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View Full Version : New Imac a competitor for the Mac Pro?


rizon
10-23-2012, 06:52 PM
I need to travel quite a lot next year, shipping the macpro together with a peli case is above 32kg which means cargo shipping, expensive. therefor i was wondering if the new iMac together with some mac mini renderslaves is a good alternative... it's pure renderspeed i am worried about.

Current Mac Pro:
Processor 2 x 2,93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
Memory 16 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB

New Imac:
3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz).
32 GB Ram

Venkman
10-23-2012, 10:22 PM
I'd be scared of rendering anything that took too long in that razor thin enclosure on the new iMacs.

Time will tell. I'll let others spend their money and see what problems pop up first.

Navstar
10-23-2012, 11:40 PM
You might find these threads of interest. It's a little out of date, but since the Mac Pro hasn't changed in years, it's still relevant. It's a good way to think about rendering potential. Break down each machine to Cost per Cinebench unit.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=952600

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=995528

rizon
10-24-2012, 09:13 AM
Thanks Navstar! will check it out.

penboack
10-24-2012, 09:58 AM
The figures on the first link are too out of date to be of any use. However, the methodology is spot on.
Just create a spreadsheet with the CB scores and computer prices.
You may be surprised at the results.

The new Mac Mini with the Intel QuadCore i7 should have a CB score of around 6.4.
It will blow the MacPros and iMacs out the water for rendering power per buck!

If you are worried about heat issues in small enclosures buy with 3 year Apple Care!

Finally has anyone noticed this.
"Individually calibrated for true-to-life color.
None of these innovations would matter much if the iMac display didn’t deliver vivid, true-to-life color. Which is why we put every single display through an exacting color-calibration process using three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point, and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet color standards recognized around the world for precision and accuracy."

Source: Apple Apple iMac Design (http://www.apple.com/imac/design/)

rizon
10-24-2012, 10:59 AM
ThanksPenboack!

So basicly if i buy 3 new mac mini's and a new iMac i should have the render speed of my Mac Pro?

Apart of this, to render a still with vray with all the clients i will need the upcoming DR function, correct?

penboack
10-24-2012, 01:02 PM
Assuming your current setup has a CB score of around 15 then possibly 75% more rendering power :) .

It is also a rather more flexible setup.
There are some downsides though, render previews will be much slower, as these will only utilise 4 physical cores instead of 12. 16GB of RAM might be a limitation if you work with very large scenes. GPU performance however should be better particularly if you go for the GTX 680M with 2GB VRAM.

What we could do with, when MAXON update NET Render ;) , is the ability to use render clients when rendering to the picture viewer. You can do this in Vue Infinite using RenderCows. It would be great to be able to do something similar in Cinema 4D.

rizon
10-24-2012, 01:15 PM
Awesome! About rendering in the viewport being slower, is it an option if you render low res to the pictureviewer, will then all clients be rendering?

fluffouille
10-24-2012, 02:34 PM
You'll need Net Render if you want to use all the clients, and without DR that means you'll have to use camera tiling, which is an option but certainly not convenient for previews (since you need to stitch your images back together).

Better just get used to render very low rez or do some region renders at full rez on one machine.

rizon
10-24-2012, 04:44 PM
@Sébastien was indeed afraid of that, thanks for confirming!

joshfilms
10-24-2012, 05:29 PM
Also, there's only two graphic cards to choose from correct?

I'm in the market for a new workstation and I've been eying the HP z820 but the new Imac caught my attention for the price and well I'd still be on OSX.

Cheers,
Josh

cgbeige
10-25-2012, 02:08 AM
if you can wait for the next-gen Mac Pro, it will be out around Jan, from what I can tell. I'm getting one and I'll be reviewing it for Ars Technica.

penboack
10-25-2012, 08:33 AM
Do you really think Apple are going to continue the Mac Pro?
It doesn't seem to fit with Apple's "Anorexic" strategy, make everything as thin as possible.

Venkman
10-25-2012, 02:50 PM
None of the extensive rumor sites have any inkling of a new Mac Pro, especially one in such a close timeframe like January. Apple can't seem to hide their supply chain anymore. Surely something would have shown up by now if they are planning something for January 2013.

I'll believe in a new Mac Pro when I see it.

basilisk
10-25-2012, 04:59 PM
Do you really think Apple are going to continue the Mac Pro?
It doesn't seem to fit with Apple's "Anorexic" strategy, make everything as thin as possible.

They could make a rackmount MacPro. I wouldn't mind a smaller enclosure as thunderbolt would allow some offloading of capability to external units. So long as it has plenty of other connectors for all my old drives and monitors. But really I don't need 4 drive bays and more than one graphic card slot. 1 regular HD bay, 1 small HD bay for SSD, 1 BluRay, 1 Card slot, USB 3, FW, ESata, Thunderbolt, HDMI/HDSDI...

tuna
10-25-2012, 05:04 PM
Tim Cook's email regarding the Mac Pro mentioned they have something "really great" planned for "late next year".

