• Did you order new AirTags? We've opened a dedicated AirTags forum.

Mactrunk

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 12, 2005
169
57
My maxed out 5,1 is struggling to play complex sequences at low buffer settings.
New plugins and VIs are very processor hungry.
I'm still on High Sierra and have yet to do the firmware upgrade to be able to go to Mojave.

Any reports from music folks who made the switch from 5,1 to 7,1?
Will I get relief?

I'm bummed that the 7,1 can only run Catalina.

I'm reading many horror stories about music software and bugs in Catalina.

Any info is greatly appreciated.
 

Meads

macrumors newbie
Apr 19, 2020
19
0
PT user here.
Compared to my Hackintosh with 9900K the 16 core Mac Pro has been a downgrade for me due to single core performance.
Compared to 5,1 it flies, though. Not even close.
 
Comment

codehead1

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2011
108
91
I went from MP 4,1 with with 5,1 firmware, High Sierra. Now 16-core, 10.15.5, just 32 GB memory, haven't upgraded that yet, running off 2 TB SSD. I normally use Digital Performer, but also run most of the other major DAWs for testing. So far I've only installed and run DP. No issues so far, and power hungry plugins (#1 being Zynaptiq Adaptiverb) that were a problem with my old computer are no big deal with the new system. 128 sample buffers are no problem, the buffer size I'd normally use when recording sampled piano on the old system—haven't run any big projects, but the processor load is far lower. On the old system, 128 was fine with Ivory but processor spike would glitch Grand Rhapsody in DP unless I went to bigger buffers. It hardly takes any processor on the new, and I can toss on a couple of Adaptiverbs at the buffer size. Looks like GR is still very light (10-15% of processor bar) with 32 sample buffers, but 16 goes too far (this is all 44.1 kHz). Maybe that gives you a relative idea—it' a huge difference for me so far.

Two biggest challenges for installation:

Firewire driver for TASCAM DM-3200 FW interface. Took figuring out how to install a kext, but works without issues. Using Apple TB3->TB + TB-FW adapters.

Spent quite a bit of time last night installing Waves plugins. In particular I have a bunch of 9.92 plugins. These aren't first class citizens anymore, so Waves doesn't make it easy on the last few OS versions, so this isn't a 7,1 thing. Though 7,1 means you do need to disable gatekeeper in addition to jumping through the usual hoops. I don't use Waves stuff much, but might have some in older projects. It costs to upgrade them to version 11 for an easy install, I wanted to avoid that and mostly would have just said goodbye to them if I couldn't make the old ones install, but after a bit of work they all installed and work fine. I did have one ver 10 and one 11 plugin, and of course those were easy, just pre-10 are work.

I have almost all my long list of plugins installed, some quite old, haven't run into an issue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mactrunk
Comment

Mactrunk

macrumors regular
Original poster
May 12, 2005
169
57
I went from MP 4,1 with with 5,1 firmware, High Sierra. Now 16-core, 10.15.5, just 32 GB memory, haven't upgraded that yet, running off 2 TB SSD. I normally use Digital Performer, but also run most of the other major DAWs for testing. So far I've only installed and run DP. No issues so far, and power hungry plugins (#1 being Zynaptiq Adaptiverb) that were a problem with my old computer are no big deal with the new system. 128 sample buffers are no problem, the buffer size I'd normally use when recording sampled piano on the old system—haven't run any big projects, but the processor load is far lower. On the old system, 128 was fine with Ivory but processor spike would glitch Grand Rhapsody in DP unless I went to bigger buffers. It hardly takes any processor on the new, and I can toss on a couple of Adaptiverbs at the buffer size. Looks like GR is still very light (10-15% of processor bar) with 32 sample buffers, but 16 goes too far (this is all 44.1 kHz). Maybe that gives you a relative idea—it' a huge difference for me so far.

Two biggest challenges for installation:

Firewire driver for TASCAM DM-3200 FW interface. Took figuring out how to install a kext, but works without issues. Using Apple TB3->TB + TB-FW adapters.

