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Weird Benchmarking Results for Logic Pro X Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 11th August 2018
  #1
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Weird Benchmarking Results for Logic Pro X

Hey guys!

I've been running the LogicBenchmarks test (features numerous identical EXS24+effects tracks) on my machines, and I'm getting an odd result.

Apple iMac "Core i5" 3.5 27-Inch (5K, Late 2014) 16GB RAM, 1x3.5 (Turbo Boost to 3.9) quad-core i5= 4 physical cores

75 concurrent tracks


Apple Mac Pro "Eight Core" 3.2 (2008) 32GB RAM, 2x3.2 quad-core Xeons= 8 physical cores

76 concurrent tracks


Any ideas why the Pro does so poorly? I'm having a hard time justifying keeping it around, but I work with large instrument libraries like Omnisphere and UVI Workstation stuff and NI stuff like Studio Drummer, so I figure the 32GB of RAM must help somehow on this machine and I'm concerned the test didn't account for that.

So, should I keep the Pro around given these test results?

Any feedback would be super helpful. Thanks!
Old 11th August 2018
  #2
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You're asking why a 10-year old machine with a 3Gb motherboard is underperforming??

Hmm.
Old 11th August 2018
  #3
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Lol I get that. But i just thought that having literally double the processors, double the cores and double the RAM would make a difference.
Old 11th August 2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxpiano View Post
Lol I get that. But i just thought that having literally double the processors, double the cores and double the RAM would make a difference.
Yeah, they made a difference, back then and for a few years after that. Those were great machines, workhorses, but the processor technology has changed, hard drives have changed, the motherboards have changed, etc. I used a maxed out one for a very long time, upgraded it with SSDs, etc. You just reach a certain point where you can't expect it to do miracles vs new machines tailored for modern hardware and software that use newer CPU tech and such.

The laptop you're comparing it to has a fast internal drive, newer CPU. Even my 2013 MBP gets around 650MB/sec max read speed from the stock internal. It might be why you're getting better performance out of VIs from that. The new ones use drives almost 5 times that speed.

Keep it around if it works for you would be my advice. If not, get a new machine. I have no idea what you need. Mine is a corpse so it made the decision for me There were still a few things it handled better than my 2013 laptop, but other things my laptop did way faster, it had USB3, Thunderbolt, etc. Depended on the application. By 2012 I was already overloading the 2008 on a daily basis.

I'm planning on getting an iMac Pro to hold me over until the towers are released next year. For what I do it will give me more than I can get out of a laptop. Depends on what you need, man.
Old 11th August 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
Yeah, they made a difference, back then and for a few years after that. Those were great machines, workhorses, but the processor technology has changed, hard drives have changed, the motherboards have changed, etc. I used a maxed out one for a very long time, upgraded it with SSDs, etc. You just reach a certain point where you can't expect it to do miracles vs new machines tailored for modern hardware and software that use newer CPU tech and such.

The laptop you're comparing it to has a fast internal drive, newer CPU. Even my 2013 MBP gets around 650MB/sec max read speed from the stock internal. It might be why you're getting better performance out of VIs from that. The new ones use drives almost 5 times that speed.

Keep it around if it works for you would be my advice. If not, get a new machine. I have no idea what you need. Mine is a corpse so it made the decision for me There were still a few things it handled better than my 2013 laptop, but other things my laptop did way faster, it had USB3, Thunderbolt, etc. Depended on the application. By 2012 I was already overloading the 2008 on a daily basis.

I'm planning on getting an iMac Pro to hold me over until the towers are released next year. For what I do it will give me more than I can get out of a laptop. Depends on what you need, man.
Awesome feedback, thanks. Those iMac Pro's are looking so good. And I'd be very excited to see what's next for the Mac Pro's that supposedly have some level of upgradeability or modularity. That's what I love most about this Mac Pro-- it's familiar to me as a former and current PC user/builder. I can slot in my hard drives. I can add a graphics card. You get my drift.

I guess I should run another test but with maybe one or two of the NI plugins I use with large libraries. I guess it's possible for the Mac Pro to run away with the lead because of the RAM but at this point I'm doubting that. Plus I'm not wanting to double my power and AC costs from running the Mac Pro.
Old 12th August 2018
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxpiano View Post
Awesome feedback, thanks. Those iMac Pro's are looking so good. And I'd be very excited to see what's next for the Mac Pro's that supposedly have some level of upgradeability or modularity. That's what I love most about this Mac Pro-- it's familiar to me as a former and current PC user/builder. I can slot in my hard drives. I can add a graphics card. You get my drift.

I guess I should run another test but with maybe one or two of the NI plugins I use with large libraries. I guess it's possible for the Mac Pro to run away with the lead because of the RAM but at this point I'm doubting that. Plus I'm not wanting to double my power and AC costs from running the Mac Pro.
Can't really advise you as I'm currently down and can't really run anything. My laptop just keeps me online for the time being.

The real drawback about the iMac Pro is the lack of upgrades. You're really stuck with what you get unless you want to perform an autopsy on it and void your warranty. I'm planning on leasing it from Apple so I can trade it in. It's not ideal to me but an interim work machine I can live with for a bit.

The wording of "modular" is what concerns me about the 2019 towers. No one talks like that unless describing a PC case you can move **** around in. It sounds like marketing jargon to excuse any weird setup they may come out with that restricts upgrades. Granted, it may just be a distraction or purely stupid speech, but at this point I wouldn't put it past them to do something we don't like in a "pro" machine.

