23 Replies Latest reply on Feb 9, 2014 8:53 PM by Trevor.Dennis

    Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?

    mozzzaaa

      Hi all,

      I couldn't find a reliable answer to how much of an effect the new quad core CPU vs the 6, 8 or 12 core CPUs would have on photo-processing, hence why I'm posting it here instead of the Apple forum.

       

      I'm going to buy and upgrade to the new mac pro when it's announced this month (Dec 2013).  My primary use will be photo processing in photoshop CS6.

       

      Configuring it with 64gb RAM is the no-brainer part. And probably a 512gb or 1TB PCI-e flash drive too.

       

      The bit I'm unsure about is whether to opt for the 6 core processor option over the quad core?  For photo editing (adding layers, filters, brushing in, multiple files open at times, running batch edits etc), does anyone have an opinion on whether the performance increase (if there is in fact any increase for photo work?) of the 6 core 3.5ghz would justify paying the extra AU$1300 difference over the quad core 3.7ghz option?

       

      And from my earlier research paying the huge prices for 8 or 12 cores would be mostly a waste for photo processing.

       

      As an added question, how much will the GPUs contribute to processing photo files, and is it worth going for the higher GPU option?  Or is this hardware which isn't yet being taken advantage of by the current software?  I'm not one to speculate on whether software may or may not focus on better utilising multi-core CPUs such as 6, 8 or 12 going forward...

       

      Thanks for the advice...

        • 1. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
          Mike Curry Photography

          I'd have a look here. http://www.macperformanceguide.com/topic-mac_pro.html

           

          6 core seems the consensus

           

          Mike

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
            PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

            Hello.

            Purchasing RAM at apple is not the cheapest option. There are compatible sticks for a cheaper price.

             

            Likewise, the 1TB SSD might be the fastest out there, but its price premium is quite big. There, the third party solutions are not ready yet, but some prototypes have been shown.

             

            The in-house option that seems the cheapest, and where I do not expect a third party replacement is the graphic card.

            But their influence in Photoshop is the smallest, besides if you handle very large images, or many at the same time.

             

            Processor-wise, photoshop does not love multi processors as much as the video or 3D apps, some operations cannot be split between threads, while others can, so choosing a processor that has a fast single core speed might be useful.

            • 4. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
              mozzzaaa Level 1

              Thanks guys.  Some really good info in those resource links.  Took the plunge the day it was announced and I opted for the 6 core 3.5ghz, 1TB SSD and D300s.  The unit just arrived last week so I'm looking forward to doing my own real-world testing as I've got a lot of photo-processing and editing to do.

               

              I seem to be reading conflicting advice regarding whether the GPUs can be upgraded or not?  Does anyone know for sure?

              • 5. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                I'll start by saying that I don't Macs, but I think I'd be looking for six core CPU and 32Gb RAM over four core and 64Gb RAM.  GPU is obviously going to make a difference, but it needs to be a good balance with the rest of the system.

                 

                Is there room in a MBP for a raid0 along with an SSD boot drive?  That definitely makes a difference, and is very nice to use.  This is what I'm getting with a pair of 6th Gen. Veloceraptors in a raid0

                 

                Crystal Diskmsrk 6th Gen Velociraptor raid0.JPG

                Do you do HDR ?  The no Brainer approach to HDR now is using ACR on the 32bit file, but it only makes sense with local adjustments.  I have a six core @ 4Ghz, and 32Gb RAM and GTX570, and by the time I get to about half a dozen local adjustments, I'm looking at a one second lag until I down sample to 16bit. 

                 

                One last thing... I noticed that Scott kelby and all the Photoshop Guys on Kelby TV use MBPs, and apparently for most of them, they are the only computer they own.  They would be a wealth of experience and information.  Plus we only ever seem to see Mac laptops on Adobe TV, so the staff guys here should know the ins and outs.

                • 6. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  mozzzaaa wrote:

                   

                  The unit just arrived last week so I'm looking forward to doing my own real-world testing as I've got a lot of photo-processing and editing to do.

                   

                  I have been having conversations with people on what system to get, and the consensus seems to be that the highest-core count configuration might not be the best for general processing (but might be better for things like Final Cut Pro).

