FORUMS: list search recent posts

iMac Pro thoughts

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Oliver Peters
iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 6:34:32 pm

For those of you who have taken the plunge with the new iMac Pro, what are your thoughts now? Worth it over a 2013 Mac Pro or 5K iMac? Or are you waiting for the next Mac Pro?

In my case, I work at a shop running 3 iMac Pros, 3 5K iMacs, and 1 2013 Mac Pro. Pros and cons to all of them. They are on a shared storage network. Generally, we are getting the best - or equal to the top - performance out of the iMac Pros. However, across the board, I'd say it's a 20-25% improvement, not a 100% or 200% improvement.

What are others experiencing? And is there really any market in the video world for a new Mac Pro?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 6:49:34 pm

Well, there is a BIG market for MacPros in my world....broadcast TV. But as it has been pointed out over and over and over again, we are a very small minority of all the video production that happens out there. Still, in Hollywood and NY and Atlanta and other broadcast markets across the globe, they could sell tens of thousands if not a couple hundred thousand units. Not just Avid people use them...premiere people do too, as well as more than a few FCX users. Will it be as profitable as the ipad or iPhone...no, of course not. But still, there is a market for them. If we don't see them, you'll see a huge migration to HP or Dell...not a lot of iMacs as edit stations aside from story producers....

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

greg janza
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 7:16:17 pm

[Shane Ross] "Still, in Hollywood and NY and Atlanta and other broadcast markets across the globe, they could sell tens of thousands if not a couple hundred thousand units. Not just Avid people use them...premiere people do too, as well as more than a few FCX users."

That is definitely true but the difference in 2018 is that there no longer is a differentiating factor that makes a mac purchase any better than any other computer. Avid and Premiere work just fine on the PC side and some would argue that they work even better.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 7:21:57 pm

[Shane Ross] "Well, there is a BIG market for MacPros in my world....broadcast TV."

I kinda have to ask why? Because at least right now, the iMac Pros and even many 5K iMacs deliver better performance.

[Shane Ross] "Not just Avid people use them...premiere people do too, as well as more than a few FCX users."

Avid - I don't see, since the bulk of Avid work for film and TV is in the proxy world and MC really doesn't make much use of the GPUs. Any Mac would do. At least with Premiere and FCPX, you have a lot more people working in original, native media, where the machine performance is critical.

I realize that currently, Mac Pros (2013 and towers) are all over the place. But, will that continue? My own theory is that if Apple releases a new Mac Pro on the same schedule as the iMac Pro, then machines will be in the wild by January 2019. If they do what they did with the 2013 machines, then expect to see that machine in a similar variation for about 5 years. Given the development pace of computers, my own guess is that such a machine would be the last of its kind produced by Apple.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 7:58:30 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I kinda have to ask why? Because at least right now, the iMac Pros and even many 5K iMacs deliver better performance."

The need for two displays and video IO to a client monitor...even in offline bays. Connectivity to servers. That little trash can did NOTHING to contain any mess. The amount of cables coming off that thing was embarassing, unsightly. And they got hot hot hot.

I have been in exactly ZERO edit bays/cutting rooms that use iMacs. All are on trash cans, or 2012 towers. The only iMacs I see in the process are on story producers desks.

Performance is one thing...but containing cable mess is also a high priority. And expanded connectivity. It will be interesting to see if ANY iMac Pros pop up in broadcast bays. I'm hearing more rumblings about getting HP Z6 machines or buying 2012 MacPros and upgrading them. We love our towers.

[Oliver Peters] "vid - I don't see, since the bulk of Avid work for film and TV is in the proxy world and MC really doesn't make much use of the GPUs. Any Mac would do. "

Yup...which is why many of us are still on 2012 Mac Pros.

[Oliver Peters] "At least with Premiere and FCPX, you have a lot more people working in original, native media, where the machine performance is critical."

