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Mac Pro for "Non Professionals"

Riwam

macrumors 65816
Jan 7, 2014
1,087
244
Basel, Switzerland
My nMP does not bother me with any TO ME audible sound

How loud actually is it when under a reasonable load?

I have been wondering for a while, but whenever I use Google to search I am only presented with people having issues with their Mac Pro fans.

I have never used an iMac - would someone used to the hum of a MBP fan find it quiet?

.....................

There have been many people reporting noise problems from the very begin and I was very worried in advance before receiving my 6 core, D500, 1 TB machine.
However as far as my nMP is concerned, after 1 month it is still completely quiet.
The only negative side which was pointed by someone and agreed by many other owners is that this lack of any sound attracts your attention to the noise made by the unavoidable necessary external HDs unless they are all SSDs. They seem now VERY NOISY!
I can of course only report about my nMP, but until now it works without any noise I COULD HEAR.
I underline THAT because I am 69 y.o. and hear only frequencies up to about 10 kHz.
However I distinctly hear the (unpleasant) sounds made by all other notebooks I have, which means that those commonly made sounds are far below that limit!
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
4,213
459
How loud actually is it when under a reasonable load?

I have been wondering for a while, but whenever I use Google to search I am only presented with people having issues with their Mac Pro fans.

I have never used an iMac - would someone used to the hum of a MBP fan find it quiet?

It's whisper silent. I don't know if it's on or off without checking. That's even under load.

----------

The only negative side which was pointed by someone and agreed by many other owners is that this lack of any sound attracts your attention to the noise made by the unavoidable necessary external HDs unless they are all SSDs. They seem now VERY NOISY!

I bought a Caldigit external RAID, it's not quiet but I've put it under the desk and it's barely audible now. Even in total the noise is much less than my cMP. That machine drove me crazy when I was watching movies and listening to music.
 
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dagamer34

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
I'm investigating getting a Mac Pro simply because it's the only Mac that can handle 2 4K displays and it doesn't look like a 27" Retina iMac is coming anytime soon (my best guess is late 2015 =/).
 
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drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,564
99
Xhystos
I do love the form factor. I will never be in the big box computer game again. I have moved all my servers at the office to Mac Minis and even my PC nodes are now Lenovo M93 Tiny's. No reason to have a big empty box any more.

OK but I find them great for putting other stuff on. e.g my Win7 PC that's mostly an empty LianLi with an iTX inside is great for dumping a ReadyNAS on top then a switch on top of that. Before that it had a Monitor on it.

Elegant it's not but it's in the attic.
 
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drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,564
99
Xhystos
I am one of those folks that has absolutely NO professional need for a nMP. I was just in awe of the engineering that went into the machine. I have a mac mini mid 2011 that does everything I need and does it just fine. But I WANTED the nMP and I had the financial wherewithal to buy one. There is no other justification other than, I wanted it.

And it is one awesome, fast, amazing machine. Did I mention it is an engineering marvel? I had an 08 or 09 MP, a cheese grater. My trash can is 50 times faster and 1/8 as large.

That's me and that's what I'm thinking. The Mac Mini is already on eBay.
 
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Philip D

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2014
12
0
OK but I find them great for putting other stuff on. e.g my Win7 PC that's mostly an empty LianLi with an iTX inside is great for dumping a ReadyNAS on top then a switch on top of that. Before that it had a Monitor on it.

Elegant it's not but it's in the attic.

True, but where you lose one type of storage utility you gain another. For example when I purchase my new Mac Pro I will be able to ditch my pen/pencil pot.

Thanks for all the posts about the fan sound as well, I have been trying to find out about it for a long time.
 
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drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,564
99
Xhystos
Thanks for all the posts about the fan sound as well, I have been trying to find out about it for a long time.

OK, but is that me ?

P.S. IME posts about sound that quote "whisper silent" and "very quiet" are actually worthless. dB levels and environment noise are all that matter. If it's less than 15dB at less than 1ft away in a quiet room, then IMO it's quiet. See SPCR for real noise level info about stuff in general : http://www.silentpcreview.com
 
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fastlanephil

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2007
1,238
245
I went with adding a TOTL Mac Mini to my iMac DAW, turning the iMac into the slave and the Mac Mini as the master over LAN using Vienna Ensemble Pro. I have to deal with a lot of copy protection so leaving the sample libraries on the iMac avoided reauthorization for a while.

It's actually very slick but it's more things to deal with as you're working with two mice and two keyboards and another application.

Eventually I want to get a nMac Pro and have all my libraries available on the internal SSD drive for quick loading, so I'll need at least a TB of storage and the ability to up that later.
 
