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Best Spec for new Mac Pro Audio Interfaces
Old 10th March 2014
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Best Spec for new Mac Pro

I'm looking into purchasing a new Mac Pro.

What I'd be super grateful to know is, what would be the best/ideal spec for a Music/Audio based Mac Pro?

Here's what I'm looking at >

3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache
32GB (4 x 8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
512GB PCIe-based flash storage
Magic Trackpad
Wireless Keyboard with Logic Shortcuts

Mercury Elite Pro Dual 4TB Thunderbolt Drive (Does the RAID System slow down performance?)

Should I go with higher Cache and lower RAM? or the other way around?

Any help/advice, greatly appreciated!

K
Old 10th March 2014
  #2
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T_R_S's Avatar
The highest available audio DSP & VI's need cores the more cores the more Plug-in DSP you will have I have a 2.7 - 12 core ordered.
Old 10th March 2014
  #3
Gear Nut
 

Thanks so much for the quick reply!

adding cores is sooooooo expensive. I was looking at the middle option here >

3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache

3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache [+ £1,200.00]

2.7GHz 12-core with 30MB of L3 cache [+ £2,400.00]

Would U advise to go all the way and go for 12 core? Very expensive! But I'm open to suggestions/advise.
Old 10th March 2014
  #4
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T_R_S's Avatar
yes it is however I as Apple developer I get a very nice discount
Old 11th March 2014
  #5
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Might want to check the thread I opened about using multiple mac minis vs a new mac pro... You could get 16 cores /64gb ram of 2.6ghz i7 for less than the cost of a 12-core / 32gb mac pro. Still get thunderbolt / usb 3.0 and HDMI ports, 256gb SSD drive in each... would have to network them with VEP in order to get them to function together as one machine but still much cheaper / more efficient than a single nMP. If you do a lot of recording I would say the nMP is the slightly better option. If you're more of a producer and use lots of VSts/ AU and plugins, I would go with multiple mac minis.
Old 11th March 2014
  #6
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mike vee's Avatar
I've done a lot of research - the 6 core is the way to go with 32GB of RAM.

Also, my friend just took delivery of the 6 core with 32BG of RAM. He has had many, many mac pros and is a pro video editor. He said this mac pro is INSANE fast...boots in 5 seconds, etc.
Old 11th March 2014
  #7
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T_R_S's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrok View Post
Might want to check the thread I opened about using multiple mac minis vs a new mac pro... You could get 16 cores /64gb ram of 2.6ghz i7 for less than the cost of a 12-core / 32gb mac pro. Still get thunderbolt / usb 3.0 and HDMI ports, 256gb SSD drive in each... would have to network them with VEP in order to get them to function together as one machine but still much cheaper / more efficient than a single nMP. If you do a lot of recording I would say the nMP is the slightly better option. If you're more of a producer and use lots of VSts/ AU and plugins, I would go with multiple mac minis.
what if cost is not an issue?
Old 11th March 2014
  #8
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phas3d's Avatar
 

The 8 core seems to be the most interesting. At least for me it is. Mine is serving me well so no need to upgrade soon.
Old 11th March 2014
  #9
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by T_R_S View Post
what if cost is not an issue?
Then you can ignore everything I said.. but I'm assuming if cost was not an issue he would just buy the maxed out version.
Old 11th March 2014
  #10
Gear Head
 

Make sure to read this Turbo Boost and the New Mac Pro’s CPUs – Marco.org before settling for any particular CPU configuration
Old 11th March 2014
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike vee View Post
I've done a lot of research - the 6 core is the way to go with 32GB of RAM.

Also, my friend just took delivery of the 6 core with 32BG of RAM. He has had many, many mac pros and is a pro video editor. He said this mac pro is INSANE fast...boots in 5 seconds, etc.
i have this computer (6 core, 32gb, 1tb flash ssd) and i can confirm that this is NOT the case. Having connected all the same peripherals as I've used thus far with a top of the line MacBook Pro the new Mac Pro boot time is, at its best, the same or slower than the MBPr. Maybe your friend has a very light setup or I'm running an "exotic" environment (just a couple of daws installed + a host of midi gear/ext t-bolt drive/two displays connected).

