To Mac Pro, or not to Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by greekscreech, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. greekscreech macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    So, like many of you, I have been patiently waiting for about five months now for a Mac Pro refresh. With the newer cpu's, gpu's, and hds out now, I was expecting to have seen them update it by now, but they haven't. They also refuse to announce anything about when they might, in a greedy attempt to get people to pay top dollar for old stock. I need to get a new system for 4k video editing now. When it was first released I was impressed by the value. Building a comparable system cost about the same. This doesn't seem to be the case anymore, and since they haven't upgraded the system, or lowered their prices to compete, I feel like I need to abandon the dream and look else where. Anybody disagree? Is there any reason why the Mac Pro still can compete at a $5,000 price point? If not, any recommendations on what I should get?
     
  2. evopanop macrumors member

    evopanop

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire, CA
    #2
    If you really need Thunderbolt, save some money and pick up a Refurb nMP.

    If you don't need Thunderbolt, you can build a very competitive, 4k-capable 4,1 / 5,1 cMP for less than the cost of a comparable nMP.
     
  3. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Not sure whether you're just looking for some encouragement to get a cMP or build a hackintosh...

    But if you're really serious about working with 4K on a Mac, and the current nMP is really capable at editing 4K, then why does it matter so much what the spec sheet says?

    (and that's not to say I wouldn't like to see Apple update the nMP as well, but they haven't, so...)

     
  4. chogue23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Location:
    Waco, TX, USA
    #4
    For video editing, I don't see how the smaller SSD will replace the large HDD. I would suggest getting a 2012 Mac pro, because it can hold 4 Hard drives internally. You can get a used 12 core model and max out the ram for the same price as a new one. Then you could add 4 4TB drives and add a USB 3.0 card from Orico and even an Nvidia graphics card if you would like and have a system that won't have any problems with 4K video. You could even add a Bluray burner if you want.
     
  5. greekscreech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    #5
    I think half of me is hoping someone can convince me I should still get the nMP, and half of me is looking for ideas for what to get instead.

    I currently have a 2007 mac pro that is struggling to do everyday tasks, and can't handle hd footage anymore. I'm not super excited about the idea of buying another cMP. If I am not going to get the nMP, I would then prefer to buy or build a hackintosh or pc more powerful than the nMP build I was planning on getting.

    Buying a refurb nMP is the same cost as getting the educational discount on the new one, so it won't save me any money. Sadly, you can't apply the discount to refurbs.

    I'm planning on getting an external thunderbolt raid setup, so the internal drive will only serve as a boot/programs and misc files disk.

    @ixxx69 I would really like to get the nMP, because I love its design and size, but I feel like it would bother me that I could have built a comparable machine for almost half as much, or get so much more for the $5000 I've bookmarked to spend.
     
  6. chogue23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Location:
    Waco, TX, USA
    #6
    I have a 2006 Mac Pro that I have upgraded with 2x quad core processors and 32gb of memory. I have it running Yosemite using the boot.efi method and use a GTX 560ti OC graphics card and USB 3. The entire system including the starter mac only cost me $600USD. I'm not saying this would be the fastest thing out there, but it is a lot faster than a lot of things that I've used. It is just another suggestion. I have tried the Hackintosh route, but it would cost quite a bit to build an 8 core intel system with 32gb of ram and the drivers would never work out correctly. I have tried with every version of OS X from Tiger on, and haven't had much luck. That's just my 2 cents anyway and to the defence of the Hackintosh, a lot of my problems were due to trying to get it to work on an AMD system, which everyone knows it won't work on, but I didn't have much better luck with Core 2 Duo or i3 systems.
     
  7. thefredelement macrumors 65816

    thefredelement

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Location:
    New York
    #7
    If it's for work like through a company maybe considering leasing it, this way you get a good enough computer but you're not stuck with it when the lease is over (unless you want to buy it).

    If that's not an option but you really want one then just get one - it's going to be a huge improvement over what you have now and you'll get the benefit of warranty and a way higher resale value should you choose to go that route down the road.

    I think you can look at tech purchases in two ways, how does it compare and what is the tech's capabilities? I'm not stoked about the non modular GPUs in the nMP, but aside from that, overall functionality wise I don't think you'll miss out on anything.

