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Phil Hoppes
Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 3:18:40 pm

Well, it did not take too long before someone has published a "Hey, I can build a PC cheaper than a Mac" article relative to the new MacPro. In reading the article they really did not even come close, and while you can build a 12 Core Xenon PC with dual Radeon cards I doubt very seriously that it's performance would even come close to what the current raft of benchmarks are delivering for the MacPro. Time will tell but Apple has really put a very focused, high performing little tube together. I suspect it is only a matter of time before there is a Dell or HP cylinder that arrives on the market. But hey, Apple does not know how to innovate right? ;-)


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Santiago Martí
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 4:18:08 pm

I don't think there is a market for small workstations besides the Mac Pro. The closest thing in the PC side could be the HP Z1, but it's more like an iMac with workstation components. Really, a workstation with Xeon procs and dual GPU, or quad if you want, is not a new thing.

Of course you can build a small case with that inside, except for the TB2 ports, but for many people the size of the workstation doesn't matter, at least in my case.

The MacPro is cheap actually. If you like OSX and FCPX then it is your best choice, maybe the only one. A PC with similar components should have similar performance, really.

Personally I don't like Firepro drivers, I prefer Quadro's, I also prefer Cuda to Open CL, but then again I'm mostly a PC guy using Adobe CC. I find the new MacPro a good option at a good price, but I want dual Titan's on my next workstation and dual CPU's too, with more than 64Gbs of ram, so the new Mac Pro it's not an option for me. I know the Titan is not a workstation card per se, but the raw power at that price is unbeatable.

The Mac Pro will have a decent performance, but it will not replace a big iron workstation. I think it's performance will be good for it's price and for many many people that will be enough. If you want more, you will pay more at HP or Dell or pay more or less the same and build a machine designed exclusively for your needs.

Santiago Martí
http://www.robotrojo.com.ar
Red One M-X, Red Epic X waiting for Dragon update, Red Pro Primes, Adobe CC, Assimilate Scratch


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Phil Hoppes
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:50:25 pm

I do 3D and my workstation is a i7 Hexcore 980 with 24Gb ram, an nVidia K5000 Quadro with a hardware RAID 10 data drive. I agree with what you said. But... I have to admit the numbers the MacPro is putting down on 4K video editing is very impressive to say in the least. The PC that the guy built in the article was nothing but a bunch of compromises and did not have near the same capability for a fairly significant higher price so overall I have to give Apple high marks. For the target that they were shooting for I think they hit it spot on. It's just not going to work for all people but Apple does not play that game and never will.


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Herb Sevush
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 4:43:21 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:28:00 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "I suspect it is only a matter of time before there is a Dell or HP cylinder that arrives on the market. But hey, Apple does not know how to innovate right? ;-)"

I imagine there will be a knockoff of the Tube in approximately the same amount of time that there was a knockoff of FCPX. Apple's recent innovations in the Pro Apps area are interesting in the fact that no other company seems interested in emulating them. They are the wankel rotary engines of the video market.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:09:58 pm

I don't know about knockoffs, but as recent as 2005 there was a cylindrical computer from FIC (the Piston) which was going to revolutionize computer design:

(http://www.engadget.com/2005/03/14/fics-piston-the-cylindrical-sff-pc/

It ran hot (at least Apple got the cooling design right), and as far as I know, didn't get much past the development stage, due in part to the argument that making a cylindrical chassis to hold square components isn't the smartest design concept. So I guess in the final argument it's a "who copied whom" question. I'm not in any way saying the new machine isn't cool looking, and it looks to be a real hotrod under the hood. I'm just saying that the industrial design isn't an original...just re-applied and turned on its' side.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:05:50 pm

I really doubt companies like Dell and HP are going to start building proprietary desktop computers. It's just not in their wheel house plus I doubt there is much customer demand for it. The Tube is the first update in the Mac Pro line in 3 years (no, the lame speed bump in 2012 doesn't count) so there is a ton of built up demand from Mac users to get a 'pro' machine that actually has modern components. I doubt anyone cares if it's a tube, a cube or a pyramid, they just want the performance boost.

On the PC side of the fence there's hasn't been a lack of updated technology over the last few years so there's no pent up demand for something newer and better. As has been pointed out elsewhere, while you can't build a PC cheaper if you match the Tube spec for spec you can build a PC that gets the same or better performance for less money than the Tube.

Hopefully Apple goes back to updating the MPs on a regular basis because even a screaming machine today will be a middle of the road machine in 18-24 months.




