New nvidia gtx 1080, really makes this imac seem paltry

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iemcj, May 8, 2016.

  1. iemcj, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    iemcj macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015

    I assume we've all seen it by now, this super powerful new gpu from Nvidia is more powerful than the current Titan X, is 400 bucks cheaper, and uses a third of the energy. Seeing modern technology like this and then comparing it to the top end gpu you can get in the iMac is just super.... disappointing. I paid 3200 dollars for a computer that studders when working with footage from my sub 500 dollar Gopro hero black??? And it's not even six months old, how screwed am I going to be in 5 years??? If they can figure out a way to get a hackintosh computer that supports this gpu then I'm selling my imac in a heartbeat. :(

    It's a bummer how far behind Apple is on these kind of technologies. But oOooo the screen is able to display p3 color! And look how thin it is! *eye roll
  2. brewmonkey macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2016
    A tower-based Mac that had some PCIe and M.2 slots allowing for end-user dGPU and SSD upgrades would probably not double Apple's revenue or anything, but I do think it would be well worth their while to produce such a thing. For one, it would allow Apple to become a viable platform for VR, among other things.

    I have a bad feeling we shall never see such an animal again. :(
  3. Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    Get a used cMP 4,1/5,1 and enjoy the GTX 1080.

    Later with Mac boot screen:

    Best Processor @ ebay, Xeon W3690 or X5690 (six core 3.46 GHz).
  4. PieTunes Contributor


    May 6, 2016
    San Diego, CA
    That sounds like a Mac power user's dream machine. If a Mac had the same hardware options and customizability akin to the PC world I would absolutely love that, but sadly it appears that Apple currently doesn't cater to the wants of what might be 5% (just spitballing a number) of their customer base, if that.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Apple's success, is because its catering to the consumers, not the gamers or power users for the iMac. Yes that GPU does look like its very powerful, but those type of cards were never something Apple considered for their iMac.
  6. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Why can your iMac barely edit video from your GoPro? I have an older less expensive iMac that does that fairly easily. What are your Mac specs, what software are you using, which model GoPro?

    And why sarcastically bring up color space in the same breath you are criticizing video editing capabilities?

    I'd question someone's judgment if they were buying an nVidia 1080 for GoPro video editing. Now if you mean gaming, then I agree the 1080 is going to be awesome. However the iMac is inherently a poor choice for gaming so throwing a 1080 in it is rather pointless.

    A Mac isn't competitive on a hardware or software level for gaming. If it's something you do on occasion that's fine, and it will work just fine. However to want a 1080 in a Mac is just a waste of a GPU that would be better suited in a gaming rig.
  7. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Because he's being hyperbolic and because 95 percent of posts on here are incessant whining about Apple.
  8. Pakaku macrumors 68020


    Aug 29, 2009
    Lmao, I'm pretty sure a 1080 is overkill for GoPro footage.

    Yes, iMacs are overpriced photo-editing machines, but don't worry so much about a card that isn't even available yet.
  9. iemcj, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    iemcj thread starter macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015
    Editing 1080p video is fine but when I'm working on the uncompressed 4k video from my Hero 4 black, it noticeably slows down. It's certainly not terrible but considering this is a 3 THOUSAND dollar machine and is brand new, this should not happen. Specs are in the sig, using adobe premier pro and have used the gopro software sparingly, similar results.

    And re read what I posted everyone, I never implied one should buy an epic graphics card just for gopro editing. My statement is that this the top of the line iMac, and this is a one year old camera that cost less than 500 bucks and it's already noticeably slowed down by it. So what's going to happen with next years gopro? The canon 5d mark 4 when that comes out? It's top end price and currently at mid end performance which is a HUGE problem considering there is no way to upgrade. THAT is the point my friend.

    I sarcastically brought up the colorspace and thinness because it's something that they talked about like it was important when it's nearly inconsequential. It's like buying a car with a undersized engine but the saleman trying to reassure you by telling you it has leather seats. That's nice and all but that's not going to matter when you're trying to keep up with traffic and your car can't go fast enough.
  10. hiddenmarkov, May 8, 2016
    Last edited: May 8, 2016

    hiddenmarkov macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2014

    Not necessarily whining, there is growing concern apple's internal hardware choices are leaning to the constraints of thermal dictates (they build to meet their idea of thermal control) and size (what I call electronic anorexia) and this is hurting them possibly. Apple can't know this if we keep silent.

    To be honest apple could resolve some of this with a limited run of "super' machines. few years of say a MP, rMBP and Imac versions with some bigger balls. Case of MP and maybe iMAC....expandibility as well. Ie. replace video card ability. these may require things like case fans (iMac) or better (read potentially louder fans that move more air) for MBP and MP.

