Which specs are most important for the nMP?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Darthmnkyrpm, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Darthmnkyrpm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2012
    #1
    So, I've been bouncing back and forth on what to upgrade for the nMP. And I just want to know which will be most important for my needs. I and a graphic designer using Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign as well as a video editor using Premiere, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Avid, Logic, etc. I also want to be able to play games such as Crysis and Battlefield with relative ease.

    So my question is, which is most important? I have already decided that I want the graphics card maxed out. But here is what I'm wondering:

    Processor: 4 or 6
    RAM: 16 or 32 or buy 64 from Superbiiz ($680)
    Storage: 512GB or 1TB (I have a 4TB external storage already)

    I also am wanting 2 monitors that will price for $379.98 combined. The only other thing I was thinking of was getting the new Beats Studio priced at $299.99 (Side note: I've been looking for cheaper headphones with the same quality but I can't find any, so if you know any that are as good as the new Beats, I would be happy to know)

    Basically, my price cap is $6000 and I'm trying to figure out which features are most important. Thank you very much for your help!
     
  2. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #2
    Personally the CPU would be (and is) my choice here. The SSD and RAM can always be upgraded later if they are not enough; whereas the CPU is fixed.
     
  3. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #3
    Okay thank you, that's what I needed to hear. Also, do you think I need 64gb ram? Or should I settle with 32gb for now and maybe upgrade in a few years?
     
  4. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    The Peninsula
    #4
    How much RAM in your current system? If that's enough, don't buy more for the new Mini Pro.

    RAM is almost always cheaper from 3rd parties, and historically tends to become cheaper over time.

    If you're happy with 8 GiB on your current system - go with the 12 GiB or 16 GiB base on the new Mini Pro. If you need more a year or two down the line, upgrade then - you'll probably be able to get 32 GiB for much less than Apple is charging today.
     
  5. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #5
    Well, I currently have MBP late 2011 with 16gb of ram. I just don't know how big of a performance change I'll see from 16-32gb. Also, that ram is expensive, so if I would be fine with 16gb for now and upgrade in a few years when it's cheaper, that would be best. But I want to make sure I'll be fine with 16gb. Right now my computer feels a bit slow, but it has a slower processor, graphics card, and it's not sad so I'm sure no matter what the new computer will feel faster. I just don't know how important ram is for gaming and video editing.
     
  6. haravikk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #6
    Apple's aim with the new Mac Pro is clearly to use the twin GPUs to function for a lot of compute power; in fact if you look at some of Apple's pro apps, updates are already coming out that specifically mention support for the new Mac Pro's twin GPUs.

    The question however is whether other developers will follow suit, and how quickly. Photoshop for example seems to be more limited by RAM first, and then CPU, though things like the fast SSD for scratch can make a big difference too.

    Compared to the upgrade to D700's, the CPU upgrades are very expensive, but they are more likely to give you better performance now, while the GPUs have the potential to give you better performance later, though like I say; so far that's only guaranteed for Apple apps.
     
  7. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #7
    Actually the CPU and GPU's are the un-upgradable bits, so I'd focus on those.

    However, upgrading the CPU is a somewhat limited affair. Because all the chips share the same TDP, with more cores you get lower base clocks.

    http://www.marco.org/2013/11/26/new-mac-pro-cpus

    Considering the cost differences you have to weigh your use cases as to what chip is better for you. In my estimation the hex core is the sweet spot for the majority of people.

    On GPU's it's more straightforward, each upgrade is significantly better. Thus

    • If you game, are a graphics or compute professional get the D700's
    • If you're one of those but can't afford the D700, get the D500. Or if you just do a little gaming and can afford it, get the D500 over the D300.
    • If you are CPU bound and just use business graphics (OS) then get the D300.

    Otherwise, for RAM and disk do whatever you need.
     
  8. jasonvp macrumors 6502a

    jasonvp

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    Jun 29, 2007
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #8
    You're after a "Jack of all Trades" with the Mac Pro, and I suspect you're going to run into limitations either way. Even with a topped out Mac Pro, which given your budget is out of the question.

    Assuming you're using the CC versions of the Adobe software (Photoshop, Premiere, AE), you'll be able to throw the GPUs at them. As of Premiere's latest patch (yesterday), none of the new Mac Pro's GPUs are officially supported. But deleting the text file that lists the supported GPUs will change that. So opt up for the D700s without hesitation.

