FORUMS: list search recent posts

Mac Mini with eGPU

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Oliver Peters
Mac Mini with eGPU
on Oct 31, 2018 at 2:20:15 pm

Does a new Mac Mini (optioned out with all the bells & whistles) - plus one of the BMD eGPU and TB storage - become a good FCPX option in the opinion of this group?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Morgan Reese
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Oct 31, 2018 at 4:27:37 pm

After Oliver's question is answered and not to hijack, I have the exact same question for the new macbook air...I think even without the bmd gpu it might be able to cut 1080 fine and maybe 4k. I still use only 1080 now.

I have a mid 2012 retina macbook pro2.6ghz/i7/16g ram that works fine for me now but it's so heavy when traveling and what a joy it would be to have an air and a small thunderbolt drive to cut anywhere and then use an egpu and large monitor for regular high horsepower set up.

tia,



Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Oct 31, 2018 at 4:36:15 pm

What is interesting is this subject came up in a Facebook group. One of the questions that was asked was whether or not it is possible to edit 4K on the new Mac Mini. I doubt it though it might work with proxies. This will be worth following.


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Oct 31, 2018 at 5:02:31 pm

[David Mathis] "I doubt it though it might work with proxies"

Why? 4K isn't really dependent on GPU if you have fast storage. I can do 4K on a 2014 MBP.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

David Mathis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Oct 31, 2018 at 11:20:17 pm

I am interested in watching one of the new Minis at work. Might even buy one after seeing what the initial reports are.

So, what system congratulations are the best? Looking at mainly storage and eGPU solutions.


Return to posts index

Eric Santiago
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 4, 2018 at 3:16:18 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Why? 4K isn't really dependent on GPU if you have fast storage. I can do 4K on a 2014 MBP."

So true. For me, the RED RAW 4K DCI was editable on my 2008 (Unibody) MacBookPro.
I hung on that one due to the NVIDIA card.
I was using eSATA on that for a few years till I stopped doing DIT work.


Return to posts index


Herb Sevush
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 1, 2018 at 12:09:30 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Does a new Mac Mini (optioned out with all the bells & whistles) - plus one of the BMD eGPU and TB storage - become a good FCPX option in the opinion of this group?"

Even if the answer is yes you would be paying a $1000 surcharge to have an Apple logo on the box and, once again, there would be no upgrade options.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


Return to posts index

Neil Goodman
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 1, 2018 at 2:42:13 pm

at that point for a little more money you could have an imac, with a nice screen.

By the time you RAM those things up its like 2500+ depending on the storage. Then the price of the egpu.


Return to posts index

Michael Hancock
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 1, 2018 at 3:32:45 pm

If you completely max out the Mac Mini (6-core i7, 64GB RAM, 2TB hard drive) you're at $4,199. Add in the Blackmagic Pro eGPU for $1,199 and you're at $5,398. And you still need a screen.

I think it would be a better value to get the base level iMacPro (8-core), upgrade the RAM to 64GB, leave the hard drive at 1TB and you'll have a machine that is likely faster (with much better cooling), comes with an incredible screen, and totals $5,799. By the time you get a decent screen for a maxed out Mac Mini, the iMacPro would be the cheaper option. And the only thing you sacrifice is the internal storage.

I am interested to see how the Mac Mini performs in the real world. The $300 hike in price on the base model is hard to take, and it gets expensive fast when you start upgrading it, but it could make a great little offline machine. Especially with the 10GB ethernet upgrade option for only $100. They should offer that in every computer.

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:33:58 am

[Neil Goodman] "at that point for a little more money you could have an imac, with a nice screen. "

Certainly true. But there are a lot of people who don't want an iMac. Maybe they don't want an all-in-one. Or maybe they already own a nice display, keyboard, and mouse.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 1, 2018 at 9:01:05 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Does a new Mac Mini (optioned out with all the bells & whistles) - plus one of the BMD eGPU and TB storage - become a good FCPX option in the opinion of this group?"

