FORUMS: list search recent posts

Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Sandra Danilovic
Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 5:33:41 pm

Hi,

This forum has been extremely helpful to me in the past so I thought I would ask the following:

I'm researching on which Mac desktop to get for my school. We would like to use it with FCP X, and potentially some game design and graphic design software as well.

Should I get a tower? An IMac? I'm actually very skeptical about the iMac being able to do the job. I was thinking one of their latest Mac Pro towers. I just don't want to get too much since our budget is about 4 k tops for the Mac.

Any advice would be highly appreciated.

Sandra Danilovic
Independent Filmmaker, Toronto, ON
Rodna Films Inc.


Return to posts index

Brett Ausbrooks
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:33:48 pm

I have a 2006 iMac and I am running FCP7 and CS3 on it w/o any issues. I upgraded my ram and HD & that is it. The new iMacs are even better, so FCP7 or FCP X should work seamlessly.


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:40:53 pm

My iMacs, FCPX, PPr arrive next week -- for a high school program. Avid ($300 for teachers and students, a truely great deal) arrives next year, as I am waiting on grant money.


Return to posts index


Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:40:04 pm

A tower? iMacs will run FCP X better than Mac towers. Towers don't have sandy or ivy bridge, a key part in acceleration of FCP X. They don't have thunderbolt either.

But the current iMacs are really only good for FCP X. Marginal for Adobe Premiere, and just plain horrible for After Effects CS6 becuase they don't utilize the ATI graphics card. You're talking days to render out something in 3D in AE, vs. hours.

But the iMac announced on Tuesday has nVidia cards. Should work with Premiere, After Effects, all the adobe stuff, and of course FCP X. To me, they really are the thing to get, hands down.

Apple hasn't made a tower in 2 and a half years. There isn't one on display at their stores. They've announced they're coming out with something "later in 2013." Whether than means later from now, in the year 2013 or later within the year 2013 is up to Apple I guess.


Return to posts index

Richard Herd
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:50:10 pm

[Bret Williams] "Marginal for Adobe Premiere"

What do you mean by that? I will be using it for high school students, so the machines get heavy heavy heavy use, but the actual projects are not that difficult by themselves (if that makes sense).


Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:35:27 am

The mercury playback engine doesn't utilize the GPU. The newer models in December should becuase they're using nVidia cards. The only current macs that Premiere mercury accesses the graphics card are the macbook pros. There is a hack where you can get it to recognize the radeon in the iMac as compatible, but in my experience it actually hampered performance, and eventually made the machine crash. Perhaps some updates have changed this in the last 4 months.


Return to posts index


Fabrizio D'Agnano
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 6:55:04 pm

What leaves me doubtful about the iMac is not the ability to run FCPX. It's in the fact that an external thunderbolt or FW800 RAID array will be needed. While the internal drives in my Mac Pro are totally quiet, all my external arrays are too noisy to work all day with, so that I only use them for storage or backup. And I have always had troubles with fanless single disk external enclosures, quiet enough but maybe not cool enough for hard editing. With the two TB ports the iMac could be completed with an external array, a second monitor, and a Blackmagic box to output a real time preview, and I imagine that would make it a great machine.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:36:54 am

Well, the pegasus raids are nearly silent, and they don't get overheated, and they do have fans. The fan in my blackmagic or occasionally the iMac is louder. Certainly none of it can be heard over the speakers. It's a non issue.


Return to posts index

Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 7:59:38 pm

[Bret Williams] "Marginal for Adobe Premiere, and just plain horrible for After Effects CS6 becuase they don't utilize the ATI graphics card. You're talking days to render out something in 3D in AE, vs. hours. "

Thats not reeeally true - I just spent a week in berlin doing motion graphics promo pieces for a japanese electronics firm launching lots of tvs and laptops - I was fashioning piles of floating GUI elements popping up around the kit using the 3D camera tracker (which is awesome).

An iMac i7 with a full complement of ram - is a very, very, very nice AE station.

You're right about the openGL limitations as it relates to full raytracing renders, but as Stu Maschwitz pointed out - adobe have gone for a computationally expensive raytrace engine. Its a good fundamental flag in the ground, but, bottom line, with a good anti aliased render, you are going to be waiting a seriously long time per frame in almost any use case, cuda or no.

As to openGL in the workspace, I don't know very many AE people that have much truck with it. Its a tricky proposition, its better than it was, but my instinct, in nearly all mo-graph situations, is to disable openGL previews.

again with premiere - Cuda will get you optimised performance with certain sets of plugins, and more importantly, with certain dissolves, but - and this is an important but - cuda has not got much to say about the performance of the timeline itself from an editing standpoint. your processor (hello i7 hyperthreading) and hefty doses of ram is going to kick out that multiformat timeline.

