Probably you are hoping for someone that has done what you have done and has a wonderful success story. In reality though, its not that simple and to the performance is close enough that the proper answer would depend on your media, your workflow, and what does "speed" mean to you? Speed for one user might be playback smoothness on a 4k RED timeline whereas for the next guy it might be the render time to export AVCHD to h.264.
Premiere Pro taxes some aspects of hardware for some workflows and other hardware resources for other needs (cpu clockspeed, cpu # of cores, amount of memory, drive(s) speed). AE loves RAM - how much RAM do you currently have vs. how much RAM for the nMP option? Drive speed is extremely important the closer you get to RAW.
Benefits of the 5.1 tower: large, expandable, takes NVidia video cards (generally faster and more compatible with Adobe CC; definitely less reports of Premiere Pro crashing with the NVidia CUDA technology vs. the Open GL technology used in the nMP), can take dual Xeon CPUs, easier to cool.
Benefits of the nMP: tiny, light, Thunderbolt, more efficient 22nm CPU technology, most new systems will be utilizing SSDs more and hard drives less (and the SSDs are generally much faster for Premiere Pro)
You should probably pose this same question in the RED User Post-Production Hardware forum section (even if you don't shoot and edit RED) since that user base includes lots more nMP power uses than this forum.
It wouldn't hurt either to add some more details about the specs of your current and proposed Macs (RAM, drives, GPU, etc. in both) and your media and typical workflow.
Hey, thanks much Jim. Yes, just looking for someone in the same boat.
Current system for what it's worth Mac Pro 5,1 - 128 GHZ RAM, 3.46GhZ 12 core, all SSD
Just need a "hopefully new MP" that is in league with that so i can have a mirror when i travel on site.
Work: After Effects vFX and 3d. Ultra Wide screen stuff like 12000 x 900 pixel wide stuff really big for corporate events.
hopefully a nMP can at least keep up so i can take it as carry on and not keep shipping my great studio machine everywhere.
128 GHZ RAM
Do you mean 128 GB RAM?
Yes, typo. 128 GB of ram in my 5,1 tower
With 128GB in your current Mac dual-Xeon 5.1 box and the nMP only supporting a single v2 processor and 64GB or RAM, no there is no off-the-shell nMP from Apple that will hang with your current high-end Mac Pro for AE that you can order from Apple without some serious add-ons and/or mods.
Transcend announced awhile back that they were going to sell 128GB RAM solutions for the nMP. I don't know any more that they announced it.
If you would consider a Hackintosh solution the are companies that make some pretty powerful luggable workstations. Here's one for example from Rave that with a v3 e5-2687w 10-core and 128GB of DDR4 RAM + a GTX Titan X (12GB video RAM) would definitely out-perform your current old Mac and it would stomp all over the performance you would likely see from a nMP:
Jim, that looks pretty awesome. I'm very good at what i do in the design/ae field but lousy in terms of understanding all the nuances of the PC world. Would totally consider the hackintosh solution and portabilty but i have no idea how to put that kind of thing together. Do you suppose the folks at RAVE help with OS issues or are they only about hardware. will most definitely give it consideration.
I was really hoping i could just pony up for a nMP that was at least on equal to my beast. I do love it but shipping is such a pain.