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

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I know for most ..the answer is “who needs one ‘’....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    But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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 “ move along sir/madam nothing to see here “.

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

    Just for fun I specced up the display and a fully kitted Mac Pro...around AUD$12K for the display...aaaaand...AUD$85K for the Mac Pro. I don't know what I'd do with a fully specced Mac Pro It was a fun exercise

    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    But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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.

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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    But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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.
    Roger, I'm looking at it from a safe distance. I'm using a 2017 iMac Pro now and used various Mac Pros for years, including the 2013 "trash can" version. The modular Mac Pro has always been my favorite. My entry path would be the 12-core with no other Apple upgrades. Then I'd add memory and SSD via Other World Computing modules (when they become available). Ultimately, I'd like 4TB of storage and at least 64GB of DRAM. I'm in no hurry and have no immediate need to replace the iMac Pro, so this is all day dreaming for me.

    Joe
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Thanks

    Joe Looks like few are even considering the MacPro for photography . I realize its OVERKILL ...but I very much appreciate the modular design allowing upgrades AND the new 6K screen . I will probably start with the 6K screen as I have the new MBP 16 which can drive 6K displays .

    When specifying a MP ..I believe its most important to get the specs optimal for those area which can not be upgraded . So I would go with the faster 16 core processor for example . It appears memory and SSD can be swapped out . I need to know more about the GPU to conclude .

    Speed I believe will really be a function of getting the frequently used data on the fastest input devices and balancing what channel /Bus is used .

    Beyond that the software will need to catch up with the processors .

    Roger
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Senior Member Joe Colson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Roger, that's a good approach, i.e., get the processor right, then add or replace modules during the course of ownership. That's what I've done with Mac Pros in the past (with the exception of the 2013 "trash can" version) and have been able to keep them running for years. I'm not as interested in the 6K display. BTW, I also have the 16" MacBook Pro and love it. I'm glad Apple redesigned the keyboard.

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

    My thoughts on new Mac Pro: Completely overpriced & over hyped.

    For 1/3- 1/2 of what the new entry level machine cost one can take a 2012 Mac Pro and build it into a machine comparable in performance: 12 cores, SSD PCI drives, USB3, high end video cards, etc. 1/3 - 1/2 the cost, let that sink in. And the Apple monitor...$1,000. for the stand? Ridiculous. One could get a 31" Eizo reference monitor for less and it comes with a stand and hood and built in calibration and it will vastly outperform Apples offering. "Tim Apple", wake up, your team has become delusional (again). I'd predict the new Mac pro will be the same epic failure the previous generation black trash bin was with being overpriced and underperforming. As a long time Apple user I'm very disappointed, its just another corporate money grab with loads of marketing hype.

    Something else to consider: most software can't effectively use 12 cores...so the point of 18, 24, 28 cores is what? For video rendering maybe, but not for stills even with an IQ4.


    Robert B

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RLB View Post
    My thoughts on new Mac Pro: Completely overpriced & over hyped.

    For 1/3- 1/2 of what the new entry level machine cost one can take a 2012 Mac Pro and build it into a machine comparable in performance: 12 cores, SSD PCI drives, USB3, high end video cards, etc. 1/3 - 1/2 the cost, let that sink in. And the Apple monitor...$1,000. for the stand? Ridiculous. One could get a 31" Eizo reference monitor for less and it comes with a stand and hood and built in calibration and it will vastly outperform Apples offering. "Tim Apple", wake up, your team has become delusional (again). I'd predict the new Mac pro will be the same epic failure the previous generation black trash bin was with being overpriced and underperforming. As a long time Apple user I'm very disappointed, its just another corporate money grab with loads of marketing hype.

    Something else to consider: most software can't effectively use 12 cores...so the point of 18, 24, 28 cores is what? For video rendering maybe, but not for stills even with an IQ4.


    Robert B
    Overpriced for sure ..not sure its over hyped . Its aimed at video where the price isn t an issue .

    For sure Apple doesn t know what they are doing and the stock market is for idiots ....APPL up over 70% this year .

    I don t need to rationalize my purchases just like those that use an IQ4 for posting to the internet ....but I would like to hear from anyone that is considering a MacPro .

    I do agree that the EIZO maybe a better choice ..especailly if you want to do critical color work . But the it may be more fun for viewing if you don t print all that much .

    the core issue is one of individual core speed not number of cores and a recognition that future software may benefit from more. its my understanding that you can not upgrade the processor .

    We only disagree on what its worth to me .

    Roger

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

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    ....but I would like to hear from anyone that is considering a MacPro .

    Roger
    I personally think that the new Mac Pro is wonderful ... so many good design elements ... really hard for me to fault.
    For a number of years the criticism of Apple was not enough innovation technical prowess and the majority of their line
    was made for lower end users who valued style over computing power. SO ... they release a very expensive tower that can
    be scaled to extreme levels and the concern is they were not cost conscious enough.

    My take on the computer is from the perspective of one who at this point does video more than photo ... and of one who
    has a long-term relationship with a Mac Pro. I have a mid-2010 model that has seen more upgrades than I care to mention,
    some of them necessitated by the running feud between Apple and nVidia. But the computer after 9 years has not missed a beat,
    and has been extremely reliable ... worth every cent I have spent on it.

    However, Apple in their wisdom have locked it out of Catalina as an upgrade path and it has older IO ... not thunderbolt and only pci-e 2 slots.
    So at some point I will have to make a change ... Windows is a distant still unpleasant memory ... in fact whenever I boot up Parallels my
    Win 10 OS spends the majority of its time downloading another set of non-ending security upgrades.