I'm guessing in the next 5 years - what we conceive of as an editing system is pretty much ALL going to change.

I saw a twitter link yesterday about some new technology coming out of my local San Diego State Computer Science Program that has kinda blown my mind.

http://jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=2654

Read this and tell me that the way we edit right might not be changing in the not too distant future.

If, as the article implies, anyone with a fast connection can upload entire edits into a cloud array, have that array virtually instantly express all sorts of AI manipulations against the footage - DIRT CHEAPLY. and then relay the new material down to the end user - might the type of "all in a box" computer systems we mostly rely upon today end up looking a bit like Model T Fords.

You just KNOW AI, Machine Learning and Cloud Computing is in the infant stages of targeting lots of aspects of the digital streams we all create.

Sure, a brain expressing artistic intent against the material will always be necessary, but what's the purpose of a HONKING box sucking down power under your desk for 20 minutes to do the exact same job that a massively parallel cloud service can distribute out and do in SECONDS - and for Pennies?

The eGPU external box is a product solution right now, but it's also, in my mind a SIGN. It's a wake up that we may be moving away from a monolithic box, to more distributed processing.

Say these GPU boxes scale so that they're the price of hard drives today - will we eventually have as many GPUs under our desks as we have hard drives? All connected to a fat internet pipe loop into the cloud for a circuit to do the REALLY tough stuff?

In that scenario - a MacMini peripherals hub or Laptop might become everything an editor would really need.

We'll see.

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


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 1, 2018 at 11:32:03 pm

[Bill Davis]"Read this and tell me that the way we edit right might not be changing in the not too distant future."

The article talks about shared server processing by slicing video files into small chunks and processing for "less than $1" in reference to 30 seconds worth of sheer grunt AI driven processing. Well editing doesn't require anything like the need for such processing. VFX rendering maybe or complete animation but the article is mostly about image analysis and content ID, again not really about creative editing.

But even if it was, here's what I see are fundamental problems. You still need a computer, albeit under powered with minimal GPU and storage. You need a high speed reliable internet connection. It's a subscription model that, if it costs roughly $1 per minute to use, will cost as much per 40 hour week as buying a hefty GPU and 8TB of storage.

If you are talking about not editing at all but asking AI to do the job very quickly then yes this sort of cloud based system might totally replace an editor. So you won't have a job or need a computer under your desk. What also is never talked about is getting you hi res files up in the cloud from camera. It will need to be as fast as local backup, as secure and as cheap. I see all that as possible. Not entirely desirable except for remote collaborative workflows.


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 12:26:58 am

[Michael Gissing] "VFX rendering maybe or complete animation"

The VFX guys have been doing variations of this for some time now.

https://digitalfilms.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/looper/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 12:47:34 am

[Oliver Peters] "The VFX guys have been doing variations of this for some time now."

Where it makes absolute sense. The speed advantages that the article Bill linked will certainly help. I don't see how it applies to basic editing though.

Also interesting to see how in six years the biggest change in your article would probably not shooting film if it were done today. Other than improvements to cloud rendering speed, the rest is largely the same


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:02:55 am

[Michael Gissing] "I don't see how it applies to basic editing though."

Agreed. Not to mention, crappy internet speeds in a lot of the world, coupled with the push for ever-increasing higher resolutions. I think it's one of those things that will always be "in 5 years" - at least during the rest of most of our lifetimes.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:25:50 am

[Michael Gissing] "Where it makes absolute sense. The speed advantages that the article Bill linked will certainly help. I don't see how it applies to basic editing though.
"


I think that analysts missed the point.
The key process is removing FRICTION from a needed workflow.
When iTunes made its debut, it really did nothing that Napster and other digital song distribution models couldn’t already do - but it removed all sorts of friction from the process

Suddenly l, instead of finding the site, downloading a file, translating it into your computer or early pocket player, and having to dig into folders and launch programs to listen to tunes - there was a SIMPLE all in one solution that put the hardware, software and a content access service together.

It feels to me that this could be the same type of thing.

