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2020 Mac Pro Owners Thread
Old 10th January 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Lightbulb 2020 Mac Pro Owners Thread

Now that the New Mac Pro is shipping and arriving in studios across the planet seemed like a good idea to have a thread to consolidate that user experience and give people considering an upgrade a resource to find out how the 2020 Mac Pro is performing for people.

This thread is an attempt to steer clear of misinformation and opinion and focus on the user experience and the machine itself. If you don’t own a machine and can’t comment directly based on your own experience using it you should go post in the OLD “ at last Mac Pro arrival thread”

This thread should be a resource for people with questions to ask those who already own the machines and a place to share configuration ideas, performance metrics and general user experience stuff. Ideally we stay on topic and keep the thread to the point so people don’t have to read 2000 pages to get great info and ideas.

We have a number of tests planned for our new arrival and will post updates here along with things learned in the process of researching parts and options.

Since there really is only ONE true Mac Pro now we can probably ditch the “new” label?
Old 11th January 2020
  #2
Late 2019 MacPro
Old 11th January 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 
basehead617's Avatar
So far, so good for me - 16 core / 96 gb / 4 TB SSD / RX 580 with Apollo.

It's been rock solid with Logic + Maschine.

Silent (not just quiet) and fast.

I hadn't been a daily macos user for many years -- boy, it's really come a long way. It used to be that almost any time you looked for an a macos version of an app, it didn't exist. Now so much stuff is cross platform.

Haven't missed my windows machine at all yet and don't expect to.

What made me change was all the hardcore tech friends I had that used Linux since the beginning etc, migrating to Mac OS over time. Between that endorsement that it wouldn't let down power users, and such targeted support for audio/video by both Apple and software/hardware vendors, I felt it was the right time.
Old 11th January 2020
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Thanks for firing up this new thread.

I realise that this is primarily an audio forum but I would also be interested in hearing about video editing benchmarks from any nMP owners that do music and video productions like I do.

I found the following video in which this nMP owner says she installed her own GPUs (Radeon Vii) and is achieving the performance of 2 Radeon Pro Vega ii cards, saving $10k. https://youtu.be/b7ty-jR5Qow. Hope this might be interesting to some. At this early stage, most of us know to upgrade memory and additional storage via third party solutions, but little information is available about the real world performance of third party GPUs in the nMP.
Old 11th January 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispire View Post
Thanks for firing up this new thread.

I realise that this is primarily an audio forum but I would also be interested in hearing about video editing benchmarks from any nMP owners that do music and video productions like I do.

I found the following video in which this nMP owner says she installed her own GPUs (Radeon Vii) and is achieving the performance of 2 Radeon Pro Vega ii cards, saving $10k. https://youtu.be/b7ty-jR5Qow. Hope this might be interesting to some. At this early stage, most of us know to upgrade memory and additional storage via third party solutions, but little information is available about the real world performance of third party GPUs in the nMP.
She’s great was following her when we were almost forced to go hack. We ended up waiting way too LONG for this Mac Pro. Excited now it’s finally here.

She’s spot on in my opinion. It’s a 7 minute video and she gives a good configuration overview.

We bought the following config.

16 core - best price/performance ratio right now. If we decide we need more in 6 months a non m version of the 28 core will likely be around 1800 vs 5k now.

384gb of Samsung memory purchased from memory.net. They had the best price at the time was 1700.00 vs 6000 at apple or 2549 @ owc for 6 x 64gb sticks. The 64gb sticks are also best price/gb ratio and doing this config allows you to add another 384 Gb very easily in the future by filling the other 6 slots. Using six (or 12) sticks maximizes the memory bandwidth to the cpu. Ram doesn’t come down very often in price and often goes up so we will likely wait for a sale to grab the remaining memory if needed.

We chose Samsung memory as they make the best ssds in the world right now and lead the industry in their manufacturing technology. We will also be stacking this machine with their ssds so seemed like a good choice. If anyone wants links to the memory with skus let me know and I’ll go find them.

