Does the Mac Pro Make Sense for 3D?

December 11, 2019 - By 

A maxed out Mac Pro costs as much as a Tesla Cybertruck. But is a base model worth the investment for 3D artists?

Are we going back to Mac? In this episode the team talks about the new Mac Pro. Is this expensive machine a viable option for 3D artists and motion designers? We also cover the latest new features in Arnold and Redshift.

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Show Notes:

Apple Mac Pro

Our Thoughts on the Mac Pro

Tesla Cybertruck

MKBHD Mac Pro Video

Mac Pro Cinebench Score

Baby Yoda Model

Arnold is the Most Versatile Render Engine for Mac and PC

Redshift adds C4D Noises and Nodes

Russ Gautier – Going from Cinema 4D to Houdini


Episode Transcription:

Nick Campbell: 00:00 Hey render friends. It’s Nick here with another Greyscalegorilla podcast. Today is a big day. I’ve been waiting 10 years for a new Mac pro and I currently have my credit card out and my finger over the buy button. And a, I’m hoping Chad can talk me out of buying this expensive machine. So, uh, we’re going to talk a little bit about that. We also have some news about Arnold six and, uh, the new GPU render and also Redshift had quite a few updates as well. So we get into a little bit of render news, really fun podcast. Hope you stick around. And before we get started today, I wanted to welcome all of you who joined Greyscalegorilla Plus in the last month. We had quite a few of you join. Uh, it’s been very exciting to see you click around and start watching all of this training.

Nick Campbell: 00:44 And don’t forget if you haven’t checked out. Plus we have now included all of our material collections. So that is the, everyday material collection, the modern surface material collection and texture kit pro for those of you, uh, still using physical render. And, um, definitely check out the new training as well. We have our Houdini course that we just dropped and also in December we’re dropping some Arnold training, so we’ll be talking a little bit about that today, but definitely come check out Greyscalegorilla Plus. It’s been really, uh, amazing to see all of you join in the last month and we cannot wait to show you what we have in store. And with that, let’s head on into today’s podcast.

Nick Campbell: 01:36 Well, hello. Welcome back to the Greyscalegorilla podcast. Today we have some guests with us. Uh, Chad Ashley, how are you sir?

Chad Ashley: 01:45 Good, how are you?

Nick Campbell: 01:46 Oh, just wonderful. Uh, Michael, how are you buddy?

Michael Maher: 01:50 I’m doing swell.

Nick Campbell: 01:51 Feeling better. I know you got the, the holiday cold.

Michael Maher: 01:54 Oh yeah, it’s, it’s been going around on the family, but I’m feeling good today.

Nick Campbell: 01:57 You sound good, you know?

Michael Maher: 01:59 Oh yeah, well that’s just, that’s just my deep voice.

Nick Campbell: 02:03 Well, uh, tons of news going on today. We’re going to be talking about the, um, the new Mac pro. Finally, we got some pricing on that thing we’re going to talk about if, if this thing is, is this max still a thing for, for, you know, for 3d we’re going to talk about that. Uh, what else we got? Arnold 6 GPU just came out or is that an announcement or is that a, is that kind of a new thing there?

Chad Ashley: 02:29 Yeah. So Arnold six just dropped, uh, which is the new Arnold core and they’re bringing Arnold GPU out of beta.

Nick Campbell: 02:38 All right, we’ll be talking about that. And of course, redshift had an update, so render wars are still alive. Um, but look, I, I kinda hope I’m gonna make help. I’m hoping Chad, you can like be either the angel or the devil on my shoulder and help me decide, uh, about this Mac pro. Now before all everybody get in the comments, get hate ready, but don’t hit enter yet until you just hear me out just for a second. I have been using the same Mac pro for almost 10 years now. For, for nine years. I’ve had the old school, what they call a cheese grater, 2010, eight core maxed out Mac pro or 12 core. I’m sorry, that thing was a top of the heap when I got that dude, don’t think it was flying.

Nick Campbell: 03:26 And of course we know for the last nine years max been um, you know, not updating to come out with the trashcan. That wasn’t really the answer we needed came out with the iMac pros, which looked pretty fast. They still seem like an option, but then of course they dropped this actual modular Mac pro and everybody’s been waiting for, uh, and then of course we find out today, uh, what the actual pricing is. So, um, uh, I’m sure, I’m sure we’ve all, I know I have, has anyone else gone in and maxed out a Mac pro, a 2019 Mac pro?

Chad Ashley: 04:02 I didn’t actually have to do it because there was a bunch of people doing it for me. Various like slacks and Twitter and stuff like, Oh my God, look at this. It’s more than a, I think somebody said it’s more than a cyber truck. Like lower than a cyber truck,

Nick Campbell: 04:19 Less less than a banana with, with duct tape though. True. You know, so I think you’d get three Mac pros for the cost of that. So it sounds like it’s about 50 grand if you crank all the numbers up. Now, I, uh, was a little nervous when I saw that, so I went in and I tried to replicate my PC as close as I could to that. Um, and of course you can’t quite replicate it. You can’t even get a, uh, a chip in the new Mac pro. That’s as fast as my, um, my chip in my current PC. However, I tried to crank the, the numbers to an okay place like, um, uh, again to try to get it similar to my, to my PC. Uh, any guesses on how much that will cost? And that’s without a monitor, by the way, what do you, what do you think? You already know?

Chad Ashley: 05:08 I know the answer, but I want Mike to guess.

Michael Maher: 05:11 Oh, I feel like my guess is going to be outrageous, but it’s also probably realistic. Somewhere in like, let’s say the $20,000 range.

Nick Campbell: 05:21 Oh ding, ding, ding.

Michael Maher: 05:22 Oh my God,

Nick Campbell: 05:23 Ding, ding, ding. So not as fast of a chip. Uh, of course the graphics cards are pretty impressive for this new Mac. They seem really cool if your final cutting all day. Um, but we, the, the jury’s out on how these are going to even perform or even be compatible with a GPU rendering right now. So we’re still waiting on all that news. So you essentially, if I, if I take the graphics cards out of it, if I get the chips in a right place, if I don’t go crazy on Ram, we’re in the, yeah, just around 20, uh, depending on the hard drive, depending on all this stuff. So let’s call it 15 to 22,000, depending on some of that little extras.

Chad Ashley: 06:07 I was getting 25 when I specked mine out to be similar to our systems. So I don’t know. I don’t know. I have to go back and look at how you did it.

Nick Campbell: 06:15 But yeah, so maybe I may have missed a couple things too. Um, I didn’t get the wheels. Chad said, look, I’m not crazy. I’m not going to pay $400 for wheels.

Chad Ashley: 06:27 Well, how are you going to move it? You don’t have wheels. You gonna drag it like a barbarian.

Nick Campbell: 06:35 I know what, look, I have a bad back guys. I can’t pick this thing up. It’s heavy. It’s heavy.

Chad Ashley: 06:39 I mean, you might as well for that price. You might, it might, should, should come with someone. It’ll come to your house and move it anytime you want it moved. Oh yeah, I need to move it across the room again. Oh, I’ll be right there.

Nick Campbell: 06:54 Oh man. Uh, while, uh, I definitely spent some time on the page now. Um, of course this is all, this is all a little bit silly, right? This is an expensive, expensive machine that I think is, is beautiful machine and it’s plenty fast. I started watching some of the, the YouTube videos that are already out on it, seeing the sinner bench scores, which by the way, before we get into it, Seanna bench, I ran a Ross and a bench on my machine. Now. There was some other stuff running. I think I was still had like Cinema 4D open. It wasn’t a perfect cinebench, but I got around an 11,000 cinebench on my PC. Does that kind of roughly where yours is, Chad? You’re a little bit faster. These haven’t done,

Chad Ashley: 07:36 I haven’t done one in a long time and I honestly don’t remember what my score was, but I am overclocking my system a little bit, so I’m guessing it’ll probably be a little bit faster.

Nick Campbell: 07:47 I think if I remember right, you were closer to 12,000 because of your overclocking I was, I was a wimp. Old school went 11,000. And, um, I just, I forgot to, which is why I went and ran it. And it’s, the reason I did was because, uh, Marcus Marcus Brownlee, is that how you say his name?

All: 08:07 MKBHD

Nick Campbell: 08:11 That guy love him. He had, he, uh, Oh no, it wasn’t him. I watched his video and then I watched the one that played up right after it. I’ll, I’ll go find out this video. We’ll put it in the links and I’ll put it in the links. He did a Cinebench score on the new Mac pro, which w which had all the chippies in it, the fastest chip set. He got a 9,000, I want to say as a 9,000, 9,600 somewhere around there.

Chad Ashley: 08:37 So again, when he got in this latest vid that he just dropped her, was that, yeah. Okay.

Nick Campbell: 08:42 Latest fed. He’s like go click, send and bench watched it all the buckets spun around and uh, so,

Chad Ashley: 08:50 So that’s not surprising. That’s an older CPU, right?

Nick Campbell: 08:54 Oh, and talked about this on, on one of the shows where, you know, we, we, you know, not to, not to defend the Apple thing, but they don’t really get the brand new chip sets mostly for that re for stability reasons for, uh, to make, go back and listen to the other podcasts. I won’t go back into that, but Mac is always a little bit behind because of they try to feature reliability over like your speed.

Chad Ashley: 09:21 Also, they have a longer manufacturing process, so they need to, because they’re manufacturing their entire system themselves. Everything has to be tested and work together, which is like harder to be on the cutting edge of latest greatest stuff without completely redoing their line.

