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Hardware explanation, before buying...

MacPro 2013 12 core GPU CPU

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#1 Hugo

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Posted 24 November 2014 - 06:57 AM

I asked support about hardware last week and got some explanation and links (thank you for that information), I read them all and still got a few more questions. Therefore I opened this new discussion.

 

First what I have read:

http://www.formz.com...s/16/69221.html and http://www.formz.com...s/16/91672.html to find in the old forum archives.

Then here:

http://www.vtc.com/m...=MAXWELL RENDER

Hardware Considerations

 

If I am right OpenGL used in FormZ for Full Shaded uses the graphic card. The better the card, the better you can model your daily work in 3D? or...???

 

Some suggestions say it's probably better to buy the iMac 5k then a MacPro 2013, because in 32Bit it will work faster and FormZ use only 32Bit during modeling. What exactly will be faster? If I model with my old MacBook Pro 2008 model most of the work I do in FormZ can be done easily, except rendering. Is it the finder that works more snappy?

 

I am planning to buy Maxwell Render plugin as well and this program ask for the best hardware, lots of RAM, lots of GPU and CPU. Then I believe the MacPro 2013 will be the better choice. Or..???

 

The main thing I don't get is the difference in speed during modeling between a 4.0Ghz CPU with 32Gb RAM in the iMac 5k and the 2.7Ghz in the MacPro 2013 12 core 32Gb RAM. 

 

If possible I would like to understand these things before I can make the final decision to buy hardware before the end of this year.

 

Thank you all in advance.


VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#2 setz

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 10:30 AM

http://browser.prima...aseline=1015443

According to this, the iMac5k is faster at single core work by about 20%. This will show when modeling and using tools such as boolean operations and when creating hidden line renders.

The MacPro 6 core is faster by about 15% at multicore operations such as Renderzone and Maxwell.

I'm considering getting the iMac 5K because it is a great deal for the price and it has a high quality monitor included. The main drawback will be slightly longer render times. One thing to consider though is that there are rumblings of a GPU version of Maxwell existing. If this becomes available to the public, the MacPro will likely be A LOT faster at rendering due to its GPU power.

I looked for the iMac5k on Benchwell, Maxwell's benchmark site, but did not see it. I am currently running a 2012 MacPro 12 core (bought used last year for about 3k) and it is very close in performance ( 5:46 vs 5:30+\-) to the new 6 core MacPro for a lot less $$, so this is another option as well. My entry on Benchwell is "setz".

#3 Hugo

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:46 AM

setz,

 

thank you for explanation.

 

Now it makes sense to me that I know the benefit during modeling work. That makes my decision less complicated. IF buying Maxwell, then I would like to buy the top MacPro 12 core. Second hand MacPro 12 core 2012 with upgradings is not an option for me anyway.

 

Hope to hear more information about user experience (except options about old machines and upgrades). 


VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#4 jonmoore

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 12:34 PM

I'd back up everything Setz says. Other considerations before purchase would be that:

 

- Apple are likely to upgrade both iMac 5k and Mac Pro next year with the latest intel CPU revision, which is looking to be substantial according to early reports

- The i5 version of the IMac 5K isn't worth considering as it's barely powerful enough to drive the screen

- FormZ isn't very CPU intensive for the majority of modeling tasks (there are a few tools that could benefit from that 4Ghz i7 in the iMac 5K though)

- You can always add rendering power via external network nodes

- The AMD GPU's in both the new iMac and Mac Pro are currently utilised by the majority of GPU renderers (Thea, V-Ray, Octane etc).

- A maxed out Mac Pro tower may still provide the best all round solution

 

Hope this helps.



#5 ASONE

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 11:31 PM

Personally if I was using one machine for modeling AND rendering, then I would get the 6 core or 8 core Mac Pro.  The 8 core is much faster at single threaded operations (modeling) than the 12 core and close in multi threaded operations (rendering).  For the extra $1500-3000 in price difference you could pick up a 2012 Mac Mini quad core and use network rendering if you end up doing lots of renderings.  If I didn't do much modeling (or very simple modeling), but rendered all day long I would get the 12 core.

 

The graphics card will control spinning the model around and I wonder if you would even notice a difference between the iMac 5k and the Mac Pro.  I would second jonmoore and upgrade to the i7 cpu for the iMac if you can afford to do so.  

 

If you are doing lots of complicated modeling and have to wait for the machine to process the data...worth getting the fastest single threaded machine you can, which is the iMac 5k with upgraded i7 processor.  

 

The Mac Pro is much more expandable and upgradable.

 

 

v8 is now 64bit

 

http://browser.prima.../mac-benchmarks


FormZ PRO v8.5.  2017 iMac 4.0 GHz quad core i7 24MB RAM and a 2015 Macbook Pro quad core i7 16MB RAM, Modern Architecture in Boulder and Denver Colorado www.ASONEarchitecture.com 


#6 Hugo

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 04:35 AM

Well, my modeling work is based on architecture, interior and exterior, and can be complex now and then. In my signature you can read what hardware I am using at the moment. What I should do is to use my Mac mini, my yesterday bought Macbook Pro 2.8Ghz and the new to buy machine together to decrease render time. Render time is for me the bottle neck, because of certain work for a client. 


VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#7 setz

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 09:31 AM

Bummer a used machine is out of the question. While it is odd to buy a machine that is already a couple of generations obsolete, the 2012 12core tower renders Maxwell at 95% of the speed of the latest MacPro12core (at Benchwell) and the machine was $3000 vs $7000. This will change when new chips are used in the next MacPro but for now it's a good option for the price.

#8 DennisA

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Posted 27 November 2014 - 09:37 AM

setz thanks was considering updating my Mac Pro 12 core to latest. I will wait for new update... can be some time apple takes their time with MacPro updates.