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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 5:56:06 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "...and while you can build a 12 Core Xenon PC with dual Radeon cards I doubt very seriously that it's performance would even come close to what the current raft of benchmarks are delivering for the MacPro."


Why would a DIY computer using the same or similar components as a Mac Pro be slower than a Mac Pro? How much faster would my CPUs and graphics cards have to be to equal the MPs performance?

Shawn



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Frank Gothmann
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:10:09 pm
Last Edited By Frank Gothmann on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:10:48 pm

There’s nothing out there that will be faster or equal to a Mac, don’t you know that?
Because it lacks the magic sauce from Cupertino. Remember, the one that made Photoshop run so much faster on PPC compared to the suckers from Intel. Or the amazing iDVD MPEG2 encodes in realtime while the loosers running other, much more expensive encoders still had to cope with old-fashined stuff like 2-pass encoding and quantization settings.
It’s the magic formula that’s in all of Apple’s products. The shrinkage in size which is directly proportional to the features and add-ons they simply dropped which in turn is propotional to the hidden increase in pricing, the reduced longevity and the super-duper lightning speed of it all. It's all pure magic.


[Shawn Miller] "Why would a DIY computer using the same or similar components as a Mac Pro be slower than a Mac Pro? How much faster would my CPUs and graphics cards have to be to equal the MPs performance? "

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:27:41 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Because it lacks the magic sauce from Cupertino. Remember, the one that made Photoshop run so much faster on PPC compared to the suckers from Intel. Or the amazing iDVD MPEG2 encodes in realtime while the loosers running other, much more expensive encoders still had to cope with old-fashined stuff like 2-pass encoding and quantization settings."

Is this sarcasm?


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Steve Connor
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:32:51 pm

[Gary Huff] "Is this sarcasm?"

I believe so

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:40:51 pm

[Steve Connor] "I believe so"

I mean, I hope it is, but you just never know!


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Steve Connor
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:42:14 pm

[Gary Huff] "I mean, I hope it is, but you just never know!"

Perhaps he's been drinking the "secret sauce"?

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:58:27 pm

If you look at the pricing for HP's best machine, the Z820, and compare equivalent specs to the Mac Pro, the Z820 is more expensive. Yes, it is more expandable, but otherwise is actually a less capable machine based on the internal parts.

The advantage the Mac Pro will have is optimization and performance tuning for a vertical market - Apple software running on Apple hardware - specifically THAT hardware. The configuration can be optimized in ways that simply adding more GPU cards into a PC cannot. It no longer has to adhere to the one-size-fits-all approach used in PCs and the previous generations of Mac towers.

Whether this translates into advantages for non-Apple software (Adobe, Avid, BMD/DaVinci, Assimilate, etc.) is an unknown, because those companies can't stray too far from cross-platform compatibility.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:32:16 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If you look at the pricing for HP's best machine, the Z820, and compare equivalent specs to the Mac Pro, the Z820 is more expensive. Yes, it is more expandable, but otherwise is actually a less capable machine based on the internal parts."

I guess I'm not following here, Oliver. How is a similarly spec'd HP less capable than the Mac Pro?

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:33:33 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I guess I'm not following here, Oliver. How is a similarly spec'd HP less capable than the Mac Pro? "

Because the top end option is similar, but not the same. 1 GPU, versus 2, for example.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:40:58 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[Shawn Miller] "I guess I'm not following here, Oliver. How is a similarly spec'd HP less capable than the Mac Pro? "

Because the top end option is similar, but not the same. 1 GPU, versus 2, for example."


You can configure the Z820 with up to three GPUs.

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:41:50 pm

[Shawn Miller] "You can configure the Z820 with up to three GPUs."

And that price is?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:48:08 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[Shawn Miller] "You can configure the Z820 with up to three GPUs."

And that price is?"


I don't know the price, but I'll check. I thought your point was about similar configurations and performance. That was actually my question to you... how can the similarly spec'd Mac Pro outperform it's PC counterpart? I didn't say anything about price.

Shawn



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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:50:36 pm

[Shawn Miller] " don't know the price, but I'll check. I thought your point was about similar configurations and performance. That was actually my question to you... how can the similarly spec'd Mac Pro outperform it's PC counterpart?"

There is no reason why it should, outside of some optimized coding on FCPX vs either AVID or FCPX or Edius or Lightworks. And that's just a programming issue.

There's nothing particularly "optimized" about the hardware itself in the Mac Pro, just design changes to fit the case.


