How loud is your Mac Pro?/Would you recommend I get an iMac/Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by deaathleopards, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. deaathleopards macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I'm not sure if I should get an iMac or a Mac Pro - my decision will be based on performance when editing 1080p video in FCS/AE and how loud both systems are.

    I used to have an old PC desktop box in my room which was so, so painfully loud so, when I would leave it on overnight for rendering, it would be like someone playing the recorder in the corner of my room overnight. Torture. I was wondering what everyone's experience with the Mac Pro's fan noise is, both when idle and when rendering something.

    I'm also interested in the performance of the iMac. If I got the i7 (27") iMac with 8gb or ram and hooked up an external drive for scratch, would this perform well? I'm trying to learn After Effects/FCS seriously and have not got much experience with them - would the iMac hold up? On top of this, would you guys be able to reccomend a scratch disk? I've basically decided I want either this SSD drive or this raid0 drive. I'm willing to pay more for the SSD but, I'm not sure if it would be worth it/if 128gb is enough (I've never done serious editing on my own setup so I just don't know these things since they have already been done for me at uni)

    Thanks for your help! :)
  2. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    I'm not completely sure about the noise of the MP, but from what I have heard it has generally been fine.

    With the iMac, I wouldn't suggest an SSD as a scratch drive. Right now, SSDs are more of a boot drive.

    As for the external drive, different ones will have different sound levels. If you decide to get an external and are worried about noise, check reviews on the drive and see what it says. You can always pick a different external, many to choose from!
  3. seisend macrumors 6502a


    Feb 20, 2009
    Switzerland, ZG
    After Effects CS5 is a 64bit and multicore application
    Final Cut Pro is a 32bit and singlecore application
    I think with the next Update, Final Cut Pro will be 64bit and multicore processing supported..
    You can use Mutlicores with Apple Compressor to compress your videos.

    I don't know how serious your interest in the work is, but an 8 Core Mac Pro would fit perfect for this. You have with the Mac Pro much better upgrade possibilitys and a RAID0 Setup would be great with a save external backup. Also you can install a Blu-Ray drive to burn your work on Blu-Ray.

    The iMac i7 is definitely a fast and great machine for a good price. But it's limited. If you want to go with the Mac Pro, they might get updated until September. Also new iMac's might be released this September, too.

    I expect a new Final Cut Studio soon too.
  4. deaathleopards thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I'm studying film/TV production in my units next semester (beginning in 3 weeks) and, am going to be editing stuff filmed for TEDx events and, I'm pretty obsessive about learning the suites. It's not like I'm going to be making a feature film but, I'm going to be trying to do increasingly complex stuff. I've done lots of editing before, just not on my own system so, I'm used to sitting down, editing and not worrying about system specs etc.

    Since I'm a uni student I really can only justify buying a mac pro if the iMac won't run well. I don't need instant rendering but I need something which isn't painfully slow.

    Like most posters in other threads, I'm dying for a mac to work on but I can't justify buying stuff which is 2009 tech with 2008 pricing (hi, Mac Pro)
  5. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    My Mac Pro is nearly silent. I can hardly tell it's even on. The only time the fans rev up is during bootup.
  6. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    128 GB Scratch disk for 1080P...

    is way too small. You'll burn through that i no time. Not to mention FCS comes with about 60 GB of assets (Templates, SFX).
  7. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    If you will be using Final Cut Pro, neither the iMac or Mac Pro will really be any faster than the other at rendering so long as their clock speeds are the same. Final Cut Pro cannot use more than 2-cores for rendering, so it really isn't going to be much of a difference. I was shocked to find this out when I went from a 2.8 Core2Duo iMac to the recent 2.7 Corei7Quad. Very disappointed. Final Cut is still a 32-bit Carbon app with little multi-core processing available. The only time it seems to use all cores is if you use the Log and Transfer window. Compressor can use all cores, but it needs to be configured as a Cluster first.

    This of course might finally change with the next version of Final Cut Studio, but there is no way of knowing when that will be.
  8. deaathleopards thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I'm going to have all my software on an internal drive and have the scratch disk just for scratch and nothing else.
  9. Blandct macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2010
    Even at that a 128 gb SSD drive for Scratch purposes would not get you very far editing pro ress material.

    (first post yay :) )
  10. deaathleopards thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I hope to god 1tb raid0 firewire800 is ok ;)

    Welcome! Enjoy this forum - every time I come here I remember why I love this site/the Apple community.
  11. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Not enough info...

    ...Not knowing how much you plan to edit, limits useful suggestions on whether to get an iMac or Mac Pro.

    If you're just going to dabble and learn software, an iMac and an external HD would be just fine. But if you need expansion for better video cards which speed up on screen rendering or extra bays for multiple HD's or PCI expansion slots for capture cards or eSATA ports then you should consider a Mac Pro. My second video card runs a third on-desk flat screen and my 42" LCD across the room. My Blackmagic capture card allows HDMI, Component, S and Composite input and output and provides a broadcast quality feed for a test monitor.

