So What Do You Use Your Pro For?

FluJunkie

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
618
1
Trying to to battle with the myriad "Well, if you don't have triple redundant RAID cards, run for monitors, and absolutely, positively *need* two optical drives, you can't possibly be 'pro'" comments on the main rumors page's threads on the Mac Pro.

So - users of the Mac Pro...what do you use your Mac Pro for? What parts of the box are essential for what you do?

---

I'll go first :)

I do public health research - statistical modeling and mathematical simulations mostly. Why did I buy a Pro?

- Need memory, lots of it. If I had the cash, I'd stuff this thing full of those 16 GB chips.
- Decent video card for the occasional video game.
- Expansion bays for hard drives - I've got my boot drive and data drive cloned with internal drives to keep me up and running if something fails.
- Lots, and lots, of screen real estate for plots, code and data sets all at the same time.

Went with a single CPU model though. While I can do stuff that benefits from more cores, its usually easier to just offload it onto a cluster. But some stuff is just inescapably serial, so I went with a speedy Quad-core back when I bought it.
 

wonderspark

macrumors 68040
Feb 4, 2010
3,047
100
Oregon
Corporate video production, feature-length movies, graphic design, photography, and entertainment.

My RAID card connects to an 8-bay tower of eight WD 2TB RE-4 disks in RAID6 for 12TB, all internal bays are used, and the ODD bays have the stock DVD in the top, LG BD-R in the bottom. Single 6-core and 32GB of RAM is perfect for my needs. The eSATA/USB3 PCI card allows for fast external backups via my Voyager Q dock. Only two monitors: 30" ACD and a cheap Dell.
 

chrono1081

macrumors 604
Jan 26, 2008
7,701
1,917
Isla Nublar
XTreme Farmville of course!


......


..........


Ok and maybe 3D modeling, game development (all aspects since I'm a one man show which means music + virtual instruments, 3D modeling, texturing, animation, coding) plus I dabble in visual effects and do Photography.

Basically I needed a ton of storage space, lots of speed, and the ability to multitask like crazy.

I use:

Maya
Houdini
ZBrush
XCode
Corel Painter
Photoshop
Sometimes Mudbox if a file is sent to me
Smoke
After Effects
Illustrator
Aperture
iTunes
Unity 3D
Handbrake

Those are what I play with now, if I land the new job I'm after you can add:

Realflow
Boujou
Mari (it'll run on a Linux machine since Apple was slow to get OpenGL updated so Mari isn't on Mac even though they have it built :mad: )
Renderman

The above is why I bought a Mac Pro. I've actually never played Farmville.
 

gabicava83

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2010
235
2
When I get my new one, it'll be for testing and designing VMware environments. Will need lots of RAM.

The latest mac pro's with dual CPU's are great for this, they are very quiet and can be customised quite extensively with a reasonable price.

Just wish Fusion was as good as Workstation.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I am waiting for the 2012 model so don't have one yet, but I am planning to use it for the basic tenets of life: downloading porn, storing porn, organising porn and watching porn.
 
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gabicava83

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2010
235
2
I am waiting for the 2012 model so don't have one yet, but I am planning to use it for the basic tenets of life: downloading porn, storing porn, organising porn and watching porn.
Can we replicate to each others pro's when we both have the 2012's ;)
 

odinsride

macrumors 65816
Apr 11, 2007
1,145
0
The most taxing thing I do on mine is run multiple VMs with VMware Fusion (databases, dev environments, etc). I also do Aperture and some gaming (bootcamp).
 

Boomhowler

macrumors 6502
Feb 23, 2008
284
0
I do a lot of mathematical modeling, some 3d rendering (Blender), gaming, video encoding, etc. All things that takes any computer power you can throw at it :)

First I bought a pro to get a really awesome computer with lots of options to expand it. What I appreciate most is actually the several PCI-E ports which have made it possible for me to add a PCI-E SSD, newer and more powerful graphics cards etc. I also really like the fact that even though my computer is 4 years old (2008 3Ghz version) it still beats lots of new "gaming rigs" in pure processing power and reliability. This is also why I want my next computer to be a new mac pro. Reliability and longevity.

There are many reasons that I would like to have a new one. 1) I want it :)
2) THe 2008 one is actually limited by processor when encoding large 1080p+ files, more cores and more ghz would be nice.
3) Memory upgrades are super expensive.
4) SATA 6Gbps. I know, there are pci-cards which can solve that problem as well but I want it to be "on board" to free up the pci slots for other stuff.