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egy195

macrumors regular
Jan 28, 2014
113
1
i was thinking about it but jist not worth it for me, a mac mini or an imac is just fine for me
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
4,213
459
P.S. IME posts about sound that quote "whisper silent" and "very quiet" are actually worthless. dB levels and environment noise are all that matter. If it's less than 15dB at less than 1ft away in a quiet room, then IMO it's quiet.

You cannot measure that at home or office. I have a professional dB meter and even when no electronics are working, the windows are closed and I'm not making a sound, my room is 36 dB's loud. If I turn up the Mac Pro it's still 36 dB's loud when the meter is placed 3 feet away form it. You need a special quiet room to measure the SPL of a new Mac Pro. My old Mac Pro made my room 55 dB's loud, from 36 to 55, that was a lot.
 
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teohyc

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2007
280
120
I've a 2.6Ghz quad-core Mini with Fusion Drive and that thing is real fast for the things I do occasionally:

1. Photography: 50 photo batches
2. Video work: 2-4min 1080P shorts
3. Blogging

Well, I've just ordered the new Quad 3.7Ghz Mac Pro.

I'm one with a long buy cycle. My MP 2006 lasted me 6 years until 2012 until it developed mechanical problems (heat sensor is works inconsistently) and I had to replace it with a Mac Mini.

With the nMP, it should last me even more than 6 years, or until mechanical problems develop. The Mac Mini 2012 will become the backup machine. This way, I will have no downtime.

I did not get the iMac even though it's considered a good deal for the money. I hate the idea of a built-in screen.
 
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MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
You don't need to be a professional to use a Mac Pro.

Though it's focus is video editing , it's a great computer for anyone.

If you like it, go ahead and get it, just think of it as apples desktop.

Apple has stopped taking the professional market seriously years ago. If anything they are prosumer these days.
 
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drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,564
99
Xhystos
You cannot measure that at home or office. I have a professional dB meter and even when no electronics are working, the windows are closed and I'm not making a sound, my room is 36 dB's loud. If I turn up the Mac Pro it's still 36 dB's loud when the meter is placed 3 feet away form it. You need a special quiet room to measure the SPL of a new Mac Pro. My old Mac Pro made my room 55 dB's loud, from 36 to 55, that was a lot.

Yes, I know that. That's why I referenced SPCR who have a hemi-anechoic chamber (in their home) and calibrated test gear. See : http://www.silentpcreview.com/anechoic_chamber_SPCR). Sometimes the opinion of a known person will be a guide but anonymous comments as to the level of perceived loudness are generally worthless - as I said.
 
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shaunp

Cancelled
Nov 5, 2010
1,811
1,395
I bought a Mac Pro because it allows me to consolidate a Mac Mini that I used as my every day desktop and a PC that I use for VMware. In a small machine I can have 64GB RAM and having all my storage external allows me to place it in another room out of the way. Result I have a lot less clutter, tons more memory and I don't have to run a Windows desktop on one of my machines. It's expensive but I've gotten to the point where I needed to upgrade my PC anyway as I couldn't add more than 32GB RAM to it. By the time I do a MB, CPU and RAM replacement that's a lot of money for something that I don't actually want to own.
 
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The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,061
2,303
I would love to have one for several reasons, but wouldn't even consider it at it's current price point unless I happened to stub my toe on a three-pound gold nugget whilst going to work one morning.

This. I would love to upgrade to one from a 15"MBP and I would use it for work - although that is not video or audio. But no way can I justify the expenditure.
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
4,213
459
Yes, I know that. That's why I referenced SPCR who have a hemi-anechoic chamber (in their home) and calibrated test gear. See : http://www.silentpcreview.com/anechoic_chamber_SPCR). Sometimes the opinion of a known person will be a guide but anonymous comments as to the level of perceived loudness are generally worthless - as I said.

Well if you want to know how loud it is, you need that chamber. But unless you are a recording engineer, chances are your working environment is around 30 dB's loud to begin with so you certainly will not hear your Mac Pro.
 
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AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,664
4,664
The Peninsula
Apple does not have an order review committee that chooses to sell you a machine based on what you'll do with it.

+1

Apple has devalued the word "Pro", it simply means something that has some advantages over the Apples that don't have "Pro" in their names. Just a name, not a market segment.

A few years ago my 80+ year old mother-in-law bought a MacBook Pro for email with the kids and grand-kids, because she "didn't like the plastic ones". Just like people buying the Tube because they think that it looks cool.
 
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SaxPlayer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2007
657
546
Dorset, England
I haven't read every reply to your question on this thread so apologise if I'm saying things that other people have already mentioned.