And Resolve. And more and more Resolve bays...and online bays in posts houses...are going PC. Or have 2012 MacPros with external boxes for GPU. Even Trash cans. No post facility or online bay has an iMac at it's core. Online has demands that like machines with slots, or that are rack mountable. iMacs don't offer that. If I hear of one in use I'll let you know. But iMacs are mainly single user edit stations that are self contained.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 8:27:54 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Jan 24, 2018 at 9:35:29 pm

[Shane Ross] "The need for two displays and video IO to a client monitor...even in offline bays. Connectivity to servers. That little trash can did NOTHING to contain any mess. The amount of cables coming off that thing was embarassing, unsightly. And they got hot hot hot. "

Hmm... I work with one nearly every day. I have i/o and additional connected items. In fact, with the help of BMD i/o and a dock, I'm running three connected displays, plus a video monitor. It's not really any more messy than the back of a cheese grater. Plus I've seen some very good rackmount versions.

Mine doesn't run hot at all. Certainly less than an iMac. This is with a lot of 4K original in Premiere and AE and Resolve. Hardly ever kicks in the fans. There IS a problem with the GPUs and Adobe apps, but that's because only Apple apps are optimized for the dual-GPU configurations.

My main complaint is with the Thunderbolt connectors. They are terrible - and this seems to happen on all machines - they easily become disconnected and fall off or get pulled off. So Thunderbolt 3/USB-C is a definite improvement.

But, in regards to your original concern, I am currently doing that with the iMac Pros, too. And actually fewer do-dads, because I have 10GigE built-in.

[Shane Ross] "And Resolve. And more and more Resolve bays...and online bays in posts houses...are going PC."

But, I think you are making the argument for me. People who want to stay in the Mac ecosystem will like and move to the iMac Pros. People who need a tower and all it offers will go to PC.

[Shane Ross] "No post facility or online bay has an iMac at it's core. Online has demands that like machines with slots, or that are rack mountable."

With all due respect that's sort of an LA 90's/00's-era argument. We deliver online content to networks from iMacs, iMac Pros and Mac Pros. I think if you started from scratch and not legacy installations that were built upon, the hardware mix might be different. Take a look at several of the European facility user stories at FCP.co.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index


Neil Goodman
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 25, 2018 at 3:48:06 am

[Shane Ross] "No post facility or online bay has an iMac at it's core. Online has demands that like machines with slots, or that are rack mountable. iMacs don't offer that. If I hear of one in use I'll let you know. But iMacs are mainly single user edit stations that are self contained.
"


Not always true. At the place I worked at last - all the edit bays (30) were Imacs hooked up to an Isis. The finishing team was on Imacs/Isis and only the colorist was on a cheesegrater for big jobs that we produced and shot. The rest of the stuff was theatrical so they would get finished footage eventually w/o the need to color. Those 2015 imacs maxed out are very capable for offline and online and obviously things have only gotten better.

The place I'm at now is all cheesegraters - probably 60 something bays. There's wires all over the place and they are slow as molasses in comparison to the imacs at the old gig. Dont even get me started on PPro performance on them. Avid runs just ok.

Id hope if a new tower came out from apple we'd jump all over it.


Return to posts index

James Sullivan
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 7:51:14 pm

I am still waiting to see the next tower. I am one of the very stuborn holdouts who is hoping to leapfrog all of thunderbolt one and two, and the doorstop that trashcans now represent, and come out swinging with only having to buy USBc compatible kit to make it through the next ten years of post.

I cannot justify 13,000 on a computer that cannot be repaired easily and is attatched to it’s monitor. I also cannot justify maxing out a 2017 macbook pro no matter how much I want to have two terabytes inside the machine. Two generations in I still do not see anybody using the touchbar in neat useful ways. Because Apple went for small I am tempted to buy the 13inch maxed out but they still dont have enough full bandwidth ports to make that a wise decision either and make for a productive dongle life at the same time.

I am very much a small time owner operator and cannot just invent cash flow that would let me hand Apple that amount of money that quickly. (I should mention I am not good at the business side of running my business so chalk this line of hate up to having to do twenty jobs instead of just creating moving images.)