    If it has hard numbers that a measurable section of the user base doesn't mind some fan noise or a slightly larger casing to fit some bigger stuff in it for some performance gains.

    If it fails..fanless/throttling to not have fans hit as much is the winner, let the consumerism based designs go full speed ahead solo.

    I see the former working. mainly because as a MBP owner I have to ask myself when Don't my fans go off. Answer is when I am not using my system really. pic/video editing, games (all work and no play as they say...that and I prefer pc/mac os style for some games...console lacks things for some games in terms of game play imo) programming in the realms of data analysis....most things I do have my MBP not be quiet. So fan noise just a thing really.

    We get a nice super box that makes us happy, we speak with our money. If it works...keep on making them. And when the thermal dictate groupies who like it small and quiet come up and say its not fair the best stuff is "loud" one made them buy it so if they want quiet....they can buy the quiet stuff.

    Performance has costs. Heat (ergo fans to move air) and size are among them. All some of us want is some options here.
  11. Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011

    It just so happens that NVidia "gaming" cards have tons of CUDA cores that help with video editing (particularly if you're using Adobe software)... and GoPro footage uses a notoriously heavy codec.

    I'd question why wouldn't you buy a GTX 1080 for video editing? (though it won't help on his iMac)

    But in general... I had some crappy old video card in my Windows editing rig... then I added a lowly NVidia GTX 750ti for about $150 last year.

    Holy cow! What an upgrade. 4K playback is smooth (no dropped frames during playback even with 2 or 3 layers)... some effects are GPU accelerated... encoding can be faster depending on the output codec... etc.

    In short... GPUs can do amazing things for video editing.

    Check out this video explaining how a GTX 980ti is great for video editing:

    Basically... he's able to edit and playback 5K RED RAW footage smoothly with no dropped frames... and encoding time is reduced by 40%

    So yeah... I'd say a GTX 1080 would be even better for editing video.

    Sadly... he can't just plug in a GTX 1080 into his iMac... so this discussion is moot.

    But video cards ARE important to video editing these days. They're not just for gaming anymore.
  12. Dean Yu macrumors regular

    Dean Yu

    Mar 12, 2016
    Toronto, Canada
    Haha my friend.
    Haven't you seen the problem?
    Radeon R9 Mobility + Adobe Premier + CineForm
    Great combo you have got.
    Use a Nvidia Card and Windows 10 custom Rig next time.
    From A FCPX user.
  13. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    are you using cpu or gpu rendering?
  14. Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    Adobe's software utilizes the GPU whenever it can. If you have an NVidia graphics card... Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (CUDA) should be enabled.

    If a suitable GPU is unavailable... it will do everything on the CPU.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Perhaps the iMac is not the best tool for your needs, regardless of the price. If you need an overly powerful GPU, I suggest you sell the iMac and select a computer that better fits your needs.
  16. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    You have hardware and software mixed up. The cause of your problem is the inefficiency and limitations of Premiere CC, not the GPU in your iMac. I have a top-spec 2015 iMac 27, and use both Premiere CC and FCPX.

    Premiere does OK on H264 1080p but performance degrades terribly on 4k. When fast forwarding on a 4k timeline, the frame update rate of Premiere is about 20 times slower than FCPX -- running on the same hardware. The lag time to respond to JKL edit commands is vastly slower on Premiere.

    This has little to do with the GPU. The algorithm for H264 encode/decode is inherently sequential and cannot be meaningfully accelerated by a GPU -- no matter how powerful. The GPU helps a lot for effects but not for import, decode, encode and export. Those are mostly CPU limited.

    This manifests so strongly on H264 4k because the data volume increases by 4x over 1080p, which must be handled mostly by the CPU. There are two ways to accelerate this, and Premiere for the most part uses neither method (currently):

    (1) Proxy files: FCPX can seamlessly generate these which are automatically edit-synced with the original files. Adobe's long-term policy was they did not need proxy files and in fact on the Premiere web site it still says you never have to transcode to get good performance. They finally realized this would not work in the 4k era and they demonstrated at NAB proxy support for Premiere. This is great news for Premiere editors, but I don't know when it will be released.

    (2) Hardware-assisted H264 encode/decode. This is typically via Intel's Quick Sync but a few video cards have separate encode/decode circuitry besides the GPU that does this. nVidia calls theirs NVENC, and AMD's is VCE. Whether Quick Sync, NVENC or VCE, the app must write to this API. FCPX has long used Quick Sync so it is very fast at H264 encode/decode. Premiere does not use this but they use NVENC -- provided you have the exact video card that supports it. At NAB Adobe apparently announced they would start supporting Quick Sync, although it was ambiguously worded. However they said Windows only, not Mac.

