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Apple and Thunderbolt 3

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Oliver Peters
Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 21, 2016 at 6:46:25 pm

At NAB a number of products were shown with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity. These were displayed with PCs that have TB3. When I asked one vendor about Mac compatibility, they said an adapter would be required and those might not be available for a year. They said simply connecting a TB2 device to a TB3 port via the standard cable would not work. Anyone have any better info on this?

Oliver

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


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 21, 2016 at 7:42:52 pm

Oliver, this a classic case of showing vaporware at NAB that has no immediate application. I doubt you'll see any actual releases of working TB-3 hardware solutions until next year at NAB.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 21, 2016 at 9:41:12 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "this a classic case of showing vaporware at NAB that has no immediate application."

Vaporware? at NAB?? Impossible. ;-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Scott Thomas
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 21, 2016 at 11:07:43 pm

Blackmagic showed a new TB3 UltraStudio.

I saw a PCIe card (looked 4 lane) that had a USB 3.1 (C) connector and was told that it would work in a MacPro tower.

Now that wasn't confirmation that it would provide TB3, maybe just USB 3.1? They seemed to lead me to believe it was TB3, but I felt that in the too-good-to-be-true category. Besides, there are no Mac TB3 drivers yet. No Apple system has it yet; just laptops with USB C.

I did see a "prototype" TB3 to 2 adaptor. So you can step down to 2, but not go the other way.

One small TB3 RAID box I saw is designed so that if you plug it into a USB C port without Thunderbolt, it steps down to USB protocol and still works.

Also, TB3 to PCIe boxes.

Proof that it's here before next NAB? Maybe not, but I was hearing about TB3 last NAB, there are already PC motherboards with the standard... out now, and there was an entire pavilion showing working, if not production-ready hardware.

I think with the shared connector (USB C) we're probably going to see a faster uptake and better selection of devices. On the other hand, we'll probably not see much in the way of new TB2 devices in the future.

Finally: hopefully we'll see a new MacPro at the WWDC with Thunderbolt 3.


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:02:41 am

I am going to wager that we will never see another MacPro update. I'm sure Apple will discontinue that line and push iMacs as their main "pro" computer (it already is superior to the current MacPro trash can).

I also wager that Apple won't implement Thunderbolt three for another year. For some reason they are no longer leading with this technology, but trailing with it. Many PC motherboards are touting Thunderbolt 3 already. Found this out in my research to build a Hackintosh. Which I had to drop because I couldn't find a motherboard that had Thunderbolt 2...one that would work with the current MacOS El Cap. And the current OS doesn't support USB 3.1...nor Thunderbolt 3.

Thunderbolt 3 is already here...just not at Apple.

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:17:20 am

Just doing a PC rebuild at the moment with some upgrading and my new Asus motherboard has TB3 and USB-c built in. You connect TB3 to the same connector as the USB-c and the motherboard recognises and reads as TB3. Not sure if TB2 devices with a cable adapter will work or if they connect will be reliable. USB-c is a smarter option for drive makers and having TB3 is a bonus rather than an important requirement for me.

But yes TB3 devices like Blackmagic are available. I am setting up this upgrade PC with a view to the next Titan X card and future connectivity. Plus DDR4 RAM and an M2 system drive which is one of the fastest SSD drives on the planet (Samsung 512gig 950Pro)

So a real speed machine at so many levels to run Resolve. And an onboard 30TB RAID. Apple?


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 3:18:57 am

[Shane Ross] "I'm sure Apple will discontinue that line and push iMacs as their main "pro" computer (it already is superior to the current MacPro trash can)"

The middle and top nMP's will still beat the 5K iMac in GPU-centric situations, but for CPU I agree that it's a wash. I wish Apple would put a desktop GPU in the top of the line iMac but I understand why they don't (then it really would be way too close in performance to the top of the line nMP).

Save for my Mac Mini I've always bought towers and I just can't seem to pull the trigger on spending so much money (either on an iMac or a nMP) for a new machine that's pretty much locked from a performance perspective. I'm hanging on to an '09 MP and the only reason this thing is still viable is because I can upgrade the I/O (added USB 3 and eSATA), the GPU and, if I'm feeling like a weekend project, the CPUs with a kit from OWC.

If a nMP came out tomorrow with current I/O, GPUs, CPU, etc., I'd be really tempted but there's no way I'm spending top dollar for a computer that was released in 2013. If Apple licensed OS X to run on non-Apple hardware I'd get a Z workstation from HP tonight. Running both Mac and Windows machines is just another layer to my workflow that I don't want to add if I can avoid it. Ugh. #FirstWorldProblems


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Joe Marler
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 4:04:26 am

[Andrew Kimery] " I wish Apple would put a desktop GPU in the top of the line iMac but I understand why they don't (then it really would be way too close in performance to the top of the line nMP)."

Aside from further cannibalizing Mac Pro sales, it's not currently feasible to put a full-size GPU in the exiting iMac form factor. Even if the iMac was twice as thick it wouldn't be possible. A full-size GPU can pull 250 watts all by itself. My top-spec 2015 iMac 27 pulls about 155 watts under heavy load -- I've measured it.

Apple would have to put a hugely bigger power supply in, totally change the cooling, acoustics, make the case a lot bigger -- in short it would look more like a 2005 iMac G5: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e2/Apple_iMac_G5_side_rear...

They would obviously not do that for all the iMacs so now we're talking about a new more expensive special iMac just for that fairly narrow usage case.

Interestingly MSI just introduced such an all-in-one PC, called the MSI Gaming 27XT. It is twice the weight of an iMac 27, consumes 2-3 times the power, is about four times as thick depending on how you measure it -- and looks like a monstrosity: http://media.bestofmicro.com/2/X/549609/gallery/Gaming-27XT_05_w_600.png

This year both AMD and nVidia will introduce GPUs using 14/16nm fabrication which will roughly double the performance per watt. This should allow the existing iMac design to have double the GPU performance and a Mac Pro refresh (if they do one) could be a lot faster on the GPU side. From a performance standpoint everyone may get what they want, sooner than we once thought and without adding a "FrankenMac" to the lineup.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:47:44 pm

I'll take that bet. MacPros have always been upgraded on a roughly 2 year cycle, we're only slightly over that (let's remember it was Dec 2013, and most people didn't receive them until Q1 2014)- so a refresh this Summer wouldn't be as far out of line as people are painting it.