    My machine started as a dual Quad core 2.4 with 16Gb of ram and a small HD. I now have dual 6core 3.46 overclocked Xeon processors and 96GB of ram.


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    1Tb SSD for the OS 2Tb SSD on a pci-e card for scratch disk and temporary space to render files, 12Tb internal drives and 20TB external drives. QNAP NAS with 14TB
    for archiving data in duplicate with the external drives.Dell 5K monitor,which I run at 3840x2160 as the fonts are barely legible at that resolution. I color calibrate the monitor
    every couple of months but the drift is minimal. Without the great ability to be upgraded I would probably have had three machines at this point ... probably spent a bit more
    in the process of buying new repeatedly.

    I like the tower so much that I recently put a racing stripe on it:


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Actually I had to painter's tape the door as the latch mechanism gave out due to upgrades and maintenance ... I vacuum and blow it out regularly. When the latch failed
    the door was frozen on ... it also locks all the internal drives and pci-e slots.


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    So very long story but the short of it is that over 9 years the overall cost has been worth the initial investment. I project that the new Mac Pro will be similarly long - term
    and has great potential for expansion as needed or desired.

    The major caveat is that the base processor is a dead end choice in that the memory runs more slowly than any other processor so the 12 core is bare minimum. Memory and GPU
    should probably be lowest spec ... add OWC memory at a later date. Biggest SSD may not be a good thing ... medium size and limit it to the OS and essentials ... clone it to another
    similar SSD. The two GPU card would be a great choice in a year of so for anyone doing a lot of video rendering. Less so for stills.

    I will personally stick with my Dell monitor ... or an Eizo as both are 10bit and can be color calibrated.

    Like all things Apple ... six months might be a good amount of time to wait ... let others beta test all the small issues that tend to crop up in a system that is so different from their other
    machines.

    Sure a AMD Ryzen or Threadripper build would smoke the Mac Pro ... but dealing with all the Windows issues is not something I would choose ... when the Mac OS has been so relatively stable
    at this point in time.

    Nice to have choices!
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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    (Was composing this post while the above was posted, so this is not a direct reply.)

    First and foremost: Want an Alienware Threadripper? Get an Alienware Threadripper. Some of us wouldn't own and maintain our own Windows machines if they were free.

    Unfortunately, the Mac Pro is, IMHO, not a great solution for photographers. Even the 2013 6,1 Mac Pro was not Apple's best for photography at the time. Our major software makes poor use of GPU and multiple cores (I'm looking at YOU, Photoshop....) The good news is that this is improving on most fronts.

    Where this machine shines is high-end video work, and especially running at 100% for days on end. Neither of these typical for photographers.

    So, Apple Fanboy that I am, and as breathtakingly beautiful its interior design, this is not a machine I am considering - even money no object. An iMac Pro with modern (i.e. 2019) CPU? Maybe. But I think a maxed out iMac5K may still be Apple's best for "us". I do not miss poking around the innards of my Mac. Anyone remember shedding blood opening a Mac II/IIfx from the extremely sharp metal tabs all around the edge? Trying to attach and detach power connectors to higher end video cards? Finding dropped screws? Even attaching drives to sleds was never my idea of a good time.

    Since going external RAID, I've been much happier. Necessity of buying the screen attached to each new computer? My iMac5K screen has aged much better than the NEC Spectraview sitting beside it.

    OTOH, given that I have owned MF digital systems from Leica, Hassy, Fuji, and Phase One (and still have and use two of them), any statement I make about NOT buying expensive gear is HIGHLY suspect

    Best,

    Matt
    Last edited by MGrayson; 13th December 2019 at 14:45.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Matt,

    I think that the new Macbook Pro 16 may be the best machine other than the Mac mini or the iMac for photographers.

    No thermal throttling to speak of and the ability to travel with it are compelling.

    I personally capture 150 - 200 Gb of video weekly and render that to a 12 - 20 Gb file which is uploaded the same day to Vimeo.
    I look back on the days of photo only with fond memories of small 200 Mb files to save locally.

    Although there is something quite compelling about movement in landscape videos to me.

    Regards,

    Bob
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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I saw a YouTube video that compared the maxed out Mac Pro to similarly specified HP and Dell models and the Apple was much less money.

    Found it https://youtu.be/fsHWHaXrWAM
    Last edited by DougDolde; 13th December 2019 at 13:36.

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

    In 1979 a colleague and friend of mine was in charge of TV advertisements for a major phone company ... he said that they would start a render on Friday in hopes that
    a usable video was available on Monday morning.

    For pros and studios the hardware costs are a small part of the budget.

    With my machine ... as I normally have 8 nodes for the timeline I get about 6 FPS ... so 4 hour render for 1 hour of video ... and hopefully no
    glaring issues that need a complete re-render when done. All of my work is donated time ... but I do value that personally.

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Matt,

    I think that the new Macbook Pro 16 may be the best machine other than the Mac mini or the iMac for photographers.

    No thermal throttling to speak of and the ability to travel with it are compelling.
    ...
    Bob,

    The new 16" MBP is, indeed, a powerhouse! This is a weirdly personal thing, but I find the larger laptops not portable enough . I went from a 13" MacBook Air to a 15" MBP, and suddenly stopped carrying it around. It wasn't just the weight in the backpack - it's that I couldn't comfortably pick it up from one corner. So it became a desktop, and I didn't need another desktop. The 2018 13" MBP on which I'm typing, is just light enough to be mobile, but its lack of power shows up daily - applying Topaz filters to, well, anything, or even loading 100MP files in LR. But it's not onerous.

