kingjames1970

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2008
249
457
Hampshire, UK
Hi, just looking for some advice/opinions please.

I work mostly in Creative Cloud for print design/presentations and have started using FCP X on my 2016 MacBook Pro 15 (i7, Radeon Pro 460). I also hook up to an LG 5K (and 27" 4K when I want even more space).

I find FCP X slows down considerably when denoising footage, almost making it unbearable or certainly not fun.

I'm learning FCP X as I've taken on a big video project (perhaps foolishly but that's for another day). Just wondering, if:

a) I hold out for the iMac Pro (I'd stick with the base model as it comes with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD).
or
b) Get the current top end 5K iMac with 1TB SSD and buy my RAM from Crucial.

There's probably about a £1700 price difference and I'm wondering if I'll regret the iMac Pro for being overkill? Also curious if anybody else has the LG 5K hooked up to their iMac. I know everybody will be lusting after the pro but after shelling out £3k for the MBP as it could supposedly do 4K smoothly, I'm kind of hesitant to jump onto the normal iMac anyway as it might just not be worth the price/speed difference over my current setup.

(Apologies if this has been posted before but I couldn't find it.)

Cheers.
 

ggggggmmmmm

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2017
10
4
The GFX card in the top end iMac is quite good. I believe this is what FCP would be using to de-noise the footage. There will also be other things like quicksync that will make the 2017 iMac faster at encoding h264.

It will be considerably more capable than the MBP. All laptops throttle hard and are quite useless for anything cpu or gpu intensive.

The GFX card in the iMac Pro is considerably better, so it should be much faster. It uses workstation xeon chips which have traditionally run at a lower clock speed and thus slower for most tasks - although this generation they seem to be on par with the i7, so it should be good.

£1700 is a lot to consider. I recently returned my 2017 iMac because 4 cores wasn't enough and the throttling was still there. Although I doubt this would be an issue with FCP or Adobe CC. I'm hoping the base spec iMac pro + more ram is suitable.

Ultimately if a top spec 2017 iMac with 512 SSD and user upgraded ram works then it is a decent investment as the resale value will still be good in 2 - 3 years.

I suspect the re-sale value of an iMac Pro will drop more.
 

RuffDraft

macrumors regular
Sep 16, 2012
199
187
De-noising software is notorious for adding a lot of time to your project. A tip would be to add this last before doing the export. If you're applying the same effect within the de-noiser across a number of clips, use the CMD+Shift+V to paste onto all selected clips, turn background rendering off and export as a Master File for the fastest way of getting that project out.

Otherwise, the video card is almost two years old in the newest iMac, so the iMac Pro should be a massive improvement on the video card side of things. That said, there's still questions about whether FCPX will still be faster on the iMac due to QuickSync, which was mentioned heavily in other threads.

I'm going for the iMac Pro and getting the 10-core, 64GB RAM and 16GB Vega if funds can stretch to it. I use FCPX everyday, all day, unless I'm shooting. There are many advantages that come with the iMac Pro, as you'll be well aware, but it is going to be down to Apple to make the most of the hardware inside it for FCPX.

The wiser man would opt to wait, but if you're struggling and need a new machine now for this project, then it could be that the iMac will serve you better in the short term, as I'm becoming doubtful that the iMac Pro will be delivered this month. We've still had no new news from Apple, which is frustrating. Wiki seemed to have the release date as being the 18th, but it's since been removed. As it's now December, I'll be checking the website every morning in the hope of new news and the ability to pre-order/order.
 

kingjames1970

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2008
249
457
Hampshire, UK
Thanks both for your thoughtful and informed replies. I can see quite clearly that the iMac Pro is the way to go. The denoise tip is very useful thanks.

I’d rather spend £5k and love my new Mac than spend £3k and feel I compromised. I didn’t realise the current card is two years old and that would bother me. After spending £1150 on a phone, no tech price seems silly anymore!

I might look into a short term rent/lease if the pro isn’t out in time. Until now I thought an eGPU might be the way to go but that looks like Spring before it is ok to use.
 

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
1,613
828
...have started using FCP X on my 2016 MacBook Pro 15 (i7, Radeon Pro 460). I also hook up to an LG 5K (and 27" 4K when I want even more space)....I find FCP X slows down considerably when denoising footage, almost making it unbearable or certainly not fun...

Video denoising plugins like Neat Video will slow down any computer -- esp. on 4k -- not just a MacBook Pro,. I have run it on a 12-core D700 Mac Pro, a 2017 top-spec iMac 27, etc. and it is slow on all of them.

