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After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro

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Tom Smith
After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 25, 2016 at 1:46:52 pm

Hello Guys,

I've bought in 2011 a Mac Pro (2X6 core 2,66ghz Xeon), which I've upgraded over the time (3.0 USB, SSD's, Nvidia 680 GTX). I'm reading on different forums that clock speed may be more important that number of cores for After Effects (my work is 80% 2d flat animation, sometimes a little 3D with Element, 10% compositing on big RED files and 10% RAW photography editing with Lightroom)

The problem is I don't want to spend 10K on the new Mac Pro as it's not as evolutive as my 2010 Mac pro, so I'm wondering if a full specs Imac 5K or a "New" Mac Pro 6 core at 3,5GHZ would be quicker than my 2010 Mac Pro for After Effects 2d stuff or should I keep my Mac Pro?

Thank you for your help!


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Michael Szalapski
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 25, 2016 at 3:08:56 pm

Apple's offerings right now for professional workstations are an embarrassment. I used to love Apple, but not for professional video work anymore. (I still like their phones/watches/other personal stuff though. And, for photographers, the iMac is still pretty great.)

I would suggest waiting until Apple announces something decent again or getting a Windows machine. You can get great bang for the buck with a PC. I just built a Windows workstation with more computing power than you can even order from Apple for around $1,000. Granted, that was with used parts, but it works great! You can order a brand new PC workstation that's about half the cost of the same specs with Apple. And it's more upgradeable in the future!

- 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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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 25, 2016 at 6:23:47 pm

I've thought about going to Windows but I just love the mac OS too much! I guess I'll just throw a 980ti GTX in my old mac pro and get a 5K monitor to refresh my setup and wait for something decent from Apple, which may never come...


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Michael Szalapski
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 27, 2016 at 2:52:47 pm

We'll see if Apple announces anything at their event today.

- 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 C Neumayer
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 27, 2016 at 6:49:52 pm

Do I understand correctly that they only announced new MacBooks? Nothing on desktops?


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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 27, 2016 at 7:02:55 pm

Nothing new for desktop, they have the balls to announce a Macbook "Pro" with 256go flash, 8GB RAM and an intel i5 2Ghz for only 1499$! Apple "Pro" term is definitely for "pro-sumer"


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Michael Szalapski
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 27, 2016 at 7:19:21 pm

To be fair, the higher end MacBook Pros do look really nice and I really do like that Touch Bar thing they've added to it. Anything to keep my hands on the keyboard area and out of the menus is beneficial.

- 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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Francis Jose
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Nov 3, 2016 at 8:07:49 pm

Hi Szalam,

I'm looking to buy a new pc for working on adobe after effects and Cinema 4D. Could you suggest the best and latest configuration PC, GPU etc.

I really want to scroll the timeline without much lag and be able to render faster. Budget is 1500$.
Could you Please suggest best pc rig for the same?


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Greg C Neumayer
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 25, 2016 at 6:45:36 pm

If you have a mid-2010 Mac Pro, I think you'd be better off upgrading that. On the advice of a group of other guys doing the same thing, we all bought mid-2010s, 2x3.06 (or similar), 96GB ram, and the GTX 680 graphics card. We bought the boxes used from LA FX-house surplus, so they were in good shape (albeit rising in price!) Total price tag was around $5500 instead of a new Mac for $9000, which according to benchmark research, would be similar in performance.
(Note that I did this mid-2015).

My only complaint has been that that GTX680 card was a bit of a loser, with lots of screen artifacting when it ran out of it's 2GB memory.

My preferred life-cycle for my workstation is 3-4 years, so it's hopefully a good stop-gap until Apple can give us a good sense of what kind of professional support we can expect in the future. If I find out that the iWatch chip is going into the new desktop model, it'll be the end of my 25 year relationship with Apple!


