mac pro confusion....

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Keebler, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    Hi folks,

    Looking for some feedback on which Mac Pro to go with for what I do.

    What I do: transfer home videos for clients, slideshows, old film reels

    The needs - not for all projects and at various times, but:

    rendering Final Cut Pro 7 sequences

    output to self contained .mov files

    DVD Studio Pro builds - sometimes takes longer than I would like to think

    and the big one, MPEG2 compression for the DVDs

    I use BitVice b/c I personally think it's better than Compressor. It uses all cores without begging it. :)

    Currently using a 2009 quad 2.66 w/ 8 GB Ram

    It takes approximately 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins per 2 hour DVD file.
    When I have a box set of 10 discs each about 1.5 hours run time, it's taking me around 5 to 5.5 hours just to create the m2v files.

    I've been looking at the 12 cores - particularly the 2.66.

    Price is a bit of an issue or I would have already bought. The 8 core 2.8 looks good too - cheaper, but not as fast.

    From the benchmarks, it looks at least twice as fast as my current MP, but I have no idea.

    Any real world suggestions?

    I know new Mac Pros are apparently going to be out in the spring, but I'm still using a G4, G4 and 2006 MP in my lineup so I'm not too worried about a new MP vs a current one - as long as the current one is wickedly fast.

    Any feedback would be great.

  2. dknightd macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2004
    The more cores the better when you can use them all.

    Other times you want the fastest clock speed.

    Either machine you mention should be at least twice as fast as what you have now. Another appealing option might be the 6 core 3.3.

    Keep in mind you can still use your existing 2009 machine. So ripping your 10 disks, spread among both machines, should complete in less than 1/3 the time. If you can justify the expense for that time savings, then do it before your next job comes in :)
  3. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    thanks for the feedback - I appreciate it.

    I'll do more research on that 6 core. It must be popular as I can't recall ever seeing it in the refurb store. Seems like it might be the sweet spot between price and performance.

    You're bang on about keeping the 09 MP. I keep all my machines for various tasks. the old G4 and G5 are transfer stations, the 06 MP handles audio transfers and old film transfers with the 09 doing the bulk of the heavy lifting.

    And speaking of the next work, I have about 10 projects left to do before Christmas so I best be deciding now lol
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Maybe this will help. I use Lightroom extensively, and while in any single operation it does not use all 8 cores of my MP well, I can start several operations concurrently that will then spread across multiple cores. If your software can handle concurrent operations, then you may want more cores and then run multiple operations in parallel. If your software doesn't handle multiple cores well, then faster clock speeds on fewer cores may work better for you.

    I open the activity monitor. On the dock icon for AM, I CTRL click to show the menu with the various monitors. I then choose to show the CPU Usage monitor. This then puts a bar graph up that shows each individual core separately. This is how I judge how efficiently LR is using cores, and whether I need to open concurrent threads next time if I want to save some time. If you already knew all this, then obviously ignore this paragraph - but perhaps someone else reading it will learn something new.
  5. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    The 6-core 3.33GHz is faster than all 8-core Mac Pro variants even with perfect multi-thread scaling. Maybe ties with the 2009 8x2.93GHz but beats it handily with single thread execution. It is, however, limited to 4 memory slots. But 16GB is cheap. It's 32GB that is spendy. So if you need major memory 8-cores can offer value.
  6. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I love my Mac Pro (see sig). It is perfect for me since I need multiple cores, but often I need speed over multi-core processing so its a perfect mix.

    Stuff I usually do on mine is:

    Unity 3D
    After Effects
    Corel Painter
    VMWare Fusion

    and a slew of others but those are the ones I am in most often.
  7. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    thanks for the feedback folks.

    I just placed my order for a refurb'd 12 core 2.66.

    I figure the clock speed will suffice for most of my tasks, but i need the cores to process files and during that time, i usually leave my machines to do only that task so i'm happy.

    can't wait to get it.

    although the rep recommended 2 GB ram per core so that's 24. doh! it comes with 6. time to read up on what the best config is for that stuff.

    i'll report with some speed updates once I receive it.

    interesting though b/c it was refurb, but i called to ask a few question to the business side of things and he asked if i wanted to add ram or hard drives. I didn't think we could make hardware changes to refurbs. doesn't mean much, but it was interesting.
  8. telequest macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2010
    You can get 24 as 6x4GB for just $212 from OWC. A cheap way to get the most out of your new rig. World Computing/1333D3W4M24K/
  9. Keebler thread starter macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    hey that works! then i could just keep 2 of the 1 GBs in the remaining slots or pay the extra $70 and get 32 GBs.


    Thanks very much for the link. I see you did the same? :)

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