    Due to how slow Premiere CC is on H264 4k, you have four options:

    (1) Externally transcode your H264 4k content to ProRes or some other lower-compression codec supported by Premiere. This will increase disk space by about 8x but will be fast and smooth to edit. I have personally tested this on Premiere CC on my 2015 iMac 27 and it works well -- at the space and time cost of transcoding.

    (2) Wait until Adobe finally releases proxy support in Premiere CC. This will probably solve your performance problems. You can Google their demos to see how it works. Release time frame is unknown, hopefully this year.

    (3) Switch to FCPX. If you are experienced with Premiere I would not recommend this, as the above solutions will work without learning a new editor. However you would avoid paying $50 per month, although this may not be realistic since many people need Photoshop or After Effects.

    (4) Ditch your iMac and either switch to Windows or build a Hackintosh. It would be sad to take these steps simply because your software is so slow but it would enable throwing enough hardware at the problem to obtain good performance.
  17. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Sounds like you all keep mentioning and asking for something. If only Apple had ever made a machine with PCIe slots, tons of internal drive expansion, upgradable CPUs, and gobs of RAM...


    Attached Files:

  18. majestice macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2015
    1) Everyone knew this card was coming out for at least a year already, including the performance since it was featured on some nVidia powerpoints they publicly showed long ago. It is not that hard to figure out just by using common sense how big the jump will be given that both AMD and nVidia skipped the last generation 20nm manufacturing process altogether, going from 28nm directly to this (I believe 14nm for nVidea, 16 for AMD). This is HUGE jump on amount of transistors they can put on the chip and naturally also the energy efficiency since basically you are getting not just normal update but the previous generation update (that should have happened like 2 years ago) and the next update all at once. This year was always going to be a huge jump for computing simply because of this reason and that was known long before the last iMac came out. Of course it isn't just the manufacturing process update but on top of that you have all the other stuff that comes with advancing technology and R&D.

    2) Your computer is now as powerful as it was when you bought it. If it can't do what you want it to do you obviously bought a wrong computer or you are simply put, using it wrong way. I have same top of the end machine and I do edit 4K with it natively but of course these are compressed intraframe files (like prores) but I've heard the machine is able to play 5K RED RAW well enough for editing. Of course in professional world lots of people use proxies. Raw and uncompressed footage is rarely used to do the actual editing, but you use offline proxies and later with picture lock you switch back to original shots for color correction or VFX.

    3) iMacs used to have 780M so in that sense seeing 1080M on iMac wouldn't be completely unheard of. Of course it wouldn't be exactly the same performance with 1080 destop version, but since the power requirement for desktop version is already much lower, the mobile version probably wouldn't need to be toned down so much to fit iMac's power requirements. Of course, it looks like Apple is now going with AMD and right now there's no reason to think it would change since they are optimizing FCPX to AMD processors same way as Adobe was optimizing for nVidia. I would like to nVidia on macs again, but I guess it happens if it happens. Until it does, no one knows what the next generation machine will have. One thing is sure, either way it is going to be much faster than the current generation simply because both nVidia and AMD are moving to the new manufacturing process, which in both cases is two generations of updates at once.
  19. dollystereo macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2004
    The old 2013 trash mac pro, has more or less the same TFlops as de the new 1080. (with two D700s)
  20. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015

    have you tried OpenCL?
  21. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    The OP's issue has nothing to do with OpenCL or his GPU. It is caused by the inefficient playback engine in Premiere CC which has drastic impact on H264 4k. For the most part the GPU can only accelerate effects -- not encode, decode, scrubbing, editing and exporting.

    Anyone with similar hardware can verify this for themselves by importing some H264 4k content and do forward/backward scrubbing in the timeline with GPU enabled and disabled in File>Project Settings>General>Renderer. It makes little if any difference until you apply affects, and it's very laggy and slow even before effects are applied, despite playback resolution being at 1/4. This is a Premiere problem not a GPU problem.

    When Adobe rolls out the Premiere update with proxy support that will help a lot. If they add Quick Sync that will help but for now the plan is Windows only for that feature. Adobe also plans on optimizing Premiere to use Apple's Metal API which will help a lot on effects -- regardless of what GPU. They already demonstrated this on After Effects and obtained a 8x performance increase. The timeframe for shipping that is unknown.
  22. calderini macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2004
    I'm pretty sure we can expect this new card to be supported via Hackintosh, if Nvidias track record runs true to form. As a Hackintosher who really loves his setup, (i74790, 32GB Ram, 1TB SSD, and Nvidia GTX970 with a "genuine" Apple wi-fi card), I can attest that every single system software update is followed by a brand new Nvidia driver package usually within 24 hours. The new 1080 is DEFINITELY on my purchase list, and I will try to get it as soon as it's available.
    Becuase, I hope, my HTC Vive will be arriving early June. (I also run windows 10 from a 500GB SSD)
    Been a Mac User, Supporter, purchaser since way back in the Mac II days, and have spent over my fair share of dollars supporting the platform. So my conscience is kind of clear via the Hackintosh route as Apple would not give me the machine I wanted/needed. Yeah. There are still a few hiccups.
    Can't play back my iTunes DRM stuff. But since I have an additional iMac, Macbook Pro, Iphone, ipad pro, and Apple TV4, not getting to play things back on that ONE particular screen is not an issue.

