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Author Topic: New Mac Pro - specification  (Read 12732 times)
Josh-H
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« on: August 15, 2008, 12:22:07 AM »
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Just about to place the order for a new mac pro for my photo editing and thought I would just double check the proposed spec here as I have never ordered a mac pro before.

First off it will be running CS3 and LR2.

was thinking as follows:
3.0Ghz 8 Core
8 Gig Ram
2 x 1TB drives in RAID 1 for O/S and apps.
Secondary drive for Time machine
Third drive for CS3 scratch disc.
Standard video card that comes with the base unit. [any reason to upgrade this? - It will be paired with an NEC Wuxi 2690 SpectraView II monitor].

Will be mostly working with 1DSMK3 RAW and TIFF files and stitched 1DSMK3 files and probably next year some Phase 1 files if I can pick up a pre-loved P25+ or 45+ for the right price.

I think the above spec. should be adequete - any thoughts?

ta.
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kikashi
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2008, 02:57:08 AM »
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Quote
Just about to place the order for a new mac pro for my photo editing and thought I would just double check the proposed spec here as I have never ordered a mac pro before.

First off it will be running CS3 and LR2.

was thinking as follows:
3.0Ghz 8 Core
8 Gig Ram
2 x 1TB drives in RAID 1 for O/S and apps.
Secondary drive for Time machine
Third drive for CS3 scratch disc.
Standard video card that comes with the base unit. [any reason to upgrade this? - It will be paired with an NEC Wuxi 2690 SpectraView II monitor].

Will be mostly working with 1DSMK3 RAW and TIFF files and stitched 1DSMK3 files and probably next year some Phase 1 files if I can pick up a pre-loved P25+ or 45+ for the right price.

I think the above spec. should be adequete - any thoughts?

ta.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215138\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Just a few thoughts from a very longstanding Apple enthusiast:

1. You'll pay a hefty premium for the dual 3.0GHz rather than the "suggested" dual 2.8GHz (£500 at the UK store). I'd be surprised if it's really worth the money.

2. I'd suggest you don't buy RAM from Apple: it's horrifically expensive. Get the basic 2GB and top it up with memory from an independent supplier such as Kingston or Crucial. I added 8GB to my basic 2GB at less than half what Apple would have charged. In addition, there's no need to add the 8GB as 2x4GB cards, which are expensive: use 4x2GB cards. Same performance, half the price and you still have two slots left if you find you need yet more.

3. I'd use an external disk as my Time machine drive. I've no particularly good reason other than an emotional need to see a backup in a separate box, dependent on a separate power supply and able to be carried separately if I move. On the other hand, you will be backing everything up somewhere else anyway, won't you?

Jeremy
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stewarthemley
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2008, 03:41:22 AM »
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I'm in the same boat but I found this site     http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Pro    and I think it might be a good idea to wait for the upgrade. At least  check it out.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2008, 05:07:05 AM »
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I'm in the same boat but I found this site     http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#Mac_Pro    and I think it might be a good idea to wait for the upgrade. At least  check it out.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215162\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks - I did see that.

It doesnt phase me too much - in the computer game if you wait for the new model you sort of end up waiting forever and always chasing your tail.

Im more interested in the time the mac pro will save me compared to the Vista machine I am currently using as my primary photo editing machine - time is money when editing photos. If I buy now I save time straight away.. if I wait I end up wasting time with Vista waiting for the new model mac pro. Doesnt make sense to me - but I do appreciate your suggestion and for taking the time to reply. - thanks.

As en edit to this - Intel only just announced the release of the new Xeon processor for Q4 this year - which in all likelyhood means you wont see it in a mac before 2009. Thats months away still. Can do a lot of editing in this time :-)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2008, 05:08:32 AM by Josh-H » Logged

stewarthemley
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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2008, 06:17:26 AM »
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Thanks - I did see that.

It doesnt phase me too much - in the computer game if you wait for the new model you sort of end up waiting forever and always chasing your tail.

