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Anybody Considering a Mac Pro ..How to Configure ?

glenerrolrd

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But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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

Pelorus

Member
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:p It was a fun exercise :)

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But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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

Joe Colson

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But I like the idea of a modular system that can be upgraded verse the iMac which seems to be outdated frequently .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

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
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
:lecture:
 

Joe Colson

Active member
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
 

RLB

New member
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
 

glenerrolrd

Workshop Member
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 . :wtf:

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
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
....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.


Mac Pro 2.jpg

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:


MacPro 1.jpg

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.


Mac Pro 3.jpg

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!
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
(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 :ROTFL:

Best,

Matt
 
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docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
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
 

docmoore

Subscriber and Workshop Member
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.
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
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 :bugeyes:. 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
 

MGrayson

Subscriber and Workshop Member
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
 

RLB

New member
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
 

algrove

New member
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.
 

ndwgolf

Member
I looked at it yesterday and I want one..............I chatted on Mac rumens and got a bunch of feed back. I’ve 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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Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
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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