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AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up

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Robert Gilman
AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Dec 31, 2013 at 10:55:31 pm

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7603/mac-pro-review-late-2013

Extensive (15 pages) and basically positive.


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Andrew Richards
Re: AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Jan 2, 2014 at 4:31:07 am

Anand went into a fair amount of detail on how FCPX utilizes the CPU vs the GPUs and included a handy map of the distribution of busses across the TB2 ports to get the most out of the available bandwidth. His review also indirectly answered a big disappointment of mine about the new Mac Pro; no built in 10GbE NIC. There just weren't enough PCIe lanes left in the system to support one without sacrificing a TB2 bus.

Best,
Andy


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Kevin Patrick
Re: AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Jan 2, 2014 at 1:15:25 pm

If I understand correctly, it appears they are suggesting that an 8 core model is the best option for FCPX. Turbo mode will provide similar single core performance to the 6 core, while the extra 2 cores will be used up by the latest version of FCPX.

Is that how you see it?

Or are the extra cores only being utilized when you are editing more demanding 4K media?


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Andrew Richards
Re: AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Jan 2, 2014 at 1:57:21 pm

The 8-core seems to be the best option for balancing highly-optimized multithreaded tasks with the still all-to-common single-threaded ones. I still think given the price of the 8-core upgrade ($1,500 over the 6-core) that the best bang for your buck is going to be the 6-core with the D700 upgrade. That said, if it is going to be used all day every day on paying gigs, that $1,500 upgrade to 8 cores for the best all-around performance should be much easier to swallow. That's only $125/month in the first year to have a great many (most?) tasks go 25% faster, so it kind of pays for itself under the right circumstances.

The more obvious takeaway is that there is no reason to skip the top GPU option, especially as we can anticipate that to be where Apple is pushing the performance envelope with future software. I'd be surprised if they don't announce new framework improvements in OS X at WWDC14 that make it easier for developers to build their code to support the multiple GPUs in the Mac Pro for stuff like Core Image, Core Animation, and so on. As noted in the AnandTech review, today's apps have to specifically call the dedicated compute GPU on their own as there is no OS-level GPU balancing happening in Mavericks.

Best,
Andy


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Rick Lang
Re: AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Jan 3, 2014 at 6:59:50 pm

Kevin Patrick:
"If I understand correctly, it appears they are suggesting that an 8 core model is the best option for FCPX. Turbo mode will provide similar single core performance to the 6 core, while the extra 2 cores will be used up by the latest version of FCPX."

My reading of Anand's findings regarding FCP X 10.1 is that FCP X is still making significant use of the CPU as I believe Walter and others mentioned in other threads with the GPU Only heavily utilized for effects. So that does make the 8-core look like a good choice as a balance of higher CPU frequencies when less cores are in use and yet a reasonable number of threads when needed. Still the 6-core looks like a good value too.

Just wish that 8-core CPU upgrade price was less costly since I am on a budget that will need to incorporate a medium size RAID (Caldigit or Pegasus2) and a 4K monitor (waiting for Apple to drop another shoe as I'm not comfortable with the Sharp implementation on the Mac Pro) and a grading monitor ((Flanders Scientific CM171) and a 4K camera (BMPC4K). Realistically it will take me more than a year to manage all that! I think I must wait and will be able to judge what's best for me after the spring when many people will have posted their own findings and Apple may have their own 4K screen.

Blackmagic Design hasn't updated the Configuration Guide yet for Resolve on the new Mac Pro. I hope they cN get access to several CPU models but the D700s do look like a prudent choice for 4K. Just need to know what they feel about the number of cores.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Kevin Patrick
Re: AnandTech Mac Pro Review is up
on Jan 3, 2014 at 7:25:19 pm

4K requirements seem to be a little vague. The dual GPUs seem to be for effects and rendering.

Yet when the talk about 4K playback, they talk about both CPU and GPU. (unless I missed something) So, I hope you can get some more real world data to help make your decision. 6 or 8 cores, it's an expensive box. Upgradable or not, it's even more expensive.

Either way, I guess it's a nice first world problem to be finally worrying about which new Mac Pro to buy. As opposed to wondering if there ever will be a new Mac Pro.


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