New edit machine???

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by icharry, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. icharry macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Ok - so my 2013 iMac is getting pretty old. The new version of Premiere Pro beachballs all over the place... especially since I upgraded the System OS and from Premiere CC 2017. SUX. I was really hoping for a new iMac today... Oh well.

    I still need a new edit machine... so I'm wondering what you all think would be the best option for running Premiere Pro CC 2018 version?

    #1 Refurbished 2017 iMac,
    #2 new Mac-Mini with Blackmagic eGPU,
    #3 Macbook Pro with with Blackmagic eGPU?

    Seems like #1 will end up cheapest and should be viable for editing 4K on a HD timeline?
    #2 maybe same price for 8th generation chip (vs 7th)? But is Blackmagic eGPU all that great?
    From the few reviews I've seen then answer is no.
    #3 would be nice as my laptop is pretty old too... but too $$$ and prob not as much umph as the 2017 iMac?

    Or is FCPX sooo much faster that I shoudl just finally learn it and keep my 2013 iMac?

  2. fhturner, Oct 30, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018

    fhturner macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2007
    Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
    I'd consider 2 things:

    1. Depending on the configuration of the iMac 2013 (size, CPU, RAM, GPU, etc), you might think about installing an SSD if it doesn't already have one. That would significantly increase performance if only on an HD right now.

    2. I do not have Premiere Pro CC experience, but everything I see and hear, including benchmarks, suggests Final Cut Pro X is significantly better optimized to take advantage of available hardware power. It works quite well, IMHO, even when tinkering around w/ 4K H.264 on a MacBook Air (may not be optimal, but the fact that it works well at all is nice). Anyway, you can get a free trial of it to test out for 30 days, so that's the 2nd thing I'd consider doing:

    EDIT: Wanted to add that perhaps doing 1 or both of those 2 things might help you extend long enough to see another iMac refresh.

    EDIT2: Ack!!! In my #2 point, I meant to say FCPX, but said “it” instead, which inadvertently referred to Premiere Pro. I meant FCPX (in bold). Sorry for the confusion!!
  3. Kurri macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    icharry, I am in the same boat as you. I think I am going for your option #2. Real question is though, is the blackmagic, or any other eGPU really worth it? The mac mini does not have great graphics so for editing I am assuming we will need to get an eGPU, but do they work well? Does anyone have one?
  4. icharry thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2009
    well google blackmagic eGPU reviews is not promising (see below). I think option 1 is best. I mean I was easily using a late 2013 iMac till this year (and upgrading software). A mid 2017 will be good for awhile.
    Blackmagic eGPU 3 month Review - Video Editors BEWARE!

    Max Yuryev
    YouTube - Oct 3, 2018
    Blackmagic eGPU Review. Not what I was hoping for APPLE.

    YouTube - Jul 17, 2018
    Blackmagic eGPU 1-Month Review - First of its kind

    YouTube - Aug 12, 2018

    Web results
    Blackmagic eGPU review: A beautiful MacBook Pro graphics booster ... 3.5 - ‎Review by Leif Johnson

    Aug 21, 2018 - Blackmagic eGPU review: A beautiful MacBook Pro graphics booster with no room to grow. It's attractive and silent, but it's not the best graphics ...
    Blackmagic eGPU review: A lot of frustration, little benefit - TNW › PluggedSep 26, 2018 - As an Apple fan, I rarely get the luxury of options. For Pro level users, those options are, currently: Buy the 5k iMac Pro, grab a 2018 MacBook ...

    Blackmagic eGPU review: Too much frustration for too little benefit 2 - ‎Review by Raymond Wong - ‎$699.00

    Aug 25, 2018 - Blackmagic's eGPU is worth considering if you wanna give your Mac a graphics boost, but only if you have the right gear and don't mind trial ...
  5. Kurri, Oct 31, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018

    Kurri macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    well thats not good news...damn

    sounds like FCPX did use eGPU at one time, but they took away the support with the latest update. If FCPX goes back to being able to use the eGPU, the mini might be considered.