Indexing a 2-hour pool of footage to identify all the frames containing each character is one thing if it takes 30 minutes and costs $50 bucks.

If it takes 1 minute and it costs $2 - that’s an entirely different kettle of fish.

It moves from considered purchase to no-brainer “impulse buy.”

And if that massive parallel engine that’s already crunching your frames adds maybe transcription and who knows, intelligent audio and video noise reduction, normalization, and a base grade — suddenly a huge amount of “fix and prep” drudgery falls away.

I’m all for that.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:31:23 am

[Bill Davis] "And if that massive parallel engine that’s already crunching your frames adds maybe transcription and who knows, intelligent audio and video noise reduction, normalization, and a base grade — suddenly a huge amount of “fix and prep” drudgery falls away."

And some people believe in the Easter Bunny, too. ☺

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:45:24 am
Last Edited By Michael Gissing on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:50:52 am

[Bill Davis]"I think that analysts missed the point. The key process is removing FRICTION from a needed workflow."

Actually I think that was the point. To participate in the cloud system requires additional friction at the beginning for which a pay off is elusive when it comes to editing. Everything this article touts is already available but only used by VFX and collaborative workflows. For most editors it doesn't have practical application and reducing the speed to reduce the cost might open up the field to broader applications. But the initial friction has to be reduced as well. Getting your hi res assets into the cloud is still full of serious friction. This doesn't address that especially as 8k + assets will be the new normal.

I'm with Oliver, it's more promise than delivery for many film making applications. Cloud storage and processing has been touted for a while now and I do agree that it will be a thing long before viable nuclear fusion but I don't share your enthusiasm or analysis of what this improvement to parallel processing means for editing.

EDIT: I should add that clearly companies like Blackmagic agree with my view otherwise making outboard grunt for under powered Apple gear would not be worth their while. They are very canny in choosing what hardware developments to pursue and they will sell a lot of these boxes.


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 11:45:00 am
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Nov 2, 2018 at 12:03:54 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Cloud storage and processing has been touted for a while now"

The biggest roadblock, if we are talking about eliminating friction, is how to get the footage to the cloud in the first place. Maybe at some point in the future you can directly record the equivalent of ProResHQ or 4444 4K, 8K or better directly, live to the cloud from camera. We are quite a bit away from that right now.

Practical, real-world example. The crew comes back from a week's production in Scotland and Ireland with 20TB of raw footage. How do I practically get that into the cloud at least as fast as I can copy it drive-to-drive (which is still slower than we would like), in order to start editing? And EVERYTHING is for potential use, so no, you can't pull selects in the field ahead of time.

EDIT: Oh, and significant portions of the industry are not allowed to have their machines connected to the internet.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Michael Hancock
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 1:44:09 pm

[Oliver Peters] "EDIT: Oh, and significant portions of the industry are not allowed to have their machines connected to the internet."

This will be a major hurdle - can you get a guarantee that your footage is secure when it hits the cloud? Security is easy for onsite storage - unplug your computer from the internet and limit who has access to the machine. But once it hits the cloud?

----------------
Michael Hancock
Editor


Return to posts index

Steve Connor
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 2:03:07 pm

[Michael Hancock] "This will be a major hurdle - can you get a guarantee that your footage is secure when it hits the cloud?"

Exactly, at least half of my clients wouldn't want ANY of their rushes uploaded to the cloud due to security issues.


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 4:22:31 pm

[Steve Connor] "Exactly, at least half of my clients wouldn't want ANY of their rushes uploaded to the cloud due to security issues."

Uh, isn’t this precisely why Emery and the folks at Frame.io spent a significant chunk of their $200,000,000 VC round on file transport security?

It’s not inconceivable that someday, you can drop an encrypted drive off at the digital equivalent of an Alphagraphics - and while you are on the airplane organizing your proxy files, the encrypted originals are being uploaded into your cloud account.