    My desktop is a 2015 iMac5K. It manages without complaint, but it's no longer "snappy".

    Video, as you guys have been saying, is a completely different computational burden, and my solutions would be useless for you.

    Best,

    Matt

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    To the "Obviously Overpriced" crowd:

    Eizo: 350 nits, Contrast Ratio 1500:1
    XDR: 1000 nits, Contrast Ratio 1000000:1
    It may not matter to YOU, but it matters to someone willing to pay the difference. Price similar reference monitors - they're $25K - $35K.

    As for the stand: A very long time ago, when Big Iron was still a thing, our trading floor was powered by a room filled with refrigerator-sized units (SGI, remember them?). These units were connected by VERY thick cables with BIG connectors. I told the IT guy that I knew audiophiles who would pay $10,000 each for interconnects like that. He said "Too bad. They're $90,000 each." We have no idea what's involved in the stand. No idea at all. That it "must" be overpriced only speaks to a lack of knowledge and imagination.

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

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

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    To the "Obviously Overpriced" crowd:

    Eizo: 350 nits, Contrast Ratio 1500:1
    XDR: 1000 nits, Contrast Ratio 1000000:1
    It may not matter to YOU, but it matters to someone willing to pay the difference. Price similar reference monitors - they're $25K - $35K.

    As for the stand: A very long time ago, when Big Iron was still a thing, our trading floor was powered by a room filled with refrigerator-sized units (SGI, remember them?). These units were connected by VERY thick cables with BIG connectors. I told the IT guy that I knew audiophiles who would pay $10,000 each for interconnects like that. He said "Too bad. They're $90,000 each." We have no idea what's involved in the stand. No idea at all. That it "must" be overpriced only speaks to a lack of knowledge and imagination.

    Matt

    Hi Michael,

    I respectfully disagree on multiple points. First, Eizo makes the finest reference monitors for still and motion, not opinion but fact based on specs and their massive user base.
    $1,000. for a stand is a joke, $400 for stainless steel legs for the computer...its vanity and adds nothing to performance. No one needs a contrast ratio of 1000000:1. Those are numbers on paper with out real world applications to benefit much if any from the.

    As much as I've been a fan of Apple (and have 10 of their computers at our offices) the new mac pro is just fluff and hype.

    Robert B

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

    I like my 2013 OWC upgraded 8 core Mac Pro which handles IQ150 files without beach balls even for panos and 9 image stitches. For now my NEC montior will suffice.
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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I like my 2013 OWC upgraded 8 core Mac Pro which handles IQ150 files without beach balls even for panos and 9 image stitches. For now my NEC montior will suffice.
    I have one too all I need

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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I looked at it yesterday and I want one..............I chatted on Mac rumens and got a bunch of feed back. Iíve decided on getting this spec with the plan to upgrade RAM and Memory at a later date. I will also get the monitor as well.
    Neil
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    While I'd love to have the new Pro, I don't really need one for the work that I do, and the price is beyond what I would be willing to pay just for the pleasure of owning one. If I did more video, that would change things.

    What I wish Apple would do is to come up with a computer that sits between the Mini and the Pro, something the size of the Cube, but with the specs of a maxed out 16" MacBook Pro and maybe a bit more. The 16" is exactly on the level that I would like, but I'm tired of working with that form factor (I have a 5 year old 15" which is neither particularly portable nor good as a stationary machine).

    No, iMac doesn't work for me. It doesn't travel well. The Mini does and the Cube did. Maybe a second hand Ashtray would be the solution for me. They are still surprisingly expensive though.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    After rereading Diglloyd s multiple posts on the new MacPro .....he concluded that his wish list spec for photography would be :

    16 CORE - He wants to future proof his processor and anticipates that with focus stacking,panos and other forms of multiple capture processing with AI that more cores will be beneficial . For straight single file processing ..huge overkill with todays software . Processors are thought to be uneconomical to upgrade because of impact on the mother board . Seems like at this price point you would want to maintain some capacity for the future .

    GPU - He favors moving up from the base GPU for similar reasons . GPU is being used for AI algorithms and is increasing in use .

    190+ Memory ..starting with 32 GB Apple and adding OWC ..nothing below 128 in total .

    SSD drives - This one I am unfamiliar with but he wants 4TB (minimum 2TB) dedicated internal SSD and two PCIE slotted (internal 8GB SSD OWC drives ) ..this should allow 100% of the capacity needed for current work to be internal speeds . Std drives would be external and only used for back up .

    Obviously you could start with a spec closer to a iMacPro but I would not like to be limited by the Cores or the GPU . Memory and SSD drives of course could be lower anticipating lower future costs for expansion .

    For me this will be a wish list system not one based on NEED or economics .
    Roger Dunham
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I am less certain regarding the display . Its hard to ignore the ďFlash ď and hype of the 6K monitor . But if buying a 6K monitor should you pay the extra $1000 to get the special mat screen .

    I have little doubt that the std 6K glossy will be a blow away display for PRESENTATION and VIEWING ....but for post processing and color work ...I have a feeling that the Mat screen maybe preferable .

    The other issue is compared to the similar prices EZIO ..which would you prefer . While the EIZO is a beautiful display I just have not seen in demos that it is head and shoulders better than my iMac . (and I have good color eye sight ..i did the test ).

