Mac Pro for photography

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mavericks7913, Aug 19, 2016.

  1. mavericks7913 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
    Location:
    NY
    #1
    If I am going to buy Mac Pro, what parts should I focus on? CPU, RAM, or etc?
     
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #2
    A trash can Mac Pro or the old style? Professional or hobbyist? RAM and monitor. Don't forget the monitor. And storage considerations and a backup plan.
     
  3. mavericks7913 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 17, 2014
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    New one of course. I already have a professional display which has Adobe RGB color space and 4k resolution. I have NAS system too.
     
  4. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #4
    I would wait. Current Mac Pro is 3 years old.
     
  5. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #5
    Not of course. the technology in those nearing 3 year old trash cans is only slightly less dated that the previous gen for what is now a lot more money. What will serve you best really depends on what you choice of software is best served by but overall I would make sure to get as much RAM as you can tolerate buying, 48GB or more.
     
  6. pat500000 macrumors 604

    pat500000

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #6
  7. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #7
    In general RAM, the best single core performance CPU, and a SSD.
     
  8. buster84 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    #8
    Id suggest a used 2009-2012 model with a 12 core processor set (x5690, or one with a lower processor and do the upgrade yourself). You can add an RX480 video card to run your 4k monitor, as well as add a m.2 pci-e ssd for 1500mb read/writes.

    Then once this is all setup, enjoy it for a bit until the new mac pro's come out (this year, or maybe next) and feel free to upgrade anytime, but apple better have some kind of huge upgrade since dual x5690's do extremely well especially for being 5-6 year old processors (trashcans are now 3 years going on 4 years old) and id fully expect a new mac to be in the 5k range, so unless its giving you triple the performance you may feel the need to post pone your upgrade for another year or two. When it comes to photoshop, unless you doing some major graphic design you probably wouldnt notice any real world difference between a faster processor or a slower one, and if there is any its probably only a few seconds. The biggest help with photoshop will be a m.2 ssd, otherwise if your doing some heavy 4k Video editing work then you'll definitely notice the difference in speed.
     
  9. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #9
    My quad core Skylake matched the 12 core Mac Pro in the multi processor Photoshop benchmark thread we have here. But mostly you will be using the power of a single core and GPU. In that case the older Macs are a poor proposition and mostly don't offer true support for your professional display (graphics drivers limited to 8bit output) if you decide to use your own GPU. MacOS basically doesn't have true support for AdobeRGB displays due to the driver limititation and has to use dithering to pull off wide gamut output (it does a good job though).

    16GB RAM is ideal, most people will hardly tap that much with photography. Open the Activity Monitor with your largest files or heaviest workflow and you'll see how much you need.
     
  10. theunderseaclub macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #10
    i'd suggest a big enough ssd, or two ssds in raid 0 for speed. the photos from my nikon d800 are around 36mb in raw, and there is always a 2-3 second loading time for each photo even on my 8tb hard drive RAID 0.

    If you're looking into the black trashcan mac pro, then a fastn SSD raid 0 external set up will do you quite well.
     
  11. koyoot macrumors 601

    koyoot

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    #11
    RAM, SSD, CPU, in this order.

    32 GB-64 GB, 1 TB, 6 cores. However, I would wait for next gen. MP. Broadwell-EP, and DDR4, and NVMe SSDs with presumably 2.5 GB/s transfer rates will be nice addition.
     
  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #12
    Already tested PCIE SSD with and without RAID. Didn't make noticeable difference over standard SATA 3 SSD when opening images from D800E or Hasselblad HD4 or 100mpixel layered TIFFs. It seems strange but then you remember computers are not just hardware. The apps themselves have their limits when trying to open and save files.
     
  13. filmak, Aug 20, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016

    filmak macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
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    between earth and heaven
    #13
    I think that this is not entirely correct.
    The 8 bit or 10 bit input/output has to do only with the gradations, how rough and visible are (8 bit) or smoother / not visible (10 bit), and here, there is a role for dithering. So how fine the steps are between each shade of color is a job for the bits.
    But this has nothing to do with the ability of a calibrated high end display to show full Adobe RGB or whatever gamut it's capable of. So a display can show full Adobe RGB, but in the case of 8 bit input it will have some visible banding, or in the case of 10 bit it will be a lot smoother.
     
  14. Reality4711 macrumors 6502

    Reality4711

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    scotland
    #14
    There is no definitive answer to this question without knowing your goals. Pro. usage doing wedding? portraiture? stock?
    whatever. Semi pro. personal. you get the picture:p

    Until you get to the 100layer (e.g.) state most macs will do the stuff with stills as long as they can drive your display. So to me it is a matter of grunt level required? Bit more precision please Mr OP..
     
  15. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040

    SoyCapitanSoyCapitan

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2015
    #15
    Yes, I'll just post this and end of.

    The iMac 5k is the first Mac in history to support 10bit colour and El Cap enabled it for the 2013 Mac Pro. It has never existed on the Mac platform before, not even in third party drivers.

    Adobe couldn't support 30bit display in the Mac version of Photoshop until just a few months ago, and even then it will only work if you have the 10bit display driver enabled.

    https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3538545

    http://macperformanceguide.com/blog/2015/20151105_2300-OSX_ElCapitan-10bit-dualNEC.html

    http://nofilmschool.com/2015/11/apple-paving-way-10-bit-color-its-latest-operating-system-update

    http://petapixel.com/2015/10/30/os-x-el-capitan-quietly-unlocked-10-bit-color-in-imacs-and-mac-pros/

    https://www.cinema5d.com/5k-imac-10-bit-color/

    But then there's the monitor issue. Lots of sub-€500 monitors these days claim to have 10 bit support, but this is mostly marketing and misleading. They also claim to be able to display 10 billion colours 'at once', which is nonsense because:

    1. There aren't even close to that many pixels on the highest red screen. Gamuts are available palettes, not how many colours can be seen on screen at one time.

    2. Humans with normal vision are trichromats and can see about 10 million colours at a time, at most.

    3. Most colourful digital images only have several thousand colours in them, and here it helps to have hardware and drivers truly capable of showing accurate gradation. Without driver support for wide gamut then you get pseudo-support such as dithering. Remember some years back when MBP owners won a legal case against Apple for claiming wide gamut support when their screens only supported 6 bit colour? Same thing could happen now to monitor manufacturers who are not honest in their marketing.

    4. True wide gamut monitors have dedicated ASICs and LUTs. These so called wide gamut support from cheap Dell and HP don't offer these features. They aren't bad monitors, they will do a professional job for a lot of people, but they should never be compared to an Eizo or NEC.

    In conclusion, you can certainly produce professional work on an 8bit monitor with 8 bit drivers. People did it for years and years. But if you want the absolute best and most accurate results, the Mac platform has always had this one downside for people who really like to go deep into the tiny details. Most Macs just don't support 10 bit output, and that includes all these guys with their Mac Pro towers and sometimes expensive graphic card upgrades. They could install Windows on the same machine and ouila 10 bit support.

    Btw, would be good if someone could see if Sierra has enabled 10 bit support on more than just the iMac 5k and Mac Pro 2013.
     

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