Without PCIe slots, I/O is an even more important part of the nMP that other towers. So it's been of no surprise to me that a meaningful update to the MacPro has been waiting for whatever combination of Xeon Processor, GPU, Thunderbolt, and USB-C they see as a meaningful upgrade.

If you're a tinkerer who likes to build their own Machines and stay on the bleeding edge than this surely drives you nuts- and the MacPro isn't the machine for you.

The only Mac that's been updated this year is the MacBook (which had USB-C last year). In all likelihood we're only a month or so away from the release a new MacPro and new MacBookPros with TB3 and USB-C.

"The MacPro is dead". :/ This is like early 2013 all over again.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 4:37:46 pm

[Joe Marler] "Aside from further cannibalizing Mac Pro sales, it's not currently feasible to put a full-size GPU in the exiting iMac form factor. Even if the iMac was twice as thick it wouldn't be possible. "

Totally right about the iMac's aesthetics not being compatible with a full sized GPU. Besides the smaller GPU architectures coming out, isn't a new CPU from Intel dropping this year (or dropped recently)? Maybe late in the year we'll see a nMP as the desired combo of CPUs and GPUs becomes available. Apple requiring custom GPUs in relatively low yields probably doesn't help matters.


[Marcus Moore] "I'll take that bet. MacPros have always been upgraded on a roughly 2 year cycle,"

Not to be pedantic but from 2006-2010 we got a new Mac Pro about every 12-15 months (and the Power Macs before that were on about a 6 month cycle). The stretch between the 2010 model and the speed bump in 2012 was, at the time, the longest drought between releases. That gap has been obliterated by the nMP. According to Macrumors the 2010-2012 gap was 685 days, the overall average time between MacPros is 449 days, and the nMP came to to market 885 days ago. Personally I would love it if Apple went back to releasing speed bumps between major revisions so there was always something new every 12-18 months.


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 5:23:04 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Not to be pedantic but from 2006-2010 we got a new Mac Pro about every 12-15 months (and the Power Macs before that were on about a 6 month cycle). The stretch between the 2010 model and the speed bump in 2012 was, at the time, the longest drought between releases. That gap has been obliterated by the nMP. According to Macrumors the 2010-2012 gap was 685 days, the overall average time between MacPros is 449 days, and the nMP came to to market 885 days ago. Personally I would love it if Apple went back to releasing speed bumps between major revisions so there was always something new every 12-18 months."

In general, the MacPros were 2006, 2008, 20012. Full disclosure, I'd forgotten the 4,1 released in 2009. Remembering the conversations from back then, I think you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd call the 2012 chip swap an "update", as evidenced that they're both 5,1. So I think you'd have to call the whole 2010-2013 a single upgrade cycle.

Anyway, I think the challenge with the nMP is that it's tied not only to CPU and GPU upgrades, which theoretically could be made more often if they chose. But that there's the extra element of I/O that's so integral to this machine, and specifically bandwidth (for storage and for displays) that was never really an issue with the old towers. They all came with USB and Firewire 800 thru that whole lifespan. But I/O has been evolving fast in recent years, and I wouldn't be surprised if much of Apple's decision to go with this new form factor was built on the early Promise of Thunderbolt/Lightpeak's original 100Gb/s optical goal. I don't think they wanted to ship the nMP without 4K display support, which is why they had to wait for Thunderbolt2 to be released in late 2013. Now, with everyone screaming about how you can get a better display on the 27" 5K iMac- I don't see how they could have released an updated MacPro anytime after that without 5K display support and not taken an ENORMOUS amount of flack for it. At least that's my theory.

And so here we are- Thunderbolt3 chips are shipping, USB-C is ready. And there's some very healthy upgrades on both the CPU and GPU side. So I think we're set. Both for a new nMP, as well as refreshed 5K Cinema Displays.

Just today I had my Apple rep call me to say that WWDC dates were for June- and did I want to be called if there was a new MacPro announcement.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 6:24:41 pm

[Marcus Moore] "So I think you'd have to call the whole 2010-2013 a single upgrade cycle. "

Agreed, and I meant to mention that in my previous post. So from 2006-2010 we had got five MP revisions (1,1 - 5,1) and then a doesn't-really-count speed bump in 2012. So the stretch from 2010 to 2013 was longer though I don't think releasing a new computer once every three years is viable and is gong to help Apple shake fears that the pro line is dead. ;)

I agree with you about the I/O, but even with the old MPs we never got USB 3 or eSATA from Apple even though they were available. It's like all the engineers got moved onto working on the nMP and the old MP just kinda coasted into EOL. Which, given the amount of people still using the old MP (and the cottage industry of keeping it a viable machine) is pretty interesting. If FCP 7 is the NLE that refuses to die then the old MP is the desktop that refuses to die.

[Marcus Moore] " I don't see how they could have released an updated MacPro anytime after that without 5K display support and not taken an ENORMOUS amount of flack for it. At least that's my theory."

Less flack than what they've received for doing nothing? I think CPU and GPU bumps, even w/o 5K support, would've gone over better than just doing zilch and charging the exact same price for a machine unveiled in June of 2013. Whatever the underlying reason(s) are for a machine this old still being Apples top of the line offering I think it looks like they painted themselves into a corner with the design of the nMP (sexy as it is).

What makes this even more disconcerting is that the rate of technological change is only going to keep getting faster so if Apple is already having issues figuring out when (how?) to upgrade the nMP is this indicative of an inherent problem with this line of computers?


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Marcus Moore
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 6:52:17 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "I agree with you about the I/O, but even with the old MPs we never got USB 3 or eSATA from Apple even though they were available. It's like all the engineers got moved onto working on the nMP and the old MP just kinda coasted into EOL."