    I will most likely proceed with a display upgrade first (as I have a 16 MBP ) and wait for 6 months to see how the new MP evolves . I will have to study MacRumors to determine what the first logical upgrades to the new MP will be and if it matters .

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

    Macs have always been pricey but the OS and hardware reliability justify their price to me. I ordered one in the first few minutes after the Apple store listed them and am expecting the computer this week. The monitors are not coming until early February.


    Here's your new Mac.

    Mac Pro
    Hardware:

    3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    192GB (6x32GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
    4TB SSD storage
    Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory
    Stainless steel frame with feet
    Magic Mouse 2
    Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - US English
    Accessory Kit

    Software:

    macOS
    Photos, iMovie, GarageBand
    Pages, Numbers, Keynote
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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    I looked at it yesterday and I want one..............I chatted on Mac rumens and got a bunch of feed back. Iíve decided on getting this spec with the plan to upgrade RAM and Memory at a later date. I will also get the monitor as well.
    Neil
    Thank god for the internet. One of the guys on the Mac Rumers forum suggested I upgrade my own CPU with a new one from OWC. I've just ordered a 12 core 3.46 CPU along with 128GB of ram all for $1400 bucks....... Hopefully I will see a difference in the speed especially when using Photoshop and Phocus.
    Neil
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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Sounds like some have money to burn for something way in excess of their needs

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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DougDolde View Post
    Sounds like some have money to burn for something way in excess of their needs
    Yea I probably just saved myself $8000 😃😃😃🙏🙏🙏😃😃😃
    My all NEW Website can be seen HERE

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

    Quote Originally Posted by rriley View Post
    Macs have always been pricey but the OS and hardware reliability justify their price to me. I ordered one in the first few minutes after the Apple store listed them and am expecting the computer this week. The monitors are not coming until early February.


    Here's your new Mac.

    Mac Pro
    Hardware:

    3.2GHz 16‑core Intel Xeon W processor, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    192GB (6x32GB) of DDR4 ECC memory
    4TB SSD storage
    Radeon Pro Vega II Duo with 2x32GB of HBM2 memory
    Stainless steel frame with feet
    Magic Mouse 2
    Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad - US English
    Accessory Kit

    Software:

    macOS
    Photos, iMovie, GarageBand
    Pages, Numbers, Keynote

    Its lots of fun spending other peoples money for sure! The government lives for it.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Digital Transitions (Doug Peterson ) has just published a series of recommendations on MacPro configurations . Aimed specifically at Capture One Users might require .

    GPU speed will be increasingly important as software such as C1 relies on the GPU configuration for high computational algorithms .

    Storage I/O speeds ..more important than decisions on storage sizes . Just buying a fast SSD does not always yield fast I/O if the port is slow (e.g. PCIE ,Thunderbolt 3 ,Thunderbolt 2 ,USB 3.1 ) The interface speed may throttle the fast SSD . This can also impact your ability to utilize faster clock speeds in an upgraded CPU .

    Memory ....the article seems to discard the needs for focus stacking and panos . This makes little sense to me as many gains in image quality are coming from blending multiple exposures . 64 GB maybe enough for C1 on a single capture but not enough for focus stacking or even some panos . My take is if you are spending this kind of money you get 196GB .


    Core ..no question that a 12 core machine is enough ....FOR NOW...but you buy a MacPro for a longterm solution . My bet is 16 core is a better starting point .

    EIZO verse new 6K display ...comparing the Eizo to the iMac glossy 5K doesn t seem to be a best verse best comparison . This one will need to play out as the 6K matte version of the Apple display becomes available . The EIZO is clearly all you should need but I am not convinced that its clearly better .

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    Senior Member DougDolde's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Doug Peterson loves to spend other peoples money

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

    Although my desktop needs replacing I'm now actually considering going the other way and try an Ipad Pro with Adobe's offerings for a while. The reasoning being that I can do the initial culling and basic editing on the road and then give it a second glance at home and do the final tweaks and more difficult editing steps. I shoot low volume, although I'm not as good at it with digital and then shoot more to be safe. If I can ditch all those extra shots on location or shortly after my workflow becomes much more streamlined and my need for a super multicore beast might be gone, because I chopped the editing into a lot of smaller pieces. The Ipad can't handle all files from a trip at once, but there is so much downtime for it in the field that even though it imports files slowly, that's not really a problem, it can do that on the way back to my accommodation/home. And doing some initial editing the same evening with a glass on the couch the same evening sounds appealing (plus it helps me foxus on what I still want to shoot on the trip and what I already have.) It won't be easy leaving C1 literally behind for the time being, but it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for now.

    As for others a Mac Pro would be overkill and not even the fastest solution, let alone for that price. It is nice that someone has thought out how to optimize transfer and processing speeds, but a custom Windows build with someone on standby that comes in a few times a year to troubleshoot bottle necks and software issues would still be cheaper and more convenient and even easier to upgrade down the road.

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

    With regards to configuration the GPU would be the biggest problem for photographers. The base offering seems a little light when driving multiple monitors and software with hardware acceleration, but the next one up seems overkill. They all seem to be aimed (like the rest of the hardware) at video work.

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

    Almost any technology you purchase today ...can expect ever increasing requirements. What in your work could drive these requirements?

    In my case .....I do not expect to be able to significantly increase my digital captures . I have been as high as 20K captures with my M10 s in a year ..if I get 15K this year I will be quite happy . I have 200K images in my LR catalog . I expect that my file sizes will double going forward as I use my SL2 and S3 for more of my work .

