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Cheese Grater 5,1 Mac Pro Owners Next Move?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
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New i9 is up and working.

- First weird thing is I tested iMovie encoding. 4:30 video 1080p from H.264 footage - my i5 3.8 (running at 4.0GHz) 40G ram = 5:00, The new i9 8G ram running ~4.5GHz = 6:50 ... What??? Ran 4X - yep...

The new one does Page out a few times where the 40G ram does not. But I ran these tests on stock 2017 i5s and i7s a couple of years ago - was always very close with the i7 being slightly faster. The new i9 burns 2X the Watts - ramps fans to 2400 rpm at times and is almost 2 minutes slower... very unexpected - can't really buy more RAM just to try in it! The i5 ramps fans to maybe 1800 half way through. Fan much quieter than 2400 on the i9.

Still loading audio stuff and had a busy gig weekend...

More later...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
New i9 is up and working.

- First weird thing is I tested iMovie encoding. 4:30 video 1080p from H.264 footage - my i5 3.8 (running at 4.0GHz) 40G ram = 5:00, The new i9 8G ram running ~4.5GHz = 6:50 ... What??? Ran 4X - yep...

The new one does Page out a few times where the 40G ram does not. But I ran these tests on stock 2017 i5s and i7s a couple of years ago - was always very close with the i7 being slightly faster. The new i9 burns 2X the Watts - ramps fans to 2400 rpm at times and is almost 2 minutes slower... very unexpected - can't really buy more RAM just to try in it! The i5 ramps fans to maybe 1800 half way through. Fan much quieter than 2400 on the i9.

Still loading audio stuff and had a busy gig weekend...

More later...
I guess the 8 gb RAM is the culprit here.

Is that an i9 iMac btw? How is the noise from the fans when it is at 2600 rpm?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
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Yep - 8GB paging out on the i9 iMac seems to be it. I added 32G 2400 RAM from my 2017 iMac into the new one and now iMovie encoding is about the same as my 2017. It also evened out the temperature so that it slowly climbed to 94degC over a couple of minutes and gently ramped fans.

Next up was Logic Pro new benchmark. Came in ~115 tracks with fans going strong and all CPU cores (save the last) maxed. This is with built in output - will next try with TB interface...

Last edited by ProPower; 4 weeks ago at 06:13 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
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New LPX Benchmark test:

i5 3.8GHz 8G ram, 1TB SSD 580
Built in Output 128 med buffer
44.1kHz 38 tracks 4GHz 80degC 1200 rpm
96kHz 15 tracks 4GHz 80degC 1200 rpm

i9 3.6GHz 40G ram, 1TB SSD 580X
Built in Output 128 med buffer
44.1kHz 117 tracks 3.9GHz 94degC 1800 rpm
96kHz 45 tracks 4GHz 94degC 1700 rpm

I then ran a few of my current sessions that lean heavy on 96kHz recording of live instruments (~4 mics at a time usually) + a few VIs and bunch of plugins. Reality is my current machine barely gets to 40% on the heaviest sessions (40 tracks fair amount of plugins, great reverbs, delays and a few VIs) and never ramps fans. But I do have aspirations to move to some heavier VI work - and more than 4 cores would be nice :-). I was hoping to see a big gain for what I do with videos and it just isn't there. Units were within 5% of each other on iMovie - but have more work to do there. Was going to just send this one back - but will instead work this one for another week or so and see how that goes...

Last edited by ProPower; 4 weeks ago at 05:34 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
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microwave's Avatar
I bought a 6,1 twelve core last month to replace the 5,1 quad core I had been using for the last few years. Hopefully it will remain current for a good while
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProPower View Post
Yep - 8GB paging out on the i9 iMac seems to be it. I added 32G 2400 RAM from my 2017 iMac into the new one and now iMovie encoding is about the same as my 2017. It also evened out the temperature so that it slowly climbed to 94degC over a couple of minutes and gently ramped fans.

Next up was Logic Pro new benchmark. Came in ~115 tracks with fans going strong and all CPU cores (save the last) maxed. This is with built in output - will next try with TB interface...
The i9 iMac from reports does seem pretty powerful, for whatever reason not the base iMac Pro performance in the Logic and Pro Tools benchmark tests.