Nick Campbell: 09:40 Yeah. So all of this is to say, now look, if you’re, if you’re listening to this and you’re like, I can’t believe, I can’t believe we’re even talking about this. Like why, why are we raising my hand right now? That’s Chad, which is, which is good, I think. I think that’s, I think that that is a, um, that’s actually a pretty healthy place to be right now. In fact, if you’re sitting out there and you are happy with your current computer, and it also happens to maybe, I don’t know, it actually doesn’t matter if you’re actually sitting there and happy with your current computer setup, then you could kind of ignore all this. Like you could fast forward here, um, because there’s no, there’s no need to, to worry about the new math pro, right? You’re happy, everything’s fine. Uh, for those of you who are either in a PC world and kind of bombing about windows or you’re still on your Mac, which I’ve talked to many people now, I’ve been doing these roadshows talking, I’ve been out in the, in the United States circle in the country meeting these people that are like, Hey, I’m kinda still waiting for this Mac pro.

Nick Campbell: 10:41 I’m really hoping I don’t have to do the windows thing. Is the Mac pro something that these people should be looking at? Am I, I’m also kind of putting my hand in there. I know I don’t, you know, like do as much rendering as I used to and not in definitely not in cinema 40 as much as I’m used to. I used to, but is this thing even a thing anyone should be looking at? Or are we just in a windows world? Do, should we all suck it up and just be a part of this, of this window’s nonsense?

Chad Ashley: 11:13 Uh, I mean that’s a, that’s a tough question. I, I feel like very, so let me re let me rewind it back for a second. I think if you’re a, if you’re a studio and you’re buying multiple machines and, uh, you want to keep your costs, uh, at reasonable levels, then absolutely do not go with the Mac pro. Uh, if you are, however, if you are, uh, an editor or colorist and you’re not, you’re not a three D artist at all, maybe it makes sense. I don’t know. I’m not in that world, so I can’t really say, but I can tell from just how they’re positioning it. That’s who they’re going after. Uh, so that there’s that. Um, but I think for the individual artist or the freelancer, you should just bite the bullet and go with PC, you’re going to get way more bang for your buck. You’re going to get way more versatility. And at the end of the day, versatility and bang for the buck mean a lot for a person who is spending their own money on a machine.

Nick Campbell: 12:13 So reasonable Chad, right. C’mon, where are you at? Are you saying that somebody should buy this machine?

Chad Ashley: 12:22 I’m saying that if you have money to burn and you think the OOS is worth $10,000, then in that way, then uh, go for it. Um, but just know that you’re going to be behind the tech curve if that’s something that even matters to probably doesn’t. Um, and it’s just going to be like a very nice expensive machine that in a year from now you’ll probably wish you had just waited for the version two, uh, or whatever version is it, is this a ver, is this is their versions with these,

Michael Maher: 12:58 They tend to just update stuff. They don’t do like full out new versions. They’ll, they’ll tweak a piece of hardware and then come out with another one. But, so I just priced it out fully specked out Mac Pro, $52,748. That is almost $12,000 more than the brand new car that I want to get that I’m still like, no, I can’t afford that car. I can’t even get a tower. Crazy.

Nick Campbell: 13:35 Yeah. Okay. To be fair, you can pull the Ram, like that’s a terabyte and a half or Ram. Right. So that’s like you could, you could shave off like 20 grand just by like getting some normal Ram going to the slightly smaller hard drive. And you know, I think, I think that little booster thing, that thunder booster or whatever they call that, that’s only for final cut. So you could get rid of that dude. That’s two grand. Um, yeah, but forget about the wheels, the wheels dude.

Chad Ashley: 14:05 I mean, yeah, the Ram is just ridiculous. And like I don’t, I’m not in a world where I need that much Ram. It’s just like, the amount of Ram you can get is just, I don’t even understand it. Um, but where they get you is on the CPU. So that CPU, the entire industry is sort of moving towards AMD for CPU cause they’re killing it.

Chad Ashley: 14:28 They’re delivering, uh, amazing chip sets for extremely low prices. It’s insane. The thread ripper, the raisins, uh, they’re very cheap for, for how much power they deliver. So to me like going with an Intel based Xeon, it’s just like that’s, that already seems old to me and that already seems like an way of thinking. If they had launched this thing with a a thread ripper and uh, you know, maybe it was, I’m assuming it would drop the price, maybe like five grand, maybe even more. I don’t know. Um, then it becomes a little bit, it’s still not something I would recommend, but it’s a little less ridiculous.

Nick Campbell: 15:12 Yeah, it does seem it’s silly on the face of it when you’re like, okay, this is twice at least twice as much as my PC, which I bought a year ago by the way. So my, my year old PC, um, it is, it is over twice as expensive. It is not as fast in the chip area. Right. If I was just to like, let’s say I’m an Arnold or physical user, I’m not getting out as fast and the GPU situation is still a big question Mark. Now Maxon said that they’re working on a metal version of, um, Redshift. Is that correct?

Michael Maher: 15:49 Yeah. Yup. So we know when we don’t have it. Exactly. So you might buy a brand new Mac pro and then still have to wait like a year until you could even use Redshift on a GPU.

Chad Ashley: 16:00 Right. And even then you’re going to be using a, it’s going to be a while before it’s stable. It’s gonna be awhile before it supports all the features. Yeah. I’m imagining it’s no small feat to like make this thing work on, on metal. Uh, and so yeah. Then then there’s also, uh, uh, that waiting for it to become something that’s usable. So yeah. And then you’re paying a lot for these cards. These cards are not cheap either, which is kind of ridiculous. I don’t really know much about Radeon cards. I didn’t think they were this much money though. Like it seems like they’re expensive.

Nick Campbell: 16:35 Yeah. They’re, they’re like custom for this machine. Like they, Oh, I think as far as I understand, they’re, they only work in this machine and they’re designed specifically for this. Right. Cause they’re those module things, right. They’re like box things, which also makes me think so like I’m, I’m delaying, I’m delaying what I will, what I will uh, kind of share here. They call this in the radio, the little teaser. I will tell you if I purchase one of these already. Well and if I did, which one? Uh, but I’m going to hold back just a moment.

Chad Ashley: 17:08 Well there’s only one one, right? Or what do you mean which graphics card?

Nick Campbell: 17:10 I’m saying I may or may not have already like purchased one of those.

Chad Ashley: 17:15 Yeah, I can pretty much guess he did obviously you thing, yeah, I mean it’s all right. It’s, it’s just, yeah, I okay.

Nick Campbell: 17:23 You’re going to have to state that. You gotta stay tuned Chad. I’ll be here. I’ll be here. Okay. So, um, what I’m thinking though is you can upgrade this stuff. So because we don’t know what’s happening with the video cards, we can, we can save some bucks on a video card and then just buy one later. Cause it is a, just a module you slap in and this machine, as far as I understand, so you can save the money there. If you’re going to go more on, you know, chip, um, rendering anyway,

Chad Ashley: 17:54 what’s the, what’s the benefit of that? They’re all, they’re not going to, Apple is not going to slash these prices.

Nick Campbell: 17:59 No, that’s true. But if I wait a year and then metal does get supported and then there’s a new video card, I, I’m not double buying a card. I’m really not going to use, so I could just get like the regular card.

Chad Ashley: 18:10 So what you’re saying is like they might release a version that specifically works on one of these better than another and you, you, you’re going to buy the cheapest GPU and wait for that.

Nick Campbell: 18:25 I’m saying that’s an option. I’m saying here’s, here’s what’s happening. I’m trying to justify getting what are they going to be interesting and, and, and you, I’m kind of hoping Chad you’re the other on the other shoulder cause I, what I got is I got me talking to you right now. I got 2010 Nick on one shoulder saying you have waited 10 years to not buy any new Mac stuff because they’ve, they, they have not done what, what you’ve wanted them to and they have finally kind of done what you’ve wanted them to for the last 10 years and you’re not going to buy one.

Nick Campbell: 19:03 Are you serious? That’s Nick on this shoulder and then I have like mini Chad on the other shoulder saying what you’re saying right now, which is like come on. Yeah, I mean I feel like my, I’m a, I’m like a large voice of reason on your shoulder. Like come on, you got it. Like a genie hat on.

Chad Ashley: 19:23 And honestly I don’t even think we would have, we probably wouldn’t have, well we probably still would have this conversation. We wouldn’t have as much of this conversation had your PC not had that, that cooling problem where you had to send it back and you kinda got all mad and all that sort of thing. I think if that had never happened and, and you were working on your PC and it’s just fine, then you would be slightly leaning towards the side where I’m sitting on your shoulder and you’d be like, man, I like scoliosis.

Nick Campbell: 19:54 I understand that. I’ll tell you this though. I’m, I’ve been using this machine since I got it back. They did an awesome job and fixing it and it’s been working, let’s call it flawlessly since I got it like hardware wise and software wise, it’s been working fine like tons of time. Uh, renders fast, you know, flies with GPU flies with CPU. Um, however still just, I still cannot get used to this, this operating system. I know I’m like a broken record. I’m probably being somewhat of a baby but I’m not alone here. It’s like it’s a ridiculous operating system and it’s a ridiculous, like every time I see you, you just went in to go try to turn your microphone up before this podcast and, and like could not figure it out. And that’s not, that should not be on anybody to, to not know like that button is, that’s, that’s on windows.