    Increased raw conversion computations ....expect that further quality will be available from both C1 and LR/Photoshop with dedicated . The software will be using the GPU s for this .

    Multishot techniques ..be it focus stacking ,panos or just multiple files .....now you are speaking to significant processing requirements . As the cameras become more proficient in supporting multi shot techniques expect very heavy processing .

    I/O speeds (bus speeds ) having the ability to move large files at internal bus speeds can be a big time saver ..depends on what you shoot and how much .

    A properly configured iMac can handle my requirements . But I expect for many others especially those that use MF ...the future will require more .

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

    When I bought my first MacPro in 2008, the base spec machine - 2x 4 core 2.8 GHz CPU, 2GB RAM and the standard HDD, GPU, etc, were cheaper than building a similar spec machine from parts. That swayed my decision to go Apple then.

    I now use a 2009 MacPro flashed to look like a 2010 machine with 64GB RAM, 8TB in HDD configured as RAID10 (to provide redundancy and some speed).My PCI slots are populated with a USB3 card, very fast 1TB SSD (for the C1 catalogues), 10GBE Ethernet card to connect to the noisy 64TB spinning rust file server in the cellar (For the actual image data), and an R9 GPU.

    I don't shoot video.

    My biggest issue right now is the core CPU speed, followed by memory. Doing a focus stacked macro with 50-100 images took too long (till I turned off zip compression in the exported TIFF option), because the compression is done on the CPU.

    I am considering a replacement MacPro. 16 cores - I moved from 8 cores to 12 cores - got to keep moving forward!
    As some others have suggested, I will upgrade RAM myself unless the difference is not too high. I'm getting a HP z31x (31 in 4K with 100% Adobe RGB gamut) as my primary monitor and delegate the 4K LG I'm using as the secondary monitor.

    I believe Apple will have a 16GB card sometime soon. An alternative approach is to get the base GPU (for boot message, etc) and get a standard PC AMD GPU for extra OpenCL compute.

    In any case, I'm not upgrading for a few months...

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

    I think the obvious writing on the wall is that the second half of 2019 brought interesting options into the equation. One is an Apple product issue and the larger one is an Intel issue. Thereís a big gap between the Mac Mini/iMac and the Mac Pro that the iMac Pro doesnít quite fulfill as a solution for all due to the lack of the ability to upgrade down the line. The obvious answer is a modular desktop for those without a ďDisneyĒ budget that would never seriously consider a Windows solution and/or donít want an all in one type unit. Also thereís room for a 24-27 inch XDR display (that doesnít go up to 6k obviously) and costs in the $2500 range with stand included.

    The intel ďissueĒ is that the high end consumer desktop processors from AMD are competing with the professional intel chips in multitasking processing power. Thatís not good for Intel and maybe Apple should consider another chip maker for this ďmythicalĒ Desktop Mac.

    As for the Mac Pro... I canít justify the cost right now but I saw a demo one in the Apple Store last week and itís an amazing machine.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    The new Mac Pro is great for people wanting to stay in the Mac world, and have lots of money to burn. Itís also great for video or rendering, or letís say if money isnít important.

    For everyone else itís a dump decision. There are so many great windows option, which either are 95% of the speed and 30% of the cost or kill it in 99% speed wise and still only cost 60% of it....

    My new workstation will cost less then 8k and will, for my applications, be faster than a Mac Pro that would cost me well over 20k.... to get the same speed I would need to spent closer to 40k, which is insane.
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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    Thank god for the internet. One of the guys on the Mac Rumers forum suggested I upgrade my own CPU with a new one from OWC. I've just ordered a 12 core 3.46 CPU along with 128GB of ram all for $1400 bucks....... Hopefully I will see a difference in the speed especially when using Photoshop and Phocus.
    Neil
    So like I mentioned above, I had ordered the above 12 core CPU and 128GB of Ram from OWC in the US (Ive bought many things from them in the past) Anyway a few days after ordering this I received an email from them saying:

    Hello Neil,
    I am writing in regards to your Macsales.com order, xxxxxxx. It pains me to say that the Mac Pro processor upgrade from your order was oversold, and there will be a delay in your order while we locate and vet high-quality used Mac components to fulfill your order.

    Regrettably at this time we do not have an ETA for when these parts will become available. Thankfully we are already hard at work sourcing components for your order and will keep you apprised of developments. bla bla bla........I canceled the order and I got my money back.

    So I then went to Facebook and joined the FB MacPro upgrade group............loads of advice on there and links to cheaper stuff off eBay. So after shopping around I ended up getting the same CPU upgrade kit (Plug and Play) for $300 bucks cheaper than OWC and also 96GB of RAM saving myself another $250 bucks ............the experts on the FB group recommended 6 sticks of 16GB RAM verses 8 sticks of 16GB of RAM (apparently the dual CPU runs faster in that configuration).

    Anyway the CPU and 4 of the 6 sticks of RAM have arrived already, it literally took me less than 5 minutes to install it all, booted it up and WOW its so so much faster.............. Even Phocus just eats up those 100 megawatt H6D100c images (not that I still have that camera, I sold it to a lovely gentleman from South Africa).

    Anyway all up I saved myself enough to maybe get myself a new X1D II ........MAYBE
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    My all NEW Website can be seen HERE

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

    Neil,

    Check your configuration ... looks like two of the ram modules are not reported in the picture on the right ... may not be seated correctly. Should report 96 not 64.

