NAB 2012 and the Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 24Frames, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. 24Frames macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2012
    #1
    Apple are attending but not exhibiting at NAB 2012, which is next week. I had been thinking that we would see a Mac Pro updated before (more likely) or during (less likely) NAB 2012, but it is now looking more likely that the MP update will be quietly released alongside updated MBP 15s towards the end of the month (best guess would be week commencing 23rd April). Given Xeon E5-26xx workstations have NOT yet been released by Dell and that the HP have only just launched a few more weeks wait for updated MPs seems likely.

    In a sense Apple have quite a bit at stake here having made a complete mess of the FCPX launch, where if they had waited until multi-cam support and a few other features that have now been added in updates were ready they would have received a much better reaction. And yes I know most of their revenue comes from iDigitialDistractions, but I think they want success in all areas, particularly as Mac sales are growing and margins are very high.

    Now here's a thought, once we have new Mac Pros with Thunderbolt then, for power users, using a 27 iMac as a display may make more sense than the 27 inch Thunderbolt display, as it would give you an extra 4 cores of processing for 700 - 1100 USD.
     
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #2
    But the iMac would only be used as a monitor in that case. Or are you suggesting the iMac hardware would be accessed by the MacPro over Thunderbolt somehow? Don't get me wrong, that would be pretty neat and we've all pondered thoughts of linking Macs together for increased power, I just don't think it can work that way.
     
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #3
    you don't understand apple. Apple would never do that. Apple is about a single closed product. they don't do "expansion" or "linking" or "upgrades". That's just not how they work. They go all out on a single product, release it, and move on to work on the next.
     
  4. 24Frames thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 23, 2012
    #4
    When an iMac is in Target Display Mode applications may still run on the CPU. So, lets make a setup. You are using e-on Software Vue on a Mac Pro (not early enough 2012) 16-Core connected by Thunderbolt to a 27-inch iMac in Target display mode. Both computers are connected to a network, for example an AirPort extreme.

    You are working on a scene in Vue and making preview renders as you tweak the scene. To use the iMac to speed up the preview render in the render settings you simply click on the Network Icon where you can select any networked computer running a Vue Render Cow (rendering client). That's really all there is too it, both computers will render the preview.

    To create the final render you set the render going on the Mac Pro, this ties up the Mac Pro, but that doesn't matter because you can take the iMac out of target display mode and work on that.

    Almost all 3D applications have network rendering functionality, as does Adobe After Effects.

    This setup is very flexible, because by having two computers you can render on one whilst working on another project on the other. The only thing you have to check is that the software licensing will allow this. Adobe CS, MAXON CINEMA 4D, Luxology modo, e-on Software Vue, to name a few, allow you to install their software on two computers (unlimited for modo) provided that only one installation is used at any one time. They also supply separate render clients where the license agreements allow the use of a set number (unlimited for MAXON CINEMA 4D Studio) to run simultaneously.

    Finally you can screen share any mac on the network, so there are many way to utilise the additional processing power in multiple machines.
     
  5. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 18, 2010
    #5
    They made Qmaster a part of Lion, works pretty well... But I don't see an iMac doing much lifting next to a 16 core 32 thread monster !
     
  6. smali macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2010
    #6
    I would argue that this makes more sense for a macbook pro+imac setup. It could act as a docking station and provide additional cores for when the macbook pro is struggling with renders. I can't really see how much benefit you would get if you already got a 16 core beast under the table.
     
  7. tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

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    Nov 11, 2007
    #7
    Clearly, patience is difficult. Generating angst is apparently part of the Apple marketing strategy.
     
  8. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #8
    I wouldn't call it real network rendering with After Effects. You have to setup a duplicate project on another machine, then both machines just work on different frames and place an image sequence into a shared watched folder. Call me when I can use another machines CPU power to help render projects on another system.
     
  9. Glen Quagmire macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    How do you know this, exactly? Do you have insider information? Or are you just guessing?
     
  10. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #10
    Those weren't the core issue. If they had just outlined support for FCP 7 for some amount of time (so that folks could squat on 7 for 6-12 months) and just said they were going to fill in some features over time. That would have worked also.

