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Zmotive

2013 Mac Pro Buyer's Discussion

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  • If you intend to purchase a new Mac Pro this winter, this is the place to discuss what you are purchasing and how the machine is performing with C4D. If you do not intend to purchase a new Mac Pro (aka "Darth Pro"), or do not believe in Apple's products, there is no reason for you to post in this thread.

     

     

    Here's what we know so far, and what we can infer from other Mac lines:

     

    4-core 3.7 GHz CPU, dual AMD D300 GPUs (2GB each), 12GB DDR3, and 256GB of PCIe storage @ $2999

     

    6-core 3.5 GHz CPU, dual AMD D500 GPUs (3GB each), 16GB DDR, and 256GB of PCIe storage @$3999

     

    8-core 3.0 GHz CPU, dual AMD D500 (?), 16GB DDR, and 256 GB (?) of PCIe storage @ ~$4999 (given the CPU cost)

     

    All three of these models run single core processes at 3.9GHz.

     

    12-core 2.7 GHz CPU, dual AMD 700 GPUs (6GB each), 16 GB DDR (?), and 512 TB (?) of PCIe storage @ $??

     

    http://store.apple.com/us/buy-mac/mac-pro

     

    Once you chose a base model, The GPU, the RAM, and the PCIe storage modules are what make up the Configurable options in Apple's store.

     

    Based on MBP and iMac options,  we can estimate the cost of increasing from 256GB of storage to 512GB, to be roughly $300. The cost of going from 256GB to 1TB roughly $800. From 512GB to 1TB, roughly $500.

     

    The cost of the GPU upgrades is unknown

     

    The cost of going from 16GB of DDR 3 RAM to 32GB is roughly $600. 

     

     

    There are currently no reliable benchmarks available, only benchmarks of PCs using the same CPUs, but different architectures.

     

    Based on how C4D is set up there won't be any performance hit for non-rendering operations, whether you buy the 4- 6- or 8-core model. There may be a modest performance hit on the 12-core model for non-rendering operations. However the performance of the 12-core model during renders is likely to significantly outpace all current Mac Pros and all of the other new Mac Pro models. 

     

    One thing I've read is the new D700 GPU will draw a lot more power / generate more heat than the other two GPU models, so given that that extra GPU horsepower is not a huge advantage for C4D by itself (although it may be for certain plugins), a good trade off might be to get the high end model and downgrade the GPU to the D500 to get more RAM, if you're able to bury the cost in a client project or similar situation.

     

    Was initially leaning towards the 6-core model but given the single core performance being the same, and given the fact that AE does benefit throughout much of its workflow from those extra cores, I might go with the 8-core model. Just depends on what the standard price for that model is. In either case I'm likely to get 32 GB of RAM since there's only 4 slots (something I'm not that happy about but can live with since OWC and others buy back RAM and decent prices when needed). Not sure about the GPU yet. Going to wait and see what people say about the difference in fan noise if any (if the extra heat of the extra cores and power-hungry GPUs, causes it to spin at a higher RPM on a regular basis).

     

    Which model are you guys targeting and would be interesting too to know if you're buying more with C4D in mind or other apps like AE (which can use the extra cores and GPUs throughout the workflow).

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    Im thinking BTO 8 core with the least bit of RAM and storage i could get.  They are way too proud of their RAM and since apple is moving away from internal expansion anyways all you need the internal SSD for is OS and apps.  Everything else can go on external TB2  arrays.  Don't think I could justify the big boy with what I do which is mostly product shot stills.

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    Guest deepshade

    I can't believe a $3K machine with 12gig of memory

     

    Really feeling this is a case of the Emperors New Clothes (albeit small and nifty)

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    Guest Kyle

    I was thinking about starting a new thread, but I thought this one should work. We're looking at getting one of the new Mac Pros after the new year, but I'm wondering if the video cards are really going to help me much in C4D (I'm looking for better viewport performance, I know it won't help with rendering). I've currently got a 12-core (dual 6-cores) Mac Pro. Would I get most of the benefit of the new ones just by getting a nice video card for my current machine? I currently have an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB which gives me an OGL score of 57  on Cinebench. The highest OGL score on CBscores.com for a Mac is 70 with a Radeon 6970M. Is there a better video card I can get for a Mac than that? If not is the boost from 57 to 70 really going to be that noticeable?

     

    I do a lot of dynamics simulations and tend to work with a lot of objects so faster viewport performance would help me a lot.

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    Guest Scottishcpt

    I was thinking about starting a new thread, but I thought this one should work. We're looking at getting one of the new Mac Pros after the new year, but I'm wondering if the video cards are really going to help me much in C4D (I'm looking for better viewport performance, I know it won't help with rendering). I've currently got a 12-core (dual 6-cores) Mac Pro. Would I get most of the benefit of the new ones just by getting a nice video card for my current machine? I currently have an ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB which gives me an OGL score of 57  on Cinebench. The highest OGL score on CBscores.com for a Mac is 70 with a Radeon 6970M. Is there a better video card I can get for a Mac than that? If not is the boost from 57 to 70 really going to be that noticeable?

     

    I do a lot of dynamics simulations and tend to work with a lot of objects so faster viewport performance would help me a lot.

     

    Buy an eVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition (~$600) for your current computer.

     

    The new Mac Pro is barely faster then the previous generation (definitely not fast enough to justify the cost of a whole new system). Early benchmarks have been disappointing to say the least, and the D700 GPUs are actually slower then the eVGA 680 GTX in terms of raw OpenGL performance.

