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Old April 20th, 2016, 12:36 PM   #1
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Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

I'm upgrading my old mac and seriously considering an 8 Core mac w/32GB RAM, AMD D700 Firepro, 1TB SSD. I found one on closeout for $6,100. Is there any reason I should hold off on this purchase - any new macs coming out?

I run Final Cut Pro X and 7, along with Adobe CC Suite and Lightwave/C4D.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 07:50 AM   #2
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

My only question would be, are you sure you need that much heft?
You didn't specifically list AE or Motion . . . for a majority of work it seems overkill.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

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You didn't specifically list AE or Motion . . . for a majority of work it seems overkill.
I don't see why AE or Motion changes that in any way. Overkill for what? Longform projects in FCPX with quick turnarounds? Why would that not be an appropriate reason why to have that much power? 4K video with lots of actual color grading? Do you know how long it can take to use Neat Video in FCPX with a 4K clip of any significant length? Or stabilization? Why should someone be okay with 7fps rendering speeds just because they don't use AE or Cinema4D or some other heavy hitter?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

No news on new Mac Pro versions i believe. Currently running on old outdated X79 hardware so limited expansion capability in the future. One to ponder for sure. For $6K you can build a missile of a 4K PC. check out this build by Dave Dougdale and ASUS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=XpREXiGjsyA

Full story with pricing here:

i7-5960X 8-core With Asus x99 MB Video Editing Beast

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Old April 21st, 2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

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For $6K you can build a missile of a 4K PC. check out this build by Dave Dougdale and ASUS.
Hey Chris, how are you running FCPX on that kind of machine? Bet it's a neat trick.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 09:50 AM   #6
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

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Originally Posted by Kenn Christenson View Post
I'm upgrading my old mac and seriously considering an 8 Core mac w/32GB RAM, AMD D700 Firepro, 1TB SSD. I found one on closeout for $6,100. Is there any reason I should hold off on this purchase - any new macs coming out?
Hey Kenn, here's the answer: no one knows. Not trying to be flippant, but seriously, I am absolutely interested in knowing the answer to this, but the only people who know won't say anything.

That's a great closeout price, no question. There's no way to know what Apple will do, with rumors swirling around that there will be a Skylake version coming (they just updated the MacBook with Skylake, the iMac has Skylake, and rest will be following this year), or if they'll discontinue it altogether. Who knows?

You will be taking a risk that two months after purchase, they will update it in a significant way. Or it might not be for a whole other year before a Mac Pro of a significant speed upgrade is even announced.

Frankly, as I will be getting closer to the purchase date of my future desktop Mac, I'll be running rendering tests to see what the difference is, and, if it's anywhere close to comparable, may settle for the iMac. That's what I will be personally doing to make my choice.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 10:42 AM   #7
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

Gary - After a lot more research - it's looking like the current iMac is going to get me a better bang for the buck - especially with its' ability to house 64GB of RAM.

I do a huge amount of After Effects work, along with editing 4K and 3D animation in Lightwave - hence the need for a beefier machine. After reading some reviews, I've come to the conclusion that the latest iMac is a cooler running machine than the 2014s, which will help in longer renders.

I have looked up switching to PC - but with the majority of my clients (I do effects work for) running Macs - and lots of stations requiring ProRes dubs, it seems like I need to stay in the Mac realm. (Not too happy about it - knowing the advantages of PCs with Adobe software, but I also have to make a living, where I'm at.) :)
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Old April 21st, 2016, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

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Originally Posted by Kenn Christenson View Post
I have looked up switching to PC - but with the majority of my clients (I do effects work for) running Macs - and lots of stations requiring ProRes dubs
ProRes is the big thing for me. And under Windows, it's a complete non-starter. Even without the vulnerabilities that the QuickTime API has, it's still 32-bit single threaded, and that means that even a maxed out machine won't playback ProRes very well at all.

If and when software like Premiere, Media Encoder, Resolve, and so on can deal with ProRes natively both reading and writing, then it's a totally different situation, but as it stands now, if you deal with ProRes any significant portion of the time, then it's simply not a good experience.

As for the iMac, I strongly suspect that's where I'll be going too, especially if there's nary a peep about a Mac Pro refresh as we move into late summer/fall.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 02:29 PM   #9
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenn Christenson View Post
Gary - After a lot more research - it's looking like the current iMac is going to get me a better bang for the buck - especially with its' ability to house 64GB of RAM.

I do a huge amount of After Effects work, along with editing 4K and 3D animation in Lightwave - hence the need for a beefier machine. After reading some reviews, I've come to the conclusion that the latest iMac is a cooler running machine than the 2014s, which will help in longer renders.