    I think I read that Adobe is more RAM intensive and FCPX is more GPU intensive.
  6. jday7757 macrumors member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I have been using Premiere Pro CC, including the latest PPro CC 2019, on my late 2014 27” Retina iMac for 4 years now. My iMac has the 4 GHz i7, 32 GB ram and the AMD Radeon R9 M 295X. As far as editing, I don’t edit anything above 4K. All that said, i’m Still pleased with the performance of my iMac and the PPro timeline plays in real-time, even with 4K video (of course, if I add several powerful effects at the same time, it can affect the playback until it renders). I tell you all this to make the point that if I can run the Adobe CC apps with my model without any significant issues then a high spec 2017 iMac will be more than enough and much faster (especially rendering). I am a little impatient and although I can do everything I need to do with this 2014 iMac I was probably going to upgrade if Apple announced an upgraded iMac yesterday. When they didn’t I debated on going ahead and getting a 2017 one or waiting until the next model (most likely in 2019). Again, since I “want”, but don’t really “need” to upgrade now, I will wait. In your case, I think there’s a huge difference between your 2013 iMac and the 2017 iMac so if you are having issues, i believe you will be very happy with the 2017.
  7. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have PP 2019 on my 2017 top-spec iMac, also Resolve 15, but I mostly use FCPX. Premiere on the 2017 iMac can edit 4k H264 without proxies, but playback is sluggish if you use JKL keys. Resolve and FCPX are a lot faster in terms of timeline response and scrubbing through footage to find things. This is not lack of GPU, rather it's apparently because Premiere does not use Quick Sync on Mac for decoding, only for encoding (ie exporting). I don't know about Windows.

    An i7 2017 would be significantly better than your 2013, but if you create proxies the 2013 will be very fast.

    Another option is try Resolve or FCPX. Resolve has a free version and ver. 15 is very fast. Maybe this would enable you to wait until the iMac is updated.

    I have a top-spec 2016 MBP and it's OK for portable use but I greatly prefer a desktop machine for sustained editing.

    Obviously Resolve and Premiere are cross-platform so you are not limited to Apple with those.
  8. fhturner macrumors 6502


    Nov 7, 2007
    Birmingham, AL & Atlanta, GA
    I think Joe is right. I edited my inadvertent grammatical mistake above...I did not mean to suggest PPro was “significantly better optimized”...meant FCPX!
  9. Niko Todd macrumors member

    Niko Todd

    Sep 20, 2018
    It's the same story on Windows. PPro supports the CUDA of my GTX980 and the QuickSync of my Intel Graphics HD 530 but it doesn't utilize them when working in the timeline. Scrubbing and editing can be so frustrating - to a degree it could make it impossible. Sometimes you don't know if it's frozen or just a huge stutter. I thought it was my machine at first then I installed Resolve... wow, what a difference. At least 2x export times and at least 40% smoother timeline work.
    DaVinci Resolve is as close as you can get to a FCP experience on Windows.
  10. Padsterman macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2018
    I am sort of in the same boat. My older 15" MacBook Pro is about to die as one bank of the soldered on memory produces errors. Takes several attempts to boot with all sorts of key pressing. It will be ok for a whole then crash when I hit certain usage. I have been using a laptop for the last few years as I live and work in two states so have portability is important. Prior to my MacBook Pro errors I was waiting for an updated iMac or iMac Pro to have in addition to my laptop, but that did not happen. Now I just need to bite the bullet and get a new laptop so I am going for the 2018 MacBook Pro with the Vega gpu option as I hear that the eGPU are not great. Anyway I am in a different situation than you but I figure as the MBP has just been updated I will get that then down the road get an iMac. I want to future proof as much as possible so that's why I will probably go with the Vega gpu, max out the RAM to 32gb, 1TB ssd (both soldered on so not upgradable after purchase) but probably just stick with an i7 rather than i9. Heat issues?
  11. ChrisA, Dec 1, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Yes, FCPX runs well even on a Macbook Air. It was a feature called "proxy" where the video footage is down sampled to a lower resolution and you edit with that. Editing low-res is easy and you don't need a big CPU or GPU. Then in the final render, it applies all the edits you made to the full resolution video. The render can be slow. You let it run then walk away.

    If you are planning to use Adobe then why use a Mac? Buy an off-lease workstation-class computer with a 12-core Xeon CPU and 64GB ECC RAM and then add SSD and nVidia GPU and still be under $2K .
  12. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    Recent versions of Premiere also have proxies which work similarly to FCPX. The OP is on Premiere CC 2018, so his best option might be using the existing proxy feature.

    This is a good question -- the overall experience of using Premiere is the same whether the underlying system is a Mac or Windows PC. However a Xeon-powered PC will not have Quick Sync which can be important for the final render of H264 material. Premiere doesn't use this for decoding, just encoding, so QS won't help playback smoothness but it will greatly accelerate the final render.

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11 October 30, 2018