Michael Tebinka

Mac Pro 2019 & Pro Display XDR

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With the release of the 2019 Mac Pro, jokes, memes aside; how is everybody looking at this machine?

I have since 2009 jumped back and forth between all platforms due to softwares and sometimes hardware constrains but have had a preference for the underlying OS and so this has motivated me to predominantly work with OSX and Macs in general - aside from Elitebooks and HP Workstations when doing a lot of work on SGO Mistika when I was based in London and later on in Sweden. Truth be told, the non-exisiting professional workstation with OSX (not accounting for Hackintoshes) lead me to buy components to build a hybrid PC/Hackintosh but was as quickly abandoned. I did never find the time or energy to actually dive into the procedures, compatibility and other aspects to complete that build. I acknowledge that some people enjoy this process but I guess I have never. 

With that said I am excited to work with the new machine arriving mid-January (16-core, 48GB RAM, 2TB SSD, 1x Radeon Pro II 32GB).

I am also very curious to hear what the community thinks of the Pro Display XDR once it arrives, both in terms of performance, precision, calibration etc. That Apple is working with Colorimetry Research to develop calibration solutions is exciting. What kind of standards (open/closed) this will lead to is also very interesting to see.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


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Back in the days I switched between two Mac Pro's (with a switcher) because I wasn't able to get both Avid and Resolve to work properly on a single Mac. I could edit the GPU configuration file in Avid to use the same graphic driver as Resolve but I think it was early RED days so I had to fit in a Rocket and the space was limited without a Cubix expander etc. 

So, I went to the store and got back with a HP Z820 and it worked fine the first year. Then it started to shut down whenever it wanted to, the auto updates started to drive me insane, the graphic drivers screwed up everything all the time, I got a lot of connection issues and HP could never figure out the reasons for my problems and fix them. With the years it got slower and slower and now it's finally time to get a new machine.  This time I will look into the new MAC and hopefully never look back.


What did you pay for your configuration? I hope to get a decent performance out of it without going for the most expensive build. 



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2 minutes ago, Thomas Singh said:

What did you pay for your configuration? I hope to get a decent performance out of it without going for the most expensive build. 

About 8500 Euro ex VAT, with a discount.

I have been using a 1080ti for much of the 360/VR-stitching through eGPU's and also saw a nice (albeit temporary) performance boost when working with R3D when Nvidia drivers were working. Right now I'm just looking forward to consolidating all this hardware into one machine and run Bootcamp when that is absolutely needed (applications that only exist under Windows). 

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(I am reposting my post from LGG as it might interest some people that have not yet seen the XDR display).

I had a look at the Pro Display XDR in the Apple store in Stockholm. First impression was, wow, this monitor is big! 5" more than the iMac makes a difference. Really liked the way the image appeared on the screen. If an analogy of the past was the impression of the image no longer being behind a glass surface, this was another example of where the image came closer to the viewer. I suppose the closest I can describe it as is: presence. The bezel take very little space, allowing for the image surface to take the stage rather than being framed too much. The stand is very cool. They should definitely have included the stand in the price, even if it meant a higher price tag from start. 

Switching between colour spaces as presets was simple, go into display settings and click the one you want (I think you can set this to the menu bar as well). Wait 1-2 second before the image comes back on the display. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210435

What I did like is the straightforwardness of the switching. One click stop to swap and getting nits adjustments with that (according to reference modes). It's really  nothing new, but I suppose I like the idiot-proofing of these modes.

I had 10 minutes with the monitor and it probably triggered more questions than provided answers. The demo material was (needless to say) outdated, running the old FCPx demo project with 4K footage. Nothing that really allowed to take the monitor's full advantage. The staff were not that knowledgable and/or extremely stressed the day before Christmas - when asked about the monitor. 

Standing about the distance from the screen as you would - having one of these on the desk I couldn't help to notice that the extreme edges of the monitor had a slight brightness drop-off/gradient. I can't confirm the viewing angle for sure, but that was one of the things I noticed. 

Apple is working with Colorimetry Research to develop a calibration solution, when will this come and how will it work? What kind of accuracy will we be able to get from this monitor? I believe these are the burning questions right now.

Don't get me wrong, I think the monitor looks awesome. Somewhere I am hoping it will actually be as awesome as they claim it to be.
As much as we have our recognised brands of reference monitors, probes and softwares to calibrate with. And I too have gone that route to learn and better understand how that process works (calibration)). I too have spent money on tools and probes. And I can't help to be a bit excited and also wonder if they (Apple + Colorimetry Research) are going to bring something remotely innovative to the table - that makes the process of calibrating your screen - a bit more straightforward. Those are the things I welcome.

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34 minutes ago, Nicolas Hanson said:

And how did you get the discount? And no need for an extra graphic card except what you listed above?

Yes, very happy! Just in need for a better monitor (for GUI). I did consider the XDR, but I'm no longer looking at it.

Curious about the ASUS ones, tempted by the EIZO CG319x but no clear choices right now.

As for storage my older Promise Pegasus is the bottleneck in the system. So considering a Sonnet m2 PCI card for 4x 2TB SSDs from WD paired with an external storage via 10Gbit Ethernet. Not sure here. 

At the moment the single Vega II 32GB does the job very well. Realtime performance with my 5K R3D footage, very fast renders in pretty much all the work that I do. I would considering adding another card further down the line when I will notice that the system would feel better with a speed bump. 

Posted some Standard Candle tests earlier:

MacPro 2019
3,2 GHz 16-Core Intel Xeon W
48 GB 2933 MHz DDR4
1x AMD Radeon Pro Vega II 32 GB

Resolve using the original file attached with the project in a 1080 timeline. (Some people are starting to test this with R3D files as well as in other resolutions, so results may vary, will post this as well later on. 

09 Blur Nodes - 24fps (60 @ 60fps)
18 Blur Nodes - 24fps (60 @ 60fps)
30 Blur Nodes - 24fps (40 @ 60fps)
66 Blur Nodes - 18fps (18 @ 60fps)

01 TNR Node - 24fps (60 @ 60fps)
02 TNR Nodes - 24fps (60 @ 60fps)
04 TNR Nodes - 24fps (39 @ 60fps)
06 TNR Nodes - 24fps (28 @ 60fps)

You can get discounts if you spend (too much) a lot of money on Apple products. 🙂 

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You can always get a R4i https://www.promise.com/Products/Pegasus/R4i-J2i?utm_source=homebanner&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=PegasusR4i-J2i-20191210 but I have no idea what performance we are looking at. 

I don't really need external sharing at the moment so internal would be fine. Looking at the above option including the Sonnet M2 solution it would give me 2TB SSD (Mac Pro) + 8TB SSD (Sonnet) + a RAID5 Promise R4i 24TB. This backed up to an external 36TB storage as well as off-site + cloud. That should do it. I'm open for any and all suggestions of course!

What system are you considering @Nicolas Hanson?

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That should definitely do it! 

I'm looking for the exact same setup as you and I'm quite happy to hear that it serves you well. I can't wait to finally get rid of the old z820 that has been bugging me for years. 

Any chance to insert normal HDD disks or is that something that belongs to the past? 

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Hi Michael,

If your budget permits -- and it seems it does since you were considering the Apple XDR monitor -- get a Flanders instead.  I spent months and months (more like a year) looking into alternatives but in the end I bit the bullet and purchased a DM240.   Don't regret it.   

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