    There still would a bunch of hoopla over the launch as a significant number of folks were just itching for an a excuse to revert back to Avid/Adode/etc. and competitors FUD campaigns would kick off regardless.

    But it can be done cheaper, or at the very least be straightforwardly done, without TB.

    Mac Pro with normal multiple DP outputs. Hook a substantially cheaper display ( or more expensive with color gamut that the TB display doesn't have). For example, a HP ZR2740w or Dell U2711 (about $100-250 less expensive).

    The "for $700-1100" is over and above the $999 for the TB display. If can substitute a cheaper/better display than can use that delta to pay for a Mac Mini. Hook it up with Ethernet just like the iMac is network in other solution. ( same local 1GbE switch costs if keep node traffic local on desktop ). Mini cost perhaps $999 (for a Quad) or $1499 (two 2.5's but more RAM and two GPUs) .

    Slightly bigger footprint (if don't just stack mini(s) on top of Mac Pro.). The quad mini only has iGPU so if batch jobs sent to it leverage that then iMac better.

    Upside, if get a monitor with multiple inputs don't have to VNC/Remote-Desktop to see the mini's display (although do have multiple keyboards at that point. )

    Starting with "replace the TB display" .... which leads to "... use iMac.." is the tail wagging the dog. Apple may unaturally shoehorn TB into the upcoming Mac Pro, but seems likely an increase cost will occur for doing that because it is such an unnatural fit.
     
  11. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #11
    That network rendering is basically how all grid/cloud/distributed/network/parallel computing works.

    Several computers are grouped together. A user on one machine submits a job. That job is copied to every computer in the group. Each computer starts working on a piece of the solution. All of the pieces are merged back to form a single solution.
     
  12. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #12
    I'm starting to think MP won't be released till August (if at all) the way things are going. I wonder if Logic Pro X will sneak out before then?
     
  13. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #13
    Maybe the new Logic will have video tutorials featuring luminaries like John Mayer and Drake? They teach you how to play chords and use pitch correction. :rolleyes:
    Apple will store all your projects and sync to iCloud and your band's MySpace page.
     
  14. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

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    Jun 15, 2009
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    Hell, AL
    #14
    At this point, I would take that over Avid's latest mess. :p

    I am serious thinking of going full-in on Reason 6. It does everything pretty well, if I can just wrap my head around it after spending so much time with Pro Tools.
     
  15. Tutor, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    #15
    Buzz-Buzz. I've come a calling. Check out Muster 7 render farm management system [ http://www.vvertex.com/muster-details.php ]. I love it because its external renderers support list (as of 11-11-2011) includes:

    1. Autodesk Maya any version up to 2012 using the following render engines: Maya software, Maya hardware, Maya vector, Maya Mental Ray, Cloth cache, Layered multi render, Gelato, Renderman, Turtle, VRay, 3Delight
    2. Autodesk Maya sliced image any version up to 2012 using the following render engines: Maya software, Mental Ray,
    3. Renderman
    4. Autodesk 3D Studio Max up to version 2012 with any embedded render engine
    5. Autodesk 3D Studio Max sliced image up to version 2012 with any embedded render engine
    6. Adobe After Effects up to CS5.5
    7. Autodesk Studio with any render engine
    8. Blender
    9. Cinema 4D
    10. Autodesk Combustion
    11. Digital Fusion
    12. NVidia Gelato
    13. Newtek Lightwave
    14. Newtek Lightwave sliced image
    15. Maxwell Render
    16. Mayaman
    17. Modo
    18. Mental Ray standalone
    19. Nuke
    20. Apple shake
    21. Autodek Toxik
    22. Vue Renderbull
    23. Autodesk XSI
    24. Autodesk XSI sliced image

    P.S. - It's cross platform, runs natively on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X so that you can use another machine's CPU power (even those running different OSes) to help render projects on another system. Now, how about that?
     
  16. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #16
    It's a bit vague how it works. Would I need AE and all my plugins installed on the extra rendering systems or need to have my project setup on a networked folder or anything? I understand the process when you work with 3D projects but with After Effects, needing to setup identical projects with all plugins working the same and shuffling hundreds of GBs around of assets isn't very appealing.

    I'm waiting for the day I can buy a second MacPro for example, link it to my main one, and now it's twice as powerful. I want THAT!

