What's the best MacPro 2012 config for editing?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MrMacCity, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. MrMacCity macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #1
    I'm new to the forum and need some help.

    Now that the "new" MacPro line came out. I'm going to purchase it. I decided that the MacPro is definitely the Mac I want.*

    What I'm using it for:

    I'm going to be using final cut pro to edit my shorts. (Which will be about 20-30 minutes each). I will also be making YouTube videos that would last 3-5 minutes each. (skits, music videos, and some other fun stuff)

    Also I'm going to be doing some basic music production. Recording music, and mixing.*

    Playing WoW in my free time. :)

    Camera:

    Currently I have the Cannon HFS200. But I'm looking into better cameras as well.*

    Issues:*
    Since I'm going to make the investment into the macpro, I feel the 12 core would be the best fit. I want a smooth editing experience, unlike my cheap windows computer which makes me want to cry because of how slow it is (not to mention trying to edit when the video is skipping). Most frustrating experience in the world.

    *Right now I have $6,000 and I'm going to finance the rest or just save more. If possible I want to cap it at $8,000 or less.*

    I been searching for a couple of weeks on the best configuration for my long-desired MacPro.*I would greatly appreciate it if some one could give me a run down on a good config.*

    Before anything, I wanted to know is it a smart choice choosing the 12 Core MacPro? It's what I have been leaning towards.*I want to make sure I put my money in the right places.*

    For a *fast and smooth editing experience what is your opinion:

    1 What processor?*

    2 How much memory? (Ram)

    3 Which graphics card?*

    4 Do I have to fill up all four hard drives bays? (or just 1 or 2 bays).*
    What's the recommended amount for the how much I should put on the drives.*

    5. External drive?*

    I will be purchasing Apple's monitor aswell.*

    Thank you so much in advance. I have been wanting a Mac for a very long time.*

    Oh, I'm not rich by any means. So I want to make sure every dollar has a reason for being spent lol.*
     
  2. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #2
    The Mac Pro is not *NEW*. Please note that you are paying top dollar for 2+ year old tech. ****
    **

    *

    *
    /***
     
  3. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #3
    depending on what CPU you choose, it's actually 100% 3-year old tech.

    everything inside the 2012 Mac Pro was released in 2009 except for the 6-core CPU.
     
  4. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #4
    I was trying for optimism... and asterisks.
     
  5. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Sweden
    #5
    depending on what CPU you choose, it's actually 100% 3-year old tech.

    everything inside the 2012 Mac Pro was released in 2009 except for the 6-core CPU.

    you want a 2012 Mac Pro? you can go and buy a 2009 Mac Pro, use a firmware tool to upgrade it to 2010 firmware, then install whatever CPU you want, and it will be 100% identical to the 2012 Mac Pro.
     
  6. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Location:
    Canada, Eh?
    #6
    Are you sure its the mac you want? No Thunderbolt, no USB 3 and 3 year old tech?
     
  7. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #7
    Welcome to the forum
    [we're all super disappointed with the update--that's why all the surly remarks]

    I'm in exactly the same position--I make videos and just bought the 2012 MP (even though I wish it had been updated).

    I wish it had thunderbolt to make it more future-proof. That said, I don't miss it. External TB drive enclosures still cost a premium and there is plenty of drive space inside the MP. Furthermore, I'd rather spend $300 on a PCI HD-SDI interface then $1000 for the TB version.

    Here's what I just went with: Quad 3.2 with 24GB Ram, 3 WD 1TB Caviar Black drives (I was surprised that my MP came with a Caviar Black--bonus!), 3TB WD Green for Time Machine, and a 240GB OWC Accelsior SSD Raid (which comes on Tuesday and I can't wait to try out!). I'll add a Blackmagic SDI card and a FSI NTSC monitor when the next big funding comes through.

    I make 5 minute short videos that are distributed in 1080p. I work with FCP7 and will probably transition to FCPX in the next 6 months. I also do a LOT of digital image work with Photoshop and 100GB+ files. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark 3 for tests, and my DP uses a Sony F3 (although we also like the FS100 on smaller projects). I'll probably be upgrading to a Red Epic sometime in the future, but I'm not in a rush to do that.

    If you've got plenty of money then get whatever. If you're like me and have some money, but everything you say yes to is something else you're saying no to then it's important to get what you need and no more. My videos use heavily built sets--if I spend all my money on a computer and don't invest in the camera side, grip side, lighting side, people side, etc then my work won't look its best.

