8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 6, 2012 4:23 PM by Islanders66

    Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?

    Keith Moreau Level 1

      OK, I ordered a pretty fast PC from Amazon, kind of a no-name gaming PC but it had great specs, i7 3930 Six Core at 3.2 ghz.

       

       

      Installed a Nvidia GTX 670, did the supported cards text file hack, and Premiere Pro 5.5 on it, along with Quicktime Pro, and fonts I needed. I also installed a nifty program called X-Mouse which allowed me to customize my logitech scrolling mouse to use Premiere Pro as I also using USB Overdrive on my Mac - indispensable software.

       

       

      Got a KVM so I could use my 2 large displays currently hooked up to my Mac on the PC without totally disabling my Mac Pro 2008 8 core - it is my workhorse and I use it all the time.

       

       

      Finally got the PC somewhat functional on with Premiere Pro and even got it working with projects and media via a fast network connection. It seemed like butter vs my old Mac Pro.  My lack of being a Windows power user I'm sure was responsible for my ultimate failure at getting my Windows system, but there could be hardware issues with this particular PC as well. Ultimately it was a total pain to share projects and media that resided on my Mac. Using Premiere Pro on the PC was identical in many ways to the Mac, just faster.

       

       

      However the PC started going downhill pretty much as I got it working. It wouldn't properly reboot, always spinning in the 'Shutting Down' screen. I had to hard restart it all the time.

       

       

      Then things started to go south, probably due to system corruption from having to hard reset it. I installed a fresh OS on the other internal drive in hopes it would fix the problems, a whole new set of software to get Premiere Pro working well. Again, shutdown hangs, without any diagnostics other than windows coming up at the hard restart saying there was a problem with the previous shutdown, and wiping out a lot of stuff each time. Then in hopes of curing the ills, a reformat of the drives, reinstallation of Windows 7 Pro, and then the ability to actually install the OS. 2 reformatted drives that cannot b installed with OS. Epic failure. The replacement is on the way.

       

       

      But this being said, the amount of time in order to make this environment 'cross platform' as well as the indiocyncracies of Windows (to me, I'm not bashing Windows - it seems to be a fine OS!)  makes me rethinking the PC for Premiere Pro switch.

       

       

      I realize the current Mac Pros are basically obsolete, however, MY Mac Pro really is, it's from 2008 and not the fastest model from that era (2.8ghz 8 core, non threading Xeon.)

       

       

      Investigating "new" Mac Pros, I can get a 6 Core 3.3 ghz threading Mac Pro plus 32GB of RAM for about $3,500. I can get a 12 Core 3.09 ghz for $6,700 and a refurb 2.93ghz with 32GB for about $5,700. The Windows PC with everything I need is in the $4K range. I don't need any new peripherals to make it a direct replacement for my current Mac Pro, all PCI, peripherals will just work. I'm familiar with the OS, and all my apps and plugins will work, no KVM necessary, no cross platform issues. Just not as cost effective as the PC and perhaps slower.

       

       

      However...

       

       

      Disregarding the cost, my time is valuable and I probably spend a good 3 solid days getting something non functional to work. There will be continual inefficiencies because I'm not a Windows shop, and I don't foresee this.

       

       

      Will any 'new' Mac Pro, regardless of the cost, get me to the speed using Premiere Pro of this 6 core 3.2ghz i7 3930K? If I get the answer that the Mac 12 core will get me there, it may be a viable option. If the 6 core will get me 80% there, it might be the 'best buy' option.

       

       

      Thanks for any advice, really!

       

       

      -Keith

        • 1. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          The basic problem you face is that it appears you have limited computer literacy. That is not meant in a derogatory way, just a simple stating of facts.

           

          So what is wise? Get a custom builder make you a good machine for a reasonable amount of money. I suggest you contact http://www.adkvideoediting.com/ and ask for Eric Bowen. He is a superb guy, knows his business and can give you fantastic advise on whether a MAC or a PC would be better for you, given your workflow. You avoid the trouble setting up your own system, you get a system that only needs a wall outlet to start editing without any hassle and you get great support.

