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Zmotive

2013 Mac Pro Buyer's Discussion

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Hi everyone,

 

I have read this thread with some interest. I really am not that tech savvy so please bear with me.

 

Making the changes below, what sort of improvement in render times could I expect with this upgrade path?

 

Thanks

 

Currently running:

 

MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 with 16GB MHz DDR3

 

Thinking about buying: 

  • 3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache
  • 32GB (4 x 8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

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Hi everyone,

 

I have read this thread with some interest. I really am not that tech savvy so please bear with me.

 

Making the changes below, what sort of improvement in render times could I expect with this upgrade path?

 

Thanks

 

Currently running:

 

MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 with 16GB MHz DDR3

 

Thinking about buying: 

  • 3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache
  • 32GB (4 x 8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
  • 512GB PCIe-based flash storage
  • Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each

 

 

Im assuming your current Macbook is a quad-core i7 w/hyperthreading (8 render buckets), so going to an 8-core chip w/hyperthreading (16 render buckets) will definitely give you some quicker render times.

 

32GB of RAM isnt going to do anything for render times, and neither will the SSD.

 

C4D only uses one GPU, so that means you'll only be using one of those D700's, while the other sits there idle. C4D is also CPU based for rendering, which means it does not use the GPU to render.

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Hi Vilandra,

 

thank you for the reply.

 

Yes, it is a quad core (late 2011).

 

So, I should not bother with the twin D700's and get the D500 instead?
If so this would save me some money, I was wondering if it would be worth going up to the 12 core using the money I have saved.

If I go that route would 12 core also give me quicker rendering again or is the leap in price not worth it?

 

Might c4d change in the future to utilise 2 video cards seems a prudent question too...

 

I appreciate the advice, this sort of thing is a bit of a brain twister for me!

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I dont think the Mac Pro has an option for just one GPU. I think all models include dual GPUs, so either way you go only one GPU will be used. I personally dont see the new Mac Pro as a wise machine to purchase for someone who is strictly C4D. If you were a heavy FCPX user, or used other software that benefits from dual GPUs, then it would be a good buy.

 

Going to 12 cores would indeed give you quicker render times, however other things would be slower. The 12-core speed is only 2.7Ghz, and a lot of functions within C4D are single threaded. This is why guys who are building their own i7 machines are seeing faster results, as the i7s are running at higher clock speeds, and those single threaded operations are quicker compared to a slower speed. But for rendering you'll have 24 buckets, but you wont really notice a difference with anything else.

 

As far as I can see, C4D (and most other well known 3D software) will probably never use dual GPUs for OpenGL (viewport) functions. Perhaps in the future MAXON might incorporate some kind of GPU rendering engine, but right now everything is still all CPU. If anything is going to show a huge increase in speed, its going to be when things are changes from single-threaded, to multi-threaded. That in itself will show a pretty large increase in speed.

 

Hope that helps, and i hope I didnt lose you with all the technical talk.

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Thanks again Vilandra, it is a great help.

 

I guess I have some thinking to do... : /

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Guest tennet

@Zmotive – Hi, can't you run the same Cinema 4D test scene ("SSS grapes") that was ran by the others in the top of this thread? It would be nice to compare with the render time of the 6-core Mac Pro as well.

 

My Mac Pro 2x3GHz Quad_Core (8 cores) from 2008 rendered this scene in 6'56". I'm thinking of buying the fastest i7 iMac available, 6-8 core New Mac Pro or buying a custom built Windows machine with dual cores. I'm a Mac guy, but I'm sure the Windows machine would give me far more render power for C4D.

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Guest tennet

A friend of mine tested the "SSS Grapes" scene on the new Mac Pro 6-core with 32GB RAM.

 

– 1024x435, all settings unchanged.

– New Mac Pro 6-core: 4'59"

 

Another friend had a powerful Windows machine built two years ago. It costed approx $2300 (USD) less than todays top spec/most expensive 12-core Mac. He's also a C4D user and his results are below.