Now that Ives is done building buildings I hope we can see the next generation of laptops and towers that reflect a more “professional” upgrade and maintainence path that will keep people like me stay in the game. I am still on a cheesegrater and god if I could swap out to the latest kit(CPU and GPUness) and be on MacOs would that not be wonderful? Or even run some threadripperness just to keep Intel on its toes. Would that help keep the competiton happening and consumers seeing some benefit on the price end of things?

All wishful thinking on my part but as I am part of the team who uses these tools to make my living instead of create them from scratch I want to communicate what it is that would work for me and hope others feel the same way.

I feel like we have made so many improvements over all to workflows in general but it is still like hearding cats to try and get both software and hardware to play nice and make things orders of magnitude easier. Am I happy I do not have to own and maintain a HDCAM SR deck? Yes! Do I want to edit on a 15inch screen all day? NO! (bring back a 17inch laptop and take my money!!!)

just venting to peers and looking foward to other’s responses and their own reading of the tea leaves,

James

PS I am glad they put 10gb ethernet in that puppy. I hope that trend continues as fiber is still stupid expensive and fragile to run on a small scale still.



Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 8:16:25 pm

[James Sullivan] "All wishful thinking on my part but as I am part of the team who uses these tools to make my living instead of create them from scratch I want to communicate what it is that would work for me and hope others feel the same way."

I would think that a new Mac Pro, which is destined with the upgradeability of the old Mac Pro towers, probably is wishful thinking ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index


James Sullivan
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 9:04:20 pm

Wishful thinking indeed! But they could still do it, so for now I am going to continue to believe they can make me happy again. I just worry their pushing into commisioning content is going to distract them from making hardware that lasts for more than ten years.

I dont want to watch your shows, I want to make them using your ecosystem.

James

Also let me plug an ipad pro into a mirorless dslr and show me what the camera sees and make me really happy! (Terradek does not count as it is more stuff to strap on and power)



Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 9:29:03 pm

[James Sullivan] "Wishful thinking indeed! But they could still do it, so for now I am going to continue to believe they can make me happy again"

It may well be that it uses standard and user-replaceable socketed/slotted ports for RAM, drives, or GPU. But slots for add-in cards? That's where I think Apple will draw the line.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Shane Ross
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 10:41:59 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It may well be that it uses standard and user-replaceable socketed/slotted ports for RAM, drives, or GPU. "

Maybe...but as apple seems to be moving farther and farther away from ANY user customization that they don't pre-configure, I'm not holding my breath.

[Oliver Peters] "But slots for add-in cards? That's where I think Apple will draw the line."

I wonder why that is? WHy did they go "NO! You can't do this anymore...we don't like it." So stupid.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:21:33 pm

[Shane Ross] "I wonder why that is? WHy did they go "NO! You can't do this anymore...we don't like it." So stupid."

I don't know, but some thoughts would be design, power consumption, heat, how many *should* they include, OS support/accommodation, etc. And, of course, because they can. ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 24, 2018 at 11:24:22 pm

BTW - here's a design concept (not Apple's):

http://pascaleggert.de/macpro.html

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 25, 2018 at 2:34:35 pm

One area we have seen definite differences between the iMac Pro and 2013 Mac Pro is with native RED files in Premiere Pro. The iMac Pro is definitely better and allows our editors to work natively, while the Mac Pro tends to choke and is best when we use a proxy workflow.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Eric Santiago
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 25, 2018 at 2:38:53 pm

[Oliver Peters] "best when we use a proxy workflow."

IMHO I enforce this workflow with all RED projects.
Lugging around features is a pain with RED since you have to hang on to all data.
Sure you can export to R3D from RCX (trimmed, etc..) but that just adds more work.
I guess if your working in short form, native format editing would be fun :)


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 25, 2018 at 2:59:29 pm

[Eric Santiago] "IMHO I enforce this workflow with all RED projects."

Oh, I completely agree. But it's less of an issue with TV spots. My point, however, was the direct performance comparison between the two machines.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Tom Sefton
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 8:03:48 am

Have they fixed the crappy problem with premiere that makes project unwieldy and horribly slow to open, save and add media to when you have more than 5TB of rushes inside?