I am really satisfied with my 2008 purchase, I didn't even dream of it to still feel this snappy after 4 years of use. Not like the HP machines at work.. *shudder*
 

-hh

macrumors 68030
Jul 17, 2001
2,528
324
NJ Highlands, Earth
My primary application has been for digital still photography, and while this isn't necessarily too taxing, a lot of my need for the big box is for storage. Presently, I'm out of room for internals, and while I could bump up their size, I've been instead adding on with external RAID 1's.

For power, my most recent dSLR has 1080p video now too, so I'm picking up on video production and discovering all of those wonderful things about rendering to create the final product. Fortunately, I can get some other work done on a laptop.

My basic thoughts are that I'll probably keep my existing big box running as its own NAS file server rather than to retire it completely; perhaps will also do some experimentation with it, such as to set up some webcams to build up a home security monitoring system (motion detection based, etc).

If a new Mac Pro doesn't come along, my basic thoughts are an iMac with an internal SSD for performance and a Thunderbolt-based RAID stack for my first line of data storage. I've already looked at baseline prices and it won't really be appreciably cheaper than a Mac Pro system, and probably more expensive in the long run.



-hh
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,177
1,231
NYC
I am waiting for the 2012 model so don't have one yet, but I am planning to use it for the basic tenets of life: downloading porn, storing porn, organising porn and watching porn.
You forgot the most important one: making porn.
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,618
70
Mine gets used for CATIA, Inventor, Mass Effect, Call of Duty, and hobby photography.
 

InuNacho

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2008
1,470
641
In that one place
I am in no way shape or form a Pro, but my little ole' Macbook just can't handle what I throw at it anymore. I'd like for the new Pros to come out sometime soon so I can get a used one for cheap.

The main task at hand would be digitizing my family and extended family's VHS libraries, doing clean up in Final Cut, and burning them to DVD/Blu-Ray or Handbraking them to portable device friendly formats.

The GPUs on all the other Macs are pretty trashy. I would love to be able to play Unreal 2004 on OS X while capturing tapes or whatever and when I'm done switch to Windows and play Metro 2033 or the new Sim City.
Of course theres just the usual average Joe computer stuff too.

I've looked at the other Macs and none of them really have the capacity for tons of storage without going to expensive external route. I already do that enough on my Macbook, I'd hate to have to lean behind a giant hot piece of glass and fumble around for empty ports.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,063
842
I use my MP to browse the forum to check on when a new Mac Pro may be announced. (just kidding) :D
 

AppleDroid

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2011
631
84
Illinois
I run a design business with my Pro. Includes web design, print materials, flash ads (people love them still), processing photography (commercial and personal) with LR4 and occasionally video editing and motion work.

While overkill for my everyday work I'd rather pay more for a tower, toss in a few HDDs into a RAID setup and add a nice big matte screen than save money and buy an iMac. Just my preference.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,849
1,131
Heavy duty video editing, and photo editing, mostly. The machine is a beast when it comes to professional media. Also scientific applications (Einstein@Home)
 

SuperJudge

macrumors 6502
Apr 2, 2008
449
5
The Triangle, NC
Mine's primarily a virtualization workstation. Needs lots of RAM, lots of storage, 2+ Gig-E NICs, and I prefer to have lots of monitors.

I like the Mac Pro because the window management in Leopard/Snow Leopard is just the way I like it. I could be doing a lot of the same stuff in Windows or Linux, but multi-touch support and customizable global shortcuts just aren't the same outside of OS X. It's a shame about Lion and the addition of Mission Control. There are a lot of things that would be nice for me in Lion (like improved Exchange integration for Mail.app and support for DFS links), but Mission Control is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

At this point, I don't know that my next machine will be a Mac Pro. That kinda makes me sad.

Just wish Fusion was as good as Workstation.
You and me both!
 

wallysb01

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2011
1,576
775
Porn aside, I use a Mac Pro for all things genomics. Genome assembly occasionally, though that usually farmed out to the local cluster that has 1 TB RAM machine, genome alignments, and a variety of statistical and visualization methods for said genome stuff.