    Imagine a room full of Mac Minis working as one!
     
  17. Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    Jun 25, 2009
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    #17
    Both, sort of, but not quite that burdensome. After Effects network rendering involves copying the project and source files to one networked folder, and then rendering the project. Assuming that you have a full licensed copy of After Effects, you can set it up to work with render-only versions of After Effects called render engines. Your license entitles you to install as many copies of the render engine as you want on your network, as long as one activated copy of After Effects is installed on that network. You install render engines in the same manner as the full version of the application, but you do not activate them. You run the render engine using the Adobe After Effects Render Engine shortcut in the Adobe After Effects CS5/5.5 folder. When you install an After Effects render engine on a computer, it contains all the plug-ins included with After Effects. If a composition uses a plug-in from another manufacturer, the plug-in must be present on all computers that will render the composition. However, support for network rendering varies among plug-in manufacturers. Before you set up a network to render effects created with third-party plug-ins, review the documentation for your plug-ins or contact the plug-in manufacturers and get answers to the following questions:

    Does the license agreement for the plug-in allow installing multiple copies on a network for the purposes of rendering?
    Are there any other limitations or tips that apply to using the plug-in for network rendering?

    This is not wholly necessary - only one project file is needed. And the render engine setup is more or less a one-time burden, except if you add new plugins often. From your iPad (or a bulkier system) you can control every other detail through Muster's automation.
     
  18. itsamacthing macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Location:
    Bangkok
    #18
    XGRID - i think it requires XGRID server running on the LAN for the two macs to share resources on one machine. I think the Mac Pro will come, don't think its dead, but Apple really got them selves into a pickle being tired to this slow to come CPU line
     
  19. Tutor, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012

    Tutor macrumors 65816

    Tutor

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    Jun 25, 2009
    Location:
    Home of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
    #19
    XGRID works with command-line capable applications such as Cinema4d. I'm working on getting it to run Geekbench2 across all of my WolfPacks (60 physical cores running at the equivalent of 4.5-4.6 GHz w/TB and HT; 24 physical cores running at the equivalent of 3.6 GHz w/o TB and HT; 28 physical cores running at the equivalent of 3.2 GHz w/TB and HT; 22 physical cores running at the equivalent of 2.8 GHz w/HT; and 14 physical cores running at the equivalent of 3.0 GHz w/HT. Total: 148 physical cores, excluding all of the following, still fully functional, and all networked and overclocked [except for the last 2 and as otherwise indicated - I'm only human] systems: my 1-Atari 040+, 3-Amiga Video Toasters+, 1-Commodore 1200+, 1-Commodore 500+, 2(1-2P quad and1-1P duo)-PowerMac G5s (not overclocked), 5-DP PowerMac G4s+, 1-PowerMac G3+, 1-PowerMac 9600/200+, 4-PowerMac 8500/120s+, 1-PowerPC 7500+, 1-PowerPC 180+, 3-PowerMac 8100/80s+, 1-IIfx+, 1-IIci+, 1-IIcx+, (other early Amigas+, Ataris+ and Macs+ are in storage, but still fully operational), 1-Tandy 100 and my first system - my completely self-built HeathKit wonderhorse - circa 1977 - it's just a glorified calculator).

    + = overclocked by swapping to fastest compatible chip of that era and/or swapping or otherwise tweaking the timing chip.
     
  20. robains macrumors regular

    robains

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #20
    You guys/gals still waiting for the vapor hardware called a MacPro ... Good luck with that. ;) Funny, I've heard Jan 2012 we'll see new MacPro, then it was end of March, then it was NAB 2012, now it's late April ... you guys are cracking me up!

    Apple has no booth at NAB, but they are there walking around?? I can only imagine they are there just to confirm "there is no big money to be made in this market".

    I've moved on to Windows 7 and all the hardware that works with it, Adobe CS6, Cinema4D, etc. etc. Going forward in the future, GPU support is the key (not more CPUs) ... see here CS6 CUDA

    I need a fast workstation. Render farms are pretty much only needed on final composition ... the faster the workstation the less likely I need to do a full high quality render (especially in apps like Cinema4D with it's preview sectional).