We also decided to go with the core 2 duo video card. This is proclaimed to be the fastest video card in the world? We have yet to see and decent benchmarks so time will tell. We went with it because we had money left in the budget and we wanted the additional thunderbolt 3 Ports it provides. We also do video work and were thinking this will likely handle our workload. We will be using this card to drive an 8k 55” tv as a main monitor. That is also a Samsung ....Samsung or Apple computer?

If anyone wants us to run any benchmarks for video we are open to helping. Our main use is audio but we do a fair share of video work as well so this card was very expensive but we hope it’s worth it.

We will be running 8 x Samsung Evo 970 plus 2tb nvme ssds on 2 x Highpoint 7101a-1 raid controllers functioning in cross sync. We are hoping to get 20+ GB/s that’s 20000 mb/s or almost 8 x the speed from today’s fastest ssds. Highpoint is being slow to get us the specs for setting up crosssync so as so as we have it tested we will post the results here. We will also be using a high poin 7110 raid card as our primary boot drive. We will clone this raid 0 boot to the onboard Apple 4tb storage we purchased the machine with.

Only down side to this blazing fast huge ssd setup on board is it will use all three remaining x16 PCIe slots. If it turns out that having a raid 0 boot drive does not have a meaningful impact on system performance we will ditch the 7110 and install another gpu In the remaining x16 PCIe.

In hind sight I contemplated it might be better to have just done the base config on storage and not spent to upgrade with Apple. You pay 1400 for 4tb from Apple vs about 900 if you grab a single 4tb nvme stick from sabrent and put it on an inexpensive PCIe adapter card. That said upgrading the Apple ssds after the fact might be a hassle with the t2 chip so for the extra 500.00 maybe it’s worth it long term.

Given our lust after the highest performing Mac possible the storage options we are installing are bleeding edge so we are hoping for some smooth config.

We will also be adding another 6 usb 3.1 ports via PCIe.

Hope this info is helpful to those looking to purchase. Our benchmarking and experience using the machine will be posted here as we do it. Might put together some YouTube vids as well if it seems like they would be helpful.
Old 11th January 2020
  #6
Gear Nut
 

I’m looking at a similar configuration to yours. 16 Core but probably with less memory.

To RAID or not to RAID? I’ll keep an eye out for your test results. I won’t be buying for another 8 weeks or so (after building works on my new studio are complete).
Attached Thumbnails
2020 Mac Pro Owners Thread-3eadaa1c-951f-4cbf-bca2-2564e846af4e.jpg  
Old 11th January 2020
  #7
Lives for gear
 
sardi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispire View Post
I’m looking at a similar configuration to yours. 16 Core but probably with less memory.

To RAID or not to RAID? I’ll keep an eye out for your test results. I won’t be buying for another 8 weeks or so (after building works on my new studio are complete).
That looks like a lovely space. If it looks that nice on the outside, I can only imagine what the inside will be like.

Hopefully the roos don’t kick your clients on the way in. =P
Old 11th January 2020
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispire View Post
I’m looking at a similar configuration to yours. 16 Core but probably with less memory.

To RAID or not to RAID? I’ll keep an eye out for your test results. I won’t be buying for another 8 weeks or so (after building works on my new studio are complete).
That looks amazing Love the design! You just sparked my wonderlust to build a new studio in the tropics. Out on it’s own in the forest. Retractable motorized walls for tracking outside as weather permits.

Assuming Highpoint gets me the crosssync info by Tuesday I’m thinking we will start having some tests done by next weekend / week after latest.

They are slow to deal with and have no direct support number. Every question takes at least a day to get answered. We just got what I think are the beta drivers for the 7110 to function as a boot drive on Wednesday.
Old 11th January 2020
  #9
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrispire View Post
Thanks for firing up this new thread.