Seems utterly do-able to me.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 5:09:36 pm

[Bill Davis] "Uh, isn’t this precisely why Emery and the folks at Frame.io spent a significant chunk of their $200,000,000 VC round on file transport security?"

Yes, but that doesn't satisfy the concern. If Facebook, Google, et all can't stop hacking with all of their money, what makes you think Frame is any safer? Besides, the danger is getting to Frame, more so than Frame (or anyone else) itself.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 5:10:46 pm

[Bill Davis] "while you are on the airplane organizing your proxy files, the encrypted originals are being uploaded into your cloud account"

But by working with proxies, you have added MORE friction, not less.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 6:41:45 pm

[Oliver Peters] "But by working with proxies, you have added MORE friction, not less."

It's never felt that way to me, Oliver.

Proxy/Original switching has been astonishingly frictionless for me since FCP X 1.0.

And en/transcoding has constantly sped up over the past 6 years as well. So I barely think about it.
As you well know, field shoots are draining. If you shoot a typical day, you seldom get on an airplane THAT evening. You crash and re-charge before flying out the next day. Hotel room proxy generation is a sleep and forget deal mostly, IME.

Plus, just like DSLRs shoot RAW and JPEG at the same time. I can see an evolution on the close horizon where a video capture device will record RAW and Proxy at the same time and shooters leave the set with either/or/both. Maybe Atomos will follow up their ProRes RAW play with something like that by NAB? Who knows. I still think the deployment of RAW of one form or another is waiting for the monitor makers to create something affordable where we can SEE the REC2020 signal reliably. Then all bets are maybe off.

Time will tell.

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


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 6:54:11 pm

[Bill Davis] "It's never felt that way to me, Oliver.
Proxy/Original switching has been astonishingly frictionless for me since FCP X 1.0. "


My point being that it's inherently an extra step as opposed to starting with all media in the cloud to start with. That seemed to be the basis of your original future premise.

[Bill Davis] " I can see an evolution on the close horizon where a video capture device will record RAW and Proxy at the same time and shooters leave the set with either/or/both"

Actually RED and others have been doing that for a while.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Andrew Kimery
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 7:03:19 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Actually RED and others have been doing that for a while."

Worked on an XDCAM HD show in 2004/2005 and we were all excited the potential of using the inherent proxy workflow it had, but then found out the show's version of Avid was too old so we had to ingest everything in realtime as if we were using tapes. :(


Return to posts index


Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 4:16:19 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Everything this article touts is already available but only used by VFX and collaborative workflows. "

Uh, it’s not an “article” actually. It’s a public description of a white paper with links to the same. At this point it’s university researchers publishing the results of development and testing - as a stage in the peer review process.

That’s kinda how REAL progress in technology is supposed to happen.

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


Return to posts index

Michael Gissing
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 4, 2018 at 3:21:07 am

[Bill Davis]"Uh, it’s not an “article” actually."

Is this the five minute argument?


Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 8:24:29 pm

[Michael Gissing] "Is this the five minute argument?"

Huh?

I was talking about the source paper here:
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~gmporter/papers/socc18-sprocket.pdf

Maybe I'm slow, but it took me WAY more than 5 minutes to look through the research.

But whatever.

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


Return to posts index


Steve Connor
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 8:53:40 pm

[Bill Davis] "[Michael Gissing] "Is this the five minute argument?"

Huh?

I was talking about the source paper here:
http://cseweb.ucsd.edu/~gmporter/papers/socc18-sprocket.pdf

Maybe I'm slow, but it took me WAY more than 5 minutes to look through the research.

But whatever."


Don't worry Bill it's a Monty Python Quote







Return to posts index

Bill Davis
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 5, 2018 at 9:10:34 pm

Woosh.

Even tho I've enjoyed that Python clip probably half a dozen times - lacking better context - WOOSH - it flew right over my head.

Too much tunnel vision focus at the moment, I suppose.

Sorry.

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


Return to posts index

Herb Sevush
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 2:31:30 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Nov 6, 2018 at 12:49:36 pm

[Bill Davis] "Read this and tell me that the way we edit right might not be changing in the not too distant future."

