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About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?

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Scott Francis
About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 4, 2015 at 4:48:03 pm

Well, it would appear I have taken John Rofrano's advice and went the way of Apple. Just picked up a 12 core Mac Pro (2010) version to use as a dual boot and want to see if anyone (including John) had any helpful hints and such as I migrate from PC to Mac in this manner? I already use dual boot on a Macbook pro and such so that is pretty easy, just any thing in using the Mac Pro in this manner. Here are the specs:

Mac Pro 2-2.66ghz 6 cores
GPU - Radeon HD 7950 3GB
Crucial SSD - 250GB system drive
2 - 3TB drives (footage)
1 - 640GB drive (render to)
39" 4k monitor
My questions would be, should I split the SSD equally between the two OS's?
Any issues with working with the GPU on the Windows side and Mac?
Do I have access to GPU processing in Vegas if I am in Parallels?
Yosemite or Mavericks? Read some issues with Yosemite, also will be using Windows 7 Ulitmate on the Bootcamp side.
Any caveats or helpful hints?

Thanks so much in advance, looking to get everything by next week and putting it all together and so forth!!

Best

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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Dave Osbun
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 4, 2015 at 7:52:48 pm

A 39" computer monitor??

I want to be your friend!

Dave


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Scott Francis
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 4, 2015 at 10:24:50 pm

Actually I will be using 2 1080p MONITORS and a 39" 4k "TV" if you will. I like to watch on something that would actually play what I am producing.
I know that there are differences between the two, but in my understanding, they are getting closer. However, I will have the 39" farther away than the others when editing...approximately 8'.
Still wanna be my friend? LOL

Best

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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John Rofrano
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 5, 2015 at 9:04:48 pm

[Scott Francis] "GPU - Radeon HD 7950 3GB"
I'm jealous I want one! ;-)
[Scott Francis] "My questions would be, should I split the SSD equally between the two OS's?"
What I did was buy a 512GB SSD and I gave 100GB to Windows. That seems to be more than enough space since most of my apps are on the Mac and only Vegas Pro and my plug-in development environment are on that partition. You can always use a tool like Camptune X to change the size later. So I would give the Mac 150GB and Windows 100GB of your 250GB SSD unless you plan to use a lot of Windows apps. I actually purchased Paragon 3-in-1 Mac Bundle so now I can read-write HFS+ and NTFS volumes from either file system (they are read-only with the Apple supplied drivers).
[Scott Francis] "Any issues with working with the GPU on the Windows side and Mac?"
None. I found that the Apple GPU driver was faster than the newer updates from AMD so I backed off the AMD drivers and used the Apple one's that came with Bootcamp. In fact, if I remember correctly, I actually downloaded the latest Bootcamp driver from AMD because their latest drives said that the wouldn't work with Bootcamp.
[Scott Francis] "Do I have access to GPU processing in Vegas if I am in Parallels? "
No. That's the only reason I use Bootcamp. You need to be in native windows to be able to use the GPU in Vegas Pro. Neither Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, nor VirtualBox have the GPU support that Vegas Pro needs.
[Scott Francis] "Yosemite or Mavericks?"
I'm using Yosemitte and it's running great.
[Scott Francis] "Read some issues with Yosemite, also will be using Windows 7 Ulitmate on the Bootcamp side."
I haven't encountered anything. I running Windows 7 Professional 64-bit. Mavericks ran great too. I also have an iPhone and iPad so I like the hand-off facility in Yosemite that allows me to be working on a document on my iPad and then walk over to my Mac Pro and just keep working on it. Really slick integration.
[Scott Francis] "Any caveats or helpful hints?"
I bought Winclone 4 to backup the Windows partition from OS X. It's a really nice utility that even allows you to move your Bootcamp partition to another drive if the SSD gets filled up. It just backs up the whole partition so if something goes wrong on the Windows side it's like having a ghost drive to quickly get up and running.

You should also know that Apple RAID (Hardware or Software) is not supported by Bootcamp so you won't see the RAID drive from Windows if you create one. All other disks work fine. I replaced my DVD burner with a Pioneer Blu-ray burner and it's working great.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Scott Francis
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 5, 2015 at 10:33:17 pm

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU John!!
I really appreciate all your input over the years and this is very informative. I know in the past I questioned you using a Mac Pro, thinking it was the newer droid looking one, which can be a pain needing all sorts of adapters and not easily accessing internal parts for upgrades. Once I understood you brilliance in speaking about the older Mac Pro's your ideas made sense and totally rock!! Having 12 cores will really be helpful and also dual OSs.
As far as the Radeon 7950 - you can an get a none Mac, but Mac EFI flashed version for about $230 on ebay. I researched that a bit all over the web and the seller has sold 50+ flashed cards and has 100% feedback. So if you are willing to go a little non-Mac in a video card...it saves you about 1/2 off a Mac version. Obviously I could us a Wondows version too, but then you don't have the "option button" option to boot into either OS.
I will let you know how it works out. Again, really appreciate it!!

Best

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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John Rofrano
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 6, 2015 at 12:02:42 am

[Scott Francis] "I really appreciate all your input over the years and this is very informative. "
You're welcome. Hey, I was the one who always said that Mac's were overpriced before I ever owned one. Then when I was looking for a new computer, I priced the specs of the Mac Pro against HP Z Series and BOXX Computers and the Mac Pro was over $1000 cheaper for the same parts. That's when I realized that at the high end they were very competitively priced.