Bottom line - I hefted that iMac to and from berlin in a steel roady case, and I fell deeply in love with it. And more importantly, if you look at the back of the new iMac coming in december there is a massive engraved "Nvidia 2GB" logo on it. Its impossible not to think that adobe are going to prep and certify the nvidia card on that machine for CS6.

That new imac is it basically - it will run FCPX like a monster, and it should be fit for pretty full on mercury duty as well.

me wantee. me havee - having prevaricated for just long enough.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


Return to posts index


Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:48:28 am

You're wrong about the raytracing. And AE doens't even support OpenGL. They ditched it. You can't render OpenGL now. They completely admitted defeat on that one.

Maybe raytracing isn't the right phrase. But if you want to render extrusions, you have to use the raytracing engine. Here's the problem on the iMac. It doesn't support CUDA, AND if you use the raytracing engine, it disables multiprocessor rendering. Your'e using 1 core. That's a double whammy. I've set up some very basic stuff to render with the 3D engine, and it literally wanted hundreds of hours to complete the task. And this stuff was just using the extrusions. I didn't even attempt to put the reflections and such in that you see in the demos. Adobe itself claims that using the CUDA is the equivalent to hundreds of processor cores. Maybe thousands, I forget. It's ridiculous. But if you're doing the same old AE 5 type stuff we've all been doing for years, the iMac cranks it out as good as any old MacPro just about did.

I run premiere on it. It gets by ok without the acceleration, about like FCP 7 in terms of layers of playback, but once again it's reliant on the processors. All in all, it's not as big a deal or nearly an issue at all compared to the AE issue.

You know, I don't think you can even buy a current iMac from Apple right now. I don't see them on their site. Just a note the new ones are coming. That's not their usual style. Obviously they knew they needed to at least show it off, even if they can't produce enough to sell yet. But that's a pretty decent wait for Apple. December that is. And it'll probably be late november for the 21.5 and that'll probably be limited or delayed.

I'm getting one. Might just make it my AE station.


Return to posts index

Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 12:18:41 pm

er, oops? I hadn't checked the openGL preference thing in ages - I didn't realise the thing was actually gone? ermm, anyway...

yeah, you know what you're talking about way better than me on the raytracing thing - I vaguely knew It kicked in with extrusion, but I didn't realise it was that much of a pain. I've barely touched it. Also I found that Stu Maschwitz post http://prolost.com/cs6

he saying the exact same stuff as you - CUDA, or the lack of it, has a ginormous impact on render times.

And yep - I'm thinking new IMac for me AE station too.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 3:44:43 pm

[Bret Williams] "Here's the problem on the iMac. It doesn't support CUDA, AND if you use the raytracing engine, it disables multiprocessor rendering. Your'e using 1 core. That's a double whammy. I've set up some very basic stuff to render with the 3D engine, and it literally wanted hundreds of hours to complete the task. And this stuff was just using the extrusions. I didn't even attempt to put the reflections and such in that you see in the demos. Adobe itself claims that using the CUDA is the equivalent to hundreds of processor cores. Maybe thousands, I forget. It's ridiculous. But if you're doing the same old AE 5 type stuff we've all been doing for years, the iMac cranks it out as good as any old MacPro just about did."

The ray-tracing renderer does disable multiprocessing, but it does not use only a single core. Ray-tracing is highly parallel, multi-threaded, and will run on all available CPUs. Watch Activity Monitor during a ray-tracing render -- your CPU should be maxed out.

Multi-processing (running multiple separate instances of the renderer for multiple separate output frames) is a completely different idea. Instead of multiple separate copies of the renderer working on multiple separate frames, the ray-tracing renderer uses all available CPUs to render the current frame.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index


Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:15:15 pm

Shows what I know. But I do know it's butt ugly slow without CUDA!


Return to posts index

Walter Soyka
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 4:31:47 pm

[Bret Williams] "But I do know it's butt ugly slow without CUDA!"

Yes! It's so slow without CUDA that I only use it for projects I know I can complete entirely on my workstation in my studio. If I even suspect that I'll have to take it on the road on a laptop at any point, I go some other route.

In fairness, though, ray-tracing in general is very slow. (3D artists are used to render times measure in minutes per frame, but Ae artists may not be.) For a little more background, it's helpful to know that the Ae ray-tracing renderer uses OptiX, an NVIDIA-based ray-tracing library. (See the announcement of the tech demo [link] back from 2011.) The ability to accelerate ray-tracing on a GPU is very important not just for rendering, but also for giving an artist feedback as he or she works.

To bring this vaguely back on-topic, it's very exciting to see Apple working well with NVIDIA again. I would love to see the long-standing GPU gap in Macs vs. PCs shrink.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


Return to posts index

Paul Jay
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 7:28:23 pm

The new iMacs with Nvidia kepler graphics will scream CUDA with Premiere and Davinci and also will scream Open CL with FCPX.

