Pros gone to the dark side : Experiences?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Muppetshow, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Muppetshow macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014
    Well, without any excess drama or fuzz, how did it go?

    Looking for experiences from different pros, be it moving images, 3D or photography. Shout it out!

    In short. My old pimped 1.1 rig is on its way out. It has served as a photo workhorse now for over 8 years, 24/7, but miles are showing. It still does the
    normal compositing/retouching & normal 1080p editing (barely) but as I am doing more and more 3D (mudbox, maya etc) it really starts to show its age.
    Especially when in the recent months the need for some novel/experimental 3D programs has grown along with the need for support for OR and the like.

    I have decided to skip the OS X as I have the adobe cloud and licenses and rights for almost all my other software. So instead of considering the nMP I am jumping the boat. Tear or two will be shed as I have using mac boxes since 1992 but.. :(
    Times change I guess.

    Have used different PC boxes on the side for the whole time but they have been that kind know. Now I am basically looking for decent box (5930k+gtx 980) for a year or two for work use. Both psCC, lr5, premier/afefx/3D,win 8.1 pro, VR support. I have the setup pretty much dialed, about 2.5k euros with 3 year warranty. Why am I not going for some 8-10k xeon box? Well, I have different work stations at my use at university/work and this would be a home setup. And as I will prolly move withing a year, no idea buying something massive to ferry across the globe.

    I am interested in what kind of specs people ended with (and why) and especially what kind of experiences you have gotten after switching. Have heard mostly positive about the adobe CC and how little it have affected people working in the photography, basically everything is the same.
    In the video people have had some stuff to get accustomed to but the transition to 3D programs seems to be smoother and easier?

    So, whassup? I know it is kind of blasphemy to bring out a topic like this to the MP forum, but hell, the years have shown that this is the place for some (hot) discussions!

    Thx in advance!
  2. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    Maybe not relevant now, but when I first got into audio/music production back in 2009 I went the Windows route. And it was just..not great. It was okay for small projects for classes and such, but it took me a lot longer dealing with setup, hardware, and performance issues and such. Especially with Pro Tools.

    I don't blame the Windows OS for it...I do blame Avid though for not coding the Windows version of Pro Tools to be equal to the OS X version. I had a Dell Studio XPS laptop (a very nice laptop that I still use to this day, Core 2 Duo, 8 GB RAM, Vista and then later Windows 7 (which both ran like a dream other than using Pro Tools and other audio production software). The firewire chip had drivers that Pro Tools didn't agree with, so my expensive at the time Firewire interface didn't run without issues. Pro Tools software couldn't work around the CPU cycles that Windows needed to run. And just doing anything required many workarounds to minimize latency and maximize plug-in processing.

    It was okay for student projects but I wouldn't trust it as a professional making money on my craft.

    So, I'm pretty much tied to OS X to run the things I need to run efficiently. Which is a shame. Because if I could get away with running things just as well, I would build myself a nice Haswell-E system and be done with it. I don't agree with how Apple is treating their Mac lineup right now at all.
  3. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*
    I've never left either side - one of those very rare types that always straddled both camps. Since Intel I could use one desktop and notebook - a Macintosh.

    The usual HP Z or Dell Precisions apply though a 5,1 is steadily getting gtx 980 support if you can put up with the inferior cpu features of a westmere over ivy bridge e
  4. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2012
    For professionals who rely on their systems for income, Hackintoshes aren't the answer. I wish they were. But they're not, no matter what TonyMac says.
  5. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    pros dont have time to constantly tinker with hackintosh systems. it needs to be rock solid and perform without questions, something from apple themselves
  6. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sagittarius A*

    A hack with the quo mobo is the closest I have yet to a real Mac and pretty manageable instead of the usual pita. Though I prefer the real thing
  7. sirio76 macrumors regular

