SSD's + GoFlex + Thunderbolt + Happy Birthday FCPX
Well - Happy Birthday FCPX!
And many thanks to this forum - Apple FCPX or Not - The Debate.
I've no idea how many previous FCP7 editors switched to FCPX or are now using Premier Pro or Avid, but I'm really encouraged at how this software has developed in one year.
In reaction to the recent news that we have another wait of a year before a new Mac Pro is launched, like others on this forum I've attempted to boost the performance of my 2008 Quad Core Mac Pro. I've now got 22 GB memory and have just installed a 128Gb SSD drive.
I haven't fully configured the new drive but it is up and running and I'm slowly installing core software onto it. One Immediate result is that FCPX opens really quickly and seems to be more responsive but I need to spend more time with it to see if it was really worth the effort.
However I have just come across this blog from Matt Davis, an ace UK cameraman and editor which makes me wonder whether it might not be the time to bite the bullet and buy the new Retina MBP or the rumoured new iMac.
I'm already running 2 x 27" computer monitors off my mac and a 32" Bravia via a Matrox Mini so the display side is not an issues for me. It's the processor and connectivity to faster drives via Thunderbolt that I'm looking forward to.
Matts blog is really illuminating.
An SSD works quite amazingly well as a boot drive - the best thing you can currently do to speed up a computer. I used to walk away and put the kettle on, now it takes just a few seconds for W7 to start.
The slight downside for me is that I bought an OCZ Petrol, which after six months needs replacing. It doesn't like starting and every so often needs chkdisk to sort it's failing state. I understand that the problems with these may have been sorted now, but I've ordered up a new model Sandisk as a replacement.
Problems or not, I'm not planning to go back to spinning metal for my boot drive.
[Mark Dobson] "Well - Happy Birthday FCPX!"
Happy for those like me who have been waiting years for a paradigm shift that meets my way of NLE thinking . . . yet so despised by so many. For some this is a day of mourning. For me it's rebirth. I' feel like a Stranger In A Strange Land with 30 years in post production and FCPX seems like such a natural progression in the concept of "NLE." A Happy Birthday IMHO but a battle ground for others.
[Mark Dobson] "In reaction to the recent news that we have another wait of a year before a new Mac Pro is launched, like others on this forum I've attempted to boost the performance of my 2008 Quad Core Mac Pro. I've now got 22 GB memory and have just installed a 128Gb SSD drive."
My 2008 Octo feels old. Yet beyond the ATI 5770 to be FCPX compatible I'm not sure it's worth throwing more money into. 128GB SSD would be too small for a system drive. My apps would overwhelm it. It would seem modern Quad i7 is so much faster especially with newer GPUs on the other Macs. I sit in limbo waiting for Apple to make a desktop move maybe as long as "later next year" or for an iMac, sooner, that might impress me.
I'm greatly impressed by the new MBPr but it's still a "portable" in my mind even if it may temporarily outclass the desktops. I have a 2011 MBP which can hold me over in that department.
I expect more from a desktop. If the MP replacement is just a new MP with 4xPCie replaced by 2 Thunderbolt ports and 2 USB3 ports with new Xeon and GPU I'd be disappointed. I'm concerned that an iMac, despite its power, may not be an adequate replacement depending on what Apple does with the ports. I can understand secrecy when competitive design advantages are important. Secrecy for mundane updates is defeating. My biggest concern is that peripheral purchases are guided by computer expandability and silence on that creates the hardest economic decisions.
I posted this on another thread:
Thanks, Eric. I think the MBPr series is a class leader as a laptop. That's impressive results. That entire thread is worth a read. Personally I think it's currently the best example that Apple is interested in the "professional" computer market.
For me, I'm reluctant to call it a desktop replacement though for a variety of reasons. The biggest one is that with so many TB devices being end of chain, I'd really want four TB ports rather than two. Outside of hard drives and PCIe Expansion Chassis nearly everything else is end of chain. Certain devices seem to best at the front of the chain as well. That would mean the need for more ports to but such front end devices on.
The other reason is the lack of internal expandability. I don't have that big of an issue with that as a laptop but it would be a major problem with a desktop. With Apple's software FCPX (and Motion as well as Compressor) continuing to demand more from hardware what is great GPU performance and ample RAM this year, may not be next year. As programs increate in quantity and size, a system disk may need to be replaced.
Granted, Apple may be well on their way to being a commodity company (NOT to be confused with consumer) that would mean an expectation towards commodity pricing. If the desktop is locked down to the point where it means more frequent replacement, paying the same or more money for that is decidedly counter to the current declining economy and lower price point of entry in hardware. We don't know what next year's MacPro replacement will bring (or even an iMac update) but that's not a good long term business model for people in post production.
I'm certainly optimistic with Apple's view of the professional laptop. Apple hasn't revealed its vision at all with desktops beyond one is coming "later in 2013." This brings me back to the "secrecy" issue. Again I understand not revealing anything in advance, that might offer an edge to a competitor but there are certain basic "non competitive" (IMHO) things we need to know. I not only have no way to Mac an informed purchase of an iMac, I don't even know how to make peripheral purchase that might live longer that the potentially shorter life cycle Apple may (or may not) be heading towards.
I"m certainly heavily biased towards Apple products but I also know that, for me, it would make no economic sense to have to double my peripheral and computer purchasing budget without increased or faster ROI for my business.
