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Thread: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

  1. #51
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Apple in general, and Mac Pros in particular, attract so much hatred that this thread had no chance anywhere. On MacRumors itís the same. Itís weird.
    I donít know that itís hatred so much as ignorance in repeating common ideas regarding Apple products. Yes, there is an ďApple taxĒ that one pays on upgrades like RAM but itís a moot point on nearly every current desktop Mac that isnít a iMac Pro as the user can elect to self upgrade. In the case of my MacBook Pro I upgraded the RAM and hard drive to an SSD myself as it was well out of warranty when I needed to replace my battery.

    I took the time above to show that the Mac Pro isnít overpriced, though I admit itís expensive for most people to consider. I think all too often people judge based on price to performance because most people have limited budgets. I am not saying itís right but itís the reality for most people. Would I love to own a fully upgraded Mac Pro? Without question. Can I justify spending over $50 on a computer? Absolutely not for what I do. That being said I can build a much lore reasonable (by comparison) machine thatíll do everything I want and need right now but I see Mac Pro as a option to future proof. I think many people miss that people choose workstation parts to do actual work when able because itís optimized to do work. I see a lot of younger people, gamers, and hardcore DIY types that are most anti-Apple. I use Windows for my 9-5 just fine but I donít consider it a pleasant experience. I prefer the stability of a Inix/Linux based OS. Mac OS provides that outlet and I personally prefer the ecosystem in every way. Itís not because Iím ďdumbĒ or ďlike to waste moneyĒ but I understand that is what comes from internet brand trolling... no matter the brand.
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  2. #52
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    My negative comments are not against Apple. I got stock, love their iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Pro.

    Could I afford a 15k Mac for my business... sure. Whatís 15k if you have two full Phase One Systems... would I ever spent 15k on a Mac, which will be slow compared to a modern system in 4 years? Certainly not. I could upgrade my pc 3 times for that money.

    Now letís get back to topic. What is there to discuss? Go to Puget system and look at their benchmarks, look at C1 Benchmarks and think about what you want after that itís pretty easy.

    For photography 64GB Memory is fine. you. An go with more of you actually work on 200Mp Images a lot.

    CPU doesnít need to be more than 8 cores. 12 wonít hurt, but the added speed isnít much.

    Video card isnít much choice as you are Limited to AMDs Pro Cards. Just get the best you can afford.

    Storage is a completely different topic and depends on what you need. I got 16TB of images and wonít store them internal. I have a NAS with 10g thatís good enough for storage. Current projects are on 2x2TB m2 SSDs.
    Christopher Hauser
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  3. #53
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I know that nobody here reads Diglloyd s blog because he appears to be universally disliked at this forum. If you do want to take a look at his learnings on the MP they are FREE at his blog .

    There is nothing simple about configuring a MP . Take any aspect of your choices ....How many cores ? Depends on the type of photography you are doing , the software used (LR Vs C1 ) and your budget . From his benchmarks ...he shows that having 16 to 24 cores can significantly speed the input output speeds on LR (and in fact more cores means faster always ) . However when he tested C1 he found that the number of cores made no difference at all and that it was completely dependent on the GPU .

    So lets say you are doing Sports ...and you come in with what 3-5000 captures from an event (not unreasonable shooting all day and on 10FPS or more ) . Using LR ..you would care about the I/O speed . Calls for more Cores .

    Or take another possible scenario ...you are a Fine Art Landscape photographer using an IQ4/150 ...C1 is your choice ...you need to look carefully at the GPU .

    I could go on . I know how to size hardware requirements ..what I don t have are the insights into software requirements . Saw the C1 paper on configuration ..first rate insights . But nothing on LR .

    You also have to think ahead ...how much of your work relies on combining multiple captures . Today ? In the future ?

    How much will you post processing software rely on AI for new features ?

    Let me know if you have seen any benchmarks using C1 or LR with a MacPro .
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  4. #54
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    I know that nobody here reads Diglloyd s blog because he appears to be universally disliked at this forum. If you do want to take a look at his learnings on the MP they are FREE at his blog .

    There is nothing simple about configuring a MP . Take any aspect of your choices ....How many cores ? Depends on the type of photography you are doing , the software used (LR Vs C1 ) and your budget . From his benchmarks ...he shows that having 16 to 24 cores can significantly speed the input output speeds on LR (and in fact more cores means faster always ) . However when he tested C1 he found that the number of cores made no difference at all and that it was completely dependent on the GPU .

    So lets say you are doing Sports ...and you come in with what 3-5000 captures from an event (not unreasonable shooting all day and on 10FPS or more ) . Using LR ..you would care about the I/O speed . Calls for more Cores .

    Or take another possible scenario ...you are a Fine Art Landscape photographer using an IQ4/150 ...C1 is your choice ...you need to look carefully at the GPU .

    I could go on . I know how to size hardware requirements ..what I don t have are the insights into software requirements . Saw the C1 paper on configuration ..first rate insights . But nothing on LR .

    You also have to think ahead ...how much of your work relies on combining multiple captures . Today ? In the future ?

    How much will you post processing software rely on AI for new features ?

