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Mac 12 core or 8 core?

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Stephen RenneyMac 12 core or 8 core?
by on Apr 18, 2011 at 4:39:56 am

I am in the market for a Mac pro. And I am curious which one I should buy (12 core or 8 core) I will most likely be buy the nividia quadro 4800 also. I will be using after effects final cut pro and cinema 4d often and I want to cut rendering down as much as possible (obviously lol) but I also don't want to spend the money if I don't have to. Is the going to be a substantial difference between the 8 and 12 core using these programs. Any other advice would be greatly appreciated as well!!!!


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Barend OnneweerRe: Mac 12 core or 8 core?
by on Apr 18, 2011 at 5:49:54 am

With After Effects the efficiency depends on the type of effects you're using and how well they can be multithreaded. But Cinema 4D will definitely make good use of your 12 cores.


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Walter SoykaRe: Mac 12 core or 8 core?
by on Apr 18, 2011 at 3:14:00 pm

[Stephen Renney] "And I am curious which one I should buy (12 core or 8 core)... I will be using after effects final cut pro and cinema 4d often and I want to cut rendering down as much as possible (obviously lol) but I also don't want to spend the money if I don't have to."

With After Effects, you need tons of RAM for efficient multi-processing. I recommend 2-4 GB per core, but AE CS5 would support as much RAM as you could stuff in your workstation.

FCP X (just sneak-peeked at NAB) should perform better on a 12-core than an 8-core.

C4D will also perform better on 12 cores than 8. Nick Campbell posted a speed test [link] between his current 12-core Mac and his old 8-core Mac. It's not a fair test, as the 8-core he shows is an older model than the 12 core, but the point stands: 12 cores are generally faster for 3D renders like this than 8.


[Stephen Renney] "I will most likely be buy the nividia quadro 4800 also."

Do you really mean the older Quadro FX 4800, or the newer Quadro 4000?

The graphics card doesn't make much of a difference to AE. With the exception of some third-party effects, AE renders on the CPU, not the GPU. Photoshop benefits from a fast OpenGL card, and Premiere Pro benefits from a CUDA card like the Quadros.

FCP, along with Color and Motion, currently perform better on ATI; no one knows yet what the performance on the different cards will be like on FCP X.

I believe C4D uses OpenGL for viewport acceleration, but C4D also renders on the CPU, so the graphics card won't affect your render time.

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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Stephen RenneyRe: Mac 12 core or 8 core?
by on Apr 20, 2011 at 1:18:16 am

thankyou very much! awesome explaination. with that being said what graphics card would you recommend then? and it comes with the 5770. would that be ideal? or would two 5770? or howabout the 5870? or would i be better off getting something different?


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Walter SoykaRe: Mac 12 core or 8 core?
by on Apr 20, 2011 at 2:54:18 pm

[Stephen Renney] "with that being said what graphics card would you recommend then?"

It's tough to say -- I think the choice really depends on your workflow and which apps you use the most.


[Stephen Renney] "and it comes with the 5770. would that be ideal? or would two 5770? or howabout the 5870? or would i be better off getting something different?"

I would go for a single 5870 before getting two 5770s (unless you need to drive 4 displays).

Personally, I'm running NVIDIA (which is required for DaVinci Resolve).

Of course, you can replace the graphics card in the Mac Pro, so you can make the best decision for yourself today, and swap it out in the future if your needs change.

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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