5k iMac (2015) and FCP X

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AppleHater, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. AppleHater macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #1
    I've read some horror stories about 5k iMacs choking on FCP X and even Lightroom. I'm wondering how common the problem is.

    I'm a heavy Lightroom user who uses iMovie but considering FCP X. For that, I'm considering upgrading my 2011 iMac. I was almost set my mind for the 5k iMac until I read some slowdown issues due to apparently under powered GPU.
     
  2. AppleHater thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Some even said 15inch retina MBP will be better for the job. Would there be any truth to it?
     
  3. lebbek macrumors newbie

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    Sep 4, 2015
    #3
    I do all my editing on the 5k iMac. Works wonderfully. Only issue I've had is that the fusion drive I bought doesn't always spin up fast enough when I'm editing 4k video and jumping around clips. Wish I had gone with a pure SSD and a fast RAID array.
     
  4. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #4
    Who said that? It's not true.

    Notice how there's never any evidence of those claims. Any of the reviews from respected tech publications never said anything about "horror stories" of video or photo editing.

    I'd wait until October before pulling the trigger if you want to buy one though. It will be a year old and probably will get an update.
     
  5. jerwin macrumors 65816

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    Jun 13, 2015
    #5
    Nope.
    http://barefeats.com/imac5k10.html

    Granted, the macbook pro's i7 is faster than the base imac retina's i5, but the m370x is slower than a m290x. I've repeated barefeat's GPU tests on my machine-- the m290x is about halfway between a m370x and a m295x.

    The only area where the mbp is superior is storage.

    Note that barefeats has chosen to test a fully loaded imac 5k: i7, flash storage, m295x graphics card, maxed out ram.
     
  6. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #6
    Yeah, I was going to wait a couple of weeks but I need one now too. I think I'll just bite the bullet and get the top spec'd 5K with 32Gb of RAM. There will always be something better on the horizon. (well, I might at least wait until after the event this Wednesday even though it's iOS centered...you never know)
     
  7. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    Jan 11, 2015
    #7
    I am sure that I've read some horror stories about 5k iMacs suddenly morphing into ultimate killing machines and eating the unsuspecting user as they tried to press the shift-control-eject combination to put thier iMac to sleep.
     
  8. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    #8
    Yep. And it's all because it's a first generation retina product. First generation machines are always evil, never buy them! :D
     
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #9
    I'm a video editor who uses a top-spec 2015 MBP and a top-spec 2013 iMac 27 for FCP X video editing. They both work OK on both HD and 4k, although effects processing on 4k can take a lot longer. I don't recollect any "horror stories about 5k iMacs choking on FCP X".

    Contrary to popular belief, most time-consuming video editing tasks are CPU-limited, not GPU or I/O limited. Anybody can see this themselves by editing video and monitoring system activity with iStat Menus or other tools. FCP X can effectively edit most camera native formats without transcoding to optimized media. This greatly reduces I/O burden. If you edit optimized ProRes material the I/O load will be higher, and of course 4k is higher still. So in increasing order, the I/O load of various material is camera native HD (typically H.264), 4k camera native, optimized ProRes HD, then finally optimized ProRes 4k. For any of those multiple video streams (multicam, etc) will also increase the I/O load.

    The GPU is important but less so than the CPU. Time-consuming editing tasks such as transcoding and rendering of certain effects are CPU-bound and are not dramatically accelerated no matter how fast the GPU.

    You want good GPU and I/O capability, but CPU is the number one thing -- the more cores the better. Of course on an iMac or MBP you don't have much choice in this area -- I'd suggest getting the fastest available 4Ghz 5k Imac with the M295X GPU, a 256 or 512GB SSD and a Thunderbolt drive array.

    I will probably get the next upgraded 5k iMac and am not worried about it "choking on FCP X". It will be significantly faster than my 2013 top-spec iMac.
     
