The new MacPro: Shelf life of entry level model

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacPrometheus, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. MacPrometheus macrumors newbie

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    #1
    What do you think the working shelf life of the entry level model will be for a pro photographer would be?
     
  2. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    #2
    Depends on a lot of things…. How busy you are and big your library and how big your image files are the places to start.

    I keep my systems for 4 years. The first 3 years I am covered by AppleCare, and therefore there is no need to budget for extra expenses of repairs. By the fourth year I've already got the replacement funds in the bank, and if I'm feeling good about the system I don't mind risking the resale value. That is to say… If the system breaks in the 4th year, and it's an expensive repair… I'm buying a new system anyway, and it's already budgeted. What I won't be able to do is sell the old system for the full resale value (it's broken, after all). After 4 years I buy a new system to get the 3 years coverage.

    While the theory is that I sell the old system, in practice I find there is usually something else I can do with. My old Mini become a jukebox for a couple of years, and then got gifted to a friend who is still using it. My old 2008 Octocore MacPro is now the system the camera is tethered to. This is now my 3rd system, a 6 core 2012 bought late last year from the refurb store. I will keep it at least 2 if not 3 years, and then get a refurbed round Mac Pro.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. MacPrometheus thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    It does. I left the question vague on purpose. Your response did help and I like the direction you went. Do you find your current MacPro sufficiently fast for editing in Aperture and associate plugins (or PS)?

    I am thinking the new MacPro will give instant results but then I think that Apple touts performance gains that may be for the maxed out system and not the entry level.

    Using the current MacPro's we have four disk bays (three because I don't count the OSX drive.

    What are viable options for storage (to work from)? Thunderbolt devices yes, but does anyone have a suggestion for a quiet system that will give me 2-4 TB of storage on one drive and be fast enough to edit from?

    I am thinking if I get a new Mac Pro I will retire my Mid 2010 to the NAS backup. If I don't get a new MacPro, I will most likely get a new Mini with Fusion drive.
     
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #4
    Yes. But I don't expect instantaneous. What I didn't mention was that my first 'serious' Mac was a Mini with just 2GB of RAM. The images I was working on were large, and had many layers, and were routinely getting close to 1GB in size. Photoshop, of course, wanted 6x to 8x the RAM … which meant that most of my image was actually sitting in virtual memory on the HDD (a slow 5400rpm HDD) instead of the much faster RAM. I was always freaked about losing my image, so I saved often. I could - literally - go out to the kitchen, put the kettle on and boil water for my coffee and my late wife's tea, come back with my coffee, and watch the end of the saving process. One time, when I had a file that large - for me at that time - I went out and mowed the lawn. Seriously… though it was a small lawn. It was what it was, and I was waiting before I invested in a bigger system. When you are used to those times, then everything else is instantaneous. Ironically, I never once had Photoshop crash. That little Mini was a true workhorse.
    All depends on your point of view… see above….
    It's not just how the hardware manages one or two applications… it's the entire workflow. Letter writing, emailing, creating promo pieces for my business using my photos, creating teaching notes for my workshops. I may (or may not… I don't measure it) be waiting an extra few seconds to see my previews.. but I save so much time actually do all my daily work with my Mac Pro that on balance I see it as a necessary tool, and worth the price.
    Plus you can put another HDD in the 2nd optical bay.
    HDDs are cheap. When I upgraded to this MP, I simply pulled the system disk from the old 2008 MP and popped it into this system. Instant migration. That handles all the OS, and all the non-image documents. I also have Lightroom backup its catalogues to this disk. The 320GB HDD that came with the system I'm currently using as a scratch disk. The images are on a 2TB HDD, and I'm using the 4th bay for a 2TB Time Machine disk. I have a USB external for a cloned Photos back up nightly, and a FW external HDD for the System disk. I use FW for this one because in case of catastrophic HW failure I can use this ext HDD to boot either the old MP or an old MacBook Pro… I know you don't need FW to boot from, but booting from a USB HDD is truly brutal… now that is slow.
    Cores count … I don't know how the Mini's stack up any more, I don't pay them any attention now… but I can start several operations up in Lightroom to take advantage of the multiple cores.

    Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as Capture One, here.
     
  5. InuNacho macrumors 65816

    InuNacho

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    #5
    I'm no Pro so I can't vouch for what a professional does but heres my photo workflow. Normally when I'm running LR and PS simultaneously things are smooth but when multiple raws are stacked in PS, things slowdown tremendously. I get some waiting time in PS but nothing like snberk's mini.

    I'm running an older 09 3.33 quad with 16GB and my photo stuff is stored on the crappy drive my Pro came with, if I were to bump up the ram a bit and use a more modern drive these slowdown problems would go away.

    CPU usage isn't that big a deal at all, at least what I've seen.
     

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