Nick Campbell: 20:49 They screwed you up. You know, like they, they screwed it up for you is what I’m saying. Like that’s a crappy experience.

Chad Ashley: 20:55 How much are you actually I’m not, here’s my thing. Like I want to like shadow you for a day and see how much you’re actually doing in the OS. Cause honestly, this is my day. I open up Chrome, I open up cinema. Like that’s it. Like I’m not, I’m never in anything else. Like I’m not in the OS like I don’t know what, I don’t understand the OS beefs.

Nick Campbell: 21:15 I’m getting look and got a contract. I got it downloaded, I gotta sign it. Where’s, where’s my PDF pen? It’s not here. I’ll tell you that much. I got a, I got a big old like number to figure out where’s my solver? I know solver.

Chad Ashley: 21:27 Let’s call the calculator, man, we have that. What are you talking about?

Nick Campbell: 21:30 Come on. Calculator.

Chad Ashley: 21:32 Even I could just Google everything anyway. I just have, I just ask Google to like, Hey, what’s 13 divided by five? But no, I mean like the, the signing document thing like isn’t RPCs like the business computer of the world? Like there’s no, I don’t really sign a lot of documents, so I would assume there’s something for PC to sign.

Nick Campbell: 21:52 It’s the business computer in the same way. Those like hard to use a boomerang look and phones are the business phones. Like, yeah. Every company had one of those crappy boomerang looking phones and they could never work. Nobody. Nobody knew. You remember a week we have those at DK. Every company had one of those circular kind of like triangle shaped speaker phones.

Chad Ashley: 22:14 I was like, wait, you’re talking about a Blackberry? Like what are you talking about? You’re talking about the, um, Oh man, I’m gonna forget the name and the brand of that thing.

Chad Ashley: 22:23 Dude. I remember those things. It kind of looks like a triangle. Yeah, I know what you’re talking about.

Nick Campbell: 22:27 So, so the same way that every office has one of those, every, every office also has like a P. it’s not a, it’s not a good excuse to say like, yeah, it’s a business thing. Yeah. There’s a lot of crappy like business software. So what was a lot of crappy,

Chad Ashley: 22:41 what you’re telling me is that you would be willing to spend over $10,000 more to be able to sign a PDF because I’m just, you’re making my argument for me off my shoulder, Chad. I can’t like, I, this is like so easy. I’m just gonna take this from me. I’ve been waiting for that much money. You could hire a lawyer to come to your house and sign whatever the hell you want, dude.

Nick Campbell: 23:09 All right here. Here’s, here’s a, and we’ll, we’ll move on to some other news. Cause I, it, this is becoming less and less of a, I mean this is really fun. I really enjoy this, but I think it is becoming less and less of a, of even a discussion for our industry, um, as GPU moves forward as real time engines move forward. It is so clear that it, that even if this machine was slightly faster or I don’t even know, even 50% faster than my current PC and it works with CPU and it was the price it is now, it’s still, there’s so many things we could sit here and discuss about how, how it will become outdated, how we might not be able to upgrade it. And if we do it will be very expensive. And how, like you said, version two is always better with Apple products. Like there’s so many other arguments where I don’t want to spend all day talking about it and now you, you hear me talking myself out of it as well. So, um, so yeah, I, I, I, for me this is a really unique use case, but I think it’s worth it for the YouTube video.

Nick Campbell: 24:17 Like I think it’s, it’s worth it too for the YouTube video and we return it if we buy. Yeah. I mean here’s send it back. Yeah. Here, here’s what’s good about Apple stuff, which I know is not going to be the same with this, with this expensive PC next to me, which is if I were to go resell this PC, it’d probably be worth the fee, like 50% of what I paid for it a year ago. That’s my guess. Uh, I’m probably not too far off. Whereas that Mac probably like hold its value pretty good.

Chad Ashley: 24:48 I mean they, they tend to do that pretty well. I mean that’s, they’re well-built machines. There’s no doubt about it. I mean, it’s a quality machine. There’s no doubt that it’s a quality machine. It’s just not for us.

Nick Campbell: 25:00 I know, I know. Can we, can we start doing final cut tutorials?

Michael Maher: 25:05 No, never again. Never again. You’ll never get me back. I swear. No way. I left final cut in the dirt, man. That thing. They made it so bad. I can never go back. I will say the thing that I, the two things I miss the most. One was pressing the space bar to preview, so I had to download a little like plugin for that. The other thing is I was terrible at organizing documents and trying to search for files on a PC. You might as well just remake the entire file because you’re not going to find it. So being on a PC for about almost two years now, I’ve had to just restructure and organize all of my stuff so I can actually find it instead of just searching my downloads folder cause I will never find it in there.

Chad Ashley: 25:55 So Mike, what you’re saying is that it made you a better person? Is that what you’re saying?

Michael Maher: 26:01 I won’t go that far.

Chad Ashley: 26:02 I mean it sounds to me like it helped you get over something where organization and all that. So maybe, yeah, sounds pretty, that sounds like a, a real shining, uh, a recommendation right there.

Nick Campbell: 26:15 Well, so before I tell you if I actually already purchased this, um, I will say that we’ve talked about this on other episodes where Chad you have, there was a day where you pulled in and pulled me by my hair, frankly, like into the Google world. And you said, get off of Apple mail. I can’t believe you’re still using this. Get off of Safari, get in Chrome world, get in docs like get in Gmail. I didn’t have any of that. And you pulled me in and I was kicking and screaming and then within a week I was like, you know what, you’re right. This is way better. I can log in to my Chrome and I get all, everything’s there. It’s identical across the board and I get all this nice Gmail stuff and they can, you know, they could spy on me all they want. They, they won me over the, the, these Google folks. Um, and I, I, I’m saying all that only to say that is not happen within the PC world.

Nick Campbell: 27:22 All right. I came in kicking and screaming, screaming and everyone said it won’t be as bad as you think. And it’s, it’s, I mean I’m, I’m being a little dramatic. It’s fine. It’s, it’s just fine. It works. I’m not excited. You know what it is. I’m not excited of, of the, of all the little toys that I try to surround myself with, the one that I like spend the most time in front of does not make me happy. And it’s not exciting. Make any of us excited. I mean, it’s windows, you know, and, and let me ask you this, and I’m going to be on your shoulder, is $10,000 worth being happy when you go to work and you step sit and stand in front of a 30 inch screen. I’m like,

Chad Ashley: 28:02 but like I said, I’m into, I’m in two things to make me happy. I mean, yeah, I would, I, I, I could make myself happy with that cash, believe me. The ten grand pocket. Yeah. I mean that’s, that’s a, that’s definitely a ticket to happiness. Um, no, I mean I’m not, like I said, like it’s not a barrier for me because I’m in Chrome and I’m in, I’m in my apps, I’m not in the OS farting around doing whatever. Um, and it, it’s just, yeah. And, but you also have to remember too, like I came from the time when 3d was just starting out where you were doing everything on an SGI workstation using Unix. So for me, having gone from Unix to Mac to PC, like trying all of them, I sort of learned early on that this is utilitarian. It is meant to get a job done.

Chad Ashley: 28:56 And so for me, I don’t use the OS as a way to like, you know, get excited or uh, find artistic, uh, you know, comfort or whatever. Like I use, it isn’t in a utilitarian way, it’s a way for me to get my job done, to make beautiful imagery, all that jazz. So when I want a a experience like what you just described, that’s sort of what I get from my phone. And I’m, I’m a Google guy, like you just mentioned. So I’m, I have a pixel phone and that’s where I get my, uh, you know, beautiful experience of everything working together and blah, blah, blah. So I guess I just treat this, the, the workstation as more of a utility than necessarily anything else.

Nick Campbell: 29:37 Yeah, I think, and that’s, that’s a little bit where I am today. So I, I’ve come to this machine, which I’m speaking to you on right now for all my podcasts, the stuff and the audio and recording tutorials. I’m in cinema, I’m using it, you know, it’s, it’s a great machine. It does all that stuff. And then anytime I got to do practically anything else other than be in Chrome, I walk out of this room and into the other room where my old 10 year old Mac pro is and I sit down with the lower low Rez monitor and with like the fan buzzing a little bit cause I, there’s like dust all crammed in there from 10 years of dust I should probably clean out and I’m so much happier over there like, you know, doing all my old Mackey stuff and like doing research and I’m doing a lot of like building this presentation right now. I’m doing it all over on my Mac. So maybe that’s just going to be my future. I got to go flip on this thing.

Chad Ashley: 30:35 Why haven’t you just gotten the new Mac book? Uh, the 16 inch, set it next, you know, set it on your desk and and like plug that into a KVM switch where then you’re just like one button. You’ve now switched your mac, your mouse and your uh, your monitor and all that so that you can, you don’t have to get up and walk across the room. You can just like flop switch over, start doing your thing

Nick Campbell: 30:58 I think that ultimately is where I’m going to end up. I just haven’t, like I got an old Mac mini, I could just shove in on the side here and flip over to it and do all my regular stuff or yeah, I think that’s where I got what I tried to do and this is more of an experiment that I mostly did so I could record it and talk about it for the year is I just tried to jump in as hard as I could and hopefully like after the cold water hit me, I would just like be okay with it. Like just surround myself with it and then eventually my body would be like, Oh this isn’t so bad. This is actually okay. That, and that’s why I got rid of the Mac in here to kind of force me to do the experiment.

Chad Ashley: 31:40 Cold Turkey.

