MacPro or iMac

ludykriz

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 31, 2016
40
3
ok.. its time for me to update my 3.1 Mac Pro.. I been happy but at the end of the line when it comes to updating.. I am AE and sometimes and editor and i need a machine that can transcode and work smoothly with Premiere, Avid and DaVinci.

Do I get a 12 core 2012 MacPro 5.1 with solid state and lots of Ram or should i get a 2015 iMac 27" 5K system with a flash drive 40GB Ram and a nice video card.. I love the idea to have thunderbolt and 5k display.. with the MacPro i cannot jump to Mojave and anything newer but with the iMac I can..

what would you do?
 

ludykriz

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 31, 2016
40
3
iMac Pro for AE and Premiere

its overkill.. i have worked on 2012 iMac on premiere it worked fine..we work with proxy files in all cases.. the reconnect and color in davinci.. i see iMac Pro for VR

who edits with internal 2k or 4k raw files... nooobody...
 
Last edited:

th0masp

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2015
463
233
germany
who edits with internal 2k or 4k raw files... nooobody...
Yeah - I'm no video guy but I've always been puzzled about that one - using proxies would seem like the obvious thing to do. Instead if you are looking through reviews for NLE's and hardware, apparently it's the most important criteria to be able to scrub through a 4k clip with effects applied - all viewed in the small preview monitor window within the NLE.


As for the original question I think it depends if rendering or overall interactivity is more important. iMac should win by quite the margin in the latter category. If I had to make that choice I'd always put interactivity first and look into if/how well an eGPU can be utilized to speed up rendering should it become necessary.
 

ludykriz

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 31, 2016
40
3
Yes but do you really need full resolution all the time to judge the edit while you are tweaking it?
2 screens minimum.. 3rd screen a 40"+ TV would be ideal if editing and showing to producers..

and yes i have yet to be on a production that edits RAW 4k.. usually everything is converted to ProRes LT or DNX36 for Avid.. so you dont need a super machine to edit.. but my 2008 MacPro can no longer support the latest version of adobe so i need to update.. spending mad cash is not in my budget but i would 2015 iMac be better than 2012 Mac Pro 12 core..
 

JazzyGB1

macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2002
227
163
UK
ok.. its time for me to update my 3.1 Mac Pro.. I been happy but at the end of the line when it comes to updating.. I am AE and sometimes and editor and i need a machine that can transcode and work smoothly with Premiere, Avid and DaVinci.

Do I get a 12 core 2012 MacPro 5.1 with solid state and lots of Ram or should i get a 2015 iMac 27" 5K system with a flash drive 40GB Ram and a nice video card.. I love the idea to have thunderbolt and 5k display.. with the MacPro i cannot jump to Mojave and anything newer but with the iMac I can..

what would you do?
Hi,
I can't answer your question I'm afraid, but I can tell you that provided you have a Metal compatible graphics card Mojave runs on a Mac Pro absolutely fine - the only caveat being that it doesn't support the old airport card, so you lose wifi functionality unless you upgrade the airport card in the Mac Pro.
Mojave compatible airport cards can be found online for around £30.00.
I've recently upgraded my 12 core Mac Pro 5.1 with a 2TB SSD and updated to Mojave and use it for Logic and Pro Tools and it's been great! :)
Not sure how it would stack up CPU wise against a current iMac, but it's never broken a sweat for my music needs so hopefully it'll be the same for video too! :)
 

mattferg

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2013
378
16
Hi,
I can't answer your question I'm afraid, but I can tell you that provided you have a Metal compatible graphics card Mojave runs on a Mac Pro absolutely fine - the only caveat being that it doesn't support the old airport card, so you lose wifi functionality unless you upgrade the airport card in the Mac Pro.
Mojave compatible airport cards can be found online for around £30.00.
I've recently upgraded my 12 core Mac Pro 5.1 with a 2TB SSD and updated to Mojave and use it for Logic and Pro Tools and it's been great! :)
Not sure how it would stack up CPU wise against a current iMac, but it's never broken a sweat for my music needs so hopefully it'll be the same for video too! :)
The 2012 and 2010 both have WiFi support in Mojave, only the flashed 2009 does not.
[doublepost=1544140106][/doublepost]
its overkill.. i have worked on 2012 iMac on premiere it worked fine..we work with proxy files in all cases.. the reconnect and color in davinci.. i see iMac Pro for VR

who edits with internal 2k or 4k raw files... nooobody...
I edit with 4k raw files...
 

ludykriz

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 31, 2016
40
3
The 2012 and 2010 both have WiFi support in Mojave, only the flashed 2009 does not.
[doublepost=1544140106][/doublepost]

I edit with 4k raw files...
ok.. thats a first.. unless you do music video clips or need fast turn arounds.. what system do you have?

I work on features and 90+ minute documentaries and we cant store all of our 4k raw files on a single drive.. on the current movie i work on all dailies are in ProRes Proxy and under 2TB.. we have 3 people working on it and 3 4TB drives are much cheaper than having everyone work with 4K Raw files on mirrored drives..
 

eml-cmp

macrumors newbie
Feb 23, 2019
8
3
Working with 4K RAW files is heavily dependent on disk speed.

You’ll need a very fast RAID to keep up with that kind of footage. 4 to 8 SSD drives should do it. Or 8-16 HDD drives.

