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iMac Pro

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On 6/9/2017 at 8:54 PM, KrisAK said:

As someone coming from a PC, that's my question, as well. More specifically:

Is the additional 4GB VRAM in the Radeon 580 of any real use for 4K editing? FCPX and plugins that interest me list 1GB as a requirement for 4K, so I'm wondering if 8GB VRAM is overkill. (I noticed that the 580 is the only card rated as "VR Ready." The cynic in me wonders if it's there primarily to allow Apple to advertise the iMac as "VR Capable." As someone with no interest in strapping on an Oculus Rift, would that money be better be spent on memory?

Is the hyperthreaded i7 required for relatively straightforward 4K editing (Canon XF-AVC Intra...though that's apt to change)? I've read anecdotal reports that recent i5 iMacs outperformed earlier i7's, so, again, is the i7 overkill?

There are threads about FCPx benchmarks like this one, lots of hardware configs to choose from:

http://www.fcp.co/forum/hardware/18250-brucex-try-this-new-final-cut-pro-x-benchmark

I have the previous gen 4ghz i7 (bought used, 3 mo old with 3-year AppleCare for $2000 last year, over $1000 less than new) with 4gb vram, a 1tb SSD and 32gb ram (from B&H when they were having a sale) and its really, really fast cutting 4k from my A7rII or my XT2. I don't use proxies and I never convert to proves, just files straight from the camera. My iMac is noticeably faster than my previous trashcan Mac Pro with dual video cards and 6gb vram. After testing the iMac at the Apple Store I decided to dump the pro for the faster machine with the better monitor.

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5 hours ago, Trek of Joy said:

There are threads about FCPx benchmarks like this one, lots of hardware configs to choose from:

http://www.fcp.co/forum/hardware/18250-brucex-try-this-new-final-cut-pro-x-benchmark

I have the previous gen 4ghz i7 (bought used, 3 mo old with 3-year AppleCare for $2000 last year, over $1000 less than new) with 4gb vram, a 1tb SSD and 32gb ram (from B&H when they were having a sale) and its really, really fast cutting 4k from my A7rII or my XT2. I don't use proxies and I never convert to proves, just files straight from the camera. My iMac is noticeably faster than my previous trashcan Mac Pro with dual video cards and 6gb vram. After testing the iMac at the Apple Store I decided to dump the pro for the faster machine with the better monitor.

Great deal. But be honest, you would be interested if the price was 2999$?!

This summer in North America you can buy a I7-7700 with 1070GTX 8GB, 16GB RAM, 256 SSD + 1TB HDD, 15.6 or 17" for about 1699$. For us not being able to find such a great deal (and that is the case for almost the whole world), a PC will be always be a much more attractive option. Especially the ones considering Windows 10 a better operating system than all the previous Windows implementations.

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Great deal. But be honest, you would be interested if the price was 2999$?!

This summer in North America you can buy a I7-7700 with 1070GTX 8GB, 16GB RAM, 256 SSD + 1TB HDD, 15.6 or 17" for about 1699$. For us not being able to find such a great deal (and that is the case for almost the whole world), a PC will be always be a much more attractive option. Especially the ones considering Windows 10 a better operating system than all the previous Windows implementations.

Does that also have a 5k monitor, 1tb PCIe SSD and run FCPx? If not, not interested. The new price of my machine was $3299 and at $2999, I still would have passed. I waited until it hit my price point and bought it, with most of a 3-year warranty remaining. They're all over places like Craigslist and Ebay. Running windows is not an attractive option for me as I prefer the Mac integration across all my devices. I don't use HDD's anymore either, too slow.

Cheers

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On 6/12/2017 at 3:45 AM, Trek of Joy said:

There are threads about FCPx benchmarks like this one, lots of hardware configs to choose from:

http://www.fcp.co/forum/hardware/18250-brucex-try-this-new-final-cut-pro-x-benchmark

I have the previous gen 4ghz i7 (bought used, 3 mo old with 3-year AppleCare for $2000 last year, over $1000 less than new) with 4gb vram, a 1tb SSD and 32gb ram (from B&H when they were having a sale) and its really, really fast cutting 4k from my A7rII or my XT2. I don't use proxies and I never convert to proves, just files straight from the camera. My iMac is noticeably faster than my previous trashcan Mac Pro with dual video cards and 6gb vram. After testing the iMac at the Apple Store I decided to dump the pro for the faster machine with the better monitor.