Nick Campbell: 31:41 Yeah, there you go. And so now that it’s been a year and I now, and then I also had the machine gone for awhile, so I literally had to go back to my Mac little reference there, let it go back to my Mac. And that kind of warmed me back up. Like, Oh, this is way slower over here. But man, I just, uh, I won’t get back in, uh, into all that stuff that’s on, that’s been rehashed on other podcasts. But anyway, um, I, I, I’ll be looking at it. Uh, let me, let me spill the news for those of you waiting or if you, if you have a fast forward it already, like, I don’t want to listen to this. I don’t want listen to this guy talk about, uh, like an outdated machine. Um, I, uh, I, I did not order a Mac pro yet.

Chad Ashley: 32:27 What?

Chad Ashley: 32:28 Wow, you got me, you got me bro. And I was like, I was seriously like, well, there you go. That’s 20 grand.

Michael Maher: 32:38 Are you just waiting for the next payday?

Chad Ashley: 32:40 Is this like a, you know,

Nick Campbell: 32:43 We’re going to wait for the end of year numbers. See how have I mentioned Greyscalegorilla Plus I guess. Uh, uh, so yeah, I, I’m, I’m gonna kind of,

Nick Campbell: 32:56 at least for now, I’ll just wait it out, see, get, try to get some, some, somebody else to do the research for me a little bit. I’m kind of hoping somebody will grab it. Um, EJ if you’re listening, I, I’d, you know, I’d say go ahead. You have my full permission EJ to just go ahead and get one. I know you’ve been waiting like I, I if you need a, like a little angel on your shoulder EJ I say, just go get it. You know what, um, just have me over and let me know. But I’m kind of waiting for somebody else in the industry at least that wants to kind of experiment, do a little bit more research. Especially with this, these video cards, that’s kind of the big holdout for me is metal for um, redshift and, and that integration and just kind of see where all that sits. Um, and then, and then we’ll see if there’s some big news. I’ll, um, I’ll definitely spill it, but I definitely wanted to talk about it since it’s, since it’s fresh in my mind. And I did, I did have it in the cart. I did have the, I did have the beautiful display. I’m sure it’s beautiful. I’m sure it’s uh, like, uh, I just couldn’t do it. It’s, it’s, that’s a lot of,

Chad Ashley: 34:01 when we’re done here, I’m going to totally buy one.

Nick Campbell: 34:06 Like, Chad, you, you already have a F a faster PC than I do and I know I had to live with them.

Chad Ashley: 34:12 Like how like insane that would be if I, if I, I didn’t even tell you that I did it. I just wait for it to show up and then I just take a picture of myself with it. Like, Oh my God, it’s here.

Nick Campbell: 34:26 I find out on YouTube as I’m desperately hoping somebody gets one. And it’s me and it’s you. You made the AB test video on YouTube chad here and I was totally wrong. This is sweet. I can’t believe you didn’t buy one.

Chad Ashley: 34:41 Wow. What a chump? Oh my goodness.

Nick Campbell: 34:46 Great. Well Whoa, Whoa, Hey, uh, let us know if you are even considering this ridiculous thing in the comments below and you know what, give me a little bit of, of um, what I really want to know. Help me justify getting one of these for you. For those of you listening, help me just by getting one of these, at least trying to find one that I could borrow. Do something to get the dang YouTube video out. Cause I think an AB test kind of thing would be fun. Be fun to kind of battle them out. Um, so let me know your thoughts in the comments we can move the heck on to

Michael Maher: 35:23 Before we go. Here we go. Last question. Okay. Uh, if, if, if you just love stainless steel and you have the budget, do you buy a Mac Pro or a dual motor Cybertruck with self driving? They cost the same.

Nick Campbell: 35:40 Are you serious?

Chad Ashley: 35:41 I’m going cyber truck, dude, that thing looks killer.

Nick Campbell: 35:44 Ah man. How much is a cybertruck? So it’s like 50 grand.

Michael Maher: 35:49 Yeah. If you want to add self-driving, you can get the dual motor with self-driving. That’s getting closer to about 60. It’s about 50 K without self-driving.

Nick Campbell: 35:58 Hmm. Okay. Man.

Chad Ashley: 36:01 Does that curly with like the post-apocalyptic uh, like outfit or anything like that?

Michael Maher: 36:07 I’m sure you have one in your closet. Okay.

Chad Ashley: 36:09 Yeah, I can just dig that out. Yup.

Nick Campbell: 36:12 Is there a CD player or no? Yeah, six, six, six disc CD player.

Chad Ashley: 36:18 Yeah. I think if it has that, um, you’re definitely going to need some rust proofing on those metal walls. Actually know the, the, they’re not supposed to rust. Right. Those uh, panels that they have, it’s a, it puts.

Michael Maher: 36:30 the windows weren’t supposed to break either, so, right.

Nick Campbell: 36:33 See that’s why you wait for version two right there. There you go.

Nick Campbell: 36:36 Uh, I don’t know man. That’s a, when you put it in perspective there, I got to say, yeah, we, we, we won’t get back into it. I, I think when it, when it, when you really spec it out to the like the 20,000 range it, it’s got, it’s still ridiculous. Like it’s still, it’s still so ridiculous. I dunno.

Chad Ashley: 36:55 Well we’ll add that you, you’re, you’ve now you’re starting to see the Ridiculousness.

Nick Campbell: 37:01 I don’t know. There’s going to be a new Mac in my life. I’ve been waiting too long now before. Just just, I know, I know we said we’ll move on. I just want to let you know, I also specked out a maxed out iMac pro on your recommendation. Chad. You’re like, look, if you’re, if you really want pretty spreadsheets and a nice better screen and it’s a Mac world, why don’t you just get a new iMac pro?

Nick Campbell: 37:23 I said smart. That was that. Thank you Chad. That helped when max, that dude out that is 11 or 12 ish grand and the sin event score, which I looked up is 6,000 which, which isn’t, I mean when you, when you, when you think about where this, where like what a, what a PC would cost to do that. I think it’s of course like anytime you compare the raw parts versus a Mac, you’re gonna, it’s gonna look crazy. Um, but yeah, I don’t, the options are pretty for cinema 40 users and 3d animators and people that are trying to render at home. I, yeah. I don’t know if I could, if I could like in good conscience recommend it. Yeah. Um, for me, who’s, who’s spending his day making more presentations and I guess signing contracts, um, although I did find a really nice model of baby Yoda, so I, that really pulled me back into, into Redshift pretty heavy this week.

Nick Campbell: 38:31 Just wanted to let you guys know we, I should put that in the link to let me, let me make that note that somebody has a three D printed, a baby Yoda model that you can just drag in a cinema in. It looks great. So we’re going to send, send a senior overhead, give him, give him a couple bucks while yeah, when you download it. Um, anyway, that has pulled me back and so, uh, I’m still doing some, some rendering over here anyway. When you put it like that, it does seem a little crazy. Uh, let us know in the comments what you guys think. We can move on to, uh, non-Apple related stuff and into some other news. Chad, why don’t you tell us a little bit about, um, the new Arnold update?

Chad Ashley: 39:11 Yeah, so, uh, I’ve been on the Arnold beta for God forever now and, uh, GPU, uh, Arnold GPU came, was it entered beta about a year ago, I think. And uh, they just announced today, Arnold six core, uh, GPU is out of beta, which means that it supports like 98% of all the features that CPU has. Um, it’s much faster. It’s much more reliable. Um, it’s, it’s, I would say for the most part it’s production ready ish. Uh, it’s not without its problems. It’s not without its limitations. Um, it has more of a hardware limitation than I would say most other GPU renderers do because it’s a deeply, uh, they’re deeply in, uh, I guess not bed is not the right word, but they’re, they’re very dependent on Nvidia. GPU is specifically the RTX cards, so you don’t have to use RTX cards, but it’s recommended and I have a whole slew of, uh, we’re putting out an article very soon that’s going to walk through all of my recommendations for getting a machine to work on our work with Arnold GPU, uh, and not want and not sort of feel like it’s slow and it’s not as fast as, as redshift in an octane on most things.

Chad Ashley: 40:35 Although I have tested Arnold GPU in some situations where it’s faster than Redshift, but for the most part it generally is about 10 to 20% slower, uh, on, on some, uh, most scenes. And that’s just because of the nature of it. So, yeah, I mean, there’s so much to tell. I mean, it’s, it’s really been in the works forever. Um, it, it, it’s, it, I’ve been through ups and downs in the beginning. I was excited about it. Then when they put it out in beta, it was like really slow and not so great and they fixed a bunch of things. And so now I’m sort of on an upswing. I’m liking it again. It’s actually faster in some situations than my thread ripper, which is great. So yeah, it’s good.

Nick Campbell: 41:19 So is this, um, is this because they’re seeing some people have, you know, the all the chips and some people want to, you know, um, have a ton of graphics cards. Like maybe they were into octane and they moved over. Is that why they’re doing this or is it, um, is it just to like speed up certain parts of the workflow? Like you would, you would, you know, texture in a GPU and then you would do, do your final and CPU or like what’s the, what’s the use case right now?

Chad Ashley: 41:50 The use case right now is, is actually probably the, the biggest benefit because what you get is you get the ability to look dev and light on GPU. If you have a system with maybe a dual graphics cards or maybe you have four graphics cards and you’re going to get great performance out of your look dev. But being able to switch on the fly back to CPU is the real benefit here because then what that means is that if you want to send your your file off to a CPU farm, which are cheaper to render on than GPU farms, like cloud-based farms and even building your own farm, you have that ability to look dev on GPU, get it the way you want, and then flip over to CPU and send it to a farm and it’s going to look exactly the same.