          • 2. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
            Keith Moreau Level 1

            Hi Harm

             

            In my past life I have also been a software and embedded systems developer for both Windows and Mac, Linux and VXworks for 25 years, I know you are much more expert than me on Windows, but I'm no computer newbie, so please think twice before assuming and publicly stating that people posting problems with their Windows systems are computer novices, which I have seen is your tendancy. It could perhaps get you on bad terms with them

             

            However, you have been one of the most helpful people on this forum and I appreciate all you have done for the community, so no hard feelings.

             

            My problem is I don't want to spend a lot of time right becoming a Windows power user as I am with the Mac. I want the PC to be a effective Premiere Pro applicance, like a vacuum cleaner or washing machine. I don't want to have to know how to repair the motor when it does't turn on, and I approached my evaluation this way. I would say that I am a computer guru, and if this happens to me, it can and will happen to others less technical than me. I did nothing that I would need to do to any computer. Install a graphics card, drivers, follow the easy windows installers (which I like a lot.)

             

            The reason I purchased the PC from Amazon was to test the waters without committing to it. If I go with a custom builder, I am committed to a $3K purchase, really, and a PC workflow.

            • 3. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Keith,

               

              I owe you an apology for misplaced assumptions, but I hope you can understand from reading your post, it is easy to make the assumptions I did based on statements like:

               

              Then things started to go south, probably due to system corruption from having to hard reset it. I installed a fresh OS on the other internal drive in hopes it would fix the problems, a whole new set of software to get Premiere Pro working well. Again, shutdown hangs, without any diagnostics other than windows coming up at the hard restart saying there was a problem with the previous shutdown, and wiping out a lot of stuff each time. Then in hopes of curing the ills, a reformat of the drives, reinstallation of Windows 7 Pro, and then the ability to actually install the OS. 2 reformatted drives that cannot b installed with OS. Epic failure.

               

              This definitely is not normal behavior, but OTOH does not give us much to help you resolve the issues at play here. What does Event Viewer show in terms of warnings or errors? Do you have any anti-something software running that may cause problems? AVG is a name to come to mind. What are the details on your hardware?  Any other relevant details you want to share.

              • 4. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                I believe what Harm was stating is building a PC/System and Supporting a system, especially an X79 platform system are 2 completely different animals. If you asked me to write an application for an embedded system for medical use, I would look at you clueless regardless of the amount of time I have been in the industry and the scope of my experience.

                 

                A 12 Core Mac Pro with the correct Video card and 32GB of ram will handle about any codec out to date. It will not be the best performing nor will it give you the most cost effective options for configuration. If you buy one of those Mac Pro's you are buying a platform that is end of life and out of date. It's up to you or any editor to decide if that is still worth the price. If the use of the OS is worth it to you then that may be the way you want to go. However, If you really decide to go that route, is there a real great need for you to upgrade your current Mac Pro to the 12 Core right now? If not why not wait some time and see what Apple does. Regardless of rumors Apple often suprise's allot of people including myself even if its half the time bad news. It may be worth the wait.

                 

                BTW as a side note. If the system will not shut down correctly then either a driver or service cannot close or terminate. Most of the time that is related to USB devices. I would highly recommend you take that KVM out of the mix and remove any other USB devices you don't need. Also make sure you don't have any Input devices on the USB3 controller.

                 

                Eric

                ADK

                • 5. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
                  Keith Moreau Level 1