    I need to see here and now, not two days later after a render farm is done -- "oh wait I missed something, let me fix it and wait another 2 days" -- that workflow just doesn't work and will put ya out of business quickly.

    Apple's 2+ year release strategy isn't something anyone in the industry would want ... who would want that?? Workstations need to be UP TO DATE or be left behind ... it's that simple. It's been hugely convenient to just quickly slap some output on a USB 3.0 stick and take to another location/client. Is it as fast as Thunderbolt, no, but it's here and now of my workstation and used almost daily.

    I'm boggled as to why some are still clinging to the "hope" Apple will eventually deliver on hardware and software -- even if the do, who the heck wants to live with those feature handicapped products and hardware release schedules?? Move on, nobody serious wants FCPX nor ridiculous MacPro update schedules. But I suppose in the crowded world of video/composition, I should suggest you keep hanging on to Apple - more projects for me to digest ;)

    Apple isn't "loyal to you" so there is no reason to be "loyal to Apple" -- I believe this sentiment was express by an ex-Shake software engineer after Apple bought them.
     
  21. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

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    Mar 10, 2009
    #21
    If Nvidia GPUs are the future then .... the fact that the Kepler ones are even later in release than Intel's E5 series is only indicative that Apple not having a Mac Pro is out of synch. When all of the E5's , Nivida Kepler variants, and AMD's Next Gen variants are shipping in volume in numerous boxes .... then Apple will be late.

    The shift to GPUs being on par a computational units with CPU only reinforces leverage a new system design around PCI-e v3.0 where the bidirectional interconnect speed and latency is better. The only problem has been that all the parts have not come on line as quickly as the "roadmaps" showed 1-1.5 years ago. Sometimes stuff happens and timelines don't work out when dealing with multi-billion transistor devices and new bleeding edge technology.



    This is a farce. Like it was Apple's plan not to release updates to the Xeon series for two years. It was Apple's plan to deliver the Nvidia Kepler series in Spring '12.

    That facts are that Apple's last substantive workstation release date is closer to the present date than the vast majority of the Windows PC workstation vendors. Those are the vendors who are over the 2 year mark. Apple is still under it ( by several months).

    Not only was it not Apple's "2 year plan", it hasn't even been 2 years.


    Being on Mac OS X platform does come with some constaints. There is only one model of each PC submarket that Apple chooses to cover. Apple also doesn't try to cover every single possible submarket ( e.g. mini-towers , or 2U Server boxes with multiple front drive sleds ).


    P.S. Nevermind that even the mainstream Ivy Bridge processors are being released over a year after the Sandy Bridge were. Oh the horror ...... I guess that is part of Apple's evil plans too huh? Newsflash Bubba... the whole PC industry is maturing and slowing down the evolution rate. Flapping your arms about updates should come faster isn't going to speed things up.
     
  22. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    Jul 17, 2010
    #22
    I don't know. I want to like Reason truly. But something about it makes me stay away. I have used it as a sound generator using some of the synths in rewire but actually tracking with it seems constrained. My results were kind of not worth using it again. But I like it. I have friends who create some great things on it. If I was more midi based and it had better drum sounds maybe. I still like old kit samples more than electro so it kind of fails even with the refills. I am glad it exists. I might be able to go straight Albleton though. More my style.
     
  23. getz76 macrumors 6502a

    getz76

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    Hell, AL
    #23
    I've been using Reason since 2.5, mostly ReWired into Pro Tools for VI purposes, and later drums (I love RDK 2.0).

    I didn't buy Record when it first came out, but since the upgrade to 6, I am strongly considering just diving in. The master compression in 6 is really impressive.

    DAW and VIs are such a personal choice; it has to be comfortable. But it also has to be stable. Pro Tools use to be good for that, but it has been going downhill since v8.
     
  24. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #24
    I'll have to check version 6 out then. I am using 5.0.1 and have used 1-5. When I 1st saw it in action on OS 9 and Sawtooth G4 my jaw dropped. No experience with Record. Forgot about it actually. Hmmm. Thanks.
     
  25. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #25
    Go Ableton LIVE, or, if you can hold out a bit, wait for this: http://bitwig.com/bitwig_studio.php

    Its from SOME of the guys who made Ableton. It's like Ableton had sex with reason and Logic.
     

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