2019 Mac Pro DAW Benchmark Test Results

Dewdman42

Senior Member
I don't know why my Mac Pro is only using 20 virtual cores though. weird. Plays without dropouts though. I added FabFilter-R also in addition to CHromaverb on all 40 tracks, no drop outs, but getting close to it.
 

simsung

New Member
Does anyone have the 8 core model mac pro?
I wonder how that performs. The idea is to go with it until the cpus get much cheaper. I guess its already powerful enough for most projects and doesnt need 2000$ extra for a better CPU. well thats my theory :)
 
Does anyone have the 8 core model mac pro?
I wonder how that performs. The idea is to go with it until the cpus get much cheaper. I guess its already powerful enough for most projects and doesnt need 2000$ extra for a better CPU. well thats my theory :)
Seems like the maxed out imac outperforms the mac pro (by about 4%) for a lot, lot less (a little over 3k if you upgrade RAM on your own).

This is the next computer I'm looking at buying as I can't spring for a $6k box at this time especially where the 8 core doesn't perform as well as the imac it seems like: https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

I just wish Apple made an mid-ATX tower that was i9 X-series based. I don't like having $1k tacked onto an i9 system for a 5k monitor that I don't need.
 

Prockamanisc

Senior Member
The shitty thing that I've seen is that the costs have not really come down as more cores get introduced. It used to be that Gen 1 = 1 core = $100. Gen 2 = 2 cores = $100. Etc. But lately it's been seeming like with each new generation, it's like Gen 8 = 8 cores = $800. Cost has not been dropping with each new iteration, and instead, rising with the increased performance.
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
in years past, computers were doubling in speed every year or two, which had the effect of driving down the price of slightly older, not-bleeding-edge hardware. But that phenomenon is over. They are reaching an upper limit of clock speeds until some totally new technology comes out, if ever. They can increase cores and and improve some other bottlenecks here or there, but the end result is that they can't double the performance every year or every other year anymore. so that means the prices are actually stabilized.. There is no reason to drop the price of slightly older stuff anymore because its not much worse then the very newest stuff, for example. And yes, adding more cores, means more manufacturing costs. They are creating increasingly more complicated systems in order to try to wring out a bit more performance but that increased complexity is costly. A lot more costly for a little more performance.

That is just how its going to be for the foreseeable future until/unless they come up with something truly revolutionary.
 
The shitty thing that I've seen is that the costs have not really come down as more cores get introduced. It used to be that Gen 1 = 1 core = $100. Gen 2 = 2 cores = $100. Etc. But lately it's been seeming like with each new generation, it's like Gen 8 = 8 cores = $800. Cost has not been dropping with each new iteration, and instead, rising with the increased performance.
Well, I think that the good news is that with the advent of the higher end Ryzen stuff, CPU prices are coming down again. Part of the problem is that for a bit now, if you absolutely needed the highest performance, Intel was the only game in town, really. Now you can get a Ryzen 9 16 core/32 thread CPU for (ostensibly if you can find it) $750. $47 a core is not too bad.

This is good news for people building their own Intel machines too. Intel dropped prices on the HEDT desktop stuff in response to Ryzen: The i9-10920X is $750 right now over at B&H.

With Apple, much as I really like their software, they do go out of their way to make the hardware purchases as anti-consumer as possible. Soldering memory, storage, and CPUs straight to the board is complete bullshit. There's zero reason to do this on desktops besides preventing people from buying aftermarket parts and upgrading. Yes, I get the whole closed system idea, but all they have to do is void warranties for those that want to use aftermarket parts. Apple reminds me of where Avid was at in the early 2000s.
 

simsung

New Member
Seems like the maxed out imac outperforms the mac pro (by about 4%) for a lot, lot less (a little over 3k if you upgrade RAM on your own).

This is the next computer I'm looking at buying as I can't spring for a $6k box at this time especially where the 8 core doesn't perform as well as the imac it seems like: https://browser.geekbench.com/mac-benchmarks

I just wish Apple made an mid-ATX tower that was i9 X-series based. I don't like having $1k tacked onto an i9 system for a 5k monitor that I don't need.
ok that doesnt sound that bad. if the 8core is already almost as good as the maxed out imac, my plan to update the cpu whenever i need it, seems to make sense
 

Nick Batzdorf

Moderator
Moderator
I don't know why my Mac Pro is only using 20 virtual cores though. weird. Plays without dropouts though. I added FabFilter-R also in addition to CHromaverb on all 40 tracks, no drop outs, but getting close to it.
I don't know why it would be using 20 instead of 24, but these are my settings. At one point the default setting was causing my machine to use 12. I forget which one it was I had to change to get it to behave.

1578081502344.png
 

Dewdman42

Senior Member
My settings are similar. I seem to be noticing this since upgrading to 10.4.8 and I'm still on Mojave. Other people are saying 10.4.8 is doing better with cores on Catalina and part of me is starting to wonder if Apple did something to make it all better on Catalina but worse on Mojave.. Call me paranoid...