                   

                  Since you've gotten your machine I'm very interested in your performance.  Some suggestions for Photoshop benchmarks to try:

                   

                  Keith Simonian Radial Blur benchmark (very simple, but a decent indicator how well Photoshop will perform multi-threaded operations): 

                   

                  http://ksimonian.com/Blog/2010/02/24/improved-photoshop-benchmark-cpu-speed-test-for-both- mac-pc-free-radial-blur-filter-test/

                   

                  ClubOfOne speed test:

                   

                  http://clubofone.com/speedtest/

                   

                  I'd love to hear your times for these tests.  Here's hoping the Mac Pro breaks new ground.

                   

                  -Noel

                  • 7. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                    Oh, and Trevor, from what I recall reading the flash storage in the Mac Pro will be capable of over a gigabyte per second throughput, with numbers in the many tens of megabytes / second for small I/O operations (e.g., 4K).  I'm looking forward to hearing real world results in that area as well.

                     

                    A system with that kind of I/O speed will be more responsive than most systems anyone has seen before.

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 8. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                      15.7 for the radial Blur, and about 8 seconds for the Eagle test.  Not sure what my CPU is running at right now after my recent crash.

                       

                      I'll see what I can find on the MBP, but bottom line for me is what they say in the PremPro Hardware forum.  It is still a fact that highest placed Mac system in the PPBM5 results table is somewhere in the six hundreds.

                      • 9. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                        Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                        Check some of the hardware in the Radial Blur test results.   8 and 12 core systems at the top, with some seriously OC'd systems in the top dozen or so.  Surely those systems were tweaked 'just' for the test, and are not used at those speeds all the time?   Full table here  (ignore those 1. before the times.  they sneaked in when I changed the format to squeeze the table into the forum space)

                        ————————— Test Results —————————

                        CPU

                        Operating System

                        Photoshop Version

                        Time

                        Intel 2 X 8 Core Xeon E5-2470 2.3 GHz

                        Windows 7

                        CS6 64 bit

                        1. 8.3

                        Intel 2 x 2.93 GHz 6 Core Xeon Westmere

                        OS X 10.6

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 9.3

                        Intel 2 x Xeon X5690 3.46 GHz 6 Core Westmere

                        Windows 7

                        CS5

                        1. 9.7

                        Intel i7-3930k 3.2 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4.8 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 10.8

                        Intel i7-3930k 3.2 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4.29 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 11.7

                        Intel i7-3930k 3.2 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4.7 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5.1 64 bit

                        1. 11.8

                        Intel 2 x 2.93 GHz Quad Core Xeon Nehalem

                        OS X 10.6

                        CS5

                        13

                        Intel i7-2700k 3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 5.1 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 13.4

                        Intel 6 Core Xeon Westmere 3.33 GHz

                        OS X 10.6.4

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 14.2

                        Intel i7-2600k 3.4 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 5.1 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 14.2

                        Intel Xeon E5-1650 V2 3.5 GHz

                        OS X 10.9.1 Mavericks

                        Creative Cloud CS6.1

                        1. 14.5

                        Intel i7-3770K 3.5 GHz Ivy Bridge overclocked to 4.9 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS6 64 bit

                        1. 15.3

                        Intel i7 970 3.2 GHz overclocked to 4.0 GHz

                        Windows 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 15.6

                        Intel 2 X 3.2 GHz Quad Core Zeon “Nahelem”

                        OS X 10.6.8

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 15.6

                        Intel i7-2600k 3.4 GHz overclocked to 4.5 GHz

                        Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit

                        CS5 Extended 64 bit

                        1. 15.6

                        Intel i5-2500k 3.3 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4.8 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS6 64 bit

                        1. 16.1

                        Intel i7 970 3.2 GHz overclocked to 3.8 GHz

                        Windows 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 16.2

                        Intel 2 X Xeon E5450 3.0 GHz

                        Windows 7

                        CS6 64

                        1. 16.3

                        Intel i7-3770K 3.5 GHz overclocked to 4.6 GHz

                        Windows 7 64 bit

                        CS6 64

                        1. 16.6

                        Intel 6 Core Xeon Westmere 3.33 GHz

                        OS X 10.6.8

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 16.7

                        Intel 2 x 2.4 GHz Quad Core Xeon Westmere

                        OS X 10.7.2

                        CS5 Extended

                        1. 16.7

                        Intel i7 overclocked to 4.1 GHz

                        Windows 7

                        CS4

                        1. 17.1

                        Intel i5-2500k 3.3 GHz Sandy Bridge overclocked to 4.4 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 17.6

