KeyShot Forum

Other => Benchmark => Topic started by: Blacktip on March 06, 2018, 01:16:55 am

Title: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 06, 2018, 01:16:55 am
Hello all. I'm tinkering with the idea of getting myself a new machine (currently sporting an iMac 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015, 3.3GHz Intel Core i5), which isn't anything to brag about when it comes to chrunching numbers. I have two options:

1. Getting myself a faster Mac, and if I want to get any decent speed I need an iMac Pro (with as many cores I can afford)
2. Getting myself a complementary PC-build with some sort of multi core solution (Ryzen Threadripper:ish)

The issue with the second solution is that I really need and want to keep a Mac as my primary tool of working. A PC would only act as a fast render machine, and that means that I A.) have to get rid of my current iMac and buy a new monitor in order to be able to switch between the Mac & PC via some sort of monitor switcher, which I also have read is not a simple solution – especially if you want to use retina resolution on both machines as well as having low latency. or B.) use some sort of VNC-setup to connect my current iMac to the PC to setup renders etc. The second solution means that the PC only will be good for, well.... rendering (and not for other PC tasks like the occasional gaming or whatnot).

Now, if I would find that I do have the cash to get myself a new iMac Pro with, say... 14 cores. How fast does that machine actually render something compared to a PC with a Threadripper inside? Is it *as* fast, or substantially slower or even faster? I do know it's substantially more expensive, but let's put that aside for now. Anyone out there with real life experience that like to share his/hers opinions? Thanks.
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Esben Oxholm on March 06, 2018, 03:01:40 am
Hi Blacktip.

Have you considered building a Hackintosh as an option?
Not sure how the cost/performance will be, but it might be a possible solution to consider.

Cheers,
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 06, 2018, 03:14:14 am
Have you considered building a Hackintosh as an option?

Hi Esben. Yes, I have thought about that option but … given my non-existent knowledge about the steps to make & maintain a Hackintosh I really doubt that I will be happy with it in the long run. The main reason for me considering a new or complementary machine is plain render speed. All other software I run is actually demanding LESS cpu than a couple of years back (Sketch Vs PS as a design tool). But anyway, if I hop onto the Hackintosh bandwagon I guess I have to struggle with non-updatable OS-versions, lack of this and that, plus that I also read somewhere recently that a Hackintosh with Threadripper is doable, but with a lot or extra hassle. And I don't have time for hassles =)

Oh, almost forgot: if I went for a Hackintosh, I would need to buy a new 5K screen (like the one I already have in my iMac-setup). And yeah, I guess I could always sell the iMac, but well... I think the current screen is super-awesome so I really would like to keep it. Too bad Apple axed the possibility to use the screen in modern/newer iMacs as a second/other screen …
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: BenJ on March 06, 2018, 05:41:18 pm
Hey Blacktip,

I’ve been waiting for someone to ask this question. I made an account just to answer!

I picked up the base-level iMac Pro a few weeks ago. It’s only the 8-core version (its the only version that you can pick up in store without ordering).

On the benchmark test it gets about 150fps. Much faster than my older iMac and also dead (weirdly) silent.

I’ll be ordering the 10 or 12-core version in a few weeks. Will report back here with the updated stats!
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 07, 2018, 04:24:16 am
Thanks for the information regarding the iMac Pro. I'd love to hear about the forthcoming 10-12-core computing when you've got that machine set up.

Regarding the performance of the basic iMac Pro (150 fps), I guess I have to think of that result as "double the speed compared to my current 15" Macbook Pro I use at work" (just tested the camera.bip-thing and got a frame rate of ≈ 67). And, those numbers correspond overall to the price if you compare the MBP to the iMac Pro.
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: mattjgerard on March 07, 2018, 06:34:41 am
I totally understand you wanting to stay in the OSX world. I grew up in it, been steeped in it for 20+ years. All my personal machines are macs, iphones (oddly I don't own an ipad) but lets just say I drank the kool-aide.

I'm really interested to hear about all these real world results, because when comparing systems its easy to just look at the CPU model/core count and try to make a determination from that alone. I'm finding that frustratingly not to be totally true, so its good to hear real world numbers.

Apple has always put top notch screens in thier imacs, and I used 2 of the 27" apple displays for years, and they are beautiful and technically great. Pricey, yes, but loved them. My iMac at home is getting long in the tooth, and while I probably won't be using Keyshot or anything hard core on it, trying to convince myself that the premium over a PC is worth it, hearing some decent numbers from these machines gives me hope :)

Well, that and my wife knows how to use macs and I'm not looking forward to switching her to windows :)
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 07, 2018, 07:03:49 am
Yes, I will also most probably stay with  as long as I need a computer for any kind of work.