They already lost a lot of people by waiting this long that I really hope they just come out with a proper ATX tower with a bunch of PCIe slots, multiple M.2 slots on the motherboard, dual CPU option, large RAM capacity capable, and a battery of USB3 and TB3 ports... ya know, the **** pros expect and need. Even amateurs can benefit as they increase their skills and add to a work computer.

Anyway, hope you find what you need.
Old 13th August 2018
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
Can't really advise you as I'm currently down and can't really run anything. My laptop just keeps me online for the time being.

The real drawback about the iMac Pro is the lack of upgrades. You're really stuck with what you get unless you want to perform an autopsy on it and void your warranty. I'm planning on leasing it from Apple so I can trade it in. It's not ideal to me but an interim work machine I can live with for a bit.

The wording of "modular" is what concerns me about the 2019 towers. No one talks like that unless describing a PC case you can move **** around in. It sounds like marketing jargon to excuse any weird setup they may come out with that restricts upgrades. Granted, it may just be a distraction or purely stupid speech, but at this point I wouldn't put it past them to do something we don't like in a "pro" machine.

They already lost a lot of people by waiting this long that I really hope they just come out with a proper ATX tower with a bunch of PCIe slots, multiple M.2 slots on the motherboard, dual CPU option, large RAM capacity capable, and a battery of USB3 and TB3 ports... ya know, the **** pros expect and need. Even amateurs can benefit as they increase their skills and add to a work computer.

Anyway, hope you find what you need.
Thanks for the kind words. A lease sounds like such a great idea. I would love to see a straightforward Mac ATX tower, but I’m betting it’ll be some weird as hell thing that costs $6000 for the same specs as a $300 PC.
Old 13th August 2018
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxpiano View Post
Thanks for the kind words. A lease sounds like such a great idea. I would love to see a straightforward Mac ATX tower, but I’m betting it’ll be some weird as hell thing that costs $6000 for the same specs as a $300 PC.
I don't think it'll be that bad lol

If it is, I might just use it for audio and build a PC for the other stuff I do. Time will tell.
Old 13th August 2018
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gradivus View Post
I don't think it'll be that bad lol

If it is, I might just use it for audio and build a PC for the other stuff I do. Time will tell.
It’s funny you mention that because that’s exactly what I had to do just a few years ago. When a Mac Pro with two processors, 8 cores and a 64-bit workstation architecture counted as a high-end production machine, I did all sorts of creative work on it. But as the years went on, I realized a $400 Ryzen 1700X build was beating the pants off Macs costing 10 times as much at basic Adobe Creative Suite stuff like editing video in Premiere and photos in Lightroom. Eventually, it just became a financial reality that I had to move most of my creative work to a higher powered PC at a fraction of the cost. But, since I grew up on Logic and don’t like any of the alternatives, I’ve had to keep a “pro-level“ Mac around for music. Count me among the many Mac users who feel Apple left true professionals behind along time ago. A really cool ATX Mac Pro could change all of that for me, but I’m assuming it will cost a huge amount of money I don’t have, and I recall hearing a headline that Apple has moved most or all of its OS team off of macOS and over to iOS. We’ll see I guess.
Old 13th August 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saxpiano View Post
It’s funny you mention that because that’s exactly what I had to do just a few years ago. When a Mac Pro with two processors, 8 cores and a 64-bit workstation architecture counted as a high-end production machine, I did all sorts of creative work on it. But as the years went on, I realized a $400 Ryzen 1700X build was beating the pants off Macs costing 10 times as much at basic Adobe Creative Suite stuff like editing video in Premiere and photos in Lightroom. Eventually, it just became a financial reality that I had to move most of my creative work to a higher powered PC at a fraction of the cost. But, since I grew up on Logic and don’t like any of the alternatives, I’ve had to keep a “pro-level“ Mac around for music. Count me among the many Mac users who feel Apple left true professionals behind along time ago. A really cool ATX Mac Pro could change all of that for me, but I’m assuming it will cost a huge amount of money I don’t have, and I recall hearing a headline that Apple has moved most or all of its OS team off of macOS and over to iOS. We’ll see I guess.
I saw a big shift once iPods and all the other consumer stuff came out. They just stopped focussing on pro as much. By 2012-2014, most friends of mine who did video and 3D work switched to Windows because they needed dual CPUs and multi GPUs. Adobe is also to blame though. All their software that uses GPU acceleration is optimized for NVIDIA and Apple has been giving only Radeon options since 2013. Granted they are competitors when it comes to video editing, but customers end up losing out. 2D stuff isn't a big deal because it's basically single-core stuff.

I just prefer Mac OS and the stability and don't want to mess with Hackintosh. There's things I like about Windows but it's not ideal to me and I can't afford to buy 2 computers. I want to buy a Mac tower and upgrade it as I need to like I used to. I'd get the best CPUs and the lowest RAM and hard drive option, then remove the RAM, drive and GPU and buy the rest 3rd party. Conversely, if Apple just supported Mac OS on other hardware (and even charged for the OS to run on other hardware so they could develop tools and such like they do with Bootcamp) at least that would be a fair compromise IMO and I would take that route.

Is what it is for now though. We'll see what happens.
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