USB3 wasn't a thing until after the 2010 MP was released. My top of the line 2011 17" MPB was still Thunderbolt1/USB2. My quick internet search shows that the first Macs with USB3 didn't ship until June 2012. And at that point I agree that there were no resources being put into the current tower chassis and all development energy was on the nMP.

[Andrew Kimery] "What makes this even more disconcerting is that the rate of technological change is only going to keep getting faster so if Apple is already having issues figuring out when (how?) to upgrade the nMP is this indicative of an inherent problem with this line of computers?"

Well, I think 5K is going to be Apple's display standard for a while- so I think it's an important one for them to hit. After that we may well see more regular processor/GPU updates. I say this is an anomaly, based on some specific hardware hurdles.

I might be wrong, but that's my thinking.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 10:40:19 pm

[Marcus Moore] "
USB3 wasn't a thing until after the 2010 MP was released. "


I know product development takes time so you can't just add stuff at the last minute but, IIRC, PCs started showing up with USB 3.0 in '09/'10, and AFAIK there was nothing preventing Apple from adding it or eSATA later if they wanted to (it's not like they don't have a habit of getting first dibs on tech if they want it). They just didn't want to add those features, presumably, because they were focused on the nMP. I wonder if nMP development took longer than they thought it would and that's why they released the meager speed bump in 2012?


[Marcus Moore] " I say this is an anomaly, based on some specific hardware hurdles.

I might be wrong, but that's my thinking."


I hope so but given the path of the MP from 2010 to today I'm not exactly instilled with confidence.


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 23, 2016 at 9:15:04 am

[Shane Ross] "I am going to wager that we will never see another MacPro update."

How much are you willing to wager?


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 12:00:02 pm

I'll take that bet too.

Can see an update to the Mac Pro range before the end of q1 2017 which provides compatibility to thunderbolt 3.

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


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Ricardo Marty
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:07:47 am
Last Edited By Ricardo Marty on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:23:18 am

At the moment asus has a couple of laptops that support tb3 with type c connector. Its there gamer rog. The specs are pretty impresive for the price. Just saw it at bestbuy for 1400.00

Ricardo marty


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:28:50 am

[Ricardo Marty] "At the moment asus has a couple of laptops that support tb3."


I've had it for a while on my Dell XPS 15, too. Not a gaming machine at all, but a professional productivity model.

My favorite laptop ever, btw. Everything I wished my MBPs had been, and then some.


[Shane Ross] "I am going to wager that we will never see another MacPro update. I'm sure Apple will discontinue that line and push iMacs as their main "pro" computer (it already is superior to the current MacPro trash can)."

I've always felt that iMacs were underrated by a lot of people, but apparently not by Apple. :-)

Not to get into a platform thing, but srsly, anyone committed to this form factor and multi-OS needs to see what HP is doing with the Z1: real live workstation specs...which as you note, Shane, Apple is too happy to leave behind.


[Shane Ross] "[Hackintosh]...which I had to drop because I couldn't find a motherboard that had Thunderbolt 2...one that would work with the current MacOS El Cap. And the current OS doesn't support USB 3.1...nor Thunderbolt 3. "

That's the crazy part. You can't buy a PC motherboard with an old-enough, low-enough spec to support the newest Apple OS.

Remember the days when Apple wanted to have the most powerful computers for video production?

Heck, back in 1999, they claimed to have a computer so powerful that it was forbidden from export to "certain" *cough*China*cough* "countries." It wasn't exactly true, but no need for the truth to get in the way of a good commercial.









Hilarious punchline at the end, but when seen from this vantage point, kind of sad, too.


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Ricardo Marty
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 1:40:06 am

With proxy editing gpu processing and tb3 who needs more. Not as many as before.

Ricardo Marty


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David Mathis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 3:44:42 am

Tim, thanks for posting that ad! I wonder if this how the NLE of today came into existence:







;-)


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Shane Ross
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 6:45:02 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Not to get into a platform thing, but srsly, anyone committed to this form factor and multi-OS needs to see what HP is doing with the Z1: real live workstation specs."

But then you are on Windows...which has HUGE issues with QT at the moment, and could never encode to ProRes, which is something many networks I deal with still want (clients too). And I have all of these helper apps that are Mac only (EditReady). THus why I was looking to build a Hackintosh.

[Tim Wilson] "Remember the days when Apple wanted to have the most powerful computers for video production? "

I KNOW!! And they still claim to be there for the professional editor...but the specs of the computers is lagging. I guess they work "good enough" for FCX to work, so they are just going with that. So now we pay a premium for behind-the-times hardware. Bugger me.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:48:51 pm
Last Edited By Tim Wilson on Apr 22, 2016 at 9:50:19 pm

[Shane Ross] "But then you are on Windows...which has HUGE issues with QT at the moment, and could never encode to ProRes, which is something many networks I deal with still want (clients too)."

Oh absolutely. That's why I said IF you can do it. If you can't, you can't.

Or even if you could but just don't want to. That's why I also think platform wars are largely a myth. It's doable or it ain't. So I didn't mean to suggest that this is a straight swap.

My point was only only ONLY that Apple COULD deliver true workstation-grade machine in an iMac form factor. It's already the case that iMacs can outperform iTrashCans for some tasks. Let it do more.

All Apple has to decide is y'know what? All-in-one is our new form factor, we're going all-in on it, so we're going to offer a mainstream performance machine, and a state-of-the-art machine. The iMac and iMac Pro if you will.

The state of the art iMac Pro doesn't even have to equal an HP Z1, because it seems unlikely that they'll ever want to go that far again....but they CAN do better in this form factor than they currently are. It's BEING done.

And it doesn't cost much more! Maybe NO more. As you point out, an off-the-shelf POS motherboard is beyond anything Apple offers. When did way-ahead-of-Apple tech become commoditized???