Spent quite a bit of time last night installing Waves plugins. In particular I have a bunch of 9.92 plugins. These aren't first class citizens anymore, so Waves doesn't make it easy on the last few OS versions, so this isn't a 7,1 thing. Though 7,1 means you do need to disable gatekeeper in addition to jumping through the usual hoops. I don't use Waves stuff much, but might have some in older projects. It costs to upgrade them to version 11 for an easy install, I wanted to avoid that and mostly would have just said goodbye to them if I couldn't make the old ones install, but after a bit of work they all installed and work fine. I did have one ver 10 and one 11 plugin, and of course those were easy, just pre-10 are work.

I have almost all my long list of plugins installed, some quite old, haven't run into an issue.

Many thanks for your detailed reply.
It seems we have many things in common.
I use DP as my primary DAW and use a Tascam DM-4800.
I was concerned about getting the firewire to work with the Tascam.

Did you use Apple's migration software to move over to the new machine?
I'm daunted by the prospect of installing everything from scratch.
Also, wondering about how many cores I should order.
Do you think 16 is the sweet spot?

Thanks again for your insight.
 
  • Like
Reactions: codehead1
Comment

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,983
2,080
Anyone have any issues with Saffire pro 40 FireWire interface with the new 7,1?

Several client offices had major issues with older FW-based Focusrite units in Mojave & Catalina. Even High Sierra acted up with them at times. Do not believe that unit can function as a "standalone" without FW in use, so even adding a go-between could be difficult if you need individual tracks.
 
Comment

codehead1

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2011
108
91
Many thanks for your detailed reply.
It seems we have many things in common.
I use DP as my primary DAW and use a Tascam DM-4800.
I was concerned about getting the firewire to work with the Tascam.

Did you use Apple's migration software to move over to the new machine?
I'm daunted by the prospect of installing everything from scratch.
Also, wondering about how many cores I should order.
Do you think 16 is the sweet spot?

Thanks again for your insight.

I wrestled with 12 versus 16 core. Obviously 12 is a 50% core increase for $1k, and 16 a 33% increase for there for another $1k—but a double over all. While 12 probably covers things pretty well, it doesn't hurt to have more for the future, plus audio plugins can use the cores. One "feel good" thing I noticed after making the decision was that a 16-core MP is faster than the top (18-core) iMac Pro. Plus, ultimately I went with the Apple XDR display and stand and suddenly a measly $1k didn't seem like much. 😂

I'd say 12 or 16, just depends on budget. I somehow kept my old Mac going ten years, so wanted to be sure I wasn't buying short. The 24 and 28 only make sense for tasks that are going to keep the cores cranking.

I decided against using the migration software, starting with a clean system. I even did fresh installs on the plugins, though it would have been fine to just drag most of the plugins instead (via network). Migrating Mail from High Sierra took a bit of trial and error. Especially to keep the local email archives. Exporting some of these "on my Mac" mailboxes to mbox worked fine, even with 60k+ messages. A couple of others didn't—I'd exported a mailbox of around 49k messages, and when imported there'd be something like 3.5k, and similar with one much smaller. For those, I'd copy half in one new mailbox, half to another. Typically one would work and they other would be short. I'd divide that one until I had them all. (If you need to do this, use two smart mailboxes and just set date ranges accordingly. For one that fails to get them all, duplicate that smart box and adjust the date ranges to split the load. There is no actual mail copying, so this is WAY faster than moving or copying mail.) The good thing is that mbox imports arrive in their own folder, so there is no fixing up a failed merge, just delete it and try again in halves.
 
Comment

MarciaFunebre

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2018
50
19
Did you use Apple's migration software to move over to the new machine?
I'm daunted by the prospect of installing everything from scratch.
Also, wondering about how many cores I should order.
Do you think 16 is the sweet spot?

16 is in my opinion the sweet spot. You still have a decent single core performance but more future-proof with more cores. While other things are updated easier at a later time, the CPU is not, though some people reported that they did it.

Migration assistant can be problematic when moving from a non-Catalina system version.

Generally, expect a lot of problems due to the buggy Catalina and its "security features" that are essentially only there to cut down a power user's freedom. Avoid 10.15.4 - either stay on 10.15.3 or jump ahead to 10.15.5 which supposedly fixed a few things, but I can't confirm as of yet.
 