Editing with RAW is pretty unnecessary though. Just transcode to Prores, and work with that. Most of the indies I work on (VFX) finish in Prores too. It’s a pretty much imperceptible difference.
 

thornslack

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2013
410
162
nnMP rumored to be showcased at WWDC if that affects decision making at all. Probably not given stated budget but just tossing it out there.
 

Spudner

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2018
95
5
Canada
ok.. its time for me to update my 3.1 Mac Pro.. I been happy but at the end of the line when it comes to updating.. I am AE and sometimes and editor and i need a machine that can transcode and work smoothly with Premiere, Avid and DaVinci.

Do I get a 12 core 2012 MacPro 5.1 with solid state and lots of Ram or should i get a 2015 iMac 27" 5K system with a flash drive 40GB Ram and a nice video card.. I love the idea to have thunderbolt and 5k display.. with the MacPro i cannot jump to Mojave and anything newer but with the iMac I can..

what would you do?
I'd go with the 2012 MP with 12 cores.
 

AndreeOnline

macrumors 6502
Aug 15, 2014
443
259
Zürich
Let me share my perspective. I work with various video formats and have a 2009 Mac Pro (see sig.).

Let's first admit that if you can take your source footage, regardless of resolution and fidelity, and just start to work on it right away at native resolution—there are no real downsides: no extra steps and no loss of information at the time of working with the material. If you already have that kind of setup—fine!

That said, I honestly think building a new rig to at all cost be able to playback that 8K (or even 4K) footage in realtime is a brain fart.

My setup is two 2560x1440 monitors. This means that I'm grading on the GUI monitor, which is a no-no for a color suite, but good enough for non color critical commercial jobs. In the next few weeks I'll hook up my BMD Decklink Mini Monitor 4K card and do color managed monitoring on a third monitor, most likely a 55" LG OLED. Sitting very close to a 55" screen would shift my workflow to 4K, but only at that point (and I certainly have no 8K ambitions). OLEDs have been known to calibrate pretty well for SDR content, but this is still almost considered "cheaping out".

While there are some high end commercial color suites that use a similar setup (monitoring on a calibrated OLED for SDR), it is much, much, much more common to use a proper grading monitor in HD from let's say Flanders. Even in HD they are already eye wateringly expensive, and I believe the actual quality is still better in the HD panels compared to higher resolutions. Final quality control at target resolution is done later in a rented theatre.

I'm guessing at this point most hobbyists, even with ambitions, realise that this is actually one level above what they have in mind.

Performance:
Some of my 4K material is .MJPEG or ProRes. I don't need to do anything here. My computer can handle this in a 4K timeline. Some of my material is Mavic 2 Pro 10-bit HEVC. This is tougher. Here I transcode to HD ProRes LT and edit and do initial color with that. Final color and export is done in 4K/UHD. I've routinely worked in 2K/HD so far on my monitors and I see zero need to step that up before going to that OLED setup.

I see lots of users on Reduser.net that ask questions about building a PC for 8K and so on. To me this is much more about a personal giggling curiosity than sound workflow thinking. "I have an 8K camera! I want to see it all the time! I want to, I waaant toooo!!!!"

Computer components responsibility in video work:
The CPU decompresses compressed codecs. RED raw needs lots of CPU at higher resolutions for real time high quality debeyer. H.264 and H.265 need CPU power to decompress in real time. A proper intermediate codec like ProRes 422 or Cineform uses very little CPU power.

The graphics card(s) does the computational work for video effects and color. Things like noise reduction and stabilisation can be accelerated here too. In a software like Davinci Resolve, if you're using ProRes (and you're not limited by CPU), adding a second graphics card might effectively double your playback fps.

If your HDD speed becomes critical or not depends upon: how many simultaneous video streams you need to read/write and your codec. Uncompressed video is demanding (some apps cache data like this). RED raw is compressed and not very hard in terms of data rate (more so on CPU at high quality and resolution). With ProRes 422 HQ I can do 3+ streams of 2K or just about one stream of UHD from a Western Digital Passport 2.5" USB drive. With Cinema DNG RAW I can do two streams of UHD on my RAIDed (x2) SSD volume (SATA limited to around 500 MB/s).

RAM. Hugely misunderstood from what I read online. Doesn't add any speed, but too little can slow you down. A DaVinci Workstations is fine with 16GB for most situations. Since most users with workstations today use at least 32 GB and often more, this becomes a non issue. My 2009 computer has 48 GB and I never had issues in video or 3D. I realise that some workflows can use 100+ GB or RAM to read in textures or assets for single files. But that isn't useful information, in a more general discussion.

LED lights. Annoying, distracting, ugly. Zero performance benefit. But you already knew this. =)
[doublepost=1551008817][/doublepost]Classic: I went on such a rant that I didn't write what I actually intended: a cheap iMac 5K with an i7 from late 2014 or better still performs pretty well from a CPU standpoint. You'd want 4GB graphics memory or more. Only with the 2015 iMac did the display get P3 wide gamut.

I wouldn't invest in an old Mac Pro today. I'd wait for the iMac refresh, likely to get Mini LED displays and updated components. In the Mac world, a carefully configured iMac is the best 'jack of all trades' for most users, including creatives. I'm hoping for a bit more exciting BTO options in the next get iMacs: more cores with better cooling. OK graphics, notably better display, which is arguably already good, with some HDR capability.

Fingers crossed for a consumer friendly Mac Pro, but I fear it will be expensive.
 

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