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Forums Creative Community Conversations 8 core or 12 core?

  • 8 core or 12 core?

  • Jeremy Garchow

    February 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    Adobe CC
    Color Grading
    Transcoding (encoding)
    FCS3 ( )

    What do you buy? Why is this so confusing?

    More but slower processors, or less but faster processors? I just want the best computer.

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  • Erik Lindahl

    February 5, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    We went with an 8-core system. Better bang for the buck, in theory faster in many situations. At single threaded apps the 8-core will be much faster, where if 11 or more core are used in the 12-core machine it should have an edge but below that probably not. Primarily that means 3D and possibly video transcoding, but most tasks don’t scale that well sadly.

    If we need more power we’ll add a secondary 6- or 8-core system. Being able to completely offload work has its benefits.

    For certain tasks the 12-core will rule. RED RAW on the CPU for example. But RED will have proper OpenCL acceleration in their SDK soon. My guess in NAB.

  • Darren Roark

    February 6, 2014 at 1:54 am

    If you are going to be doing color grading I would recommend the 12 core. You can do full 6K debayer with Red Dragon footage. The 8 core can do it, just not as consistently.

    For editing, the 8 core is the way to go.

  • Oliver Peters

    February 6, 2014 at 2:31 am

    Or, if you don’t believe in the future of 4K mastering and don’t use FCP X near-exclusively, you could go with the 6-core and D500. Faster processors than the 8 or 12-core.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Darren Roark

    February 6, 2014 at 3:04 am

    [Oliver Peters] “Or, if you don’t believe in the future of 4K mastering and don’t use FCP X near-exclusively, you could go with the 6-core and D500. Faster processors than the 8 or 12-core.”

    The six core with the D500s will leave every computer I have ever owned in the dust, but I still am getting the D700s. To me it’s not about mastering in 4K at the moment, it’s about being able to get jobs started quicker without transcoding first. FCP X and Premiere with GPU muscle both do great at this, and both have ways of creating proxies later.

    With Premiere Pro and AE having much better OpenCL performance on CC along with Resolve, the D700s really help future proof the investment. The extra $600 for double the VRAM and performance is an easy choice for me. Looking at the price of the workstation PC versions of those cards it’s a steal.

    The great thing about the ‘classic’ Mac Pros is how useful the six year old models still are with an upgraded GPU. But with no way of knowing if there will be an option to upgrade them in the future, I’m not going to regret spending extra on it now.

  • Oliver Peters

    February 6, 2014 at 3:09 am

    GPU is the hardest decision. Premiere really doesn’t make as much use of it as you think. There are tons of plug-ins that really choke PPro regardless of the GPU. AE makes almost no use of it. FCP X and Resolve are the best. However, even though the GPUs are upgradeable, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a lot of choice diversity in the future, simply because this form factor will have a limited market. I would imagine nothing from Nvidia – unless Apple makes some sort of deal with them again.

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Marcus Moore

    February 6, 2014 at 3:54 am

    If we’re talking about the same Barefeats article [where the 6-core D500 outpaced the 12-core D700 in some test], the one metric that was missing from those tests was an 8-core D700 machine, and it will be really interesting to see how it measures up. The 8-core processor has a much higher turbo boost than the 12-core, much more in line with the 6-core. But as the Barefeats article suggests, some processes seem to be limited by the number of CPU threads they can physically use- and in those cases the 6-core 3.5GHz (and presumably even more the 4-core 3.7GHz) will always win out.

    A really complete matrix of MacPro configs will undeniably prove that no machine is going to be the fastest for every application (or even for every process within an application); and the user really needs to decide what their primary job is, and configure to that. Hopefully that doesn’t mean that your SECOND most important task is too compromised. For example, the best machine for FCPX and the best machine for AE are probably about as polar opposite as you can get- and that’s when the hand-wringing begins…

  • Franz Bieberkopf

    February 6, 2014 at 4:43 am

    [Darren Roark] “Looking at the price of the workstation PC versions of those cards it’s a steal.”

    … and there’s the myth again.


  • Mark Dobson

    February 6, 2014 at 6:27 am

    I’m still waiting for a New Mac Pro vs a topped out 2012/13 27″ iMac comparison.

    Maybe I’ve missed it?

    Whilst I’ve lusted after the new machine for years I can’t really fault my iMac for the type of work we do which is making documentary style programmes using single cam native files. To get a significant performance boost and from what I’ve been reading I’d be better off investing in a 12GB Raid system than a new computer.

    But should Apple upgrade their Thunderbolt monitors I would be sorely tempted with the 6 core and D700s. It would be nice to join the party!

  • Julian Bowman

    February 6, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I only use FCPX and Motion 5 with DSLR footage and in the end plumped for the 6 core with D700 cards thinking it’ll run well and get me the most years out of the machine before needing to consider a new one (self employed one man shop), so it is really nice to read posts that validate my instinct. Thanks.

    And now we are in Feb (alleged delivery month), please hurry up Apple. I’m tired of my 2009 machine being sluggish in large projects and crashing in large projects. It’s like it knows it is going to end up on ebay and is playing up even more at the moment. The wife keeps teasing it arrived and she hid it in the loft, but I can’t find it there anywhere!

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