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iMac or specialist editing rig?

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Afternoon all,

I am looking into a new machine for my editing needs be it photos via Lightroom or video via Final Cut or maybe Premiere Pro.

I saw an iMac via the Apple Refurb store with a spec of: 27-inch Retina 5K | 16GB memory| 2TB Fusion Drive | AMD Radeon R9 M395

Will that suffice for D750 1080p footage and a potential 4k GX80 and GH5 next summer?

Or am I better of building an i7 6700k rig with carefully selected components?

What is everyone editing on to keep me some sort of idea.

Thanks,
Red

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

It will handle the D750 fine. I doubt it would be able to handle whatever the GH5 outputs. It would really help if you listed your price range.

Currently I'm running:

i7-5820K at 3.7ghz
AMD Fury X
64 GB Ram
Editing off of 2 1tb SSD's in Raid.

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2 hours ago, TwoScoops said:

If you decide to go with the Mac, you're better with a proper SSD/flash drive vs the hybrid Fusion Drive, IMO.

I bought 256 GB flash and a used Promise Pegasus2 R4 (for 600€ @ Ebay). Effectively 6TB Raid5, read speed around 500Mb/s according to BM Disk Speed Test, enough for 5 4k streams PiP in ProRes422 and don't-know-how-many in HD, fluidly (playback at "better quality" and "stop playback when frame skipping occurs" - or how the correct translations from german were).

If I didn't use FCP X, I hadn't bought a Mac. Makes no sense for Premiere or Resolve. 

 

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there was a topic similar to yours not long ago

 

I'm holding off on upgrading from my own 27" iMac until Apple incorporates Intel's new Kaby Lake processor, which is hardware accelerated for HEVC. Could be out in 2017. I expect most 4K cameras will be using H265 in the next couple years. Samsung was anticipating this with their NX1.

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Yeah,

MacOS Sierra waits in the wings. Possibly with new hardware. Allegedly the majority of the apps in the Appstore will start subscription deals, FCP X might as well. If you bought it, you can keep it, but you won't be able to update it. And according to some people fcp.co has talked to (among them the retired Larry Jordan), the next update will be a "big thing".

If you are a long-time Apple user, you know all the dodges, and you are suspicious about big things.

Speaking for myself, I am not afraid. But I'd never lure others on this path.

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Apple quietly made a few upgrades to the Late 2015 iMac retina update, most notably the screen is now 10-bit and the SSD's are PCI-e 3.0 - which makes them ridiculously fast. I tested one side by side with my 6-core mac pro and the iMac smoked it. So I sold the trashcan and bought a loaded iMac, 1tb SSD, 32gb ram and the 395x card. How fast? Check this out.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 11.42.46 AM.jpg

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1 hour ago, Axel said:

Yeah,

MacOS Sierra waits in the wings. Possibly with new hardware. Allegedly the majority of the apps in the Appstore will start subscription deals, FCP X might as well. If you bought it, you can keep it, but you won't be able to update it. And according to some people fcp.co has talked to (among them the retired Larry Jordan), the next update will be a "big thing".

If you are a long-time Apple user, you know all the dodges, and you are suspicious about big things.

Speaking for myself, I am not afraid. But I'd never lure others on this path.

I'm afraid I don't understand you, perhaps others reading this might not understand you either.... I'm a long-time Apple user. Exactly what am I supposed to be suspicious about? Lure others down what path? This all sounds very sinister. Are Apple users being led to hell and damnation or something?

54 minutes ago, The Chris said:

Apple quietly made a few upgrades to the Late 2015 iMac retina update, most notably the screen is now 10-bit and the SSD's are PCI-e 3.0 - which makes them ridiculously fast. I tested one side by side with my 6-core mac pro and the iMac smoked it. So I sold the trashcan and bought a loaded iMac, 1tb SSD, 32gb ram and the 395x card. How fast? Check this out.