[Craig Seeman] "My 2008 Octo feels old. Yet beyond the ATI 5770 to be FCPX compatible I'm not sure it's worth throwing more money into. 128GB SSD would be too small for a system drive. My apps would overwhelm it."
128Gb is too small for me so I am being very selective as to what I put on it. My current lion boot drive is 330 GB and already I'm clearing stuff out.
I very much see the SSD 128 Gb as an experimental test drive and on first impressions definitely a direction I want to go in.
If I were to go for Retina MBP I would see it as a temporary step until a new Mac Pro was released and the more I think about it, the more it seems a positive and affordable move to make towards the thunderbolt and SSD world.
[Craig Seeman] "My biggest concern is that peripheral purchases are guided by computer expandability and silence on that creates the hardest economic decisions."
You are right. It makes decision making a bit like gazing into a crystal ball. However any thunderbolt peripherals should be good for at least 5 years.
I think the design work that has gone into the Retina MBP is a very strong indication of the direction Apple is going in. Very much an 'out with the old' philosophy which I don't mind as long as I can keep up with it.
I think the Retina Display is a bit of a distraction - its that actual computer design that is more interesting.
[Mark Dobson] "128Gb is too small for me so I am being very selective as to what I put on it. My current lion boot drive is 330 GB and already I'm clearing stuff out. "
My 2008 MP now has 1TB and it's half full and it's not a drive I generally keep media with some exceptions. I have lots of iTunes video clips though. I have a separate boot drive for Windows 7 since I think partitioning can result in problems for various reasons. My other two internal drives are for media and get replaced as they fill even though I'm also backing up source files externally.
[Mark Dobson] "You are right. It makes decision making a bit like gazing into a crystal ball"
And many hear know that's one of my favorite Apple hobbies. I do use the past to predict the future. There's not much past to judge Apple's revised future with desktops. Right now I'm guessing shorter life cycles. Given the time until the next MacPro I'm guessing a major change and the recent indicators with other products do make me a bit insecure. The lack of an iMac is even more disconcerting.
[Mark Dobson] "You are right. It makes decision making a bit like gazing into a crystal ball. However any thunderbolt peripherals should be good for at least 5 years."
That's a long ways out. I can't help but think (hope) optical will be out before then. In fact I expect so much change in hardware that I can't see much really going beyond 3 years. Thinking about the number of people still using 4-6 year old MacPros along with some internals and peripherals, I suspect the days of that kind of longevity is gone. I see, for example, SSD prices dropping radically at some point, Video I/O needing to support 4K, CPU/GPU demands to support H.265 (yes 5) as well as native AVCHD 4K multicamera editing. I don't doubt there are other things I'm not thinking of. It's going to happen at a terrifyingly fast pace (IMHO). This branches into two possible avenues. A justification for commodity computers since so much will need to be replaced more frequently or, nearly the opposite, a heck of a lot of internal expansion flexibility.
When it comes to life cycle, you may be replacing the shiny new 2013 MacPro type for a 2015 MacPro type. I can live with that if prices are driven down (commodity) but it would be extremely painful if Apple maintains high prices. Interestingly Apple is bridging that with laptops by offering both MBP and MBPr options. There's no indication that their heading that way with desktops. There's no "bridge" iMac or MacPro.
"128GB SSD would be too small for a system drive."
I've now replaced my first SSD - see above - with a Sandisk 120Gb Extreme. hopefully it will last a lot longer than the other one, which is being returned under warranty.
The trick is to only put the system on the system drive, not every application. You can easily include an editing application in that - PPro is 780Mb, After Effects 860Mb, Photoshop 516MB (all CS6). Everything else is on various internal and external discs.
Having just today cloned the old SSD to a spinning drive and thence to a new SSD, including restating the machine a number of times, the difference when using the SSD is considerable.
[Bernard Newnham] "I've now replaced my first SSD - see above - with a Sandisk 120Gb Extreme. hopefully it will last a lot longer than the other one, which is being returned under warranty."
I have been running 4 128GB Kingston SSD's in Kiosks (HyperShuttles) 10 hrs a day for about 6 months now w/o any problems.
I now have an OCZ 240 Vertex 3 I am trying out for this, so far so good. There are very big differences in performance among models only a few are approved by BM.
What is curious is that the manufacturer specs often prove to be inaccurate, for example the Vertex 3's are faster than the higher specked Vertex 4's.
I am using SSD's in Kiosks because they should be really reliable and last a long time. I guess it still is a young technology at least for some manufacturers.
Anyway Happy B-day FCPX. I am very happy with FCPX 10.0.5 on a new iMac as tricked out as they get. AE runs very well on this as well. I use a TB raid and a Matrox MX02.
I am a rare convert. I never liked FCP legacy, I did use it when I had to be compatible with other editors. I always preferred M100. But now I am making FCPX my main NLE, it feels really modern and it is very fast. That was always my complaint about FCP, to much rendering and re rendering and a very cluttered interface. M100 is very fast and has a clean interface. But FCPX is a pleasure to use and is as fast as M100.
The biggest change is how quiet the whole suite is. My old 8core MP was really loud and the 12 drive SAS raid had to be in another room, it sounds like a jet taking off. The Imac system including a couple raids, FW 800 drives, SDI Monitor, client Large LCD monitor, and a 1402mixer fit in a small space and needs no sound insulation. It has a nice airy look as well.