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Steve Connor
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:51:31 pm

Well it appears the CPU CAN be upgraded http://www.macrumors.com/2013/12/27/new-mac-pro-confirmed-to-have-removable...

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:57:37 pm

[Steve Connor] "Well it appears the CPU CAN be upgraded http://www.macrumors.com/2013/12/27/new-mac-pro-confirmed-to-have-removable....."

The CPUs on Mac Pros have always been replaceable, AFAIK, but it's a very rare bird that actually voids their warranty, drops the money for a new CPU and does it. I used to built PCs as a hobby but I never seriously tinkered with my Macs because if you screw up, the spare parts are either insanely expensive or difficult to come by.

If you mess up replacing the CPU and damage the board on a PC it's not a big deal. Just buy a new mobo and drop it in. Do that on a Mac, especially a Tube that's all non-standard parts, and yer hosed.




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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 9:05:10 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "The CPUs on Mac Pros have always been replaceable, "

I recently had my 2009 MP in the shop. The Genius techs inadvertantly damaged one of the Xeons during the diagnostics. They owned up to it and ate the repair cost. You basically swap one of the Xeons in the mobo socket. I certainly wouldn't want to do it, but had it been it charged, that would have run about $400 (parts). The hitch was quick availability, especially at a time when the repair stock for MP towers is most likely being diminished in favor or MP "tube" parts.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 10:42:50 pm

[Oliver Peters] "You basically swap one of the Xeons in the mobo socket. I certainly wouldn't want to do it, but had it been it charged, that would have run about $400 (parts). The hitch was quick availability, especially at a time when the repair stock for MP towers is most likely being diminished in favor or MP "tube" parts."

Since the CPUs are regular Intel parts (as opposed to the MP's daughter card, for example) I'm sure that helps keep the costs down, but that's still $400 for 4 year old CPU.

I guess I just don't see many people saving money now by buying a quad-core Tube w/the intention of upgrading it to an 8 or 12 core 2 to 4 years down the road. You also never know what little tweaks here and customer firmware there Apple is going to do each revision that could throw a monkey wrench in your upgrade plans. The use of standardized parts plus the pretty much open book roadmap of parts suppliers makes tinkering and future upgrade planning much easier on the PC side of things than on the Mac.

Aside from the standard upgrades like RAM, HDD and occasionally a GFX card I pretty much treat my Macs as appliances. I depend on them for income on a daily basis and don't want to deal with the trial and error that's inherent in getting under the hood. On a hobby machine? Sure, but not on my work machines.

If I used PCs for work I'd probably approach it the same way though it would be easier to build a pair of matching (or close enough to matching) PCs and have one for work and the other for testing than it would be have a pair of matching Mac Pros.




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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 5:40:57 pm

i think you're neglecting the point that the macpro is the coolest thing ever made.

I mean, hard point to quantify, it being the coolest thing ever made, but nevertheless, it is the coolest thing ever made.

the sistine chapel is pretty cool, but overall that new macpro edges it I find.

and thats not even going into the fact that they had to steal the thing from the starship enterprise. because that had to have been pretty difficult.

Jony Ive winching down a turbolift shaft in a balaclava etc.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:53:38 pm

[Gary Huff] "There's nothing particularly "optimized" about the hardware itself in the Mac Pro, just design changes to fit the case."

Based on what information?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 2:32:31 am

[Oliver Peters] "Based on what information?"

Based on the fact that people can only say it's "optimized" without bringing out any specifics.

If you have specific information on how the actual hardware is faster, then it's just noise.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:52:38 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I didn't say anything about price."

I think the only argument is price. There no put in a home-built machine except to save money and induce pain. ;-)

I just did a quick config at HP.com and was easily able to drive an 8-core/1GPU machine over $10K. That's with slower CPU speeds and using the NVIDIA K4000.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:58:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I think the only argument is price. There no put in a home-built machine except to save money and induce pain"

But one of the advantages on the PC side is competition. HP is a corporate supplier - great quality, ridiculous prices. There are professional integrators who specialize in the video marketplace who produce equivalent systems to HP and who'll kill their prices. There is no more "pain" in buying one of their systems than there is in buying a Mac. From what I've seen so far the MacPro is priced fairly, but it's not a bargain, except when comparing it to HP.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:09:19 pm

[Herb Sevush] "There are professional integrators who specialize in the video marketplace who produce equivalent systems to HP and who'll kill their prices."

While true, this is an Apple-centric forum. In the US, no reseller or integrator can legally sell a Hackintsoh. That's a different story in the EU countries.