    If you can't get over the value loss of the fruit logo and it's going to eat at you during your time owning it, then don't do it, it will never live up to it's potential or value.
     
  8. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #8
    1. Keep in mind what app you will be using. Premiere is good with 4K because of the Mercury engine and CUDA. You can read online how the Mercury Playback Engine differs pertaining to CUDA and Software Only (ram) usage.
    Look at this video to see a 5,1 using the MPE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foLxsL5RU6k&spfreload=10
    2. I don't know how FCPX deals with 4K
    3. Avid just got into the 4K world this year with MC 8.3. You can now export 4K and are not limited to HD. Even though it's a 64bit app, as of yet it does not use and allocate the use of ram like Premiere. It does not use CUDA.

    I am able to deal with 4K (R3D, Alexa, Sony, Panasonic etc) with Avid only because of a fast RAID (nonSSD).

    Even the nMP should be examined with specific apps in mind. An nMP (even with the dual GPU's) at the moment will not handle 4K in Avid the way you think 4K foot should be handled. Over 8 months ago a guy posted on this forum getting advice for building a RAID system for a nMP to edit 4K in Avid. He said his client had "very" deep pockets and $ was not an issue. He wanted/needed a RAID system at a specific speed. Eventually he bought two 8 drive towers but I don't remember if he posted the speed. He could not post 4K results because then Avid was only HD.

    There was a You Tube video of a newly purchased nMP wherein some guy's were playing 2 trks of 4K and were besides themselves! They did not put the nMP thru the paces by adding 4K tracks until it called uncle! This would have given the viewers an idea of what would be needed for their work flow.

    Things to keep in mind for the build are possible 4K multicam shots and Dragon.
     

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  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    Now is not a great time to buy, theres no debating that. However, there's not much to be gained by waiting either.

    Here's what you can expect for average performance gains if they refresh tomorrow:
    - CPU: 3%
    - RAM: 1%
    - GPU: 20%
    - SSD: 20-40%

    How much will this have an impact on real-world tasks? Likely very little on most things, but perhaps as much as 20% for GPU constrained tasks.

    So, you could buy a refurb tomorrow and get to work or you could wait, and maybe, if they refresh it, you could get up to 20% more performance (in GPU constrained tasks) at a 15% price premium (over a refurb).

    Alternatively, the more economical way to go would be to get a used 2010/2012 cMP with suitable GPU(s) or build a hack as you say and get to work right away, and then upgrade when the next gen nMP comes available. The money lost on another old cMP or a PC build isn't going to be that much even if you only keep it for 6-12 months.
     
  10. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #10
    Tech wise right now is a bad time to buy most Apple products having said that now is a bad time to stop making money also. I would not be inclined to buy a new mac pro nor an older one right now, I'd wait to see what develops a WWDC and if nothing is there I'd just get a PC workstation assuming you use premiere.
     
  11. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #11
    When I come to replace my nMP it won't be with another Mac. There are good deals to be had on both HP z820's and Dell Precisions, both of which scale much higher in terms of performance and RAM. I mainly use my nMP as a VMware lab, preferring to run everything in software rather than having a bunch on ESXi servers hanging around so I need loads of RAM to support this.

    4K would be nice for photography too, but 4K is just a confusing mess at the minute that might even be superseded by 5K with official Apple products. Where would that leave the current nMP? I would be mightily pissed off it Apple bring out a new 4K/5K display that's not compatible with the current nMP. Yes you can go 3rd party for 4K, but the choices are either aimed at gamers (i.e. bad colour accuracy, etc), using newer DP 1.3 or aimed right at the high-end (Eizo). The options that sit in the middle don't seem that good right now.

    By having a machine where i can swap out the GPU it would allow me to pick from a greater selection of peripherals, and overall keep my costs down. The current nMP is like a glorified mini. It's a nice personal machine, but I wouldn't consider it to be a workstation.
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    I have a pair of Dell P2715Q 4k 27"displays running on my nMP and they are awesome. IPS, SST, 60Hz, 99% sRGB, super bright, with incredible pixel density. I can't stand my 27" Apple Display at work now. I'm spoiled. The nMP is worth it just to drive a pair of good 4K displays. And Apples HiDPI scaling is incredible. 3008x1690 on 4K is super sharp with crisp text. It's amazing for photography, but any task is better at HiDPI resolution. :)

    4K is one area where the nMP and OS X excels.
     