As en edit to this - Intel only just announced the release of the new Xeon processor for Q4 this year - which in all likelyhood means you wont see it in a mac before 2009. Thats months away still. Can do a lot of editing in this time :-)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree. And no matter what you buy it's going to be "outdated" by the time you get it home and plug it in. I might hang on for the faster processor and multi core aspect, though I'm not sure how they will speed things up in the real world. Right now I'm editing big files, 223mb before adding layers, and though the Macbook Pro is coping, it has to run two screens and I need more speed. Good luck with your purchase.
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Edhopkins
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« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2008, 08:39:49 AM »
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Just about to place the order for a new mac pro for my photo editing and thought I would just double check the proposed spec here as I have never ordered a mac pro before.

First off it will be running CS3 and LR2.

was thinking as follows:
3.0Ghz 8 Core
8 Gig Ram
2 x 1TB drives in RAID 1 for O/S and apps.
Secondary drive for Time machine
Third drive for CS3 scratch disc.
Standard video card that comes with the base unit. [any reason to upgrade this? - It will be paired with an NEC Wuxi 2690 SpectraView II monitor].

Will be mostly working with 1DSMK3 RAW and TIFF files and stitched 1DSMK3 files and probably next year some Phase 1 files if I can pick up a pre-loved P25+ or 45+ for the right price.

I think the above spec. should be adequete - any thoughts?

ta.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am getting to buy a Mac Pro as well. And it is because we now have a 1DSMK3 with its 21 mb files to deal with.  So I am making the same decisions you are.

I will be going with the 3.0Ghz 8 Core processor--though I intend to do more research on this before making the final decision.  (I tend to want to get the fastest processor I can afford. This is hard to upgrade later.  And this is the most important single factor in performance.)

I agree with the recommendation to buy memory after market. (At Other World, you can get 12 GB--in 2GB modules--for $479.)

I intend to also buy my internal drives after market. I will get the minimum configuration-- 1 320 gb--and then put in at least 3 more 1 tb aftermarket drives.  I will get sATA drives from Other World Computing.  Much cheaper.  I might throw away the 320 and make it a clean sweep and install 4 1 tb sATA drives.  (I will do Timemachine backups to internal drives until I run out of room and then move to an external drive.  I suspect that at some point in Time Machine will be upgraded to allow backups to multiple drives.)

I intend to go for an upgrade to the video card, getting the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB for a mere $150 more. (We have used slide show making programs which require more memory in the video cards for the rendering.)

I was not going to shell out the bucks for RAID. and SAS drives.  (You don't mention getting SAS drives with the RAID.  Aren't the faster drives the point of getting the RAID?)  

My general sense is that I want maximum performance for the processing of a single photo and that I need a fast processor and as much memory as Photoshop can use.  I assume--perhaps wrongly-that with 12 GB of memory, Photoshop will not be using the scratch disk when processing a photo--trying out filters, uprezing, other cpu intensive PS tasks--but will only be using memory.  Hence  don't go nuts in getting super fast disk access.  

I read the following on the Adobe web site:

If you have more than 4 GB (to 8 GB), the RAM above 4 GB is used by the operating system as a cache for the Photoshop scratch disk data. Data that previously was written directly to the hard disk by Photoshop is now cached in this high RAM before being written to the hard disk by the operating system. If you are working with files large enough to take advantage of these extra 2 GB of RAM, the RAM cache can increase performance of Photoshop.

One link for this is:  [a href=\"http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401089]http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewConten...rnalId=kb401089[/url]


This is my two cents and I look forward to others showing me the errors of my thinking.

Ed

Baltimore
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k bennett
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2008, 11:25:03 AM »
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Not sure why you need two disks in RAID 1 for your boot drive if you have a Time Machine disk. If your boot disk fails, you can restore from the TM disk.

If you have separate data disks, not backed up by TM, then the RAID 1 config makes sense.

Other than that, I concur with the above suggestions to buy your RAM from Crucial or OWC or another vendor. The hard drives are so ridiculously easy to install that you can buy them separately as well. It's nice to have a very fast disk for the PS CS3 scratch.