In that sense Apple has you over a barrel, because, to make a move to a PC, you also make a move to Windows and that's an anathema for most around here.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Herb Sevush
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:36:39 pm

[Oliver Peters] "While true, this is an Apple-centric forum."

This is also the "or not" forum. Mac vs. PC is a frequent topic of discussion. When thinking about my next move both software and hardware are up for grabs.

[Oliver Peters] "In that sense Apple has you over a barrel, because, to make a move to a PC, you also make a move to Windows and that's an anathema for most around here."

The main thing keeping me on the Mac side of the fence is the ubiquity of ProRes deliverables. Many editors I've talked with working with either PPro or Adobe claim that they work better on the PC side.

I'm not monogamous when it comes to operating systems - I can be had, all they have to do is whistle.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:44:16 pm

[Herb Sevush] "
I'm not monogamous when it comes to operating systems - I can be had, all they have to do is whistle."


LOL - I am definitely going to steal this. I promise to give full credit though. :-)

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:48:43 pm

[Herb Sevush] "The main thing keeping me on the Mac side of the fence is the ubiquity of ProRes deliverables. Many editors I've talked with working with either PPro or Adobe claim that they work better on the PC side."

I totally understand. FWIW - I just spent a week working PPro CS6 on brand new, high-end Dells. Overall, it felt like performance was better on my 4-year-old Mac Pro with either CS6 or CC.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Steve Connor
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:53:19 pm

[Herb Sevush] " all they have to do is whistle."

I heard the new MacPros were actually very quiet

Steve Connor

There's nothing we can't argue about on the FCPX COW Forum


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John Christie
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 9:19:46 pm

[Herb Sevush] "I'm not monogamous when it comes to operating systems - I can be had, all they have to do is whistle."

To steal from Lauren Bacall, "You know how to whistle don't you. You just put your GPUs together and blow"


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:12:59 pm

[Oliver Peters] "[Shawn Miller] "I didn't say anything about price."

I think the only argument is price."


Well... with respect Oliver, this isn't the only argument. You and Phil have both made claims that a similarly spec'd Mac Pro will outperform a PC:

[Phil Hoppes] "...and while you can build a 12 Core Xenon PC with dual Radeon cards I doubt very seriously that it's performance would even come close to what the current raft of benchmarks are delivering for the MacPro."

[Oliver Peters] "If you look at the pricing for HP's best machine, the Z820, and compare equivalent specs to the Mac Pro, the Z820 is more expensive. Yes, it is more expandable, but otherwise is actually a less capable machine based on the internal parts."

My only question is why you think this. I'm even willing to concede the cost argument (pitting DYI and HP against Apple). :-)

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:20:34 pm

[Shawn Miller] "My only question is why you think this."

Because, I have experienced using comparable Macs and PCs running the same apps (Premiere, AE, Media Composer, various encoders). While in some cases, renders and encodes may be faster on the PC side, I find the overall editing experience faster and more fluid on the Mac. AE would tend to be the exception.

Until people run side-by-side benchmarks, with similarly optimized software (like FCP X on a Mac Pro versus application XYZ on the PC), I don't think you can simply say that slapping in two GPUs makes the machine equal to the Mac Pro. T Payton has a post about doing that at FCP.co. He IS getting better numbers on an old Mac Pro, but he's not getting the same thing as the new Mac Pro offers. It's merely a stop gap.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:41:36 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Because, I have experienced using comparable Macs and PCs running the same apps (Premiere, AE, Media Composer, various encoders). While in some cases, renders and encodes may be faster on the PC side, I find the overall editing experience faster and more fluid on the Mac. AE would tend to be the exception."

I think you're pointing more to software optimization here, otherwise AE wouldn't be an exception. It might also be worth noting that many VFX and 3D artists prefer PCs for the same reason... because they've had better experiences on Linux or Windows.

[Oliver Peters] "Until people run side-by-side benchmarks, with similarly optimized software (like FCP X on a Mac Pro versus application XYZ on the PC), I don't think you can simply say that slapping in two GPUs makes the machine equal to the Mac Pro."

Agreed - conversely, you can't then argue that the Mac Pro is just faster even when the hardware might be nearly identical to a PC. :-)

Shawn



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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:46:14 pm

[Shawn Miller] "I think you're pointing more to software optimization"

Oh, I completely agree, which is why I think there IS a "secret sauce" as it applies to the Mac Pros and Apple software, particularly the ProApps tools. I doubt you'll see a similar edge with Adobe or Avid. There, a comparably-spec'ed machine will likely yield similar results.

