New Mac Pro or Boxx 8950

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Old 03 March 2014   #1
New Mac Pro or Boxx 8950

Both of these computers are close to 10k when the Mac pro is maxed out. For almost the same price I feel as though the Boxx 8950 is Much faster.
I am a 3d artist, I use about 10 different hardware intensive programs quite regularly. One of my main goals is to shed massive time off of rendering in maya and NukeX.

I cant get over how cool and compact the new Mac pro looks. I personally like the Mac OS much more than windows. But for such an investment this hardware seems to be lacking.

Boxx looks very tidy on the inside with the ability to upgrade hardware. I believe its clocking speeds are much higher than the Macs and it is liquid cooled. Also it has Dual CPUs.

Can anyone steer me in the right direction? Which one should I go with? What might you recommend?

On a side note, what is a good monitor as well. Are 4K displays worth it if I am working with cinema quality footage? Any recommended products?

Thanks
 
Old 03 March 2014   #2
Build your own, Boxx systems are more than 3x the cost of what you would pay if you just bought the parts from Newegg and built it yourself. In fact, it's kind of an insult how overpriced they are.
As for the Mac Pro, looks like you'd get more value for the same price, although you're also paying for the form factor. But still, you could do better by building your own, but you would have to decide if you wanted Mac or Windows.
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Old 03 March 2014   #3
Double post with some time between threads, and in General Discussion instead of HW forums.
Double demerit points!
WIll move it to the appropriate forum for you, next time post in the pertinent one, please
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Old 03 March 2014   #4
Originally Posted by Tuckerjamez: Both of these computers are close to 10k when the Mac pro is maxed out. For almost the same price I feel as though the Boxx 8950 is Much faster.
I am a 3d artist, I use about 10 different hardware intensive programs quite regularly. One of my main goals is to shed massive time off of rendering in maya and NukeX.

I cant get over how cool and compact the new Mac pro looks. I personally like the Mac OS much more than windows. But for such an investment this hardware seems to be lacking.

Boxx looks very tidy on the inside with the ability to upgrade hardware. I believe its clocking speeds are much higher than the Macs and it is liquid cooled. Also it has Dual CPUs.

Can anyone steer me in the right direction? Which one should I go with? What might you recommend?

On a side note, what is a good monitor as well. Are 4K displays worth it if I am working with cinema quality footage? Any recommended products?

Thanks


First of all decide if you want to stay on OSX or Windows(I choose both).
If Windows, go for a self build machine, same specs for a third of the price of a Boxx WS. Consider that for 13.000$ the 8950 will offer you just a couple of slow 2.1 6core(AFAIK Xeon have locked multiplier, so no fast overclock), it will be slower than the single 2.7ghz 12core on the new Macpro, and also very slow in single threat operation. For the same money of a Boxx 8950 you can build a 24core 2.7ghz machine and still save a lot of money. If you don't want to build your machine I'm sure than you can find better deals from other quality vendors.
If Mac, avoid the 12core>it's pricey and it's slower than the 4/6/8core in almost everything but the final render, avoid Apple memory>you can buy 64GB quality RAM for about 650$ from other vendors. For fast render just add a couple of self build PC render nodes. For about 10K I've buy the 8core/D700/1TB/64GB(from crucial) and 4x I7 6core render slaves. My current setup it's way faster than a Boxx 8950 and a 12core new Macpro combined togheter and I've still better single threat performance than both workstation.
I've looked for a real 4K monitor but they are still pricey at the moment, probably later this year price will drop a little. I'm about to purchase an LG 34UM95, seems to be a nice monitor, it's almost a 4K but it's much cheaper than a real 4K.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #5
Build your own, and then install both Windows and MacOSx. I have more and more students who decided that a Win machine offers much more flexibility in the long run, and installed a copy of MacOSx to work in that OS. You do have to be a bit more careful in selecting the hardware.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #6
Originally Posted by hvanderwegen: Build your own, and then install both Windows and MacOSx. I have more and more students who decided that a Win machine offers much more flexibility in the long run, and installed a copy of MacOSx to work in that OS. You do have to be a bit more careful in selecting the hardware.

There are many reported problems running OSX on an hackintosh with the latest Xeon processors, and with every system update there is the chance that something will go wrong. IMO if you want a Mac just buy a Mac, if you want a PC save your money and build your own machine
 
Old 03 March 2014   #7
It's also technically illegal to install Mac OS on something that's not a Mac
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Old 03 March 2014   #8
Originally Posted by darthviper107: It's also technically illegal to install Mac OS on something that's not a Mac


Illegal is a strong word, it's against the license agreement. However I wouldn't recommend a Hackintosh either way.

For the original poster, it sounds like your workflow is mostly CPU bound activities like rendering. In that case the Mac Pro wouldn't be the best option since there are dual processor socket offerings from dozens of other vendors that will run circles around the Mac Pro in terms of CPU performance, especially at the $10K price level.
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Old 03 March 2014   #9
I would argue the OP is correct in needing to decide between the hardware rather than OS's as one can install both OS's LEGALLY on a Mac.

From what I read of the spec's on the new MacPro, it is a beast. Honestly, if I'm using such software than I probably am working on important projects that don't allow for much downtime for me to mess with driver/software/hardware issues, which is my original reason for dropping Windows altogether and going to OS X.

While Mac's have their own set of issues, I now spend hardly anytime dealing with tech issues like I did with my PC's.

One may be able to argue that they could build a better machine(if so, I wouldn't think by much), I would counter with the other reasons why Mac's are simply better machines.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #10
Originally Posted by voltageme5: ...which is my original reason for dropping Windows altogether and going to OS X.


Who said you have to use Windows? There are Linux native versions of Nuke and Maya.
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Old 03 March 2014   #11
Thanks everyone for your responses.

A few things about the new mac. Apparently most softwares don't take advantage of the dual GPU and it sounds like Autodesk maya has no plans for it. Also the GPUs are AMD fire pro. I also run simulations for VFX purposes and I have read that Nvidia cards are the best for this because there architecture allows for better equation computing or something like that. Apparently there may also be some bottlenecking issues.

I agree with Voltgame5 that not having to worry about the hardware of a PC is one of my favorite aspects of a Mac.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #12
Originally Posted by Tuckerjamez: I also run simulations for VFX purposes and I have read that Nvidia cards are the best for this because there architecture allows for better equation computing or something like that. Apparently there may also be some bottlenecking issues.


For applications that use OpenCL (like Houdini Pyro simulations) the AMD Fire Pro cards offer very competitive performance compared to Nvidia cards. In real world applications some developers have chosen CUDA which is supported only on Nvidia hardware which could be a factor for some users. I'm not aware of any bottlenecking issues.

Originally Posted by Tuckerjamez: I agree with Voltgame5 that not having to worry about the hardware of a PC is one of my favorite aspects of a Mac.


Not so sure I'd consider that a benefit. That's like Henry Ford saying "Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black."
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Old 03 March 2014   #13
Originally Posted by olson: Who said you have to use Windows? There are Linux native versions of Nuke and Maya.


Simply stating my experience, nothing more.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #14
Originally Posted by olson: Not so sure I'd consider that a benefit.


It is if you want to use both OS's legally.

I don't understand your Ford quote though. Ford is insinuating you have no options with the Ford whereas the Mac affords him the luxury of running any OS he wants.
 
Old 03 March 2014   #15
Originally Posted by voltageme5: I don't understand your Ford quote though. Ford is insinuating you have no options with the Ford whereas the Mac affords him the luxury of running any OS he wants.


I was referring to hardware selection. We can agree to disagree because this could go on for 100+ posts.
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