                  Thanks Eric and Harm for the helpful answers. I was hoping that Windows 7 had evolved to the point where knowning and using some of the troubleshooting techniques that Harm mentioned would not have to be necessary. I do have the ability / skill, etc, but not necessarily the desire to troubleshoot, but was kind of hoping that I wouldn't need to get to this level on such a simple installation, really it was just CS 5.5 and Video drivers. It is very possible the KVM was blocking on the USB request. This occasionally will happen with a hung device on Mac OS X and firewire, but usually it times out after a while. However there have been those odd times where I needed to unplug everything and even do a NVRAM reset on the Mac to get it back. This is pretty rare though. I even have my Mac set to 'verbose mode' which leaves the unix console up on boot and shutdown so I can track offending things like this. Maybe there is a Windows equivalent to this, which would have been helpful. Knowing that there might be some request that wasn't returning, I left Windows in this state for hours, it never got back. I had no choice but to hard restart it. I didn't examine logs and such, though I could have. I just want it to work or to fail gracefully, and not fail in such a way that makes it unusable and unrecoverable without in depth troubleshooting. I also have to use the KVM, without it I can't possibly use the system. So if the KVM makes the PC hang, then I can't use the PC. It doesn't make my Mac hang.

                   

                  I am also quite positive that ADK's systems would have been a lot more robust and their emergency DVD's would have actually been able to help me as well as their expert tech support. I also appreciate that though Eric and ADK are a business, that the advice you have provided to me is just helpful and agnostic. This goes a long way to pushing my next PC purchase in the ADK direction!

                   

                  Getting back to my original question, which was not one of troubleshooting Windows PC's though that advice is helpful...

                   

                  Seems like a 12-Core Mac would allow me to edit well. I can edit right now with my 2008 Mac Pro 8 Core with 24GB RAM and 240GB SSD and Quadro 4000 and numerous internal and external RAIDs, but just scrubbing AVCHD I see all 8 processors go to nearly 100 % utilization and it's laggy. Not the best editing experience. If I have a few AVCHDs overlaid, which I do, it's almost unusable. As the Premiere Pro project gets bigger and more complex, it seems that everything gets slower. I have no scientific basis for this but I think it's true. It doesn't have to be just the sequence I'm working on, it seems to be even navigating simple sequences will be laggier if in a larger complex Premiere Pro project file.

                   

                  On the Windows PC i7, for the few hours it was functioning, I was able to scrub AVCHD 1080P footage over a gigabit ethernet like butter.  I was pleased with this. It was a very simple 1 track sequence, however. I didn't have a chance to try it with more complex projects before it was unusable.

                   

                  Would I get smooth performance from a Mac Pro 6 Core, which is $2,500 less than the 12 core? From the basic Mac benchmarking I see, I see a 'rating' of 14000 for the Mac Pro 6 Core, and around 9000 for my current Mac Pro 8 core. This is about 50% more. I don't think 50% is going to get me to 'butter.'

                   

                  Thanks again for all the helpful advice, Harm and Eric.

                   

                  -Keith

                  • 6. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
                    Islanders66 Level 1

                    I built my own PC and haven't had any problems. If it were me I would send it back right away as DOA. This is the first post that a compter simply doesn't work. You could toss together your own system in one night. Purchase the components from places that have a return policy just incase.

                     

                     

                    Edit: are you sure its not the graphics card? If its hacked it really isn't supported, it's still a hack. And all that other Mac stuff, not sure if that is causing a problem. Did you try these changes one at a time to see if they were causing a problem? Good luck, hope you solve the problem.

                    • 7. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                      I would not bother upgrading to the 6 Core from the 8 Core. The performance gain from the ram bandwidth increase alone is not enough to justify the cost. I would either look at the 12 Core, PC, or wait for further Apple releases/future announcements.

                       

                      Eric

                      ADK

                      • 8. Re: Obsolete new "Mac Pro" vs Windows 6 Core 3930K PC - What should I expect?
                        Islanders66 Level 1

                        I'm sure Eric could get your computer sorted out in no time. In the last year reading these post several people who were advanced editors ran into trouble with adding components on that cause a conflict, ie loading down the PCI lanes ect. I also think ADK, and Eric, would be ideal for support and resolving these kind of issues. At the present time I have to build my own and everything is fully supported, thus no conflicts. However if I start getting real busy I would justify the additonal support. Even all those troublesom gottcha conflicts between Mac and PC, it would be nice to send an email for support or tips. Anyway, I'm intterested in the workflow between the Mac and PC. Hope you get it all sorted out.