Comment

thomasjans

macrumors member
Jul 15, 2019
33
14
Used to have 2013 6 core, now 2019 16-core. Where the 2013 would be at 100% cpu usage, the 2019 is at 25% in Logic. Running 200 tracks with kontakt plugins all over right now, no problems.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tevion5 and OkiRun
Comment

profdraper

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2017
159
120
Brisbane, Australia
Vastly overpriced for a DAW (my main interest was for film & that remains underwhelming in comparision to my 4 year old Win dual Xeon workstation w RTX 2080Ti & half the price of the mac). I'd suggest you'd likely be better off will a well spec'ed i9 platform.

Still, if money is no object - and given various compatibility issues with 'Catalina' only: all the the DAWs running here do very nicely; Nuendo, ProTools, Logic etc. Ditto many plugs including from UA, Steinberg & Native Instruments (through there are compatibility issues /bugs with Logic 10.5 & NI). Would have much preferred to remain on Mojave, but there you go ...

PS, avoid timemachine migration, in fact lose that altogether. Semi-Ok if only Apple apps but goes completely pear-shaped with many third party installs & particularly for music. eg, see Native Instruments advice against this, & for that matter I've often seen these common issues with timemachine restores/migration:
  • Possible issues, which can occur after using such applications include wrong permission settings as well as directory paths, activation issues and missing settings files.
Clean install everything & especially with DAWs & those zillions of plugs (unfortunately). FYI, I always locate all of my documents on a separate volume /partition (macos or win) and then keep the system drive to a minimum size. Makes for fast backup or restore via something like Carbon Copy Cloner (I *do* wish there was a Macrium Reflect for macos).
 
Comment

ticctacc

macrumors newbie
Oct 29, 2014
16
20
Brooklyn
Just got 7.1 I have a 12core w5700x and 1tb ssd 32gb of ram so.far I mainly use Ableton, FCPX, Cinema 4d Adobe suite, Reason and Logic Pro.
With Ableton its rocking my buffer is at 128 and I'm playing Huge songs. My previous Mac was the first iMac 5k with a 4.0 quad i17. so it way faster for me I also have Komplete Ultimate and tones of plug running with no issues so far I just got it Tuesday. With logic it very impressive but I use Ableton more. In both daws I'm able to have low buffers with song with 150 tracks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OkiRun
Comment

lostinforums

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2015
111
6
Don’t pay Apple silly money for more cores, get the base 8 core and change to a lot more yourself. It’s becoming more and more common now as the 7,1 time progresses. Seems more companies will be doing them I think, for a hell of a lot less than Apple charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: auralux
Comment

auralux

macrumors demi-god
Mar 7, 2017
1,756
2,120
Don’t pay Apple silly money for more cores, get the base 8 core and change to a lot more yourself. It’s becoming more and more common now as the 7,1 time progresses. Seems more companies will be doing them I think, for a hell of a lot less than Apple charge.
This is my plan as well. I started out with the 12 core and will buy a 24 core when prices drop significantly.
 
Comment

davidec

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2008
371
378
16 core 96GB ram 7,1 user from the get go. I use most DAWs and most libraries and plugs for a wide variety of projects. The 7,1 is a dream. Minor issues here and there but overall just a dream. My maxed out 5,1 just couldn’t take it anymore. I strongly advise against at any migration. Huge range of potential conflicts. Fresh installs. Fresh start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Macintosh IIcx
Comment

yellow_lupine

macrumors member
Feb 18, 2020
59
43
16 core 96GB ram 7,1 user from the get go. I use most DAWs and most libraries and plugs for a wide variety of projects. The 7,1 is a dream. Minor issues here and there but overall just a dream. My maxed out 5,1 just couldn’t take it anymore. I strongly advise against at any migration. Huge range of potential conflicts. Fresh installs. Fresh start.

Hi davidec, I am interested into buying a similar configured Mac Pro to be used with Cubase and a lot of virtual instruments. Could you please tell me what issues did you came across?
 
