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Old June 27th, 2018, 06:41 PM   #1
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Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

I'm getting too stuck unable to upgrade my early 2009 Mac Pro (performance with SSD and Radeon is OK) past El Capitan. I'm going to have to bite the bullet and go to a nMP. Screw the new one in 2019 or whenever.

My tower has 15TB right now and I have another 12TB in raw archive drives. What's your go to TB 2 external hard disk chassis?

I want twin matching displays. Anything any good besides used Apple TB 2 displays?

6 or 8 cores?

D500 or D700?

I do a lot of FCP X, compressor, Photoshop and Motion production to web. Right now, everything I do is XDCAM 35MBS and GoPro. I want reliability and speed (editing and rendering).
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Old June 27th, 2018, 08:52 PM   #2
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Why replace your cheese grater Mac Pro with a trashcan Mac Pro based on a 4.5-year old chassis (and filled with old CPUs and GPUs)?

A friend who's been a full-time editor for like 30 years and works with footage from Arri Alexas/Amiras, RED, various Sony and Canon cameras has been working at a place with a few iMac Pros for about six months now. He writes:

"We have lots of experience with them. Best machine Apple currently makes, if you can swallow the price."

And he's hard to please. Here's something Oliver Peters wrote back in January after testing an iMac Pro. Includes some interesting benchmarks. He's working with them still:

Putting Apple’s iMac Pro Through the Paces
https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2...ugh-the-paces/


Could you make an iMac Pro work, or is it just too much money?
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Old June 29th, 2018, 05:03 AM   #3
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Not going iMac because basically it's a stop gap product everyone will dump in 2019 and there's no twin screen solution.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 06:30 AM   #4
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Buy a used, souped up 27” iMac for the time being ($1k-1.5k) then sell it off when your new Mac Pro becomes available. A 4k Dell 27” Monitor ($400) matches close enough in size and color - and I’m more OCD than most. For XDCAM and GoPro a nMP seems like overkill - doesn’t seem like you need it right this moment - unless you want to be in the same boat in a few years, the next gen of Mac Pro feels like a better investment if you can wait.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 01:00 PM   #5
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Just was helping someone out with the same problem last week. It really, really depends on how you are working with those programs. And which 2009 MacPro model / video card you have. A 27" iMac is an impressive machine but it is no match when it comes to multi-core CPUs in the 2009 MacPro (Compressor speeds along with these) or the multi-core CPUs and dual GPU cards in the 2013 MacPro or new iMacPro (FCPX and Motion love these). If your editing is mainly straight cuts with occasional color correction or effects/transitions, the iMac is fine for now. If you use a lot of filters and complex Motion templates consider a used 8-core 2013 MacPro.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 01:11 PM   #6
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

yeah, thanks all, it's a bugger of a situation but I'm going nMP. Would like your solid recommendations from your experience with Raid 5 or 4 tray TB 2 external storage units since everything is now outboard. I'm fed up with my Caldigit eSata external units.

Also ... alternatives (if any) to Apple's TB2 displays.
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Old June 29th, 2018, 03:20 PM   #7
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

OK I’ll chip in.

I have a 8-core 2009 cMP locked down on Mountain Lion with 32GB of RAM and a 2013 nMP, 8-core, 32GB RAM and D700s currently on Sierra. Latter is a pretty good machine for what I do using Adobe CC, but compared to the older cMP running CS6, it’s not a HUGE step-up speed wise. However, I needed XAVC (and other newer codecs) with native working/no transcoding that the newer OS etc. brought for speed etc.

Both MPs are hooked up to Dell Ultrasharp displays, two 24 inch HD displays on the cMP and two 27 inch higher res ones with the cMP.

Both have “current work in progress” media on numerous G-Tech RAID0 eSATA on the cMP or RAID5 external units (twin G-Tech Studio R Thunderbolt 2 with the nMP).

I shoot mainly now on a Sony FS5 in XAVC-L UHD and I’m rarely frustrated by Trashcan’s set-up. I know it would be faster with the FCPX that I also have installed on it (but the editor, me, is currently not faster when working in FCPX than with CC - in time he might be!)

G-Tech Studio Rs are great but not exactly whisper quiet - the newer one that I bought about 6 months ago at an amazing price (as they were discontinued plus as a back-up clone) is noticeably quieter than the 4 year old identical one that’s my main work in progress unit for current projects.

