Is AMD enough power? (Photo / Video)

Discussion in 'iMac' started by BJB Productions, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #1
    I've been waiting two years for a retina iMac. I was so happy to see that it finally came. Now everyone is scaring me off with worries and complaints about the AMD being underpowered. I do not want to buy a brand new machine that will be underpowered. I am a photographer / filmmaker so the machine will be heavily used with Adobe apps.

    I know Adobe's support for AMD is spotty so acceleration might not work very well. I also know that OpenCL is kinda broken from what I've heard.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    Illinois
    #2
    Going to have to wait for benchmarks but my gut says getting the CTO i7/295x would be a must have for this display.
     
  3. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    Essex, UK
    #3
    2GB is laughable for the standard configuration GPU, try editing video on that and you're going to be disappointed.

    I'm so disappointed right now that they didn't go with the 980m.
     
  4. AppleDroid macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Also would have appreciated a bump in specs to the non-retina iMacs. Really I don't *need* a 5k iMac but a 4Ghz/295x 1440p would have been great.
     
  5. BJB Productions thread starter macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

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    Nov 10, 2008
    #5
    Currently I get by editing on a Intel HD Graphics 3000 512 MB / AMD Radeon HD 6490M
    so anything will be better than that.
     
  6. Kayan macrumors 6502

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    CA
    #6
    Same here. If they updated the internals on the older iMacs, I'd buy one immediately.
     
  7. paolo- macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 24, 2008
    #7
    I'd wait for benchmarks. IMHO, it'll be fine for photography and 1080p editing. If it can give you any bearings, the rMBP with it's 750m can drive at least a 4k display at the same time as a 1440p screen on top of it's internal display (1600p). The amd 290x is a significantly better GPU. I wouldn't worry about the GPU driving the screen, I'd worry about it having enough extra horsepower to drive other things.
     
  8. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #8
    I've edited 30-minute documentaries on a 2011 iMac with 3.1Ghz i5 and 1GB Radeon 6970M. It works fine.

    The upcoming Will Smith movie "Focus" was edited almost entirely on MacBooks and iMacs using FCP X. The assistant editor Mike Matzdorff discusses this in this video interview:
    http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/new...ind-editing-a-major-hollywood-feature-on-fcpx

    A 4Ghz i7 retina iMac with M295X is considerably more powerful -- from both CPU and GPU standpoints -- than the computers Matzdorff's team used to edit Focus, a $100 million movie.

    I agree the more CPU and GPU power the better, but how could Apple have possibly used a 980m? They were only released a couple of weeks ago. nVidia would have to have been producing thousands (maybe 10s of thousands) of 980m chips per month back in August, else the entire retina iMac launch would be jeopardized.
     
  9. Georgio macrumors 6502

    Georgio

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    #9
    Maybe fine for lower requirements, but for 4k video it just isn't going to work that well; there's just no overheads.
     
  10. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #10
    I somehow doubt Apple advertised it as a 4k editing machine if it couldn't do it. :rolleyes:
     
  11. petey2133 macrumors member

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    Dec 20, 2012
    #11
    I hope so.
     
  12. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    Sep 3, 2013
    #12
    I have edited 4k video from a Panasonic DMC-GH4 in FCP X on my 2013 iMac i7 with 780m and Pegasus R4, and it works fine. That is using the native camera files, not proxies.

    Scrubbing through the event library and storyline are fluid and fast. Normal edit operations like cuts, moves, etc are fast. Some effects take a while but (a) that's also true on 1080p, (b) they are rendered in the background so it doesn't slow down your work, and (c) they are often CPU-bound, not GPU-bound, so a faster GPU wouldn't help much anyway.

    Anyone who doubts this and has FCP X on a top-spec 2013 iMac can download 4k material from Vimeo and try it themselves.

    Using proxies (while not generally needed for 4k H.264) is also a perfectly normal workflow. Professional filmmakers shooting 4k 16-bit raw video on RED Cinema cameras always use proxies. Almost no computer can smoothly edit 16-bit 4k Red Raw, which is 400 megabytes per second per stream.

    Similarly using proxies on 4k H.264 will allow a lower end iMac or MacBook to edit 4k video, so you don't even need the highest-end machine.
     
  13. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    Seattle
    #13
    Easily. Apple can get first dibs on new hardware. Remember the GTX 680MX in the 2012 iMac? Still the best GPU out there on any Mac until this new 295 (probably).

    The 2013 iMac's 780M is only faster by a little at stock speeds, and the GTX 680MX overclocks higher, and doesn't throttle (like the 780M), and nobody has this card except Apple! So if you don't mind a little overclock, the 680MX from 2012 is still a super card, and was a game changer in terms of Apple's iMac line.

    So it's quite reasonable to expect Apple to have gotten access to a modified 980M, and it's interesting they went with AMD this time.

    That said, benchmarks will tell the whole story, and I'll be sure to give the iMac 5K a thorough gaming session or twelve when I get mine. :)
     
  14. Mac32 Suspended

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    Nov 20, 2010
    #14
    It would be interesting to hear about your experiences of gaming in 1440p, if the visuals become blurred like other monitors in non-native resolutions.. Enjoy your new iMac! :)

     
  15. AsprineTm macrumors member

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    Jun 14, 2014
    #15
  16. toohectic macrumors member

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    Jan 2, 2010
    #16
    That should be 3.5 TFLOPS (or 3500 GFLOPS) for the AMD.
     
  17. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #17
    nVidia could not produce 980m in the needed quantities by the required time. It wasn't even released until two weeks ago. Whether Apple can get "dibs" on new hardware is immaterial if that hardware does not exist and cannot be produced on the required schedule and in the required quantities.

    This isn't like a hobbyist making a single machine with single-quantity parts. Apple has to have huge quantities and they must be confident the component supplier can provide those on the needed schedule, else it's a disaster.

    Apple has been able to get "dibs" on early sample quantities of Intel's Broadwell CPU since July 2014 but Intel can't provide them in the needed quantities until 2015. Apple could not delay the updated iMac until 2015 -- they have to go with what can be produced in the needed quantities on the required schedule. It's the same with nVidia and the 980m.
     
  18. kathyricks macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2012
    #18
    In theory or do you know from practical experience? Since May I've had no trouble editing hundreds of 1-15 minute 4K videos I've shot with my Panasonic GH4 using a late Oct. 2013 retina Macbook Pro with only 8GB of RAM and which has only Iris Pro graphics and no dedicated graphics card. I used the Adobe Premier Elements 12 program for Mac.

    I think maybe any computer that can edit a 1080/60fps video can likely edit a 4K/30fps video since the file sizes of both are similar.
     
  19. metanoiapi macrumors member

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    Oct 16, 2014
    #19
    Go for it! If it isn't fast enough, RMA it. You have 14 days. Why wait for benchmarks? Will the testers have the same use cases as yourself?

    You have to be your own judge; so try it out. It's the only way you will know for sure.
     
  20. jsolares macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Not only that, look at the premium on the 980M, that one would've been a 500$ option easy.
     
  21. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    Jun 15, 2008
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    #21
    If you want awesome GPU power without the constraints of thermal design power being in what is a compromise - an all in one in this case or notebook chassis with the MBP then get a Mac Pro and the Dell 27 inch 5k monitor when its out in a month or two that has the identical iMac Retina LCD.

    In a professional environment the cheese-graters and black cans rule, they can take the punishment with aplomb unlike their little Mac brothers.
     
  22. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    Location:
    Poole, England
    #22
    I had a giggle at this post. Why does video editing need so much GPU memory?
     

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