#9 Justin Montoya

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Posted 01 December 2014 - 02:30 PM

I'll just echo everything else you've read here.  A Mac Pro tower is the best option.  Don't be afraid of a used tower, these towers are true workhorses with millions of hours of proven reliable runtime.  They are internally upgradable to anything you could possibly need.  The new Mac Pro cylinder should really be called the Mac Pro Video, as it is really designed around video professionals.  For us 3d designers, a tower makes much more sense.  Thunderbolt is the new Firewire, and will never receive the widespread adoption that USB 3.0 has, despite USB 3.0 being slightly slower than thunderbolt, it's still plenty fast.  

 

The Mac Pro tower is extremely upgradable.  Mine is maxed out on CPUs - (2) 6-Core Xeons 3.46ghz.  Which ties the newest 12 cores in the silly little Mac Pro cylinder in Maxwell's Benchwell for a fraction of the cost.  I added a DIY Fusion drive, and the SSD launches everything almost instantly despite being only SATA 2.  Eventually I'll upgrade to a large single drive SSD system on a PCI-Express card to it will run at SATA 3, but it's certainly not needed.  And Graphics??  Nvidia = Cuda! AND OpenCL or AMD/ATI = OpenCL only.  As 3d professionals, we will have to wait to see if one eventually completely overtakes the other, but from the looks of it, they both have enough following that they are both likely here to stay.  So that will depend on your rendering engine.  Maxwell is currently working toward CUDA accelerated rendering - https://www.facebook...152623356138905 .  Either way, this is a flexible option with the Mac Pro tower that the cylinder doesn't have.  I'm very happy with my flashed GTX 680 and it's ability to power my (3) 24" monitors from a single card without extra dongles and adapters.  With the more efficient video cards coming out, you have the option to run (2) cards if/when CUDA or OpenCL rendering works with FormZ.

 

Let me know if you need any help with one of these towers and the upgrades.  I've helped a couple other members with their purchases and upgrades and have not heard one complaint.  



#10 Hugo

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 11:29 AM

Thanks to Justin, I became enthusiastic about a 2012 12-core 3,46Ghz, 48Gb RAM, Geforce GTX 680 video CARD, 1TB SSD. Hopefully I will find one before the end of this year, because of VAT matters in my country and because it should be a business buying. Anyway...

 

If people have arguments to search for another config, please let me know, based on arguments.

 

thank you in advance.


VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#11 jonmoore

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 12:01 PM

I'd say that Justins suggestion is pretty much spot-on if you need to purchase something in the next 3 months or so. And as Justin also stated, the last generation Mac Pro towers are very upgradable so you're likely to be happy with your purchase for a few years to come.

 

If you're able to hold out for six months or so it's definitely worth seeing what happens with the next generation of the Mac Pro before finally make up your mind.



#12 Hugo

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:32 PM

The last 2 days I spend time finding a 2010-2012 model with 12-core 3.46Ghz, and there are some. Because I run my own company, it's not easy to make a decision to buy in the US because of customs tax etc. although there are some really cheap used ones.

Therefore I found in the Netherlands a 2010 12-core machine with 32Gb RAM and Geforce GTX680 video card and PCie 960 SSD 2x eSATA port for €4263,- ($5248,-) excl. 21% tax+1 year warranty.  Still a lot of money I think. The new MacPro 8-core 32Gb RAM, 2xD500, PCie 1TB SSD is €5578,- ($6868,-) excl. 21% tax. Because of reasons I have to invest before the end of this year and want to make the right decision. My old 4-core 3.2 early 2008 Mac Pro will be replaced by something new and will use the new one probably as long as I did the old Mac Pro, more then 6 years. Waiting on the new processors is difficult, we don't know when they come...

Grrrrr.... It's still difficult to spend money. ;)  


VANDENBOOMEN-ARCHITECTen...

 

MACOS 10.12 SIERRA | Form Z 8.5.7 | Vectorworks 2017 SP | AutoCad 2017 LT | Maxwell Render 4.1.x.x | Thea Render | Renderzone | Affinity Photo and Designer

Mac Pro late 2013 8-core 3.0Ghz 32Gb RAM, 2x FirePro D500 3GB | MacBook Pro Retina 15" mid 2014 i7 2.8Ghz 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce GT 750M 2Gb+Intel Iris

Mac Pro mid 2010 12-core 3,46Ghz 96Gb RAM, SSD | Mac Mini mid 2010 2,4Ghz 2-core 16Gb RAM, Nvidia GeForce 320M 256MB | Cinema Display 27" 2560x1440 | LG 31" 4K 4096x2160


#13 Tech

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:40 PM

A Performance Test file is now available here:

 

Performance Test file

 

Feel free to run the test on your computer and post the results!



#14 Prodviz

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 07:47 AM

I'd back up everything Setz says. Other considerations before purchase would be that:

 

- Apple are likely to upgrade both iMac 5k and Mac Pro next year with the latest intel CPU revision, which is looking to be substantial according to early reports

- The i5 version of the IMac 5K isn't worth considering as it's barely powerful enough to drive the screen

- FormZ isn't very CPU intensive for the majority of modeling tasks (there are a few tools that could benefit from that 4Ghz i7 in the iMac 5K though)

- You can always add rendering power via external network nodes

- The AMD GPU's in both the new iMac and Mac Pro are currently utilised by the majority of GPU renderers (Thea, V-Ray, Octane etc).

- A maxed out Mac Pro tower may still provide the best all round solution

 

Hope this helps.

Just on the GPU side, Octane does not work with Apple's AMD GPU's, only NVIDIA cards.

The guys at Chaos group also had trouble running VRAY GPU on the mac, the last I read.


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