A side note regarding getting faster renders: it would be really great if there was some sort of "low-key-network-render-solution" for us hobbyists that have a spare machine on the same network. I have my iMac, and my wife has hers standing on a desk beside mine. But, if I would want to add network rendering in Keyshot it seems that I have to purchase a minimum support for 32 cores (and our macs total max out on 8 cores). Also, that license ($480) is only valid for one year. Very expensive if you ask me … It would be much nicer to have some sort of solution like Cinema4D have (where you just add machine after machine with the Team Render Client installed, free of charge if you own the Studio Edition – if I'm not totally mistaken). Or have I misunderstood the Keyshot-way of dealing with distributed rendering?
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: mattjgerard on March 07, 2018, 08:13:02 am
Nope, you are correct with KS and Cinema, I now have dealt with both. Cinema was nice, yes you could add as many cores as you could find, the only time that it really raised havoc was with math operations during dynamic simulations, as the math computations  for different CPUs would run the random algorithms differently and result in chaotic unpredictable results . But, just run the sim on one machine, bake it and then render. I was trained never to allow simulations to run during final renders anyway, so wasn't a huge problem.

But I digress....

With cinema at my last job I had conspired every single computer in the office from my MacPro tower workhorse, 4 other edit suites, the protools room, all the way down to the front office lady's 4 core imac. At one time I think  I had about 320 threads going all at once. Granted some of those computers only got through a half dozen frames over the course of the render compared to the other ones, every little bit helps.

Now I am running a NR server at my new company, and yes, its 480 per year for 32 cores. The render server is actually slower than my main workstation , but it really allows me to free up my own local machine to keep working on the next project. So, if its a througput issue, then yeah, I would seriously consider it. It all depends on your needs. The other option is to look at an outside render service. I had looked at that, but we are cranking out so many dang images, that it quickly made sense to drop the coin on the network render license in house. Plus IT is specing out a new HP Z8 machine for us too, so we might be expanding ours to 64.

For a hobbyist or small house yeah the network rendering license is a bit spendy. You really have to make use of it and make sure its actually allowing you to make more money, rather than just a "nice to have". If you weren't staying with Mac, I'd say you might be better off investing in a threadripper system, then you would have the faster machine to develop on, render in the background, and save 2 cores to start working on the next project. That's how we did it until we got the network render. Now I would have a hard time being as productive without it. But its not my money I'm spending :)
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 08, 2018, 09:28:41 am
Thanks @mattjgerard for that insight in the way KS (and you) work(s). Me myself is a plain 3D-hobbyist not planning to make a single dime on any modelling/rendering (my income comes from designing interactive stuff). Hobbyist or professional, the need for speed is present in both world I guess.

I just measured the benchmark of my current late 2015 iMac, and it clocks in on ≈ 62 fps. Never thought that my Macbook Pro would be faster, but it is.

But back on topic: it surely would be awesome to hear something about those 10/14/18 core iMac Pro's & KeyShot. Surely there must be *someone* that has purchased a machine by now? But I guess that I regardless of those results have do decide whether to invest in a machine like that or to ask someone to build me a speedy PC. Decisions, decisions …
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: mattjgerard on March 08, 2018, 11:40:58 am
Just the thought of being able to build a decent threadripper 1950x system or my own 6800k PC system I have at home for about $2300, could get two of those systems for the price of an entry level iMac Pro. Frustrating!

But that is only if you are able to take advantage of the network render option, which brings us back to a NR option for hobbyists and freelancers.
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on March 23, 2018, 12:15:57 pm
Whilst awaiting any posts from iMac Pro owners, I decided to ask a company here in Sweden about the cost of building a render-PC. My (very) theoretical plan is to control the PC from my current iMac via some sort of VNC setup, and just use that machine for rendering. So, being a person that knows NOTHING about PC-components, I'm blindfolded sending this suggestion out to you people. Would this work for a fast render-thingie?

Second question is: will I be able to set up textures, lights etc in a decent manner via VNC? Is there some kind of super-duper tip I should know about when it comes to controlling a PC? Am I doomed to even think that I can get refresh rates that I can live with when texturing and all that Keyshot-stuff you do before pressing [render]? See, I really don't want to place a second monitor on my desk for the PC …

Any tips or suggestions regarding a.) the PC-build itself and b.) the control of it is highly appreciated. Thanks!
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: schneich on April 06, 2018, 10:53:17 am
just got mine today, after unboxing we will see clear...
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: mattjgerard on April 06, 2018, 11:03:16 am
coworker just got one too, will be loading KS onto it this weekend. I'll report the setup, I think its the base model, she was close to getting a maxed out standard imac, but microcenter had a huge deal on the base model iMac Pro.

Just for fun, I loaded KS onmy 2015 MBP 15", and with its quad core I was getting about 35fps, which ain't to shabby I'd guess. I make this note only for reference when my coworker reports back to me about her setup.
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: Blacktip on April 06, 2018, 12:24:38 pm
just got mine today, after unboxing we will see clear...

Sweet. When measuring, please be sure to also state number of cores etc. Cheers!
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: hnax on April 06, 2018, 07:37:25 pm
iMac Pro 18 cores | 291 FPS

https://www.keyshot.com/forum/index.php?topic=21162.0
Title: Re: So, what's the verdict of the iMac Pro?
Post by: schneich on April 07, 2018, 02:07:48 am
181 frames with the "cheapo" iMac pro :-)