December 19, 2014, 09:25:48 PM

Author Topic: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)  (Read 4730 times)

RGF

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Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« on: December 29, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »
I am thinking of buying the new Mac Pro (2013) for Photoshop work.  Wondering what configuration is "best" for PS and LR cc.

4 vs 6 cores - leaning towards 6 cores
32 GB Ram - occasionally work on files with large number of layers or 16x48 pans.  Total size on disk is top 2GB.
GPU - base 300 or upgrade to 500?  Monitors will be current spectra view 25" and 23" (not 4K)

Nearly zero video editing

does this make sense?  What about the GPU?  Recommendations?

Thanks

Rich

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Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« on: December 29, 2013, 11:18:55 AM »

Harry Muff

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 02:30:58 AM »
Simple. The highest spec you can afford, with an emphasis on RAM.
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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 07:55:41 AM »
I'd get the six core system with the dual d300s and 32gb of ram.

leGreve

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 11:35:07 AM »
Simple. The highest spec you can afford, with an emphasis on RAM.

A little note here.... Dont specc it with Apple components. Every single part is now proven to be user replaceable except the video cards.
So Id go 6-core, base ram but buy 48gb ram from somewhere else (cc can use 6gb ram pr core and you need to save 25% for background processes), find out if the SSD is already available in stores, dual 500s.

In case you ever fall in love with 12-core even that is replaceble. Just make sure to get the same one apple is stocking.

That would be sweet photo editor. Add a hefty raid setup if you do video.
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RGF

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 12:18:41 PM »
Simple. The highest spec you can afford, with an emphasis on RAM.

A little note here.... Dont specc it with Apple components. Every single part is now proven to be user replaceable except the video cards.
So Id go 6-core, base ram but buy 48gb ram from somewhere else (cc can use 6gb ram pr core and you need to save 25% for background processes), find out if the SSD is already available in stores, dual 500s.

In case you ever fall in love with 12-core even that is replaceble. Just make sure to get the same one apple is stocking.

That would be sweet photo editor. Add a hefty raid setup if you do video.

interesting ..  I checked with OWC and they told me that they only had RAM.  Not much different for 32GB (vs Apple price) but real saving at 64GB.  500 GB SSD is "only" $300 more than the 256 GB but the 1 TB adds $800 over the 256GB.

If I can find a less expensive SSD that would be great.  Where are dual 500 available?

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 12:29:07 PM »
On something like the Mac Pro I would not waste money on extra internal SSD space, better to spend that $800 on the processor and Ram.  I have 1TB of flash storage on my Mac Book Pro because it's a laptop and now  only machine, but on my last Mac Pro I ran 256GB SSD and a 1TB Hard Drive.

privatebydesign

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 01:46:08 PM »
Many parts might, technically, be user replaceable, but the firmware needed to make it work is not necessarily available and the component cost is currently crazy.

I am looking to get a Mac Pro later this year but at this point I am happy to get a reworked "old style" 12 core 3.?? for under $4,000. Simple user upgrades, no firmware issues and not cost prohibitive. You can upgrade them to at least seven internals, 128GB RAM, etc etc, I don't need to pay through the nose for a graphics card that can run six screens effortlessly, or four 4K screens, I can't afford one 4K screen yet! I am sure they have a market for high end video and graphics pros, animation studios and special effects houses will buy them by the dozen, but that isn't what I need to work 4-5GB .PSB files and even when we inevitably go to 30+ MP, I still won't.

For a photographer the only thing Thunderbolt does better than SATA is lighten their wallet.

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 01:46:08 PM »

ksagomonyants

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2014, 06:04:51 PM »
I don't know the exact answer to your question but I can share my experience. I have Macbook Pro laptop (not Mac Pro) from 2011, 2.3 Ghz i7, 8 Gb DDR3 (1333 Mhz) and 500 Gb SSD drive. I'm finishing my PhD in Biomedical Sciences/Pediatric Dentistry, and sometimes I'm taking 20x20 composite images using the microscope and Zeiss software. The size of some files often exceeds 2 Gb and I've never had any issues opening these files. Same is with the time-lapse files, which have the size ~150 gb. Never had any issues. It takes less than 10 sec to open any file. I could be wrong but I think that Mac Pro is overkill for just Photoshop, even if you're taking panoramic images. But I'd love to have one  ;)

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2014, 01:35:13 AM »
I have to agree with ksagomonyants. The new Mac Pro is slightly overkill for most Photoshop work. About 1/3 of the price you pay for the Mac Pro is for the workstation grade graphics adapters. Any OpenCL enabled adapter will greatly enhance your Photoshop experience, even Intel 4000 graphics. IMO, the difference between a $150 graphics card and a $1500 one is not significant enough to justify the additional expense. On top of that, according to Adobe, Photoshop will not even utilize the second graphics adapter in the Mac Pro. If you are intent on buying one, opt for 6 cores and 32GB of RAM with the lowest end graphics option. The limited internal storage is not as big of an issue as most make it out to be. There are 6 thunderbolt 2 ports. Thunderbolt is basically an extension of a PCI express lane. Any external drives or SSDs connected to these ports will be just as fast as an internally mounted drive. You will see zero difference in speed or latency.

privatebydesign

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2014, 09:10:14 AM »
It isn't the speed pf additional storage, it is the cost. In the old model with four internal bays it cost nothing other than the drive to expand or upgrade, now a comparable speed four bay Thunderbolt housing is $700-2,000 EXTRA.  Why would anybody feel comfortable butting $150 drives in an $800 housing?

gbchriste

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2014, 10:38:52 AM »
I'd love to have all the horsepower of a Mac Pro.  The "sexy" factor is undeniably appealing.  But for straightforward photo editing it really is overkill.  I have a 2009-era iMac with a 2.X-something, quad core processor and 4 GB of RAM and it handles pretty much anything I throw at.  Granted I'm not trying to push a dozen 5DIII-size files around in PS all at the same time.  But LR gives me no problems at all, and taking 3 or 4 images simultaneously from LR to PS for edits and back again is painless.

