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Erin Herbst
iMac configuration suggestions
on Sep 14, 2015 at 2:34:29 pm

I've been editing basic videos for local businesses for a few years now. I go into their office with my 3 point lighting and and mic setup and Canon 70D and shoot and interview, grab some b-roll, and come back and edit then sync the audio and put together the finished video. Here's an example:




I'm primarily relying on Adobe Audition to edit audio, AE to create lower thirds (and occasionally key when I'm filming subjects in front of a green screen) and Premiere to put together the finished product. I know what I turn out is super high-end but I'm trying to improve (I'm 19 years old, completely self taught up to this point..still a lot of work to be done and equipment I'd like to add to my collection).
I've been doing all this editing using from my 15" MacBook Pro which I bought last year. Specs are 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB 1600 MHz DDR3, Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB. Right now I have all my applications installed on the laptop's hard drive, and I store my media on an external 1TB LaCiE rugged Thunderbolt drive and also set my media disk cache and conformed disk cache to a folder that is also on the same Lacie external drive as my footage (is this a terrible idea?) Right now whenever I boot up AE I'm told that "the disk cache is on a drive that does not have enough space" and a follow up message that "ray-tracing on the GPU requires an approved NVIDIA graphics card and CUDA 5.0 or later. For now, ray-tracing will use the CPU." Can anyone explain what this means?
Long story short, it seems evident that my laptop setup is not capable of handling the workload I'm giving it, as I keep getting those warning messages and having to force quit programs because my scratch disks are full, and just wait forever for things to render and preview is extremely laggy. I'm looking to upgrade to a 21.5 inch iMac desktop, but as a college student I need to stay under $2,300 for now. This is how I was planning to configure it:
3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
My questions are:
1) Is this configuration likely to improve the performance of my applications so I can playback video/render faster and not face the "scratch disk full" error?
2) Is it worthwhile to upgrade from the 1TB ATA drive to Apple's new 1TB Fusiondrive? The sales rep at the store said he didn't think it was worth it for me as the Fusiondrive was more important to laptop users, and I've read some things from other videographers reporting issues when editing video due to the way Fusion splits up your media in order to access it faster. Should I just stick with the 1TB ATA, or upgrade for $200?
3) I'm assuming I will not some type of external drive setup for storing my media and setting scratch disks. Do I set my scratch disks on the same external drive as my video files, or will I want to get a separate drive specifically for that? So I'd end up with applications installed on the desktop's internal HD, media stored on my 1TB Lacie Thunderbolt and scratch disks set to...a second 1TB Lacie? Should I invest in something like this to store both my media and my cache on? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1135375-REG/lacie_9000601_4tb_2_x_2tb...
I'm hoping my naivete hasn't pissed off too many pros here in the forum and someone can lend me advice as this is a big investment for me and I want to make sure I'm making the right calls. Thanks!
Erin


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bryce arroyo
Re: iMac configuration suggestions
on Sep 14, 2015 at 6:11:18 pm

Erin,

We can help you with all your needs here at Maxx Digital. Feel free to give me a call and we can go over both fusion drive and the Ata drives. We can definitely find you the best system for your buck.

Bryce Arroyo
714-374-4944
Maxx Digital


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Bob Zelin
Re: iMac configuration suggestions
on Sep 16, 2015 at 5:28:53 pm

and also set my media disk cache and conformed disk cache to a folder that is also on the same Lacie external drive as my footage (is this a terrible idea?)

reply - Yes, this is a terrible idea. Never do this. Use an external drive, an external SSD, or even your boot drive, but DO NOT use your media drive as your "media cache" drive in preferences. It will slow down your system.


Right now whenever I boot up AE I'm told that "the disk cache is on a drive that does not have enough space" and a follow up message that "ray-tracing on the GPU requires an approved NVIDIA graphics card and CUDA 5.0 or later. For now, ray-tracing will use the CPU." Can anyone explain what this means?

The Adobe CC software wants to see specific graphics cards to optimize the acceleration of the software - so it requires specific Open GL or Open CL graphics cards. You just don't have one. And you are not going to have one on your laptop - it's not like you can open up the side, and install the correct Nvidia card (and now AMD card).





My questions are:
1) Is this configuration likely to improve the performance of my applications so I can playback video/render faster and not face the "scratch disk full" error?

REPLY - you need a large fast external drive array, to get optimum performance. If you have a thunderbolt port, there are countless thunderbolt drives on the market that can do exactly what you want.


2) Is it worthwhile to upgrade from the 1TB ATA drive to Apple's new 1TB Fusiondrive? The sales rep at the store said he didn't think it was worth it for me as the Fusiondrive was more important to laptop users, and I've read some things from other videographers reporting issues when editing video due to the way Fusion splits up your media in order to access it faster. Should I just stick with the 1TB ATA, or upgrade for $200?

REPLY - you do not need to change your boot drive. You can run Adobe CC on a 2008 antique Mac Pro. You need the correct drive arrays that are fast enough to work for your application.

3) I'm assuming I will not some type of external drive setup for storing my media and setting scratch disks. Do I set my scratch disks on the same external drive as my video files, or will I want to get a separate drive specifically for that? So I'd end up with applications installed on the desktop's internal HD, media stored on my 1TB Lacie Thunderbolt and scratch disks set to...a second 1TB Lacie? Should I invest in something like this to store both my media and my cache on?

REPLY - your boot drive in your computer is for your software applications only. You can keep your project data on this drive if you like, and in a pinch, you can keep your media cache on this drive as well, but not your media. Your scratch disks with your video media is your external drive array. You media cache should NOT be the external media drive. It ideally should be a small SSD, but in a pinch, use your boot drive, as many people do.


Buying an external G-Tech 2 bay thunderbolt array is not a big investment. Don't put your media cache on this external array.

bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Kiki Muchtar
Re: iMac configuration suggestions
on Jan 21, 2016 at 9:48:17 am

Hi,

Bob said "It ideally should be a small SSD..."

How small could it be? We have 250GB SSD in a Mac Pro and maintain so the boot drive always has 50-100GB unused space. What we do is editing and color correction. Is it enough?


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bryce arroyo
Re: iMac configuration suggestions
on Sep 16, 2015 at 6:14:33 pm

Erin,

If youd like we work very closely with Bob and more than happy to get us on a three way conference call and talk about all your issues and give some advice.

Bryce Arroyo
714-374-4944
Maxx Digital


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