ABM acknowledged the problem, changed the graphics cards and returned the unit. But the problem persisted, with the machine continuing to overheat and malfunction during heavy work.
While the unit was with ABM, Mile Studios purchased two more Mac Pros, an 8-core and a 6-core version, but these machines also experienced the same problems as the 12-core machine.
Another Dubai-based postproduction specialist, who preferred not to be named, also has experience of the problem and shared his own theory about the cause. “The GPUs overheat. It seems to be the highest-spec Mac Pro with the dual D700 GPU that has the problem. It’s a strange one because there are mixed reports in some cases of a GPU replacement fixing the problem, but that doesn't solve it for everyone.”
He added that the Mac Pro “cooks” when running Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve software with 4K or higher RAW media and heavy correction after 15 minutes.
The problem has been compounded by Apple’s apparent lack of recognition of the issue, the specialist said: “Apple’s official stress tests don't seem to stress the system enough to recreate the problem. So when people take the Mac Pro into Apple with complaints, Apple run their tests and give it back saying there is nothing wrong with it.”
But for Mitre and his colleagues the burden continues. Having invested heavily in a workflow based on Apple, the management at Mile Studios is unsure of its next move but is mulling a switch to Linux or Windows-based platforms.
At present, the only solution for Mile Studios is to limit the speed at which the Mac Pro operates and keep a high-end lap top ready as back-up. As Mitre points out, the issue has already cost the company valuable time and effort, and has had a direct impact on its ability to serve its customers.
“When something like this happens it affects your business and the quality of the service that you are offering. We have to take it seriously and even consider moving on to another platform,” he said.
Story continues on next page