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System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE

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Greg Sage
System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:04:04 pm

2008 macpro 3.1 (8 core 2.8Ghz)
OSX 10.8, but I will update as necessary
4 SATA drives maxed out with 7200 rpm drives
Stock video card (ATI 2600)
24Gb ram

About to switch over to cc. Need to boost current system to improve AE performance mainly, but use for all cc products and dynamic link with PR, AU.



DRIVES:

Assuming I need two fast drives (question for another thread), should I go for the Apricorn solo 2x pcie card which holds one ssd and has hookup for a second at SATA III speeds... or go the pure pcie route for faster drive which leaves ????? for what to do about second drive?



VIDEO CARD:
Reading up here... there are only 2 fast pcie slots, so if one is being used for ssd, then that leaves on for new gpu. Seems to be down to 570, 680, maybe 780? Still reading. Not sure how much diff between these options for what I need.



All help appreciated. Looking to pull the trigger ASAP.

Anything else I should be looking at?


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Michael Szalapski
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 22, 2014 at 8:53:26 pm

GPU doesn't matter much for stock AE. See this link for more info.
If you have third-party effects that utilize the GPU (or if you use Premiere), focus on the needs there.

For learning how AE (and Premiere) use system resources, this is a good link to watch.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Greg Sage
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 22, 2014 at 9:09:15 pm

Yeah, I should've mentioned that I occasionally use Cinema 4d, Element 3d, etc. My main focus is AE, though, so if I have to set priorities, I'd put it on the drives first. Anyghin on the gpu side will be better than the stock card.

Will read link...

Oh... and since I got the Pixel Bender Accelerator that runs pixel bender stuff on gpu for AE... well, it's just plain mind-blowing, so I may be digging in much deeper there.


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Brian Charles
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 23, 2014 at 1:03:19 am
Last Edited By Brian Charles on Sep 23, 2014 at 1:04:35 am

The Apricorn Velocity2 with an SSD is great. I have one as my boot drive on my MacPro 2010. Also I have a RAID 0* using 2 x 1TB 7200 RPM Drives, and 2 more SSD's installed. One for cache and the other for media. If you're running 10.9x you can install almost any current nVidia card without special drivers, just make sure you install the CUDA driver to take advantage of CUDA as well.

In addition I have 64GB of RAM and an older nVidia GTX 570.

My 2010 12 core benchmarks just below the 2013 MacPro's, I hope get another year or 2 out of it.

(* I back up 4 times daily auto cloning to 2 separate drives)



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Greg Sage
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 23, 2014 at 2:29:23 am

Are you only using 1 drive with the Apricorn? I can't find info from people using the additional hookup on MacPro.

Are you just running the other SSD's in the bays? My 2008 model is capped at SATAII for those bays which is why I'm looking into pci solutions.


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Brian Charles
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 23, 2014 at 5:07:38 am

[Greg Sage] "Are you only using 1 drive with the Apricorn? I can't find info from people using the additional hookup on MacPro.

Yes, I'm running only 1 drive on the Apricorn. There is another sata connection but it requires power. You could run power from elsewhere, but I haven't had the need.

Right now I'm rendering a 150GB FCPX project and the drives are not the bottleneck.

Are you just running the other SSD's in the bays? My 2008 model is capped at SATAII for those bays which is why I'm looking into pci solutions.
"


Yes they are in the bays, one installed in the bay below the super drive.



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Walter Soyka
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 23, 2014 at 9:13:17 am

You could use more RAM -- it'll help with multiprocessing and with caching. The supported maximum on that machine was 32 GB, but OWC seems to say that 64 GB works, too.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Greg Sage
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 23, 2014 at 10:20:38 pm
Last Edited By Greg Sage on Sep 23, 2014 at 10:22:45 pm

Yeah, I'm down to 20GB at the moment. Had a stick die on me the other day. Unless things have changed, I think it would run me something like $180 to do the swap up for the smaller sticks to hit 32GB... just seemed like maybe my priority should be on the drives.

I had a backup drive die on me recently too, so it seemed like a good excuse to step up to SSD... although I've gotten very mixed signals out there about how important it is to do pci... either directly for max speed... or with something like the Apricorn to do SATAIII speeds and bypass the SATAII buss the bays go through.

I was thinking of putting a second SSD in the optical slot if I can get it to run through the same pcie slot.

Once I get the card, I'll have one (fast) slot left.

Looking at gtx 570 or 680. Seems relatively easy to flash the 680 from what I've read, but not sure if the extra money would be better spent elsewhere since I'm mainly focused on AE.


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Brian Charles
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 24, 2014 at 4:24:12 am

[Greg Sage] "Looking at gtx 570 or 680. Seems relatively easy to flash the 680 from what I've read, but not sure if the extra money would be better spent elsewhere since I'm mainly focused on AE."

AE only benefits from the CUDA in these cards for Ray Traced 3D, there is no other benefit from them for AE.

However Premiere, FCPX, Motion, CInema 4D can all benefit from *any* fast GPU, AMD or nVidia.

As well you don't need a 'flashed" card any longer as long as you're running OS 10.8x or greater. The video drivers need to load so there's no video output during normal boot with an un-flashed card. As well if you use an nVidia card that is not on the Adobe approved list, you may need to 'whitelist' it so it is seen by After Effects.

I rarely use Ray Traced 3D even though my card (barely) supports it. Element 3D, Zaxwerks Invigorator are just as good or better and if you subscribe to Creative Cloud you have Cinema 4D lite, which is miles better than AE's Ray Traced 3D.



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Greg Sage
Re: System upgrades to MacPro 3.1 to max out AE, PR, PS... mainly use AE
on Sep 24, 2014 at 5:19:30 pm

I've got C4d, I just don't use it much. I'm thinking more about what I might want to do but haven't done much of yet... like dig into Element 3d which looks cool, but I just haven't had time yet. I know I want to dig deeper into the Pixel Bender Accelerator which runs on GPU. Not sure if that could benefit from Cuda or not. It's not 3d, so maybe not.

I think I'm going to have to run a dual boot for a while as I have a few programs where one bit or another can't upgrade the OS for various reasons. This is why I want the card flashed... to be able to select boot drive (and any troubleshooting that may arise).

I am using Mandelbulb 3d rather heavily, but I'm not sure if it can benefit from cuda or not. It's all about ray tracing, but between it being ported over from PC code, etc... I have no idea if or how to optimize it on this system.


Either way, the card's not my top priority. Got to get the drives sorted.


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