  13. ScottishCaptain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    #13
    Build a hackintosh.

    You'll get better hardware and more flexibility. Classic Mac Pro is getting long in the tooth, while it still works fine I wouldn't buy one today- there's just too many strings attached with what you can and can't run inside it.

    -SC
     
  14. greekscreech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    #14
    If I were to build a Hackintosh, are there any builds or guides that are up to date, from this year, that you could refer me to? While I've installed ram and hard drives, I've never built a computer from scratch before. I've also heard that maintaining and upgrading a hackintosh is extremely difficult. Would a hackintosh last me as long as a nMP?
     
  15. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    Location:
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    #15
    I would stay up to date longer because you can substitute parts and therefore stay current. If you go to tonymacx86 you'll see a variety of builds that you an base off of, once you looked over his builds you'll see a trend just follow the trend. I've built 4 now for varying people some were easy to upgrade and update some not so much it depends on what base you start from. My current Hackintosh an HP Z600 is a PITA to OSX running and update but they're not all that hard. If you need the computer to no ***** work all the time everytime no matter I probably wouldn't hackintosh but if the computer is like mine an extension of what I do at work it's been OK.

    TL:DR Buy the Mac Pro if it's critical that it runs all the time and you live in OS X only software.
     
  16. bits macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    #16
    Hackintosh it's not a best idea. Maybe when you have a lot of time and don't use your computer to work. But I don't think it will work fine after ~5 years. nMP you can update (software) every time and you won't think and read every time forums if your hackintosh can handle update.

    If you work and need new computer for work, just buy it.

    I'm in the same position, waiting for march update. They ignore nMP, so I buy it, because I need it. Simple. Maybe update will be after WWDC, maybe in December or next year...
    Don't think about coming update, think about what you can do when you have this computer months earlier ;)
     
  17. SuperMatt macrumors 6502

    SuperMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    #17
    If you want to spend countless hours fixing problems, get a "hackintosh". If you want to get work done, have a warranty, own a machine with some resale value? nMP. That might sound like I'm dissing the hackers out there. I'm not. If you are a tinkerer and want to overclock chips or try to maximize your performance at the cheapest price point, I think that is a great pursuit. But if that's not your thing... You will have many hours of frustration when you could be getting work done.
     
  18. evopanop macrumors member

    evopanop

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    Inland Empire, CA
    #18
    Maintaining and upgrading a Hackintosh IS a pain in the you-know-what - believe me, been there and done that. I've even done it for clients. Never again.

    That being said...
    http://www.tonymacx86.com

    I still maintain my stance, though, that you're better off getting a cMP 4,1 / 5,1 and upgrading the heck out of it - if you don't absolutely need Thunderbolt. You'll get equivalent, or better, performance as a nMP for less money.

    My $0.02. :D
     
  19. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #19
    Thanks for sharing. The information around Mac support from Dell is sometimes misleading, or non-existant.

    The downside is I'll have to read some reviews now and if I like them get my wallet out. ;)
     
  20. revoid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    #20
    My best advice if price is an issue, get the 2010-2011 mac pro and source out all the parts you can for upgrade. I personally got myself a second hand 2009 8 Core mac Pro for like $1,200 then flashed it to run 12 cores when I managed to get 2x 6 Core Xeons running 3.33Ghz for like $500! Hahaha. The guy was in desperate need to sell his xeons. Then I bought a Plextor M6E 128gb Pcie SSD for boot and added spare 16gb rams I had in my room. Oh and bought a new Evga 780 card and ran nvidia web drivers.

    And I am so glad I made this route! This beast is definitely my baby! Gonna buy a faster set of pcie ssds and add additional rams soon. Total cost price is worth to me. Quite frankly I was disappointed that the new mac pro had single xeons. I would rather have dual so I can render 3d files faster. But that's just me :)
     

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