    Regards,

    Bob

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    The new Mac Pro is great for people wanting to stay in the Mac world, and have lots of money to burn. Itís also great for video or rendering, or letís say if money isnít important.

    For everyone else itís a dump decision. There are so many great windows option, which either are 95% of the speed and 30% of the cost or kill it in 99% speed wise and still only cost 60% of it....

    My new workstation will cost less then 8k and will, for my applications, be faster than a Mac Pro that would cost me well over 20k.... to get the same speed I would need to spent closer to 40k, which is insane.
    I think thatís a bit of an over stated point. A comparable Windows PC configured with identical components will cost close to the same as the Mac version. Now itís true that you can get a great ďgamingĒ style PC that can be great at photo/video production for less than some Mac Pro systems - but then they arenít really the same at that point. Thereís also the fact that most people that choose Mac do so because they donít like using Windows as much. Iím comfortable with Windows but I prefer to not have it in my personal life.

    Iím hoping the rumors about Apple making a modular ďgamingĒ computer in the $5k range are true because I think itíll be a great alternative to the iMac Pro to slot between the iMac and Mac Pro. In any case the Mac Pro went way upmarket and I remember my mid-level G5 Mac Pro was a $2200 expense ($2500 retail). I understand that thereís a market for this type of modular system that isnít quite as high end. Even better if they make it a fully AMD system with their high end Navi GPU.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I still believe this new 2019 Mac Pro is just overkill for the average photographer here who does not do video. It's like lousy drivers owning a highly tuned fast car, but cannot maneuver a simple 90 degree corner.

    I have a 2013 Mac Pro with OWC 2TB SSD (Aura Pro X-it's fast), 8 core, 64GB 1866 RAM (actually the 12 core RAM is slower than mine) and AMD FirePro D700 6144 MB GPU's. It drives an NEC 4k monitor.

    I process IQ4150 files in C1 and PS with even 10-15 stitches and do not get the dreaded beach ball with the above Mac Pro.

    So why upgrade if this works just fine?
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    Senior Member ndwgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by docmoore View Post
    Neil,

    Check your configuration ... looks like two of the ram modules are not reported in the picture on the right ... may not be seated correctly. Should report 96 not 64.

    Regards,

    Bob
    Hi Bob
    I only currently have 4 x 16GB sticks of RAM there are 2 more in the post that I should get next week. that will then take me up to the 96GB mate

    Neil
    My all NEW Website can be seen HERE

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

    I threw away my Mac Pro from 2011 when it finally wouldn't allow me to upgrade the operating system. Enough of Apple and moved on to Windows and have never regretted it. Have built numerous systems that have all been extremely reliable, fast and at a fraction of the cost of this new Mac.

    I do use Apple for my notebook needs and the combination of Windows and Apple in this fashion has worked out very well for me.

    I like having both but Windows rules on the desktop side.

    Victor

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

    Back to the Mac Pro 2019 vs. 2013.

    I was debating getting another 2013, but with 12 cores. However after a discussion with OWC I was convinced to keep my 8 core due to a slower RAM speed required in the 12 core even though 128GB was my goal.

    During this process I was looking on the Apple Refurbished list to see what was still available after the introduction of the 2019 Mac Pro. There were scores available in various configurations in 8 and 12 core.

    I looked today and there are no Refurbished 2013 Mac Pro left so it seems the 2019 Mac Pro has driven many who were waiting for the specs and prices on the 2019 model in order to upgarde their 2010 era models have made their decisions and bought the 2013 models.

  43. #43
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Diglloyd is working his way thru an evaluation and I have learned quite a lot from his FREE Mac Performance Blog posts .

    Configuration performance is heavily biased by the post processing software architecture . Lightroom utilizes multiple cores on input and out put of files . Capture One relies on the GPU for all intensive processing . Cores don t matter for Capture One .

    Both products are heavily influenced by the bus speed available . Internal OWC SSD are the way to go .

    If you use dual monitors they can share the I/O capacity ..reducing performance significantly on external files .

    Ram and processor speeds are of course important BUT they are not the full story on configuration requirements .

    Its not simple and one size does not make sense for all photographers .

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

    Just not completely true.

    There are a few very specific features the new Mac Pro has which are hard or expensive to come by. However, these are not needed at all for a photo workstation.

    What you can get for a lot cheaper is:
    - 256GB of Memory
    - 24/32/64 Cores
    - enough m2 SSD Space
    - a great Nvidia RTX card with full 10bit support, without wasting money on a quadro or ago fire card.

    Iím currently planing and soon building my new workstation and I already now I will save thousands of eur doing so with windows.


    Quote Originally Posted by iiiNelson View Post
    I think thatís a bit of an over stated point. A comparable Windows PC configured with identical components will cost close to the same as the Mac version. Now itís true that you can get a great ďgamingĒ style PC that can be great at photo/video production for less than some Mac Pro systems - but then they arenít really the same at that point. Thereís also the fact that most people that choose Mac do so because they donít like using Windows as much. Iím comfortable with Windows but I prefer to not have it in my personal life.

    Iím hoping the rumors about Apple making a modular ďgamingĒ computer in the $5k range are true because I think itíll be a great alternative to the iMac Pro to slot between the iMac and Mac Pro. In any case the Mac Pro went way upmarket and I remember my mid-level G5 Mac Pro was a $2200 expense ($2500 retail). I understand that thereís a market for this type of modular system that isnít quite as high end. Even better if they make it a fully AMD system with their high end Navi GPU.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    Just not completely true.