I realise that this is primarily an audio forum but I would also be interested in hearing about video editing benchmarks from any nMP owners that do music and video productions like I do.

I found the following video in which this nMP owner says she installed her own GPUs (Radeon Vii) and is achieving the performance of 2 Radeon Pro Vega ii cards, saving $10k. https://youtu.be/b7ty-jR5Qow. Hope this might be interesting to some. At this early stage, most of us know to upgrade memory and additional storage via third party solutions, but little information is available about the real world performance of third party GPUs in the nMP.
A couple things to be aware of with non-MPX GPU cards...

1) there are no TB3 ports on the card.
2) more noise since the Apple Card’s are passively cooled and the 3rd party cards have 2-3 fans.
Old 11th January 2020
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post
A couple things to be aware of with non-MPX GPU cards...

1) there are no TB3 ports on the card.
2) more noise since the Apple Card’s are passively cooled and the 3rd party cards have 2-3 fans.
Really great point about the passive cooling! Gpus fans add significant noise. We have a Vega frontier running in a razor external for a laptop and you would want that in an equipment room for sure.
Old 11th January 2020
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
derdiedasscheusa's Avatar
 

Regarding GPU's:
Let me just throw in this Youtuber too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBGtaTOhY-Q

He does extensive testing and you can ask him stuff and he actually responds!


Regarding RAM:
May I ask you guys that use RAM amounts of 384GB or upwards, which of your tasks actually eat up that much RAM? Did you use tools like activity monitor to track it?
Old 11th January 2020
  #12
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by derdiedasscheusa View Post
Regarding GPU's:
Let me just throw in this Youtuber too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBGtaTOhY-Q

He does extensive testing and you can ask him stuff and he actually responds!


Regarding RAM:
May I ask you guys that use RAM amounts of 384GB or upwards, which of your tasks actually eat up that much RAM? Did you use tools like activity monitor to track it?
The only thing to watch there is he currently has a 8 core nMP and some of the FCP testing he does relies on CPU as well as GPU, so be careful. He usually tries to point that out, but he had some very modest gains over the 580X and a 16" i9 MBP because of the clock speed difference on equivalent numbers of cores.

Seems like a really nice guy, though.
Old 11th January 2020
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
16 core - best price/performance ratio right now. If we decide we need more in 6 months a non m version of the 28 core will likely be around 1800 vs 5k now.
Have you taken a look at the CPU housing/sled yet? Any info on what the process of replacing the CPU will be like?
Old 12th January 2020
  #14
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by khollister View Post
A couple things to be aware of with non-MPX GPU cards...

1) there are no TB3 ports on the card.
2) more noise since the Apple Card’s are passively cooled and the 3rd party cards have 2-3 fans.
So true. In particular, the Radeon vii gpu mentioned in that video is reportedly one of the loudest ones when under load.
Old 12th January 2020
  #15
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyJoe View Post
Have you taken a look at the CPU housing/sled yet? Any info on what the process of replacing the CPU will be like?
Super easy scroll forward to about 8:15 for detailed how to instructions on replacing. One thing he left out that should be obvious when your doing it is the cpu will have an orientation notch so you install it in the proper direction. Makes it impossible to install wrong if your paying attention. Just make note of this. It’s best to lay the machine flat. Lift the old cpu out by lifting from one side leaving one edge resting against the socket edge. Can lift out a bit like a hinge would operate with one side setting against the edge until you can get it up enough to grab both sides.

The chips are pretty robust as intel uses a flat pin contact system so there is nothing to bend on the chip itself. I wouldn’t place it contact side down thought. When you remove your old chip Place heat sink side (silver metal) down on table in a safe place. Once you get the new chip out of the plastic tray and installed in the socket you can place the old chip in the plastic tray the new chip came in to protect it in transit if you resell/store it. You can also buy empty Xeon trays cheap on eBay.

