Latest post Sat, Jan 30 2016 3:15 AM by Jayson. 11 replies.
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  • Mon, Jan 25 2016 1:15 PM

    • Edit Jack
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    MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Hi,

    I want to buy a new MAC PRO and I would like do know, if somebody has experience with this configuration:

    MAC PRO

    3,5 GHz 6-Core

    32 GB (4 x 8 GB) of  1866 MHz DDR3 ECC

    512 GB PCIe-based flash storage

    2 AMD FirePro D500 GPU

    G-Speed Studio external RAID-5 with 12TB

     

    - Will this be enough power for professional 4K editing?

    - How is the AMA workflow in 1080p and 4K?

    - How fast is the rendering time?

    - Would you recommand it to me?

     

    Thanks for your comments.

    Greetings. Jack

     

    ps: I already read the AVID System recommendations. What I need is real workflow experiences from other editors.

    ONE: AVID Media Composer 8.8.1 // Mac Pro (End 2013) // 3,5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 // 64 GB RAM / 2xAMD FirePro D500 3072 MB // RAID Promise Pegasus2... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Jan 25 2016 3:26 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    First, Avid does not use GPU on Mac. So you are spending money on little gain there.

    Many people have chosen to buy last generation MacPro Towers and upgrade them as far as possible.

    The biggest negative there is no Thunderbolt.  But if you can work around that you can be pretty happy.

    I do not use AMA for any editing material except to quickly audition / trim down material before transcoding to an Avid MXF codec. 

    The one 4k series I was involved with was edited on systems such as I described using fast fiber channel storage and Avid DNxHR codecs.  Renders took 4 times as long as HD.  Used 4 times as much storage as HD. Simple math.  No way around that.

    We have not seen a need to "upgrade" to the Mac Trashcan yet for Avid based work.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.10.0 but playing w 2018.11| OS 10.11.x - various MacPro Towers - home system MacPro... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Mon, Jan 25 2016 4:54 PM In reply to

    • Chuck Swan
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    We just finished a rebuild of our tower. With pci-based M2 flash storage and an nvidia GTX Titan X GPU. It not only runs Avid very well, but also has the GPU power for Resolve 12 in 4K as long as you don't go crazy with lots of nodes and stay away from long-Gop codecs.  Internal RAID 0 is OK, but I do wish we had Thunderbolt.  But as with all systems, there are finite limits.

    MC 8.4.4, MacOSX 10.10.5, MacPro 6core 16GB RAM, GTX Titan X GPU, Apple 23", Apple 27", Avid Artist Control, Avid Artist Transport, Blackmagic... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Jan 25 2016 5:07 PM In reply to

    • Edit Jack
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Hi Jef,

    thanks for your interesting feedback.

    Actually I got a MacPro tower from 2009, but it just got a small processor (2,66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon) and has already the maximum of 16 GB RAM.

    I think that an upgrade would mean, that I have to a buy a second-hand MacPro tower with a bigger processor, more RAM and a new graphic card.

    And I'm not really sure, if buying a second-hand computer for professional use is so interesting for me.

    Other experiences?
    Jack

    ONE: AVID Media Composer 8.8.1 // Mac Pro (End 2013) // 3,5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 // 64 GB RAM / 2xAMD FirePro D500 3072 MB // RAID Promise Pegasus2... [view my complete system specs]
  • Mon, Jan 25 2016 5:51 PM In reply to

    • Isaac T.
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    @Edit Jack:

    We have this exact Mac Pro. It's our 4K workstation. Is it fast? Yes. Do you need it?

    For budget, Jef's right. Take an existing Mac Pro and soup it up. I have several Mac Pro Mid-2010's models with modifications, that can do 4K. Modifications include:

    1. SSD boot drives.

    2. More RAM.

    3. eSATA / USB 3 combo cards

    4. eSATA + USB 3 RAID0 external storage.

    For 4K workflow, I'd argue the two biggest factors are throughput and storage.

    With your existing Mac Pro, you could add a USB 3 card, an external RAID0 drive, and be done with it. You could also go all out with a PCI-based SSD blade and still have plenty of throughput to spare. For example:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID

    Like Chuck said, the GPU isn't crucial for Avid, but will help with other apps like Resolve and After Effects.

    Regarding RAM, your Mac Pro isn't maxed by a long shot. You could go all the way up to 64 GB, if you wanted.

    I know you're in Germany, but have you heard of Other World Computing? Click here for a full list of upgrade options:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/turnkey/MacPro

    As always, it comes down to money. I think your 2009 Mac has some life in it yet. But if parts and shipping costs more than a new Mac Pro...

    Mid-2010 Mac Pro • 2018 MacBook Pro [view my complete system specs]

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  • Tue, Jan 26 2016 2:57 PM In reply to

    • Edit Jack
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    @Chuck Swan: Thanks for your feedback.
    @Isaquit0: Thanks for your comments and links. It's good to hear that your 4K workflow is fast on this workstation.


    I want to operate my editing system also in a couple of years, so I decide not not upgrade my old Mac Pro tower from 2009.
    I'm not sure if with the next Media Composer upgrades will still be supported by AVID.

    I prefer to invest some money in a all new workstation.

    But don't be afraid, I will not kill my old Mac Pro tower, cause I'll keep it as a render machine (or second editing workstation).


    greetings
    Jack



    ONE: AVID Media Composer 8.8.1 // Mac Pro (End 2013) // 3,5 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 // 64 GB RAM / 2xAMD FirePro D500 3072 MB // RAID Promise Pegasus2... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jan 29 2016 3:08 AM In reply to

    • funckdren
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Edit Jack - That 2009 Mac Pro is a great machine with tons of potential. It can be upgraded to perform nearly as well as the trash can MPs. Here is a link that lays out some of the possibilities.

