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MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX

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Timothy Palmer-Benson
MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 12:28:31 pm

Trying to find out if a 2010 Apple Mac Pro "Six Core" 3.33 (2010/Westmere) with 24GB memory and two internal drives configured as Raid 0 will be able to play back a three to four camera multi clip in Full Quality without dropping frames or showing other signs of stress. I do know that a top of the line IMac with 8GB Sonnet thunderbolt, 2 GB video card, and 16GB memory will do this okay and even do it with a brown render line from color correction adjustments.


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Alan Okey
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 1:55:12 pm

[Timothy Palmer-Benson] "play back a three to four camera multi clip in Full Quality without dropping frames or showing other signs of stress."

What footage resolution and codec?


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Timothy Palmer-Benson
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 3:00:47 pm

Footage is 1920 x 1080 29.97
Apple Pro Res 422

As read under get info for one of the files in the optimized folder


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Craig Seeman
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 2:00:45 pm

Worth reading although this FCPX test was done July 2011 so it was early days for X
http://barefeats.com/fcpx01.html
also this might help as well as it includes Compressor and Motion done in Nov 2011
http://barefeats.com/macs11_01.html

It would seem FCPX on the top 2011 iMac leads 2010 6 core MacPro.
For Compressor and Motion the MacPro leads but barely. Note After Effects CS5.5 leads on the MacPro as well. It's also interesting how well the top MacBookPro fairs.

This doesn't mean that a 2011 iMac would beat a 2012 beast Mac that some of us would like to see. Some could see real speed advantages in a 12 core with super GPU.

It would seem currently the 2011 iMac 27" quad i7 is the best bang for the buck.



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Paul Jay
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 2:00:54 pm

If you use Optimized codecs as ProRes it's just a matter of datarate.

You will be able to do this easily on an iMac with Thunderbolt storage or a MacPro with Internal SATA storage.


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Timothy Palmer-Benson
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 2:45:49 pm

Are you sure?
I have been running some tests with a gig I just did. It was three 5Ds, one hour and a half recital. All footage converted to Pro Res using FCP X optimized. Additional audio added in. Pluraleyes to Multicam clip.Loaded as a project and finished editing on the iMac. So then I copied ALL files to each of the Macpros. On one MacPro, early 2008. 2.8Ghz 16GB Ram, 0 Raid system reading 160 mbts/sec I was getting dropped frames continuously. I tried a similar equipped MacPro, early 2008, 3.GHz, and same trouble. Only with the IMac did the multi clip play without incident.
Now go back to my original question, will a six core, 2010 Macpro be able to do it? It is quite obvious to me the two early 2008 MacPros can't because their processor power is not fast enough.
I love MacPros, but plainly there is a line in the sand where older ones simply can't perform to the level of a modern day, fully loaded iMac. I am trying to find that line :)


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 3:33:35 pm

Are you trying to buy a used computer? Why not just test it?


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Timothy Palmer-Benson
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 3:44:38 pm

As I said, I am trying to find the line in the sand for MacPros and FCP X. Which MacPros cut it and which don't


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Bret Williams
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 4:11:52 pm

Why even convert it to ProRes? That just ups the data rate. I run multi clips on iMac i7 with pegasus raid- straight from the h264 originals. It's smooth as can be. No need to quadruple the data rate and drive space.

I can get decent results on my Mac pro 1,1 2ghz with 16 gigs and a esata graid with upgraded radeon 5770. The multiclip definitely drops frames, but I just turn off the warning. I can't imagine a 6 or 8 core having any issue- but it's really about the data rate and the GPU. What graphics card is in the Mac pros you're testing? The iMac definitely would have the better GPU, but that's an easy fix.


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Timothy Palmer-Benson
Re: MacPro versus IMAC for FCPX
on May 23, 2012 at 4:32:44 pm

I am using ATI 5770s in both MacPro 2008. In the 3.GHz machine, I have an AJA LHI feeding a HD TV monitor. Performance is even worse when this is activated.

Incdentally, I just took the entire project and event files and hook them up to an earlier iMac....2.93GHz Intel Core I7 with 8 GB of memory and ATI Radeon 5750. The multi cam played fine! I was using a Lacie Big Disk Raid 0 (two 2 TB drives inside) and only FW 800! This iMac does not have thunderbolt.

Now I don't understand why this work so well. Is it the processing power in the iMac? Seems like you don't need a top of the line iMac


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