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Author Topic: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?  (Read 12406 times)

Jelmer de Jong

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #30 on: October 23, 2016, 06:08:23 am »

I have serious doubts about using a Mac Mini (which seem the be the most popular systems for QLab) for Protools since they lack the quad core processors that Protools seems to run best on, especially since I want it to record up to 64 channels at a time. And either an iMac or Mac Mini would still require a Sonnet or similar expansion chassis for the HDX card and other storage media.

If you only record and playback like virtual soundcheck then every computer since 2010 with a decent SSD as storage will do. Audio data is very small and when you do not edit or want realtime plugins there is very few cpu usage.
24bit/96KHz is only 288Kbyte per track per second, 19MByte/s for 64 channels. That's not rocketsience.
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Thomas Dameron

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2016, 07:13:46 am »

If you only record and playback like virtual soundcheck then every computer since 2010 with a decent SSD as storage will do. Audio data is very small and when you do not edit or want realtime plugins there is very few cpu usage.
24bit/96KHz is only 288Kbyte per track per second, 19MByte/s for 64 channels. That's not rocketsience.

+1.  Justice, I know you're married to PT and that's a lot more resource heavy, but FWIW I regularly track 56ch using Reaper while running Smaart 7 and a number of other programs on a not particularly new, not particularly fast Mini.  None of the vitals exceed 20% ever, they're usually in the single digits.

I appreciate that you're making sure that your budget $$ goes as far as it can, but any Q-Lab driving video outs should be the determining factor.  Otherwise an iMac or even a modern Mini will be bringing a tank to a gun fight.

thomas d.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2016, 03:59:29 pm »

Well, that was a giant let down.   :(
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Justice C. Bigler
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2016, 04:07:34 pm »

Well, that was a giant let down.   :(

Seriously though. I remember a time when every announcement brought at least a shimmer of improvement. Now it feels like every new product is a slight punch in the gut.

Mac Kerr

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2016, 06:49:17 pm »

Seriously though. I remember a time when every announcement brought at least a shimmer of improvement. Now it feels like every new product is a slight punch in the gut.

What were you expecting? I know Justice is disappointed because there was no new Mac Pro, but one wasn't ever even hinted at. For a laptop update, which was due, it seems like a pretty good step up to me. Faster processor, faster more capable graphics processor, faster memory, more memory, more faster SSD storage, and the function keys that show what each app has changed them to, as well as letting you customize what they are, are all pretty cool. As well the app developers are finding ways to integrate the touch bar in new ways. Who is doing more in computer announcements these days?

Mac
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Steven Eudaly

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2016, 07:16:14 pm »

What were you expecting? I know Justice is disappointed because there was no new Mac Pro, but one wasn't ever even hinted at. For a laptop update, which was due, it seems like a pretty good step up to me. Faster processor, faster more capable graphics processor, faster memory, more memory, more faster SSD storage, and the function keys that show what each app has changed them to, as well as letting you customize what they are, are all pretty cool. As well the app developers are finding ways to integrate the touch bar in new ways. Who is doing more in computer announcements these days?

Mac

Sure, lots of cool frills, but I don't like that the cheaper models have less of an already limited IO. I'm also don't know why we seem to be decreasing available local storage. Yes, I understand lots of consumers are using the cloud more, but the MacBook Pro was originally meant for professional use, right? I've got over 1TB of SSD in my 2010 MacBook Pro.

I'm being nitpicky, yes. I agree they still seem to innovate more than most, my needs are just out of line with the average consumer and I like to get bent out of shape about it even though that's nobody's fault but my own.  ::)

Ned Ward

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2016, 09:39:55 pm »

Justice -

as a Pro Tools user, why not just run Pro Tools and Q-Lab on the Mac? Mac OS has always been more stable than the Windows side at Avid, and then you can run one machine.

In terms of the current trashcans, more than serviceable for the kind of Pro Tools sessions you're talking about. For recording, the Mac Pro won't be the limiter - it will be your drives and interface.  I know Russ at Pro Tools Expert upgraded and is happy with the performance - some benchmarks here: http://www.pro-tools-expert.com/home-page/2014/11/18/apple-mac-pro-6-core-intel-xeon-e5-35-ghz-running-pro-tools.html?rq=Mac%20Pro

As to Apple not updating the Mac Pro Thursday, eh. You can head over to OWC and buy a faster processor now- pops right in.
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2016, 10:26:57 pm »

As to Apple not updating the Mac Pro Thursday, eh. You can head over to OWC and buy a faster processor now- pops right in.
Does the CPU actually come out of the Mac Pro? I was under the impression that they are hard soldered in? I know you can swap RAM, but didn't think you could anything else.
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2016, 10:31:03 pm »

Does the CPU actually come out of the Mac Pro? I was under the impression that they are hard soldered in? I know you can swap RAM, but didn't think you could anything else.

They are socketed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2016, 11:01:13 pm »

So, speaking of adding SSDs to the system...

I know you can buy PCIe cards to use NVMe SSDs in a system and gain the advantages of the new super fast V-NAND SSDs like the Samsung 950 Pro. Would this still work with a PCIe card in an Thunderbolt expansion chassis, like the Sonnet Tech xMac Pro Server? Will you still get the nearly 1,500MB/s write speeds? Or will they throttle back to the 750MB/s speeds that the traditional SSDs get with more traditional SSDs?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 11:05:39 pm by Justice C. Bigler »
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Justice C. Bigler
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Re: Is it worth buying a Mac Pro now?
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2016, 11:01:13 pm »


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