Editing 4K (not Raw) on a Mac Pro - Need to build my Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ScottJared33, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. ScottJared33 macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2014
    Hello all, so I have a clean slate and want to buy a Mac Pro for editing. Originally posted about using 4K, but realized that I didn't need to utilize it.

    So my cards will be XQD cards and I'd be shooting with the FS7. Expecting to fill a lot of 124 GB XQD cards, the website states: "With data read speeds of up to 400 MB/s and write speeds of up to 350 MB/s"

    So I'm going to be investing in a 32TB drive at first, hopefully two by 2016. I know that Raw 4K you needed a good amount of hard drives like the 32 TB one, and at over $4,500 for the type that people have been saying to get, it's expensive.

    So my goal is to spend around 5k on the Mac Pro, and I know that may be a little tough to do, and I may need to around 7K, unless someone can help me "build a Mac Pro" as far as understanding what I will need. So here is the breakdown:


    Final Cut Pro X.
    Editing a 70-90 minute feature, maybe a couple of three minute corporate videos then deleting them after they are confirmed and I am paid.
    The 70-90 minute is for my film company (not shooting for anyone else)
    The resolution is true 4k at the 4K side.
    I'll be using XQD cards - two 128 gb cards, and obviously reusing them and uploading to hard drives.

    What am I look at specific wise with graphic cards, CPU, I know 32 GB I'll need at least. What else?

    What price am I looking at?
  2. poematik13 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2014
    How complex is the feature? is it just cuts or is it vfx heavy, etc? Either way, I recommend the 6 or 8 core and d700's, get your 1TB blade SSD off ebay and your ram off amazon.

    Take the existing 256gb stock ssd put it into a thunderbolt enclosure and use it to offload footage on set. Blazing fast drive. :)
  3. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2014
    Not VFX heavy at all. No color grading needed if much. Straight up interview and visuals all in 4K.

    So let's say we are building a Mac on their site, what are we look at price wise for what we will need?



    Apple SSD SuperDrive
    FCP X
    Display (I would say none as I'd get a Mac Compatible one in a few months cheaper)

    So what do you all think?

    When I was going to do 4K Raw, someone suggested a FEW of these: http://store.apple.com/us/product/H...b-8-by-4tb-thunderbolt-2-raid-system?fnode=5f May not need these now, maybe 24tb instead since I'm not doing raw?


    This is what I put in based upon what I thought - do I need more, less?

    3.0GHz 8-core with 25MB of L3 cache
    32GB (4x8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC
    512GB PCIe-based flash storage
    Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each.

    Cost is $6,799.
  4. ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    Hi Scott,

    One thing to keep in mind is that it's very easy for people to suggest getting the $7K Mac because you're doing 4K video editing. Sure, the $7K Mac is going to be faster than the $5K Mac for that task, but it's not like the $5K Mac is going to suck at it. You don't say what you're using now, but I assume this will be a nice step up regardless of what you get?

    If your business can afford the $7K Mac, then sure, get that. But if you're more comfortable spending only $5K, then $5K will still buy you an awesome video editing machine.

    So then, you just need to prioritize the components most critical for your usage.

    RAM is critical - you need to get what you actually need... too little, and your computer becomes a door stop. But fortunately, that's also super easy to remedy later on if needed.

    512GB SSD should be the base, and if you have plenty of external storage, that's all you really need at the moment (though if you can swing the 1TB SSD, certainly go for it).

    It might be a tough call between a 6C/D700 and 8C/D500, but I think most would say the 6C/D700 is the way to go between those if you're trying to get the costs down a bit. I don't think the $1,500 8C upgrade is a very good value.

    When looking at your budget, one thing I would recommend is to spend less now and upgrade more often rather than the other way around. Also, as business equipment, look at what the machine costs over it's lifespan relative to what you're making from it.

    Finally, most of the Mac Pro users around here lean toward the "computer enthusiasts" side and may encourage you to start taking apart your new Mac to save a few bucks. Upgrading the RAM yourself is extremely easy, but for everything else, let Apple build your new computer. ;)

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2014
    Thank you that really helps with the information I was looking for.

    Someone on Facebook had responded to one of my posts that I did on another form and said to get a iMac 27 inch retina 5K. I'm curious on what you think about editing feature on a iMac. I have my reservations about it and don't really trust it.

    I think a Mac Pro is much more of a better decision but I would need obviously need to hear other peoples opinions on that.

    Someone also mentioned that with my original plan for Raw 4k which I had since decided to do 4k regular and not raw, that I should get a few 32 TB RAID drives. Then someone suggested two 16 TB drives. What would you personally suggest as far as a back up drive and a main drive to edit a fork a feature?
  6. ixxx69, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014

    ixxx69 macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2009
    United States
    The 5K iMac has a gorgeous screen, and makes a great "photographer" machine, but it doesn't have the GPUs of the nMP... the nMP was practically built from the ground up for FCPX. And based on early reports, I'd be concerned about the iMac throttling/over-heating under sustained usage of that nature. That's not to say you can't use a 5K iMac, but performance can be significantly better with the nMP depending on what you do. I think you're better off with nMP and an external 4K display.

    I know a lot about computer hardware, but I'm not a professional video editor, so I don't know the business-end requirements of long-term storage. But again, I would recommend not over doing it. I assume you have some experience with 4K video? If you don't yet (maybe this is your first foray), and don't know what a typical project size is, google around. There are lots of articles that will give you some idea based on various criteria (length, number of cameras, effects, etc.). As you might know, 1 hour of raw 4K video can eat up a TB by itself. From what I've read, I don't think 1TB-2TB for a small editing project is abnormal (that's one reason folks will suggest the 1TB SSD if you can swing it - the more online editing that takes place on the SSD, the happier you'll be). If you need to keep those long-term (versus just the raw footage/finished product), then you can see how that can add up pretty fast. However, you don't need to start out by buying multiple 32TB storage devices right off the bat either (edit: though you do need a backup!). Look at what you think your needs are for the next year or so and grow into it. You'll learn what you need. I've just seen so many times small businesses overspend in the beginning and end up stuck with outdated hardware a few years down the line and underwater on it.

    Best of luck!
  7. ScottJared33 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2014
    As of now, this is my system as I have built is. Is all looking good?

    It's going to cost me 5,299. The 8 core would have been $1,500 more. Can't afford that.

    3.5GHz 6-core with 12MB of L3 cache ,
    32GB (4x8GB) of 1866MHz DDR3 ECC,
    512GB PCIe-based flash storage,
    Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each
  8. xav8tor macrumors 6502a

    Mar 30, 2011
    You'll be fine with that config. I edit UHD (3840x2160 30p) with tons of tracks/layers/effects with the 6 core D-500. I did upgrade to the 1 TB SSD, but that isn't necessary. You WILL need an external TB RAID 0, or better yet RAID 5. 4K/UHD takes up quite a bit of space. The new MP was made for FCP, so you should be in good shape. Have fun!

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