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2013 MacPro configuration

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Ron Craig2013 MacPro configuration
by on Feb 3, 2015 at 6:23:57 pm
Last Edited By Ron Craig on Feb 3, 2015 at 6:24:39 pm

I want a new MacPro to replace my great old (old) MacPro Octocore. I was hoping to hold out for new releases from Apple rather than buying the current 2013 vintage but it looks like I have to make a purchase fairly soon. So I'm planning to buy a refurbished 2013 MacPro now and then trade up for a new one when they come out.

I would appreciate advice from experts here on what configuration you would recommend on the 2013 options.

For context: I'm a one-person shop, working as producer and editor on high-visibility corporate productions. It's almost all editing in Premiere Pro with some After Effects work, color-correcting, and Photoshop. For now, it's all 1080p but of course I'm looking ahead toward 4K (probably after the new MacPro models come out?). I'm looking for decent speed in editing processes and encoding but, to be honest, I don't feel a need to be on the bleeding edge of speed.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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Erik LindahlRe: 2013 MacPro configuration
by on Feb 3, 2015 at 11:00:59 pm

It sort of depends on your budget but I'd go with:

- 6- or 8-core machine
- 64 GB RAM
- Dual D700
- 512GB or 1TB SSD

The 6-core machine is probably the best bang for the buck, given for some tasks the 8-core will offer better performance. I'd only opt for the 12-core for very specific work - 3D and video encoding for example. After Effects, Premiere and Photohsop will likely perfom better on the 6- or 8-core in general.

If you can afford it, max the RAM out. I'd say 32 GB of RAM might be ok on the 6-core but if you use AE... Well I've seen that app eating 48GB RAM on my 8-core system.

The dual D700 is optional for things like grading, especially looking forward with UHD.

The internal SSD costs a bit but it's blazing and will speed a lot of apps up - caching in AE for example. 512GB is mostly good but if you can afford it... 1TB! :)

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Ron CraigRe: 2013 MacPro configuration
by on Feb 4, 2015 at 5:58:52 pm

Thanks very much for that, Erik. Makes a lot of sense and much appreciated!

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Andy EdwardsRe: 2013 MacPro configuration
by on Feb 5, 2015 at 11:10:39 pm

2nd Erik's recommendations. First couple we bought for work, we did 6 Core, 16GB Ram 256SSD, D500's. to test the waters Did a 4K multi cam on it with Thunderbolt Pegasus 2 12TB raid. Ran well even with lower hardware editing four 4K streams, but dropped in after market 32GB RAM. For heavy graphics work I've bumped up to the 8 core, 1TB SSD, 32GB Ram, but stayed with D500's. Have not tested the D700 side of things as early on I saw to many people complaining about them and the OPEN CL drivers. Hopefully that will continue to improve w/ OS updates. For now 6 core, 32GB Ram, 1 TB SSD and D500's is what I would buy again. Not having any spare drives internally forces you to push everything to external TBolt / USB 3.0 drive or SAN / NAS. I wonder when we will see new chip speeds and GPU updates?


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Ron CraigRe: 2013 MacPro configuration
by on Feb 5, 2015 at 11:24:03 pm

I wonder when we will see new chip speeds and GPU updates?

I've been wondering the same thing. Rumored to be "later this year" but that's always the case. I think I need to dive in now so I really appreciate you taking the time to describe your experience with the 2013 MacPro here. Much appreciated!

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