Need to upgrade my mid 2010 Mac Pro for 4k video - How do new iMacs stack up?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rossgrant, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. rossgrant macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2016
    Hi guys!

    I'm sorry if this is noob-like, but I'm not too knowledgable on processors for video editing, so could do with some pointers.

    I currently use Final Cut X to edit 4K video on my mid-2010 Mac Pro (big silver tower).

    I have a Quad Core Xeon 2.8GHz with 16GB RAM and a Radeon HD5770 graphics card.

    I can't edit 4K without proxy files - which take hours to create.

    I'm aiming to edit more and more 4K footage this year - I shoot multi-cam interviews.

    Each shoot is around 150GB of footage, so I need a Mac than can deal with this in the most efficient way.

    Any ideas on how much performance improvement I'm gonna get with a new iMac - particularly if there is a refresh coming?

    I'm also after advice on RAID storage solutions for dealing with such MASSIVE amounts of footage.

    I have 3 1TB drives in my Mac Pro currently, and I'm down to the last 150GB.

    What do people do to store old FCX projects and footage efficiently?

    I'm looking at stuff like the Lacie 2Big setups - but really need some help.

    I'm fortunate to have a pretty big budget for this - new iMac and storage up to £4000-ish, so I'm open to anything decent, that scales.

    Thanks so much for your time!

    Ross :)
  2. StormSamfisher macrumors newbie


    Feb 11, 2017
    Salt Lake City
    Perhaps an iMac 27" 5k with an i7 (Offers a 3TB Fusion drive too) I mean your editing 4k so the resolution would be nice. As for storage thunderbolt external drives would be nice but they can be a little pricey. I prefer an SSD as my main storage for the OS, but if it was me I would spend money and just upgrade the Mac Pro more. You can get a PCIE adapter and throw in some SSD's like (2 1TB SSD's) and replace those 1TB drives with some 3TB drives or something maybe even 6TB drives. You can also get a card that can convert the top 4 HDD bays to SATA 3 instead of SATA 2. I would also get a better GPU. You can get a GTX 980ti but you have to steal power from the CD Drive to do it I believe. Thats just my opinion on what you should do but you do what you feel is best hope this helps.
  3. Stacc macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2005
    A modern iMac is going to be much better than what you have now. It seems like you have some pretty high demands so this question may be better posed in a video editing forum. You may want to consider a mac pro since it can have more cores and more GPU horsepower. For your storage, regardless of the iMac or Mac Pro, look at a thunderbolt enclosure that you can stick 2, 4 or 8 drives into.

    Unlike the previous poster, I don't think you are better served with your current machine. You are significantly limited by your CPU.

    Given your high demands, you may want to wait for the next revision to the iMac. It will likely be out over the next few months and should have a slightly faster processor, much faster GPU and thunderbolt 3 and USB-C for additional IO options compared to the current imac.
  4. rossgrant thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jun 7, 2016
    Really appreciate the reply. yeah, I will go ask the guys in the video forum too.

    My gut is telling me to max out a 27 inch iMac with the 3TB fusion drive - when the next refresh happens.

    I can get a 12TB TB enclosure for around £700, and the 2 combined should be pretty good to go.

    My current Mac Pro is surprisingly good at handling the 4k after proxy files have been created, but I'd be much faster if I could work in native 4k.

    I've had 7 brilliant years from my current Mac Pro, so it owes me nothing at all. :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 11, 2017 ---
    Thanks so much for the input.

    I feel I'd be happier with the 5K screen on the iMac, so that's a big deal for me when upgrading I think.

    The 3TB drive would be a great start, and I'd look at getting an external RAID enclosure.

    Really appreciate your time on this! :)
  5. Stacc macrumors 6502a

    Jun 22, 2005
    One more bit of advice, don't get the fusion drive. Go with just the SSD. Everything feels so much faster and if you need more raw storage you will have the external thunderbolt array. Also make sure to get the best GPU since that will help in FCP.
  6. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000


    Oct 19, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    There are a few rumours circulating the new iMac may not have Fusion or platter drives. The future is Flash Storage and that may well be the only available option, other than the bottom of the line 1.7GHz 21.5" iMacs made to compete with cheapie PCs.

    Agree with the i7 option and my 1TB flash storage flies. Also a 4GB gfx card.
  7. hurtmemore, Feb 11, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2017

    hurtmemore macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2017
    I'd personally go with a SSD instead of Fusion Drive, and get a large external for storing/backing up media.

    Specs on the new iMacs are actually better than baseline MacPros these days. For the most part. They don't however have great graphics cards, and they can overheat if you push them on that end. So if you do much animation or effects rendering, it could potentially hit a performance ceiling lower than you're used to.

    But it doesn't really make a lot of sense to get a Mac Pro anymore, unless Apple updates it. 3000 dollars for the 2013 model, without keyboard and mouse, without monitor. iMac has the 5K screen, comparable specs, and significantly cheaper.

    Neither option is perfect but I'm like you, waiting it out to replace a Mac Pro for the new iMac.
  8. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    "A 3TB fusion drive is essentially 10% flash storage, 90% laptop grade hard drive."

    The 2tb fusion and 3tb fusion iMacs do not have "laptop" drives.
    They have 7200rpm 3.5" drives.
  9. theitsage, Feb 14, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017

    theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    Upgrade your Mac Pro with a more powerful graphics card. The most powerful AMD GPU which works with macOS is Radeon R9 Fury X. This GPU with liquid cooling would stay under 65 degrees Celsius no matter what you throw at it.

    The Mac Pro tower is the more appropriate platform for RAID. I've used HGST 8TB Helium drives in these towers. They are very fast for spinning drives, running at 200MB/s which is close to the SATA II max speed in the 4 drive bays.

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