Mac Pro Set Up

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bigchris75, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. bigchris75 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #1
    Hello All,
    These forums are fantastic. I was hoping for some opinions on the following.

    I work for a very large medical device company and am due for a new computer. I had a Mac Pro at my job previous to this one and the computing power was outstanding. I will be doing standard graphic design stuff like editing large images, creating print materials, web graphics etc. using Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. What we also want to do is bring all of our video editing in house so we can avoid paying different vendors large amounts of money anytime we need to change our videos. We have about 20 videos which are all surgical footage, demos, technique guides and the like that are anywhere from 2 to 25 minutes long. These videos need to be updated a couple times a year when a reference, claim or something else changes. Right now we have 5 or 6 different video vendors and it gets really expensive to pay all these guys to do simple edits that I could do myself. Anyway blah blah blah I'm going on forever.

    So, if you guys were going to have your company pay for a Mac Pro for graphic design and video editing, what would you choose? I'm thinking the Two 2.66GHz 6 core will be enough (12 core total), 16GB Ram (I can always expand later) and then I'm looking for advice on a RAID card, and graphics card.

    As far as software goes I am a newbie with video editing but I think we should probably purchase Adobe Premier. I need to find some training/classes to take on this too.

    Thanks in advance for any input you guys have. Thanks so much for being part of these forums and exchanging free information.

    Cheers,

    Chris
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    The 12-core might be overkill for simple Premier stuff. But if you are having work pay, go for it. Might as well get the 5870 upgrade. The RAID card can be answered by someone else as I do not currently need or use a HW RAID. 16GB is probably fine but get it 3rd party as you could buy the RAID card with the difference in price.
     
  3. bigchris75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the feedback derbothaus, I appreciate it. It's a good point about getting 3rd party RAM, will be cheaper.
     
  4. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #4
    If work is paying for it, get the dual hex cores.
    Depending on how many monitors you use, you might be better with 2 5770's than 1 5870.
    Ram can be cheaper from a 3rd party.

    I've heard a lot of people complain about the apple raid card.
    Most people say the software raid is more reliable.
    I've only used software raid myself.

    Good Luck and congratulations!!!
     
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    If you're going to be transitioning to video editing in-house, you'll also need to get an idea of what platform and file formats the contracted editing houses were working with. This will be very important in making the decision on which NLE and workflow is most appropriate.

    Typically, most post houses work with FCP or Avid. Premiere isn't as common. And for motion graphics, they might be using After Effects or Nuke. Find these things out! For example, if a contractor is an FCP house that deals primarily with ProRes files, you'll need FCP to have access to those codecs.

    You'll also want to determine whether or not ditching the contractors is the right thing to do in the long haul. This will become especially apparent when it comes time to produce brand new content. If you're new to the video world, this can affect project quality and turnaround time. I don't know what position you're in to be making such decisions, but if you truly want to move to in-house video, it might be worth investigating getting an experienced editor on staff (or perhaps on call) for that purpose.
     
  6. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    I think a single 6-core is plenty for your needs, honestly. My whole business is editing video, special effects, graphics and photography. I use CS5 Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator and every now and then, InDesign. I'd save the money you'd pay for a dual processor and put that into a real RAID solution. That means a hardware RAID card (NOT the Apple RAID card) and array with at least 8 disk bays. If you combine the 12 processes that Adobe CS5 uses with a fast parity disk array, you can be assured that anything you do will run smoothly. I know because I have this system in place myself.
     
  7. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I'll add that you should consider retaining your favorite video vendor for those jobs that you either don't have time to make right, or find too challenging to do in-house. That's why I'm in business, because it's not always as easy as it looks. :)
     
  8. bigchris75 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    #8
    Thanks Wonderspark, I'm sure we will definitely retain at least one of the vendors for special projects and the like. But truth be told most of the editing has been to the text shown in the video, with an occasional voiceover edit. Thanks for the input on the processor too. I'm new to this, and will be getting some training later this year.
     
  9. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #9
    The earlier RAID cards for the original Mac Pro and following models that accepted FBDIMM memory were pretty crappy. Highly unreliable and extremely flaky.

    The 2010 Mac Pro RAID card, however, is an entirely different beast. I've been running one for close to a year now and I have no complaints. It works great, rock solid and decent performance.

    Yeah, you can buy a 3rd party card for less that /might/ run faster then the Apple RAID card, but have fun dealing with firmware and driver issues with that (as I've read more threads about 3rd party RAID card compatibility then I have about issues with either Mac Pro RAID card).

    Full disclosure- I run Apple disk drives. A lot of people will tell you the Apple drives are overpriced- because they kinda are, but they'll also neglect to mention that Apple disk drives are covered under the Apple warranty (and Applecare if you opt for that).

    This means that if you purchase Applecare and your Mac Pro ships with 4 drives, those drives are covered under warranty BY APPLE (and not by the disk drive manufacture!) for 3 years.

    I'm not sure how many of you have ever dealt with WD or Seagate for disk drive replacements, but it's a pretty brutal experience. I had an Apple drive fail on a laptop once and it was replaced within a day at the local Apple shop. You will not get the same coverage and service with 3rd party drives, and compatibility with the RAID controller isn't guaranteed (though the 2010 RAID card is still less finicky when it comes to disk drives then the previous generation).

    Anyways, I'd recommend it if you have the cash. They work fine, they're easy to administer, and performance is pretty good. You're also guaranteed that the card will work throughout the lifetime of the machine, no questions asked. Trying to get 3rd party RAID cards running under OS X is a crapshoot, and Software RAID is a huge hack (especially software RAID0). Hardware RAID5 through an Apple card is about the best thing you can buy these days for internal storage.

    -SC
     
  10. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10
    While I had no problems with my Apple RAID card, I quickly outgrew it. Had I known better, I'd have skipped it. It's too pricey for such little benefit in my opinion.

    I have a lot of room to grow with my Areca RAID card, which has been a wonderful experience. No more battery conditioning hassles every three months, way faster and RAID6 is nice.

    As far as support goes, I've had emails back and forth with the engineers themselves at Areca in Taiwan within hours when I had questions. That's pretty cool, and better than some of my dealings with the geniuses at the Apple Store.
     
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #11
     
  12. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #12
    Do you know how much Apple charges for a HD in pre-Thailand day's. 240.00 for a 400GB Hitachi. Crazy, insane, prices. It is worth under 50.00. But it has an apple logo slapped on the top.
     

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