I will say it is a great computer but it isnt a magic computer. I can bring this thing down to its knees in a moderate amount of time if I'm not mindful about what kind of processing i apply to my vi's. It has more stamina than my old MBPr and it is silent but it is not the end of computing.
Old 11th March 2014
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fix3r View Post
Make sure to read this Turbo Boost and the New Mac Pro’s CPUs – Marco.org before settling for any particular CPU configuration
Good oint.
For audio, during mixing ALL cores are active since all DAWs are multithreaded.
VEP ignores HT cores until the load reaches approx. 50%.
Old 11th March 2014
  #13
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasco View Post
i have this computer (6 core, 32gb, 1tb flash ssd) and i can confirm that this is NOT the case. Having connected all the same peripherals as I've used thus far with a top of the line MacBook Pro the new Mac Pro boot time is, at its best, the same or slower than the MBPr. Maybe your friend has a very light setup or I'm running an "exotic" environment (just a couple of daws installed + a host of midi gear/ext t-bolt drive/two displays connected).

I will say it is a great computer but it isnt a magic computer. I can bring this thing down to its knees in a moderate amount of time if I'm not mindful about what kind of processing i apply to my vi's. It has more stamina than my old MBPr and it is silent but it is not the end of computing.
That might be the most honest review I've heard yet, and confirms my suspicions that a mac mini farm would be a much wiser investment.
Old 11th March 2014
  #14
Gear Addict
 

Myrok don't get me wrong it is a great machine and i personally wouldn't change it to a farm of minis but i will say its not a perfect computer. its probably the best single unit you can get right now but it comes with a price. at the end of the day I'm a hobbyist and you could say its not an "optimal investment" but i prefer simple things and there's quite a bit of psychology/personal preference involved in acquiring gear. everyone needs to put a price tag to their preferences and any tradeoffs to be made...
Old 11th March 2014
  #15
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasco View Post
Myrok don't get me wrong it is a great machine and i personally wouldn't change it to a farm of minis but i will say its not a perfect computer. its probably the best single unit you can get right now but it comes with a price. at the end of the day I'm a hobbyist and you could say its not an "optimal investment" but i prefer simple things and there's quite a bit of psychology/personal preference involved in acquiring gear. everyone needs to put a price tag to their preferences and any tradeoffs to be made...
I agree with all of that, I just fall on the other side of the fence when it comes down to deciding on money / value vs. simplicity & form factor. But also, money is tight for me, so that's a huge factor as well.
Old 16th June 2014
  #16
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Agno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fix3r View Post
Make sure to read this Turbo Boost and the New Mac Pro’s CPUs – Marco.org before settling for any particular CPU configuration
This article just messed my world up. I'm in the market for a new Mac Pro, Logic Pro & Ableton are my main daws. Maschine and MPC Software here and there.

I wish there was a list on which daws use multicore efficiently and which don't.
Old 3rd July 2014
  #17
Hi, is anyone using UAD (I have the quad satellite) with the new Mac Pro - does it work OK?
Old 3rd July 2014
  #18
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all of this is really confusing. I've read multiple articles about 6 cores vs 12 cores and turbo boost and the such. It seems that the general consensus is that getting a 12 core computer is not worth the $$$ unless you are using software that can use all of the cores. I seen benchmarks with photoshop and video rendering etc. this is my interpretation.

BUT from my understanding, we music people do use software that takes full advantage of multithreading and cores...so for us the more cores the better. To be specific does logic and pro tools take advantage of all the cores? if so then it would seem to me that having a 12 core would make more sense.

The studio where i work specifically uses pt9 and logic 9 on 10.6.8. They are in the process of a getting an older last generation 5,1 mac pro 12 core with 3.3ghz processors. it is my understanding that this configuration can compete with the new mac pros. Is this true?

ej
Old 3rd July 2014
  #19
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonharris View Post
Hi, is anyone using UAD (I have the quad satellite) with the new Mac Pro - does it work OK?
i'm running a tb apollo quad without a hitch.

there's an article on satellite compatibility on uad site which basically states that its compatible using the fw to tb apple connector. BUT.. if you use the satellite that way AND have a UAD TB card connected I believe the use of the FW satellite will downgrade your TB UAD card to FW speeds. They need to work at the same speeds and fw connection cant throttle upwards. Hence the downgrade (and thusly I will not be getting a satellite)
Old 3rd July 2014
  #20
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The Beatsmith's Avatar
 