                        Intel 2 x 3.2 GHz Quad Core Xeon

                        OS X 10.5

                        CS4

                        1. 17.9

                        AMD FX-8150 3.6ghz overclocked to 4.1 GHz

                        Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

                        CS 5 64 bit

                        1. 18.0

                        Intel Core i7 3770 GHz

                        Windows 7 64 bit

                        CS 6 64 bit

                        1. 18.1

                        Intel Core i5 3570K 3.4GHz overclocked to 4.0 GHz

                        Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

                        CS 5 64 bit

                        1. 18.4

                        Intel 2 x 3.0 GHz Quad-Core Xeon 5365 ( Clovertown )

                        OS X 10.7

                        CS5

                        1. 18.5

                        Intel Xeon E5-4650 2.7 GHz

                        Win 7 Pro 64 bit

                        CS5

                        1. 18.8

                        Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5 GHz

                        Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

                        CS 5 64 bit

                        1. 19.0

                        Intel i7-2600 3.4 GHz

                        Win 7 64 bit

                        CS5 64 bit

                        1. 19.6

                        Intel 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Xeon

                        OS X 10.5

                        CS4

                        1. 19.9

                        Intel i7-2600k 3.4 GHz ( 8M Cache )

                        Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

                        CS 5 64 bit

                        1. 20.0

                         

                        • 10. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                          mozzzaaa Level 1

                          I did the radial blur test and my new mac pro 6 core did 19.6 seconds, so that obviously proves... nothing?

                          • 11. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                            mozzzaaa Level 1

                            and 8.5 seconds on the club of one speed test, using the settings specified.  Not sure how that compares?

                            • 12. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                              mozzzaaa wrote:

                               

                              I did the radial blur test and my new mac pro 6 core did 19.6 seconds, so that obviously proves... nothing?

                               

                              I'd say 19.6 is none too bad for real world spec system.  As per the point I was making in post #9 some of those top placed systems are like nitro burning drag racers, which turns out to be an appropriate analogy as I’d hazard a guess that at least one or two used liquid nitrogen to stop the CPU catching fire.

                               

                               

                              I checked and my 3930K is currently running at a fixed 3.3Ghz.  It ran OK at 4.4Ghz when first built, but I slowed it to 4.2Ghz after doing some tests.  Somewhere along the way the Gigabyte Turbo app has ceased working, and when I tried to reinstate recently it took me half a day to get my system to boot again!

                               

                               

                              So that puts my 15.7 seconds into perspective.  The author of the Radial Blur test recorded a similar time to yours

                               

                               

                              Step Six – Run the test by opening the action and running the “PS Radial Blur Test”. The test took 20.0 seconds on my current computer which is a HP h8-1070t ($1200 -Oct. 2011) PC powered by an Intel i7-2600 3.40 GHz CPU running Win 7 64 bit on CS5.

                               

                               

                              And from Noel says in post #7 the new MBP is going to be a speed demon, although there’s a lot more to performance than fast I/O.  I try to look at the New on Toms Hardware when I think about it, but I probably wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to Apple systems, so I have no idea where things are going with Macs.

                               

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 13. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                Noel Carboni Level 8

                                Interesting numbers - thanks for the testing.

                                 

                                I believe the Radial Blur benchmark benefits from having more cores working simultaneously- as Photoshop does multithreading on this one VERY effectively.  Not surprisingly, your 6 core Mac Pro didn't best the field with this one.  You simply have fewer cores than many systems.

                                 

                                On the other hand, the ClubOfOne benchmark benefits more from single core speed and higher memory bandwidth.  With this benchmark your Mac Pro has shined quite brightly indeed.  I'm not sure I've ever heard of anyone breaking into the 8s with that test so far.

                                 

                                For what it's worth, for comparison purposes my quite powerful 2012 Westmere-based dual Xeon x5690 (12 core total PC workstation) system scored as follows:

                                 

                                Radial blur benchmark:

                                 

                                8.3 seconds.

                                 

                                RadialBlurBenchmarkResults.jpg

                                 

                                 

                                ClubOfOne benchmark:

                                 

                                9.6 seconds.