The first time you do it just take your time it’s super simple but it can be puckering since it’s a new experience. After you have done it a couple times you will definitely realize how simple it actually is. It’s hard to break anything if your taking your time.

Clean old heat sink with pure ipa or heat sink cleaner. Apply new thermal paste to new cpu and reseat heat sink. There are many cpu replacement videos on YouTube that cover the thermal paste part. Just use common sense and you’ll get it done without issue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ3K-fub3-w
Old 12th January 2020
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
Since there really is only ONE true Mac Pro now we can probably ditch the “new” label?
MP7,1.

Good idea from some to also include film production-related issues; many of us do both DAWs & NLEs & in the past, big GPUs can get in the way of some DAWs' performance.

I notice that many of the issues raised here are being well covered on the MP7.1 MacRumors fora, including CPU upgrades, NVMe storage etc.

A little too early to judge on all of the performance matters raised just yet, but so far, so good. Fast and near-silent. The talk about Highpoint cards and fan noise etc, this has apparently been addressed in the latest firmware production where fans can be disabled for the MP7.1 (see Mac Rumors & Highpoint site).

My initial config notes:
All of the disks here migrated from other computers.
- PCIe 2TB RAID 0 (4xSamsung 970 EVO+) for fast cache & optimised media (Resolve & FCPX). Thunderbay 5x2TB Samsung 850 EVOs for 8TB RAID 4 (DAW projects, Film Media, Sound Libs etc); another 4TB Samsung 850 EVO for backups and errata (for now; maybe later as dedicated Sound Libs); plus a 256GB PM961 NVMe for an Alt Boot volume (maintenance etc).
- 192GB Nemix ram - had originally intended to go with 96GB of Apple ram, but the 192GB from Nemix was less than the cost of Apple's 96GB, plus, many reviews have been installing this ram, apprarently is made by Samsung.
- A 13 port USB 2.0 hub and a 7 port USB 3.0 hub + a USB switcher for a couple of dongles and MIDI controllers - will continue to also use my Dell T7910 workstation (w. Windows 10 for Workstations OS) & RTX 2080Ti, possibly for film work.

A final comment for now: any new MP7,1 arrivals, I suggest to thoroughly check the build and chassis before going too far with the software & PCIe installs. In particular, here are a few reports of problems with lifting the shroud from the chassis - some involved problems with the locking mechanism, others with what would seem overall fit (they can't get the cover off, or at least this requires great force). There is also a case of the latch mechanism making loud noises and obviously being broken when inspected.

*so nice* not to hear about Diva here!

Last edited by prof draper; 12th January 2020 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: added disk info
Old 12th January 2020
  #17
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
7,1 but still having issues. More on that later. I’m always a complete energy case.
Old 13th January 2020
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Studio Dweller's Avatar
 

I'm still in the process of migrating my 2008 Mac Pro/PT 10/HD3 Accel rig to a new 16-core Mac Pro/PT 12/HDX (I've been waiting a loooooong time for this). So far it has been easier than expected. Many of the AAX plugins I had didn't require updating, some that required updates were free or had reasonable upgrade fees and I've only discovered one so far that has been discontinued with no update available (original EMI TG12413 Limiter). Bonuses for me were being able to continue to use my Control|24 via Neyrinck V-Control Pro when I thought I'd have to retire it which was also one of the reasons I was anchored to my old rig. It's housed in an Argosy console and replacing both of them would've been an expense and a big project. I was also pleasantly surprised to be able to continue to use my 192 IO alongside the new HD IO for some added IO. I haven't run a proper session with clients yet, but I'm getting to close and so far I have no reason to feel like it won't run solidly. With how amazingly quiet this machine is, I'm no longer wanting to use spinning hard drives except for backups and that's prompted some additional upgrades. So far, so good!
Old 13th January 2020
  #19
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof draper View Post
MP7,1.

Good idea from some to also include film production-related issues; many of us do both DAWs & NLEs & in the past, big GPUs can get in the way of some DAWs' performance.

