Sharing is Caring : Journey from Mac Pro 4.1 to Mac Pro 6.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rueyloon, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. rueyloon, Sep 6, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014

    rueyloon macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    I'm sharing my journey from my experience in evaluating if I should change from my current 4.1 mac pro to the 6.1 mac pro. I hope this test will help other people in the same situation if you are considering upgrading.

    I managed to get hold of a new Mac Pro which I used for over 2-3 weeks.

    Background : I started off as a photographer, but over the last couple of years I have been taking on more videography projects. Typically my videos are under 10 minutes with titles, text and simple transitions.

    Currently I happen to be working on a major project that requires producing videos of 30 to 40 minutes in length, with lots of multi cam and compound clips. I edit in FCPX.

    For photography I do corporate and wedding shoots. Editing corporate shoot isn't hard as the final number of images are usually under 100. I edit wedding shoots on Lightroom, which usually number around 1600 shots.

    old Mac Pro - OMP
    8 X 3.33ghz processor
    28gb of RAM
    GTX 670
    2 X 120gb raid0 SSD vertex 2 boot drive.

    new Mac Pro - NMP
    6 X 3.5ghz processor
    2 X D500
    1 TB apple internal SSD

    Test from Reboot, one after another. I used BruceX as a base so if you want to you can do the test on your own system for comparison.
    OMP : 19864
    NMP : 20010

    BruceX - 5K export
    OMP : 1 minute 40 seconds
    NMP : 26 seconds (384% faster)

    BruceX seems to test more for GPU accelerated effects, so the following are variations to test on CPU crunching.

    Taking the 5k master file export from BruceX, duplicate it 20 times and export as 5k master file (if not the clip exports too fast to react to), I shall call this clip BruceX20
    OMP : 10.3 seconds
    NMP : 7.3 seconds (41% faster)

    BruceX20 Compressor export (No additional Instances)
    Video Sharing Services 1080p (H.264)
    OMP : 4 minutes 22 seconds
    NMP : 3 minutes 50 seconds (14% faster)

    MPEG Program Stream 1080p
    OMP : 2 minutes 7 seconds
    NMP : 1 minutes 37 seconds (31% faster)

    BruceX20 Handbreak export
    Normal : H.264
    OMP : 1 minute 32 seconds
    NMP : 1 minutes 15 seconds (26% faster)

    Normal : MPEG-4
    OMP : 1 minute 44 seconds
    NMP : 1 minute 16 seconds (36% faster)

    For photo Processing I'll grab files from (so you can do the same if you want to), I'll download the first 5 files and duplicate them 3 times.
    Auto everything, Auto lens correction

    Export to Jpg, Quality 10 (15 files)
    OMP : 21 seconds
    NMP : 20 seconds (5% faster)

    The difference in performance seems to be about 30% faster, but it is from a clean boot. My experience tells me other wise; Once you start running other program or doing work at the same time, the difference feels smaller, around the range of 10% to 20%. The extra cores on the oMP seems to help with spreading out the workload.

    This was how I would describe the REAL LIFE experience. I was working late into the night, both computers on at the same time, doing some work and surfing at the same time. Once it was time to convert the master file to h.264, I ran it on both computers, I can't remember how long it took, but I remember the difference between the 2 computers was less then 2-3 minutes. Thas was for the conversion of a 30 minute master file.

    If you happen to own a souped up Old Mac Pro, It think you need to go beyond the 6 core model to make it worth your money. I mean, 6k for a real world 20% improvement seems to be very bad bang for the buck. I guess a chip upgrade the Old Mac Pro to the 3.0ghz 12 core would probably get me close to that performance for just 10% of the cost. With upgraded video cards, you might approach, the 6-8 core performance of the New Mac Pro.

    Hope this comparison will come in useful for people contemplating upgrading.
  2. Mactrunk macrumors regular

    May 12, 2005
    This test is based on the OMP having a GTX670.
    All of the Bruce tests reflect that.
    Very specific to the configuration listed.
    OMP can do much better if tweaked.

    That being said....
    The NMP is the current platform and is very capable.
  3. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    As pointed out, some of these tests will vary depending on the GPU. Also, booting off of one of these pcie flash blades like the 1TB Samsung/Apple drive would probably get the old machine to perform even better.

    And at the top end, its possible to get the old machine to perform as well as the new one.
  4. rueyloon thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    You mean the fcpx export ? Because that shows the biggest difference. I though only fcpx export demonstrated the advantage of the GPU. The rest of the tests seems to be plain CPU tasks.

    For the rest of the export I felt the difference isn't that much given the supposed firepower in the nMP. If the oMP is any faster it would have match the performance easily.
  5. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

    Mar 1, 2010
    With each new generation of the Mac Pro your going to see on average of 18%-25% faster. So it goes along with what your already seeing. Yes you will be able to upgrade older Mac Pros to come close to the 2013 Mac Pro.

    But when the new Intel processors coming out, there will be a socket change so you won't be able to upgrade the old Mac Pro's anymore so they will lag behind eventually.
  6. dhazeghi macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2006
    But that's equally true with the nMP - the LGA 2011 socket will not be seeing any new CPU models.
  7. Macsonic macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Thanks for sharing and for taking the time to do some testing. It was good that you did Real Time actual tests rather than relying on benchmarks or Geekbench. Probably depends on one's workflow and personal preference as to whether to stick to the classic Mac Pro or upgrade to the 2013 new Mac Pro. Another Mac Pro user shared his experiences with the new Mac Pro coming from a classic Mac Pro HERE Higher cost and how much speed gain were the common factors considered by some users as software tends to lag behind hardware advancement.
  8. Prince134 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2010
    Hi, this is a great experience sharing. Thank you.

    My conclusion was not only the same as yours that upgrading existing MP is making much more economical sense, but also shows a change of GPU from Nvidia GTX670 to AMD HD7970 the MP5.1 can match or even outperform the nMPs.
  9. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I had a pretty beefed up OMP for a few weeks, sold it bought the nMP. Still wondering what it could of been if I had kept it.
  10. rueyloon thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2013
    hi, from your signature, is your oMP a 3.33 hex or octo ?

    I see you have the D500 Hex nMP which is the same one as I have at work. you should have somewhat the same conclusion as me, I'm interested to know your experience.
  11. Celedral macrumors 6502


    May 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    It was a hexacore. I must say it was extremely fast in terms of application performance. The oMP was playing back 4k/5k red files just fine and flies through gaming with the 780.

    While I don't think the NMP I got was an upgrade, it was more of a side grade, which offered more expandability in the way of thunderbolt. If I didn't actually need the nMP for a project which requires it's dimensions, I would of happily kept the old one for a few years more.

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