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12-core MacPro build advice

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Sean Kapleton12-core MacPro build advice
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 8:45:36 pm

Hello friends,

I just got some bad news that I need surgery and will be out of commission for 3-4 months recovering at home. I want to make the most of this winter recovering by building my skill-set before getting back into working in post. I have a 6 year old G5 at home and have been saving up for some time so needless to say for FCS3, CS5, Cinema, etc I will need a new computer! I waited for the new macpro and can no longer wait for usb 3 or lightpeak as I need to have a new box now considering i am not able to use the newer boxes I have had access to at work.

I am primarily an editor and colorist (Color) and I want to expand further into AE & C4D in order to be more creative and explore different opportunities both personal and professional. I am completely self-taught up to this point learning hands on in the field, and with the help of resources like the cow,, and other trainings.

My main question is about building a new 12-core home setup and advice on training because I am trying to make the most of my current health situation in order to better myself and my career. My hope is to come out of this in the spring a better post professional and artist.

I am thinking of this setup for home:

- Mac Pro 2010 2 x 2.66 Ghz 6-Core Intel Xeon (12 core)

OWC for RAM & Internal drives:

- Raid 0 internal - x3 2TB disks (Is there a brand / specific drive you guys would recommend or avoid?
- RAM - OWC's 8gb sticks x3 24gb or x4 32gb config (not sure if a specific # or distribution between sides effects certain apps?)

Any help or advice on these items would be greatly appreciated as I want to make the correct purchases (for my budget) and get it right the first time so I can get to learning asap!

thank you


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Walter SoykaRe: 12-core MacPro build advice
by on Nov 2, 2010 at 9:15:40 pm

Sean, best wishes for a speedy recovery.

For hard drives, I like Hitachi or Seagate -- but they are all about the same now, and I'm not aware of any major problems with any of the current 2GB firmwares. Just make sure you don't get so-called "green" drives, which lower power consumption by lowering speed or spinning down frequently.

With multiprocessing, AE launches multiple instances of its renderer, and each instance needs its own RAM. The more RAM you can cram into your system, the better.

Good luck!

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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Jon BaggeRe: 12-core MacPro build advice
by on Nov 3, 2010 at 9:46:51 pm

- RAM - OWC's 8gb sticks x3 24gb or x4 32gb config (not sure if a specific # or distribution between sides effects certain apps?)

The 8 memory slots are split with 4 per processor unit, so you'll need the same amount of sticks on each side. So that means at least 4 sticks, and you can't have odd amounts.
Go for as much memory as you can afford, with 24GB absolutely minimum.

I have 48Gb with 8 cores and AE is happily using all of it.

Jon Bagge
Editor - London, UK
Avid - FCP - After Effects

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