[Shawn Miller] " It might also be worth noting that many VFX and 3D artists prefer PCs for the same reason."

Agreed.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 2:35:04 am

[Oliver Peters] "
Oh, I completely agree, which is why I think there IS a "secret sauce" as it applies to the Mac Pros and Apple software, particularly the ProApps tools. I doubt you'll see a similar edge with Adobe or Avid. There, a comparably-spec'ed machine will likely yield similar results."


The "secret sauce" is that Apple engineers apparently spend time making sure the GUI elements are optimized in clever ways. Kind of like how in iOS, when you swipe the home screen, it animates a screenshot of the icons as opposed to actually moving the actual icons.

In my experience, rendering times is an empirical benchmark of performance, not some hogwish "feels more fluid" that can't be expressed as a metric. And you said yourself that render times tended to either be equal to, or even favored by, Windows boxes.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 2:55:35 am

[Gary Huff] "In my experience, rendering times is an empirical benchmark of performance, not some hogwish "feels more fluid" that can't be expressed as a metric. And you said yourself that render times tended to either be equal to, or even favored by, Windows boxes."

True about renders, when you look at some cross-platform apps, like AE, Media Composer or Premiere. Yet, I can set up equal render situations in AE and Motion, and the latter blows away AE for render performance.

However, very little that I care about in editing has anything to do with rendering times. Part of a fast and efficient edit session is how the system "feels" to the editor. That's the same sort of intangible as how a swipe feels on an iPad versus an Android tablet. Very hard to quantify. Bothers some folks and not others, but it does translate into why one machine or OS is better than another to a user.

Along those same lines, FCP X 10.1 loads faster and performs "more fluidly" on the same 2009 Mac Pro with 10.9.1 than FCP X 10.0.9 under 10.8.5. Can I quantity it? No. Is it real? Yes.

I'm not sure why you are challenging the concept of optimization. You aren't going to get any specifics on what optimization means, because Apple tends to keep that to themselves. Some of that comes in Mavericks changes, such as how background OS functions are now cached, in order to make more CPU cycles available to open programs while they are working. That's an under-the-hood OS change. For that matter, we also don't have any specifics about what all goes into Adobe's Mercury Playback Engine optimization, but it's sure far more than just CUDA or OpenCL acceleration.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 4:55:12 am
Last Edited By Gary Huff on Dec 28, 2013 at 4:56:12 am

[Oliver Peters] ". You aren't going to get any specifics on what optimization means, because Apple tends to keep that to themselves. Some of that comes in Mavericks changes, such as how background OS functions are now cached, in order to make more CPU cycles available to open programs while they are working. That's an under-the-hood OS change."

I was referring specifically to optimization on the hardware level versus what you would get with the same motherboard architecture and CPU configuration on a homebrew system.

[Oliver Peters] "Along those same lines, FCP X 10.1 loads faster and performs "more fluidly" on the same 2009 Mac Pro with 10.9.1 than FCP X 10.0.9 under 10.8.5. Can I quantity it? No. Is it real? Yes."

Can also be confirmation bias, which is why I tend to discount all of it. It's slower on Windows because, well, Windows. It's faster on Mac because, well, Mac.

Completely pointless.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 1:01:28 am

there is a broader ease to life on the mac tho.

it is a nicer existence given the amount of time spent there yes? windows is kind of moronic everywhere and a bit awful.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 11:15:10 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "there is a broader ease to life on the mac tho.

it is a nicer existence given the amount of time spent there yes? windows is kind of moronic everywhere and a bit awful."


Again, it depends. After over a year on win as my main OS, I can easily list a ton of points where OSX behaviour is slow, buggy, inconsistent and a much inferior user experience than Windows, some things are downright shocking in OSX. And, of course, there are also things which are better in OSX. And the same goes for any given Linux and it's various desktop environments. To simply say it is moronic everywhere is just wrong.

