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Author Topic: Deciding between Mac Pro 2012 vs 2013  (Read 7456 times)
Jimmy D Uptain
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« on: September 23, 2013, 08:08:46 PM »
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Having a bit of a dilemma.
I now own a Mac Mini (Late 2012 16gb ram)
An upgrade to the 2013 Mac Pro will be a huge step up in processing power but a lateral move in storage.
I embraced thunderbolt only because it offered better storage options at the time I got the Mini. ( I was strapped for cash)
So I'm wondering if buying a used or refurbished 2012 Mac Pro may be a good, if not better option than a 2013 Pro.
So my question is: how long do y'all think the latest dual processor Mac Pro will be relevant?

As far as software, I currently use Capture One, Lightroom, PS6, Nikon NX2. My current library is about 500gb.

iMac is out of the question as it is is yet another lateral move and I have a Great 27" NEC monitor.

BTW, I was posting under the name "Sysyphus" but changed to my real name as I am getting away from the anonymity of a pseudonym.
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degrub
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 09:07:59 PM »
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Is this a business or hobby for you ?
Wht size of file are you working on ?

If business, you may be able to justify the move.
What about a quad core mini with a ssd and 16gb ?

You could split some of the workflow across the machines.

Older but useful.....

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-CoresExplained.html

Frank
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John.Murray
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 10:54:08 PM »
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If you've invested in Thunderbolt, then the 2012 Mac Pro is a non-starter; it does not have it.....
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 10:45:45 AM »
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If you've invested in Thunderbolt, then the 2012 Mac Pro is a non-starter; it does not have it.....

My investment is a single 1TB LaCie drive, so that's not an issue.

Also, since thunderbolt can only be daisy chained, I'm not too keen on it anymore.
If anything in the chain fails, everything after it fails. My monitor is the last device in the daisy chain.
Now the new Pro will have multiple TB ports which is pretty sweet. Just not sure......
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 11:18:28 AM »
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Is this a business or hobby for you ?
Wht size of file are you working on ?

If business, you may be able to justify the move.
What about a quad core mini with a ssd and 16gb ?

You could split some of the workflow across the machines.

Older but useful.....

http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-MacProWestmere-CoresExplained.html

Frank


Mostly hobby, but I am very particular and get frustrated easily when it comes to flow.
If I am working on a project with a particular theme in mind, it helps to have speed. Starting and stopping, however minute, is a break in the flow.
I am easily distracted so you might understand why these breaks are no good for me.

I currently have a Mac Mini 2.3 i7 with 16gb ram, 500gb SSD. The lack of a real video card is it's biggest shortcoming. That and a two had drive limit. (That second HD would be a booger to install)
My software of choice when it comes to Raw conversion is Capture One. From what I understand C1 works better with a dedicated video card.
I even looked into an outboard video card via thunderbolt, but that route proved expensive and limited. That in itself is what started me on the upgrade kick.

The link you included was extremely helpful and may narrow my choices even more. Thanks!
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 06:53:33 PM »
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Hi Jimmy,

I waited for WWDC in June to make my decision as I waited to upgrade my Mac tower. I was hoping for an immediate update to the Mac Pro line, rather than the more radical 2013 model announced. The delayed delivery of the new Mac Pro was too great for me (my system was holding me back with some of my other work), and I was concerned about the costs associated with external Thunderbolt enclosures (and clutter). Surely the peripherals with come down in price and the selection will grow, but that will take time, too.

So, I ordered a 2012 Mac Pro and outfitted to help kick it up a bit in areas that effect how I work. I got the 6-core 3.33 GHz, with minimum RAM and HD. I then ordered the OWC PCIexpress SSD for the boot volume because the buss is much faster than the SATA buses. I also put a 2.5" SSD in the lower optical bay for my Photoshop scratch. The four 3.5" hard drive bays are stuffed with 2TB drives, configured to my needs. I also maxed out the RAM using OWC RAM as I always do.

One nice bonus provided by the OWC PCIe SSD ( http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R240/ ) is that the card also provides two eSATA ports available at the back of the tower. It's not as fast as Thunderbolt, but faster than other options, and I have some external eSATA enclosures for redundant backup, TimeMachine, etc.

I'm a happy camper.

HTH,

Dale
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 03:12:07 PM »
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Hi Jimmy,

I waited for WWDC in June to make my decision as I waited to upgrade my Mac tower. I was hoping for an immediate update to the Mac Pro line, rather than the more radical 2013 model announced. The delayed delivery of the new Mac Pro was too great for me (my system was holding me back with some of my other work), and I was concerned about the costs associated with external Thunderbolt enclosures (and clutter). Surely the peripherals with come down in price and the selection will grow, but that will take time, too.