    Mar 28, 2013
    I'm a 3d guy, I use mostly MacPros(both old and new machines) and also some PC boxes as renderslaves. Selfbuild PCs offers great price for the performance, really can't beat on that front.. problem is that Windows is just far behind OSX and this is very annoying when you have to get the job done. Despite I use my nodes just for rendering(I only start them and send them render job via command line), Windows proved to be full of glitches, and I can't really say about a PC "it just work"..
    A few months ago I've upgraded RAM to 64GB on both my nMP and my PCs, installed 2more DIMM on the nMP took literally 30 seconds, on my PCs it take a few hours because I've to tear down the fan from the CPU cooler to get clear access to the RAM slot, after installing the memory Windows do not automatically recognize the new RAM(despite being the same brand installed before), I have to enter in the BIOS and play with the settings just to make the RAM working... multiply that for a few machines and you have lost half a day of work.. just an example.. and everything is like that when you have to install/upgrade something. Then continuous antivirus software updates, continuous Windows updates(I have to turn off automatic update because every time after the update something stop working)and so on. Again great price/performance and I love them when rendering, but I'm very happy I have to use my PCs just for that task and nothing else.
    Of course this is only my modest experience and If you really want to switch there's nothing wrong with that.
    The 5930k IMO is the worst option you can get, the 5820k offers near identical performance for almost half the price so better to save your money on that, if you want a real boost in CPU performance add a few hundred bucks and go for the 5960k.
  8. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    May 25, 2014
    I don't know what computer you're using but this would be the exception, by far, for any PC. RAM is one of the easiest things to add to a PC and Windows will recognize it without any need to change anything.
  9. B1ueB1aze macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2013
    Being a hobbyist in visual media such as 3D and photography, I chose the 6-core Mac Pro. I went with the 6-core MP as having those extra cores help during renders. The D500 GPUs are really incredible, OpenCL performance is great on them. 16GB of RAM is enough for me right now, and in the future it's easily upgraded. I also chose the 512GB SSD as I always seem to run out of storage, and would rather keep things on the blazing fast built in storage.

    Photoshop CC runs amazingly well on here, even when doing 3D edits and renders. Mudbox also runs very smoothly. I have yet to find a way to bring my Mac to anything below a brisk jogging pace. :p
  10. PhoneI macrumors 68000

    Mar 7, 2008
    I built a new desktop a few months back. It currently runs Windows 8.1. Every time I use it I cant wait to pop open my MacBook pro.

    Im thinking I will save up for the Mac Pro. If I need to run windows (hopefully never) I will do it in bootcamp.
  11. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    I jumped ship a few months ago. However, I am a big Hackintosh user. I love using OS X as my main OS, but I, however, am not dependent on it. I built the rig in my signature to replace my aging Mac Pro 3,1 - but my workflow relies on Adobe Suite. The reason I grabbed the bleeding edge tech is because I don't NEED OS X to function perfectly. And in the infancy of Hackintosh on this platform, I've gotten used to Windows. It's not the same, and honestly, I still prefer OS X, but I can for sure recommend the X99 platform as a power user. Even a 5820K will be years better than your 1,1 - when I run renders, I often overclock a bit to speed them up as well (another perk on this platform.)

    I thought this machine would be a heavy Hackintosh, but I find myself using Windows more and more (at least for when I need to do real work), but still being able to use a functional OS X system is great. If your workflow allows you to dive into the X99 platform, I would give my vote as "go for it." I love my tower, and I needed the form factor more than the power. I was able to keep the internal storage and my graphics cards from my 3,1, which was the biggest "Pro" for me.

    Hope this was some help.

  12. Gravios macrumors newbie

    Oct 19, 2014
    Stable Hackintosh

    I built a hackintosh last year when I was looking to get into the apple ecosystem. It is my daily driver(software developer) and I have had no problems. Since apple moved to the intel chips, if you buy the right parts, setting up the hackintosh is no more difficult than installing a linux distro. Only other time you have to "tinker" with it is during the yearly upgrades. Personally, I believe the $2000 or so I saved by going the hackintosh route is worth the 1 hour or so once a year.
  13. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    Have you got your hackintosh running? I'm got a 5820k as well with a GA-X99-UD4 mobo. I can't wait to try and get OS X running on it but i'm still waiting for my GTX 980 to come in.
  14. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    It runs with issues. Obviously, no power management, so stuck in one CPU state and typically running at max 3.3GHz. There's an issue with X99 motherboards where you cannot Legacy Boot from GUID disks, so you have to clone your OS X install to a MBR disk to boot via Chimera/Chameleon, I'm having Clover issues on my board at the moment (same as yours, though others have had success) and audio only works with Voodoo at the moment, plus no iMessage support under Yosemite. So yeah, overall, pretty good. :D

    But really, it's usable. Those are serious issues waiting to be addressed, but they'll be fixed in time. It's by no means a substitute for Windows or Linux on the X99 platform, but if you love OS X, it's fine to use as a browsing machine. Though, if you've got an X99 machine, I doubt you're just browsing. :p
  15. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I jumped ship when I saw fins cut pro x. That was the writing on the wall for me.