Same goes for the new Mac Pro. It is by now means a bad or slow machine. It's a slightly above average single-cpu workstation with above average graphics power (unless you need Cuda flexibility which I do, some apps won't even boot without a CUDA card) and a design which in my opinion doesn't make any sense at all. The latter is a matter of opinion, the former a matter of fact and when people immediately came forward after the machine's announcement and called it "the beast", the "black pc killer", the "behemoth" and what not, I simply think it's the usual Apple hyperbole that has little to do with the reality.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 3:32:59 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "To simply say it is moronic everywhere is just wrong."

well, kind of moronic. i just detest windows. it feels cruddy and stupid and badly designed. and win 8 metro start menu looks completely ludicrous.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 5:14:04 pm

The same could be said of the Mac's insidiously friendly interface -nothing at all intuitive about it. You have to learn it to use it, just as you do Windows. But I honestly think it all boils down to what you use daily - I've used both Windows and Mac GUIs, and find things extremely useful about both, as well as extremely bothersome. And once you get past the GUI these days, the software pretty much looks the same. Of course I wish MS Access had taken a few lessons from Filemaker Pro on how to create an easy-to-use relational database. Sheesh...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 30, 2013 at 3:25:56 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "windows is kind of moronic everywhere and a bit awful."

Yes, the fact that merging folders actually works and that you can get a nice box giving you the size of a file and the last time it was modified before overwriting it is so moronic.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 30, 2013 at 9:03:39 pm

don't care. the thing is an abomination. except for WinNT4 - which deserves a place in valhalla.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 31, 2013 at 4:48:43 am

[Aindreas Gallagher] "don't care. the thing is an abomination. except for WinNT4 - which deserves a place in valhalla."

Sooo... did you not care for Windows 2000 either? It was really just a more stable version of NT with a better UI...

Shawn



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Walter Soyka
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:06:31 pm

[Shawn Miller] "You can configure the Z820 with up to three GPUs."

[Oliver Peters] "And that price is?"

It costs more. But you're getting more, so it might be worthwhile.

When you're buying a pro computer or workstation that costs around $10,000, price is probably not your first concern.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Walter Soyka
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:43:49 pm

[Oliver Peters] "If you look at the pricing for HP's best machine, the Z820, and compare equivalent specs to the Mac Pro, the Z820 is more expensive. Yes, it is more expandable, but otherwise is actually a less capable machine based on the internal parts."

Apple's innovation is shipping dual GPUs and PCIe flash storage standard. Apple didn't invent these technologies, but not even offering single GPU configs or mechanical hard drives is a brilliant move that advances capabilities for users and makes the Mac Pros look unique in terms of performance.

Of course, HP and others have been shipping multiple GPUs in BTO configurations, and fast PCIe flash storage has been available from third parties like Fusion IO and integrators who install them for years.

In these price/value comparisons, I think it's worth noting that HP offers significantly better support than Apple does. When one of my HP laptops needed service, I called support and they had a tech in my office to do the repair on-site the next day. When my MacBook Pro needed a new motherboard a few years ago, it had to get shipped back and forth to a facility in Texas for the repair.

Lugging the old Mac Pro through the mall to the Apple Store Genius Bar was no fun. I guess the new Mac Pro will be easier to roll down the concourse.


[Oliver Peters] "The advantage the Mac Pro will have is optimization and performance tuning for a vertical market - Apple software running on Apple hardware - specifically THAT hardware. The configuration can be optimized in ways that simply adding more GPU cards into a PC cannot. It no longer has to adhere to the one-size-fits-all approach used in PCs and the previous generations of Mac towers."

I see both sides of this point. Apple does have a limited number of configurations to support, they're able to put the things they need right into the OS, and the performance of FCPX is certainly impressive.

But on the hand, FCPX on the new Mac Pro is not really an appliance. That same FCPX not only runs on the 3 very different Mac Pro dual-GPU configurations, it still has to run on current iMacs and MacBook Pros, plus however many legacy Mac systems Apple chooses to support, all with different GPU compute capabilities.

Once you have an application that is able to run on multiple GPU architectures and is able to exploit multiple GPUs in a single system, the ability to put more than two GPUs in a single system may be a real advantage.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Oliver Peters
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 8:01:32 pm

[Walter Soyka] "I think it's worth noting that HP offers significantly better support than Apple does"

I think that's geographically-dependent. I agree, HP's business service is great. I've also had good support from the Apple Stores locally. Far, far, far better than all the other garden variety PC repair shops.

[Walter Soyka] "Lugging the old Mac Pro through the mall to the Apple Store Genius Bar was no fun. I guess the new Mac Pro will be easier to roll down the concourse."

I think I made that point in my blog post about "Simplicity". I believe the Apple vision is the total customer experience, coupled with technological "sweet spots". The new MP will be far easier for the Genius Bar to troubleshoot based on fewer configuration options. From a cost-of-repair position, it will be cheaper for Apple to do module swaps on these machines than actual component-level troubleshooting for repair. Thus, faster turnaround for the customer.