How is the noise when the fans are revved up on the i9 iMac?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
The i9 iMac from reports does seem pretty powerful, for whatever reason not the base iMac Pro performance in the Logic and Pro Tools benchmark tests.

How is the noise when the fans are revved up on the i9 iMac?
So you’re saying that test of the iMac pro have beaten the new i9?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MREVOL View Post
So you’re saying that test of the iMac pro have beaten the new i9?
Yeh in the 'new' Logic benchmark test the base iMac Pro has a higher track count.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
The i9 iMac from reports does seem pretty powerful, for whatever reason not the base iMac Pro performance in the Logic and Pro Tools benchmark tests.

How is the noise when the fans are revved up on the i9 iMac?
Anything above 1800 rpm is pretty objectionable for low volume audio work or recording close by. So far I was doing some work with a light 96kHz 256 buffer session (~8% CPU on this machine) - fans were at 1200 and temp was 66degC (driving two 1080P monitors). Interestingly the speed was bouncing all over from 3.6 to 4.4GHz. When i tried going to 128 buffer with 7th Heaven in the record channels send - the last core was maxed out and occasional pop and click. 64 was unusable. FWIW - this is the same as my i5 3.8. So the availability of higher clock speed (only a few cores in use) did not equal sustained higher CPU speed or better low buffer performance. I do low RTL tracking with Apogees FX (0.35ms) so not a deal breaker - but - interesting. I have yet to do low buffer VI work yet but will have to cross off live sends to things like 7th heaven...

I have yet to put the machine where the old one is (tomorrow) but the idle fan in the i9 does seem a little louder/deeper than the old one. Should not be an issue...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
Where are you guys with 5,1 Mac Pros at with your next Mac?

I've had either 4,1 or 5,1 Mac Pros for over 10 years and whilst the 5,1 12 Core machine I have had since 2014 is still going strong I am thinking about a new machine for the next 5+ years....

2018 i7 Mac Mini - love the form factor, but soldered SSD drive, weak GPU and less performance in real world terms than my current MP leave me thinking this is a step back and not for me.
Switched from a 12-core 3.33ghz 5,1 to a 2018 Mini i7 3.2 ghz 6-core 32gb RAM about 5 months ago and am very happy. Geekbench showed about a 15% performance increase over the 5,1 and my real-world experience is the same. The Mini amazingly seems to beat the 5,1 testing with heavy VI and plugin loads with LPX running Mojave. The fan came on only once when a friend wanted to know how many Omnisphere instances I could get away with with all playing an identical part. I got 108 instances without glitching (!) and brought the machine to a stop at 109. Fan came on at about 72 instances. In daily use the fan has never come on.

The soldered in SSD is a drag but not an issue for me as I needed an external enclosure for my project/library drives from the Cheesegrater so I went with an OWC external enclosure (2 SSDs and 2 spinners).

Re GPU - I do use FXP and loaded a cut-and-filter-heavy project and it seemed to run as well in the Mini (real-time!) as it did in the 5,1.

Good luck with your next move!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeka View Post
Switched from a 12-core 3.33ghz 5,1 to a 2018 Mini i7 3.2 ghz 6-core 32gb RAM about 5 months ago and am very happy. Geekbench showed about a 15% performance increase over the 5,1 and my real-world experience is the same. ...
I'm hoping to learn something more about the correlation between Geekbench scores DAW/VI performance. Was the 108 instances of Omnisphere in the Mac Mini about 15% more than the instances you were able to instantiate on the old 12-core Mac Pro?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
I'm hoping to learn something more about the correlation between Geekbench scores DAW/VI performance. Was the 108 instances of Omnisphere in the Mac Mini about 15% more than the instances you were able to instantiate on the old 12-core Mac Pro?
Didn't do that actual test on the 5,1 (already sold) and it was totally unscientific (no A/B) so can't answer that question. He just wanted me to throw Omni instances at it till it choked.

The CPU load on the Mini on a per-project basis was slightly lower. I did compare audio (and video) projects on the 5,1 vs i7 Mini and found the Mini to handle all well with a slightly lower CPU hit. For example my overall CPU hit on the 5,1 on a particular project was 10%. Same project on the Mini was roughly 8%. I'm thinking the i7 performs well against the Xeon procs in the Cheesegrater.

