So people have been asking for performance comparisons with Adobe on the new 12 Core Mac Pro's. We finally had one come through the queue that I am working on today. The performance results are interesting. The Mac Pro main config is as follows:
2x 2.93GHz CPU's
32GB DDR3 1600 Ram
1x Mac 1TB OS Drive
3x WD 1TB 64 Meg Cache Drives(2 drives in raid 0)
I am using the same 4 layer AVCHD 1080P24 project we used for benchmarks listed on our website back when the 5.0.1 was the current version. Keep this in mind since 5.0.2 has improved performance across the board on all platforms so the times listed there would be longer than what they are now with 5.0.2. I just have not had the chance to redo them yet. Shhh don't remind Scott please
Obviously right off the bat the lack of an Nvidia card forces the Mac to use the Software MPE. How important this is is very telling based on the results I am seeing.
1. The multithreading issues that have plagued OSX and the software as well such as Final Cut have been fixed with Adobe. Adobe is now threading across all 12 physical cores and the 12 logical Hyperthreading cores. This now puts the Mac in the same realm as the PC and Win 7 with regards to CPU performance and Adobe.
2. The Ram usage is much higher on the Mac Pro for this Project than I have seen on the PC. The Ram allocation was over 22GB used when the project was opened on OSX versus 9GB to 12GB on the single I7 PC systems and 15GB to 17GB on the Dual Xeons. It looks like the ram optimizations that have been done on the PC side have not been done on the Mac side. The next observation will explain.
3. The realtime playback now with this 4 Layer Project was not good at full resolution at all. The playback stuttered more often than not and would definitely not be acceptable to edit. The Half resolution playback was fine and did not show any issues. During playback at full resolution all 24 CPU cores were at 90% or higher which is significant improvement. What this also means is the lack of optimizations in the ram is likely hurting the playback along with the lack of an approved Nvidia video card for acceleration. We had a P55 I7 870 system with a 460GTX video card and 8GB of ram up on the bench playing the exact same project at full scale without any issues at the same time. This shows you that even the full threading of the Dual Xeons and 32 GB of Ram cannot overcome the lack of the Nvidia card.
4. The Export times obviously are what many want to know and this was really surprising. This seemed to point to the overall performance drawbacks on the Mac combining to seriously slow performance on Export times. We export to the same H264 1080P24 Preset every time we run this benchmark. The Mac took 115 minutes (1 hour and 55 minutes) to export this out. These are the times we recorded with the different PC configurations with Adobe's 5.0.1 which is slower than the 5.0.2 out now and used on this Mac Pro:
980X at 4.0GHz - 4 Layer - 46:24 AMD Phenom 2 6 1090T at 4.03GHz - 4 Layers - 46:42 Dual Xeon X5680 CPU's at 4.0GHz - 4 Layer - 34:47 Dual Xeon X5680 CPU's at 3.33GHz - 4 Layer - 41:09 Dual Xeon X5640 CPU's at 3.8GHz - 4 Layer - 35:43
980X at 4.0GHz - 4 Layer - 46:24
AMD Phenom 2 6 1090T at 4.03GHz - 4 Layers - 46:42
Dual Xeon X5680 CPU's at 4.0GHz - 4 Layer - 34:47
Dual Xeon X5680 CPU's at 3.33GHz - 4 Layer - 41:09
Dual Xeon X5640 CPU's at 3.8GHz - 4 Layer - 35:43
ADK 9000 Laptop 980X at 3.33GHz - 4 Layer - 80:43
980X at 3.33GHz with 285GTX Video card - 4 Layers - 52:46 As you can see even the AMD exported more than twice as fast as the 12 Core Mac Pro with this exact same project using Adobe 5.0.1 rather than 5.0.2. The 9000 laptop exported faster than the Mac Pro. Pretty much any PC that was configured for Adobe considerably outperformed the Mac Pro on this test. So you can see now there have been considerable improvements on the Mac side with multithreading and Hyperthreading support but they still don’t bridge the current Gap. If Apple can work out an arrangement with one of the Nvidia card manufacturers again then this may change. Unfortunately right now the lack of an Nvidia card is hurting the Mac Pro to much to justify the cost considering a $2000 system can outperform this over $8000 configuration by more than double. I hope that helps. Eric ADK
980X at 3.33GHz with 285GTX Video card - 4 Layers - 52:46
As you can see even the AMD exported more than twice as fast as the 12 Core Mac Pro with this exact same project using Adobe 5.0.1 rather than 5.0.2. The 9000 laptop exported faster than the Mac Pro. Pretty much any PC that was configured for Adobe considerably outperformed the Mac Pro on this test. So you can see now there have been considerable improvements on the Mac side with multithreading and Hyperthreading support but they still don’t bridge the current Gap. If Apple can work out an arrangement with one of the Nvidia card manufacturers again then this may change. Unfortunately right now the lack of an Nvidia card is hurting the Mac Pro to much to justify the cost considering a $2000 system can outperform this over $8000 configuration by more than double. I hope that helps.