Your machine is spec'd out quite nicely for the intended purpose. Have fun.
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LA30
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2008, 12:15:15 PM »
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To add a few links/thoughts...

Phase one......

The forum for them is down now...There is a thread on building a machine for C1Pro.  

Faster processor makes faster tiff files from Raw files, not ram or hard drives ( to a point)

Faster hard drives make faster thumbnails when shooting tethered.

The Phase tech wrote that ram isn't really an issue, like 2 gigs is fine.

Now that is for C1, not photoshop, photoshop likes ram.

Look into "Ram disks" and using more than 3 gigs of ram as there are still issues.  I have read somewhere that you can make a ram disk, mount it and use it as a scratch for PS, this isn't as automatic as it seems.

Oh, looking at running a lot of actions.  SET history to 1 state and cache to 4 and RESTART Photoshop and then run actions.  Makes a big difference.

For Fun run this speed tests on what you have now.

http://retouchartists.com/pages/speedtest.html

Here is a very fast drive, be carful which version you get as there are issues with fitting it in a Mac Pro...READ the WHOLE ARTICLE.  They now sell the drive with a different heat sink, no heat sink and standard heat sink.  

http://www.barefeats.com/hard103.html

and read the update about sleds/fins/bare drives.

http://www.barefeats.com/quick.html

Raiding 2 drives to act as one can be very fast but dangerous as if you loose one you loose everything, but as stated above with Time Machine you are covered.

If you need to restore from TM by the way, you need to put in a new HD THEN in stall the OS and then restore from TM.

Also take a look at "SuperDuper!" in google, if your machine dies you can just boot from the SuperDuper drive and keep working, you don't lose 4 hours rebuilding your system but it isn't as sexy as TM.

I have also heard that custom configuring the Pro with the upgraded graphics card for $150 is a good idea.

I hope this helps.
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jerryrock
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2008, 10:08:29 AM »
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I agree with Time Machine on an internal drive. My system is configured this way. I have had problems using external drives with Time Machine that I attribute to system bottlenecking. There is no faster connection than the internal drive which allows seamless performance.

I would not use Raid for the first two drives. You are loosing the total capacity of one of the drives and possibly a loss in performance if you use a software raid solution.  Time Machine does offer data security and if needed, additional backup on an external drive will give you added security.
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Gerald J Skrocki
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Josh-H
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2008, 07:25:24 PM »
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Ok - which of the following would you reccomend?

Run 2 x 1TB drives in RAID 1 for redundancy
Or.
Run 2 x 1TB drives with the second drive for TM and save the money on the RAID controller
Or.
Run 2 x 1TB drives in RAID 0 for maximum speed with a third 1TB drive for TM

Bearing in mind.. I store my LR catalogue locally - but I store my actual photographs on an external RAID 5 server, which is locally referenced.
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Rick_Allen
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2008, 07:44:34 PM »
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If speed is your main goal without sacrificing safety what about: 4x300gb Velociraptor drives configured as two sets of raid 0 that are also raid 1. this is for your OS and apps. then route the two sata ports that are spare on the board with an internal-external pci bracket and have a couple of 1Tb drives in an external enclosure for TM. My current system is basically this but i have the OS on the external drive and have captures going to the raid0+1 internal. I dont use TM with this system as I wipe the OS once a month.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2008, 10:20:38 PM »
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If speed is your main goal without sacrificing safety what about: 4x300gb Velociraptor drives configured as two sets of raid 0 that are also raid 1.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215719\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Is it possible to install the Velaciraptor in the drive bays of the Mac Pro?

My understanding was that the SATA connectors of that drive were not located at the standard location.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
francois
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2008, 01:10:56 AM »
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Is it possible to install the Velaciraptor in the drive bays of the Mac Pro?

My understanding was that the SATA connectors of that drive were not located at the standard location.