Chad Ashley: 42:34 And that this is really unique. There’s not very many other renders that are able to do that. So, um, that versatility is, is definitely worth something. And, and I’ve been using it that way, uh, for awhile. Uh, and I, I, I think that’s fantastic. Now for me, it’s a bit harder for me to want to switch over to the GPU because I have a thread ripper and that thing is like, you know, bonkers fast. But for those of the, those of you out there that maybe don’t have a really beefy CPU and you sort of put all your chips in this GPU basket and you bought, you know, four graphics cards or whatever, you’re going to be able to use Arnold and it’s going to feel a lot speedier than it used to before.

Nick Campbell: 43:18 And then for someone like that, could they still just use their GPU and do the final render?

Chad Ashley: 43:23 Absolutely. With that. Okay, cool.

Nick Campbell: 43:25 So it’s not just like a GPU mode and then uh, uh, and uh, and then you always have to render CPU. It’s, it’s, you can, it’s really either or, and you can.

Chad Ashley: 43:35 actually, what’s really wild, and this is kind of crazy that they were able to make this happen. It’s like you can actually flip while the IPR is going, you can flip from GPU to CPU and it’ll just like turn on like there’s, you don’t have to like restart the IPR. You don’t have to like restart cinema or anything like that. It just like does it awesome.

Nick Campbell: 43:55 I think I was interrupting you there, Michael. What were you saying?

Michael Maher: 43:57 Yeah, I just want some clarification. So, uh, in terms of let’s say I have an Arnold license and I have a Mac, I’m still limited to just the CPU version. Correct? Like the GPU only works with Nvidia PCs.

Chad Ashley: 44:13 Yeah. The Nvidia cards, it, it, it’s absolutely just an Nvidia thing. So yeah, if you’re on a Mac, unless you’re rocking some external GPU set up, then uh, yeah, you’re, you’re kind of out of luck there, blah, blah. And then I even think that, Oh man, I want to say that you might even be out of luck on external GPUs too, but don’t, don’t quote me on that, but I’m not sure you can even use those. But yeah, so that’s, and there’s no, there’s no metal coming for this because this, they are, uh, in cahoots you might say with a Nvidia and they’ve been working really hand in hand with the Nvidia team to optimize Arnold on GPU to work specifically with the RTX hardware specifically. Also, uh, to, uh, don’t want to forget mentioning, uh, check out the blog posts that we’re about to launch. Cause I, I’m going to tell you sort of the optimal setup to get Arnold GPU working in a way that, uh, that’s nice and speedy and it’s gonna it’s not, it’s actually more hardware specific than, than anything else. Oh yeah. One more thing I forgot to mention. Um, Arnold is actually dropped their, they’ve dropped their price of their single user license down to, I believe you can get it for 340 bucks a year through tool farm, which is ridiculous. So that’s pretty cool.

Nick Campbell: 45:34 Yeah, I’ll, uh, uh, I’ll be, I’ll be checking that out. I’ve, I’ve been playing more, uh, around more with Arnold lately. I still am probably more comfortable in redshift, um, but, uh, just spin experimenting a lot more maybe with that Mac in the back of my head, like, August crap, I’m gonna lose my graphics card.

Chad Ashley: 45:55 Arnold’s still my favorite. I think it’s got the most deep feature set. It’s got the most, it’s got the best plugin in my opinion. And it also, uh, is using more native cinema 4D features than most of them do. And that, that actually is a good segue into, uh, this next update, which is maxon put out a ton of press releases earlier this week. I think it was Mike was on earlier this week or was it last week?

Michael Maher: 46:24 It was early last week.

Chad Ashley: 46:26 It’s Monday today or no, today’s Tuesday. I’ve completely lost track of time when it gets close to the holidays. More days start to like blend together, I swear to God. Anyway, so last week, um, Maxon released a bunch of PR to talk about two things, two big things, uh, with redshift and that is, um, the support for, uh, Maxons internal new node based materials system and uh, the support of Maxon cinema 4d noises in Redshift and uh, yeah, we, we put out a blog post about that.

Chad Ashley: 47:04 And um, it was something that a lot of people were excited about. It was pretty heavily to used. And then when it dropped, it was like everywhere. I think I got it. I got the notification in an email, I saw it in ads. It was even on the, uh, the splash screen that that pops up when you start cinema 40. So I was eager to try it out and um, honestly the noise was fine. It was missing some things. It was missing like some, some key things that I think would have been great to have like the movement feature from the original noise and the uh, some of the animation sort of features, uh, which I really enjoy in the cinema 40 noises. But for the most part it functioned.

Nick Campbell: 47:47 I use all those all the time. And you’re saying you can’t, it’s like a different interface to bring those, those uh,

Chad Ashley: 47:52 no, they don’t, they’re not in there.

Chad Ashley: 47:55 They’re not, yeah, they’re just not in there. And maybe that’s something that they’re going to do. I don’t know. Um, but yeah, there’s just a couple things aren’t that weren’t there, but it worked for the most part. It worked. I think the big issue that I had with this, with this announcement was more around the a redshift working in the material editor, which, uh, was definitely not like great yet. And we cover the, the node based material editor in our training. Where did we, where did we do the training? Mike? You had the,

Michael Maher: 48:27 it’s both in the guide to our 20, and it’s also part of Greyscalegorilla Plus.

Chad Ashley: 48:31 Right. Okay. So if you’re in there and you’ve seen that, you sort of get the idea of what the Maxon nodes are all about and all that sort of thing and it, it, it’s not quite, it’s not quite there yet.

Chad Ashley: 48:43 You can’t, there’s some things that it doesn’t support. Uh, you can’t, uh, save stuff to the, to the content browser, a node based material in the content browser, which is kind of a bummer for me because like, that’s pretty much all of our materials that we make live in there, uh, and go to and from the content browser. So that was kind of a, a big gotcha there. But yeah, it just wasn’t like, it wasn’t there yet. And, and I think that maybe that has something to do with just the node based material system in cinema. Maybe that’s something that they’re hopefully going to be fixing and adding more functionality there. And, uh, yeah, but the good news is I think they’re aware of some of these issues and I think they’re working on them obviously in, and the other good news is that other renderers like Arnold, they’re working on supporting the new node system in cinema as well, which is kinda cool.

Chad Ashley: 49:33 So I hope that by maybe NAB time, we’ll all be hopefully using that new node system.

Nick Campbell: 49:43 It’s, so is it kind of a, is it like a beta situation? It’s not quite out.

Chad Ashley: 49:47 It is because here’s the thing, like, um, uh, it’s part of the Redshift 3.0 version, which is not out yet. It’s in what they call experimental releases where you have to go to the Redshift site, you have to login to the forum, you have to go to the experimental build section and download the experimental build. It’s not something that anybody should be using in production, although I know a lot of people that do, I wouldn’t personally do that. But yeah, so it’s in this experimental build and it’s not called a beta, it’s called experimental, although I would consider it a beta. My big beef with that whole marketing PR thing that happened was that nobody said this was an experimental build.

Chad Ashley: 50:27 Nobody said this was beta. So I was under the impression by all the PR that I got that this was ready for prime time ready for production and it wasn’t, which was a little disappointing.

Nick Campbell: 50:39 I gotcha. So it’s still available. Anybody can go get it, but you gotta you gotta kind of check the box and say, I know that this is an experimental and a kind of go through a couple of hoops to get it run. It’s not, it’s not like auto updating for anybody or anything like that.

Chad Ashley: 50:54 No. You have to go out and seek it out. And it’s, I think it’s worth going in there and playing around with it and giving them feedback on what works and what doesn’t work and sort of sort of beta testing it a little bit, I think. I think that’s, that’s good. I think everybody should do that.

Chad Ashley: 51:09 Um, but I personally, there’s just too many gotchas right now for me to use it every day.

Nick Campbell: 51:16 Well, uh, it’s, it’s been, uh, it’s been crazy in the render worlds out there, getting all these new versions. I’ve been seeing the, the node stuff pop up and, um, I’ve, what, what’s, where’s octane been sitting in all of this lately? Have they had a big update or anything planned in their future?

Chad Ashley: 51:36 Uh, they got the 2020 update, which is, looks pretty promising. Um, I feel like they’re, they’re doing some interesting stuff. Um, it’s just a matter of them making good on everything that they’re talking about, which, you know, historically there they’ve not been super great about that. So, uh, I think everybody’s really cautiously optimistic about what they’re doing. Um, specifically what I’m excited about with them is like, uh, they’re gonna support NV link, which is something that, uh, Arnold also supports, which I have, which is a little device that kind of looks like a little like Batman, um, throwing grappling hook thing.

Chad Ashley: 52:17 It’s hard to describe, but it’s like a little device that, that connects to GPS together so that they can, uh, work faster together and pool memory and stuff like that. So I’m excited about that. I’m excited about, um, you know, just some of the other stuff that I’ve seen in, uh, octane 2020. I don’t, I don’t have it in front of me right now, but there was some things in there that looked interesting. I want to say it was maybe random walk unless they already have that. Maybe, I can’t remember exactly, but, um, yeah, they’re, they’re, they’re doing some interesting things. I, I don’t think, um, I don’t, I don’t think they’d been sitting idle by any means.