I could've probably guess the results.
I can do FCP(which I do faster) and PP, but the rest of the crew does PP.
I'm not gonna make us waste money on a system that slows down the majority.
Until they(Apple) get their *mess* straight, I'm denouncing my fanboy status.
Dual Xeon X5680 CPU's at 3.33GHz - 4 Layer - 41:09 $7891
Dual Xeon X5640 CPU's at 3.8GHz - 4 Layer - 35:43 $6000
Dual Xeon X5640 CPU's at 3.8GHz - 4 Layer - 35:43 $6000
Mac Pro - 4 layer - 1:55:00(115Minutes) - $8199
Prices listed from using our configurators and not the Apple Store
Well it's not so much Apple, it's the combination of Apple and Adobe. Premiere is really designed for windows, and the port over isn't perfect. That and the lack of hardware MPE in this comparison really makes a huge impact. Although the fact that the mac version uses twice the ram is a bit strange.
In your windows benchmarks is MPE enabled? If so what card are you running?
I just wonder how much of the difference is the Mac vs Windows platform, and how much of it is just a lack of MPE. It will be interesting to see how it changes once the Quadro 4000 is out for mac. As of right now though, I think it's pretty clear that the Mac is a waste of money if you are only going to be running Adobe Products. (Which is actually a debate I'm having with people at work right now).
Yes the MPE is enabled on the Windows systems and the difference is significant as you see. I have a 980X system that I am retesting right now with the 5.0.2 update. When I am done, I will test again with the MPE off just to get accurate information to post here.
The ram allocation is not strange if you have seen the progression from launch till the current version. The Ram usage on the PC side has been lowering after each update which means the updates included ram optimizations that evidently are not showing on the Mac side.
The video cards used in the PC's listed above were the 470GTX and 480GTX cards.
BTW I would not hold your breath on the Quadro 4000 for the Mac side. I believe there is allot more to why Apple removed the Nvidia cards from the new 12Core Mac's than what they have officially stated. We will just have to wait and see on that. Maybe the current disagreement between the 2 parties is worse than reported
Yeah, it will just be interesting to see not only the pc vs mac difference but a real world test of MPE on and off (I know PPMB5 shows this, but more is always better).
Has the ram use become that much more optimized on the PC side? Optimization is one thing but to cut use in half is incredible. I havn't had a chance to pay much attention to that type of stuff, I build a new 12 core for work but I deal more with the tech side of stuff than the actual editing.
Believe me, I'm not holding my breath for the quadro 4000 for mac, we're in the middle of a huge shift away from mac over to windows with all of our machines here at work for web, print and video.
I've bought two Mac Pros 12cores with Quadro 4800 cards. Now, would you guys say that I did a bad choice, instead of buying lets say the Z800?
I am running FCP and Avid aswell, so by having a Mac I'll get the possibility to choose the tool more easy. But if I would only go for CS5, is Mac not the best plattform?
Well when I asked our Apple contact who asked one of the engineers, the Nvidia cards had not been tested nor would they be supported on the 12 Core Mac Pro's. We never tested it ourselves because you can't return the Quadro cards. I would be interested in knowing if it does without issues.
Nvidia cards had not been tested nor would they be supported on the 12 Core Mac Pro's.
*dies a little on the inside*
I should have seen this coming... most of the Apple software I use(d) ran better with ATI cards. Especially Motion.
Well glad we just officially decided to move over to PC for all editing machines.
Seems like Apple is shooting themselves in the foot a bit, I mean unless they have some big surprises in store with ATI and FCP.
I really appreciate you taking the time to run these comparisons.
"The Mac took 115 minutes (1 hour and 55 minutes) to export this out."