Comment

davidec

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2008
371
378
Hi davidec, I am interested into buying a similar configured Mac Pro to be used with Cubase and a lot of virtual instruments. Could you please tell me what issues did you came across?
access virus won’t run over usb on Catalina, a few plugs like ohmicide are not Catalina friendly. some others had some workaround but overall there’s nothing I am missing (except for my virus).
 
Comment

Pardo83

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2015
44
5
It’s refreshing to see that things are going well with the 7.1 for the musicians. I’ve read about some random kernel freezes but I suppose it’s just because of Catalina OS?

I’m considering moving from my 5.1 that has the following specs:

Sierra OS
2 x 3,46 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon;
128 GB 1333 MHz DDR3



Which core version do you think would give me the best performance bump for the money? Would I notice an improvement with the 8 core (which I could upgrade in the future)?


And how silent is, compared to the 5.1? I’ve had the 2013 Cylinder for a couple of years and it was very silent, while you can definitely hear the 5.1.


Another question: I would get the Radeon Pro 580x since I’m not doing anything heavy with video editing, just some random YouTube stuff, but I’ve seen that for a few hundreds more I could get the W5700X which has way better performance. Would it also mean more noise from the case? I assume the graphics card become noisy only when pushed to their limits.


Regarding my use: I don’t have super large sessions (not hundreds of tracks): Many Kontakt instances (20-30), a few Omnisphere and the usual VST like Diva, Zebra HZ and many plugins, some of them heavy on the CPU. So probably it would be wiser to get a higher core speed rather than many cores (that’s why my 8 core thoughts).


Thanks for your insights
 
Comment

codehead1

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2011
108
91
See my comments on number of cores above—basically, the bump to 12-core is a big bump for $1k. 16-core is a decent bump, but of course depends on if you really would even use the difference, though it's also a hedge against future needs (or you could just leave room for upgrading the CPU to something even higher when they are cheaper, from 12 or 16).

Noise: It's so dam quiet. I mean, it's not even there. This alone is worth thousands to me. Maybe it shows up on heavy video crunching, but for DAW use, I expect it's going to remain quiet.

Video card noise: The Apple options are MPX, so no fans on any. At some point you're using more power and potential for the fans moving more, but for 580X vs W5700X, I don't think there is any consideration for noise. (I have 16-core with W5700X. I do some video work to a smaller degree, $600 was worth it for the big step up.)

Cores again, versus plugins: Well, I'd expect most DAWs to be good about using cores, so for plugins, cores are a bigger win than single-core speed. My worst-case is Zynaptiq AdaptiVerb. I couldn't run it on my 2009 Mac Pro 8-core at any buffer size. So yes, there single-core speed would have made a difference, as long as it was a big enough bump. But you're not going to run into that on the 7,1. I can run a couple of instances a core with room to spare at 128 sample buffer. And I can keep opening more because I have more cores. Waves Grand Rhapsody was my other edge case—much less cpu than AdaptiVerb, but I'd want 128 buffers to play it without too much lag, and it would often glitch when I worked the sustain pedal (especially using Digital Performer, not so bad on some others). Now it's a modest sliver of a core, not even a consideration even with 64 buf.

Also, remember the 8-core has slower memory access. For DAW/plug-in use, I think 12-core is a significant step up from 8 all around. If you're cost sensitive, I think 12 is the sweet spot, and I don't think most people will see the difference between that and higher. (But if another $1k isn't too much of a burden, why not have more under the hood?)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pardo83
Comment

Pardo83

macrumors member
Oct 6, 2015
44
5
See my comments on number of cores above—basically, the bump to 12-core is a big bump for $1k. 16-core is a decent bump, but of course depends on if you really would even use the difference, though it's also a hedge against future needs (or you could just leave room for upgrading the CPU to something even higher when they are cheaper, from 12 or 16).

Noise: It's so dam quiet. I mean, it's not even there. This alone is worth thousands to me. Maybe it shows up on heavy video crunching, but for DAW use, I expect it's going to remain quiet.