That's friction' awesome! Here's my machine, late 2013

 

DiskSpeedTest.png

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 11.36.44 PM.png

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I'm afraid I don't understand you, perhaps others reading this might not understand you either.... I'm a long-time Apple user. Exactly what am I supposed to be suspicious about? Lure others down what path? This all sounds very sinister. Are Apple users being led to hell and damnation or something?

I am currently reading Moby Dick in english, which isn't my native language, that may have colored my words. I was referring to the last really big thing in 2011, the inauguration of FCP X, which by this time was "utterly unusable" (Mike Matzdorf). Meanwhile, if you ask us, it is not only usable, it now deserves the initially used attribute "awesome". All updates since then made incremental improvements, many for speed and stability, but none of them made waves (aye!). If they really adopt that subscription system, it means more expenses for me. If they made radical changes to the UI (some rumors) or abandon Quicktime (other rumors), both things can work from the start or cause many BUGS. Not a reason to be suspicious? Just look at APP and Resolve who finally announced "native QT". But people are forced to downgrade because various codecs aren't recognized anymore.

But "I am not afraid", because on the long run I spent less on hardware and software than my Window friends. And, more important for me, I spent much less *time* configurating, maintaining and repairing my system.

But that's my own business, and I won't try to convince others. 

Now better?

 

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2 hours ago, The Chris said:

Apple quietly made a few upgrades to the Late 2015 iMac retina update, most notably the screen is now 10-bit and the SSD's are PCI-e 3.0 - which makes them ridiculously fast. I tested one side by side with my 6-core mac pro and the iMac smoked it. So I sold the trashcan and bought a loaded iMac, 1tb SSD, 32gb ram and the 395x card. How fast? Check this out.

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 11.42.46 AM.jpg

That's the one I have - same specs as yours - and it absolutely eats 4K footage out of the A7s2 and whatever I stack on top of it (usually Color Finale). But that is using FCPX which is a lot easier to use than Premier on these Macs (I have heard).

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1 hour ago, jonpais said:

That's friction' awesome! Here's my machine, late 2013

Yeah, its crazy fast, chews through everything with ease. FCPx is so smooth with my setup. Love it.

Cheers

38 minutes ago, Davey said:

That's the one I have - same specs as yours - and it absolutely eats 4K footage out of the A7s2 and whatever I stack on top of it (usually Color Finale). But that is using FCPX which is a lot easier to use than Premier on these Macs (I have heard).

FCPx is faster, its one of the reasons I've dumped PC's, editing/rendering/exporting is to much faster compared to Premiere.

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I was waiting for the new iMac/s to be released & now i'm not so sure - might be cheaper to get a refurbished one?

Thanks for those speed test results, really interesting.

The whole FCPX hating was complete rubbish, as FCP7 was worlds ahead of PP & the only reason people stuck with it was because of AE - the rest was a shambles.

Hats off to Adobe for running a great negative campaign against FCPX, but those of us who went with it & stayed got the updates, which were always coming, and that have made it one of the most logical,fast & bug free editing programs out there. The redesign of Motion was also a welcome surprise.

Just hope they don't go the subscription route, but if they do i'd still pay them over Adobe - who really need to rebuild PP & fast, if they want to stay relevant!?

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Not sure what gains a refresh will bring, the new 10bit screen calibrates beautifully and the thing is so damn fast, plus Late 2015 moved to Skylake. Apple seems to be moving toward USB 3.0, I prefer a slew of ports over a breakout box.

Refurbs save about 15%, I bought used off Ebay and saved a little more, plus shipping was free and no tax - my machine was almost 30% off new price. Mine was only used for a couple months, so right now 33 months remain on the applecare warranty. Full spec on mine is 4.0ghz, 1tb SSD, 32gb ram, 395x video card with 4gb vram, it trounced my 6-core 3.5ghz with dual AMD500 video cards, 256gb SSD and 32gb ram. But the new iMac have the updated SSD's and I've read that larger SSD's are faster than the smaller ones. Its a powerhouse machine. My main gripe with the 2014's was the fan noise when pushed hard. That's the reason I went with the trashcan - its so quiet. I've only one the new one for a couple weeks, but I've yet to hear any noise from it at all.

