Setup/configuring a new MP 6,1 for video, editing and possibly a file server

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bxs, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. bxs macrumors 6502a

    Oct 20, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    Subject: Setup and configuring a new MacPro 6,1 (late 2013) for video, editing and possibly a file server.

    The MacPro 6,1 (late 2013) system was received Feb 24th 2014 and was setup without any real fuss at all. It was seamlessly integrated into a small video/editing office alongside two older 2009 Nehalem 4-core and 8-core Mac Pros and a high-end 27" iMac. All the Macs are connected via 1GbE ethernet using a Netgear 8-port switch. Local Wi-Fi is provided by an Apple 1TB Time Capsule 802.11n.

    The new MacPro model is the high end of product offering by Apple. The following provides the hardware configuration along with its attached peripherals.

    Processor: 2.7GHz 12-core with 30MB of L3 cache
    Memory: 64GB (4x 16GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    Internal Storage: 1TB PCIe-based flash storage
    Graphics: Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each
    Displays: Apple Thunderbolt Display (27-inch), Sony TV, 20" ACD
    External storage: Two 4TB RAID-0 LaCie 2big Thunderbolt-1 and a 5-bay Burly Port Multiplier eSATA enclosure (all daisy chained from a single Thunderbolt port)
    Primary software, Adobe Premier Pro CC and After Effects CC and Apple's FCPX.

    One of the thoughts for acquiring the new Mac Pro 6,1 was could it not only be used as a video/editing workstation but also as a file server for the office. The LaCie 2big devices were certainly capable of delivering some 310 to 350 MBytes/sec. This in itself was more than enough to saturate the 1GbE ethernet connections from the Mac Pro 6,1 to the other three Macs. This was tested by having all the 4 Macs accessing a project's media files at the same time off a single LaCie 2big connected to the new Mac Pro 6,1. Each Mac required some 15 GB of data to start its editing work. Using Activity Monitor on the new Mac while this i/o was underway showed that the network data stream was chugging along very nicely at around 250 to 300 MBytes/sec and the kernel_task was using around half a core's cpu. The LaCie 2big was more than capable for feeding the i/o demands of the four Macs (and these LaCie devices are lowly TB-1 devices as well). After things initialized the 4 Macs started to perform the exact same editing/rendering activity. Again. the network i/o being observed on the new Mac Pro was nowhere close to being saturated around the 350 MBytes/sec mark. Now and then things kicked up to 90 and 200 MBytes/sec briefly. The work being done on the 4 Macs was proceeding smoothly and without any stalling periods.

    This was just an early test to find out how well the new Mac Pro could handle servicing data at reasonable/acceptable speeds to/from other Macs in the office while also doing work for itself. Essentially, could the new Mac Pro act both as a video/editing workstation as well as a file server for the office. At this point it certainly seems so, and if correct, then having to invest in a fancy file server such as a SmallTree GraniteSTOR5Z product can/could be avoided.
  2. chrisn123 macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Interesting setup. You might need a new router (older cheaper models don't support link aggregation), but you could try to connect the nMP to the router using both GigE ports bonded together.

    Or, perhaps cheaper and better, you could try running GigE from the nMP to each Mac Pro in a star topology. You need to add a couple of TB/GigE adapters, but it should be possible to get a dedicated 90-100MB/sec to each client, making your drives the bottleneck in edge cases....

    This software routing would be done in Software on the nMP, but I don't think you'd notice the performance hit....

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