The key phrase here being "not to distant future". What exactly does that mean ... 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, 20 years ???

The Human Genome Project published the full sequence of the human genome in April 2003. At the time it was widely understood that the treatment of disease would be radically altered "in the not too distant future." Fifteen years later there have been some miraculous results based on this knowledge, but no one would characterize these changes as the revolution in medicine that was predicted. This future is still to be realized, and "not too distant" is still the term being used. I would suggest that a lot more money, interest, and importance is being invested in these medical breakthroughs than in the ability of AI to utilize cloud computing to speed up the editing of marketing videos.

For me, I'm still waiting for Apple to deliver on the new, new, ultra new, Mac Pro so I can finally put my 8 year old Cheese Grater to bed, let alone worry about some visionary future that exists in somebody's alternate universe.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


Return to posts index


Erik Lindahl
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 2, 2018 at 9:19:52 pm

I find the idea of eGPU compelling. Sadly, the performance hit is quite noticeable from the tests I’ve done with a 2018 MBP. Also app-support is quite sketchy - and the cost overhead is substantial.

Really, the MacMini is quite a dissapointment for video-professionals. Premiere, FCPX and Resolve really loves a fast GPU. The latest and greatest MacMini have a very sad chip. I don’t see how they couldn’t have added a small VEGA-model in there. Intel even has the 4-core + Vega bundle.

No clue what Apple is thinking there. They have a 10 GbE option but no dGPU?

The new MacMini will replace our current server very well however. It’s almost a perfect replacement there.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 4, 2018 at 1:22:28 pm
Last Edited By Oliver Peters on Nov 4, 2018 at 1:25:42 pm

FYI - here's the place with the racks of Macs shown in the Apple keynote presentation.

https://9to5mac.com/2018/11/01/mac-server-room/

Make sure to watch the video for details.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 4, 2018 at 5:28:20 pm

Erik writes -
The new MacMini will replace our current server very well however. It’s almost a perfect replacement there.

Well, don't get too excited there. In November 2017, I was crushed when I saw that Apple had ruined the
MacOS Server product with High Sierra. Everything up to 10.12.6 Sierra server worked great. So when I saw your post, I decided to try at least simple file sharing using macOS 10.14 Mojave. So Apple has fixed the simple file sharing issues (kind of) that existed in 10.13, but it's not like the old server product from Apple, and in fact, for most simple server applications, you don't actually need the Server software on your "server" for file sharing, users, groups, permissions, etc. I would love to see Apple want to get back into that business. (Foxxconn purchased Thecus - a competitor of QNAP and Synology - I have no idea why, other than to possibly help Apple get back into the server business) - but as of now - eeh. At least the new Mac mini can come with a native Aquantia based 10G ethernet port, which will leave the T3 buss available for your drive array. Of course, with the influx of Chinese NAS boxes that are dirt cheap, the price of an external T3 array for the new Mac mini (even if there does become a server again) - is not financially appealing anymore.

There are 2 things that I know that I will never know. 1) is there life after death, and 2) what is Apple going to do next.

Bob Zelin

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


Return to posts index


Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 6, 2018 at 1:37:24 pm

Review with some benchmarks for base model Mini

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/apple-mac-mini-2018-preview/

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Dom Silverio
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 7, 2018 at 1:57:53 pm

The problem with the cloud solution is scale. In a small team, it can be viable if you can work with proxy or smaller files and you have decent ISP.
The moment you need to scale in terms of team size or file size/amount your internet connection must accommodate or you create a huge bottleneck. And it is not the cloud service providers is the source of this issue. It is the client themselves. Remote shoots in a medium-size city in the US. Good luck trying to find internet faster than 25 Mb/s.


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Mac Mini with eGPU
on Nov 13, 2018 at 2:30:35 pm

FCPco - Mac mini and FCPX

http://www.fcp.co/final-cut-pro/articles/2127-the-new-mac-mini-and-final-cu...

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

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