                                 

                                ClubOfOneBenchmarkResults.jpg

                                 

                                -Noel

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 14. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  By the way, be a bit careful to follow-up after that ClubOfOne speed test.  It changes your color preferences! 

                                   

                                  -Noel

                                  • 15. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                    mozzzaaa Level 1

                                    Thanks - those answers help give me some context.

                                    • 16. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                                      I did the ClubofOne test again using a stop watch this time, but I am not happy about the uncertanty levels using a stop watch on such short times, so I ran it five times and was getting an average 10.7.   It's important to remember to set your History states to 1, and cache levels to 4.  I forgot when I first ran it and was getting 16 seconds!

                                       

                                      The Radial Blur test came close to maxing out all 12 threads on my system.  I didn't think Photoshop could do that.

                                       

                                      12 Threads.jpg

                                       

                                      Noel I mentioned your clean system approach to someone recently.  I am far too blasé about that sort of thing, and have a lot of clutter, as evidenced by the 140 processes figure in the bottom left corner of my Task Manager window.  What would you see there, and have you go any links on how to achieve a lean-mean-editing-machine?

                                       

                                       

                                      • 17. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                                        Hi Trevor,

                                         

                                        I ran those tests with my standard settings - 200 history states, among other things.

                                         

                                        This kind of diverges from the subject of mozzzaaa's thread, but since you asked...

                                         

                                        My base number of processes is about 75 without any applications open.  Note some of the statistics shown here with the two different task managers, IE, clock, and my screen grabbing program open, all of which add to the total.  It'd be a LOT less but I'm running a web/Subversion server, which adds some 16 processes itself.

                                         

                                        Win8With80Processes.jpg

                                         

                                        Note also the uptime (almost 10 days straight, and no sign of needing a reboot).  Windows Updates needing reboots are the only reason it doesn't go months.

                                         

                                        And yes, I wrote a whole book on the subject of setting up a lean, mean all-business Windows machine.  Two of them, actually - one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8.  They're titled "Configure the Windows 7 'To Work' Options" and "Configure the Windows 8 'To Work' Options" respectively.

                                         

                                        -Noel

                                        • 19. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                          Yaryman

                                          "I did the radial blur test and my new mac pro 6 core did 19.6 seconds, so that obviously proves... nothing?"

                                           

                                          Hello mozzzaaa,

                                           

                                          I am the person who has run/hosted/posted the radial blur test you ran.

                                          Your time of 19.6 seconds is a little out of whack. I would have expected it to be faster.

                                          There is a posted time of 16.7 seconds for a Mac Pro with Intel 6 Core Xeon Westmere 3.33 GHz that overclocks to 3.6 GHz.

                                          Your MacPro, ( assuming that when you mentioned it was a new model, meaning it was the new design ), the slowest 6 core CPU that

                                          it's sold with is a 3.5 GHz that overclocks to 3.9 GHz.

                                           

                                          Your test time should have been up to second better than the 16.7 second result.

                                           

                                          What version of Photoshop are you running? As I recall the older versions didn't use all the cores on a Mac.

                                          Were you running other programs while doing the test? Did you use the PS timer, or did you hand time it.

                                          • 20. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                            mozzzaaa Level 1

                                            Hi Yaryman,

                                            Did the test again and ensured the only app running was PS CS6, and used the PS timer as specified.  Did the test twice and 19.1 seconds both times. And yes, my mac pro is the new 2013 style.

                                            I guess that's a bit disappointing in that particular comparison?  Not sure how much to really read into though compared to real world work is all I meant.

                                            • 21. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                              mozzzaaa Level 1

                                              Meant to ask too, do you think PS CC would be quicker due to better use of multi-core CPUs? 

                                              • 22. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                                Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                I can't say for certain what you'll see, but on a (Windows) system with a lot of cores *I* find Photoshop CC to be somewhat faster at a number of things than Photoshop CS6.  But not a huge amount - just incrementally faster.

                                                 

                                                -Noel

                                                • 23. Re: Best Mac Pro (2013) configuration for photo editing/processing?
                                                  Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional

                                                  ISTR Chris saying that Photoshop will use all the system resources available to it, and doing so long before CC was released.  GPU acceleration, on the other hand, is being improved all the time according to release notes.  We know that Smart Sharpen had a major speed boost with 14.2 for instance, and I bet other areas have been addressed to a lesser degree so not directly mentioned in the JDI list.