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  • New Black Mac Pro vs last gen 12-Core MP ?

    I think I'm in need of a new Mac Pro. My dilemma is: do I wait (indefinitely) for the New Trashcan MacPro or do I go with a (tried and tested) last gen 12-Core machine (hopefully get a refurb one from Apple).

    I'm skeptical about the new Trachcan Mac since it's brand new and there are ALWAYS issues with the first models in a new series. (My 2,1 mac has always had some funky issues - notably PCI slots etc, so I had vowed to avoid early models in future).

    I really need the power boost since I run the following:

    My workhorse is a 2007 8-Core (dual 4) Mac Pro with 28GB of RAM. I run DP 8.05 (64bit). Memory therefore is not my problem: my issue is running out of processor power when on heavy projects (which is often). I'm still running OS10.6.8, and of course will upgrade to the latest OS once I get the new system.

    I have 2 external Mac Minis running dozens of Kontakt plugins in 3 or 4 VEP instances on each machine. One MM is Strings, Kbds and Keyd Perc, the other is all Brass/Wind. My sample libraries are Cinesamples, Cinematic Strings etc. and Giga sounds in GPlayer. MIDI and Audio go over the network. I print audio back onto my main Mac Pro. In addition I use 2 power PCs - one runs East-West Symphonic Gold and Symphopbia, the other is all percussion (CineS, Stormdrum etc).

    There is a large audio throughput into my Mac (MANY audio tracks and Aux busses for printing/monitoring). Also, the multiple VEP Event Input plugins on my Mac Pro, in addition to the several different Altiverb instances (for simultaneous mix stemming) and multiple Kontakt, RMX and Omnisphere players loaded in DP have made my system sluggish and unstable. Even after putting my Buffers at 1024 I get a lot of audio crackles, implying that my processor is being seriously taxed. (I used to mostly run Kontakt and Omni on VE PRo on the same Mac, but it caused similar problems).

    My question for the Mac Pro users out there is:

    Will I see a SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT in computer performance (stability / speed etc) if I migrate to a last-generation mac Pro (12 core), with the same amnt of RAM, or should I hold out and wait(?) for the even "faster" Mac Trashcan, (though currently of unkown stability?....). Your thoughts/opinions would be much appreciated!


  • Free trip to Vienna to the one that will spot the 'hidden' VSL libraries in the above post... 

    He does have all the automaton-libraries though.


  • I am waiting for the new Mac Pro which looks fantastic.  The Xeon processors and especially the flash memory which will be a tremendous boost to sample performance.  That is something that really matters. Also, with the terabyte flash drive you can store all the current VSL samples and load them very fast.  It will be desirable to max out to 64 gb RAM.


  • I was always told it was better to keep the OS and applications on a separate drive to the sample libs etc.

    Is this still the case? 

    I want to wait for the new MP and wonder if it's better to stick with a smaller internal flash - tight budget- and go external SSD for the libs and projects etc. I could then spend less on flash and more on memory and number of cores etc. 

    Make sense?


  • Trash Can Mac? ... Jeez .. way to disrepect something thats going to be f**king awesome!

    Yes it will be MUCH better than anything currently available. I can't wait to get one myself. Personally I do very well with my 3 iMacs (2011-2012 versions) soif you're all strapped for cash why don't you think about having a central computer to write with and slave machines to run your libraries.

    P.S .. please remember to put some spaces between your paragraphs.


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    You should look for benchmarks :

    Here is one

    mac_pro_12_2013_gb3.jpg

    late_2013_max_gb3.jpg

    The article is in french but the tables are in English

    http://www.macbidouille.com/news/2013/12/15/de-nouveaux-resultats-geekbench-du-mac-pro-2013

    The price of the 12 core new Macpro is VERY expensive !


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • Hetoreyn, that is what I am thinking.  To use my current PC MIDI, a PC slave (that was my main slave originally) and a new Mac Pro with the flash memory as a second slave.  With that system, and 64gb of RAM on the Mac Pro, you could probably do large orchestral setups without any glitches. (such as a glitch I recently had - a large group of instruments suddenly doing extreme velocity crossfades, all of them separately - it almost blew the entire neighborhood's power supply.)  Partly because I like the MIDI sequencer I am using, but also because it will maximize the sample performance which is my main interest.  Also, apparently the flash memory is faster than SSD. 

    I wanted to ask cm if he knows whether it is necessary to store samples on a separate hard drive on the new Mac Pros.  I am thinking it would not make any difference because it is all totally RAM?  So you could you have a single terabyte flash drive with everything - OS, MIR  and samples? 


  • Hi William

    What DAW do you use ?

    How will organized your orchestral template ?

    What players are you using ?

    You are speaking of large template, how large ?

    Will you have more than one MIR ?

    Best

    Cyril


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
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    @William said:

    I wanted to ask cm if he knows whether it is necessary to store samples on a separate hard drive on the new Mac Pros.  I am thinking it would not make any difference because it is all totally RAM?  So you could you have a single terabyte flash drive with everything - OS, MIR  and samples? 

    correction: it is not RAM, but Flash connected via PCIe (similar to Angebird Wings) - SSDs contain Flash memory.

    so far i couldn't find any ram-disk except gigabyte i-ram, meanwhile considered to be legacy http://www.gigabyte.eu/products/product-page.aspx?pid=2678#ov

    as data throughput (on the new mac pro) has been measured 900 MB/s write and 1200 MB/s read i'd assume it is configured as 2 x 512 GB in raid-0 (stripe).