Not sure this helps but happy to answer any question on here. Some more detailed info on aspects of the above in the blog section on my website too.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; June 30th, 2018 at 08:39 AM. Reason: 2009 not 2019 cMP typo!
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Old June 29th, 2018, 05:58 PM   #8
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Not going iMac because basically it's a stop gap product everyone will dump in 2019 and there's no twin screen solution.
OTOH, every computer gets surpassed by newer computers. But right know the iMac Pro is pretty damn fast, configurable, and apparently reliable. Sure seems more modern than the trashcan Mac Pros So can you wait a year to see what, if anything, Apple does? And if everyone dumps their iMac Pros next year yours wouldn't stop working...and you could pick up a spare for cheap. :-)

And you can connect an extra monitor (or four) to the iMac Pro via Thunderbolt 3 (and perhaps some adapters if you're not using a T3-equiped monitor):

Connect multiple displays to your iMac Pro
With four Thunderbolt 3 ports built-in, iMac Pro supports up to four 4K displays or up to two 5K displays.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208366

Just depends on when you need a new computer, how much you want to spend, etc.
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Old June 30th, 2018, 03:19 AM   #9
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

@Andy: Perfect. Just what I was asking. Glad to read your SSD death had a happy ending. LOL

@Jim et al. I totally understand the capabilities of the iMac Pro and the differences. It's not a product I want. I'm not getting one. What external storage are you using?

Last edited by Les Wilson; June 30th, 2018 at 03:50 AM.
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 12:39 PM   #10
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
yeah, thanks all, it's a bugger of a situation but I'm going nMP. Would like your solid recommendations from your experience with Raid 5 or 4 tray TB 2 external storage units since everything is now outboard. I'm fed up with my Caldigit eSata external units.

Also ... alternatives (if any) to Apple's TB2 displays.
Go OWC (macsales.com) for a RAID or see if there's a new G-RAID studio drive on sale (those go on sale every now and then and the prices are great). Also USB3 is very robust and can handle RAID bandwidth for multicam HD.

For monitors I have two NEC EA244WMi on my MacPro which work well for 709a color space. They are older models and not really built for video color space as some newer models are now. If I was to get a new monitor for the MacPro it would probably be this: BenQ PV270 27" Video Post-Production IPS Monitor which is tuned for P3 cinema color. Not cheap however. For my new MacBookPro I just got the LG 22MD4K monitor which is really incredible looking (and tuned to TV production specs) but it's a USB-C only monitor so probably not suitable for the MacPro. LG has other monitors that have DisplayPort connections that are probably as good looking.
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Old July 3rd, 2018, 01:54 PM   #11
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Good to know. Twin 27" are a tad too large for my space so I'm looking at the 32" ones. I'm used to having space for 4 portrait shaped windows spanning 39" on two displays. The ASUS 32" 4K Ultra HD ProArt Professional Monitor [PA328Q] IPS is 33"5" and would be a decent replacement as far as physical size goes. I am weary wasting so much space in the lame two monitor configuration of FCP X so single display would mean less fighting it.

Since 1981, I've never looked at anything other than an Apple logo. This could be torturous. How is ASUS?
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Old July 18th, 2018, 09:22 AM   #12
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

CORRECTION: Since 1984. Mac 128.

EPILOG: Took delivery of refurb 8 core nMP and Dell 38" 4K monitor, TB2 dock & TB2 Raid. Mac Pro 2013 was nothing but user interface freezes all the time. System still ran. Couldn't even complete a time machine backup. Those D700 graphics cards are garbage. What a piece of junk. Returned for full refund.

Going new toppling MacBook Pro for $1K less as desktop and color correction monitor. Touch ID should be handy. Unfortunately I already have TB dock and RAID. Will make it work. SMH

Last edited by Les Wilson; July 18th, 2018 at 11:59 AM.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 11:04 AM   #13
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

The D700 graphic cards are great when they are working. I had to replace them this year after beating the hell out of them for four years.

Your refurb came from where? Apple? They probably didn't run the proper testing procedures to detect a card defect. The way the two cards interact is unique to the MacPro and even techs at Apple stores don't always run the correct diagnostic program to test both cards. I know this from experience, a long drawn out experience that finally had a good outcome.

Just get a USB-C to TB adapter and your dock and RAID will work instantly. I did the same at home with the 2017 MacBookPro and everything is working.
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Old July 18th, 2018, 11:21 AM   #14
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
CORRECTION: Since 1984. iMac 128
Better check the readout on your time machine again, that was just a "Macintosh 128", the iMac didn't come along until much later. :-)

I got a "Fat Mac" 512 in 1985. But my first computer was the original Apple ][ that I bought in 1978, it was one of the first 5000 made! No disk drives existed yet, you had to use an audio cassette recorder. Used a 13" color TV for a screen with a RF modulator. I went all out and got 16k of memory (the base machine only had 4k). If you didn't have 16k, you couldn't load floating point BASIC and were limited to the integer BASIC that was burned into ROM. In the 1980's, we got an Apple //e, Apple /// and even an Apple IIgs at work. Those were the days!

My 2012 2.6ghz i7 quad core Mini Server still meets my modest FCP needs pretty well, I just don't do much video now. That machine can sit unused for months at a time. By the time I need to upgrade, there should be a variety of options, including the "new modular Mac Pro".
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Old July 18th, 2018, 12:01 PM   #15
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Re: Throwing in the towel on the Mac Pro

ARGH. A correction to the correction. You are correct: Mac 128.
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