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Mac Pro - additional discussion

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Franz Bieberkopf
Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:54:16 pm
Last Edited By Franz Bieberkopf on Jan 30, 2014 at 6:55:19 pm

Some further comparisons and tests on the Mac Pro - Premium Beat does a good round-up of some recent posts.
http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/what-post-production-software-works-best-on...
(There's lots of good follow-up reading in there.)

It's probably worth emphasizing that assessments are very positive, but it's interesting to note where the Mac Pro underperforms / hits limits.

1. Video Compression (hardware acceleration cases)
From Larry Jordan (linked in the Premium Beat list)
http://www.larryjordan.biz/mac-pro-video-compression/
"During the course of this test, I learned that the Mac Pro does not support hardware acceleration, that clock speed is only part of the equation – with or without turbo boost – and that different codecs yield different results on both systems. It will be very hard for any Mac Pro to beat the hardware acceleration in an iMac."

2. PCI cards. (some cases)
If you missed Gustavo Bermudas' comments he links to a podcast with discussion of the Mac Pro
http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/65316
http://coloristos.podomatic.com/entry/2014-01-20T11_55_53-08_00
"I would just interject that with the Red Rocket X in a Thunderbolt interface, … the Thunderbolt interface is the limit. the bottleneck in that configuration. That Red Rocket X will be underperforming through that Thunderbolt interface … This kind of reinforces the limit of these things, … expandability is limited because of interface and the lack of PCI cards.
[…]
Thunderbolt 2 should have enough bandwidth to support the original Red Rocket, the Legacy Red Rocket, but with the Red Rocket X, going to 5K and 6K, again you're going to run into the issue here where the bottleneck is that interface. … I think you'll see a performance hit from being in the expansion chassis."
(Coloristos)
(no tests were done and no figures given)

3. Balance of CPU and GPU performance
Again, linked via Gustavo Bermudas
http://liftgammagain.com/forum/index.php?threads/new-mac-pro-resolve-benchm...
"CPU-wise, I actually think the 2010 12-Core running 10.8.4 is the winner here. However, GPU-wise the D500s are pretty impressive, and are a much better example of what's possible with Resolve 10 running OpenCL than prior AMD cards were. A lot of that has to do with the guys at BMD. That being said, you can't add more if you need them, and a 2010 Mac Pro running two GTX 780s or even a GTX 690, probably would have won more of the GPU-bound tests. … Unless you're up for a science experiment, I would tip-toe in at this point." (Jason Myers, moderator)

Franz.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 30, 2014 at 9:24:55 pm

would you buy one yourself franz? I just posted my remaining kidney to the inland revenue so am an interested onlooker.

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


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Franz Bieberkopf
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 30, 2014 at 10:07:49 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "would you buy one yourself franz?"


Aindreas,

My workflows tend more to the offline/online model (or cutting copy / neg cut if you prefer) so I'm not really one to get hyped about GPUs as a priority.

On the other hand, I'm exploring a native RED workflow as an option. (The alternative being ProRes transcodes, or such).

I've no plans to spend that kind of money on my cutting machine in the immediate future, and no such recommendations to the people I work with. None of my needs are pressing, though, so I'm not really "in the fray" on this.

I'm interesting in where this all leads in the next five years, though.

Franz.


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 30, 2014 at 11:05:42 pm

[Franz Bieberkopf] " where this all leads in the next five years, though."

you'd be a bit curious alright. you'd have to think apple have a roadmap thing.

off the 30th, it's weird to read all the contemporaneous reviews for the last decade's worth of apple products in context now. virtually all the reviews are shot to hell in hindsight.

it's the outright physical miniaturisation of the thing that would strike you. that has to have at least some implications right?

as in clients habitually having some class of set spare monitors on hand in the future. given they are now bigger than the talent supplied workstation.

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


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Rick Lang
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 31, 2014 at 1:11:34 am

Franz, the Larry Jordan blog is interesting in how he comes to his conclusions. At the end of the article he clearly advises that the iMac may make the most sense if you do a lot of work in Compressor. But before you get to his conclusion, he equally clearly states that the gain for the iMac occurs due to the QuickSync feature for video hardware acceleration found in the iMac [and the MacBook Pro as I recall] which is only active for a single pass compression. He clearly shows the high-end Mac Pro beating the iMac for multi-pass compression! If I was Larry, and I wrote this conclusion, I'd be embarrassed to see I forgot to add " for single-pass compression."

How relevant is his finding? You be the judge, but I'm an amateur and I never do a single-pass when I have an option for better quality; I take the option that provides the best I can do, not the fastest. No deadlines luckily.

It is still early in terms of many people writing about their own experiences using the new Mac Pro. We are getting a better understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Over the next months, we shall all have a better understanding than what we had in the first week of the machine being available.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:20:11 am
Last Edited By Craig Seeman on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:21:03 am

[Rick Lang] "I never do a single-pass when I have an option for better quality;"

Important to note that Compressor does High Profile CABAC encoding but only in single pass mode.
Note that Jan Ozer says it's almost (but not quite) as good as x264.

Here, single-pass CABAC encoding was vastly superior to multi-pass CAVLC, and almost (but not quite) as good as x264.

Interesting observations in his Streaming Media review of Compressor 4.1
http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/First-Lo...



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Rick Lang
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 31, 2014 at 3:08:13 pm

Thanks, Craig. Would you also recommend using the x264 QT plug-in? According to that article, it produced even better results.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Craig Seeman
Re: Mac Pro - additional discussion
on Jan 31, 2014 at 4:35:46 pm

You could use it but I suspect it'll break in the next major OS update later this year.
I do think a factor, given how good High Profile CABAC looks now, is the speed difference.
It would seem the difference is there only at very low data rates.



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