    As for memory: save your money and buy the base 4-core system with 12GB of RAM. Upgrade the video and processor, and then go aftermarket for the memory. It'll save you a few pennies. How much memory? It depends on what you're editing. I have 48G in my Mac Pro, and I've seen Premiere start to nudge up against it from time to time. For me, personally, I'd go all-out with 64GB and call it a day.

    Ignore the storage. Stick with the base 256GB internal SSD, where you'll only install the OS and applications. Nothing else. Video editing software like Premiere like LOTS and LOTS of different disk volumes, so get ready to invest in some external Thunderbolt enclosures.

    That leaves your processor. Adobe software is threaded ... eh. It really likes faster cores, not more of them. Games are the same way. I don't have any experience with some of the other software you've listed, so I'm not sure how they'd do.

    In summary:
    • Start with base 4-core system
    • Upgrade processor to 6-core Xeon
    • Upgrade GPUs to the D700s
    Via aftermarket:
    • 64GB RAM
    • At least 1 Thunderbolt RAID enclosure
    • At least 4 SATA3 drives
     
  9. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #9
    So, I've had this question a lot. Do I want higher clock speeds, or more cores? What are the benefits of each?

    Well I know that I can't get the best computer with that budget, but I think it'll definitely be better than what I have.

    Now for storage, I also plan on putting on a Windows partition for my games. My main problem is that I can't use my LaCie Thunderbolt storage because for some reason Bootcamp won't support thunderbolt storage. And I tried saving everything to my USB external hard drive, but the games run so slow that it's not actually worth it. So, unless there's a better way, I think I might need the 512GB storage.

    And for the processor, are you saying that the quad core would be better than the 6 core? Because my plan was to get the 6 core, but if having more cores won't actually help, then that would definitely save me a pretty penny.
     
  10. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    To a large extent, that's no longer a trade-off you need to make. As the link shows, the 4, 6, and 8 core are all very similar in clock speed (3.9GHz) at single core tasks and even scale down from there very similarly with increasing parallelism. Hence, the decision in this situation is merely... What fits your budget?
     
  11. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Poole, England
    #11
    Save your money and don't buy the beats. They are just not very good, but they do have excellent marketing. Look at brands like AKG, Audio Technica, Grado and so forth.

    Read some reviews before throwing your money away on overpriced designed headphones.
     
  12. jondunford macrumors 6502

    jondunford

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    #12
    they are good but not brilliant, like the guy above says the price is inflated because of good marketing

    they are on par with maybe $100 lesser known phones
     
  13. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #13
    I second that - sonically beats are well below par. I will add the top end sennheiser models to the list.

    Before I got tinnitus nothing could touch my stax lambda electrostatics, very top end is wasted on my ears now sadly :(
     
  14. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #14
    Okay thank you. Yes, my problem has been, that I've always heard people say beats are overpriced, which I agree with, but no one ever game me other brands to look at. I'll go check those out right now!
     
  15. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #15
    Check out head fi for reviews and recommendations.

    http://www.head-fi.org
     
  16. Darthmnkyrpm thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 4, 2012
    #16
    So, what would you say is a good brand to look at around that price range with the same sound quality as beats? Because I'm happy with how they sound, just not happy with the price.

    So can you give me some models to look at around the same quality or better than beats, but at a much lower price? Because that's my main concern.
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #17
    Way off topic, but check out Sennheiser HD280 Pro
     
  18. clamnectar macrumors regular

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    May 7, 2009
    #18
  19. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #19
    Every Beats I've put on are bass heavy and far from neutral, muffled. Style totally over substance.

    Stereophile will be also a good place to look for reviews but I would highly recommend you listen to all your choices at a dealer before buying high end headphones taking all your own quality sources of music along with you. If your content sounds bad so will the headphones. Mine were Linn and Naim audio remastered vinyl which even with my bad ears still sounds awesome on my Roksan.
     
  20. torvin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    #20
    Avoid Beats; you would be paying for the brand name. Check out this guide for smart suggestions.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. matoch macrumors member

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    Oct 12, 2006
    #21
    On a 2011 macbook pro you only have usb2. If you get a usb enclosure that supports usb 3 for the mac pro you may find it acceptable.
     

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