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Computer spec's for 2k16 w/ Spotlight and Renderworks

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Hey guys,

My company is looking to purchase a (mac) machine that would be a dedicated drafting station, using 2k16 w/ spotlight and renderworks. I'm working on my laptop currently (macbook pro mid2014), but it doesn't really cut the mustard for rendering. It works but it slow as hell, so we're looking to catch an upgrade.

Price is an issue, of course, so we are looking at refurbished machines. The one we have out sights on now has the following spec's:

The Mac Pro "Twelve Core" 2.66 (Mid-2010/Westmere) is powered by dual 2.66 GHz Six Core 32-nm Xeon X5650 (Westmere) processors with a dedicated 256k of level 2 cache for each core and 12 MB of "fully shared" level 3 cache per processor. It also could be equipped with other dual Six Core processors, but these are documented as their own models for convenience.

By default, this model is configured with 16 GB of 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM, a 1 TB (7200 RPM, 32 MB cache) Serial ATA hard drive, an 18X dual-layer "SuperDrive" and a nVidia 8800GT graphics card.

Expansion includes two external 5.25" "optical" bays (one free by default), four internal 3.5" "cable-free, direct attach" hard drive bays (three free by default), and four PCIe 2.0 slots (one free PCIe 2.0 x16 slot and two free PCIe 2.0 x4 slots with the default single graphics card installed).

Ports include five USB 2.0 ports, four Firewire "800" ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet, two Mini DisplayPorts and a dual-link DVI port, among others. AirPort Extreme (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR is standard.

Although the "Mid-2010" models look essentially the same externally as the "Early 2009" models, all "Mid-2010" models are equipped with faster graphics and there are significant technical differences for higher-end "Westmere" models as well with faster processors and as many as twelve cores (two six core processors) via custom configuration.

I'm not extremely computer savvy, so I'm hoping someone can offer some insight/advice on this particular configuration. The renderings would mostly be for lighting purposes so we'd need to deal with shadows, textures etc etc.


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I have this same base tower and I love it. Still use it as my main machine everyday for Vectorworks, Cinema 4D and Photoshop. That said - I have upgraded it's insides a bit:

I've upped to 64 Gb of RAM from Other World Computing.

I've installed a nVidea GTX 680 4Gb Video Card from MacVideoCards.com. I used to run a Radeon 5780 but didn't feel like it was cutting it.

The 16Gb or RAM in your machine is pretty good, but I would up it if you can. That can happen later if you find you need it. Easy to swap in/out.

The video card you spec isn't going to do great things and I think that is the weak link in your setup.

Hope that helps some.


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