    It should be easier, not harder to do this.
    It really hurts my heart and is a bit soul crushing to browse through this particular forum (Mac Hardware) on a daily basis and see just what convuluted hoops some folks are having to jump through just to keep functionality of a, at best, 4 year old machine (CMP) running and current.

    It's not that the technology and design was not there, IT WAS.
    Apple just refused to continue catering to that segment.
    And it's just sad that it has come to this.

    As to the OP, I would explore the Hackintosh. Good community, Good Support, and a really good user experience if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty.

    I've been doing this a LONG time. (Using PRO machines as a graphic and video artist, 35 plus years)
    I'm assuming VR will be last big technology I'll be able to get in front of.
    (and it looks hella fun to boot)
    I'm not going to let my machine hold me back.

  23. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    Certainly goes a long way towards explaining why the GTX 1080 will be such a panacea, then. :)
  24. Michael Scrip macrumors 603

    Mar 4, 2011
    I'm not the OP.

    I have a Windows machine with a GTX 750ti with CUDA.

    I was just explaining to someone how a GPU can help with video editing :)
  25. h9826790, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    >90% sure it's not a problem. So far, all new Nvidia GPU (up to TitanX) are supported in the old Mac Pro and Hackintosh by the Web Driver. Can't see why Nvidia will suddenly stop that.

    $3000 does't mean anything. You were paying that for the 5K screen, the Apple brand, the slim design, but not the spec, the cooling system, upgradability, etc.

    Anyway, if you want native OSX support, the Mac Pro 5,1 is your best choice.

    Other Mac (including your iMac) is possible to use this card as eGPU via TB, but expect a lot of work have to do, and most likely every OS upgrade will break it.

    Hackintosh always has the best cost to performance ratio. But again, not native, easy to have issues during any OS upgrade. Not recommended for inexperience guy to use as daily (working) computer.

    For video editing, I am sorry to tell you that the $400 Mac Pro 4,1 with some upgrade may do the job better than your iMac and cost a bit less.

    e.g. My Mac Pro's current cost is about

    $400 Mac Pro 4,1
    Flash to 5,1 (free)
    2x HD7950 ($200-300, can be cheaper if buy used card)
    $300 1T Samsung SSD
    $190 48G ECC RAM
    $150 W3680 (or W3690, X5690, X5690, which ever cheaper)
    HDD, whatever you want, a WD red 6T HDD which works very well internally is about $200-$250 (you can install up to four of them internally in RAID 0).

    So, all together is just about half the cost of your iMac, but sure much more powerful in video editing. However, the best screen to use is just 4K, not 5K in Mac Pro. The 5K monitor works, but may cause trouble, also much more expensive then the 4K monitor.

    For dual 7950, you can easily power 4x 4K screen without any problem. 2x Dell P2715Q should be a good choice for 4K video editing. You can use one of the monitor for real time play back at native resolution. Both monitors will cost you another ~$1200 in total.

    So, at the end, total cost is just below $3000, not much cheaper than your iMac, but you have 2x4K monitor, 2x7950 for, 48G ECC RAM, 1T SSD + 6T HDD.

    Overall a more powerful setting for video editing. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, this Mac can upgrade, you can use 4xPCIe SSD with ~5900MB/s read/write which only occupy one PCIe slot. You can install a 1080 or whatever GPU to replace the dual 7950. You can go for dual X5690 (12 cores, 24 threads) and 128G RAM (may be more later, when 32G RAM stick exist). For plugin 5x 2T SSD internally (total 10T). Plenty of options in the cMP to fit your personal needs.

    Also, Mac Pro is designed to work 100% 24/7, no matter how you stress it, the fan not even run at half speed, quiet and cool.

    Please don't get me wrong, I am not saying that the iMac is bad. It's a nice machine, but the same $3000 dollar, you just get a type of Apple computer that's beautiful, but not that powerful and not upgradable (and may not that fit your need for video editing). IMO, the 5K iMac is really good for photo editing, less demanding to GPU and cooling system, require good monitor, more demanding on CPU single core performance (all Mac Pro is relatively bad in this area), less demanding on storage (both speed and size). However, it's not that video editing orientated (especailly 4K video).

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