Best choice. No doubt.


Return to posts index


Rick Lang
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 7:48:49 pm

Sandra, is there primarily only one person going to use your new machine? If it's for a single operator, the new iMac should hold its own for what you described.

Not sure if you need external storage for anything other than archive/backup so the iMac with the 3TB internal drive may be fine. Prices for the Fusion drive haven't been announced but if they are reasonable, go with 3TB+128GB Fusion drive. If you do want external storage for media and editing using FCPX, you'll need a bigger budget. Maybe something that can be deferred until another year.

You may not require the fastest graphics as the GTX 675MX with 1GB graphics memory may suit you but if you can try for the GTX 680MX with 2GB graphics memory. And for the main system memory, recommend 16GB as I doubt you'll need the maximum 32GB. Will be interesting to see what you can get for your $4,000 budget but we have to wait several weeks to see prices and availability. Good luck.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


Return to posts index

Jeremy Garchow
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 25, 2012 at 11:30:54 pm

The new iMacs announced a few days ago are what you want, as has been mentioned. They aren't released until late this year, though (November/December).

You don't want a mac mini, but the mac mini is approaching current MacPro speeds

http://www.tuaw.com/2012/10/25/mac-mini-catches-2010-mac-pro-in-benchmark-t...

I am sure the iMac with it's CUDA capable GPU will fair just as well if not better.

Jeremy


Return to posts index

John Davidson
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 1:23:40 am

Get a fully loaded imac and a promise pegasus thunderbolt array. It's plenty fast and more advanced than the current tower offerings. iMacs due in December.

This was made very quickly in AE on the last version of the iMac. Render took a few minutes, tops, and it uses a silly amount of plugins.

http://reels.creativecow.net/film/playing-with-element-3d

John Davidson | President / Creative Director | Magic Feather Inc.


Return to posts index

Sandra Danilovic
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 1:34:42 pm

Guys,

I really appreciate all this amazing info!

So, i think iMac it is, (the new one coming out) and maybe with some sort of raid thunderbolt drive.

In all honesty, last time I edited was a year ago or so when I was still using FCP 7 on various Mac towers (not my own) and my trusted 17 inch Mac Book Pro (my own) and external drives. I completely skipped the FC Studio debacle, btw.. I was in a cave. ;-)

So, this new Mac that my university grad department wants to get may be multipurpose -- it may ALSO be used for game design and development.

In other words, if I get the new iMac coming out with some sort of external drive set up (thunderbolt raid drive) can I load FCP X, some Adobe stuff (like AE, Photoshop, etc), AND Unity Pro (game development software) all on the same machine? Will the new iMAcs work with 3D software?

Also, if I get a thunderbolt external drive, WHICH BRAND is best (G-Raid with thunderbolt??) I have had bad experience with Lacie in the past...

Other things to do with this new iMAc will be hooking it up via HDMI cable to a PS3 and record game action on the computer via capture screen software (which I don't think will be hard).

Anyway, I'm listing all the things I may be doing with this computer! Jeez...

Many thanks!!!
Sandra

Sandra Danilovic
Independent Filmmaker, Toronto, ON
Rodna Films Inc.


Return to posts index

Rick Lang
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 26, 2012 at 5:35:40 pm

I think a few posts gave mentioned the Promise Pegasus R4 or R6. I think that's your best prosumer option which us fine if you only have one user on the iMac at a time. But I'm concerned about that $4,000 limit in your budget, that's why I suggested a fast raid may need to wait. You'll be happier making sure you allocate enough funds to ensure you can buy an iMac with more memory and a Fusion drive now.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


Return to posts index

Oliver Peters
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 28, 2012 at 1:33:54 am

Anyone notice that the new iMacs dropped FW800? Only USB3, Gig-E and T-bolt. Hmmm.... Kiss those FW800 removable drives goodbye when the MacPro-replacement comes out.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


Return to posts index

Bret Williams
Re: Which Mac desktop to get for FCP Studio or FCP X
on Oct 29, 2012 at 2:43:41 pm

My 27" tricked out iMac with pegasus R4 raid was almost exactly 4 grand. Maximum RAM (at the time, 16gigs), Maximum graphics card, Max processor. That came to about $2400, and the Pegasus was about $1600. I would expect the pegasus to be a bit less a year later. Crucial Ram on amazon was $70. The rest I bought from B&H. I think they're pricing the new iMac roughly the same if you don't go nuts and get a fusion drive. They haven't announced all the pricing, but the less than completely tricked out 27" is listed at $1999. I'd bet the graphics upgrade is $200 and the processor upgrade is $200-300.


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]