Yikes!! I wonder how long Final Cut 32 bit would take on this Mac to complete the above export?
Unfortunately the client did not have me install and configure Final Cut or I would have tested that to. The Demo we have in house is a single and not a dual so no real point is testing that. If I get another order soon then I will test it.
Thanks for posting!
After having spent HOURS looking for non-benchmarks that simply count boot-up seconds, real numbers are better.
I am sticking with Windows on my Macs at this point... Apple needs to convince Adobe to spend more time updating the OS X versions. And not by yelling; Steve Jobs is in record saying how badmouthing doesn't get people anywhere.
(And as Jobs, also on record badmouthing Java in 2007, is now fully supporting Java, I will be more inclined to migrate back to OS X if they assist Adobe with the Flash performance issues, which don't exist on Windows... )
Well it looks like Nvidia released the Quadro 4000 after all. Although it's $400 more than it's Windows only counterpart.
Ah sorry, didn't realize that page didn't list it.
Engadget had a brief article on it with the listed MSRP. Oh and correction that's $1,199.00 not $1100.
I saw this here today:
It will be interesting to see how a fully loaded Mac Pro with the Quadro 4000 compares (Premiere MPE) with a 980X or dual Xeon PC.
Doesn't the less expensive GTX 480 outperform the Quadro 4000 in an Adobe MPE benchmark?
Yes the GTX470/480 outperform the Quadro 4000, but I highly doubt you will ever see those come Mac side.
The Quadro 4000 is still a great card for MPE, and it's lower power, single slot and runs cooler than the GTX cards which can be a big benefit in workstation environments, but it does cost substantially more.
But going from a complete lack of Fermi MPE compatible cards, it's good for those who are on Mac.
After Effects renders, with multiprocessing enabled, are remarkably inconsistent for me.
I'm running a 12 core 2.93Ghz Mac Pro with 32GB of RAM and a 6TB internal RAID and my results have been disappointing to say the least.
When you hit the render button it will start out rendering fast and then after about 5 or 6 minutes the render will slow to a crawl. I have adjusted the multiprocessing settings in every conceivable way. I have toyed with turning off hyper-thyreading, which has produced slightly better results.
I've been watching the load on the processors during rendering and have been completely frustrated by the drop offs and long delays.
In the most extreme case a render that took over half an hour during one test, completed in 5 minutes after a reboot of the system and shutting down hyper-threading on the processors. Even after all that rendering will still eventually slow to a pace slower than you can do without multiprocessing enabled.
I have an open ticket with adobe about the issue and am still waiting for a response.
File this under the "You've got to be kidding me!" section.
I submitting my issue to Adobe tech support. I jumped thru all of their hoops. When they called me back I wasted another hour of my time running a render test for them of a single still frame! I explained calmly that what we just did had in no way recreated my issue. Support said they would get back to me with more information soon. All things told, from the day I opened my issue I waited patiently for over a month. Forty one days later I get a call saying they have some steps for me that could help me resolve my issue. I was not at work when they called. I said great please email me the pertinent information and I will go over it when I am back at work.
Well I'm back at work today. The information they gave me was a generic "how to optimize After Effects" article from the support section of the Adobe web site. Really? 41 days to send me an article I found on my own months before I contacted support in the first place? Seriously? At this rate I will be using Adobe CS10, by then time somebody gets around taking my issue seriously.
Thanks a lot Adobe. I guess I'm on my own on this one.
Here is the article they sent me to. Who knows, maybe this information will come in handy to somebody?
Cairo23, any luck with this?
I'm trying to "optimize my system" by doing memory and multithreading benchmarks but the results are completely unpredictable when I don't use "multiple frames simultaneously." My results are fast sometimes, slow others. When I do use "Render multiple frames simultaneously" my times are consistant but generally slower. So strange.
Here's my configuration.
Mac Pro OS Mountain Lion
After Effects CS6 (all updates)
2x3.46 ghz 6-core intel xeon
64gb of RAM
nvidea geforce gtx 570 open cl / cuda enabled
Crazy Raid 1400 R & W 1400mb/s
Such a shame that this much power goes no where with these products! Come on Adobe and Apple!?
Such a shame that this much power goes no where with these products! Come on Adobe and Apple!?