I’d previously thought of waiting for whatever modular Mac Pro might be coming this year, but experiences like these are making my wallet itch.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 12:53:04 pm

[Tom Sefton] "Have they fixed the crappy problem with premiere that makes project unwieldy and horribly slow to open, save and add media to when you have more than 5TB of rushes inside"

Odd. I haven’t run into any issue like that.

Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Tom Sefton
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 1:34:59 pm

I had it twice with large projects last year where the library of footage (all red 8K and 6K raw) when imported to a cc project would slow the project to a crawl when saving, opening, closing or importing new footage. The library was around 7TB in size - contacted adobe support (which is dreadful) and they said to reduce the size of the library by either working in proxy and relinking for final export or to edit chunks together and compile at the end. Didn't seem viable so worked in FCPX instead.

Perhaps it was a freak, but it seemed to be an acknowledged problem at the time from Adobe; storage was fast and had plenty of space, as did scratch disks and cache so I couldn't figure out what was causing it other than a software problem.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 1:49:58 pm

[Tom Sefton] "I had it twice with large projects last year where the library of footage (all red 8K and 6K raw) when imported to a cc project would slow the project to a crawl when saving, opening, closing or importing new footage."

I really haven't run into that and over the past year we've had about 7 editors on various machines running some pretty large projects.

Premiere has to go through a "conforming" process with audio on various media types. When you first import media, this happens in the background and slows everything down. But once down, standard operation is pretty fast. It's generally advisable to not have this cache on a shared storage volume, so we save those files locally. This means that if you open the project on a new machine at any point, those files have to be created again locally on that machine. That's the only annoyance we have routinely run into. However, waiting the first time is about the same as waiting for FCPX to write all the waveform cache files, which is essentially the same process.

The other thing that can balloon project files sizes in Premiere is if you have media, like Alexa Log-C, where Premiere automatically applies a built-in LUT. In your case with RED files, maybe there's a slowdown because of RAW, but I would think only if you've changed the RED settings away from "as shot". Just a thought.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 5:17:58 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I really haven't run into that and over the past year we've had about 7 editors on various machines running some pretty large projects."

I'm working with a company that has two docs in PPro and each doc has about 20TBs of media in it and I haven't heard them complain about slowness when opening or saving the project.


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 7:20:02 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I'm working with a company that has two docs in PPro and each doc has about 20TBs of media in it and I haven't heard them complain about slowness when opening or saving the project."

Slowness is the in the eye of the beholder. Isn't that how the saying goes?


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 8:41:29 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Slowness is the in the eye of the beholder. Isn't that how the saying goes?"

It is, though when I've been opening, saving, ingesting, etc., into the projects I mentioned in the previous post they do so quickly and not "horribly slow" like Tom has experienced. Sure, it's all relative, but I doubt my 'quickly' and Tom's "horribly slow" are the same speed. 😉

On my current gig we generate about 80TB of media each week (11 video feeds running for 90min stretches, three times a day, four days a week). All of that footage ends up in PPro and the projects open and save in a few seconds. Importing media is a little slower than I'm used to, but it still happens in seconds, not minutes (and I'm used to importing files that are much shorter than 90min so my point of reference isn't really comparable).


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 9:14:05 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "It is, though when I've been opening, saving, ingesting, etc., into the projects I mentioned in the previous post they do so quickly and not "horribly slow" like Tom has experienced."

Is it 6k and 8k red raw footage like Tom is using, though?


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 9:49:06 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Is it 6k and 8k red raw footage like Tom is using, though?"

No, but the original talking point was that 5TB of media was the max PPro could handle w/o slowing down and my responses have been to that point. Factoring in codecs, HD vs 6K/8K, specific machine hardware, etc., are obviously different variables that can play into what Tom is seeing.

I don't work with 6K/8K red raw footage, so I can't comment specifically to that workflow, but I do work with large amounts of media and don't experience Tom's problems so that can help eliminate variables with regards to trouble shooting and workflow development. To that point (and the most recent post from Tom), the problem sounds specific to the footage he is using, as opposed to using large amounts of media in general.


