nMP Use Cases

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cubemmal, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #1
    I thought to gather the use cases the nMP is suited for and likely configurations. Feel free to add others, or cases it's not suited for


    Video Editing/rendering

    Obviously video editing is a use case suited for the new Mac Pro. The upgrade path favors ...

    1. GPU (D500-D700)
    2. RAM (depending on workflow, probably not needed for most)
    3. Flash (depending on workflow, probably not needed for most)

    Bonus
    Low noise, small size for studios.

    Downside
    Not upgradable. I've personally talked to one video professional who has no interest due to this.

    Photo Editing

    The nMP is suited for photo editing, the base D300 quad core should do just fine for these people. The upgrade path favors ...

    1. RAM (depending on workflow, i.e. large panos)
    2. Flash (depending on workflow, i.e. shoot size)

    Bonus
    Low noise, small size for studios.

    Downside
    Paying for more video than you need

    Software development

    Software development entails multiple threads when doing large compiles, multiple screens, and OS virtualization. Since few Macs support three screens (the ideal configuration for development) the nMP makes a lot of sense. The upgrade path favors ...

    1. CPU (multiple threads and virtualization)
    2. RAM (virtualization)

    Bonus
    Low noise, low power for what is most often text editing.

    Downside
    Paying for more video than you need

    Music editing

    This will be a fine, though probably somewhat overkill solution for music editing where an high end iMac would probably be equally well suited. Upgrade path favors ...

    1. CPU (multiple threads)

    Bonus
    Low noise for studio work, small size.

    Downside
    Paying for more video than you need

    Modeling/Scientific

    The nMP is well suited for this, supporting many flops of performance capability. Upgrade path favors

    1. GPU (D500 hex core a probable sweet spot)
    2. CPU
    3. RAM

    Bonus
    The price isn't too high in the stratosphere, compare to a similarly configured HP or Dell workstation.

    Downside
    Not upgradable, which may be useful depending on workflow. Drives are external.

    That's all I can think of for professional users. The machine is not a good gaming box (considering the price) though it will probably play some games just fine. As much thinking as it's taken me I have to come to the conclusion that it does make a lot of sense for many professionals, including myself as a software developer.
     
  2. jondunford macrumors 6502

    jondunford

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    #2
    i'm buying mine to use as a personal computer

    so gaming/school work/stock trading/general use

    (if i choose it over the iMac)

    people will be rude because im not a professional sound engineer/video programmer so obviously i don't deserve this computer and i have no right to purchase one

    i think i will go for quad core with upgraded graphics if it allows me, if not i will just upgrade the graphics card myself unless the card is not accessible then i will go for the 6-core
     
  3. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    It will be a brilliant computer for general use. I think the basic system responsiveness will be unparalleled. For gaming in Bootcamp I think it will be OK.

    It's annoying when people do that. In your case I think it makes sense. I specced out a iMac to what I'd consider a minimum configuration and it came out to over $2,500, more like $2.7k depending on exact options. For a mere few hundred dollars more you can get the much more capable Mac Pro. If you don't want an all in one with screen then the choice is clear.

    Wups, it seems you should research the computer more. It's highly unlikely you'll ever be able to upgrade the graphics, the CEO of OWC soft panned the idea of developing cards. It will be quite expensive to develop, and buy if anybody actually did it. Also you can BTO the graphics to quad core D500 or D700.

    For this use case I'd recommend the $3k base model. Possibly better graphics for gaming, and so best bang for your buck.
     
  4. ABCDEF-Hex macrumors 6502

    ABCDEF-Hex

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    NC
    #4
    I'm with you - everyone has different needs.

    Reasons:
    1 - May be my last computer (Older then dirt mainframe guy).
    2 - GPU power won't be wasted since I do some grid computing. (I bought the 12 core that was put on sale for $2500 by mistake but sold it when this was announced).

    ----------


    Your last few posts have generated a lot of information for people looking to buy the nMP.
     
  5. jondunford, Dec 9, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013

    jondunford macrumors 6502

    jondunford

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    #5
    yeah i just looked at it in more detail :) thx for the advice

    i meant i had 3 things to try in this order (i.e. if plan 1 is not doable try plan 2)

    1. 4-core base model and update graphics myself

    2. 4-core with upgraded graphics from apple

    3. 6-core with upgraded graphics from apple if only the high end offers the best upgrades, like with iMac, MBP
     
  6. jondunford macrumors 6502

    jondunford

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    #6
    i don't game on windows in boot camp either, mac gaming only ;)

    so a PC isn't an alternative for me :D
     
  7. cliffa macrumors newbie

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    Dec 8, 2013
    #7
    I'd argue the hex model would be quite beneficial for photographers using Lightroom & Photoshop. LR heavily loads all 8 cores on my 3,1 whenever it loads an image, which can take several seconds (36M raw files). And there are several PS filters and plugins I use regularly that seem to be highly multithreaded. Having 50% higher core count with a fairly minimal decrease in clock speed (and ability to burst to the same as the quad) seems to be a good deal. I'm really curious to see if the GPUs can be upgraded later (Apple or 3rd party) since it's not clear if/when LR/PS will expand OpenCL use.
     