Fine, Apple, you don't want to be bleeding edge anymore. I get it. Your entire business model has been built on being 2-3 years behind the market, and it's working for you in glorious fashion. My mother's stock portfolio thanks you. LOL

BUT STILL. COME ON. You can be behind and not be THAT far behind.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 1:10:59 pm

I'm really really curious, and not at all wanting to post something that flames a huge mac/PC argument....but...... can someone with a high spec HP machine, or similar PC build give me some kind of idea of performance when working with footage that requires serious grunt. Like 6K red dragon footage or 4K red epic footage? Footage stored on an external RAID either on thunderbolt/SATA/USB3....?

Can you play it back and edit freely in Premiere/AVID?

If you are working on an old school mac pro and working in FCPX what is performance like?

How long is it taking to export a 1min sequence with no colour correction to pro res/h264/mjpeg?

I know the 2013 MP isn't for everyone, but for the work I've been doing which involves footage like this it has been pretty impressive. It has some strange quirks with audio and speed exporting to h264 is not good compared with macbook pro or iMac, but I'm really intrigued to know what else I could get for my money if not a mac pro...?

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


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Robert d'Alexis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 1:49:13 pm

[Tom Sefton] "can someone with a high spec HP machine, or similar PC build give me some kind of idea of performance when working with footage that requires serious grunt. Like 6K red dragon footage or 4K red epic footage?"

That's a good question to put to the guy who wrote the article I link to below. There is a submit a comment section you can use for just that. This guy is a Mac editor working with a powerful PC for this one project involving native 6K footage.
Here is the link: http://vashivisuals.com/6-below-editing-in-6k/


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Joe Marler
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 3:46:50 pm

[Robert d'Alexis] "This guy is a Mac editor working with a powerful PC for this one project involving native 6K footage."

The GPU in his PC (nVidia Quadro M6000 12GB) costs more than my entire top-spec 2015 iMac 27. This illustrates the configuration freedom on the PC side where you can just keep throwing hardware at the task until it runs fast enough.

On the Dell web site I roughly spec'd out his 18-core Dell Precision 7910 system, and it's about $27k. It's hugely powerful but very expensive -- well over double the price of a top-spec Mac Pro. But it's a feature film directed by Scott Waugh and starring Josh Hartnett, so they can probably afford it.

While FCPX is generally faster than Premiere CC in areas like render performance, export, frame rate and JKL lag on H264 4k, this doesn't matter if the job requires Premiere or Avid. They aren't using H264 anyway. In that situation Apple is at a real disadvantage in the workstation arena, especially with the semi-closed nMP design. Toward the end of a design cycle the nMP is way behind. Maybe you don't need that performance on FCPX but it is very much needed on Premiere and it's very available -- you just write a check, buy the workstation, and it works great.

Furthermore Adobe is making significant performance upgrades to Premiere and AE and when implemented, that high-end Dell workstation will become even faster, further opening the gap to the nMP. Apple had better get on the ball if they want to compete in the workstation area.

You could argue the total revenue from all software and hardware related to Mac Pro doesn't warrant a continuing rapid development tempo, but that's like saying how much total revenue does GM get from the Corvette. It's a halo product and presence or absence of that has a knock-on effect to company image and across the entire product line.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 4:20:58 pm

Maybe you don't need that performance on FCPX but it is very much needed on Premiere and it's very available -- you just write a check, buy the workstation, and it works great.


But this is the reason for my enquiry. What performance. What is the difference? Does the $27k Dell machine allow you to playback 6k r3d files in realtime at full resolution whilst using colour effects and dissolves? How do you quantify performance if we don't have a baseline for what a top spec PC can do with 6 or 8K footage?

For instance - I can play 6K r3d footage in FCPX at a lower quality setting. I can edit smoothly, apply a transition and finalise a cut. I can even create and edit multicam sequences that playback smooth enough. I've got some projects that include 40hrs of 4k r3d footage which is easily manageable.

Footage is stored on a 48TB thunderbolt 2 RAID, and the mac pro is an 8 core with 64GB of RAM. This system with a monitor and the external storage costs around £15k - nMP, monitor and raid. So my rambling question is - if you can edit and playback 6K footage with a current new mac pro, what extra does more budget give you with a PC?

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


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Joe Marler
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 5:04:53 pm

[Tom Sefton] "So my rambling question is - if you can edit and playback 6K footage with a current new mac pro, what extra does more budget give you with a PC?"

Because you are doing this with FCPX, not Premiere CC. There can be a huge performance difference, although this varies widely by codec. Maybe a fairly high-end Dell workstation is needed (today) for Premiere to have the same performance as a nMP running FCPX on the same codec and editing tasks.

In your specific case you might be OK. But a Premiere shop might be forced to use a PC workstation, which undercuts Apple's main goal in this product segment -- selling Macs. It doesn't matter how good FCPX is or how fast it runs on a Mac if the customers are using Premiere or Avid. They simply have to get the hardware that fulfills their performance needs, and if that takes them away from Apple, then Apple may have lost them as a customer forever. As Premiere performance further improves, this reduces the PC hardware cost to equal a Mac's performance and makes moving off Apple even easier.


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Gary Huff
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 5:09:23 pm

[Tom Sefton] "For instance - I can play 6K r3d footage in FCPX at a lower quality setting. I can edit smoothly, apply a transition and finalise a cut. I can even create and edit multicam sequences that playback smooth enough. I've got some projects that include 40hrs of 4k r3d footage which is easily manageable."

That's great, a common refrain, which is why it is meaningless. Sure, you can playback that kind of footage when you're taking shortcuts with the debayering, but when it's all said and done, you still have to render it out, and if you're in crunch time mode, and that smooth playback turns into a 5 hour render, that's where things get messy. So what is the final render time like, especially with plugins added?


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 5:13:54 pm

[Gary Huff] "but when it's all said and done, you still have to render it out, and if you're in crunch time mode, and that smooth playback turns into a 5 hour render, that's where things get messy. "

I should point out that the folks working on "Deadpool" were working on precisely that sort of thing. Complex timelines with effects and high-res media. They burned through 8-10 MPs. GPUs apparently melted. Meanwhile the "WTF" and "Hail Caesar" crews had no such issues. So when it gets to pumping the most complex stuff through the nMPs it's a bit of a gamble. Airflow seems to be the culprit.