Return to posts index

Tom Sefton
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 9:02:42 pm

Nahhhh, this was beach balls for 30s whilst trying to import a single jpeg to a project that had been worked on for days. I think it was more to do with the compatibility between cc and red helium footage.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


Return to posts index

Gabriel Spaulding
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 1:13:16 pm

"Have they fixed the crappy problem with premiere that makes project unwieldy and horribly slow to open, save and add media to when you have more than 5TB of rushes inside?"

I don't use Premiere Pro as a regular part of my workflow anymore, so I haven't experienced that. This is the first I've heard of the issue. I would be surprised if those problems were caused by the iMac Pro itself, especially if, as Oliver reported, the problem is not universal.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Videographer | Video Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


Return to posts index

greg janza
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 5:38:46 pm

That may have been a localized problem. I've worked on multiple projects that have involved over 5 terabytes of media and there's been no noticeable lag. I'm also working on a PC though so maybe it's been a mac bug.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


Return to posts index

Shawn Miller
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 5:50:37 pm

[greg janza] "That may have been a localized problem. I've worked on multiple projects that have involved over 5 terabytes of media and there's been no noticeable lag. I'm also working on a PC though so maybe it's been a mac bug."

Same here (on PCs) - but my projects and media are on local storage.

Shawn



Return to posts index

Gabriel Spaulding
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 26, 2018 at 2:14:47 am

I can't compare my 10-core iMac (Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of HMB2 and 64GB of RAM) to a 2013 Mac Pro or current 5k iMac because I don't have one of those, but I have run a number of tests comparing it to my maxed out late 2013 iMac. In every case rendering (Motion and After Effects) is 2x faster or more, and the actual experience of using those apps is completely different, especially in Motion where I am seeing realtime playback with much more going on than I would have ever attempted on the iMac. Where I had to create proxy media to edit 3 angles of 4k multicam (GH5 and Fs7 files) in FCP X on the iMac I can edit them all natively with the iMac Pro —even when KeyFlow Pro is simultaneously creating thousands of preview files in the background. Keeping FCP X Library and cache files on the internal SSD I am seeing drastic improvements in the speed of audio waveform drawing. I can tell that not every app I use is fully optimized for the iMac Pro, some use more resources than others, but apart from this I am absolutely thrilled with the iMac Pro. Every 2 weeks I receive about 1TB of data for multicam edits, and it would take nearly an entire day to create proxy media for those projects; not having to create proxy media means I have 26 more days to work every year now that my computer is free to do other things, which well more than pays for the iMac Pro.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Videographer | Video Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


Return to posts index

Rich Rubasch
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 31, 2018 at 1:59:43 am

We have two iMacPros with a second 21:9 Dell widescreen monitor...tons of real estate. We have the QNAP 1282T3 and use the 10Gige to the 10Gige on the QNAP for about 700MB/sec speeds. Our old towers connect with the old reliable gigabit.

Yes, some desktop woes, but working thru them. A dock for the iMacPro isn't really out there...most are for Macbook Pros that don't have any ports. But the thing is fast. The internal SSD is pulling 3000MB/sec and that is no joke!

Photoshop is open in 6 seconds.

So far so good. Even liking the keyboard and mouse that came with them....and although we got the new trackpad we haven't really used them much yet.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Jan 31, 2018 at 5:40:49 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "nd although we got the new trackpad we haven't really used them much yet.
"


This was always fascinating to me.

If my 2011 MacPro era GPU hadn’t been too weak to run the then brand new FCP X - I wouldn’t have had to learn the software on my laptop.

But because I did - I became a trackpad oriented FCP X editor from day one - and that completely unplanned change is what totally broke my decades of mouse reliance.

Now I literally haven’t touched a mouse in years - and the idea of reaching over to a mouse unit and breaking my “home row” hand position to do anything seems really strange.

Looking back it was a major shift in my expectations of how editing happens.

And really nice that with an external trackpad - my editing mechanics do not change - no matter what type system I’m driving.

For me it was one of my careers “happy accidents.”