     

    every controller ourdays is using some random-write algorithm to avoid writing to certain memory-cells too often, so data will be spread across all cells from start and things like de-fragmenting or storing data in blocks is history.

    not sure though if all will fit on a 1 TB *drive* (system, software, data, recordings, various garbage ...), also consider operating systems tend to *grow* little by little ...


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  • it is better to have 3 places

    1) system 64 or 128 GB

    2) VSL libs (on a raid 0 on the older Macpro, no idea about the new Macpro)

    3) HD or ssd to put your audio files

    Thunderbolt to PCIe is around an other 1 K euro


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • cm,  thanks, but to clarify are you answering it doesn't matter if one stores samples along with the OS?   The reason I ask is - if you use a separate drive for samples perhaps you will lose some of this advertised speed of the PCLe memory?  I would  not be doing any recording of audio on this computer, only playback of samples which are recorded externally.   

    Cyril this is a slave and the DAW is not on the sample playing computer. The orchestral setups I am talking about are the hypothetical largest that can be done. 

    One other thing I wonder is - if one is using this computer almost totally for VSL, is there really a big advantage of having more Xeon cores than 4 or 6 other than bragging about it and looking cool?  Isn't the real factor in increasing VSL reliability and performance the MEMORY AMOUNT AND SPEED?  I am trying to keep the rather high Apple price down just a little bit.  Another way of putting it is  - where should the most money be spent in order to optimize VSL performance? 


  • now using the macpro just as a sample player is  - phew - cool ;-)

    having the samples on a separate drive at comparable access will IMO require 2 flash-drives in a raid-0 via thunderbolt.

    USB3 has 5 Gbit/s theoretical throughput, thunderbolt2 has 20 Gbit/s, the fastest SSDs deliver ~600 MB/s (usually *only* 480 - 500 MB/s), which means a SSD raid-0 will deliver more than even USB3 is able to transport (1 Byte = 8 bit + overhead).

     

    it doesn't matter at all to have OS and samples on one drive - after the OS (+ applications) has started there is almost no more drive access from the OS, everything is handled in RAM. some access could happen for the OS' pagefile (which also resides on disk), but to my knowledge this is not the case with VEPRO or MIR (once the arrangement is loaded).

     

    how many cores are required/reasonable ... hmmm, besides that will strongly depend on your arrangement and amount of plug-ins unfortunately i currently don't have any performance figures for the Xeon E5 generation at my hands.


    and remember: only a CRAY can run an endless loop in just three seconds.
  •  Thanks cm that is very helpful and exactly what I was wondering about. 


  • i'm too looking at a new MacPro. After my experience with my 8 core machine I'll opt for the pricier 12 core as Logic really uses the cores very well. Logic has already been updated for the new MacPro. I've been reading astonishing perforance figures for MacPros running 4k video with Final Cut Pro - also configured for the Mac - seems it tasks the dual GPU's so the real world performance is way way higher than you would imagine just looking at the Geek bench scores.

    I run all my VSL stuff using VI Pro as an au plug-in in Logic. As Apple have tweaked Logic to play with the MacPro will that also make the VI-Pro able to use the power of the MacPro?, and a question for the software experts - is the processing power in the dual GPU's of any relevence to Audio Apps?  -if it was then it might make sense to opt for the higher powered GPU option.

    Thanks

    Julian


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    @William said:

    Cyril this is a slave and the DAW is not on the sample playing computer. The orchestral setups I am talking about are the hypothetical largest that can be done. 

    The DAW is important, it might put limits !

    Hypothetical is not the way you go with computer ! 

    Some people are using many players !

    You better wait for benchmarks !


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic
  • I was recently looking at high end HP workstations - same or better specs but one half the price.  So I'm not sure what I'll do...


  • Hi William,

    With multiple SSDs and cheaply available RAM I find the only thing holding back mega VSL sessions is CPU. Now if the new MacPro is handling 4k video like a high end PC handles HD then it's sort of giving 4 times the performance. This could equate to about 400 instances of VI-Pro.

    http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/1307-the-first-24-hours-with-apple-s-new-mac-pro-and-final-cut-pro-10-1

    Now if this can be translated into audio then having everything on one machine will be much more elegant, timesaving and powerful. Just have to see how the software evolves.

    Julian


  • You're probably right about that.    4 to 12 core processors are available on both the HP and Mac computers.  However I notice that RAM is much more limited on Mac.  The HP Z820 workstation I was looking at  has 16 DIMMs so you can expand to a huge amount of RAM.  That can be very important for MIR.  

    Though again,  the Mac has a PCLe drive which is faster than previous SSDs for loading samples.  But I've found such a huge improvement with loading of samples from the Crucial SSD I installed recently that it doesn't need to be much better!  So the inflated price of Mac is looking less necessary to me.   I priced two systems - one an HP Z820 and one a Mac Pro with almost exactly the same specs (actually more RAM on the HP) and the HP was around $6,000 and the Mac Pro $11,500.


  • Can you give us the link with the HP Z820

    this link : http://shopping1.hp.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/WW-USSMBPublicStore-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewStandardCatalog-Browse;pgid=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?CatalogCategoryID=x.IQ7habXDwAAAFCulgtkXzC

    Does not show that the HP is 6K$ but 9,9 K$ and for this price does not include a graphic card !


    MacBook Pro M3 MAX 128 GB 8TB - 2 x 48" screen --- Logic Pro --- Mir Pro 3D --- Most of the VI libs, a few Synch... libs --- Quite a few Kontakt libs --- CS80 fanatic