    There are a few very specific features the new Mac Pro has which are hard or expensive to come by. However, these are not needed at all for a photo workstation.

    What you can get for a lot cheaper is:
    - 256GB of Memory
    - 24/32/64 Cores
    - enough m2 SSD Space
    - a great Nvidia RTX card with full 10bit support, without wasting money on a quadro or ago fire card.

    I’m currently planing and soon building my new workstation and I already now I will save thousands of eur doing so with windows.
    Yes you can get a faster/larger SSD in an AMD based Windows computer right now. If you’re referring to a Threadripper processor, then yes they’re less expensive than Intel (but then it’s not Apples and Oranges while using the same exact Intel Xeon parts). Yes you can buy RAM cheaper and install it yourself versus obtaining it from Apple. Yes, NVidia RTX cards are great... they’re designed around gaming performance primarily though... and I say that as a person that is also a gamer. The AMD GPU’s in the Mac Pro are better in some ways for doing work and multitasking IMO though - and again you can only really get those specific cards in the Mac Pro (though I accept that they are essentially two Radeon VII’s bonded into one board with twice the amount of HBM Memory). You can also install what is essentially 4 cards for a total of up to 128 GB of VRAM alone Yes it’s pricy but there really isn’t a comparable Nvidia RTX that isn’t priced similarly. A 24TB RTX Titan Card is going to cost upwards of $2k+ depending on what GPU prices are doing. 2080 Ti RTX is going to run you $1200+ but isn’t going to have the same amount of VRAM. It’s an excellent card but you aren’t comparing apples to oranges. A lot of less expensive cards like the 2070 Super or the 5700 XT offer great price to performance alternatives as well and can be had for $500 or less of one is focused on value but again none of these are workstation class cards.

    Here’s one (of many videos) that compare comparable setups that aren’t individually built. Even still, Xeon W parts are on the pricy side and before Intel cut prices on consumer desktop parts last fall the same could be said of Core parts. AMD Ryzen, Threadripper, and the like are better values in every way as of today and I would not mind at all if Apple either moved to AMD parts with Intel supply and development issues or at least gave users the option.

    https://youtu.be/fsHWHaXrWAM

    When you price out a prebuilt workstation from Dell, HP, etc. (with comparable or the same components) you will see that the price of the Mac Pro is NOT over priced but it may be overkill for what you personally do.

    I’ll leave it at that.

    This isn’t to start an argument (because no one really wants to read pages of disagreement) but it is to add nuance when comparing the Mac Pro (which is designed to be a professional workstation) on price to performance with a custom built PC that is largely derived of a mix of workstation and/or high end consumer parts. That’s the beauty of going Windows PC (if you will) in that you can pick and choose from a litany of parts... unfortunately there’s no way to currently have that option in a Mac OS X system that’s fully/natively supported system. Personally I’d prefer to pay the “Apple premium” on a less customized system that I prefer to use once and if they release the system I’m willing to pay for. I agree that the Mac Pro is overkill for the vast majority of pure photographers. An iMac or Mac Mini is likely a better option with the caveat that it limits future upgrade ability. The iMac Pro is great too but again it is limited in the ability to self upgrade. Hopefully Apple drops the iMac Pro and places a “non-Pro” Modular Mac that is based on consumer desktop Intel Core (or AMD Zen architecture since there’s some efficiency benefits to using AMD Zen based CPU’s with their RDNA based GPU’s) but then once would presumably lose Intel Quick Sync.
    Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    I don't disagree with you on most points. I only think that for a Photographer, the current mac Pro in ANY configuration is a big waste of money. There are many use cases where the Mac Pro is an amazing tool and one of its kind.

    One more point, which is not known to most people, HP and similar companies give huge discounts on even ONE workstation which is "official" priced at 20k.... Apple doesn't.

    My point was, that for a photographer a workstation class graphic card or CPU do NOT make sense at all. Especially after Nvidia opened there 30bit (10bit) support for all "consumer" cards. I still use a workstation card and a Xeon CPU in my current workstation. However, it would be a waste of money for me to do the same on my new one.



    Quote Originally Posted by iiiNelson View Post
    Yes you can get a faster/larger SSD in an AMD based Windows computer right now. If youíre referring to a Threadripper processor, then yes theyíre less expensive than Intel (but then itís not Apples and Oranges while using the same exact Intel Xeon parts). Yes you can buy RAM cheaper and install it yourself versus obtaining it from Apple. Yes, NVidia RTX cards are great... theyíre designed around gaming performance primarily though... and I say that as a person that is also a gamer. The AMD GPUís in the Mac Pro are better in some ways for doing work and multitasking IMO though - and again you can only really get those specific cards in the Mac Pro (though I accept that they are essentially two Radeon VIIís bonded into one board with twice the amount of HBM Memory). You can also install what is essentially 4 cards for a total of up to 128 GB of VRAM alone Yes itís pricy but there really isnít a comparable Nvidia RTX that isnít priced similarly. A 24TB RTX Titan Card is going to cost upwards of $2k+ depending on what GPU prices are doing. 2080 Ti RTX is going to run you $1200+ but isnít going to have the same amount of VRAM. Itís an excellent card but you arenít comparing apples to oranges. A lot of less expensive cards like the 2070 Super or the 5700 XT offer great price to performance alternatives as well and can be had for $500 or less of one is focused on value but again none of these are workstation class cards.