[Walter Soyka] "Of course, HP and others have been shipping multiple GPUs in BTO configurations, and fast PCIe flash storage has been available from third parties like Fusion IO and integrators who install them for years."

Absolutely true, but this appeals to an increasingly smaller niche market, at an extraordinary premium price, with little profitability for HP. Not the market Apple wants to play in.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:57:38 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Dec 27, 2013 at 6:59:07 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "There’s nothing out there that will be faster or equal to a Mac, don’t you know that?
Because it lacks the magic sauce from Cupertino. Remember, the one that made Photoshop run so much faster on PPC compared to the suckers from Intel. Or the amazing iDVD MPEG2 encodes in realtime while the loosers running other, much more expensive encoders still had to cope with old-fashined stuff like 2-pass encoding and quantization settings.
It’s the magic formula that’s in all of Apple’s products. The shrinkage in size which is directly proportional to the features and add-ons they simply dropped which in turn is propotional to the hidden increase in pricing, the reduced longevity and the super-duper lightning speed of it all. It's all pure magic."


Ha ha, I had forgotten about some of these claims. :-)

[Gary Huff]
Is this sarcasm?


Yes, but it's also (if I'm not mistaken) a jab at some of Apple's past marketing claims. That Macs were faster than PCs... twice as fast in fact. I think there are people who still believe this, no matter what evidence you present to the contrary. And I think this is what Frank is making fun of. Frank, please correct me if I'm wrong.

https://showyou.com/v/y-Yc5Xws9TKlQ/classic-apple-commercial-the-intel-snai...



Shawn



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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:10:38 pm

[Shawn Miller] "Yes, but it's also (if I'm not mistaken) a jab at some of Apple's past marketing claims. That Macs were faster than PCs... twice as fast in fact. I think there are people who still believe this, no matter what evidence you present to the contrary."

Or that Macs don't "bog down" after extended use like Windows machines do. Also another myth, and my experience having to wipe slow Macs to revitalize them is proof enough for me.


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:17:11 pm

[Shawn Miller] " And I think this is what Frank is making fun of. Frank, please correct me if I'm wrong."

Spot on.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Herb Sevush
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:01:23 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:34:25 pm

[Frank Gothmann] " The shrinkage in size which is directly proportional to the features and add-ons they simply dropped which in turn is propotional to the hidden increase in pricing, the reduced longevity and the super-duper lightning speed of it all. It's all pure magic."

It's hard for the technically limited like myself to do a straight MacPro to PC comparison, but this is what I came up with after going to the website of a very well known and respected workstation integrator.

System -

MacPro: 6 core, 32 Meg ram, 500 gig SSD, 2 X Firepro500 (3GB each)GPU = $4699

PC: 6 core, 32 Meg ram, 500 gig SSD, GTX Titan GPU (6GB) = $5032

If you then switch to the 8 core Xeon, the PC comes out better

MacPro = $6199
PC=$5872

On the other hand when you go to the Firepro 700's which only add $600 on the MacPro side, but $1000 on the PC side to add a second Titan.

MacPro = $6799
PC = $6872

It's obvious the prices are close, the MacPro charges a very high premium to go up to 8 cores, but offers a great deal to increase GPU. I don't know how equivalent the Titan is to the Firepros, so I could be way off on that side of the calculation.

Other things to note:

The MacPro PCIe flash storage is faster than the PC SSD I quoted, although I believe you can get the equivalent on the PC side from OWC for another $400. The MacPro offers 6 Thunderbolt ports and zero PCIe ports, the PC is almost exactly the opposite. If you have an existing PCIe infrastructure the cost of moving to Thunderbolt can be in the range of $500 to $1000. The PC workstation is hugely expandable in terms of additional CPU's and GPU's, the MacPro is not - what that's worth is in the eye of the beholder. The PC includes DVD recorder, card readers, keyboard and mouse, the MacPro does not.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:08:11 pm

[Herb Sevush] "The MacPro PCIe flash storage is faster than the PC SSD I quoted, although I believe you can get the equivalent on the PC side from OWC for another $400."

Yeah, I think people don't realize you can actually get this, and it does require a premium, but you CAN build a Hackintosh/Windows box with PCIe internal storage. Just have to know where to get it.

[Herb Sevush] "The MacPro offers 6 Thunderbolt ports and zero PCIe ports, the PC is almost exactly the opposite."

You can get an ASUS board that has dual Thunderbolt 2 ports but I would wonder how much you'd be giving up speed-wise, especially with a Quad-core Xeon from the base model. I would imagine the difference is very little.

