Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

bxs

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 20, 2007
1,150
528
Seattle, WA
Subject: Using Adobe Premiere Pro and FCPX to playback 8K footage. A brief summary.

With all the hype surrounding the new MP7,1 using/processing 8K footage I was very keen for seeing for myself how this type of footage would playback on the MP7,1. My son who's the Film making and Editor used some 8K footage to see how well the 'new machine' performed compared to the office MP6,1 and iMac Pro.

Let me say up front - I'm not a film editor, whereas my son is and runs a successful business - https://www.duncansharpfilms.com. Go and view his Sundance Channel, as for me its absolutely awesome playing it back on my 65" LG OLED TV with its LG Sound Bar at a reasonably high level volume setting - it's simply inspiring for me. ?:)

My background is more in the engineering/scientific fields and I use the Mac for Fluid Dynamics simulations. So forgive me if my use of terms is inaccurate. I just want to express what I observed as my son put the new MP7,1 through its paces doing some 8K work.

This 8K footage could not be handled by the office MP6,1 and the iMac Pro struggled with it, especially when playback was underway with Encoding being done in the background making the iMac Pro unusable for anything else while this workflow persisted. If 'bluring' was applied for the playback things got really bad.

So using this same 8K footage the MP7,1 was now tested to see how well it would handle the above type of activities.

Here's a quick overview of the MP7,1 hardware and software.

16-core
Internal Apple 1TB SSD
384 GB RAM
J2i with 2x HDD; 8TB and 16TB
Sonnet/Samsung PCIe card with 4x 1TB blades setup as RAID-0
Radeon Vega Pro II
Afterburner
Displays: TB1 Apple 27" and 65" LG OLED 4K TV
Software: Adobe Premiere Pro 2020, CC, Media Encoder, After Effects, Blackmagic RAW, FCP X with various Plugins, Compressor, Davinci Resolve, ....

All the 8K project data/footage was loaded onto the Sonnet/Samsung device that amounted to some 1.4 TB

First, the Adobe software was used on the MP7,1.
The Adobe software could process the raw 8K footage immediately and at full resolution the playback was almost perfect but son said it was not completely smooth and at times would stutter ever so lightly that he found a bit annoying. To address this he lower the resolution some (not by much mind you) and the 8K playback was decent. He was a bit disappointed the MP7,1 couldn't playback smoothly at full resolution, but said it was acceptable. Doing this same work on the iMac Pro (10-core, 128GB RAM) was almost impossible and if doing the same with background encoding being done, the iMac Pro was unusable for anything else until the background encoding finished, and even then the iMac Pro struggled with the raw 8K footage. On the MP7,1 running encoding as well as playback of the 8K footage things were much better with the playback stuttering some and not as smooth when encoding was not in process. The background encoding activity was extremely CPU intensive and pushed all 16 cores to their limits.

Second, the FCPX software was used on the MP7,1
The first issue here was that FCPX could not or would not recognize the 8K footage (the files were grayed out and could not be selected). After a bit of head scratching, son figured he needed maybe Compressor and another FCPX plugin (don't recall what this was as son researched via Google how to deal with this issue). Anyways, we now had FCPX recognizing the 8K footage and started using it to playback the 8K footage. As best son could see, the playback performance was similar to the Adobe playback, but son was unable to figure out if FCPX was playing back at full 8K resolution or not (son is expert with Adobe but not as much using FCPX).

So this was a quick checkout of our MP7,1 using Adobe and FCPX for processing 8K footage, and I have to say the performance of both appeared to me to be similar. The important aspect is the this MP7,1 is far more capable than the iMac Pro and certainly more so compared to the MP6,1.

Of course more testing will be done over the next week or so.

The bottom line is...
For me using Fluid Dynamics simulation code the MP7,1 is ideal.
For my son using his editing tools he's convinced he can handle client's demands much better and will be in a better position for taking on more intensive client projects with the addition of having the MP7,1 on hand. He was impressed with the MP7,1 capability as well as its performance especially handling multiple simultaneous editing activities.

Of course, any comments on the above is most welcomed. :)
 
Last edited:

tommy chen

macrumors 6502a
Oct 1, 2018
907
389
where was the 8k material from and with which codec and compression?

we shot last week with the RED in 8k 12:1 25fps and my main cMP plays this after a second break without problems in resolve in a UHD timeline.
in the 8k timeline there are already more dropouts, but the export to 8k prores 4x4 ran with 7 fps - actually ok
 

deconstruct60

macrumors G5
Mar 10, 2009
12,429
3,979
....
Here's a quick overview of the MP7,1 hardware and software.
.....
Afterburner
Displays: TB1 Apple 27" and 65" LG OLED 4K TV
Software: Adobe Premiere Pro 2020, CC, Media Encoder, After Effects, Blackmagic RAW, FCP X with various Plugins, Compressor, Davinci Resolve, ....
.....

Second, the FCPX software was used on the MP7,1
The first issue here was that FCPX could not or would not recognize the 8K footage (the files were grayed out and could not be selected). After a bit of head scratching, son figured he needed maybe Compressor and another FCPX plugin (don't recall what this was as son researched via Google how to deal with this issue). Anyways, we now had FCPX recognizing the 8K footage and started using it to playback the 8K footage. As best son could see, the playback performance was similar to the Adobe playback, but son was unable to figure out if FCPX was playing back at full 8K resolution or not (son is expert with Adobe but not as much using FCPX).
....
Of course, any comments on the above is most welcomed. :)


First, if this is some 2nd-3rd party plug-in that is doing codec translation of the source then playback performance issues can possibly be as much on them as on the raw Mac Pro abilities. (i.e., if put highly unoptimized software on a faster Mac, it may not run all that much faster. )

There are a set of camera sensor "RAW" readers that Apple supports and optimizes directly. There is another set that the camera makers make plug-ins for ( and they do their own varying degrees of optimizing for the FCPX plug-in context) . Finally, there is a set were 3rd parties try to fill the hole left by what the other two skip. Which category are in can have a substantive impact here. ( in camera maker support context there is also effort (or not) into enabling ProRes conversion as yet another dev effort for them. That too may varying on resources and optimizing effort applied. )

The Mac Pro as primarily a bigger "hammer" to clobber older, poorer performance software with probably won't result in the best "bang for the buck".


Second, if have an Afterburner card then possible interesting metric is the "foreground scrub with no stutter" with background on on ProRes material as opposed to looping in this 3rd party file reader. Adobe vs FCPX on ProRes while Afterburner is present.
[ The current clients may be using another codec that Afterburner doesn't enable, but kind of need to put a boat in water to test whether it is a good boat or not. Some existing ProRes content is basically 'water'. ]
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.