After I bought my first used Mac Pro I took it completely apart to vacuum it out because the guy I bought it from had two dogs and three cats and when I turned it on it made me sneeze from the pet dander. I was shocked at the build quality. There were no visible wires. All of the wires were flat and velcro'ed to the walls behind the motherboard and PSU in flat strips so that there is no air obstruction. Then when I started removing screws, every single screw had blue 'lock-tight' on it. Even the screws that held in the DVD burner. I've never seen that on a PC build. Speaking of which when I added a second DVD Burner the screws were already in their place waiting to be used. Apple had thought of everything. The quality of the build simply blew me away. The attention to detail was incredible. I realized that what I had purchased was a quality piece of kit and the price was reasonable considering all that you get.
[Scott Francis] "you can an get a none Mac, but Mac EFI flashed version for about $230 on ebay."
I've been considering that. The original Mac Editions are hard to come by.
[Scott Francis] "I will let you know how it works out. Again, really appreciate it!!"
Hopefully you'll be really happy with your Mac Pro 12-Core (what a beast!) ;-)

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Dave Haynie
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 8, 2015 at 5:50:29 am

[John Rofrano] "[Scott Francis] "I really appreciate all your input over the years and this is very informative. "
You're welcome. Hey, I was the one who always said that Mac's were overpriced before I ever owned one. Then when I was looking for a new computer, I priced the specs of the Mac Pro against HP Z Series and BOXX Computers and the Mac Pro was over $1000 cheaper for the same parts. That's when I realized that at the high end they were very competitively priced. "


Yup. Apple's unique in that they maintain their margins even at lower priced gear. So they're pretty expensive when you're looking at entry level systems, even though they're doing at least as much volume as most any other PC company, and more than most. Of course, when you look at guys like HP and all, lucky to make a 5% margin on an entry-level PC (and many of the Asian brands not even going that high), you do have to wonder how they make a living.

On the high end, it's a very different dynamic. There just aren't that many people who need a higher-end PC anymore, so the volumes are much lower. Companies like Boxx specialize in just this kind of PC, so they're actually dependent on higher margins than Apple to survive. They make nice stuff, but it's quite expensive. I needed to finally get a laptop for the "Day Job"... electronics CAD, which of course doesn't really have a laptop market, but works pretty well with either video or mechanical-CAD oriented systems, though mechanical-CAD is generally way overpriced, thanks to the pro 3D graphics cards. Box with the basic configuration I was looking at ran about $1000 more than the one I wound up with, an Asus NX500JK-XH72T (which, incidentally, has the best screen I've seen on any device... a new quantum dot technology, rather than conventional LCD. An the PCIe SSD is about twice the speed of my desktop's SSD! Not that I'd really recommend a laptop for video work, but this might actually manage HD editing ok).

I took apart some Macs back in the Commodore days. I didn't like the electronics design -- they did way too many things in software that should have been done in hardware, but of course, they didn't multitask in those days. But the mechanical designs were very nice. Back in those days, when the FCC wasn't looking too hard, they had velco-on tops for the Mac IIs, and a power supply (made by Sony) that plugged directly into the main board. All other things went to the main board as well, none of this maze of wires you used to find in a traditional PC (including our Amiga systems for the most part). They definitely had some rock-star case designers even back in the late 80s/early 90s. They got better at system design later on...

-Dave


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Scott Francis
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 13, 2015 at 2:51:38 pm

Well, system is up and running and loving it! In my initial tests, I have been able to FINALLY FINALLY view in BEST FULL transitioning from on track to another in fades with 1080p!!!! I have wanted this for about, oh 5 years!!! 4K plays back full frame as well in BEST FULL and so forth. I haven't rendered anything yet, but will check in when I do.
John, I would recommend the card I got. It boots fine in either OS and in Bootcamp the drivers were a little cumbersome. Neither the stock nor the Bootcamp version would see the card. However, when I downloaded the AMD Auto Detect software it saw it and installed the proper drivers in about 2 mins. I will remember that in the future. It looked like it saw the Xeon chips and had a different driver I believe.
I got the card on ebay and here is the link:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-Pro-Radeon-HD-7950-3GB-4K-5k-Support-Upgr...
Seller had awesome communication and 100% feedback, would recommend the card.

I will post more as I test this puppy, but so far VERY happy!!

Best

Xavier (Scott) Francis
Mind's Eye Audio/Video Productions


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John Rofrano
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 14, 2015 at 12:22:07 am

Sounds sweet! Now I'm seriously thinking about getting a Radeon HD 7950. Thanks for reporting back.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasst.com



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Dave Haynie
Re: About to use Mac Pro for Vegas...Any thoughts or hints?
on Feb 19, 2015 at 5:11:50 am

I'd really like to try a new GPU, too... probably wait a little. Because there's this whole landslide effect. Right now, my AMD HD6970 is pretty much the go-to card for MainConcept AVC, but it's clearly not a performance leader anymore for GPGPU stuff. My new laptop has a, well, laptop-class nVidia, the new Maxwell architecture, and it's beating the desktop on about half of the GPU benchmarks. So a proper modern desktop card ought to be pretty nice, indeed.

But the HD6970 is limited to 2560x1600 displays, which explains the two 2560x1440 displays on my desk (with a 1920x1200 as an adjunct). But were I to get a new CPU, then it would only make it easier to replace these with a pair of 4K monitors. And now you're starting to talk some real money. And then, once the 4K monitors are up, I couldn't but help notice that there's this Panasonic GH4 camera that I have a bunch of lenses for (mostly Olympus m43 system as a walk-arounder when the Canon's not needed) that shoots 4K. But most of those are primes, and I'd probably want some good zooms. And once I have all that stuff here, I'm going to start looking at the media room and that there's "only" a 70" full HD television there. Not even all that old. And once editing 4K on a new GPU, I'd certainly notice that maybe six cores isn't enough.

Bad thoughts, all that stuff... maybe it's the new work-paid laptop.

-Dave


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