Side note, the built in speakers sound surprisingly good, lots of bass with the sound reflecting off the desk. My studio monitors and headphones sound better, but they should.

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I agonized over this, got the entry level Mac Pro. I get good Disk Speed tests, about 1000mb/s - all checks green. I really like having a component setup though vs. the all-in-one. 

Thing is, are people putting their apps, footage, and scratch files all on the internal HD? I'm using an external Tbolt2 RAID (2 spinning 7200rpm discs) and a couple cheap USB 3 enclosures with SSDs. At some point I'll probably add a dual SSD raid just for footage and leave Photoshop and IDD stuff on the spinning RAID. Everything is nice & speedy, but with OS X, FCPX just really smokes anyway. I'm getting good render times with After Effects, but Adobe's really dropped the ball with AE performance for some time now.

What really sucks about either solution is the maze of cables and USB 3 hubs. I had 6 drives in my Mac Pro tower. I think the cylinder is a giant fail for high-end creative work (as is the iMac in this regard). Really miss all those raidable drive slots plugged right into the motherboard.

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3 hours ago, M Carter said:

Thing is, are people putting their apps, footage, and scratch files all on the internal HD?

I wouldn't. With 4k, you need more storage. My Pegasus is no bottleneck, though it only reaches 500 MB/s read speed. I've seen a test with 8, 16, 24 and 32 GB RAM on the maxed-out iMac. Didn't make much of a difference with FCP X. Slightly faster with 16GB, the sweet spot. FCP X is not as ram-hungry as Adobe. CPU and GPU are crucial. You can set free a lot of CPU performance with optimized media. Since those eat more space, you need it external. Big and fast enough TB drives are the way to go. With redundant arrays you need no extra backups.

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I went with a affordable PC build using Premiere. 

Was very hesitant to do so, but the price performance ratio was too tempting. 

I do miss OSX. Ain't gonna lie. 

Premiere is okay. Not in love with it, don't hate it either. Anxious to see if Resolve will turn into a useable editing platform. My initial go at it was too frustrating, so I gave up on it for now. 

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5 hours ago, M Carter said:

Thing is, are people putting their apps, footage, and scratch files all on the internal HD? 

I dump all my footage to the SSD and edit, then move finished projects to external drives. I don't save unedited footage, just high quality versions of the finished piece or clips trimmed down for B-roll if I need to repurpose. I have about 800gb of free space on my 1tb drive, that's usually more than enough for what I do.

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3 hours ago, The Chris said:

I dump all my footage to the SSD and edit, then move finished projects to external drives. I don't save unedited footage, just high quality versions of the finished piece or clips trimmed down for B-roll if I need to repurpose. I have about 800gb of free space on my 1tb drive, that's usually more than enough for what I do.

That's exactly what I do. Have enough cheap 2tb and 4tb externals for storage. For my projects, the least internal storage I had before exporting a finished version from FCPX was about 450gb - that was a wedding with two hours or so of XAVCS 1080 footage from my A7sii in events and a 40 minute film on my timeline all graded.

Biggest 4k projects are all under twenty minutes, so not a problem either.

I nearly fell for the need for an external array set-up (which would have cost over £1000), when I noticed that the 2015 iMac came with a possible 1tb SSD inside. 

The main reason I went for the iMac over a Mac Pro was the screen. Researched loads of monitors and they all had their issues when paired with the Mac Pro. Turned out that for most of what I would be using it for, the iMac was faster as per Max Yuryev's much viewed comparison.

 

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I do not know your technical expertise with hardware and software, but if you like to build your own computers and not afraid with software installation, you can also make your own powerful  tower running OS X....a Hackintosh....in this website you can read about it, they also tell you which hardware components to buy in order to have less headache in the whole process....http://tonymacx86.com/

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