Video card noise: The Apple options are MPX, so no fans on any. At some point you're using more power and potential for the fans moving more, but for 580X vs W5700X, I don't think there is any consideration for noise. (I have 16-core with W5700X. I do some video work to a smaller degree, $600 was worth it for the big step up.)

Cores again, versus plugins: Well, I'd expect most DAWs to be good about using cores, so for plugins, cores are a bigger win than single-core speed. My worst-case is Zynaptiq AdaptiVerb. I couldn't run it on my 2009 Mac Pro 8-core at any buffer size. So yes, there single-core speed would have made a difference, as long as it was a big enough bump. But you're not going to run into that on the 7,1. I can run a couple of instances a core with room to spare at 128 sample buffer. And I can keep opening more because I have more cores. Waves Grand Rhapsody was my other edge case—much less cpu than AdaptiVerb, but I'd want 128 buffers to play it without too much lag, and it would often glitch when I worked the sustain pedal (especially using Digital Performer, not so bad on some others). Now it's a modest sliver of a core, not even a consideration even with 64 buf.

Also, remember the 8-core has slower memory access. For DAW/plug-in use, I think 12-core is a significant step up from 8 all around. If you're cost sensitive, I think 12 is the sweet spot, and I don't think most people will see the difference between that and higher. (But if another $1k isn't too much of a burden, why not have more under the hood?)


Thanks a lot for clarifying, I think I'll go with the 12 cores + W5700X. Noise and stability were my main concern, great to hear that it's good on that side too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: codehead1
Comment

tonecontroller

macrumors newbie
Jun 10, 2020
3
11
I was on a maxed out 5,1 and just moved to a 7,1 16 core, 4TB SSD, 96GB RAM, W57000X. I got the Sonnet Fusion PCI SSD card to add 2 of my SSDs and a Wolftech PCI to add a fast M.2 scratch drive. I'm doing 90% music production but also a small amount of work in FCP-X and Motion. Overall, extremely happy so far. Logic is great and it's nice to have the extra headroom. The speed different in FCP-X and Motion is a massive leap up, no comparison. Part of my work is providing content for an app and my only issue so far has been loading older sessions up which I need to do a lot of. All my plugs are up to date but it often crashes either on loading or importing track elements. However, once loaded, I've not had a single crash and I'm running a huge amount of plug in insist and FX. One of the best things is the noise, running Motion on my 5,1 always caused the fans to spin right up, on the 7,1 it's almost silent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OkiRun and Pardo83
Comment

CrystalmakeR

macrumors newbie
Feb 2, 2020
29
8
For a not long time ago I had an ever growing setup consisting of couple of MacPros, iMac, MacMinis, and also a very power full PC (server). In the past between composing orchestral film scores I have spent huge amount of time fixing, improving, updating my setup instead of writing music. To make my story short, when the new MacPro 2019 came out I went for a 16 core MacPro 2019 with 192GB RAM, 4 x 1 TB SSDs for the sample libraries. Now, I have a very simple (without miles of cables) but stable setup. Everything what I need (compose, orchestrate, running movie, mix, master) is on this MP7,1, and it is running so smooth that I even cannot believe. I can load my VEPRO template (quite big with many VIPROs, Kontakt instances, Spectrasonics and many more) in a very short time (<1 min) and my DAWs (DP, Cubase, PT) and the hole setup is just running without any issue. So smooth. Simply fantastic, highly recommended! The MP7,1 is quite, I have it just under my master keyboard.
Side note: Although I am big fun of working ITB (in the box), I have one very powerful hardware synth in my setup, namley the Roland Jupiter Xm - it is a very powerful synth! I wanted to have one poly and mono synth in my "minimalistic" setup. The Jupiter-Xm can dp both and so much more in one "small" space.
 
Last edited:
Comment

lostinforums

macrumors regular
Oct 4, 2015
111
6
I got the base core with 1 tb Ssd. I plan on upgrading the processor myself instead of paying Apple prices.

came from a 5,1 and feels great. Using logic and ableton. Super quiet, fast, very happy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: OkiRun
Comment

yellow_lupine

macrumors member
Feb 18, 2020
59
43
Has anyone measured the power consumption of his Mac Pro and the relative heating during its use? Particularly in this hot season
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.