Venkman
10-25-2012, 05:25 PM
Tim Cook's email regarding the Mac Pro mentioned they have something "really great" planned for "late next year".

Note that he said "something really great (http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-confirms-that-the-mac-pro-will-get-a-refresh-later-next-year-2012-6#ixzz2AKGAdtH4) " not "a new mac pro". His wording is just vague enough so that if they do not release a new mac pro, they can say they never promised it. He is stringing along potential mac pro customers.

he also ended his statement with this:

We also announced a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display that is a great solution for many pros.

I don't trust them to make what I need anymore. They've got to earn that trust back now.

Here's the ad for the new $1700 13 inch mac book pro with no dedicated GPU. The slogan is "For the Pro in all of us."

HfiJOP2uGk4

tuna
10-25-2012, 06:16 PM
I don't trust them to make what I need anymore. They've got to earn that trust back now.

Here's the ad for the new $1700 13 inch mac book pro with no dedicated GPU. The slogan is "For the Pro in all of us."


The 13" has never had a discreet GPU, also when he mentioned the rMBP he was referring to the then-newly announced 15" which does have a discreet GPU and is a pretty good workstation laptop. All in all, none of this is pertinent to rizon's original question, except the fact that it's highly unlikely a new Mac Pro will come out in January.

Venkman
10-25-2012, 06:19 PM
The 13" has never had a discreet GPU

And for that reason, I believe it is not good for the "pros" who run things like C4d, Maya, or even FCPX (which gets much of it's speed boost from GPU acceleration).

also when he mentioned the rMBP he was referring to the then-newly announced 15"

Indeed he was.

All in all, none of this is pertinent to rizon's original question, except the fact that it's highly unlikely a new Mac Pro will come out in January.

It's my very round about way of saying I don't think an iMac, MacBook Pro, or Retina MacBook Pro are reasonable alternatives to an actual workstation, which I believe Apple will discontinue, despite posts in this thread mentioning it will return in Jan 2013. ;)

The iMac may compete with the current Mac Pro on power/price, but it's only competing with Apple's own offerings and only then in CPU power. Given that, I think the slim form factor makes it risky to use on long term, CPU heavy tasks like rendering.

Srek
10-25-2012, 08:31 PM
They could make a rackmount MacPro.
They discontinued the Xserve not yet two years ago. I doubt they will resurrect it any time soon, if ever.

cgbeige
10-25-2012, 09:25 PM
"we're working on something really great for later next year," Cook wrote.

not "late next year", just "later, next year".

I have a source that confirmed it was in the works before Cook announced it. They aren't discontinuing it. They are completely revamping it inside and out. I'm sure there are plenty people out there that still think OS X and iOS are merging too, but that also isn't going to happen.

Do you think Nvidia would have announced the Quadro K5000 Mac edition if they didn't have signs from Apple that the card would have a new PCI-x 3.0 workstation to sit in?

Venkman
10-25-2012, 09:28 PM
"we're working on something really great for later next year," Cook wrote.

not "late next year", just "later, next year".

I have a source that confirmed it was in the works before Cook announced it. They aren't discontinuing it. They are completely revamping it inside and out. I'm sure there are plenty people out there that still think OS X and iOS are merging too, but that also isn't going to happen.

I really, really hope that is the case.

AJ1
10-25-2012, 09:36 PM
If you know how to use remote desktop, you can just carry around your laptop, and leave your render server at home. Just remote into your sever, and download the files from Dropbox. Upload the final frames back to Dropbox, and off you go...

-AJ

cgbeige
10-25-2012, 10:10 PM
you don't need remote desktop. just use screen and ssh:

http://polygonspixelsandpaint.tumblr.com/post/701899285

scroll down to half way.

mustique
11-01-2012, 04:25 PM
maybe they'll introduce an iMacPro who knows. Regardless of what Apple will anounce on the pro desktop, I hope it will give lots of cpu cores (16-32) in a small form factor.

Either that or OSX for PC.

fluffouille
11-01-2012, 04:31 PM
I don't get the quest for a small form factor...
The mac pro is all about space, expansion, versatility, good cooling and sound buffering. Hard to get these in a small form factor.

mustique
11-01-2012, 04:54 PM
By small form factor, I don't mean the mini itx SSF standart. That's obviously not possible.
Rather something in the line of the HP's z600 builds (not the 620's) or even something smaller than that. With low power 22nm Xeons, SSDs, no DVD drives and such, things could get much smaller. Maybe nearly as small as a HTPC.

cgbeige
11-01-2012, 06:00 PM
if you want small, the Dell T5600 is small and quiet but it sacrifices storage space and the build quality is kind of crap

dmeyer
11-02-2012, 01:24 PM
if you can wait for the next-gen Mac Pro, it will be out around Jan, from what I can tell. I'm getting one and I'll be reviewing it for Ars Technica.

If they are waiting for Ivy Bridge Xeons it will be out, next Jan.

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