  10. AppleHater thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2010
    #10
    Thank you for the reply. Do you think Fusion Drive is going to drag the overall flow down? I'm still wondering if I should go with 3TB fusion drive with everything in it or a small SSD with a Thunderbolt drive. Speaking of Thunderbolt drives, any good suggestions? Much appreciated.
     
  11. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #11
    I have a 3TB Fusion Drive in my 2013 iMac 27. It works OK and is much better than the non-FD disk. However 3TB is not enough for much HD video editing, so pretty quickly you need to use external storage anyway. Most of my video/image data is on an 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID5 array. SSD does boot faster and if you put apps there will launch them faster. That is a nice benefit.

    I am happy with the 3TB FD but my next iMac will be SSD. Re Thunderbolt drives, G-Technology has some good choices: http://www.g-technology.com/

    For portable bus-powered USB 3.0 drives, the fastest on I tested is the 1TB HGST Touro S: http://www.touropro.com/en/product/touro-s/

    For RAID systems besides G-Technology there is Promise Pegasus series: http://www.promise.com/Products/Pegasus/Pegasus2/R4

    OWC has the Thunderbay 4: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Thunderbolt/External-Drive/OWC/ThunderBay-4
     
  12. brock2621 macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #12
    Not true at all... I have a 5k 4ghz, and SSD and it's blazing...
     
  13. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #13
    You use FCPX? Edit 4K?
     
  14. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000

    aliensporebomb

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    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth
    #14
    Running Corei7 5k iMac with 24 gigs of ram, 1 TB fusion drive and about 10 TB of various externals. No choking that I have experienced myself.

    Workhorse machine. I batch processed over 1,550 6000x4000 RAW images to create multiple timelapses recently - I'd batch process them for noise and quality then use LRTimelapse to do the timelapse part of it:

    Examples:




    All of this is being rendered at 4k resolution and then uploaded to YT at 1080 just for manageability.
     
  15. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #15
    Nice. Confirms my purchase in a couple of days.
     
  16. brock2621 macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

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    #16
    Yup, I edit 6k RED Dragon .R3D's for a living... :)
     
  17. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

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    FL
    #17
    No problem here. Although I don't edit 4K video, I do use Lightroom every day, as well as Capture One and DxO Optics Pro. I am seriously amazed at the speed, even compared to my hex core Mac Pro.

    More so since I upgraded to El Capitan. Yosemite seemed to choke on these tasks for me for some reason.
     
  18. tonino1 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 13, 2010
    #18
    DO you see much difference, advantage, between your iMac and the mac pro?
    I'm a pro photo editor still running a mac pro 4.1. Would like to upgrade but the Mac Pro is way too expensive so I was thinking an iMac I7. Your thoughts?
     
  19. timothevs macrumors 6502

    timothevs

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    #19
    Actually, yes I do. I wasn't so sure there would be an appreciable difference going by the benchmarks. But the single threaded performance of the i7 is miles and miles ahead of the Mac Pro 2010 hex core. It feels faster in day to day activities, although the Mac Pro was no slouch either.

    Although I haven't used any pro photo editing tools, Lightroom 6 is a different beast - being able to make use of the GPU in addition to the CPU to power things through. It just seemed sluggish on my Mac Pro 5,1.

    And all of that is not even taking the screen into consideration. It's just simply amazing to say the least.
     
  20. tonino1 macrumors newbie

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    Aug 13, 2010
    #20
    Thank you Tim. Very illustrative and helpful. My head is spinning on the iMac right now.
     
  21. 4God macrumors 68020

    4God

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    #21
    I went ahead and got the 5K iMac. Top spec'd. I'm very pleased coming from an early 2011 15" Macbook Pro. This thing is fast. Just stacked 25 high of 4K footage on a timeline in FCPX and it played real time. Can do 4 high with 8 effects and it plays fine. Crazy. I'm sure the top end GPU, 4GHz cpu and 32GB of RAM help. The only effect that causes lag is NeatVideo.
     

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