I have looked up switching to PC - but with the majority of my clients (I do effects work for) running Macs - and lots of stations requiring ProRes dubs, it seems like I need to stay in the Mac realm. (Not too happy about it - knowing the advantages of PCs with Adobe software, but I also have to make a living, where I'm at.) :)
I don't do a huge amount of AE work but I do a reasonable amount of DCP encoding and I can tell you that both AE and my DCP encoding software run much faster with more CPU cores. As the iMac max out at 4 cores you might be missing out on some needed muscle but you know your work best. As for the heat of the computer, it would make sense that less CPU cores would run cooler.

As for FCPX, the MacPro dual graphic cards will definitely give you some gains in the rendering department. For typical cut editing with modest filter and transition use, the iMac is fine.

As for CPU speed, we always get somebody who drops by here and starts touting some PC build and yes you can always make a faster PC for some job. HP is now promoting a 24 core machine that can be controlled from your Mac via ethernet. And you can always build a render farm from PC or Linux builds if you have the know-how and time. If speed and headaches are your passion then PCs are good to go.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 02:29 PM   #10
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

I, too, am looking at the MacPro 8 core machine. In my case, it will be replacing a 2007 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro, dual core i7 laptop.

What I am most looking for is reducing my FCP7 rendering times.
What time differences would I see in 4/6/8 core MacPro machines?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 02:44 PM   #11
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

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Originally Posted by Ed Roo View Post
What I am most looking for is reducing my FCP7 rendering times. What time differences would I see in 4/6/8 core MacPro machines?
None. Final Cut Pro 7 is a 32-bit application that is limited to a single thread and 3GB of RAM.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 04:17 PM   #12
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Roo View Post
I, too, am looking at the MacPro 8 core machine. In my case, it will be replacing a 2007 17-inch Apple MacBook Pro, dual core i7 laptop.

What I am most looking for is reducing my FCP7 rendering times.
What time differences would I see in 4/6/8 core MacPro machines?
I have the same 17-inch MacBook Pro and a 2009 MacPro 8-core and there are definitely improvements in render times between the two. Not sure how the cylindrical MacPro behaves with FCP7 so you might want to research that. A used MacPro tower might be a better choice if you want to stay with FCP7. FCP7 uses the CPU for many of it's calculations unlike FCPX which uses the optimized graphics cards for the hard work.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 11:39 PM   #13
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

If Apple do come out with new Xeon based Skylakes that would change the whole picture going forward. One would hope though that on a new Mac Pro Apple would run the new Broadwell architecture rather than Skylake seeing as Broadwell is just coming online. That way at least a new Mac Pro would be running current processor technology rather than releasing new models with last gen processors. With Apple not having upgraded Mac Pro since 2013 I don't think they can afford to start off behind the 8 ball with Skylake if it's going to be another three years before another update. That's assuming Apple do update the Pro. Either way the Mac Pro trashcan is a very messy piece of kit to expand with external drives etc. It becomes a cabling nightmare. The redesign of a new Mac Pro into a decent expandable case and not that awkward to expand cylinder would be a big help.

Intel Broadwell-E Core i7-6950X, Core i7-6900K, Core i7-6850K and Core i7-6800K Listed For Pre-Order - More AIBs Add BIOS Support

Some interesting takes on the whole current and projected scenarios of Mac Pro here if you want to stay with Mac Pro old or new. The BareFeats old Mac Pro re-build could easily accept a Thunderbolt card to give decent editing throughput.

2016 Mac Pro release date rumours & specs - News - Macworld UK

barefeats.com/tube16.html

The 'New' Mac Pro Is a Failure - The Mac Observer

As regards to ProRes on Windows we prefer to edit camera native XAVC and master out in XAVC. if final delivery is required in ProRes we use FootageStudio4K to output ProRes, DNxHD or Cineform masters as required.

Acrovid - FootageStudio - Format conversions, Video Standard conversions, Frame rate conversions, SD-HD conversions, Video Denoise, Overcrank.

TV still wants us to deliver in XDCam 422 50Mbps MPEG-2 on XDCam 50GB discs so not much change there. FootageStudio4K looks after that plus a host of other requirements. I'm finding that the demand for ProRes at least in television terms is slowly dropping away.

Serious 4K in the future is going to be the main performance test for Mac or Windows and at the moment Mac needs to catch up.

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Old April 22nd, 2016, 12:51 PM   #14
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Re: Mac Pro 8 Core Purchase?

Have fun with your PC build. You need it then more power for you. The MacPro as it stands can do quite a bit with 4K. If for some reason your 4K needs require a special box that the MacPro can't meet, you do it and hopefully realize that you are in the minority. Nothing wrong with that just that unfortunately for you Apple has made a long term decision to not provide specialty boxes.

Quite frankly between my MacPro tower and my MacPro cylinder I have the same cable mess it's just that the tower is better at hiding it by being huge. And I have never needed expansion slots with the new MacPro.
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