Nick Campbell: 52:52 Yeah. It’s, it’s as we get into 20, 20, I can’t believe it’s 2020, uh, as we get into 20, 20 and see some of this stuff too. I know we have some, some, uh, plans we’re still working on, uh, you know, dates and all this stuff, but really diving a little bit deeper into where the render Wars is right now and kind of what that, what that world looks like. So I’ll be, uh, I’ll be definitely asking some more questions as well. So thanks as always for staying up to date with all that stuff. Chad, people always. Yeah, man. I know. I appreciate it. And I know the listeners always tell me like they love hearing how all that is. Even if they’re still, you know, they have their renderer, they’re using it in production. It’s fine. It’s like, like seeing and hearing all of uh, what’s going on.

Chad Ashley: 53:37 So yeah, man, no problem. I just want to reiterate though that Arnold GPU is definitely worth checking out. Check out our blog post about it. I think it’s a fantastic option for those of you that are looking for something that’s very versatile. So I’m super stoked on it.

Michael Maher: 53:50 I’ll jump on top of that. Um, for all the tons of you that join Greyscalegorilla Plus during our big sale a few weeks ago, uh, there is brand new Arnold training coming your way. We’re going to have some Arnold five training dropping very soon. And then Chad’s working on some Arnold six stuff. So there’s about to be a ton of new stuff in Greyscalegorilla Plus

Nick Campbell: 54:17 I’ll be watching that.

Chad Ashley: 54:18 Yeah, that course is killer. I can’t wait to get that on the site.

Nick Campbell: 54:23 Yeah. So if you haven’t checked out of, first of all, if you had joined plus so many of you joined. Uh, it’s, it’s been really exciting to kind of see everybody jump in and they’ve been sharing screenshots of what you guys been watching. It’s been really fun. Um, for those of you who joined, thank you. Uh, it’s been a huge push for us to get Greyscalegorilla where, uh, Greyscalegorilla Plus where it is. Um, and we’re really excited to have you and we have so much, so much stuff planned for it. Uh, and for those of you who haven’t checked it out, definitely go to the page. If you haven’t seen the new Greyscalegorilla Plus page, uh, Michael and the team did an incredible job with, um, really showing everything that is included and also some of the stuff we have planned for the future as well.

Nick Campbell: 55:10 So that’s been the biggest question is like, what do you guys want adding to all this? Um, so if you haven’t checked it out, we obviously have all of our materials in it. Now, if you’ve been looking at any of our materials, it’s all there. And then of course, all the training and, uh, our Houdini training as well. Uh, I don’t know if we did a podcast, I know we had a podcast with the trainer that did our Houdini training, but we haven’t really talked about it here on like the general podcast that is also out as well. Is that correct?

Michael Maher: 55:38 Yeah, it’s doing really well. We’re getting a ton of great feedback. Um, I think a lot of people were happy with the approach that, um, Russ got TA put this course together for us where we specifically wanted to talk to the cinema 4D artist and teach them about Houdini. It’s not just like a cold dive into Houdini and you not knowing anything, but it’s, it’s really for, you know, Greyscalegorilla, longtime fans and tutorial lovers, uh, to, to be in, uh, taught in a way that they’re already comfortable with, but learning Houdini and then even jumping back into cinema.

Nick Campbell: 56:15 Yeah, it looks awesome. Um, you know, the, my, uh, with the holidays coming, I’m think I’m going to jump into some Arnold training and little bit of Houdini. I’ve always wanted to play with it. I’ll, I’ll, I know we talked about it a couple of podcasts ago of like, is it as crazy as it seems? So I’m excited to jump in there and we’ve actually began at a ton of feedback to people are jumping in and saying exactly that. Like they click with it. They’ve been learning a ton and, and even showing some of the work they’ve been doing in Houdini. So if you are a plus member, don’t forget to login, see all the new stuff and if you’re not a member yet, come join us. It’s been really fun to have you guys all here learning and being a part of plus. Um, unless there’s anything else, I think we could wrap this one up. Any, any last minute news before it gets cold and everyone has to go holiday shopping. All the fun stuff out there.

Chad Ashley: 57:07 Nothing that I think we covered so much. I’m like, did we talked about that?

Michael Maher: 57:13 I just need to get your, uh, your credit card info. So I’m gonna check out this Mac Pro page.

Chad Ashley: 57:18 All I have left on my to do list is click buy, right, right here.

Nick Campbell: 57:21 Oh my gosh. If I see, if I even, actually, if you guys could just get one and tell me if it’s worth the, I bet actually save time, you know. Thanks. I appreciate it. Just go ahead. Somebody out there, please go use your credit card. Or if you’re, if you’re, you know, Linus tech tips, you know, give us a call. Like you want somebody to like really push this machine, like, just come on over. I’ll buy, I’ll get, I’ll buy the flight. I’ll come on over to your place and I just want to play with a little bit of like, I don’t know, maybe some Arnold or something. We’ll set it up. Say, Hey, call me Linus call me. We’ll set it up. Um, anyway, thanks for listening folks. Uh, let us know what you think in the comments. We always, uh, uh, we read all the comments here on YouTube if you’re watching or, uh, in the podcast. So always appreciate it. And, um, uh, don’t forget to subscribe. If you’re listening to this, uh, you’re watching it on YouTube. We have this in audio form in podcast world. You’re going to be in the car, you’re going to go visit some family, uh, come subscribe to the podcast and hopefully we’ll see there. And with that, we’ll see you, my friends in another Greyscalegorilla podcast. Thanks for coming guys. Have a good one.

Chad Ashley: 58:34 Bye bye.

Michael Maher: 58:35 Bye.

Posted In:  
19  comments
19 Comments
  • When I first saw these costs on Twitter feeds it never really occured to me that Apple have created a machine that can cost more than a lot of luxury cars. Here in the UK a top-spec Volvo XC90 costs £56,000. That’s a few grand more than this computer. That’s a LOT of car for that money. And true, this is a lot of computer for say, £20,000, but £52,000! and also, it makes me think of the line Apple rolled out bi-annually for the past five years, the ‘we’ve listened to the pros, we’re working on something etc’ and gave a very select few this… how many studios are lining up suites with a couple of these in them? how many VFX studios have sid ‘this is finally the year we switch to the £52k Mac Pro’? I’ve read a ton of reports on VFX studios setting up new suites for using Blender, and real excitement about what that program is generating. No excitement whatsoever on the Mac Pro apart from a few hardcore fanboys…

  • Panos said on the Redshift forums that the Metal version could be released in the first quarter of 2020. It’s actually much more closer than I would have expected. We still need to see how this build can compete with CUDA, but it looks promising. I think I’ve read somewhere that Apple is tied to this development, like NVIDIA is with CUDA-related software. Anyway, in a market where it’s all about NVIDIA, some competition wouldn’t be bad.

    As for the new Mac Pro, yes it is (very) expensive. When it comes to hardware, you’ll always find cheaper PCs with superior components. Apple looks for greater integration, and is most of the time behind the Windows world when it comes to pure performances.

    But not everything is about the specs. Time is important, as it costs money, and a fast machine will undoubtedly let you work fast(er). But when the architecture of the machine gets in your way, it can be painful. I have both a Mac (laptop) and a PC (workstation). They don’t have exactly the same purposes (heavy tasks are usually done on the PC), but at the end of the day, I enjoy my Mac more. The PC is fine, but since I’ve had it, I was forced to reinstall Windows about 7-8 times, because of various problems, some of which I can’t even explain.

    That’s why I can understand Nick’s dilemma. Of course, the new Mac Pro is ridiculously pricy and can’t compete with PCs in terms of hardware. I wouldn’t buy one myself (if only I had the cash). But being in a comfortable environment can certainly help to work more efficiently, and I think (for my part) that it is the most important. We could laugh at people buying machines we judge as too expensive, or just admit that everyone needs to find the right tool for their needs.

    I’m not trying to defend Apple. I personally chose to pick a PC instead of a Mac for my workstation, because they somewhat lost me with some of the decisions they made the last couple of years. But I admit that, if I had the money, I would feel more comfortable on a macOS workstation. I’m not a C4D-only type of user, I do lots of different stuff (even some frontend web development), and I feel much more at home when doing these jumps between each type of task on a Mac. I can prep my work on the Mac laptop, and eventually do the heavy lifting on the PC. In fact, it kinda depicts my usual workflow. I’m using a NAS to sync my files, so I always find back my work the way I left it on any of the machines.

    Again, don’t get me wrong, it’s not a “go for Apple” stance. But I definitely understand Nick’s feelings about this.

  • If you had $15k-$18k to build a new Mac Pro, wanting to future proof it as much as possible, and knowing you will probably have to buy a different graphics card once Redshift for Metal is ready…..what would you spec?

    Would you stick with physical render until Redshift is ready?
    Heh, not asking for a friend…

  • @ShawnMyers
    16core, 96GB, Vega II, 1TB, XDR nano display, vesa mount + arm = $17,700
    Think that is very good setup. This is the system I’d love to get. Can add more GPU and PCIe SSD later if needed.

    Love this podcast from Nick, all the feelings he talks about are exactly where I am at with PC v Mac. I build a PC for GPU rendering use, and while its very good for C4D only use, but hate all of windows and feel very uncreative working in windows. Its a joy to work on Mac, and maybe that is worth spending $10,000 on.

    PLEASE buy a Mac Pro Nick! If I was Apple I’d send a free one to Nick once Redshift and Octane are out, surely that would be great advertising for them.

    I think its silly to think of it fully spec’d though. No one needs 1.5TB ram. The above config would be amazing for lots of people.