Cheers,
Bernard
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
According to MacBidouille (article [a href=\"http://www.macbidouille.com/news/2008-08-14/#16863]here[/url]), a special version with standard connectors should be available shortly.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2008, 01:11:15 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2008, 04:29:12 AM »
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I really don't want to start a mac vs pc debate here. I love to work on both. The only thing I wanted to add is that if you have a tight budget a PC will always be faster.

My current workstation is a PC
Intel Q6600 @ 3ghz
8GB memory
2*160 Raptor harddrives
2*500 normal harddrives
Vista 64
PS CS3

I have run the that time test and I got a time of 21 second.

Now the point is that for this system I would sepnd today around $1500.

I'm certain that some highend Mac pro for double the money is 2-3 seconds faster, but that's just to much money for a few seconds.

Now back to topic, as many said buy the memory not from apple and sorry but the 3.0ghz and 3.2 ghz are just overpriced.

Chris
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ctz
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2008, 05:06:48 AM »
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I have run the that time test and I got a time of 21 second.


well, congratulations! i've ran the test on macpro 4X2.66, scratch disk2Xraptors in raid0 and i've got 34sec...
and if you take a look at the other results http://www.retouchartists.com/pages/results.html well, it looks like you have the fastest machine on earth.
 
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Christopher
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« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2008, 05:24:35 AM »
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I have run the that time test and I got a time of 21 second.
well, congratulations! i've ran the test on macpro 4X2.66, scratch disk2Xraptors in raid0 and i've got 34sec...
and if you take a look at the other results http://www.retouchartists.com/pages/results.html well, it looks like you have the fastest machine on earth.
 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215753\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well I know my computer is fast, I build all my workstations myself and I know what I'm doing. Still 21 seconds is fast but not as fast as it goes. Get you CPu to 4ghz and you will be under 15seconds. get your 2.66 to 3.0 and you will get something like 21-26 seconds.

The problem of this test is that it nearly only tests cpu speed. We all have so much memory that we would need a larger file to do a test to see what changes with different hard drives etc.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2008, 05:39:21 AM »
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According to MacBidouille (article here), a special version with standard connectors should be available shortly.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215739\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That's what I thought, so I wonder how Rick did with his Mac Pro.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Christopher
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« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2008, 05:42:34 AM »
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That's what I thought, so I wonder how Rick did with his Mac Pro.

Cheers,
Bernard
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215760\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes and what would be even more interesting is using a different image. Something like a 1 GB and a 4GB file. It would be interesting to see how much faster then a system with two raptors in raid 0 would be.
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Josh-H
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« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2008, 05:43:39 AM »
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I really don't want to start a mac vs pc debate here. I love to work on both. The only thing I wanted to add is that if you have a tight budget a PC will always be faster.

My current workstation is a PC
Intel Q6600 @ 3ghz
8GB memory
2*160 Raptor harddrives
2*500 normal harddrives
Vista 64
PS CS3

I have run the that time test and I got a time of 21 second.

Now the point is that for this system I would sepnd today around $1500.

I'm certain that some highend Mac pro for double the money is 2-3 seconds faster, but that's just to much money for a few seconds.

Now back to topic, as many said buy the memory not from apple and sorry but the 3.0ghz and 3.2 ghz are just overpriced.

Chris
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215748\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks - but I have no interest in a Windows based machine - thats what I am replacing.

In my experience VISTA SUX - and is a slug of an O/S compared to Leopard. I am de-VISTAering myself for good.

Yes - you can build a fast PC for less money - but I know which I would rather drive.
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Christopher
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« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2008, 05:50:51 AM »
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Thanks - but I have no interest in a Windows based machine - thats what I am replacing.

In my experience VISTA SUX - and is a slug of an O/S compared to Leopard. I am de-VISTAering myself for good.

Yes - you can build a fast PC for less money - but I know which I would rather drive.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=215764\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Once again it always depends on the standpoint. A good configured Vista worksation works fine. Yes it is not as silky smooth as a mac, but again it depend on what you are used to. I grew up with PCs and haven't touched a mac until two years ago, so for me windows feels "better", for someone with a different background it will be the other way around.
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