I'm a programmer and web designer so, in theory, an iMac would do the job for me. However, for me, I often need my machine to do several things at once and also need to run Windows in Parallels (I have no choice as I need to test sites in IE [spit] and also need to access MS SQL Server). My old machine (a 2006 Mac Pro) would struggle to do too many things at once and Windows 8 was impossible without shutting down every Mac application first (even with lots of RAM in the cheese grater). My new Mac Pro is an absolute dream to work with. I can run all my Mac applications plus both Windows XP and Windows 8 for browser testing/db access and the machine hardly notices. It's so quiet I can't hear it running. The only noise now is my NAS which I'm seriously considering moving to another room so I can work in silence.

The other big point for me staying with a Mac Pro rather than switching to an iMac is the screen. 4K or some kind of "retina" display will become the norm during the liftetime of my nMP and I'll be able to upgrade my display without having to update the entire machine at the same time. It also has the ability to add lots more RAM and even update the SSD later if I need to.

Everyone is different, but as someone who does very little video or audio work I don't regret getting a nMP. A no brainer for me and worth every penny.
 
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ogilloire

macrumors member
Feb 22, 2014
40
0
I concur with many of the previous posts ;

Usage: photo post processing, and the occasional video work based on DSLR footage or static photos slideshows; can be considered pro but this is not a source of revenue - for now.

  • Can run OS X
  • Independent screen so I could get 4K and avoid changing screens if i upgrade
  • Silent
  • Powerful
  • Could get 6 cores

So far available GPU power is very under utilized for my usage so far, i hope next Lightroom comes with GPU support like Capture One does.
Core i7 iMac power would have been good enough given the current state of software, but i really wanted to avoid an all-in-one and get a 4K
 
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The Mercurian

macrumors 68020
Mar 17, 2012
2,061
2,303
Yeah would love a 6 core machine - but at the current mac pro prciing I am much more likely to build a windows box (I don't care at all about GPU so I can save on a build)
 
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drsox

macrumors 68000
Apr 29, 2011
1,564
99
Xhystos
Well if you want to know how loud it is, you need that chamber. But unless you are a recording engineer, chances are your working environment is around 30 dB's loud to begin with so you certainly will not hear your Mac Pro.

Not in my case. I'm very sensitive to noise. My environment is very quiet.
I spent 8 years building very very quiet PCs to minimise noise. Macs are very quiet (and better) so I've stopped now.

----------

The only noise now is my NAS which I'm seriously considering moving to another room so I can work in silence.

A wise decision. The only quiet NASs are those in another room.
 
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iBug2

macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
4,213
459
Not in my case. I'm very sensitive to noise. My environment is very quiet.
I spent 8 years building very very quiet PCs to minimise noise. Macs are very quiet (and better) so I've stopped now.


How quiet is your environment? Less than 15 dB's? How do you even measure that? Most dB meters can only measure 30+ dB's, so you need special equipment to measure an environment that quiet. Most "quiet" environments are 30+ dB's which is far louder than a Mac Pro anyway.
 
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Philip D

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2014
12
0
I don't think it is solely Apple that have devalued the word "pro".

I have some "pro" golf clubs, a professional cocktail shaker and some steel toe-capped boots but I am neither a professional golfer, bartender or builder ;).

We just admire professional grade quality for our recreational activities (which are arguably more important than work anyway) and are willing to pay in line with a real professional to enhance these experiences.
 
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macpro2000

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2005
997
685
Are all of you buying AppleCare before the one-year is up, too? I think $279 for APP is almost a no brainer for a machine that is costing a lot of buyers over $4K. Especially considering how expensive any failed part could end up costing.

Geez, just buy AppleCare off of eBay for less than $100. Not reason to buy directly from Apple unless you want to spend more. I got mine for $85. And yes, a good piece of mind for my machine that was nearly $7k.
 
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SeattleMoose

Suspended
Jul 17, 2009
1,936
1,657
Der Wald
While I do "professional quality" audio recordings, I do not sell my music so technically I am not a "professional". It is just a hobby. But having a "silent" computer in my cramped studio is a real plus. My good old 2007 MBP does tend to ramp up the tiny fans which do bleed onto the audio tracks when using "hot" Mics. So that is my primary reason for getting one....purity of recording quality.

That being said, even if I was not doing music, time is money and we all have a limited quantity of time. So doing everything faster is also a huge incentive (e.g. using Handbrake to convert DVDs...).

So essentially, I HAVE to get the nMP as my requirements of "Mac, silent, and fastest available" precludes anything else.
 
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