So, I ordered a 2012 Mac Pro and outfitted to help kick it up a bit in areas that effect how I work. I got the 6-core 3.33 GHz, with minimum RAM and HD. I then ordered the OWC PCIexpress SSD for the boot volume because the buss is much faster than the SATA buses. I also put a 2.5" SSD in the lower optical bay for my Photoshop scratch. The four 3.5" hard drive bays are stuffed with 2TB drives, configured to my needs. I also maxed out the RAM using OWC RAM as I always do.

One nice bonus provided by the OWC PCIe SSD ( http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R240/ ) is that the card also provides two eSATA ports available at the back of the tower. It's not as fast as Thunderbolt, but faster than other options, and I have some external eSATA enclosures for redundant backup, TimeMachine, etc.

I'm a happy camper.

HTH,

Dale


You wouldn't by chance have Geekbench installed?
The system you specified is almost, if not identical to, what I was looking at. I'd love to know how it benchmarked.
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2013, 03:30:48 PM »
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You wouldn't by chance have Geekbench installed?
The system you specified is almost, if not identical to, what I was looking at. I'd love to know how it benchmarked.


No, I don't. I don't want to obsess over the numbers since I'm not inclined to invest in additional upgrades at this time. As configured, Photoshop opens lightning-fast, processes my medium format files rapidly; and Capture One is snappy as well. My ignorance is bliss for now. If I start running performance tests I'll surely start thinking I need something more. Wink  You might find some numbers over at Digital Lloyd's Mac Performance Guide. He does describe the "blade SSD" extensively, as well as many other configuration options.
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2013, 03:51:47 PM »
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No, I don't. I don't want to obsess over the numbers since I'm not inclined to invest in additional upgrades at this time. As configured, Photoshop opens lightning-fast, processes my medium format files rapidly; and Capture One is snappy as well. My ignorance is bliss for now. If I start running performance tests I'll surely start thinking I need something more. Wink  You might find some numbers over at Digital Lloyd's Mac Performance Guide. He does describe the "blade SSD" extensively, as well as many other configuration options.

Yeah, I understand.
My primary job is a QA tech in a dimensional lab so I tend to use numbers quite a bit. It's sort of a comfort thing.
I came close on pulling the trigger on a 3.33 but backed out at the last second.

Two more things:
You didn't mention the video card. Kinda curious about that as C1 seems to be picky about that sorta thing.
What type of cataloging do you use? I ask this as I prefer Media Pro but Its performance is kinda slow. I'm not sure if the is because I'm using
an external drive as photo storage. Its a Lacie little big disk HDD thunderbolt.

Oh yeah, thanks so much for your input.
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2013, 04:16:09 PM »
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Two more things:
You didn't mention the video card. Kinda curious about that as C1 seems to be picky about that sorta thing.
What type of cataloging do you use? I ask this as I prefer Media Pro but Its performance is kinda slow. I'm not sure if the is because I'm using
an external drive as photo storage. Its a Lacie little big disk HDD thunderbolt.

Oh yeah, thanks so much for your input.

I simply stayed with the stock video card (after reading as much as I could). It's the ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB. C1 likes it fine so far. I play no games and edit zero video, so I'd not really push an upgraded card.

My "cataloging", if you want to call it that, is pretty old school. I simply name each photo session (or outing) folder as e.g. "20130928_North_Coast_A" and store them on a dedicated image data drive (ala Seth Resnick naming method). I do not like to use propriety cataloging options because I don't want to be married to any one software vender. I'm comfortable forfeiting some convenience and performance to maintain an agnostic design. I don't mind importing directories (creating redundancies) because storage is cheap, but I always store originals as per my example above. That naming method (starting with date) orders beautifully in the Finder and that's how I prefer to work.

For speed I have used a RAID array for image storage (plus a mirror of the main striped volumes), but I haven't set that up on this newer box yet. I'm currently just using individual drives and redundant backups. I've been busy with software development (web applications) and haven't gotten back to configure my RAID array. Frankly, the system has been fast enough that I've not felt the need as I have in the past.

HTH
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 04:23:11 PM by Dale Allyn » Logged

Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2013, 06:06:27 PM »
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Thanks.
After reading diglloyd's thoughts on the new mac pro and y'alls comments I decided to pull the trigger on an open box 2012 Mac Pro.
I'll finance part of it by selling the Mac Mini to my Mom (mom price of course).
I'll pull the SSD from the mini and increase the ram in time.


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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2013, 06:13:56 PM »
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Thanks.
After reading diglloyd's thoughts on the new mac pro and y'alls comments I decided to pull the trigger on an open box 2012 Mac Pro.
I'll finance part of it by selling the Mac Mini to my Mom (mom price of course).
I'll pull the SSD from the mini and increase the ram in time.




