Considering aborting Mac
After clunking along with working but far behind the performance curve of the 2013 era MacPro cylinders, I waited anxiously for something new for "pro's". Imac Pro arrived. We bought two. And both are buggy and crash in quite different ways. One of them probably has a faulty GPU but apple wont admit to it since I cannot find a way to replicate the crashes outside of Adobe applications. Apple says it is Adobe, Adobe says it is Apple. Same old song and dance.
Considering switching to windows and will really mis the sleekness and efficiency of the Mac OS but people work efficiently in Windows world professionally every day. Considering going with Puget Sound custom designed machines and a maintenance contract to fix anything that acts up. The downtime and glitches of dealing with problematic products like BlackMagic Designs hardware on Mac has me frustrated and ready to jump. Is anyone editing 4K to 1080 on system that is running super smooth and not pausing playback or hanging up skipping audio when viewing longer content?
If so, what are you using?
We have 5 workstations to convert so I am not looking forward to this jump, but apple support has me raging.
Your timing is impeccable. I just reviewed a workstation from Puget Systems.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
Thanks! Reading now!
I've seen a lot of reviews of Puget systems on the various creative sites I follow lately, they seem to be making a pretty aggressive push into this space, and good for them. They may have found a great niche of customers and their systems and expertise seem to be top notch.
To get back to the main point, let me first disclaim that I used to work for Apple, so I've been as loyal as I can be to them. I own several iMacs and Mac Pros, but can't bring myself to use them for creative work (actually that's not entirely true, I use them for vector design because Sketch is so much better than Illustrator yet isn't available on PCs). PC hardware just flat-out outperforms Mac hardware for the price fairly consistently, and I've found that Apple's failure to consistently keep their hardware up-to-date in the last ~8 years has forced a lot of my Apple-diehard colleagues to Windows as well.
To be clear, the dance between Adobe and Apple support is not a problem unique to Apple hardware. In fact, you'd be hard pressed to find a company with support better than Apple's, so if your frustration is only with support then I'd suggest staying where you're at. But the ability for the performance of your editing machine to be dictated solely by your budget and not by a limitation of offerings is by far the most attractive feature of Windows PCs.
I manage systems as the de facto senior editor at a creative prod/post shop. We have a total of 10 Macs connected to shared storage. The editing machines are a mix of Retina iMacs, iMac Pros, and a 2013 Mac Pro. We are completely Adobe CC and overall it's been a solid experience.
All things considered with equal parts, if your focus is primarily editing, then you'll see similar performance between the two platforms. The caveats being lots of RED footage, heavy After Effects and heavy Resolve work. In those cases, the Mac suffers by going with AMD over Nvidia. The Mac Pro was a nice design idea, but ultimately a mistake that boxed Apple into a corner. The all-in-one design is nice and iMac Pros are the best machine they offer today. But you have no room for future expansion with any of these machines after you buy them.
Yet I still like the elegance of their machines and the ecosystem (though I feel Mojave is a step backwards). My fear is their continuing march towards an "iOS-ification" of the hardware and software.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
Thanks Oliver. What I/O are you guys using? I have BMD UltraStudio 4K and dislike how it handles audio. Put in a good external Audio interface and I find that the audio is better in some ways but still the audio will mute out requiring the pause and play button to continue playback. BMD also wont work for VO input.
I used AJA Kona for many years back in the SD to HD days and it was rock solid.
What NAS are you guys using? I have a QNAP TVS 1282 with 4 expansion chassis running and get pretty decent speed across the workstations at 10G and a couple running via Thunderbolt. However the QNAP looses thunderbolt 3 connection and I have to revert to 10G.
The iMac Pro keeps crashing when rendering using Adobe Media Encoder and the mouse moves but the screen is locked requiring a restart. Not repeatable outside of Adobe software. I wish apple would run a GPU test on my machines. But they wont.
[Dan Powers] "What I/O are you guys using?"
All machines are without video i/o, except for the "hero" room. The iMacs/iMacPros use headphones and/or external speakers via a Mackie Onyx audio interface. We do have a "floating" BMD Mini Monitor and a Flanders that we can connect to any of these systems. The "hero" room is a Mac Pro with a BMD UltraStudio Express connected to a large client display and a TV Logic grading display. I mainly use direct HDMI from the desktop when I'm in Premiere/FCPX, but use the BMD feed for Media Composer or Resolve. Sync is indeed an issue with BMD and I would much prefer AJA, but then Resolve wouldn't give me an output. For audio in that room I use a PreSonus audio interface.
Currently all monitoring is 1080, but I'll be looking at 4K options at NAB. We shoot nearly everything in 4K, but generally finish in 1080. However, more 4K finishing is headed our way due to client request.
[Dan Powers] "What NAS are you guys using?"
We have a large QNAP rack system and will soon be adding a LumaForge Jellyfish rack system to it. All 10GigE.
[Dan Powers] "The iMac Pro keeps crashing when rendering using Adobe Media Encoder and the mouse moves but the screen is locked requiring a restart."
Strange. Ours have been rock-solid. The only issues we've had is that one of the iMPs disconnects from the QNAP intermittently. On that machine, we've switched to a Sonnet Solo adapter instead of the built-in 10Gig port. After Effects does run from QNAP, however you'll often get better results working locally and then moving files back to QNAP for later access and storage. However, we work both ways in AE.
[Dan Powers] "Not repeatable outside of Adobe software."
Are you current on everything? We are on 10.13.6 on all machines (not Mojave), but on the most recent Adobe CC builds.
Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com
I work at a film marketing agency with about a dozen edit bays. When we first opened in 2014 we had the debate of going Mac or PC. I was very much in the Mac camp but the decision was made to go PC. After the initial shock of having to use CTRL instead of Command Key, I found no issue with switching to PC.
After a while with working in PC, We all kinda agreed that the systems were performing great. The main downside was having to deliver Pro Res Finals which meant buying 1 mac just to run compressor. But now that windows adobe premiere has pro res codecs in it, the mac is useless to us now.
It's now 2019 we have what is considered old computers now and they run a 1080p workflow just fine, But as all things must get upgraded at some point we are now looking to upgrade. As another user mentioned the Pudget systems look quite good. I was looking into the 4k edit station they advertise.
I think we will get something along those lines when we do upgrade. However we might build them our selves using pcparkpicker.com as I could get the price down to the $2400 range instead of the $3700 retail.
I think PC is the way to go, I admit I hated the idea of it but here I am waving the PC flag. I even went out and bought a PC for my edit station at home.