     

    You've got a wicked fast computer there, and I'm sure you spent a lot of money on it (I know I did on mine). Buy one of the eVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition cards, and your viewport will absolutely fly. I went from my stock (BTO) Apple ATI 5870 to the eVGA 680 GTX, and I don't regret that decision at all.

     

    -SC

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    Guest Kyle

    Thanks for the tip SC. I think I'll do just that. By the way, do you have a Cinebench score for your system? I'd be curious what your OGL score is.

     

    Buy an eVGA 680 GTX Mac Edition (~$600) for your current computer.

    -SC

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    Not too happy with AMD being the only graphics option....but I guess that has always been the case with MacPro's.

     

    For what it is worth, these machines are built and assembled in Austin, Texas.  I have done extensive work with the manufacturing engineering teams at that site (our products used to occupy about 90% of that facility and when we moved most of that product out to their Penang facility -- for cost reasons --  that is when Apple moved in).  I have yet to find a more experienced and quality conscious manufacturing team than at the Austin site...and I have been in high end electronics manufacturing for 30 years and worked with sites around the world.

     

    Dave


    Sorry...but I simply do not have enough faith to be an atheist.

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    Okay, I'm going to wait on the new MacPro, but I need a new Mac workstation anyway to run my R15. Don't laugh, I'm currently working on a mid 2007 Mac Mini w/4GB memory running R13. What's the best Mac setup, card and all to run R15 without getting too expensive or near the new MacPro prices?

     

    I'm moving from from doing Graphic Design to doing more serious 3D work now so it needs to be a decent setup. Any refurb Mac model suggestions, cards, etc.

     

    [if this is too off-topic i will start a new thread]

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    Guest Scottishcpt

    Okay, I'm going to wait on the new MacPro, but I need a new Mac workstation anyway to run my R15. Don't laugh, I'm currently working on a mid 2007 Mac Mini w/4GB memory running R13. What's the best Mac setup, card and all to run R15 without getting too expensive or near the new MacPro prices?

     

    I'm moving from from doing Graphic Design to doing more serious 3D work now so it needs to be a decent setup. Any refurb Mac model suggestions, cards, etc.

     

    [if this is too off-topic i will start a new thread]

     

    Probably a single processor or dual processor second hand 2010 Mac Pro.

     

    These systems are identical to the 2012 Mac Pro (both share the same model identifier of "MacPro5,1"). They are very upgradable, and the CPU boards accept standard CPUs that you can swap out yourself later on (with any socket compatible Intel Xeon processor). RAM is reasonably cheap and there's a decent selection of graphics cards available- especially if you're fine running a flashed PC card (a PC video card that has been converted to run under OS X).

     

    I would advise against a 2009 Mac Pro. They're 95% the same as the 2010 and 2012 units, EXCEPT for the fact that the dual CPU card requires lidless CPUs. These are extremely hard to find since it's an Apple specific part number and Intel has never manufactured Xeons without the heat spreader for consumer purchase. In other words, if you're interested in a dual CPU Mac Pro, make sure you buy the 2010 or 2012 system instead. If you only want the single CPU machine, then the 2009 series is fine since they shipped with a lidded CPU and have a proper LGA retention mechanism around the socket.

     

    The 2008 and prior systems are not recommended due to their use of slow, expensive, and hot (temperature wise) FBDIMM memory.

     

    You could probably get a low spec 2010 system for a reasonable price today, and easily upgrade it yourself if you find the shipping specs to be underwhelming (but no matter what you get, if it's a 2009, or 2010, or 2012- all the lowest configurations will still kick the pants off your Mac Mini).

     

    -SC

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    Guest FabrizioR

    Just ran Cinebench R15.037 on my Mac Pro "trash can" with Mavericks 10.9.1.

     

    I don't think it used both D700 cards during the OpenGL test, just one based on the FPS numbers.  Expected higher.

     

    CPU: 

    12C/24T @ 2.7 GHz, Intel Xeon CPU E5-2697 v2, OpenCL 4.1, ATI-1.16.39 : 1566

     

    CPU Single Core:

    12C/24T @ 2.7 GHz, Intel Xeon CPU E5-2697 v2, OpenCL 4.1, ATI-1.16.39 : 118cb

     

    MP Ratio: 13.28x

     

    OpenGL: 

    12C/24T @ 2.7 GHz, Intel Xeon CPU E5-2697 v2, OpenCL 4.1, ATI-1.16.39 : 72.79 fps ( 99.51% Reference Match )

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    Can you render a stock scene that comes with C4D? I assume the demo has some of these. This way, I can do the same test on my old Mac Pro to get some numbers I understand. I'd change the output to 1920x1080 and hit go. Thanks.

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    Guest Scottishcpt

    I don't think it used both D700 cards during the OpenGL test, just one based on the FPS numbers.  Expected higher.

     

    This has been known for quite some time.

     

    The second GPU will remain idle unless you are using it for OpenCL computing. Mac OS X does not and will not support Crossfire, so you will see precisely zero benefit from the second GPU in OpenGL applications. If you boot into Bootcamp, this will change since apparently the D700s do support Crossfire in hardware (Apple's ATI drivers just don't support it- which I believe has to do with how Apple uses a proprietary LLVM based OpenGL stack) and under Windows you will get full Crossfire support.

     

    But as far as OS X goes, the second GPU is only really useful for OpenCL stuff.

     

    -SC

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