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


Return to posts index

Peter Steinberg
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 2, 2018 at 4:44:46 am

Apologies for what I imagine is an ignorant question, but why do you connect the iMac Pros to the QNAP 1282T3 via the 10GbE connections rather than via the Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) connections?


Return to posts index

Michael Hadley
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 1, 2018 at 12:23:41 pm

Interesting.

You mention you keeping libraries and caches on internal SSD--presumably with media on external drives.

Anyone else doing it? Are there performance gains?

I've been keeping everything, including the library, on external 7200 RPM Raids.

Wonder if there's a performance boost by splitting library and media on internal and external drives. Thoughts? Experience?


Return to posts index

Gabriel Spaulding
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 1, 2018 at 3:31:11 pm

"You mention you keeping libraries and caches on internal SSD--presumably with media on external drives.

Anyone else doing it? Are there performance gains?

I've been keeping everything, including the library, on external 7200 RPM Raids.

Wonder if there's a performance boost by splitting library and media on internal and external drives. Thoughts? Experience?"



Until recently I also kept all of my media and FCP X Libraries on external 7200rpm RAID drives. With my iMac Pro I keep media on external drives but move the Library (cache files inside) to the internal SSD and now audio waveforms draw significantly faster. Certainly the CPU and GPU play a role in drawing thumbnails and waveforms, but it seems to me that the storage itself makes the most noticeable impact. FCP X generates thumbnails and waveforms for different cameras at different speeds. The GH5 is extremely fast. The Sony Fs7 with multiple audio channels, however, is annoyingly slow to draw, so I'll take my speed improvements wherever I can find them.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Videographer | Video Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 1, 2018 at 5:33:05 pm

[Gabriel Spaulding] "Until recently I also kept all of my media and FCP X Libraries on external 7200rpm RAID drives. With my iMac Pro I keep media on external drives but move the Library (cache files inside) to the internal SSD and now audio waveforms draw significantly faster. Certainly the CPU and GPU play a role in drawing thumbnails and waveforms, but it seems to me that the storage itself makes the most noticeable impact. FCP X generates thumbnails and waveforms for different cameras at different speeds. "

FCPX I/O can be characterized as two very different profiles. One is typical large sequential I/Os for media. This is what benchmarks like Black Magic measure, and spinning RAID arrays are good at delivering that.

The other I/O profile is small random I/Os used for metadata management, in particular thumbnail generation, waveforms, info.plist files, etc. I assume the SQLite calls FCPX makes for database management also generate lots of small random I/Os. Unfortunately RAID arrays are not good at that. SSD drives are better, but even they have limits on random I/O per second (vs MB/sec) rates.

Here is an I/O histogram I generated using the terminal dtrace utility bitesize.d when FCPX was scrolling through a library with AVCHD .MTS files. There are lots of small I/Os: https://joema.smugmug.com/Computers/FCPX-Event-Browser-Perf-Data/n-M7bG7L/i...

Which files it does I/O to can be inspected with the dtrace command iosnoop.

Regardless of I/O size or rate, a key item is whether the I/O system is overloaded. This can be examined with the dtrace command iopending which produces a histogram of how many async I/Os are backed up waiting to be serviced.

Using these commands is more difficult than older versions of macOS because of security restrictions. Starting with El Capitan you have to first disable System Integrity Protection. I wouldn't recommend anybody use these unless they are quite familiar with terminal: http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/208762/now-that-el-capitan-is-root...

How much of what I/O type varies based on what FCPX is doing, and also the codec. Scrolling through a large library with the Event Browser in filmstrip view incurs a lot more small I/Os than in list view. These thumbnails are then cached and subsequent scrolling is a lot faster. However if you resize the thumbnails there's a threshold whereby they must be regenerated. Unfortunately there's no manual control over this, such as in Lightroom where you can say "generate previews" and they are persistent.

As you said there are cases where putting the library and cache files on an SSD (even the system SSD) can help performance. However it can be difficult to determine whether this helps. Just because your spinning RAID array is chugging loudly doesn't mean it's overloaded. Lots of people speculatively put items on SSD, yet it may not help performance if the workflow isn't I/O-limited. If you measure the before/after timing of a specific workload and it's faster with library on an SSD, then that's good evidence but methodically doing such things is time consuming.