- Oliver

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


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 24, 2016 at 6:48:03 pm

For a step down to pro res (which is common due to fcpx's blunt settings for h264 and other codecs) with 4K r3d footage we get realtime encoding or better with no effects. We tend to see 45 mins or less for a 45 min sequence.

If there is colour correction applied through colour finale or similar, along with some time remapping and text, this can raise by 30-50%.

For 6K footage, it takes 10mins for a 6min sequence with no effects.

Fcpx lacks the debayering options that premier does along with some of the finer raw controls.

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


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 12:38:59 am

[Oliver Peters] "I should point out that the folks working on "Deadpool" were working on precisely that sort of thing. Complex timelines with effects and high-res media. They burned through 8-10 MPs. GPUs apparently melted. Meanwhile the "WTF" and "Hail Caesar" crews had no such issues....Airflow seems to be the culprit."

I think processing is the culprit. :-)

That is, when I wrote in my in my Whisky Tango Foxtrot article that WTF had 1200 VFX shots vs. "only" 1500 in Deadpool, I acknowledged that these were not at all similar. The shots in WTF, and I'm assuming Caesar, were mostly roto, paint, and the like.

Not a trivial amount of human work, especially at the scale of 1200 shots...but as far as processing, yeah, pretty trivial. Might barely have touched the GPU, if at all.

Whereas Deadpool was CG-heavy. The processing power was enormous, with GPUs maxed out for long stretches. Decidedly non-trivial. LOL

Pretty much every single person reading this knows better than I do, but my guess is that there aren't that many editing tasks that are dramatically sped up by GPUs, right?

But to Joe's point about speccing out max iron, a Mac Pro tops out a 128 gigs of RAM and 12 cores. An HP Z840 tops out at 44 cores and 1 TERABYTE of RAM. You can, uhm, do more stuff with that, but if your work isn't that hungry for processing power or doing math in its head, save your money -- because we are talking about a lot of money.

My point earlier was just that Apple used to want to be the machine that power-hungry artists went for -- at least rhetorically. I can't imagine that Apple had any illusions about the usefulness of a 1999 G4 for 3D heavy lifting, but it was at least part of the message. The message was, Macs were so powerful they were literally dangerous.

Now, not.


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 1:38:00 am

If the functional cutoff is that if you're doing a movie up to the level of WTF (just 1200 basic VFX shots and a desire to keep as much as possible of the work in house and on-set) VERSES our movie has 1500 VFX shots that require uber-complex wire-frame photo-realistic characters and the creation of whole worlds so we're just doing the simple pre-vis and farming most of it out to the big effects shops - AND if the argument is that I can now do the former with something I can buy from the Apple store - and the latter requires a post production tech department that can swap out GPUs as they self-combust...

You know, if I was working in the film world, I think I could live with that.

I had the pleasure of a nice long one-o-one chat with Glenn Ficarra at NAB - and he was pretty clear that one of the primary things he really enjoys about working with his new FCP X workflow is that he's excited by the possibilities of doing more of the overall work directly, without having to send nearly as much "outside" in order to be able to see the results after some third party gets their work done.

I "think" this is what Michael Cioni was referencing in his pre-nab conference comments about working "directly with the O-Neg" Clearly what today's digital file systems consider as the "original negative" is NOT the same thing as it was when the term applied to film and I understood that to indicate the cloned files they were using were exactly identical to what would show up on screen in the theaters - (suitable processing and grading and sound mastering expected down the line). But to never have to "dumb down" a shot for screening purposes - and to be able to comp temp effects that look more like what you're trying to achieve, earlier, must be a nice thing compared to the way movies have been made for most of history.

Of course I'd expect for an effects-heavy movie like Deadpool, that more "in house" approach is not possible with every scene or shot regardless of what software it's cut on. (And for all I know, they're doing exactly the same "working on essentially originals" out of Premiere Pro)

But that a more internal and "on-set" workflow IS possible for a movie like WTF that can share the same multiplex where any other Hollywood film is showing sure seemed to be something Mr. Ficarra found VERY useful and appealing.

And it seems pretty awesome to me as well.

My barely educated about the film world 2 cents, anyway.

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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 1:00:40 pm

[Bill Davis] "If the functional cutoff is that if you're doing a movie up to the level of WTF (just 1200 basic VFX shots and a desire to keep as much as possible of the work in house and on-set) VERSES our movie has 1500 VFX shots that require uber-complex...."

I think the key issue is not the complexity of the shots, but that they were trying to temp in a lot with After Effects. This was done using live AE comps in the Premiere Pro timeline. It's one of Adobe's great marketing points, but one that can be very problematic in actual practice. Especially when the majority of shots are live AE comps. It's a great way to drag your system to a crawl. Add higher resolution media and sequences into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. This is an area where the nMPs simply don't and can't cut it. Nor should they be expected to.

[Bill Davis] "and he was pretty clear that one of the primary things he really enjoys about working with his new FCP X workflow is that he's excited by the possibilities of doing more of the overall work directly, without having to send nearly as much "outside""

I managed a post house in the 90s that did a number of sci-fi syndicated TV series. We did EVERYTHING in-house. Film transfer, offline, online, VFX, audio post, mix and grading. Plus the related promos. Yes, it's a very efficient way of working. The irony is that most of the rest of the world tends to work this way, just not major studios. So it's great when someone is willing to buck the system and succeeds.

- Oliver

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


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Gary Huff
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 27, 2016 at 2:14:52 am

[Tom Sefton] "For a step down to pro res"

Which requires rendering time, just on the front end, and it's why I argue for proxies and ProRes transcodes, but I still get projects with all .R3D source footage.


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Tom Sefton
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 1:29:22 pm

I see the strength in a proxy workflow, but the projects we've been working on recently have such a huge size that duplicating to proxies in prores is restricted by space on RAIDs. The sweetpspot between rendering time to proxy and better performance with editing and the time and space required to do this have meant it works better to use a raw workflow.