Like the OP, this stuff requires lots and lots of RAM. Currently the Mac Pro I work on is maxed out at 96 GB. Reading from disk is also very important, as raw data files can be 50 GB +, and you might be using 8 or so of them at a time, so I have a 3 drive 9 TB RAID0 for some very fast scratch space. It is "only" the 2010 8 core 2.4 though, it would be nice to have a faster clock rate some times. Those X5650s are bit expensive though and the E5640s are too much for too little of a gain.
 

Wardenski

macrumors 6502
Jan 22, 2012
464
4
My Mac Pro acts like an ordinary home computer really, nothing spectacular.I wanted a Mac and one that could be kept alive for some time with ample power reserves, only the Mac Pro fitted that bill.

Perhaps the most complex thing I do is the odd transmission electron micrograph simulation but its not really too taxing so far.
 

ssgbryan

macrumors 65816
Jul 18, 2002
1,390
1,316
3D art. 64-bit computing.

I run Poser 2012, Vue, Wings, Blender, Photoshop Elements, Handbrake, VLC, Parallels (for some Windows apps I still use).

What drove me to a MacPro was 2 fold.

1. Memory - It has taken a while, but software is finally catching up the the capabilities of my 1,1 MacPro. I need more than 16Gb to run all of my programs at the same time.

2. Expandability. An iMac is simply not an option. I have 6 hard drives internal to my system (A. OS&Apps 2x240 ssds in a Raid 5. B. Data 2x2Tb in a Raid 5. C. iTunes 2x2TB in a Raid 5.) I have upgraded my video - I have a 5770. I'll probably upgrade the CPUs next - Xeon 5355's are $73 each.
 

gabicava83

macrumors regular
Aug 31, 2010
235
2
3D art. 64-bit computing.

I run Poser 2012, Vue, Wings, Blender, Photoshop Elements, Handbrake, VLC, Parallels (for some Windows apps I still use).

What drove me to a MacPro was 2 fold.

1. Memory - It has taken a while, but software is finally catching up the the capabilities of my 1,1 MacPro. I need more than 16Gb to run all of my programs at the same time.

2. Expandability. An iMac is simply not an option. I have 6 hard drives internal to my system (A. OS&Apps 2x240 ssds in a Raid 5. B. Data 2x2Tb in a Raid 5. C. iTunes 2x2TB in a Raid 5.) I have upgraded my video - I have a 5770. I'll probably upgrade the CPUs next - Xeon 5355's are $73 each.
Raid 5 with two disks.......? How does that work?

----------

Mine's primarily a virtualization workstation. Needs lots of RAM, lots of storage, 2+ Gig-E NICs, and I prefer to have lots of monitors.

I like the Mac Pro because the window management in Leopard/Snow Leopard is just the way I like it. I could be doing a lot of the same stuff in Windows or Linux, but multi-touch support and customizable global shortcuts just aren't the same outside of OS X. It's a shame about Lion and the addition of Mission Control. There are a lot of things that would be nice for me in Lion (like improved Exchange integration for Mail.app and support for DFS links), but Mission Control is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

At this point, I don't know that my next machine will be a Mac Pro. That kinda makes me sad.



You and me both!
Fusion is rubbish in regards to functionality like workstation. The bandwidth simulations and networking functionality are superb on workstation.

Unlike you I find window management easier on windows.

The mac pro's are superb, better value in getting dual CPU's for people like you and I. Dual screens are superb and something quite difficult with iMacs in regards to getting a perfect matching screen.

Internal HD storage is not so important now with thunderbolt and external raid enclosures. But will they have this on the new version, if any at all.....
 

quatermass

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2009
146
255
Mostly 3D modelling/rendering, some web design, page layout, Photoshop, After effects/Premier, but 90% of the time it's rendering something. I do a fair bit of animation, sometimes 5-10mins per frame, 25 fps... the time mounts up. Oddly, the increase in computing power and speed hasn't had much of an effect on the time it takes, but the quality has improved dramatically.
Even if/when a new Mac Pro gets released, I'll be keeping this one purely for rendering - I was also wondering if it would be possible to get a stack of Mac Minis and create a mini render farm - anyone know if this is feasible?
 

jpine

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2007
384
69
iOS development which includes PS, FCP (though I'm learning Premier), AE, and Lightwave 3D. I don't game. I did download MS Office 11 for Mac. I like it since I can't trust OpenOffice or Pages to open a .doc or .docx with acceptable accuracy. It seems to be a memory hog though. (I occasionally edit dissertations).
 
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