    Think we just all need to wait until redshift / octane benchmarks are out to see if this is a good computer for GPU rendering though.

  • A few thoughts…

    While I too think the pricing on the Mac Pro is astronomical. I do think the argument of simply saying a 3D workstation should just be treated like a utility and there is no way to justify Mac is a little over simplistic. “Can Mac OS alone really be worth 10K+”, I think it’s just not as straightforward as mentioned. I work on Macs and PCs everyday. I built my PC out of necessity for more local render power and the ability to use GPU rendering. That being said after 3-4 four years of using my custom PC, I cannot deal with the everyday issues I run into Windows. Everything that needs fixing or configuring is so unnecessarily complex in terms of number of steps and where to find settings and so forth. Windows 10 in many ways seems to have just created “splash pages” which essentially just launches the same old utilities, sub utilities, and sub sub utilities that have plagued Windows since the 90’s. So while the hardware may be futuristic in Windows, the experience is in the past.

    While it may seem that the Mac hardware is not bleeding edge performance, its experience and approach in software is more modern and pleasing to use. So then it gets complicated because you there is a real value equation to balance between hardware and software.

    At the end, I think it is a very personal decision, but considering the industry we work in. We still have software packages like the Foundry’s Nuke Studio that can cost upwards of 10K even when there are options like Blackmagic Fusion for $300.

    That being said my personal workflow involves a high-performance NAS where I can freely work ebb and flow between a Mac and PC and only interact with the PC when I need things limited to my PC whether by software or hardware performance. While I understand not everyone may have the space or resources, I am actually kind of proponent of dual OS workflows. I think there is a way to kind of have the best of both worlds.

    I know this may not sound very Mac like to do, but in the spirit of bringing the cost down, I feel like I haven’t heard anyone discussing in depth possibilities the new Mac will actually allow for people to do there own DIY upgrades even with the main CPU (FYI they are using the latest Gen Xeon W chip that was just launched Q2 of the year https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/series/125035/intel-xeon-w-processor.html)

    One of the biggest factors in the cost of the new Mac Pro is that Apple decided to use Xeon W variants (the “M” version…maybe stands for memory?) that supports on paper up to 2TB of memory. There are also variants of each processor that only support 1TB of memory. These variants essentially cost half the amount of the “M” versions. So it may be possible for example to buy a 24-core/28-core upgrade after purchase for half the amount Apple charges for the CPU. Just some more food for thought.

    Lastly, I also think it is very understated the importance of having a potentially real up and coming platform that may provide competition with Nvidia. I never think it’s a great thing when there is only one solution on the market and Apple creating the Mac Pro and supporting Metal may provide some real future alternatives to an Nvidia only world.

    Sorry for the long post, just had a lot of thoughts related to your podcast. Thanks for the podcast and wish you guys the best.

  • Hey guys this is not correct. The Geekbench score in Jonathan Morrison’s video is 20869!

  • Nick,
    I switched to PC after almost 30 years because of YOUR podcast last year. I was just as apprehensive as you. I can’t see how you can own a PC with Redshift and want to give that up. I don’t like Windows. It’s clearly inferior but you’re only using it about 5% of the time. It can’t be worth the exorbitant amount of money and the performance.

  • You guys are hilarious! I’m 100% on team Nick! I am very strongly considering this new Mac Pro. I haven’t been on a PC in about 18 years, and I can’t imagine going back.

    My reasoning is similar to Nick’s, the OS is so far superior, I can’t imagine giving it up. Just the sheer fact of having hot corners (aka mission control) is worth the extra 5 grand IMO. I know, it sounds ridiculous, but moving windows around manually, like a neanderthal, just kills me. I constantly have 2 or 3 Adobe programs open and active, 3D software, browsers, finder windows… I’d waste hours a day just trying to find what I’m looking for.

    Next up would be stability and ease of use. Every studio I’ve ever worked at, and there’s been many throughout the years, had PCs either custom-built or had some sort of HP or Boxx workstation. When it came to the HP or Boxx, they were ok, but still had technical issues, the custom-built speed demons with liquid coolers and neon lights were always problems. Something would always break or need tweaking or some custom BS to keep it running. I just don’t have time for that, nor do I want to learn all the IT that goes into that. Note on the HP or Boxx workstation, I went and built a similar PC on both sites, and they were very comparable to the Mac, HP was actually $50 more than the MacPro.

    We still use trash cans exclusively, a centralized server, and all rendering happens on the cloud. Could it be faster? Sure. Is it stable? Absolutely. The amount of IT I’ve had to do in the last 6 years is negligible, less downtime means more productivity, and after all that time, it kind of evens out. Not to mention virus-free, malware-free, and all the other BS associated with Windows. Macs just WORK. That’s the beauty of it all.

    You guys talked about processing power and all that. First of all, I’m not a tech guy, so take everything I’m saying as opinion-based. It’s my understanding that most software we use only utilizes single-core processing in the UI. So working with the fastest processor, with the highest turbo boost, is the way to go. The rest of the processers will be used for different software and CPU rendering of course. So at that point, you need more graphics card juice than CPU juice. So wouldn’t that 16 core MacPro be just fine?

    That’s all I got. I should probably get back to work 🙂

    Happy Holidays ya’ll!

    Oh, and that phone you were debating, is a PolyComm and we have 3 of them in our studio 😀

    Love,

    Linas

  • I bought my first Mac Pro 15 years ago. It lasted a while, but when the trashcan came out, I decided to jump to a Hackintosh, as it was time to start using Octane and didn’t want to leave Mac OS. Luckily I have a good friend who has built multiple Hackintosh machines, and so I paid him to create one for me with the best parts you could buy at the time and three Nvidia cards. I’ve been using that for 7 long years, waiting for a new Mac Pro to be released that I could move back on to. From the way that Jules Urbach, Octane CEO, has talked about Metal with Octane, it sounds like it may work just as well as CUDA. I’ll be waiting until Octane X is released, and after OctaneBench scores start to trickle in. If the Two Radeon Pro Vega II Duo cards in the Mac Pro are on par or better than multiple Nvida RTX cards, I’ll be happily buying the new Mac Pro. If the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo’s don’t stack up well against the CUDA based RTX’s, then I’ll be building a new Hackintosh with the latest PC parts in early 2020. You’ll never see me on Windows. The Apple ecosystem of products are too enjoyable for me to spend my workday on a non-Apple OS.

  • I think it’s whatever makes you happy. Go for it, Nick! Get the Mac Pro. I know I will. But I might wait until we know more about the situation on GPU rendering.

    I got a PC six months ago, following Nick’s example, because my 2010 12 core Mac Pro was getting a bit old. I figured I would grow to liking it…

    I really don’t. I hate every minute I spend in the Windows OS. This is sad. I used to love my work. Now there’s a significant chunk of it that I don’t like.

    In my case, 3D rendering is only 10% of my workload. I do a lot of After Effects, but I’m also a writer and film director, so I do a very wide variety of tasks on my computer. I spend a whole lot of time in the OS. And I feel inspired and creative on my Mac. And I don’t swear as much.

    Even after six months, I still cheat and work on my old Mac whenever I can. It’s just so much faster (for me) to get things done! That counts too. Not only rendering speed. Most computers nowadays are fast enough for my needs. But I AM much faster on a Mac. And happier.

    So, if I can get a decent Mac Pro for less then 15k and it will do GPU rendering (I don’t care which one, I will just learn the one that works on my machine), I will be happy.

    If you spend you days inside C4D and that’s it, fine. The PC is the rational choice for you. But in my case, I know I will be much happier with the Mac Pro, even if I have to (sadly) pay twice the price of an equivalent PC.

    That’s just me.

  • I’m a Mac user and I’ve been a light user of C4D since R11.5 and was never as serious about it as I’ve gotten in the past year with R20. I’m working on a project that occupies most of my time now and I’m starting to look at GPU renderers with some excitement to dive in. I’ve considered jumping to PC, but we’re so close to having octane and redshift on Mac why not just wait? Especially when you feel like Nick does. Are modest speed gains or saving a few bucks worth being fragmented and uncomfortable at work? Not at all. People keep arguing that you’re only in the OS some tiny fraction of the time but that’s my main reason for loving the Mac, the OS just disappears into the background and allows you to work. My experience with PCs is quite the opposite, things always pulling you out and making you tinker because of some problem or conflict. The raw numbers don’t always mean everything anyway, when things work together properly and you can just be more productive there are gains that don’t show up in the benchmarks.

  • Søren Christensen December 12, 2019 at 4:54 pm

    I am Heavy mac user. But we have pcs in the studio too for unreal engine and gpu rendering.
    But with cuda no longer being developed for mac the gpu rendering trend is put heavily on hold until Maxon and Otoy shows their goods.

    Not only the destiny for the new mac pro but the mac as at least some kind of 3d workstation depends directly on how diligently the metal framework delivers as a cuda+directx replacement on mac.
    In my opinion the quality and speed of the metal version of octane and redshift gpu renders will seal the fate for the mac as a useable 3d platform post cuda on macOS. If the renders suck like the prorender the damage it does will be devastating. If they spend too long porting the renders it too will kill the interest (anybody remembers the Otoy octane opencl version that never happened?)
    Then there are the realtime performance part – does Unreal Engine on mac+vega ii scream just as much as a pc with a high end nvidia rtx card? Will apple eventually make their own custom gpus for macs too? (in the mobile devices arena they do have an edge over nvidia)

    The crazy thing is that the succes of the platform for pros suddenly is so deeply tied into short-term result from 3rd party companies.