I am unable to get all 24 meters to fill up, often time only 2/3 of them, even with numerous tracks. I'm not sure what to make of that. But also its not clear to me that the LPX Cpu meter is actually measuring the cores, but is actually showing the number of threads. When I watch a third party Cpu monitor, all 12 cores are filling up with activity.

So I don't want to make too much out of it.

I have found the Playback threading setting gets me a bit less pop and crack then Playback & Live...when I'm mixing. The Playback & Live I feel is more useful when I'm noodling around because when you click on a track header there is not that annoying latency delay for the first couple of notes on the keyboard, which does happen when its set to "Playback".
 

David Kudell

Active Member
For those of you lucky enough to have the new Mac Pro, you should check out this PCI SSD raid...5300MB/sec read speed! Talk about an awesome sample library drive!

 

David Kudell

Active Member
Robin Williams said cocaine was God's way of telling you you have too much money. He didn't know about this.
That’s a good one! Although in this case, the OWC raid is actually a lot cheaper than Apple’s SSD options, which only go to 2200 MB/sec. So save money and get a smaller Apple SSD for the OS, and get a faster cheaper sample drive with the OWC.
 

simsung

New Member
do i get it right? The only options we have are only the sonnet m.2 or the owc from above for library space?
I need at least 4TB and want to avoid using the owc external 2,5" drive bay - since there are the pcie options.
 

Virtuoso

Active Member
the OWC raid is actually a lot cheaper than Apple’s SSD options, which only go to 2200 MB/sec. So save money and get a smaller Apple SSD for the OS, and get a faster cheaper sample drive with the OWC.
Mine runs at around 3000MB/s for both read and write. The base 256GB model is quite a bit slower for some reason - the write speed is only around 1300MB/s.

do i get it right? The only options we have are only the sonnet m.2 or the owc from above for library space? I need at least 4TB and want to avoid using the owc external 2,5" drive bay - since there are the pcie options.
No, there are other options. I ordered a few cards from Amazon to try out this weekend. This $12 card works perfectly with an old Samsung 960 Pro and gives 3GB/s read and 2GB/s write (probably a limitation of the SSD).

This one at $94 takes 2 normal SATA SSDs and also works perfectly, with read and write speeds of around 520MB/s (tested with two Samsung 860 EVOs). Might be able to squeeze more out of it in a RAID0, maybe up to 650MB/s, but I didn't test that yet.

I also ordered this 16x card to see if there is any speed improvement (haven't tried it yet), and most interesting of all, this 16x Asus card that takes 4 M.2 NVMe drives. IF it works, it could be awesome for super high speeds and capacities in a RAID0.

I say IF, because the motherboard needs to support 'bifurcation' (which divides the 16x PCIe lanes equally between the 4 drives) - otherwise only 1 of the 4 drives will be usable. I have read reports that the new Mac Pro does, but also speculation that it doesn't. I will know for sure on Sunday when I get round to trying it. Fingers crossed!
 
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simsung

New Member
Mine runs at around 3000MB/s for both read and write. The base 256GB model is quite a bit slower for some reason - the write speed is only around 1300MB/s.



No, there are other options. I ordered a few cards from Amazon to try out this weekend. This $12 card works perfectly with an old Samsung 960 Pro and gives 3GB/s read and 2GB/s write (probably a limitation of the SSD).

This one at $94 takes 2 normal SATA SSDs and also works perfectly, with read and write speeds of around 520MB/s (tested with two Samsung 860 EVOs). Might be able to squeeze more out of it in a RAID0, maybe up to 650MB/s, but I didn't test that yet.

I also ordered this 16x card to see if there is any speed improvement (haven't tried it yet), and most interesting of all, this 16x Asus card that takes 4 M.2 NVMe drives. IF it works, it could be awesome for super high speeds and capacities in a RAID0.

I say IF, because the motherboard needs to support 'bifurcation' (which divides the 16x equally between the 4 drives) - otherwise only 1 of the 4 drives will be usable. I have read reports that the new Mac Pro does, but also speculation that it doesn't. I will know for sure on Sunday when I get round to trying it. Fingers crossed!
oh thank you! that’s lots of good alternatives. can you please share your results tomorrow after testing?
 

Virtuoso

Active Member
Will do - I'm really hoping the Asus card works out. It will make a very cheap way of getting 8TB of ultra fast internal storage. If it doesn't I'll probably go for the Sonnet M.2 4x4 which has a chip onboard to handle the bifurcation.
 

simsung

New Member
Will do - I'm really hoping the Asus card works out. It will make a very cheap way of getting 8TB of ultra fast internal storage. If it doesn't I'll probably go for the Sonnet M.2 4x4 which has a chip onboard to handle the bifurcation.
just found something interesting in the macrumors forum here
According to that article, the asus card doesnt work ... well lets see