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


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Santiago Martí
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 4:31:46 am

My system is built around the 8 core haswell-e (Overclocked) and two Nvidia Titans with 64Gb or ram. Using Ppro I get 1/2 resolution in realtime with 6K Dragon material. I don't use proxies, it works well, it's a 10K machine without monitors, it has TB2 but I am using an internal raid. I output Prores using the Miraizon codec with no problem.

I don't know what performance could I get in FCPX but this is pretty decent to me. Assimilate Scratch gives me full resolution realtime in 6K. Colorfront's Transkoder converts 6K to Prores 4X realtime!!!! It is a beast for encoding jobs.

Santiago Martí
http://www.robotrojo.com.ar
Red Epic Dragon, Sony FS7, Sony a7S, Red Pro Primes, Adobe CC, Assimilate Scratch


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 3:42:16 pm

The downside of this whole discussion about hardware is that AMD showed some really nice GPU cards at NAB that are only PC-compatible for now. If you have an old tower, Sapphire 7950 is about as good as you can go with a "blessed" AMD card. You get a high-end Nvidia (that's what they edited with on "Gone Girl") or a flashed Nvidia gaming card. Expansion chassis don't really help you much for editing if you have a nMP. So a lot of us are stuck.

- Oliver

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


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 6:46:40 pm

[Oliver Peters] "The downside of this whole discussion about hardware is that AMD showed some really nice GPU cards at NAB that are only PC-compatible for now. "

I spoke with one of the AMD engineers at NAB who told me they make the GPUs, they then give them to Apple, who then "Do what they want with them" referring to coding the drivers.

AMD doesn't write the OS X drivers at all which is interesting.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:00:40 pm

[Darren Roark] "I spoke with one of the AMD engineers at NAB who told me they make the GPUs, they then give them to Apple, who then "Do what they want with them" referring to coding the drivers."

Me, too. Not just coding the drivers. They give them just the GPU chips. Apple designs the card/housing onto which the chips are mounted. And handles the construction. Hence the heat issue.

- Oliver

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:05:47 pm

[Oliver Peters] "Hence the heat issue.
"


Take this with a grain of salt, but, regarding Deadpool MP meltdowns, some of the team believe it's a computer issue, but some are just as convinced that it was caused by issues with the Beta versions of PP they were running at the time. FWIW

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:12:11 pm

[Charlie Austin] "some of the team believe it's a computer issue, but some are just as convinced that it was caused by issues with the Beta versions of PP they were running at the time"

It may be a combination of both. What AMD told me was that on the 12-cores with dual D-700s, when you are running at full blast, the combined CPU and GPU heat load is too great under the normal ambient temperatures that you'd find in a typical air-conditioned edit suite. Clearly it's not just one production that has had this issue, as it's a known problem at least to AMD. It tends to affect the top-end versions of these machines. If you noticed the various custom enclosures on the floor, which house a nMP inside, some of the designers put a big fan in front of the lower intake side of the nMP, just to push more air through it.

- Oliver

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


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Charlie Austin
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 7:15:34 pm

[Oliver Peters] "It may be a combination of both. What AMD told me was that on the 12-cores with dual D-700s, when you are running at full blast, the combined CPU and GPU heat load is too great under the normal ambient temperatures that you'd find in a typical air-conditioned edit suite. Clearly it's not just one production that has had this issue, as it's a known problem at least to AMD. "

Makes sense... Yeah, some pretty cool (pun intended) mp enclosures/racks etc at the show... :-)

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 9:43:37 pm

I ran tests with my D700 machine laying it on it's side running full bore. It does run hotter that way. My guess is heat rising at a 90 degree angle makes a difference. It also changed depending on which part of the cylinder it was resting on.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 10:26:27 pm

[Darren Roark] "It does run hotter that way."

Hmmm... It would be interesting to know how the machines in question were installed/mounted.

- Oliver

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


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 11:19:43 pm

I'm guessing though that the beta version of PP was the culprit since the safety measures in the machines seemed to fail.

Transcoding Red footage in FCP X varies in speed transcoding the same shot depending on how hot the machine already is. If they didn't account for that anything's possible.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 11:48:55 pm

There is a known issue related to the GPUs on some new Mac Pros and I wonder if the pool of dead nMPs in question were some of those machines?

The symptoms described by Apple sound exactly the same as the GPU problem on many MBPs were the GPUs got too hot and eventually fried. I don't remember if it was a design flaw or a manufacturing defect but a replacement logic board is the only fix.


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Oliver Peters
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:26:06 am

[Andrew Kimery] " pool of dead nMP"

I see what you did there :)

- Oliver

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 5:36:26 am

[Oliver Peters] "I see what you did there :)"

Couldn't help myself... ;)


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:30:04 am

A lot of times it was bad thermal paste application. I've opened up my fair share of older MBP's that were running hot and there was a thick pancake of paste. Reapplied the right amount and it cooled down a lot.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 10:22:37 am

[Charlie Austin] "Take this with a grain of salt, but, regarding Deadpool MP meltdowns, some of the team believe it's a computer issue, but some are just as convinced that it was caused by issues with the Beta versions of PP they were running at the time. FWIW"

[Oliver Peters] "It may be a combination of both."

[Darren Roark] "I'm guessing though that the beta version of PP was the culprit since the safety measures in the machines seemed to fail. Transcoding Red footage in FCP X varies in speed transcoding the same shot depending on how hot the machine already is. If they didn't account for that anything's possible."

If GPUs are "melting down," it is a hardware problem, period. Electronics generate resistive heat when they are used, and the harder you push them, the hotter they get. If a design does not accommodate this fact, it is flawed. The system should stay in a safe operation range and be prevented from entering an unsafe state by design.

We've had thermal throttling in hardware for decades. The hardware itself enforces that performance slow-down to keep itself safely cool, and it should shut down completely before it ever reaches the point where the heat would be damaging.

Maybe if Apple system designs put performance on equal footing with case size and aesthetics, this wouldn't be an issue?