    The plain truth is that there generally isn't as much real life performance difference between 4 cores and 12 that you'd expect from the price. The 12 core is better when you're using software that can leverage it (DO YOUR HOMEWORK HERE) but it's not like it's night and day better. And it's certainly not the same percentage better that it's price is higher. It's more like 6-15% better, depending on the variables.

    And yes, I expect this entire forum to tear me apart for saying this, listing all sorts of stats and figures--which I'm sure are true--however, stats and figures are one thing and actually using it for real life tasks is another. Apple, God bless them, makes their money on processor upgrades (and ridiculous prices for ram).

    Save your money for where you'll really need it. Get a crazy fast SSD boot drive. Get plenty of ram (the 2012's work best with their ram in triplicate so you might as well get 8GB x 3). Get fast large storage for your videos. Get a method to view your videos accurately for color correction (this is SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN 12 CORES--and cost an arm and a leg to do it right--and if you don't do it right then what good is it?).

    Remember--the key is to not have the best in a single category--the key is to develop all of your categories so there is no weak link.

    Now, I'm braced for all the 12 core enthusiasts to have a go at me.
     
  8. G51989 macrumors 68030

    G51989

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2012
    Location:
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    #8
    Don't buy it. Build or buy a PC workstation.

    Or wait for the New Mac Pro in 2013.

    Don't waste your money on something that's 3 years old.
     
  9. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #9
    The view by Murray M is as good as the view by G51989 is marginal. Perhaps the difference is real world experience / professional use vs whatever.

    Murray - I just ordered the 3.3 hexcore, 24 GB of Crucial ram, and will shortly go with an ATTO SAS card / G technology external enclosure populated with Hitachi enterprise class drives - still checking some of the details.

    Using Capture One / Canon glass and bodies / some Aperture work / Final Cut.

    Have a number of iMacs around, iPad3, 17" MBP - but for hours of heavier use, MP is the way to go :)
     
  10. akadmon Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #10
    Is that so? I'm not saying you're wrong, just trying understand why. Back in the olden days (when I bought my 1,1), you had to install RAM in pairs. I wondered why Apple sell MPs with 3 sticks per memory bank, not 2, not 4. I just bought 2x8GB from OWC for the BTO 6-core I ordered, thinking I'll have 20GB total. Is 2x8 better than 2x8 + 2x2? Is 3x8 better than 4x8?
     
  11. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #11
    Yes, and I just looked for the page I got that from and can't find it. You're right--the older MP's liked pairs. The new one like it in 3's. That's why Apple sells em in triplicate form. I'll post the source if I find it. I think it was on Wiki.
     
  12. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #12
    Thanks!
    Let us know how you like your raid!
     
  13. akadmon Suspended

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    So why have the 4th slot at all?
     
  14. scottrichardson macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Location:
    Ulladulla, NSW Australia
    #14
    DONT BUY THE QUAD MODEL.

    Seriously. That quad model uses the same chipset as the 2009 Nehalem Mac Pros with 1066Mhz Memory etc. While the hex core and dual hex core models use the 2010 chipsets with 1333Mhz RAM and Westmere Processors.

    It seems the best bang for the buck is the single processor 6 core model. Stick 32GB RAM and an SSD boot drive (www.macsales.com) and the Radeon 5870 GPU and it should keep you humming for years...

    Scott
     
  15. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #15
    My understanding is when everything is said and done, more ram is better, no matter what the small speed differences are. That said, purchasing your ram to keep the first three slots matched offers a slight speed advantage.

    Can anyone clarify this?

    ----------

    It's better, but is it $500 better? Can you really feel the difference between 1066 speed ram and 1333? I'd say the extra $500 is much better spent on a OWC Accelsior SSD raid.
     
  16. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #16
    Same issue I noodled on yesterday. I may change my crucial ram order to three 8 GB dimms as, based on page outs, I doubt I'll ever run out of real memory at 24 GB.

    My readings are that the loss of speed with the 4th slot populated is insignificant, especially if you need more than 24 GB. The cost of memory is soooo good right now I just loaded it up - but.......
     
  17. Zwhaler, Jun 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012

    Zwhaler macrumors 604

    Zwhaler

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    #17
    12 Core is the best CPU configuration for CPU currently offered by Apple. It makes a huge difference when using 64 bit applications such as Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Creative Suite, not to mention 3D and scientific applications.

    The CPU is the most important component to upgrade upon purchase of the 2012 model Mac Pro. For budgetary reasons, I would recommend the 2.66GHz which is still extremely fast, and less expensive than the 3.06 which appears to be over your budget.