    Let me know if you have seen any benchmarks using C1 or LR with a MacPro .
    I was basing what Iíd configure based on the pro level software that Iíd personally use (C1, FCPX/Davinci Resolve, Affinity Suite, Fundy Designer, etc.). I agree that 8 core is fine for most applications but I think 12 or 16 is the future proofing sweet spot when it come to value to performance. If you can afford the 24 or 28 core CPUís the performance will almost certainly never be worse but for my own usage I canít see needing more than 12 or 16 core for the next 5 years or so that Iíd use the computer as my main workhorse. Yes, I agree that more software is becoming GPU dependent and Apple is always updating the Metal API to take better advantage of this and offload some of the heavy lifting from the CPUís to the GPU/APU. Personally I donít have an issue with AMD GPUís and for doing work I prefer them in many ways to the Nvidia ones. For pure gaming operations then maybe this wouldnít be true 100% today. I do believe that Apple will continue to develop custom chipsets like the T2 to assist both the CPU and GPU in performing certain types of preocessing operations and it seems that the Afterburner card makes a huge difference in deciding/encoding ProRES Video.

    ...and no I donít have a huge issue with Digilloyd... I just donít read it personally.
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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    The acrid scent of righteous indignation

  6. #56
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I'd probably buy the base 8-core but do a 1tb SSD....would upgrade the RAM later through OWC or another vendor. If the video cards are available a la cart, I'd start with the base video card and then upgrade later as needed, otherwise I might consider a single Vega II.

    My working photo library is on a promise pegasus external, and I'd consider transferring it to a large internal PCI SSD (https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc-accelsior-4m2) or the internal promise RAID MPX setup they're cooking up (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...hoCs5gQAvD_BwE) and go back to everything in one box and no wires.

    I enjoyed my 2013 Mac Pro. I spent a good bit of money on it, but it did what I needed to, and it saved me a bit of time when I was in grad school and working on my PhD thesis (which I only had two weeks to complete) with the processing power it had...which has value to me. I then sold it after 5 years of ownership for a little over 1/3 of what I paid for it, which isn't bad resale value at all IMHO. I didn't like the lack of user upgradeability or the modularity aspect (wires everywhere). The new Mac Pro takes care of both of those concerns for me.

    I have considered the Mac Pro (after all I am a GetDPI member and like shiny new things like the rest of us; I'm also a student again and qualify for educational discounts) but I'm not sure I can justify it since I currently have so little time for photo processing. Most of everything I do right now my 2018 15" Macbook Pro can handle. Looking to get a back for my tech cam in 2021 and will re-evaluate my desktop needs after that. A mac mini and external GPU may do just fine too.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Well I ended up buying a 16” MacBook Pro today. Intel i9 2.4 GHz, 32 GB RM, 2TB SSD, and the Radeon Pro 5500m 8GB GPU. So far so good. Spent most of the afternoon doing updates and downloading software I use but I’ll probably keep this machine as clean as possible to be mostly just an photo/video editing station. I almost bought a Razor Advanced laptop (because it’s the most “Apple feeling” Windows laptop) but I’m glad I spent a little extra on the MacBook Pro.
    Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    I know for most ..the answer is ďwho needs one Ďí....its too expensive !

    But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently . I also want the 6K screen ..just because I want it . If you are considering a MacPro would enjoy some discussion of configuration ..chime in .....if not ď move along sir/madam nothing to see here ď.
    Returning to Roger's original question, I'll add my two cents.

    First, the backstory. I've used Macs since the original version was introduced in 1984 and have used the Mac Pro since 2006 when it was introduced. I'm a self-confessed "Machead" but took an ill-advised detour in the late 1990s building high-end PCs and Windows-based workstations for my own use and for other photographers. No joy. When Apple announced the Mac Pro in 2006, I dumped PCs, Windows, and my parts bin and placed an order. There have been potholes along the way. The 2013 "black trash can" Mac Pro was a poor design choice by Apple, IMHO, abandoning the customization options of the prior versions of the Mac Pro. But I bought one and added OWC memory sticks to max it out. In an unending quest for speed and computing power (Mac style), I swapped out the 2013 Mac Pro for a 2017 iMac Pro. Close, but no cigar. So when the 2019 Mac Pro was announced, I knew I wanted to buy one. Did I need one for image processing? Absolutely not. But I wanted one because it would allow me to "get under the hood" and play, just as I did with the pre-2013 Mac Pros.

    Now sitting proudly on the desk:



    My configuration:



    I bought an in-stock base configuration from B&H with 48GB of DRAM, 1TB of SSD storage, and the base GPU. I'll add more DRAM and SSD using modules and PCIe NVMe SSD card(s) from OWC. I'm using an NEC PA302W-BK 4K display that I used with the 2013 Mac Pro. I prefer the 30" 4K display to either the 27" 5K Retina display (of the 2017 iMac Pro) or the new Apple 6K display. The NEC display is connected using a CalDigit dock. One criticism I have of the 2019 Mac Pro is the paucity of ports.

    In terms of performance, using Geekbench tests, my 2019 Mac Pro is about 50% faster than the 10-core 2017 iMac Pro that it replaced:



    The internal SSD speeds (read and write) are blazingly fast based on Blackmagic tests:



    The 2019 Mac Pro is built like a tank. It's very well designed and machined, is whisper quiet, and handles large image files effortlessly. My biggest gripe is Mac OS Catalina. It's still a tad buggy and app developers haven't fully caught up yet. Right now, I'm running v10.15.2, the latest production version.

    I'm too old and grumpy to participate in a pissing contest between Apple and PC advocates. I vote with my wallet. My ballot has been cast. Yes, this is an expensive choice and more cost effective choices are likely available. To quote Emily Dickinson, "The heart wants what it wants."

    If you have any questions about the technical details, just ask.

    Joe
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    That box looks like a work of art Joe - beautiful.
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  10. #60
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I was a fan of the trash can design, but I get the limitations that were inherent to its design. This really does look like a giant cheese grater
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