A couple of related quotes from apple.com/macpro:

A unified thermal core. The new Mac Pro packs an unprecedented amount of power in an unthinkable amount of space. A big reason we were able to do that is the ingenious unified thermal core. Rather than using multiple heat sinks and fans to cool the processor and graphics cards, we built everything around a single piece of extruded aluminum designed to maximize airflow as well as thermal capacity. It works by conducting heat away from the CPU and GPUs and distributing that heat uniformly across the core. That way, if one processor isn’t working as hard as the others, the extra thermal capacity can be shared efficiently among them. No computer has been built this way before. And yet it makes so much sense, it’s now hard to imagine building one any other way.

A single breakthrough fan. An incredible amount of innovation went into designing a fan system capable of cooling such a high-performance device. Instead of adding extra fans, we engineered a single, larger fan that pulls air upward through a bottom intake. As air passes vertically through the center of the device, it absorbs heat and carries it out the top. It’s simple and elegant — and also astonishingly quiet. To achieve that, we had to consider every detail: the number of blades, the size of the blades, the spacing of the blades, and even the shape of the blades. By minimizing air resistance throughout the system, we were able to design a fan with backward-curved impeller blades that runs at fewer revolutions per minute, draws air more efficiently as it spins, and creates considerably less noise.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Herb Sevush
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:43:23 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Maybe if Apple system designs put performance on equal footing with case size and aesthetics, this wouldn't be an issue?"

Don't you know that it's better to look good then to feel good?







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


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 5:39:34 pm

[Herb Sevush] "[Walter Soyka] "Maybe if Apple system designs put performance on equal footing with case size and aesthetics, this wouldn't be an issue?"

Don't you know that it's better to look good then to feel good?"


Exactly. Pure performance is all that matters.

Just look at how rocket cars dominate the roads.

Cuz, you know, speed.

; )

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Herb Sevush
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 5:47:47 pm

[Bill Davis] "Exactly. Pure performance is all that matters.

Just look at how rocket cars dominate the roads.

Cuz, you know, speed."


Depends upon the road your taking. You have to ask yourself, is an NLE more like a car or more like a long haul truck, because with the former performance is only one of the issues but with the latter style is exactly none of the issues.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 6:56:15 pm

[Bill Davis] "Exactly. Pure performance is all that matters.

Just look at how rocket cars dominate the roads.

Cuz, you know, speed.

; )
"



Performance and speed aren't the same thing. Performance is basically how well does Thing X accomplish the goals that Thing X was designed to accomplish. Speed may be a big part of the equation or it may not.
Ex. mobile chips prioritize power usage and heat generation over speed.

As for how much performances matters, that depends on the individual and the situation. To your point though, not melting down under load is probably something that matters more than top end speed. ;)


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 10:01:19 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Performance and speed aren't the same thing. Performance is basically how well does Thing X accomplish the goals that Thing X was designed to accomplish."

Absolutely agree.

The biggest thing that's changed in my career over the past few years, are the goals my clients present to me. THOSE are what have changed most.

My most recent shoot involved six locations, three wildly different cameras (often all shooting at exactly the same time.) A cast of administrators, teachers, students, and community members across a diverse geographic area in high, middle and elementary schools. The pools of content, interviews, b-roll, shooting styles, cameras and sound capture devices were constantly shifting.

Managing all that simply wasn't the same as what I've been doing for the past 20 years when I used to go out with ONE camera with two fixed audio tracks and build everything EFP style. Yesterday it was Clip A arriving in as h264 with a single stereo track. Today I sit down to work with clip B arriving as MXF with 16 embedded audio channels. It's more complex now. Period.

So Its no longer good enough to use the same tools, because the game has changed so much.

It's kinda exciting, really.

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Steve Connor
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 27, 2016 at 6:44:21 am

[Bill Davis] "Absolutely agree.

The biggest thing that's changed in my career over the past few years, are the goals my clients present to me. THOSE are what have changed most.

My most recent shoot involved six locations, three wildly different cameras (often all shooting at exactly the same time.) A cast of administrators, teachers, students, and community members across a diverse geographic area in high, middle and elementary schools. The pools of content, interviews, b-roll, shooting styles, cameras and sound capture devices were constantly shifting.

Managing all that simply wasn't the same as what I've been doing for the past 20 years when I used to go out with ONE camera with two fixed audio tracks and build everything EFP style. Yesterday it was Clip A arriving in as h264 with a single stereo track. Today I sit down to work with clip B arriving as MXF with 16 embedded audio channels. It's more complex now. Period.

So Its no longer good enough to use the same tools, because the game has changed so much.
"


So what NLE wouldn't have been "good enough" to cope with the scenario you described above?


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 27, 2016 at 8:04:28 am

[Steve Connor] "So what NLE wouldn't have been "good enough" to cope with the scenario you described above?
"


No you're right. No reason to look beyond "good enough" cuz at that standard they're all just the same.

ChevyFordDellAppleLeviWranglerNBCFoxSkillRyobion-and-on-and-on

No reason to differentiate.

Preferences are for suckers.

Or... we get to have a preference. And that preference can be informed by not just what CAN succeed for us, but what we actually might enjoy.

I've stopped promotion the idea that anyone else might be more productive or happier editing in X.

Because all that really matters to me, is that I am.

I was digging through a bunch of the disconnected, messy partial start and stop multicam clips from my recent shoot just tonight. Matching and watching various synced camera arrangements appear and disappear after the initial prep,and rejecting the heck out of the master multiclip to remove the stuff where nothing worked.

And while I was doing it I was actually grinning. I truly hope other editors on other systems are having as much fun. Because it WAS fun. And when work is fun, life is good!

That's enough for me.

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Steve Connor
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 27, 2016 at 8:37:49 am

[Bill Davis] "No you're right. No reason to look beyond "good enough" cuz at that standard they're all just the same.

ChevyFordDellAppleLeviWranglerNBCFoxSkillRyobion-and-on-and-on

No reason to differentiate.

Preferences are for suckers.

Or... we get to have a preference. And that preference can be informed by not just what CAN succeed for us, but what we actually might enjoy.

I've stopped promotion the idea that anyone else might be more productive or happier editing in X.

