Mac Pro - Intensive usage

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sk8monkey, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. sk8monkey macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    Hey guys,

    I am about to purchase the new 12 core mac pro. I am upgrading from a 17" 2008 MBP, so I know the power difference will be amazing. My number one usage for the computer will be 3d rendering (cinema 4d & vray). My main concern is power consumption and possible overheating..

    I have heard that many people use an Uninterruptible Power Supply along with their workstations to prevent the computer shutting off incorrectly during a power outage. I would like to hear peoples opinions and advice on this topic.

    Also, I will be doing a lot of long renders, probably days in render times, is there any chance that the mac will overheat or perhaps blow a fuse in the power etc?

    I know these probably sound like stupid questions, but this is a BIG purchase for me and I want to be certain I am making the right choice.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    It'll only have a chance of overheating if you put it in a poorly ventilated place like those cabinet things underneath computer desks or if there's a fan failure. Otherwise the cooling is adequate enough to keep your computer from spontaneously combust - this is obvious since they would design the computer/cooling as such. And even if it does reach critical temperature, the Mac Pro will shut itself off to prevent any possible thermal damage.

    No chance of blowing any fuses or the sorts unless your house/office is poorly wired.

    UPS' are generally a good idea since its obviously bad for computers to suddenly shut down especially if they're in the middle of writing data to disk - this can leave things corrupted/damaged. Apparently people suggest to use a UPS with a real sine wave rather than simulated - you can search about it on the forums.
  3. mism macrumors member

    May 25, 2010
    I've not had any problems with mine running for long periods of time. It kicks out a lot of heat but that's just the fans and case design doing their job.

    It can be a good idea to render animations as tiff sequences so if there is a crash or power failure its easy to pick up where you left off.
  4. degl macrumors member


    Jun 12, 2010
    I have a 2009 8-Core MacPro only 1 day at week is when i turning off, running graphic intensive application and render animations with Maya and After Effects, editing a 13 chapter series with animation and till now, no problems at all.
  5. macz1 macrumors 6502


    Oct 28, 2007
    These machines are built for being tortured with CPU intensive apps. They cool their innards very effectively as long as you don't severely obstruct the airflow.
    if you live in a very hot place, there is always the possibility to increase the fan speed using smcfancontrol or similar apps. Even a slight speed increase lowers the temps considerably when the computer is under full load. But its never really necessary.
  6. Ozric macrumors newbie

    Jul 22, 2004
    I recommend an APC battery backup unit, I have two, newer one is Back-UPS XS 1500 w/LED readout-shows exactly how much time you have left with given equipment plugged in, load percentage, etc. Only issue is PowerChute software is all Windows, so auto shutdown when you're not around may be a concern.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    As long as you don't put it in an enclosed space such as a cabinet, you'll be fine.

    In terms of power, you won't blow a fuse/trip a circuit breaker unless it's overloaded (i.e. trying to draw 20A on a 15A circuit for example), or there's a fault in the structural wiring (house/apartment; includes bad breakers).

    Take a look at the UPS wiki.

    Pay particular attention to the types, as ideally, you'd want to run one that is an Online (sometimes called Double Conversion = pure sine wave output and always draws power from the batteries), or worst case, a Line Interactive unit that provides true sine wave output and has an auto transformer (pulls up low wall voltage during brownout conditions <undervolt> that won't trip the switch to the batteries; switch usually occurs at 90VAC).

    There are other types, but avoid them like the proverbial Plague (switched, but no auto transformer, and they're poorly stepped wave output).

    Personally, I go for APC units.

    You don't need software like Power Chute for OS X anyway. ;) Actually, you don't have to run it under newer versions of Windows either, but it does allow you to monitor the unit though.
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I have a UPS attached to my mac pro tower and it has already spent days rendering scenes. Mac Pros will handle anything you throw at them just fine.

    Also the mac pro has an amazing case design. Air flows through the entire case, not just out the back.
  9. sk8monkey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2008
    Wow, thanks for all the very helpful responses.. I guess I will have to start saving my pennies again for a UPS..

    But it might be a while before I can get one, as my bank account will be destroyed after the mac haha
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Here's an example of an APC 1500VA Online unit that's been refurbished. Note the cost vs. MSRP, though you can find them new for less ($766 at Amazon).

    Here's a TrippLite equivalent (new) as well (cheaper than APC).
  11. EricTheRed71 macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2006
    We use our Mac Pros regularly as render nodes for Vray (3ds max) & they can have the CPU usage pegged at 100% for days on end.

    No problems so far (4 years).

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