything just loads so snappily and its damn quiet.

    Just ordered:

    240gb owc ssd
    24g ram
    3 x 600gb wd velociraptors

    Will post review of the machine and pics when I install my programs etc.
     

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