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Elin G

I need a new Mac - Please help me spend my cash :)

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Hi all,

 

Im in the process of sticking it to the man, going it alone, flying solo (well, with my partner) and starting a creative production biz, multidisciplinary rather than specialised, reflecting the jack of all trades nature of my skillset...

 

Consequently Im in the lucky and envious position of having a fair stack of cash to spend on some new equipment - we already have a 27' imac i7 quad core which is to be used by my partner as her work is principally photography and a little HD editing - but I now need to get a machine for myself for:

 

- approx 20-30% low processor intensive (production management, script/copy writing, general admin)

- approx 20-30% traditional design work (photoshop, illustrator)

- approx 30-40% mograph/editing (tho' im a relative noob here 3 years experience with AE, 2 years with C4D)

 

 

Edit: I just wrote the longest, most confusing question about graphics cards, RAM, processor threads... which i decided to edit down to the following:

 

How would you spend the money?

 

I know its open-ended question, and its tempting to say "get a 12 core machine with 32 gig RAM" but, well when its your own money :) - in the past ive usually worked on the maxim of getting the second best machine and filling it with RAM (eg 8 core, 24 gig RAM), as the very top of the line tends to give you not that much more performance for a lot more cash...

 

...part of me is even tempted, dare i say it, to get a 27 imac with 16gig of RAM, which will probably cover most of my needs and free up some cash to spend elsewhere (if RED ever release that damned Scarlett :)... and if I outgrow it I can always upgrade...

 

I apologize for the convoluted nature of the question, just reflects how my mind is spinning on this at the moment...

 

anyway, any help, links, advice, much appreciated

 

Elin

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I was in a similar boat, and when with an 8 core, nehalem(2x2.26 quad-core intel xeon) bought refurbished from the mac store, saving 500 bones. Now my left over money is for memory, desk, software... Didn't see the need to go all out for the 12 cores, and thought I remember something about the new processsors not being as good as the nehalems...

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There are a ton of threads on this but anyhow.. I usually go with the second best MacPro following the logic you mentioned. Besides render times if you are going to do any editing as you mentioned in your post you will want as much internal storage as you can get (probably in a raid as well), and the ability to add PCI cards esata, capture card etc.

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There are a ton of threads on this but anyhow.. I usually go with the second best MacPro following the logic you mentioned. Besides render times if you are going to do any editing as you mentioned in your post you will want as much internal storage as you can get (probably in a raid as well), and the ability to add PCI cards esata, capture card etc.

 

yeah, I know, there always are and always will be :)

 

anyway thanks guys for the answers - I'd really love the 12 core, but since I do so little editing (and dont want to start) I just dont think I need the expandability/disk speed etc - the 12 core machine with 24gb RAM AND a new screen is gonna cost way over twice the price of a i7 imac with 16gb - for not MUCH more performance...

 

The Hackintosh is tempting - but stoopid right brain is just too scared of getting technical - and my idea of technical is installing a capture card :)

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yeah, I know, there always are and always will be :)

 

anyway thanks guys for the answers - I'd really love the 12 core, but since I do so little editing (and dont want to start) I just dont think I need the expandability/disk speed etc - the 12 core machine with 24gb RAM AND a new screen is gonna cost way over twice the price of a i7 imac with 16gb - for not MUCH more performance...

 

The Hackintosh is tempting - but stoopid right brain is just too scared of getting technical - and my idea of technical is installing a capture card :)

 

 

 

 

Hmmm... actually just seen in the bear feats tests that the 12 core is actually significantly (x2+) faster than the i7 imac in AE... so maybe are back on for the 12 core :)

 

ok ill shut up now.

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I've recently got the iMac i7 and I'm pretty pleased with it. I do a lot of 3D and After Effects. Saying that, I'm now wondering if I made a bit of a mistake as I can't really upgrade it.

I'm not unhappy but with hardcore renders you do wonder. Saying that, a machine can never be powerful enough!

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Don't go hackintosh. Just go PC.

 

12 core 3.4 Ghz (24 thread, like the mac pro, only faster), 48 gigs of ram, and insane video card for under 5k.

 

 

Try to do that going Apple for under 17k.

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AE will not be fast unless you give it at least 2 - 3GB of ram PER THREAD. There is VERY LITTLE POINT buying a 12 core unless you either do 3D rendering (or other process which adequately utilizes all cores) OR you give it at least 28GB of ram. It takes that much ram to actually use more than 7 cores (7 cores = 14 threads @ 2GB per thread = 28GB). And if you are not using more than 7 cores you might as well have an 8 core machine.

 

Cinema 4D is another matter entirely and much easier to work out.

 

The 6 core Mac Pro is good (higher clock speed) but only has 4 ram slots. 8GB Ram sticks cost a lot more than 4GB sticks.

 

A refurb 8 core, ideally the 2.93ghz, is the way to go - good clock speed, 8 ram slots, reasonable total price (when including cost of ram). Failing that one of the other older 8 cores ( I have the 2.66) or maybe a new Octo if you want the new Radeon card for some reason or can't get a refurb.

 

IMHO

 

I did quite a lot of research on BF, geekbench etc etc

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Just as a reminder...

 

One of my studios just bought me a brand new 12-Core with 24GB of RAM.

It was screaming fast but managed to Kernel Panic 8+ times in 2 days.

 

We called up the reseller and made them exchange all the RAM for new sticks.

Everything has worked like a charm since.

 

I've been pretty lucky buying RAM, but yea... just a reminder... this sort of thing does happen.

I hear RAM failure rates are pretty high.

 

-m

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Just as a reminder...

 

One of my studios just bought me a brand new 12-Core with 24GB of RAM.

It was screaming fast but managed to Kernel Panic 8+ times in 2 days.

 

We called up the reseller and made them exchange all the RAM for new sticks.

Everything has worked like a charm since.

 

I've been pretty lucky buying RAM, but yea... just a reminder... this sort of thing does happen.

I hear RAM failure rates are pretty high.

 

-m

 

Quick advice would be to go with Kingston (NOT the ValueRAM), Crucial or OWC although there's always exceptions.

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AromaKat, just interested in why your PC build couldn't have the Mac OS installed, thus making it a hackintosh? I was always intending to have it dual boot between Windows and Mac. (especially now that Apple is shifting focus more directly to its consumer market over the pro market).

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Something to keep in mind here if you're using Premiere:

 

By building a Hackintosh you can use higher end Nvidia cards that allow the use of the Mercury Playback Engine in CS5.

 

I have a hackintosh and love it, but I still love windows, so it gives me real dual boot options.

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