 

– Custom built Windows PC with 2x8-cores @2,70GHz: 2'45"

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Guest scottramsay
If it's of interest, this is my work Mac:
 
Cinema 4D Studio R15
Mac Pro
Mid 2012
Processor  2 x 3.06 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
Memory  48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC
Graphics  ATI Radeon HD 5870 1024 MB
Software  OS X 10.8.5
 
Cinebench R15 Results
 
OpenGL: 65.51 fps
CPU: 1428 cb
 
SSS grapes.c4d took 3 mins 46 secs to render.
 
I looked into upgrading the graphics card to either a Quadro 4000 or a GeForce 680 but neither seem to be giant leaps forward.

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Hello there,

 

This post is interesting me because i'm about to change my mac pro for a new one.

i actualle have an 2x2,66dual core intel xeon from 2006 and i need to change to gain speed work on C4D / AE / etc.

 

I have some opportunities for occasion mac pro but i have to think about what is the best choice and i have some questions :

Between the 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1 is there a big difference ?

I mean, what should i prefer : a 3.1 with 32RAM and a kick ass graphic card or a 5.1 with less memory and decent GC ?

 

I saw 2 mac pro :

- 6 coeurs 3,33 GHz Westmere / 16 Go de Ram DDR3 / 1 To (7200 tr/min) de stockage / Carte graphique Ati Radeon 5770 Full HD (2370 â‚¬)

- 8 cÅ“urs 2,26 GHz Nehalem / 16 Go de Ram DDR3 / 2 To (7200 tr/min) de stockage / Carte graphique GT 120 DVI/Mini (2290€)

 

is the westmere 6 core with 3,33Ghz worth than an 8 core with 2,26Ghz ?

 

My choice would be to have the most CPU with less memory for now (and upgrade later), is it a good option ?

 

Thank you for all your replies !

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Guest Scottishcpt

Between the 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1 is there a big difference ?

 

Yes.

 

The MacPro3,1 requires FBDIMM memory. Trust me, you don't want to deal with that stuff. It's slow, it runs incredibly hot, and you need Apple spec heatsinks on it if you're putting it in a Mac Pro (standard FBDIMM heatsinks aren't big enough for the reduced air flow inside the Mac Pro, you *can* use them but there's a good chance your RAM will burn itself out after a year). All in all, if you have a choice, I would not recommend the 3,1 in this day and age.

 

The MacPro4,1 is identical to the MacPro5,1 except for the dual CPU versions. The dual CPU MacPro4,1 requires "lidless" CPUs (which have the heat spreader removed) and lacks the LGA retention mechanism around the socket. This board is an absolute bitch to deal with if you ever want to upgrade the CPUs since the only CPUs you can use are the Apple branded lidless units (Intel never made a lidless CPU for anyone else). If you try using regular CPUs in this board, you will destroy the LGA socket due to the increased thickness of the CPU.

 

The single CPU MacPro4,1, however, is fine.

 

The MacPro5,1 is arguably the "best" tower system out there. Both the single and dual CPU versions accept standard CPUs and both boards have the usual LGA retention mechanisms on them, making CPU swaps really simple and easy to perform (arguably, the dual CPU board is built better because of this). Physically, there's not much difference (if any) between the MacPro4,1 and 5,1 otherwise. You can actually cross-flash a MacPro4,1 to a MacPro5,1 and as far as I know there are no major caveats (that's how similar the hardware is).

 

I'd recommend the MacPro5,1 in whatever configuration you can afford right now. You can upgrade the CPUs and stuff later, no big deal. The base machine will last you for another 3-4 years at the minimum. The only real issue is that GPU compatibility kinda sucks (across all Mac Pros, regardless of the series) with OS X, and there are some hardware issues with fast fans if you're using a non-stock Apple GPU (like the 680 GTX). If that's an issue for you then I'd suggest you buy a PC, which is incidentally what I'm doing after my current MacPro5,1 becomes outdated.

 

-SC

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