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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 26, 2016 at 1:04:58 pm

I'm not really happy with the GTX 680 either, gets messy really quick with those artefacts! I don't know if it's me but After Effects seems to become poorer and poorer since they cut off the multiprocessing stuff, that's why I was thinking that maybe I should just upgrade to those fancy i7, the iMac 5K seems to work well for the 4k ish price tag: https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

I wish Adobe could give a hint or two on the future of AE but I guess they're busy updating CC which is currently really buggy on Sierra.


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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Nov 2, 2016 at 9:08:34 am

I've finally bought a gtx 960 card and a 4k display, which will be my last upgrade on my beloved Mac Pro Tower. I've been really impressed with the performance of the 960 gtx on 4k editing, it's night and day vs my 680!


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Stefan Christopher
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 26, 2016 at 11:33:08 am

We bought some "new" Mac Pros at work recently. They are fairly decent and feel pretty fast for the most part but you can tell when performing certain actions that it's using old tech. The new iMac we got a little while ago outperforms it at certain tasks.


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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:48:21 pm

Do you know on what kind of taks the iMac outperforms the new Mac Pro? Thank you!


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Stefan Christopher
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Oct 26, 2016 at 4:52:20 pm

I'm afraid I can't be very specific because I haven't used the iMac that much. One thing I have noticed though is that there is a particular font we use for a client called Kirkwood that's made up of lots and lots of little bits and pieces and using it on our old 2009 Mac Pros was a nightmare. It took forever to render and just modifying the text or changing its position took 5 - 10 seconds or more. The new Mac Pros are make this process far more tolerable but there is still a small amount of lag. The iMac just seems more responsive for this particular task to me. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.


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Matthew Woods
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Nov 2, 2016 at 3:10:57 pm

I'm kind of in the same boat. I have been unhappy with Apple's anorexic design product design of recent years.

I tried windows and hated it. We bought a ProMax tower that has been advertised on this website a lot. I spent more time with IT problems than I did working. We finally installed linux on it and are using it as a server.

I use a top of the line fully loaded late 2013 iMac and an older 12 core mac pro tower (upgraded SSD, graphics card etc). The mac pro tower still does very well for a machine of its age, and I love the hardware design. So easy to get in there and upgrade things. That said, I feel the iMac outperforms the pro tower for most tasks except those where raw processing horsepower is required. If you have to encode a lot of 4k Proxy's the horsepower on the old Pro tower is your friend. Back when multiprocessing was important in AE, the pro-tower performed better, but now that Adobe has removed that from the latest versions of AE, I feel that the iMac is faster.

I would probably recommend an iMac for your tasks. It is the most bang for your buck in Apple's offerings. You can buy a new one in a few years for the same price as a more expensive machine now. It has a really nice display. Thunderbolt is really nice. I have a Pegasus thunderbolt 2 raid for my storage that has been running great for 3 years now.

I am a little intrigued by the touch bar on the new macbook pro. I want to see what Adobe does with it in AE and Premiere. I'm not happy with the 16Gb memory limit, but from what I have read, the SSD in those machines is so fast that it makes up for the lack of memory. If your SSD is as fast as the ram itself, why would you need a lot of memory? I'm waiting to hear from user experience and benchmarks. I'm also not happy with only the USB C ports, but as someone who for the most part would keep it parked in one place, connected to a bunch of monitors and peripherals, it doesn't bother me too much. There are some nice docks out there for all the cables, and it would be nice to occasionally take my machine with me.

My 2 cents,

-Matt

Check out 9 Slice Scale.
A way to scale graphics while preserving the border and corners.
An FxFactory Plugin for AE, Premiere, Motion and FCP.
http://monadnock.org/9slice/


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Tom Smith
Re: After Effects Machine: upgrading my 2010 Mac Pro
on Nov 3, 2016 at 11:00:15 am

2 shops where I freelance sometimes have upgraded from Mac Pro towers to iMac 27" maxed out recently for 2D animators, the guy in charge told me it's the best investment for a great power/price for this kind of tasks. Owner told me he tried Windows machines for Photoshop Illustrator and AE freelancers, but there were too many complaints of bugs, crashes etc. so they kept macOS.


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