Thanks. And thanks for the link.

Sounds like what you've got would be more than enough for my uses. Funny thing, a few weeks ago I purchased a similar unit (i7/m395x/256GB, $2379) from Apple's refurbished store, but the SSD died while upgrading to Sierra (so much for SSD reliability) so back it went. I was waiting for a similar unit to become available when the new iMacs were announced.

I'm still considering used, but prices for a used i7-equipped unit haven't budged, and the difference between a refurbished 2015 and an equivalent 2017 works out to be $300 or so. Not much, but $300 more than the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM I'd decided to spend. (And exactly the cost of FCPX, which I also need to purchase.)

I'll probably head to the Apple store with a CFast reader to see how an i5 copes with 4K footage. I'm less concerned about render times than I am about moment-to-moment responsiveness inside the application.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, KrisAK said:

Thanks. And thanks for the link.

Sounds like what you've got would be more than enough for my uses. Funny thing, a few weeks ago I purchased a similar unit (i7/m395x/256GB, $2379) from Apple's refurbished store, but the SSD died while upgrading to Sierra (so much for SSD reliability) so back it went. I was waiting for a similar unit to become available when the new iMacs were announced.

I'm still considering used, but prices for a used i7-equipped unit haven't budged, and the difference between a refurbished 2015 and an equivalent 2017 works out to be $300 or so. Not much, but $300 more than the ABSOLUTE MAXIMUM I'd decided to spend. (And exactly the cost of FCPX, which I also need to purchase.)

I'll probably head to the Apple store with a CFast reader to see how an i5 copes with 4K footage. I'm less concerned about render times than I am about moment-to-moment responsiveness inside the application.

I didn't go refurb, I got mine from a private seller on ebay and verified it had the AppleCare. Took a few tries before I finally won at $2k. I wanted the i7/4gb vram/1tb ssd setup because I made the permanent move to 4k and started stitching large raw panos on the stills side - until last week's announcement that was the most powerful iMac config you could get. I added the 32gb ram as well, so my total cost is another $300. Tough for me to say what the difference between a i5 and i7 will be when working, someone with more knowledge will have to chime in. But I will say I am traveling the world and editing 4k over the next year with FCPx on a tiny 1.2ghz core M5 processor, 1.5gb on board video ram and just 8gb ram - the 12" MacBook is basically an iPad Pro with a keyboard. Again, I don't use proxies because its time consuming to generate them. I just take my time cutting and let it export when I'm doing something else.

Cheers

chris

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5 hours ago, Don Kotlos said:

iMac Pro does not look great. Unless you are working with H265 or RAW, you are better off with the iMac:

That is a perceptive comment. When we first heard of the iMac Pro and upcoming "modular" Mac Pro, a key question was how will those Xeon-powered CPUs handle the world's most common codec, H264. The previous "new" Mac Pro doesn't handle it well, and the 2017 i7 iMac 27 is about 200% faster at ingesting H264 and transcoding to ProRes proxy or exporting to H264 (using FCPX). This includes most H264 variants such as Sony's XAVC-S. 

For people on the high end, it appears the iMac Pro handles RED RAW very well (at least using FCPX). For people with all-ProRes acquisition it seems pretty fast. For the currently-specialized case of H265/HEVC it seems fast.

However for the common case of H264, the iMac Pro doesn't seem faster than the 2017 i7 iMac and in fact it may be slower, at least using Apple's own FCPX.

Before the iMac Pro's release there was speculation it might use a customize Xeon with Quick Sync or maybe Apple would write to AMD's UVD and VCE transcoding hardware. This now appears to be not the case.

If further testing corroborates the iMac Pro is weak on H264, it might well prove to be the codec equivalent of the MacBook Pro's USB-C design: doesn't work well with current technology but years in the future it might do better -- assuming of course customers have not abandoned it in the meantime.

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