I notice that many of the issues raised here are being well covered on the MP7.1 MacRumors fora, including CPU upgrades, NVMe storage etc.

*so nice* not to hear about Diva here!
Thanks for the link

Are you running your usb Hubs from a thunderbolt hub? We have so many usb devices it’s a little crazy. We have 5 hubs I think a couple 13 port and some 7’s. We will be going straight into the 71 with usb hubs direct ideally.

Need to go find a good usb PCIe card that works with Mac. Initial research is a mixed bag of random power cycling. Few now will use thunderbolt ports. It usually works well except for outboard gear that runs audio and control over usb like the Roland boutique stuff.
Old 13th January 2020
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
Thanks for the link

Are you running your usb Hubs from a thunderbolt hub? We have so many usb devices it’s a little crazy. We have 5 hubs I think a couple 13 port and some 7’s. We will be going straight into the 71 with usb hubs direct ideally.

Need to go find a good usb PCIe card that works with Mac. Initial research is a mixed bag of random power cycling. Few now will use thunderbolt ports. It usually works well except for outboard gear that runs audio and control over usb like the Roland boutique stuff.
The Sonnets PCIes are fine, 4xUSB 3-s, but they take up a slot & I'd rather not.

I'm running 2 x usb hubs straight in the back of the mac pro. There's a good, 16 port 90W USB 3 hub getting around.
Old 13th January 2020
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

There are so many posts over there

Did learn I need to be talking to high point tomorrow about these 7101a’s looks like I might have to send them in which will suck because we are already behind schedule! Also got some good info about the cooling. I will distill what we learn and post it here to save people time. No sense in all of us doing the same research

Amfeltec still has not answered our ticket from last week about bootable raid 0 across all 6 blades. They recommended 1 blade which is pointless. I asked them to clarify why not raid 0 across all 6. Worse case we are stuck with the 7110. Im told that will boot Highpoint just sent us the updated drivers. I think they are beta so here’s hoping
Old 13th January 2020
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof draper View Post
The Sonnets PCIes are fine, 4xUSB 3-s, but they take up a slot & I'd rather not.

I'm running 2 x usb hubs straight in the back of the mac pro. There's a good, 16 port 90W USB 3 hub getting around.
If you find a brand would be appreciated
Old 13th January 2020
  #23
RME

Ooops ... first snag:

Tried to install RME's latest thunderbolt drivers for my UFX+: Now goes around in a boot cycle that hangs at about 2/3 progress bar. PITA, also means the mac won't boot.

Have written to winge at RME and for now need to re-install the OS and start again - everything was going so well until then: Thunderbay, RAID 4, dual screens, prefs, security, avast, little snitch, Carbon copy cloner, etc .... bloody drivers, usually RME are perfect with this (great drivers developed in-house) but I suspect they haven't had a MP7,1 to test.

Be interested to know if any other RME users have cone across this yet?

** Update:
Problem seems resolved now. After Internet system restore and a number of re-boots, suddenly Total Mix showed up At first would not connect to the UFX+ then later it did. No particular explanation for this, but is typical Mac OS in my experience with little feedback on analysis of such things (unlike Windows or Linux). Still, now appears to be working as it should. On reflection, perhaps the RME install and drivers should go in very early? ie, before all of the other installs might get in the way and/or obscure matters .. who knows.

Last edited by prof draper; 13th January 2020 at 09:16 PM.. Reason: Update: problem resolved
Old 13th January 2020
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
If you find a brand would be appreciated
This one gets good reviews & have also got great feedback from owners:
https://www.amazon.com/Powered-USB-H.../dp/B07JM9ZFFV
Old 13th January 2020
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof draper View Post
This one gets good reviews & have also got great feedback from owners:
https://www.amazon.com/Powered-USB-H.../dp/B07JM9ZFFV
Perfect thank you! I was shocked when you mentioned your RME issue. Normally they are silky smooth. Have run them for almost 15 years without a single issue ever. Had a couple of bad power supply’s over the years but never driver problems.