    Until we see some results the new mac pro unfortunately will be a niche DaVinci Resolve and FCPX monster. That is we do not know how these vega ii cards perform –
    For one I would like to see a comparison between the new mac pro with 2x vega2duo and a pc with same cpu, memory and ssd but 4x rtx6000 or 4xrtx8000 cards in DaVinci Resolve. To see who offers the best bang for the buck. And to get an idea how powerful these and cards really are for compute ( But that is 2D )

    The cpu choice in the mac pro quite clearly does not prioritise cpu speed but memory handling and pci lanes.
    The entry level version simply doesn’t make sense unless you need to take advantage of a massive amount of ram and/or pci expansion

    Apple really should make an ‘in between’ machine to close the gap between an iMac or laptop and the mac pro…Rename the new Mac pro to Mac Pro Max Plus and make a Mac pro that makes sense instead of leaving people between windows or hackintosh.
    What Apple forgets or ignores is that a Pro machine can have many sizes and shapes. One does not rule them all. But two or three could…

  • @richie can you share your PC spec as a rendering box?

    I just wish Apple had sent these Mac Pros to actual professionals to ascertain how well they perform in a professional setting. It really grates me to see these Youtube superstars getting first dibs and all they show are unboxing videos shot in 8K.

    Though I did come across a good write up by Vincent Laforet https://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2019/12/10/macpro/

    With respect to pricing, I see that HP Z Workstations are in a similar range to the new Mac Pros as well albeit more easier to put in aftermarket additions into the Z-Workstation.

    On a more comical note, I got my greyscale plus subscription so that I can have an excuse to get a Mac Pro 🙂 I have so much to learn and super excited to pursue some creative endeavours in this space.

  • I really enjoyed the intro to this last podcast. The banter between you and Chad is one of the many reasons I make a point to tune into Greyscalegorilla. I have been a follower and customer for over a decade now. A large part of what drew me to Nick and GSG in the first place and has kept me a loyal GSG fan over the years is our common creative experience and relative career path. Working for an agency with a gig on the side, making that gig your full time job, and ultimately growing that business. All along the way exploring and traversing the many joys and pitfalls of being a Mac user who loves motion and particularly the power and scope of C4D as a tool in our creative tool belt.

    Chad has been a welcome addition to the GSG experience and voice in recent years and I have valued all of his unique industry knowledge, tutelage and unique point of view on the industry and hardware. Though I enjoy it as a counterpoint to my personal experience.

    My argument for your Mac Pro 2019 purchase Nick is that GSG needs to maintain the uniquely Mac experience and perspective. Is the Mac Pro unquestionably a better value than a comparably specced PC for our industry? Perhaps not but that debate has been around since our industry existed and there are more than Chad might imagine who despite the sheer pound for pound logic of Cinebench/geekbench scores and dollar signs gravitate to the Mac. (Fist bump EJ)

    I am also one of those individuals. Your recent switch to a PC was an extremely timely and informative test case for me as I was debating that very same thing at the exact same time for similar reasons. Though I just couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger in no small part due to your frustrations and luke warm experience at best. Anecdotal comments about how you still return to your 10 year old Mac Pro for everything other than C4D & rendering convinced me I would be equally miserable. So I waited.

    For me personally I am not in Chrome/C4D 100% of the day like Chad. I also have 20+ years of experience on the Mac and have to be my own IT guy. Unlike you I bought a maxed out 2013 (Turbo Tube “Barefeats” or Trashcan “everywhere else”) and for the last 7 years have had plugin and software issues like every computer user on the planet but have never had a single issue with the hardware itself. That hardware reliability and confidence that I can solve it if something does arise to me is more valuable than being on the bleeding edge of the tech industry.

    What’s more as a visual designer fit and finish and daily user experience REALLY MATTERS. I spend the majority of my waking time in front of a computer, working on something that simply gets the job done just doesn’t cut it for me. It might sound superficial to the PC community but there is intrinsic value in the Apple aesthetic and OS experience. The sheer beauty and attention to detail that goes into all aspects of their products has an inspirational effect on my work and work environment that no PC or generic peripheral has ever done for me. They consistently raise the bar to the level of art across a wide spectrum of products and as an artist I really appreciate that.

    As for cost/value Chads arguments are sound and I really appreciate that grounding perspective. But as I mentioned above there is some sweat equity and personal preferences that are more important to me and a little harder to quantify when it comes to the bottom line. As far as the latest Mac Pro is concerned I think people are a little too focused on the maxed out version for the sake of entertainment and simply writing it off. 52k is truly absurd no argument there. But when you realize that half that 52k is simply RAM the majority of the absurdity lies in the idea that anyone needs 1.5TB of ram. Even if you did anyone who has ever bought a Mac with the intention of maxing it out knows that judicious use of 3rd party ram vendors and a 2 minute YouTube video can save you 1,000s. In this case OWC can save you 5k on 1.5TD as compared to Apple. No affiliation just easily googlable knowledge.

    Comparing the Mac Pro to the Cybertruck is a little odd to me because who outside of Elon and perhaps his engineers can justify the Cybertruck as a business expense. I think the better comparison is perhaps the latest line of RED digital cameras some of which also push above 50k. Absurdly expensive to most except those who have the need for that level of performance and the jobs that can pay for it. For me as someone who makes his living solely off the hardware and software I use the highly configureable Mac Pro is a very welcome product, and something I am very willing to pay for and have actually already ordered.

    In the end I don’t know how the Maxon/Redshift roadmap will shake out. I may have been a lot more hesitant if Maxon had not made the commitment to port Redshift to Metal. I also don’t know how this initial line of graphics cards will perform but I was particularly cautious within that arena of my purchase so I can double down or adapt as those details and benchmarks unfold in the coming year. After being an owner of the 2013 Mac Pro I am comforted and encouraged by the flexibility the latest model gives me in that respect and because of the 2013 MP more convinced the clever and industrious 3rd party market will discover innovative ways to keep things relevant for many years to come.

    As for you Nick I sincerely think GSGs perspective would be richer and resonate with a larger C4D user base including your long time fans (myself included) if you actually follow your impulses and bring the Mac back. Not to mention the valuable Pro user input you could bring to C4D and it’s implementation of Redshift given your unique relationship with Maxon. 10k is nothing to scoff at but who says you need to match your one year old PC right off the bat. With some decisions you have to think beyond the bottom line.

    Thank you for all the value you and your team bring to our industry.

  • I spend most of my time these days on my PC. I still have a loyal old iMac and laptop but I spend more and more time on the PC. Out of the box, I much prefer working on the mac, but with the purchase of a few apps, the PC can be made more enjoyable. And with the right cluster of apps, my daily experience is actually pretty similar between the two machines.

    I can’t handle the Window’s finder. It makes me cringe every time I open it. So I bought fman. It’s a very well designed dual panel finder. I ended up liking it so much I bought it for mac and now I use it as my finder on any machine I work on (even Linux boxes when I’m at a Linux studio). It takes a little practice, but it’s the fastest finder on the market.

    When Apple botched Quicktime years ago, I purchased Telestream’s Switch. Between that and Autodesk’s RV, my Quicktime reviews are the same on both platforms.

    Along with my 3D apps and Adobe suite, it’s actually pretty similar between the two machines until I have to change a system settings and have to figure out which of Window’s 4 different control panels has the right settings…

  • Interesting conversation guys! A few things I’d like to point out. Almost no one is buying the fully maxed out version of the Mac Pro. I never did back in the old Mac Pro days, and I won’t today. I’d love it if you went to HP or Dell’s site and maxed out their workstations and reported the price as well. It’d be in the same ballpark.

    I think the thing that people should understand about this machine is that it is server grade hardware. You alluded to it when you were talking about the AMD Threadripper. But the hardware that Apple is offering in this MP is not necessarily in line with what a 3D artist would use… maybe in a larger post production facility, but not really for freelancers or small team, I don’t think. That is the point of all this. We don’t need DDR4 ECC memory for what we are doing. We don’t need the Xeons. Those two things alone make this machine wrong for a lot of people. Personally, I’d love it if they came out with the Mac Pro body, but offered a range of i9’s and less expensive RAM. (And NVidia cards, but I don’t see that happening.) Something better than the (decent) fully specc’d iMac and w/o the screen of the iMac Pro.

    Also, the take on FCPX is wrong. It was correct when FCPX was first released, but it is much different now. It may not be your NLE of choice, but it is a very good app.

  • Hey Nick – No guts, no glory…

    I hear you on not wanting to lose the Mac OS vibe, energy, elegance. Been a mac user (even a dealer at one point) since the IIfx – which cost about $5k (with no monitor, can you imagine; ha ha)

    Anyway, going for it and bought a Mac Pro. Come on out to Portland, OR and well take it for a test run together. Should be here by second week of JAN, 20/20 A 16 core, 48G Ram, Single Vega II MPX and 1 TB SSD

    Hoping beyond hope, that Redshift especially; plus Cycles4D, Octane/Arnold and even ProRender (which I like!) end up being a strong position on the Mac/Metal as the dust settles. A wing and a prayer I know; but in the meantime I’ll rock with the tools I have,

  • Søren Christensen January 20, 2020 at 10:50 am

    according to Otoy their Mac metal version of Octane X is just around the corner.
    http://www.cgchannel.com/2020/01/sneak-peek-octane-x/

    Brilliant news. And hopefully the performance runs circles around the Pro Render…

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