Of course, once you get up to 6 cores and above, you don't get this option, but I would imagine there will be more boards coming this next year.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:18:32 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:26:33 pm

[Gary Huff] "You can get an ASUS board that has dual Thunderbolt 2 ports but I would wonder how much you'd be giving up speed-wise, especially with a Quad-core Xeon from the base model. I would imagine the difference is very little."

Speed wise, you're not giving up anything. The i7 and the Xeon are about the same in performance. The real advantage of the Xeon processors is that they can be used on multi socket boards.

EDIT: Now I'm sort of wondering why Apple opted to put a Xeon processor in the Mac pro instead of an i7... why go with the more expensive Xeon if you can only put one in the machine?

Shawn



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Gary Huff
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:29:58 pm
Last Edited By Gary Huff on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:30:16 pm

[Shawn Miller] "Now I'm sort of wondering why Apple opted to put a Xeon processor in the Mac pro instead of an i7... why go with the more expensive Xeon if you can only put one in the machine?"

The 1150 socket maxes out with i7s at 4-cores...you have to go socket 2011 for the 6-core varieties, and there aren't any boards with that socket that have TB2 ports that I am aware of.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:33:43 pm

[Gary Huff] "[Shawn Miller] "Now I'm sort of wondering why Apple opted to put a Xeon processor in the Mac pro instead of an i7... why go with the more expensive Xeon if you can only put one in the machine?"

The 1150 socket maxes out with i7s at 4-cores...you have to go socket 2011 for the 6-core varieties, and there aren't any boards with that socket that have TB2 ports that I am aware of."


Ah, that does make sense then. Thanks Gary.

Shawn



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Frank Gothmann
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 27, 2013 at 7:30:45 pm

Let's look at something I would consider if I had to get a high-end workstation today, and I wouldn't even go the Haswell route because performance wise there is very little reason to do so:

ASUS Z9PE-D8 WS motherboard
Dual CPU board for Xeons, 2 x Intel Gig Ethernet, 7 PCIe 3x slots, USB3, USB2, Firewire, 14 Sata Ports - approx 500 $
2x Intel® Xeon® Prozessor E5-2697V2 at 2.7Ghz - 3.100$ each = 6.200 $
32 GB ECC ram - 400 $
2 x Gefore GTX 780 Ti - 750 $ each = 1.500
PCIe Storage Mushkin Scorpion Deluxe 1TB (2.000Mbit read/write) - 1.300 $
Power supply - 300 $
Case - 150 $

= 10.350 $
Almost the same cost, substantially higher performance and expansion potential.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 9:26:07 am

Introducing the new ProTidy (TM) - the revolutionary way to store all those peripherals now cluttering your edit suite.

Bought a new MacPro? Desk now covered with cables, power supplies and odd shaped boxes? The new ProTidy(TM) will solve all your problems. A premier product made by hand in the most expensive materials to ensure that it will go incredibly needlessly fast and impress all your gullible friends, the max spec version comes in at only $1999 plus tax.



Bernie


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John Heagy
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 7:20:04 pm

One can build a PC with 16 cores. This means PCs can out CPU a MacPro until Apple decides otherwise.


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James Culbertson
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 28, 2013 at 9:31:11 pm

[John Heagy] "One can build a PC with 16 cores. This means PCs can out CPU a MacPro until Apple decides otherwise."

But that PC won't be able to out-FCPX the macpro. ;-)

Seriously though, macs and PCs have been leapfrogging each other for how long now? What is the point of this conversation again?

Though I am learning some things about the current state of GPU cards, CPU, etc. more generally.


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Santiago Martí
Re: Home built PC but not really quite equivalent to new Mac Pro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 12:52:12 am

Actually, you can build PCs with 24 cores, 512GB of RAM, etc... For a lot of money, of course.
The Mac Pro is a turnkey solution to specific needs, like OSX and FCPX. That's what makes it attractive to a lot of people.

Santiago Martí
http://www.robotrojo.com.ar
Red One M-X, Red Epic X waiting for Dragon update, Red Pro Primes, Adobe CC, Assimilate Scratch


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Robert Sala
Supermicro vs Macpro
on Dec 29, 2013 at 11:13:15 am

We have a Supermicro 7047 to run DaVinci Resolve.
(2x 6core, 192GB RAM, Quadro K5000 + 4x GTXTitan in Cubix).
Awaiting our 12-core, 64GB, 2xD700 MacPro. It will be interesting to see comparison of standard candle test on both.


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