I read about that cycling I think in a ram install related thread. Did you do anything to your ram? If you get stuck in a loop try a cmd opt p r reboot to clear pram.

We have a ufx+ As a madi interface backup for our Goliath HD that is the primary madi hub for an extra 64 channels of analog in/out. Keep us posted what you find out.

I’m thinking we should stop waiting for all the parts to arrive and get started antelope claims they are compatible but any snags could cause delays that need to be dug into like this rme situation. Or the 7101a factory config required to silence the fans. Gonna be a busy morning
Old 13th January 2020
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
There are so many posts over there

Did learn I need to be talking to high point tomorrow about these 7101a’s looks like I might have to send them in which will suck because we are already behind schedule! Also got some good info about the cooling. I will distill what we learn and post it here to save people time. No sense in all of us doing the same research

Amfeltec still has not answered our ticket from last week about bootable raid 0 across all 6 blades. They recommended 1 blade which is pointless. I asked them to clarify why not raid 0 across all 6. Worse case we are stuck with the 7110. Im told that will boot Highpoint just sent us the updated drivers. I think they are beta so here’s hoping
My understanding of the NVME riser threads:
The 4xOWC is fanless quite, but only 8x.
The 4xSonnet gets good reviews and is quite but a bit exxy.
The latest 4xAmfeltec are also meant to be quite & fast (given the mods)
The Highpoint, yes, older purchases need to be sent back for fan mod firmware update.

Re. the boot off RAID thing, I believe that is the norm for most of these PCIes - need to select one of the M.2s as boot & the rest can be RAIDed. I seem to recall the only advertised exception is the Highpoint 7103 which can boot off a RAID volume.
Old 13th January 2020
  #27
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
I read about that cycling I think in a ram install related thread. Did you do anything to your ram? If you get stuck in a loop try a cmd opt p r reboot to clear pram.
Thanks but no. Still the stock 32GB Apple Ram in for the moment; yes, re-set the PRAM, and the SMC. Disconnected everything. BTW, for such a sill-expensive machine, you can't get into Recovery, Option-boot because of the bluetooth keyboard, mouse, trackpad. Dopey. Need to use a wired keyboard.
Old 13th January 2020
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestarfire View Post
There are so many posts over there Amfeltec still has not answered our ticket from last week about bootable raid 0 across all 6 blades. They recommended 1 blade which is pointless. I asked them to clarify why not raid 0 across all 6.
I think that's Canadian for 'no'.
Old 13th January 2020
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof draper View Post
I think that's Canadian for 'no'.


the 7110 will boot from all 3 blades in raid 0. we are just interested in if there will be any performance improvments in a 10gb/s system drive. If not we will just install a standard controller in an x8 slot and use 2 blades in raid 0.

The amfeltec 6 blades or high point look like the only options for performance. The sonnet barely got 6k in the test I saw across 4 cards which is terrible. The owc was slow also but I just remember thinking that’s slow the number is not in storage.
Old 13th January 2020
  #30
Gear Nut
 
Jay Doucet's Avatar
 

2019 Mac Pro Monitor issues

I am still having issues with my 2019 Mac Pro with my Samsung Ultrawide 49' monitor.

The monitor works perfectly when plugged into my 2015 MacBook Pro. But with the
Mac Pro, a black screen is displayed after the initial login.

I can get the monitor working by disconnecting and reconnecting the hdmi or thunderbolt
cable from the mac pro each time upon restart, or after powering it on.

Apple support was notified, and they tested my mac pro remotely, a log file was sent to
Apple engineering, and was offered no time line as to when the issue will be fixed, not
fixed, resolved, updated... whatever...

Annoying to say the least. I have a few more days before this will have to be returned if
they can not make this right...

Anyone else having a similar issue with Mac Pro and any ultra wide ?
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