6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2014 11:44 PM by Trilo Byte

    Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?

    chfilm2

      Hi,

      I'm considering getting a new Mac Pro.

      Since most of my work is centered around after effects I want to optimize the machine as far as possible for that.

      So I guess 12 cores would give me more benefit than the dual d700 gpus.. Question is if there's any hope that Adobe will catch up sometime soon and optimize after effects more for those gpus and around open CL.

      My budget is kind of limited and I tend to just get 8 core, dual d700, 32gb ram. Or would 64 gb be more valuable than the gpus?

        • 1. Re: Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Don't bother thinking about the GPU for After Effects. Spend your budget on more RAM and faster/more CPUs.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?
            chfilm2 Level 1

            Thx! Just as I thought...

            I guess premiere will be updated to make better use of the dual gpus though?

            • 4. Re: Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?
              chfilm2 Level 1

              Are there any estimates on how big the impact of the d700 over the d500 will be? I guess still getting an 8core with d500 will be the better choice than the 6core with d700 for premiere and afx and should probably still be able to play back 4k in FCPx...?

              • 5. Re: Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?
                jasonvp Level 3

                chfilm2 wrote:

                 

                Are there any estimates on how big the impact of the d700 over the d500 will be? I guess still getting an 8core with d500 will be the better choice than the 6core with d700 for premiere and afx and should probably still be able to play back 4k in FCPx...?

                We really won't know for sure until units with each of the GPUs get into the hands of Premiere users.  But, I strongly suspect there won't be a huge increase in performance on Premiere between the D300 and the D700.  Really.  The D700 does have more stream processors, and OpenCL does use those.  It's base clock runs slower than the D300's does, though they turbo up to the same speed.  It has faster memory bandwidth, and more memory (6GB per card vs 2GB per card on the D300).

                 

                The big difference between the 300 and 700 is the double-precision floating point processing capabilities.  The 300 can do them, but not nearly as well as the 700.  But:  as of now, Premiere's FP calcs are all single-precision.  So it's excess power and potential you'll basically never use.

                 

                Through various bits of research, the folks over at the MacRumors forums have come up with

                 

                D300: Pitcairn chip w/1280 stream processors, 800Mhz/850Mhz (turbo), 2GB RAM, 256-bit memory bandwidth

                D500: Tahiti chip w/1536 stream processors, 650MHz/725Mhz (turbo), 3GB RAM, 384-bit memory bandwidth

                D700: Tahiti chip w/2048 stream processors, 650MHz/850MHz (turbo), 6GB RAM, 384-bit memory bandwidth

                 

                Info culled from this thread.

                 

                What we need to figure out is: will the extra 768 stream processors per card make enough of a difference in things like Premiere Pro to justify the cost difference?  Thankfully, the cost difference is small; you're paying Apple's massive markup on the Xeon chip upgrades instead.

                • 6. Re: Which gpu setup in new Mac Pro?
                  Trilo Byte Level 1

                  The markup on the Xeon chips isn't that huge, IMO - at least when comparing it to other big workstation integrators.

                   

                  Apple puts a $500 tag on the 6-core 3.5GHz Xeon, and Intel's current tray price is $583.  It's a heftier $2000 for the 8-core 3.0Ghz Xeon, but Intel's tray price is $1723.  The 12-core 2.7GHz beastie has the most in terms of markup, Apple charges $3500 for that upgrade compared to Intel's tray price of $2614.

                   

                  All that said, I completely agree with Todd - aim for CPU's and RAM as your primary specs.  For memory, I'd recommend at least 4GB per physical core (I'm looking to get one in the next couple months, and am aiming for the 8-core with 32GB RAM).

                   

                  GPU-wise, I'm leaning towards the D700 upgrade for myself.  I don't have any specific application or use case where it's needed, but historically in all the machines I've had in the last decade, wanting more GPU horsepower or more VRAM has always been an issue at some point.  Getting the best GPU I can just feels like future-proofing.  Your mileage may vary, of course.