Congrats. Do have a look at that OWC Accelcior E2 (linked previously) for your boot drive and applications. Lloyd has some good info on his site about it, too. The I/O is much faster than SATA buses in the MP. I'm thrilled with it.

Good luck!
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Jimmy D Uptain
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« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2013, 06:20:25 PM »
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Congrats. Do have a look at that OWC Accelcior E2 (linked previously) for your boot drive and applications. Lloyd has some good info on his site about it, too. The I/O is much faster than SATA buses in the MP. I'm thrilled with it.

Good luck!

This and a USB3 card are most definitely in my future.  I'm just gonna be happy to get the tower under my desk.
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langier
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« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2013, 08:39:27 PM »
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Just installed a new system in the past couple of weeks. MacPro 3.33 Quad-core with the stock video and maxed the ram, put in a 500GB SSD, an eSATA with port multiplier and USB-3 card. It seems to scream so far. Booting from the chime to working on Photoshop CS6 is less than 30 seconds. Haven't had a chance to play with my files on it since it's for my partner who is replacing a Core 2 Duo iMac.

However, preliminarily between my system (2009 MacPro, 2.66 Quad-core, maxed ram, raid, eSata, etc. The new machine seems like a winner.

Thought about waiting for the new MacPro but having to deal with the bleeding edge made me think twice to something closer to the rest of the hardware at our studio.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2013, 10:22:42 PM »
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This is a tough call.

As far I am concerned, mass storage access speed is the #1 issue with my current mac pro 2,1 and gigabit NAS. It just kills me to open/save the large files I am dealing with.

My previous SCSI320 solution was fast enough, but after it died I am not willing to go again that sort of route with SAN cards and the like.

This leaves Thunderbolt 2.0 or USB3.0 as the only credible options for external Raid arrays.

I believe that TB has more potential which makes me lean towards the new Pro. Then it will depend on pricing...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2013, 01:37:42 PM »
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This is a tough call.

As far I am concerned, mass storage access speed is the #1 issue with my current mac pro 2,1 and gigabit NAS. It just kills me to open/save the large files I am dealing with.

My previous SCSI320 solution was fast enough, but after it died I am not willing to go again that sort of route with SAN cards and the like.

This leaves Thunderbolt 2.0 or USB3.0 as the only credible options for external Raid arrays.

I believe that TB has more potential which makes me lean towards the new Pro. Then it will depend on pricing...

Cheers,
Bernard


I agree that it's a tough call, Bernard. In my case, waiting was not a good option, and I decided that if I were to go to the new MP (2013), I'll be better served in a year or so when I can see the entire landscape as it unfolds. Therefore, going with a 2012 MP and pimping it out a bit for my needs allows me at least a couple of years (or more) to see how things develop.

Thunderbolt 2.0 looks very good, but we're still waiting for competitive peripherals to enter the market. In my application eSATA is a viable solution for external storage in the meantime, and the PCIe "blade SSD" I'm using provides two 6Gbit/s eSATA ports. USB 3.0 provides nominal 5Gbit/s transfer, but must go through a bridge set (to SATA), and the drives tend to be the bottleneck. However, TB and USB allow daisy-chaining and bus power. For now, I'm the bottleneck in my system. Wink

EDIT to add another link to info on the PCIe card I'm using. (No, I'm not in anyway affiliated with OWC, just very happy with the product.) http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID
« Last Edit: October 03, 2013, 01:42:34 PM by Dale Allyn » Logged

digitaldog
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« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2013, 02:38:35 PM »
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This leaves Thunderbolt 2.0 or USB3.0 as the only credible options for external Raid arrays.

This looks quite promising and at a attractive price:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CC0VRQC/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=1OX2JNK67L6EU&coliid=I1HMJ4ZPIQD3RU

Some speed tests:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWZC6iWYc9M
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #17 on: October 04, 2013, 04:49:30 AM »
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Andrew,

Thanks. Sounds interesting, but:
- it seems this is software raid through a proprietary software,
- if Amazon description is correct, they would not support Raid 5?

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #18 on: October 04, 2013, 08:23:11 AM »
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Thanks. Sounds interesting, but:
- it seems this is software raid through a proprietary software,
- if Amazon description is correct, they would not support Raid 5?
One of the Q&A on Amazon suggests you don't have to use the proprietary software in all situations (a mix of SSD requires it?).
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #19 on: October 04, 2013, 05:27:22 PM »
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Bernard

With large capacity drives (greater than 1TB), RAID5 is not a good option. The chance of a second drive failure during rebuild is very real.

For that reason, for most enterprise gear these days, for reliability with large drives, RAID10 for speed, or RAID6 (or a variant thereof) for capacity is recommended.  There are also some newer block protection options that protect blocks rather than whole disks.
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