If I had the money and nothing else I needed to spend it on, I'd probably be all over a Mac Pro.  But maxing out processor and RAM for bread-and-butter photo editing wouldn't be a compelling factor.

The one advantage the Mac Pro does bring, even though it's extra cost, is the requirement for an external monitor.  The iMac built-in monitor is very, very difficult to calibrate.  Out of the box it is nuclear, surface-of-the-sun bright and super contrasty.  Shadows and black areas get very easily blocked and clipped on it.  The flexibility to pair a Mac Pro with a different primary monitor would be very nice indeed.

7enderbender

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2014, 02:18:56 PM »
I'm no expert and I have no idea what exactly you are doing overall in in PS in particular. But I would argue that you don't need a Mac Pro. I just bought a slightly tricked out Mac Mini (i7, SSD, 8GB) and I have no doubt that the thing will do anything I can possibly throw at it. And my main application for that machine is going to be LR, PS and a bunch of audio recording stuff (which is a lot more demanding than what I would ever do in photoshop).

Just for laughs and giggles: the Mini is replacing my 10 year old designated desktop PC which is a Pentium 4 with 4GB (3 of which are usable) - and even that thing was still workable within reason.

So far I've been doing most of my photo editing on my old IBM T60 laptop (which has a wonderful hi res screen by the way - too bad they stopped making those). That one's from 2007. Even that handles several files with multiple layers if need be.

Don't get me wrong. If money was no issue I would most certainly have the latest version of Darth Vader's trash can. Just because. But I would argue that very few people actually need it in this day and age.
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RGF

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »
Thanks for the comments.

If I get everyone's comment correctly, 6 core processor, I'll go w/ minimal memory and buy from OWC (lower cost).  Either 32GB or 64GB.  I'll price 2 x16GB sims.

As far as SSD, I am still leaning toward 512 but will consider sticking with 256

Thanks again

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2014, 03:23:15 PM »

cayenne

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2014, 03:41:51 PM »
I am thinking of buying the new Mac Pro (2013) for Photoshop work.  Wondering what configuration is "best" for PS and LR cc.

4 vs 6 cores - leaning towards 6 cores
32 GB Ram - occasionally work on files with large number of layers or 16x48 pans.  Total size on disk is top 2GB.
GPU - base 300 or upgrade to 500?  Monitors will be current spectra view 25" and 23" (not 4K)

Nearly zero video editing

does this make sense?  What about the GPU?  Recommendations?

Thanks

Rich

While I'll be doing more video that you...with the lack of upgradeability of the mac pro, I'd take into consideration of getting all you can afford.

I spec'ed out mine and was going for the max on GPU, 6 cores...the 500GB internal drive (can be user replaced I believe at later time)...and 16GB or so RAM which also can be upgraded by user, although in this case Apple doesn't seem to be gouging on factory ram as it did in the old days.

I've hear rumors you *might* could upgrade the CPU yourself, but I've not confirmed that yet.  But for the GPU, since they are soldered into the thing, I'd max it out on purchase.

Even photoshop and other Adobe products are really utilizing the GPU's..so, if you're at all 'artsy' and wanna use any type graphics tools, I'd max out the GPU on this thing.

HTH,

cayenne

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 03:50:54 PM »
I am thinking of buying the new Mac Pro (2013) for Photoshop work.  Wondering what configuration is "best" for PS and LR cc.

4 vs 6 cores - leaning towards 6 cores
32 GB Ram - occasionally work on files with large number of layers or 16x48 pans.  Total size on disk is top 2GB.
GPU - base 300 or upgrade to 500?  Monitors will be current spectra view 25" and 23" (not 4K)

Nearly zero video editing

does this make sense?  What about the GPU?  Recommendations?

Thanks

Rich

While I'll be doing more video that you...with the lack of upgradeability of the mac pro, I'd take into consideration of getting all you can afford.

I spec'ed out mine and was going for the max on GPU, 6 cores...the 500GB internal drive (can be user replaced I believe at later time)...and 16GB or so RAM which also can be upgraded by user, although in this case Apple doesn't seem to be gouging on factory ram as it did in the old days.

I've hear rumors you *might* could upgrade the CPU yourself, but I've not confirmed that yet.  But for the GPU, since they are soldered into the thing, I'd max it out on purchase.

Even photoshop and other Adobe products are really utilizing the GPU's..so, if you're at all 'artsy' and wanna use any type graphics tools, I'd max out the GPU on this thing.

HTH,

cayenne

For 32GB Apple and OWC are similar in price (OWC is around $75-100 lower price).  For 64GB OWC is much cheaper.

The whole GPU is a mystery to me.  For "straight" still photos the base GPU may be the best bet ???

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Re: Reco Config for Mac Pro (2013)
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2014, 03:50:54 PM »