More important for After FX? Kick Ass video card or More processor power?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by spiralof5, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. spiralof5 macrumors newbie

    Jul 3, 2010

    I think I already know the answer to this question but I'm running After Effects, Blender and Maya. My home Mac cooks with just ATI HD 4890 but my procs are clocked at 3.0 (dual quads). Looking to buy either a Mac or a Dell at work (not my money so were are about locked in to 3480.00.)

    Here's the major differences I see.

    Mac: 2.4Ghz proc
    Dell:2.26Ghz proc

    Mac: 5870 HD ATI
    PC: 2GB NVIDIA® Quadro® 4000, DUAL MON, 2DP &

    Mac: 6gb ram
    Dell: 4gb ram

    I guess the question is it worth getting the mac for + .14 ghz, a substandard graphics card (really just a gaming card), and +2 gb of ram?

    Or do you feel that the graphics card is more worth it and a better buy? Mind it, will be probably another 10 years before they upgrade again lol (god, hopefully I will not be here that long).


  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    What CPUs are they? The GHz aren't everything, the amount of cores etc is crucial. I think the main point is wether you're going to run OS X or Windows. If it's Windows, just get the Dell. They offer more upgradeability plus their warranties are enormous
  3. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    It's close, but I think I'd have to give the edge to GPU.

    Not entirely sure why you think that Quadro is the better card. Depending on the model number, the 5870 could be much faster. Barefeats just ran some benchmarks today and the 5870 kicked the Quadro 4800's ass.

    That Quadro has more VRAM, but you'd be fine with 1 gig of VRAM.

    Also, we have Dell workstations in the office we use for After Effects. Build quality is terrible, and the user experience is not as good as our Mac Pros.
  4. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    A Quadro under Windows is a very different beast to one under OS X. However after effects doesn't seem to benefit from Quadro drivers like other applications do so the Radeon 5870 will be better with it's raw power.
  5. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Im if its just Maya then Id go with a tricked out Dell.
    I use a Boxx 8400s thats decent with a Quardo 5600.
    Im waiting on getting a 12-core. Hoping that Nvidia drivers come out.
    I use After Effects on Mac Pro here and loving it.
    Sure we can shove that in the Boxx but then Id be out of a Maya box :)
    I dont think the openGl is much of a factor (if anything its been a pain with AE).
    id go with RAM and Cores since AE CS5 is 64bit now.
    You cant go wrong with any really.
    I run Maya on macs at local college (I teach) and they ran decent on really old Mac Intels.
    It all depends on what your doing.
    For me its Boxx for Maya and Renderman then MacPro for everything else.
  6. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    Might be a bit retarded,correct if I am wrong..

    Talked to a friend that told that the CS5 afterfx really runs on PC,thanks to good drivers for the gfx cards.
    Apparently the mac version is a slog compared to the pc one as the gpu utilization sucks.

    Interested to hear what the situation is.
  7. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Really depends. The initial 10.6.4 NVidia drivers sucked and were very significantly slower than the Windows version. Even brought down my entire machine at some point and I'd have to hard restart.

    The graphics update has changed things, so the situation may have improved.

    Regardless, OpenGL mode isn't that important for some effects. Most professionals I know run with it off, although some plugins will use the GPU.
  8. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Are we talking MacBook Pro? We dont run AE on that just Mac Pros. So far so good with CS5. Using a Quadro 4800 with it ;)
  9. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    Yes, Mac Pros. The 10.6.4 NVidia drivers on all Macs had a lot of issues.
  10. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    can you give me an example of what to look for thats causing probs? we typically do everything in 1080p here.
    We use the 3D Camera allot but most of the actual 3D are sequences rendered from Maya/RMan.
  11. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    I wrote a plugin for After Effects, and applied it in After Effects with OpenGL mode on (very simple plugin, just messed with one color channel.) Under the old 10.6.4 drivers, it would crash after a few hundred frames. Under the new ones, totally fixed. I had other software that had the same behavior.

    The crashing seemed to only happen on the 8800, but the performance issues were across all NVidia cards on all machines, and were fixed by the NVidia update.

    It's pretty well documented here on the forums.
  12. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Care to share the plugin tester? Id like to see how this works with the Quadro FX4800 and FX4500.
    Were on the fence with the new Macs due to the drivers. If we have to pull the trigger than its ATI for us here :(
  13. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    It's a test render component of a plugin that's under NDA, so I can't send it over, sorry. :( It may be available for free soon, but that's up to the bean counters.

    I'm moving to ATI myself. It's sad, because I do CUDA programming, but I just can't deal with the broken drivers anymore. So, as soon as the 5870 is available, I'm going to be ordering it.
  14. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Oh thats okay thanks :) What about the 6000 is that even worth waiting for? For the Mac side I honestly just want the best since I budget for new Macs every three years. If I have to buy now, I can at least save some money for upgrades like the ATI 6000 or hoping Nvidia Quadro 6000. Doing budgets isnt fun, takes away from my 3D time :p
  15. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    I haven't heard anything about the AMD 6000 series (I guess as of today the ATI brand is dead and we're supposed to call them AMD cards now)... I do know there is a new Fermi based Quadro coming to the Mac soon.
  16. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Yea Im daydreaming hoping :) But in the end Im going to have buy the Mac upgrades. Crappy thing about corporate budgets, they have to be spent this year and cant be added to next year :p
  17. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    With my old MBP, it took about 40 minutes to render a 17 second clip. It now takes about 2 minutes on my 12-core. The time saved is amazing, just imagine if it was a 10 minute clip. However, making this clip did cause the GPU to fail in my MBP twice and I had to reboot. So I think both are important.
  18. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    I have to buy a few Mac Pro's soon. I waited as long as I can. Im gonna have to get them with the ATI and use another budget to get the Nvidia cards (if they ever come out) later.
    Now some companies out there do BTO Mac Pros, one in particular is Silverado.
    Anyone know how these companies get around the warranty issues?
    Better yet, anyone know of same type of company up here in Canada?
  19. goMac macrumors 604

    Apr 15, 2004
    They're a value added reseller. Warranty is preserved, just like if you bought at any other non Apple store.
  20. wahya macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2010
    oh my god , when i read all this i get very confuse !!! im planing to buy a mac pro , i want to work with all softwares from adobe CS5 .i plan to use it doing websites, 2d animation, movie edition ....... i also plan to use finalcut studio for color correction , etc .
    The big question i have is this . is it good for me to get the Quadro FX 4800 or the ATI Radeon 5870 for all this things ?

    the mac pro i will get is this :

    Apple Mac Pro 3.33 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon BASE SYSTEM
    • One 3.33GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon “Westmere”
    • 16GB (4x4GB)
    • 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive

    please i really dont want to make a mistake , as everybody knows all this coust monay and i can not affort to make a bad decition , i will apreciet all the help you can give me , thank you very much .........
  21. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    The ATI or AMD base is perfect for that. Only reason I like the FX4800 is so that I can move all Maya seats to Mac from Windows.
    Sadly that could still take many moons :(
  22. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Trust me, thats a decent system. Should last you many years :)
  23. wahya macrumors newbie

    Oct 1, 2010
    ok so the ATI is the best solucion !!! is there something more powerfull that the 5870 from ati ? i mean from the same company
  24. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Thats when you get into the waiting game.
    I cant afford to wait for the AMD 6000 or whatever Nvidia finally releases.
    Ill just eat the costs with the base ATI and then buy whatever card I need in the future.

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