Cubase with Mac Pro 6.1 Advice

Hey, guys. I found a good offer for MacPro 6.1 Trash Can and I’m thinking of getting it. I’m a Windows user atm but would like to give it a try with Macs. I am composing for film, so usualy I use heavy orchestral libraries, like Spitfire Audio stuff etc. I’ve read here that people are having problems with Cubase on Macs and was curious to know if anyone of you has this Mac with these specs and what is your experience.
Here are the specs. Also, I’m planning to have Mojave. I’m not ready yet for this plugin non compatibility nonsense :grin:
Thanks a lot guys.

Apple A1481 Mac Pro 6,1 (2013), 12-core/24-thread Intel Xeon E5 (E5-2697V2) at 2.7GHz (30Mb cache, Turbo Boost to 3.5GHz )

64Gb (four 16Gb) 1866MHz DDR3 ECC RAM

new 1 Tb NVMe SS

Dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics processors with 3Gb of GDDR5 VRAM each (6Gb in total)

I had one of those for a year that I was loaned from a friend to complete a surround project with a lot of composition work. Mine had D700 graphics, so 12 gb. It had 64 gb Ram. I don’t know how much it costs but it will not be better for VI, especially Spitfire, than a used iMac with an 8 core i9. Those Xeon chips were great in 2013 but the 8 core i7 and i9 chips actually run more instances of VI’s than the Xeon chips from that era. The dual graphics don’t do much for VI, it’s the processor speed that counts as instruments load into single processors and the clock speed makes a huge difference. So a 2.6 or 2.7 ghz processor will not run as efficiently with instruments as a 3.4 or 3.8 ghz. Unless the 6,1 is under $1800 I would look to a refurb i9 iMac for the speed, especially for a DAW. I’ve been using Macs since 1992.

Thanks for your advice Grant. Interesting.
I remember when Christian Henson was trying to break his Mac Pro 6.1. It was quite impressive how stable it was. His was 8 cores 3ghz with 64gb ram. But he works in Logic.
My biggest concern is will Cubase work in its maximum on Macs. I’ve heard some stories, and I’ve read here that people had problems with big sessions in Cubase on Macs.
It’s super easy for me to build my own Windows rig, as I know exactly what would I put in it; but I thought to give it a go with Mac.

I’ve got the 12 core with 65gb of RAM and a Quad (about to add a 2nd one) Thunderbolt drive chassis for all the sample libraries and projects and three monitors tied to it. If you are getting a good deal then go for it.

I’m not trying to dissuade you from the Mac at all. I’m just giving you my experience with running a large surround mix ( over 80 tracks of Dialogue and SFX) and original music composition in the same session. My 2012 iMac loaded instruments faster, but of course could not come close to the number of instruments or tracks the 6,1 could handle. I’m only pointing out that the current i7 and i9 processors are a smaller and faster form factor, are 20-50% faster memory speed, and faster core speeds by 30-50%. All that equates to faster loading, more tracks with heavy VI like Spitfire, and I also saw Christian’s video on that, but I also run Native Instruments and things like East West Symphonic choirs with word builder, which stopped the MacPro 6,1 12 core in it’s tracks when running with other heavy instruments like Omnisphere. Everyone has different needs for their workflow, and if you are running primarily Spitfire then the 6,1 should be great because Spitfire’s apps are really efficient and well written, as are their Kontakt instruments. Good luck and I wish you all the best in your composition work!

@IFM thanks for the advice. 3 minitors sound great, too as I am planning to finally expand :grin:

@Grant_S thanks so much for nice wishes and for your post. You said something crucial and that is NI. I didn’t have a clue that was the case. I am also using a lot of NI products, Reaktor and Rise and Hit being my main ones. So it’s good to know that 6.1. would have some issues with it. This is the reason I asked here on the forum for people’s experience. The best way to make a final decision :blush: There is a hyped i9 that I have my eye in, and it seems like I will be sticking to Windows rigs for a bit longer. Inknow my workflow, and it seems like it’s going to be easier for me to build exactly what I need.
Thanks a lot guys.
Good luck to you all.

FYI I’ve had zero issues with NI products on my 6,1. I’m running Catalina. Which everything is Big Sure ready then I’ll update.