I usually use a 4-drive spinning RAID-0 array and often put both library and media there. Sometimes if I have space and it's a "lean" library I'll put it on the system SSD or another external Thunderbolt SSD. If you use RAID-5 there's a write penalty so it might be more important to put scratch/library files elsewhere in that case. However SoftRAID is very good at optimizing writes on RAID-5, so if you use that the penalty is often less than you expect.


Return to posts index

Gabriel Spaulding
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 1, 2018 at 9:18:30 pm

"As you said there are cases where putting the library and cache files on an SSD (even the system SSD) can help performance. However it can be difficult to determine whether this helps. Just because your spinning RAID array is chugging loudly doesn't mean it's overloaded. Lots of people speculatively put items on SSD, yet it may not help performance if the workflow isn't I/O-limited. If you measure the before/after timing of a specific workload and it's faster with library on an SSD, then that's good evidence but methodically doing such things is time consuming."

Tests like this are indeed time consuming, but so is waiting say 8 hours for waveforms to draw when the Library is on a RAID vs on the internal SSD, which is at times twice as fast. After a few years of cutting one recurring type of project with the Library on a RAID, then cutting the same project with the Library on the internal SSD, and seeing dramatic differences, the results were actually not difficult to determine at all —just move the Library to an SSD and compare the times. Granted, some of this speed improvement is moving to a beefier machine, but I tested the iMac Pro with the Library on a RAID and on the internal SSD and there is a huge gap in the amount of time it takes to draw waveforms.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Videographer | Video Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


Return to posts index

Michael Hadley
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 1, 2018 at 10:17:55 pm

Thanks for the insight.

Wonder if that is a best practice in general--or suited best to the power of the iMac Pro.

I'm on a 2013 nMP and wonder if I would get a performance boost as well by keeping libraries and caches on the internal SSD and continue to keep media on external raids....


Return to posts index

Eric Santiago
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 9, 2018 at 5:10:33 pm

Looking at getting the base version of the iMac Pro.

Thoughts on this compared to a D700?

Mostly After Effects and NLEs.


Return to posts index

Lance Bachelder
Re: iMac Pro thoughts - $3999
on Feb 9, 2018 at 9:37:17 pm

If you serious about getting the base iMac Pro check out Microcenter - they have a crazy deal right now if you go into their store - $3999!

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


Return to posts index

Eric Santiago
Re: iMac Pro thoughts - $3999
on Feb 11, 2018 at 8:05:22 pm

Thanks Lance.

Cant really order from another country (Canada).
I guess I will know soon how the 2013s will fare against a base version.
Going to order Monday.


Return to posts index

Tom Sefton
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 17, 2018 at 9:58:41 am

Vince LaForet just posted something really cool on his Facebook thread about the performance of the iMac pro with fcpx vs adobe vs resolve.

Have a look - very interesting!

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


Return to posts index

greg janza
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 17, 2018 at 7:49:28 pm

I read his review and you're right it is interesting.

He added this at the end: "At the end of the day: we’re going to have to become proficient w ALL NLEs – Final Cut Pro. X, Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve and … well no: Not Sony Vegas …sorry. Is that still around?"

From a freelancer's perspective though, the need to be proficient on FCPX is the lowest priority due to it's lack of presence in post facilities.

I Hate Television. I Hate It As Much As Peanuts. But I Can’t Stop Eating Peanuts.
- Orson Welles


Return to posts index

Gabriel Spaulding
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 17, 2018 at 8:10:25 pm

"From a freelancer's perspective though, the need to be proficient on FCPX is the lowest priority due to it's lack of presence in post facilities."

That certainly doesn't represent any of the freelancers who have been using FCP X the past 6.5 years. Also, it seems to me that what post facilities are doing should be largely irrelevant to most freelancers, who generally find their own clients through various avenues, clients who could not care less what NLE they use. If you were looking for a job at another post facility that's a different story, but in that case you'd no longer be a freelancer.