    For under $2000 US you can convert it to a 12-core 3.46GHz  with 64GB of 1333MHz RAM. That would give you a Geekbench score approaching 30,000, very close to the 2013 trash can MPs for a fraction of the cost. The only thing you don't get is Thunderbolt, whcih can be worked around many ways.

    I'm a member of a Facebook group all about upgrading classic Mac Pros -- many of the members are in northern Europe and could help you find people to upgrade your processor tray.

    Mac Pro Westmere 12-Core 3.46GHz, Media Composer 8.6.4, Mac OS 10.11.5, 64GB RAM, Mojo DX [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jan 29 2016 9:53 AM In reply to

    • Hansa
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    I agree the 2009 Dual core Mac Pros are great machines, I have 5 of them all ticking over fine. But I soon will be buying 5 new Mac Pros as specc'd above for several reasons. Firstly I work in education so opportunity to buy new computers only comes around once every 5 years. Is a souped up 2009 Mac Pro which isn't on the Avid supported list still going to be happy with the latest version of Avid in 5 years. Maybe but i can't take that chance.

    I've worked in post for sound and picture for 25 years and the biggest drawback has always been when you run software on under specc'd computers.

    Secondly the only pre- trash can Mac Pro that I can see on the Avid supported list is the 12 core Westmere, I have one of them as well, but that computer comes with the Avid warning: This model on Mac OSX 10.10 (Yosemite) has known performance issues with playback, render, and transcode of higher resolution material.

    Perhaps it won't have this issue with the El Capitan version when it arrives but upgrading my four 8 cores to these 12 core processors would seem suspect given this caveat.

    I know many computers not on the Avid list will function perfectly ok and I salute everyone upgrading RAM and HDs to wring the best performance from their MaC Pros. But some of us, when given a budget to spend have to look 5 years down the line with confidence that all will still be performing at optimum levels. I'd like to trust the science between comparing processors and hard drives but when my computers drop off the Avid supported list I can't help but start to have doubts.

     

    Avid DNxIO, 2.7 GHz 12 core late 2013 Mac Pro, 64 GB Ram, MC 2018.12 with Symphony option, OS 10.12.6, LaCie 24 TB RAID. 3.5 GHz 6 core Mac Pros x 5, MC... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Jan 29 2016 1:35 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Hansa,

    That was a very reasoned and logical reply.  I have one question.  Have you considererd switching to Windows?  It would seem that you could get HPs with Thunderbolt and superior NVidia GPUs for equal or less money.  Or maybe not.  Is it just a desire to be on Mac becuase of the education environment?  Just curious.

    Thanks,

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.10.0 but playing w 2018.11| OS 10.11.x - various MacPro Towers - home system MacPro... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Fri, Jan 29 2016 2:02 PM In reply to

    • Hansa
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Jef,

    I agree Windows PCs could probably work out cheaper but we're lucky getting a healthy education discount from Apple not open to other users. We used to be half PC, half Mac in the facility but now we're three quarters iMacs which should all be good for the next 3 or 4 years. So keeping it all Mac works better for our students.

    We could go all iMac but we're getting a new server this year and the Mac Pros will perform better with it. Plus for our high end users I've always held out for the Mac Pro feeling the iMac was a little domestic. I just hope I'm as happy with the new Mac Pros as I've been with the old ones over the last 5 years.

    If only we could get an El Capitan version of Avid, (that works), allowing me to push to go button. In education money doesn't stand around unspent for long before someone else spends it.

    Cheers

    Avid DNxIO, 2.7 GHz 12 core late 2013 Mac Pro, 64 GB Ram, MC 2018.12 with Symphony option, OS 10.12.6, LaCie 24 TB RAID. 3.5 GHz 6 core Mac Pros x 5, MC... [view my complete system specs]
  • Sat, Jan 30 2016 1:26 AM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    Interesting.  Thanks for sharing.

    Jef

    Avid DS 11.0.2 R.I.P | MC "Well, it depends ..." mostly 8.10.0 but playing w 2018.11| OS 10.11.x - various MacPro Towers - home system MacPro... [view my complete system specs]

    _____________________________________________

    Jef Huey

    Senior Editor

    Old Stuff  http://vimeo.com/album/3037796

  • Sat, Jan 30 2016 3:15 AM In reply to

    • Jayson
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    Re: MAC PRO 3,5 GHz, 6-Core. Is this a good configuration?

    One caveat not sure if it still applies:

    I bought and sold my mac pro 6-core last year after realizing it took forever to export h.264 videos out of Avid. Since the MacPro's have server chips instead of consumer chips they don't have quicksync, I think it is, to accelerate h.264 rendering. So rendering a 2700 mbit/s h.264 draft of my 22 minute weekly show would take 2 hours. So I had to render to .mxf which took 22 minutes and then rerender in squeeze or media encoder. I've since moved onto 27" imac's and haven't looked back. My h.264 renders of the 22 minutes show are now about 22 minutes. Maybe that's not the case anymore or you can still buy an external h.264 accellerator as others on this forum had recommended at the time. But seeing as Avid really doesn't take advantage of any of the power difference between a macpro and an iMac, I would say check into whether or not the h.264 rendering is still a problem on MacPro's and if so and you plan on rendering a lot of h.264's then go with an iMac. I'd say in general go with an iMac anyway unless you plan on doing a lot of 3d rendering.

    Cheers,

    Jayson

    Avid 8.4.5 w/ Symphony x2 (1) iMac 2014 32gb Ram 4gb vram (2) Macbook Pro (just for writing not editing) (camera) Panasonic GH4 x2 [view my complete system specs]
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