    I use 24GB 1333MHz ECC RAM in my 2010 Mac Pro 2 x 2.93GHz, and I have no problems with RAM. If you aren't doing super heavy duty editing, 16GB should suffice but having 24GB or more is nice, especially if you get a base config from Apple and throw in 3 x 8GB yourself. Make sure to get ECC RAM, and don't buy it from Apple because it will serve your budget better to upgrade aftermarket (equal quality, much less expensive). One tip is if your 16GB or 24GB of RAM ever fills up during use, simply close the application that 's using the most RAM (like FCP X) and re open it or do a reboot.

    Definitely go with the HD 5870, that upgrade isn't expensive in comparison and gives you solid graphics performance on the 27" LED Cinema Display, which I also use. The GPU will hold up great during editing and will also do well in games. This is what I use, since its the best Apple currently offers.

    You don't have to fill up all four bays. I personally got the 2TB option from Apple, and have since put in additional 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB Seagate Barracuda XT 64MB 7,200 RPM drives with great success.

    The Mac Pro, if configured optimally, should enable the user to go without needing an external drive at all up to the 16TB mark. Hope this information helps!
     
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #18
    I don't think Thunderbolt is necessary for the Mac Pro. But the $1000 is bit off ( or at least will be way off in a several weeks. )

    http://www.aja.com/en/products/t-tap/#/overview

    About $245 :

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/857191-REG/AJA_T_TAP_T_TAP.html



    [ Unless the this is isn't the SDI you were looking for. ]

    It is only yet another demonstrative example of many PCI-e cards being flipped into Thunderbolt devices of approximately the exact same costs.
    For the Mac Pro you buy (or have bought) the PCI-e flavor. For the mobile units or iMac you buy a Thunderbolt version. If had bought two Mac Pros would probably have two.

    The only folks getting their knickers in a twist are those who only want to buy once for multiple machines. If the budget constraints run very tight that's understandable. But critical pieces of equipment that regular subjected to the "bad outcomes" of travel probably should have back-ups back at the home base. Having a PCI-e and a Thunderbolt version isn't all that bad position to be in.
     
  19. Murray M macrumors regular

    Murray M

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #19
    Wow. Hadn't seen that. Agree on all points.
     
  20. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    #20
    The Nehalem and Westmere CPUs found in the Mac Pro have 3 memory channels, so it's best to have sets of 3 RAM sticks. I'm not sure what the perf difference is like since it's been so long since I looked into it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nehalem_(microarchitecture)

    Older Mac Pros only had two memory channels, which is why you had to install in pairs.
     
  21. MrMacCity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #21
    Thanks everyone for the responses.

    This is tough decision because although they haven't really updated the MacPro it still does the job. It does sound kind of bad to buy a 2-3 year old machine. I was leaning towards the MacPro but I'm not completely against the iMac. It's just the iMac is limited in expanding options.

    I want to make a smart decision here, I just thought having the MacPro would give me more expanding options for the future therefore it would last me longer.
    And as I get better cameras and have a tougher workload it wouldnt be hard to upgrade a couple things here or there.

    Will the top iMac have the power and speed to complete 30 minutes and up hd short films? (With a smooth editing process.) or will it be really slow?*

    I will be usingI
    1 Final Cut Pro for HD Editing*
    2 PhotoShop
    3 Music Production programs*
    (Including hooking my Mac up to equipment to record)*
    4 Playing World of Warcraft
    5 and using it as my regular computer

    I'm coming from a horrible windows experience, so I'm very cautious with my mac choices.*

    This is a very difficult decision for me. I'm not sure now I'm stuck!
     
  22. peabo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    #22
    He's right, 'new' Mac Pros use triple channel memory, meaning that if you install your RAM in multiples of 3, you will see better performance.
     
  23. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #23
    Why are you stuck?

    Go compile some programs on an iMac or get into a two hour rendering job - you can fry eggs on the top of the iMac.

    The Mac Pro is not just about expandability - it has massive cooling and endurance for heavy use.

    If that is going to be you - go Mac Pro

    If not - go iMac.

    I have both - they each play their role very well.
     
  24. MrMacCity thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2012
    #24
    I know the MacPro isn't just about expandability but that is one of my deciding factors.

    Also, I'm not sure how intense my workload will be in the near future.

    The top level iMac with highest thunderbolt external comes out to about $6,000. And the MacPro Is just about $3,000 more.

    The main reason I'm stuck is because people are saying it isn't a wise investment to purchase a 2 year old machine. If it wasn't for the MacPro being 2 years outdated, it would have been an easier decision.*
     
  25. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #25
    PLEASE list the MP system that you will be spending $9000 for.
     

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