Gabriel Spaulding
Creator & Director of ACE Enterprizes
Videographer | Video Editor | Motion Designer

How Can We Help You Tell Your Story?
http://www.aceenterprizes.com


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 18, 2018 at 12:43:29 am

[Gabriel Spaulding] "If you were looking for a job at another post facility that's a different story, but in that case you'd no longer be a freelancer."

While it's common to use 'freelance' as an umbrella term to cover both freelancers and independent contractors they aren't the same thing. A freelance employee is still an employee of the company (W2) while an independent contractor is not.

Some employers will classify freelancers as ICs in order to avoid things like payroll taxes but that's a bit shady and illegal. And some employers will hire freelancers to fill staff positions, becauset by hiring a freelancer they don't have to provide staff benefits (not illegal, but still shady). This, and/or a freelancer staying with the same company for years, is usually referred to as 'perma-lance'.

I went freelance/IC again about 6 or 7 years ago and I'd say 3/4 of my time I'm working as a freelance employee so I need to know the gear that companies typically use. In my neck of the woods it's Avid and PPro for editing (an AE/PS for graphics).


Return to posts index

Tom Sefton
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 17, 2018 at 10:07:06 pm

Over twice as fast as resolve for encoding red raw, and adobe way behind even that. Freelancers are soon going to be using fcpx even if it’s for final export.

I’d be really interested to see how someone goes with an egpu connected to an iMac pro...

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


Return to posts index

Tim Wilson
Re: iMac Pro thoughts
on Feb 17, 2018 at 11:29:44 pm

[greg janza] "He added this at the end: "At the end of the day: we’re going to have to become proficient w ALL NLEs – Final Cut Pro. X, Adobe Premiere, Davinci Resolve and … well no: Not Sony Vegas …sorry. Is that still around?""

Yes, except MAGIX bought it and calls it VEGAS Pro. Still very much around, with an active forum here at the COW. If you're not using it, you probably don't need to, but the people who love it are the most enthusiastic user body I've ever seen, outstripping even the most ardent FCPX-philes and "I'll still be using Avid after I'm dead" Media Composers.

But I don't buy for a minute that most people need more than one. The real takeaway of FCP going "poof" and vanishing is that, no matter how much folks loved it, and loved their lives using it, it was more likely than not NOT the best fit for their work. It was its own dead end, and to the extent that both Adobe Premiere and DaVinci Resolve suggest a future for FCP that might have been, they both underscore to me all the reasons why FCP itself couldn't have gotten there.

And I don't say this with any lack of love. Remember, I adopted FCP when it was still at Macromedia running on Windows. LOL I loved it. But it was my 4th NLE by that point, and by the time I became Product Manager at Boris FX, I had to become at least passingly conversant with around 2 dozen NLEs and a half dozen more compositing environments. My overwhelming impression was, wow, there's a lot of great stuff out there that does a lot of cool things! I think it's kind of cool that circumstances led to so many other folks finding similar experiences.

That said, there are of course many thousands of folks still happily using FCP. More power to 'em. Noting again that before I left Boris FX to go to Avid, I was living and breathing FCP all day, every day. I understood why people felt it was all they'd ever need.

That's why I think there was also a giddiness -- preceded by anger, accompanied by nausea in the early days, but still, something of a euphoria -- unleashed when people realized that they didn't have to settle for what one developer offered them. If there's something you want or need in one application or another, if a client wants you to use this rather than that, it's not a crisis. It's an opportunity. If you're so inclined, it's FUN to be using more than one.

So it's not that anyone HAS to learn more than one. It's that it's fulfilling for ME to be the one to decide these things, and not fall into crisis if a client asks for a non-favorite. None of this is a big deal...whereas before 2011, it ALL seemed like a big deal.

But if using lots of tools doesn't sound fun, or if you find enough of what you need in X, PPro, Resolve, MC, or whatever, heck, even Vegas, I don't think it represents a failure of imagination to find that one developer has created a sweet spot big enough for you to find what you're looking for for a while. Nobody HAS to do anything.

Which is a pretty sweet spot indeed.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2018 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]