6 or 8 core are sweet spots - pick whichever you can afford... the one in your OP will be a fantastic option
Old 3rd July 2014
  #21
Hi, unless something has changed I understood that the audio on the Apollo Quad does not run at Thunderbolt speed anyway? There was controversy over the fact that the audio runs at Firewire speeds in the Apollo and only the DSP takes advantage of the Thunderbolt connection . . . unless that's changed now?
Old 3rd July 2014
  #22
Gear Addict
 

simonharris i'd love to hear that one answered. I'm neither technically minded or very patient so I havent sifted through all the data available.

UAD just issued a new firmware / software version which apparently changes some functionality. not sure if its related

to be honest, I havent had any problems with apollo tb since i did the tb upgrade (despite the audio possibly still running at fw speeds?). the plugin count and stability increased noticeably by doing that.
Old 3rd July 2014
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brasco View Post
BUT.. if you use the satellite that way AND have a UAD TB card connected I believe the use of the FW satellite will downgrade your TB UAD card to FW speeds. They need to work at the same speeds and fw connection cant throttle upwards. Hence the downgrade (and thusly I will not be getting a satellite)
No, that is not correct. I think you mixed that up with daisychained FW400 and FW800 devices, where this would be correct.

FW and Thunderbolt can coexist without issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonharris View Post
Hi, unless something has changed I understood that the audio on the Apollo Quad does not run at Thunderbolt speed anyway? There was controversy over the fact that the audio runs at Firewire speeds in the Apollo and only the DSP takes advantage of the Thunderbolt connection . . . unless that's changed now?
Audio streams are limited to the amount of I/O on the interface, which can be handled even by USB 2.
You can have a lot more plugin-streams, especially on a Quad. This is where TB kicks in, even though FW800 should be able to handle most demands as well.
Old 3rd July 2014
  #24
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timtoonz's Avatar
If you're using Logic, I'd go for clock speed over cores, but maybe there's new data on that? In my experience, I've never seen Logic using all 8 of the cores in my system, but almost daily I get situations where it craps out because one core is overloaded. I'd rather have a 6 core 3.5 ghz Mac than a 12 core 2.8 ghz, or whatever (don't know the speeds on the 12 cores).

Depends on how many VI's you tend to run, how many audio tracks, what sample rate, etc. But I've always figured the 6 core is the best fit for Logic, at the highest clock speed you can get.
Old 4th July 2014
  #25
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Seems like 6 core is the ideal because the clock speed is just about as fast as the 4 core (3.5 vs 3.7), but you get 2 extra cores for the times when the software can use them.
Old 4th July 2014
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonharris View Post
Hi, is anyone using UAD (I have the quad satellite) with the new Mac Pro - does it work OK?
I have an OCTO in a Thunderbolt 2 Sonnet case. Works great!
Old 4th July 2014
  #27
Gear Maniac
 

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heres the link ...,

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OWC offers Mac Pro 2013 CPU and RAM upgrades
Old 4th July 2014
  #28
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T_R_S's Avatar
I had a maxed out Logic session on my 12 core then went to another studio with a core I had to disable a pile of tracks to get it to play - same results on a Pro tools session....
Old 12th August 2014
  #29
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deepinmind2001's Avatar
Exclamation New Mac Pro latency

Is there enough processing power in the 6 or 8-core nMPs to deliver near zero latency with a firewire interface. I've been using direct monitoring through my interfaces for years but I have to add effect (for my vocalist clients especially) outboard, because it's not running through the DAW (or an Apollo type setup) I'm hoping moving from a MBP to a workstation will give me some more abilities with tracking, and overdubbing while adding effects to the cue mix. That would be awesome!
Old 12th August 2014
  #30
Jus
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Jus's Avatar
I am planning to go with the 6-core, seems optimal choice in terms of what you get for money.

In years to come, I may have the cpu updated. One guy who updated his 6-core to a 10-core: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSAjk2xpIl4
I would not dare to do that by myself, though (instructions show that it is quite a complex process, not for beginners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaTEjCoqPeg )
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