Neat Video can be optimized for your particular hardware using the menu option Tools>Preferences>Performance>Optimize Settings, which will show you the relative performance of all combinations of CPU cores and GPU and let you pick which one has best performance. However nothing will make it run really fast, as it's doing a tremendous number of computations across many frames.

....learning FCP X as I've taken on a big video project...Just wondering, if:

a) I hold out for the iMac Pro (I'd stick with the base model as it comes with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD).
or
b) Get the current top end 5K iMac with 1TB SSD and buy my RAM from Crucial....I'm wondering if I'll regret the iMac Pro for being overkill? ...after shelling out £3k for the MBP as it could supposedly do 4K smoothly, I'm kind of hesitant to jump onto the normal iMac anyway as it might just not be worth the price/speed difference over my current setup....

Many other people want to know this also, but we'll have to wait until the iMac Pro is released and tested. In general the 2017 top-spec iMac 27 is very fast on FCPX -- vastly faster than generalized benchmarks indicate. This illustrates the problem of focusing on benchmarks vs actual real world tests.

Running FCPX, the 2017 iMac is about 2x faster than a 12-core D700 Mac Pro on transcoding H264 to ProRes proxy, or at exporting to H264. It is also much faster than the Mac Pro at editing operations on H264 material, esp. scrubbing the timeline. By H264 I mean most 8-bit H264 codecs including those from Panasonic and XAVC-S from Sony. It's not that much faster running Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop.

You can get a 2017 iMac 27 today and use 3rd-party RAM. The iMac Pro cannot use 3rd party RAM so that further increases the price.

If editing H264 video with FCPX is a high priority, the 2017 iMac 27 is a very fast machine -- much faster than a 12-core Mac Pro. If you'll be running Premiere Pro or other software which isn't as efficient, you might need higher hardware performance to compensate for this. The iMac Pro might be that machine but it may be expensive (even by Apple's standards).

The iMac Pro will be released soon, so if you can wait for those results you can make an informed decision.
 

kingjames1970

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 18, 2008
249
457
Hampshire, UK
Video denoising plugins like Neat Video will slow down any computer -- esp. on 4k -- not just a MacBook Pro,. I have run it on a 12-core D700 Mac Pro, a 2017 top-spec iMac 27, etc. and it is slow on all of them.

Neat Video can be optimized for your particular hardware using the menu option Tools>Preferences>Performance>Optimize Settings, which will show you the relative performance of all combinations of CPU cores and GPU and let you pick which one has best performance. However nothing will make it run really fast, as it's doing a tremendous number of computations across many frames.



Many other people want to know this also, but we'll have to wait until the iMac Pro is released and tested. In general the 2017 top-spec iMac 27 is very fast on FCPX -- vastly faster than generalized benchmarks indicate. This illustrates the problem of focusing on benchmarks vs actual real world tests.

Running FCPX, the 2017 iMac is about 2x faster than a 12-core D700 Mac Pro on transcoding H264 to ProRes proxy, or at exporting to H264. It is also much faster than the Mac Pro at editing operations on H264 material, esp. scrubbing the timeline. By H264 I mean most 8-bit H264 codecs including those from Panasonic and XAVC-S from Sony. It's not that much faster running Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop.

You can get a 2017 iMac 27 today and use 3rd-party RAM. The iMac Pro cannot use 3rd party RAM so that further increases the price.

If editing H264 video with FCPX is a high priority, the 2017 iMac 27 is a very fast machine -- much faster than a 12-core Mac Pro. If you'll be running Premiere Pro or other software which isn't as efficient, you might need higher hardware performance to compensate for this. The iMac Pro might be that machine but it may be expensive (even by Apple's standards).

The iMac Pro will be released soon, so if you can wait for those results you can make an informed decision.

Another great tip thanks, I'm using Neat Video. It just brought my MBP to a standstill. So far, I've applied it to see what sort of job it can do, then taken it off and reapplied before export. I was thinking I could avoid having to turn it off and on again so it's good to know.

Yes, real life experience is what I've been after because all the reviews are very much just benchmarks or a quick run through so they can get their video up on YouTube the fastest. I decided to go with FCP X rather than Premiere (even though I get that with CC) is because of how optimised it is for the Mac. I'm rather impatient and just want things done as quickly as possible! Will 32GB RAM in the base model be enough? Truth is I spend most of my time in InDesign/Photoshop/Illustrator and they are all great even with 16GB on the MBP. I'll doubt I'll work in FCP more than one day a week going forward. I've got the cash but at some point you've got to get serious about how much you're willing to spend if it doesn't actually bring tangible benefits over what you need (rather than bragging rights!).