    And not knowing your workflow doesn't allow us to speculate how much drive space you could possibly need. You could easily fill up a 1-TB HD with raw footage you don't want to delete, finished movies and even motion backgrounds like Digital Juice and Artbeats stock footage can take up space as stuff you need to keep on hand. I have a dedicated HD for all of the FCS and Adobe templates as well as any backgrounds and effects templates so I don't bog down my main drive OS or my primary scratch drive.

    I edit professionally (heavily) a few months a year and shoot personal HD family footage and have a significant library of Artbeats, Jumpbacks, Digital Juice Swipes, Etc. and feel comfortable with just over 10 TB of storage, using about 6 TB at any given time.

    Everything important (personal and professional) is backed up to at least one separate drive so you'll need to double your storage for anything you need to back-up as well.
  12. deaathleopards thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    I don't really care about expandability or having multiple monitors - I might get a second display in a year or whenever apple upgrade their 30" but right now I'm just desperate for a decent, moderately fast (when handling 1080p/doing some compositing and motion tracking but nothing super taxing) setup.

    In the past, I have imported all the media I need to my local disk, then, when I am done with the project, I back up the .FCP (or whatever format) file with all the used raw footage and a final render to a raid1 disk then, I dump all the files off my local hard drive so I'm basically left with no old files on my system. I don't really ever need to refer back to massive archives of data and only really use footage which has been shot specifically for what I'm making and, a few elements (maybe totalling 30gb max - not much) so I don't have any problems handling footage. This isn't really a problem - I have all my backing up systems running fine.

    The big issue for me is just getting a system which a student could afford (I can get more money but, it will cost an arm and a leg to pay back so, I'm not in a position to be wasteful - I need to spend as little as possible while still getting a decent system) If I can use motion and after effects (with final cut) and not have my system die or be painfully show (see: when I installed FCS on my MBP) I'll be thrilled. If this means an iMac could work with this, will buy an iMac but if it won't, I'll have to find ways to buy a mac pro.
  13. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    You've answered your own question. An iMac is more than enough computer for you (but it seems from your ambivalence you are trying to get us to talk you into a MacPro).
  14. deaathleopards thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2009
    No, I'm just not sure if an iMac is powerful enough - if it is, I'll 100% get it but if people think it will be slow for any FCS/CS5 programs, I will have to get a mac pro since, it is dumb to get something not powerful enough for your needs.

    I just don't wanna waste 4k on a set up the find out it isn't powerful enough ;)
  15. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    Mac Pro vs. iMac

    Since you're in the "Mac Pro" forum, you'll probably get more answers geared toward Mac Pro's. So why don't you ask the same questions over in the iMac forum. (Well maybe a little more specific based on what you've picked up here). Who knows, you might even find someone using one for what you're interested in doing, and they can better tell you if an iMac will meet your needs.

    An iMac will quickly get you going, but a Mac Pro can better sustain most future, planned or unplanned, expansion needs. My 2006, 2 X 2.66 Dual Core with 12 GB of 667 MHz RAM still has plenty of horsepower for the 3D compositing I generate with Cinema 4D, After Effects, Zaxwerks and Final Cut Studio. Maybe I don't know what I'm missing in not having the latest Mac Pro but it worked well for 4 years. If I were on the winning side of the 32 vs. 64 bit issue, I'd probably not consider buying a new one for a few more years. Comparing the specs of my 4 year old desktop with a current iMac makes me think a newer iMac should do well if not better.
  16. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    If you are getting to a $4K iMac by maxing out every possible option on the Apple webstore may want to rethink that.

    As others have mentioned an i5 isn't fully utilized yet on FCS (an i7 even less so). The memory is cheaper elsewhere. The 2TB vs 1TB drive is a judgment call (want to muck with warranty out of the box with upgrade).

    More likely GHz won't be your major bottleneck issue if doing modest size projects and you have time to let things run while you do other things.

    What probably need to get a handle on is how big are the files going to be manipulating.

    If going to be deleting/adding very large files then 2TB may be better than 1TB if your files will push the free space on 1TB down very low. If keep up with with archiving stuff you are done with off then should have large amount of free space on a 2TB so shouldn't run into fragment problems.

    The second issue is whether FW800 RAID 0 would really help much. If going to be doing large sequential reads ( large files layed out as sequential blocks on disk) then going to be pretty easy for many of the newer hard drives to max out FW800. You may be able to hide a bit of the seek time with RAID 0 but once doing a steady pull you'll max out FW800. It will be OK when it comes archive and clean up time. if going to merge streams off of internal and FW RAID then need to be around same bandwidth as what can get off a single disk.

    And external FW800 SSD drive would work much better on random I/O files than pulling large files off the drive. Although if pulling two streams off same drive that would defacto be a bit like random I/O.
  17. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
  18. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Is that 1080p data that has already been compressed or you are getting it in an uncompressed state ?

    Likewise how long are the clips generally working with ( gives notion of whether going to blow away amount of RAM installed even if could tolerate a somewhat slow load. )

    P.S. the iMac with the fans cranked up isn't particularly silent if the room noise dies down to nothing.
  19. Whaditis macrumors regular

    May 18, 2010
    My 8 core mac pro is virtually silent and I have it on top of my desk. I say you wont by disappointed at all with the near silent audible level of this machine. It is well designed with very good air flow.

    I'm very happy with the purchase.

Share This Page