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Oliver Daniel

Mac Setup for Editing/Resolve/RAW/4k

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Hello. 

 

I'm looking for some advice regarding the purchase of a new Mac setup, and I have my eye on either the highest spec iMac or a 6-core Mac Pro. 

 

I understand the Mac Pro is more expensive as you need an extra monitor, and it looks like a powerhouse investment that could last many years. Saying that, will the highest spec iMac be enough? (by enough, I mean that I want the machine to rarely lag and operate like a bullet.)

 

External hard drives is all good. (Lacie 2big Thunderbolt).

 

I currently:

 

  • Edit in FCPX (a lot of multicam music videos.)
  • Mostly edit in ProRes 422 or H264 natively.
  • Perform simple to medium graphics in Motion 5, occasionally After Effects. 
  • Edit RAW stills in Lightroom. 
  • Use Photoshop and Illustrator for occasional graphics work. 

 

My small business is attracting higher end work, and we have been working (and will be working more) with cameras such as the Blackmagics, F5 and F55, 1DC, plus the workhouse GH3s. The higher budgets mean we have more time to work with higher quality applications, such as RAW, downsampled 4k and serious colour grading. 

 

The vision is to have a machine that will last and perform near enough faultlessly. (Our current machine can't cope!).

 

We intend to:

 

  • Transcode RAW files when needed. 
  • Watch 4k footage without a hitch. 
  • Apply serious colour grading through DaVinci Resolve to both RAW and ProRes HQ files with high performance.
  • Run FCPX like a dream.
  • Speedy read/write for saving footage quickly. 

 

Will the top end iMac fly with this? Or should we gulp and get the super duper trashcan? 

 

Many thanks

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If you plan on doing this for business, there is really no reason to go with the iMac. Go with the six core Mac Pro with 6GB GPU (3X2) for ~3900 and get a real 4K monitor for ~2500.

 

The aditional $3K-$4 should be a wash over the lifetime of the computer, and you will see noticeble performance improvements over the top spec iMac (time is money).

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If you plan on doing this for business, there is really no reason to go with the iMac. Go with the six core Mac Pro with 6GB GPU (3X2) for ~3900 and get a real 4K monitor for ~2500.

 

The aditional $3K-$4 should be a wash over the lifetime of the computer, and you will see noticeble performance improvements over the top spec iMac (time is money).

 

Cheers. Need the advice, as I'm more camera/lights than computer!

 

You are exactly right, its worth pulling the trigger on the beast if business is at stake. I've been told that I don't need a Mac Pro for what I intend to do. I think this person failed to see I need a machine that will blast every project. Massively. No hiccups.

 

I think I will probably wait to til top 4k monitors reduce in price. What do you think are the best alternatives?

 

As for external hard drives, do you recommend any other than the Lacie 2big?

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Cheers. Need the advice, as I'm more camera/lights than computer!

 

You are exactly right, its worth pulling the trigger on the beast if business is at stake. I've been told that I don't need a Mac Pro for what I intend to do. I think this person failed to see I need a machine that will blast every project. Massively. No hiccups.

 

I think I will probably wait to til top 4k monitors reduce in price. What do you think are the best alternatives?

 

As for external hard drives, do you recommend any other than the Lacie 2big?

 

The lacie 2big 2 bay systems give a you a slight performance increase in RAID 0, but they don't provide any pairty in case a drive fails (if one fails, then the data is gone).

 

Storage reads are often a bottlekneck, if you want to take advantage of Thunderbolt 2, PromisePegasus is the way to go. I think their 8TB 4 Drive option (using Raid 5 gives you 6TB of storage) is a nice cost/benefit balance.

 

They go all the way up to 32TB, but they get pricy.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist.jsp&sku=1013099&is=REG&gclid=CNjfjrjuj70CFUVp7AodW3YAtg&Q=add&q=1&A=cart

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I have the 2011 Mac Pro 6-Core with 14GB of RAM and just installed two Samsung 1TB Raid-0 SSD's and it rolls like a champ. It's definitely worth the investment in computing power. If for no other reason than your sanity. :) 

 

You'll definitely need the Raid-0 SSD's as a starting point. You can get 1TB's for around $500. My write speed is more than sufficient for 2.5-4k editing. I run FCPX, Resolve, AE, and many other programs without a hitch. 

 

Just as a note - if you go with the 2011 Mac Pro and Apple Display, make sure to get the Cinema Display, and not the Thunderbolt display! It doesn't work. If you get the new Mac Pro, it's not an issue.

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Thanks the pointers here guys, appreciate it. 

 

I'm set on the new MacPro and just need more well paid bread and butter jobs to raise the cash. Will the Promise Pegasus be worth it? They are expensive, but when you consider it will be used professionally for years.... hmmm. Sounds viable. 

 

I'm stuck on the display options though. I don't have the budget to ALSO grab an expensive 4k monitor. I'll be delivering in 1080p, if I had a 4k monitor that would be for my own pleasure, plus the price will be bound to be cheaper once I actually need 4k for delivery  :).

 

Any monitors you would recommend? 

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I'm stuck on the display options though. I don't have the budget to ALSO grab an expensive 4k monitor. I'll be delivering in 1080p, if I had a 4k monitor that would be for my own pleasure, plus the price will be bound to be cheaper once I actually need 4k for delivery  :).

 

 

Hold off on the 4K monitor.

 

If you want something 1080 for grading i'd consider NEC spectra-view:

 

http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/pa231w-bk-sv

 

If you want the budget option you can go with the dell ultra-sharp:

 

U2713HM 

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Hold off on the 4K monitor.

 

If you want something 1080 for grading i'd consider NEC spectra-view:

 

http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/pa231w-bk-sv

 

If you want the budget option you can go with the dell ultra-sharp:

 

U2713HM 

 

 

Cheers for that, I'll note that one down. 

 

What is your opinion on the G-RAID hard drives? 

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Cheers for that, I'll note that one down. 

 

What is your opinion on the G-RAID hard drives? 

 

I have no experience with them. Although in general, if you are going to use a raid array for storage, you should use at least some form of parity for backup. For this reason, i am against the 2 drive models using RAID 0.  

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