For once I'm glad that everything is running late on a project! Buys me some time to see/hear some real world accounts from users. But also you don't know how availability will be, even if they do launch this month.
 

teohyc

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2007
323
191
If editing H264 video with FCPX is a high priority, the 2017 iMac 27 is a very fast machine -- much faster than a 12-core Mac Pro. If you'll be running Premiere Pro or other software which isn't as efficient, you might need higher hardware performance to compensate for this. The iMac Pro might be that machine but it may be expensive (even by Apple's standards).

The iMac Pro will be released soon, so if you can wait for those results you can make an informed decision.

This.

Those who want to buy it for video editing should really wait for actual real world reviews of the Xeon vs i7 processors in those iMacs.
 

AlexJoda

macrumors 6502a
Apr 8, 2015
768
592
Video denoising plugins like Neat Video will slow down any computer -- esp. on 4k -- not just a MacBook Pro,. I have run it on a 12-core D700 Mac Pro, a 2017 top-spec iMac 27, etc. and it is slow on all of them.

Neat Video can be optimized for your particular hardware using the menu option Tools>Preferences>Performance>Optimize Settings, which will show you the relative performance of all combinations of CPU cores and GPU and let you pick which one has best performance. However nothing will make it run really fast, as it's doing a tremendous number of computations across many frames.



Many other people want to know this also, but we'll have to wait until the iMac Pro is released and tested. In general the 2017 top-spec iMac 27 is very fast on FCPX -- vastly faster than generalized benchmarks indicate. This illustrates the problem of focusing on benchmarks vs actual real world tests.

Running FCPX, the 2017 iMac is about 2x faster than a 12-core D700 Mac Pro on transcoding H264 to ProRes proxy, or at exporting to H264. It is also much faster than the Mac Pro at editing operations on H264 material, esp. scrubbing the timeline. By H264 I mean most 8-bit H264 codecs including those from Panasonic and XAVC-S from Sony. It's not that much faster running Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop.

You can get a 2017 iMac 27 today and use 3rd-party RAM. The iMac Pro cannot use 3rd party RAM so that further increases the price.

If editing H264 video with FCPX is a high priority, the 2017 iMac 27 is a very fast machine -- much faster than a 12-core Mac Pro. If you'll be running Premiere Pro or other software which isn't as efficient, you might need higher hardware performance to compensate for this. The iMac Pro might be that machine but it may be expensive (even by Apple's standards).

The iMac Pro will be released soon, so if you can wait for those results you can make an informed decision.


Just as an idea: a real dream machine for FCPX might be a top spec 2017 iMac with QuickSync (not possible on XEON), NVMe only, self added 64 GB RAM and an external TB3 GPU. Do you think that will be supported by FCPX? This shouldn’t be much slower than a iMac Pro (maybe even faster with the external GPU and QuickSync) and still much cheaper....
 
Last edited:

joema2

macrumors 68000
Sep 3, 2013
1,613
828
Just as an idea: a real dream machine for FCPX might be a top spec 2017 iMac with QuickSync (not possible on XEON), NVMe only, self added 64 GB RAM and an external TB3 GPU. Do you think that will be supported by FCPX? This shouldn’t be much slower than a iMac Pro (maybe even faster with the external GPU and QuickSync) and still much cheaper....

There have been rumors the Xeon to be used in the iMac Pro might be a customized version which includes Quick Sync. We will know soon enough. In general FCPX on a top-spec 2017 iMac 27 not severely limited by the GPU, which is considerably faster than the 2015 model. E.g, the GPU-intensive FCPX "BruceX" benchmark is considerably faster on the 2017 iMac than a 12-core Mac Pro with dual D700 GPUs. GPU contributions to typical FCPX video editing are further limited by effects which do not utilize the GPU at all or don't do so fully. There are lots of those. However more CPU and GPU performance are always welcome.

In Max Yuryev's test of an eGPU on a top-spec MacBook Pro, it only did 124,000 on GeekBench Compute. That's an improvement for a MBP, but you asked about a 2017 iMac, which does 117,000 on that benchmark -- only slightly slower than the hulking eGPU. The eGPU was also slower on the BruceX benchmark than a 2017 top-spec iMac 27.

It's possible future versions of macOS and FCPX might better leverage an eGPU, but we'll have to wait and see.

 
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