EDIT: and maybe the fact that the RAM in the new Mini is double the speed of the 5,1 has to do with the performance boost? Dunno ....

All this is probably not as scientific as it could be but anecdotally this Mini is performing quite well for me and I'd make the same move again.

Hope this info helps and I'm sorry I couldn't do the same Omni test on my dearly departed 5,1.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
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Which DAW did you use for the Omni test, mate? Could be significant.

I'm guessing it could've been DP with its pre-rendering with figures like that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey Man View Post
Which DAW did you use for the Omni test, mate? Could be significant.

I'm guessing it could've been DP with its pre-rendering with figures like that.
Logic 10.4.4 at the time of the test.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
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Ahh... thanks mate.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
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For what I do the i9 580X iMac is no faster at low RTL recording, no faster at iMovie rendering and can only handle 2X the VI load on the CPU as my i5 3.8 without starting to ramp fans (which my i5 never does - even at 100% load). What it exceeds at in spades is running more plugins/VIs. I have concluded that for my uses the i5 is the better choice (color me surprised :-),

Logic VI stress (my own version)
96kHz Sample session
20 VI tracks loads of FX + 2 audio tracks w/ 7th heaven reverb
75%CPU all cores Logic Meter
Turbo Boost OFF 33%CPU
74degC slow ramping fan after 5+. Minutes ~1350rpm

Turbo Boost ON - 3.6 to 4.4GHz very bouncy
A little lower CPU use (28%)
85degC 1700+ fans

iMovie
Encode:to 1080p Better Quality
5:06 Turbo Boost OFF 74 degC Fan=1650 3.6GHz 35%CPU
5:09 Turbo Boost ON 93 degC Fan = 2200 spike 1800 mostly 4.6GHz
5:12 i5, 3.8Ghz 2017 iMac

I wonder if the 85W CPU power limiting on the new iMacs is the reason. Would also explain why the iMacPro bests this machine. After having this one in house I would likely choose the iMacPro as significantly "better". If I can find a used one for a great price - I may try it.

Last edited by ProPower; 4 weeks ago at 04:31 PM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeka View Post
Switched from a 12-core 3.33ghz 5,1 to a 2018 Mini i7 3.2 ghz 6-core 32gb RAM about 5 months ago and am very happy. Geekbench showed about a 15% performance increase over the 5,1 and my real-world experience is the same. The Mini amazingly seems to beat the 5,1 testing with heavy VI and plugin loads with LPX running Mojave. The fan came on only once when a friend wanted to know how many Omnisphere instances I could get away with with all playing an identical part. I got 108 instances without glitching (!) and brought the machine to a stop at 109. Fan came on at about 72 instances. In daily use the fan has never come on.

The soldered in SSD is a drag but not an issue for me as I needed an external enclosure for my project/library drives from the Cheesegrater so I went with an OWC external enclosure (2 SSDs and 2 spinners).

Re GPU - I do use FXP and loaded a cut-and-filter-heavy project and it seemed to run as well in the Mini (real-time!) as it did in the 5,1.

Good luck with your next move!
Great thanks, the Mini is a very cool machine and I am happy you are content with it. Were you on Mojave on your 5,1? How are you finding it on the Mini?

As I am sure others are aware. In the Mac line up there is a gaping hole in the non-iMac desktop range.

Mini $2k + then the next step base 2019 Mac Pro $6k + The Mini looks to be about 1/3 of the price of the base Mac Pro coming later this year, and a hell of an Apple Machine for the price.

Granted there is something in the Xeon processor based machine performance, but I can't help but think a Mac Pro Mini with Xeon, a handful of PCIe slots etc at around $4k price point would be a smash..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevron View Post
Great thanks, the Mini is a very cool machine and I am happy you are content with it. Were you on Mojave on your 5,1? How are you finding it on the Mini?

Granted there is something in the Xeon processor based machine performance, but I can't help but think a Mac Pro Mini with Xeon, a handful of PCIe slots etc at around $4k price point would be a smash..
Indeed, that would be a smash for us audio people.

Yes Mojave on the 5,1 (w/RX580 video card). No problems.

I've been using Apple products since the early 80's. I think Mojave is one of their best OS's. No complaints here with the Mini running Mojave.
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