Here's the problem:
The current Mac Pros sold directly from Apple are all now two years old. As such, they are all powered by CPUs that are now two generations old and obsolete, and the GPUs that they come with are now also two generations old and obsolete. There have been unconfirmed rumors of a new Mac Pro with Ivy Bridge CPUs, but they have not appeared thus far.
Here's the problem:
The current Mac Pros sold directly from Apple are all now two years old.
Talk about necro-posting, holy...
Your stance about "the problem" isn't really accurate when you look carefully at Seastage's machine. He's modified his Mac Pro (similarly to what I've done) with much faster Xeons. Yes, they are still last generation's Xeons, but they're nothing to sneeze at.
He also has a reasonably powerful nVidia card in his rig. The GTX570 is a decent card.
The issue is that Adobe's software isn't able to push all of the cores. If the machine itself were too slow and CPU-bound like you suggest, then he (and I) would expect to see the CPU loads on our machines go to 100% and stay there while working through Premiere Pro. Simply put: that never happens. We're lucky to get 50% load, if that.
There is a serious case of diminishing returns with Adobe software and large numbers of cores. The same applies to Photoshop. It seems that once the core count gets over 6 or so, things just don't really happen as quickly as they should. Almost as if the software is spending too much time trying to switch contexts (always an expensive endeavor) vs doing real work.
In this case, it's not Apple's fault... as much as everyone likes to blame them.
The issue is that Adobe's software isn't able to push all of the cores.
I have heard differently. From what I have heard this is a limitation of the OS, that just sucks with multi-core and hyper-threading. It is not really relevant whether Apple or Adobe is to blame, it is a fact that you have to live with if you want to use a Mac. Luckily it is a free choice for everyone to make.
Harm Millaard wrote:
Luckily it is a free choice for everyone to make.
Isn't that something everybody knows by default?
There is a problem, a person asked for help. If the problem is Apple and/or Adobe's, now they know about it. Whether or not they believe they have a responsibility is the issue here. And, just as luckily, we depend on them for free support.
Harm Millaard wrote:
I have heard differently. From what I have heard this is a limitation of the OS, that just sucks with multi-core and hyper-threading.
You've heard wrong Harm. There are plenty of pieces of software out there (some written by Apple) that will pin all of the available cores to 100% on a Mac. The much-hated Quicktime Pro is one example, off the top of my head.
Again, I have to ask that you be careful of getting involved in discussions in which you don't have a good grasp of the concepts involved. You're considered a decent source of information on these forums, but you generally tend to mislead people when it comes to Macs.
Stick to your PCs and Windows, please.
I agree with that, but it requires a distinction between PC and Mac forums. As soon as I see Mac, I generally skip the question completely and it would be very helpful to have a separate Mac forum, so I don't need to read those questions at all.
Unfortunately I don't have this "free choice." My employer is adamant about macs. I will run ppbm and post results. Premiere is ridiculously fast but I've been disappointed with After Effects.
What about RAM for Ae? Is there such a thing as faster ram? AE seems to use RAM quite a bit. Am I right to assume it bottlenecks based on speed? I know it's got enough headroom size-wise -64gb- in my tests. Or is it motherboard woes?
I will also re-run tests. I've got red footage and optical flares in the mix. Wondering if either of those could cause inconsistency.
Also, anyone use macvidcards Quadro 6000? Any success with that? I'd like AE to work a little faster. Premiere is crashing a lot too. So I've got headaches galore. Money for nuthin? Helpful or Harmful?
I do kinda see how Apple was mega super mad at Adobe after CS4 for their CUDA stuff. They tried to sue them over it by the way and got absolutely nowhere in court. The overall media coverage of that situation basically painted a picture of them as a whiney little kid that didn't get their way, which helped their image even more, lol. When a little GT440 can render some things 7x faster than a dual Xeon web server (or any Mac too) on the benchmark charts, that does sort of make up people's minds on which to buy At least Apple still has those unbearable Mac fanboys that will disregard all reason and go with Apple no matter what because they got sucked into their black hole of marketing, claiming they're the best. They're just shiny and overpriced.
By the way, even before the CUDA fiasco, most video codecs used for exporting/encoding were optimized for the particular way that Windows handles everything from hard drive I/O to memory operations. They just sort of made it work on Apple OSes but didn't fine tune it to be perfect. But, since Apple is obsesses with their own terrible Quicktime-related formats, nobody is surprised that no effort was put into making other ones run better.