    Hereís one (of many videos) that compare comparable setups that arenít individually built. Even still, Xeon W parts are on the pricy side and before Intel cut prices on consumer desktop parts last fall the same could be said of Core parts. AMD Ryzen, Threadripper, and the like are better values in every way as of today and I would not mind at all if Apple either moved to AMD parts with Intel supply and development issues or at least gave users the option.

    https://youtu.be/fsHWHaXrWAM

    When you price out a prebuilt workstation from Dell, HP, etc. (with comparable or the same components) you will see that the price of the Mac Pro is NOT over priced but it may be overkill for what you personally do.

    Iíll leave it at that.

    This isnít to start an argument (because no one really wants to read pages of disagreement) but it is to add nuance when comparing the Mac Pro (which is designed to be a professional workstation) on price to performance with a custom built PC that is largely derived of a mix of workstation and/or high end consumer parts. Thatís the beauty of going Windows PC (if you will) in that you can pick and choose from a litany of parts... unfortunately thereís no way to currently have that option in a Mac OS X system thatís fully/natively supported system. Personally Iíd prefer to pay the ďApple premiumĒ on a less customized system that I prefer to use once and if they release the system Iím willing to pay for. I agree that the Mac Pro is overkill for the vast majority of pure photographers. An iMac or Mac Mini is likely a better option with the caveat that it limits future upgrade ability. The iMac Pro is great too but again it is limited in the ability to self upgrade. Hopefully Apple drops the iMac Pro and places a ďnon-ProĒ Modular Mac that is based on consumer desktop Intel Core (or AMD Zen architecture since thereís some efficiency benefits to using AMD Zen based CPUís with their RDNA based GPUís) but then once would presumably lose Intel Quick Sync.
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher View Post
    I don't disagree with you on most points. I only think that for a Photographer, the current mac Pro in ANY configuration is a big waste of money. There are many use cases where the Mac Pro is an amazing tool and one of its kind.

    One more point, which is not known to most people, HP and similar companies give huge discounts on even ONE workstation which is "official" priced at 20k.... Apple doesn't.

    My point was, that for a photographer a workstation class graphic card or CPU do NOT make sense at all. Especially after Nvidia opened there 30bit (10bit) support for all "consumer" cards. I still use a workstation card and a Xeon CPU in my current workstation. However, it would be a waste of money for me to do the same on my new one.
    Fair enough and I donít disagree with you that these may be overkill for most. For those that have an increasing mix of photo and video though it makes a lot of sense to consider assuming one has the budget for one. For a pure photographer - an iMac is fine... or a Windows PC if one wants to go that route. My point and hope is that Apple going way upmarket with this iteration of the Mac Pro leaves a huge gap between the iMac and the Mac Pro. Again when I bought my PowerMac G5 the base system started at $1999, mid tier was $2499, and the top end one was $2999. They continued that structure with the Intel MacPro until the ďtrash canĒ Mac Pro was released. I was expecting the Mac Pro options to get expensive but a $5999 base price is beyond what I expected personally. Hopefully thereís a cheaper option for a modular Mac system because frankly I donít love to use Windows in my free time.
    Visible Light & IR Photographer
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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    How do you keep a thread on track ...I am convinced it cannot be done here at GETDpi . The intent of the thread was to discuss ďHow to configure a New Mac Pro ď Was I not clear in setting up the discussion ?

    If you want to build a Windows based system ...have at it ..in your own thread

    If you believe you can configure the 2013 MP with upgrades and have a bargain 2019 MP ...start your own thread.

    There is a lot to be considered should you want to actually buy an 2019 MP ....cores ,memory ,GPU,SSD strategy, displays . Its appears to matter a lot whether you are LR or C1 user.

    Why does every thread have to degenerate into a discussion on how to get a better deal . You can probably buy a used Toyota and make the case that its fast enough and you must be either stupid or have too much money to want that Porsche .

  49. #49
    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Roger,

    Apple in general, and Mac Pros in particular, attract so much hatred that this thread had no chance anywhere. On MacRumors it’s the same. It’s weird.

    I, too, have feelings about the MP as a photography workstation, but a) that wasn’t your question and b) software is moving in the direction where it may well change the balance.

    To your original question, alas, I have no advice.

    Matt
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  50. #50
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    Re: Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    How do you keep a thread on track ...I am convinced it cannot be done here at GETDpi . The intent of the thread was to discuss ďHow to configure a New Mac Pro ď Was I not clear in setting up the discussion ?

    If you want to build a Windows based system ...have at it ..in your own thread

    If you believe you can configure the 2013 MP with upgrades and have a bargain 2019 MP ...start your own thread.

    There is a lot to be considered should you want to actually buy an 2019 MP ....cores ,memory ,GPU,SSD strategy, displays . Its appears to matter a lot whether you are LR or C1 user.

    Why does every thread have to degenerate into a discussion on how to get a better deal . You can probably buy a used Toyota and make the case that its fast enough and you must be either stupid or have too much money to want that Porsche .
    I think itís the nature of the Internet is the short answer.

    On the question of how to configure, I think the 12 or 16 core option with a Radeon Pro II would be my choice. Iíd add aftermarket RAM and SSDís to save money on easily upgraded parts that I didnít have to pay Apple and extreme premium on. I think one could save a few thousand that way and come up with a system that has either 192 or 384 GB of RAM with a few TB of storage. I think this sort of system can be had in the $11-15k range depending on RAM and storage prices.
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