  8. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Makes sense. Actually I'd argue that the $4k hex core D500 is the sweet spot for most folks. You get the extra 4GB RAM stick, a better GPUs and 50% more CPU. The sticker shock is there, but you know I totaled up how much money I put into my $2,500 2009 MP. Guess what? Over $2,500 easily - so I've spent over $5,000 on this computer over time.
     
  9. jondunford macrumors 6502

    jondunford

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    #9
    yeah i never understand people who complain about lack of accommodation for future upgrades - surely upgrading at the time of purchase doesn't do any harm even if you don't make use of the upgrade for a couple of years
     
  10. willcapellaro macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2011
    #10
    Considering it for general UX design work and product design. Adobe Creative Suite and some modeling/rendering in boot camp.

    Currently have a 2010 MBP 15, waiting on reviews to see if I just go rMBP or iMac/nMP.
     
  11. echoout macrumors 6502a

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    Austin, Texas
    #11
    Seriously? :rolleyes:
     
  12. madirishman macrumors newbie

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    Dec 4, 2013
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    Ellicott City, MD
    #12
    I'm another one looking at it for more or less general purpose use. I haven't had a Pro model since the G4 tower - my last three machines were an iMac and then two minis (right now using a maxed out mid-2011, which is a fine little machine).

    Like will I'm doing Creative Suite 6 stuff, mostly InDesign and Illustrator, and some typography with Fontlab. Most of my gaming I do through Steam on Windows 7 via Boot Camp. I'm looking forward to a brief period where newer games aren't a problem for my video card(s)...

    That's one place I'm trying to get my head around the nMP. Assuming I can't afford anything more than the 256 SSD, a Boot Camp partition already looks more problematic, and adding my massive Documents and iTunes folders into the mix, it's clear they're going to have to live on outside storage. I've done that before but it always feels clumsy using aliases to point to some other drive...but maybe that's just my OCD talking!
     
  13. Cubemmal thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    You'll note that I have lack of upgradability as an issue for many cases above. However I think there's a phenomenon occurring which is that CPU and I believe now GPU performance has become "good enough". For example, my 2009 MP performs as well for my use cases than my newer Sandy/Ivy bridge computers. You can see a difference when doing transcoding, but when I'm getting real work done I still prefer the MP. Same thing I believe with 7950 level graphics. I play one game (LOTRO), and this card is good enough, and Turbine won't ever be changing out for Skyrim style graphics.

    Intel appears to recognize this too, which is why they are focusing on battery over speed, and why they are pushing HD graphics. Very soon (in the next year) expect to see integrated HD graphics become the norm. Intel will again push the message of "good enough" to integrators, and for most people it's true.

    If you are an extreme gamer than a custom build is the way to go, however all the hard core gamers I know have Xboxes and the like. Convenience over capability. For me computing has, for the moment, exceeded my ability to use it. So a un-upgradable computer makes more sense, or at least I'm willing to go for it in exchange for lower power consumption, noise and size.
     
  14. Bones13 macrumors member

    Bones13

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #14
    I too used to run a maxxed PC build for gaming. Sheesh, I had to have my computer case open and run a fan on the thing to run the early version of Everquest. Times have changed. I tend to run the easy on the machine graphic MMOs, LOTRO, STO also, with some boot camp Star War The Old Republic. The first two have had successful ports to run natively on MAC. That has made a huge difference for me, not dual booting much now. I fade in and out of the 3 games.

    My current MP 3.1 has 12 gig of memory, and a recent graphic card upgrade. I hope to migrate to the nMP at some point. Probably the above mentioned hex core with the D500 GPUs. I will bootcamp from an external SSD on that computer, and have my storage on the home NAS.

    While I still game some, its not the driving force it once was. I am looking forward to a smaller machine, still quiet. A bit of lightroom, and handbrake. Certainly I could make do with a MacMini, but I will bite on the "cool" factor of the new machine. The 3.1 lasted longer than any of my other machines, but I agree on the ~5K cost for 5 years, if not a bit more. Lots of the upgrades have been SSDs, and increased storage, which will be still the norm for the nMP.
     
  15. wildmac, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    wildmac macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2003
    #15
    This is really good info. I'm looking at one to replace a 7-year-old MP, and right now waiting for LR to render previews on a D800 raw file is painful (sounds like you are shooting D800 as well).

    ----------

    Might have to consider this...

    Really hoping that BareFeats can get their hands on a nMP soon after the release, and run some PS and LR tests.


    ----------------

    I do PS, LR, WoW and web development, so while I don't need massive render power, being able to multitask with some of these brings my current system to it's knees, likely a product of the system bus more than anything else. Thats why, despite the hefty pricetag, some sort of nMP is going to give me the longest legs out of a system.
     

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