    The only tip I have is to test out laptop trackpads if at all possible before buying a windows laptop.otherwise windows is rather stable and between windows and virtualbox, I don't have any issues programming.
  16. fuchsdh macrumors 65816


    Jun 19, 2014
    I know of no pro in my line of work who buys Wintel laptops--even if they're going to be doing everything in Windows they buy Macbooks.

    As for workstations... probably in terms of absolute time, the amount of time I've spent dealing with stupid fiddly problems on Windows (I only accept OTF now! But not *these* OTFs, for some reason!) or hardware issues (I've had three PSUs in HPZ820s burn out on me) was outweighed by the amount of time I saved in cumulative render times over the 2007 and 2008 MP we are still using in the office... but it doesn't feel that way. Part of it is surely just me being biased to thinking like how Macs work, but I never feel as stressed out if there's some issue to solve on a Mac.

    Hackintoshes have always been an interesting option, but they're simply not what I would ever put paying jobs on. I may be a nerd, but I like keeping my tinkering to a hobby as opposed to a livelihood.
  17. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a


    Oct 11, 2013
    DMV Area
    @fuchsdh - This is the same in my experience. There is no substitute for MacBooks, in my experience. The build quality, hardware, (especially the trackpads) have no equal, in my opinion. However, I know a few others who have also had great success with the HP workstations. I owned a Z400 for a few months (which I still use, just resold to my employer), and that was a fantastic purchase. If you're confident in building your own towers, that often allows for a more specific part selection with all the features you want, and few that you don't.
  18. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    Why not build yourself a hackintosh capable PC? This way you can go to a native windows world and still have the option to throw on some OS X if you want to see how it goes? If it's only for a year or two maybe it can hold you over for a bit.

    Out of all the pros who do what you do I'm sure there are workflows for each platform.

    I went the other way, I had a custom built PC that I made before I got into OS X, I turned it into a hack, then ended up getting a 4,1. I've decked this thing out so much I love it. Adobe CC (at the time I think it was 5 & CC versions) seemed identical on both platforms but I was primarily in Photoshop & Dreamweaver.

    On that thought, I may suggest, if you're inclined, to pickup a used 4,1 which you can get for a great price these days and then do some upgrades (PCI SSD, video card, RAM, CPU, USB3, etc.) which would put you close to nMP performance in a box that you can work on.

    The downside being no warranty.

    Either way you'll have to ferry something across the globe at some point if you want to keep it.

    Or maybe get yourself the cheapest thing you can for now and then hopefully Apple and you are on the same page and you can get a Mac again when you end up where you're going to end up.

  19. Muppetshow thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2014
    Thx for the tips´n stuff guys!

    Hackintosh is totally out of the equation as I dont have the time (or patience) to tinker. As with the the self build. I counted that the price difference would be around 350€ compared to the local prebuild. And it comes with a 3 year warranty that apparently is very good & quick.

    And sirio76, I ended up with the 5930k instead of 5960x or 5820k because its performace/price ratio across the programs, be it programs scales poorly (photoshopCC) and requires higher clock speeds or programs that scales well (most 3D progs). According to the charts 5930 is the sweetspot for me.

    MmcCrary, I understand you. Have friends in the music production biz and seen what they are up to. Feel sorry for the poor bastards...
    Things in, say, photography is dead simple compared to the stuff music peeps have to take into account and go through..

    And no, when my OS X laptop kicks the bucket, I am not buying a pc laptop.
    I will stick to MBPs and run osx and win paralell...I am not totally dumb you know... :D
  20. shaunp macrumors 68000

    Nov 5, 2010
    I'm always looking for 'what I buy next'. While I've got a nMP and I'm happy with it for now, I'm not so happy with the price and long-term as my needs constantly increase (prototyping in VMware) it's inevitable I'll end up back on Windows.

    When I do I'll be looking at second hand workstations - HP Z820, Dell Precision, etc as they have better build quality than a generic PC, scale higher in terms of CPU and RAM, and are designed to run heavy workloads. Second hand is also cheaper.

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