Because all that really matters to me, is that I am.

I was digging through a bunch of the disconnected, messy partial start and stop multicam clips from my recent shoot just tonight. Matching and watching various synced camera arrangements appear and disappear after the initial prep,and rejecting the heck out of the master multiclip to remove the stuff where nothing worked.

And while I was doing it I was actually grinning. I truly hope other editors on other systems are having as much fun. Because it WAS fun. And when work is fun, life is good!

That's enough for me.
"


Good for you but it doesn't answer the question, you said;

"So Its no longer good enough to use the same tools, because the game has changed so much."

What "same tools" did you mean? were you referring to other NLE's that couldn't cope with the mixed footage workflow you were describing?


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 2:49:42 pm

[Steve Connor] "What "same tools" did you mean? were you referring to other NLE's that couldn't cope with the mixed footage workflow you were describing?"

I'm pretty sure in the modern NLE era that all the programs can cope with anything you throw at them just fine.

I don't want to cope.

I want to be excited.

With X I am. Every new project I receive is fun because I have new tools to use to solve old problems - in new ways. A good measure of the drudgery I used to face is gone. Apple, love them or hate them, seems honestly dedicated to driving real friction OUT of my work, making it increasingly easier to bring order to my planning, execution and expression of my thinking via editing.

As long as I continue to see that. I'm good.

It's inarguable that they re-invented quite a few ideas at the core of editing operations in X. In my experience almost all of those ideas have proved to be significant improvements.

Others are free to ignore or even actively dislike them. Perhaps for good reasons (doesn't suite my preference/style) or what I consider bad ones (no need to change NLEs at all, 'cuz how we edited 15 years ago (with refinements) is plenty good enough.)

Its no secret that I was lucky enough (along with others) to be in the right place at the right time to get a glimpse of where X may be headed.

All I can say is that it continues to be a journey I'm excited to be on.

And so it goes.

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Steve Connor
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 3:10:50 pm

[Bill Davis] "I'm pretty sure in the modern NLE era that all the programs can cope with anything you throw at them just fine.
"


Thank you for the clarification


[Bill Davis] "I want to be excited."

I think even beyond FCPX it's a pretty exciting time for Cameras and Post_Production as well


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Bill Davis
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 4:50:52 pm

[Steve Connor] "I think even beyond FCPX it's a pretty exciting time for Cameras and Post_Production as well"

I absolutely agree.

When I was starting out, a single pro camera with a fraction of the performance quality of today's inexpensive sports cams was priced in the tens of thousands of dollars.

These are amazing times.

New signature under construction and coming soon. Please stand by...


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Richard Herd
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 28, 2016 at 9:39:31 pm

[Bill Davis] "Clip A arriving in as h264 with a single stereo track. Today I sit down to work with clip B arriving as MXF with 16 embedded audio "

Workflow question. I know you use X. Do you proxy or change them all to APR, or just stay native and output a single mp4 (or whatever). (Sorry if this answered elsewhere.)

thanks!


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 2:26:06 am

[Richard Herd] "Do you proxy or change them all to APR, or just stay native and output a single mp4 (or whatever). (Sorry if this answered elsewhere.) "

I regularly edit 4K XAVC MXF and never optimize/proxy.

I Share out to mp4/ProRes/whatever. I've run tests and optimized doesn't seem to run any faster.


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Joe Marler
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 8:34:28 pm

[Walter Soyka] "If GPUs are "melting down," it is a hardware problem, period. Electronics generate resistive heat when they are used, and the harder you push them, the hotter they get. If a design does not accommodate this fact, it is flawed. The system should stay in a safe operation range and be prevented from entering an unsafe state by design.

We've had thermal throttling in hardware for decades. The hardware itself enforces that performance slow-down to keep itself safely cool, and it should shut down completely before it ever reaches the point where the heat would be damaging."


As a former hardware designer, that is generally correct. You don't blame software for that, for two reasons: (1) The nMP cooling should be designed to handle extremely intense long duration combined CPU and GPU loads without even throttling. (2) If unforeseen conditions occur it should protect itself.

You should be able to run simultaneous instances of Prime95 and GPU stress tests like Furmark at the highest setting for days and not cause any problem -- and those are synthetic tests. If running actual production software causes hardware damage from overheating, I don't see any possible excuse for blaming the software, beta or otherwise.

It could be a manufacturing issue with thermal compound or assembly or a firmware issue with fan speed control. It was a GPU that failed, and if on a PC workstation you could possibly blame the GPU fans -- it's a separate pluggable subsystem. But the nMP GPUs don't have separate fans -- Apple is totally responsible for cooling. The nMP firmware has to read the GPU-provided thermal data and provide the needed level of cooling. If that didn't work right the GPU itself should throttle to prevent damage.

Even automobiles have had thermal throttling for years. The ECU reads many sensors and does whatever is necessary to maintain safe thermodynamic margin -- richen mixture, retard timing, etc. That is why the engine can feel sluggish when ambient temps are high.


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Joe Marler
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 25, 2016 at 11:26:03 pm

[Oliver Peters] "AMD showed some really nice GPU cards at NAB that are only PC-compatible for now. If you have an old tower, Sapphire 7950 is about as good as you can go with a "blessed" AMD card. You get a high-end Nvidia (that's what they edited with on "Gone Girl") or a flashed Nvidia gaming card. Expansion chassis don't really help you much for editing if you have a nMP. So a lot of us are stuck."

Back in 2012 when the nMP was designed, Apple may have not foreseen how rapidly 4K would proliferate in post and the huge jump in GPU performance from moving to 14/16 nm fabrication this year.

Usually both CPU and GPUs only increase at 10-15% per generation. If Apple planned around that and the nMP as released had excellent performance on a mostly HD workflow, then you could see (from the 2012 design perspective) maybe 5-6 years is OK and customers will just replace it.

The problem is 4K (esp H264) is very common and Premiere can struggle with this. Unexpectedly AMD and nVidia are releasing 14/16 nanometer GPUs which promise up to 250% performance increase. People on the nMP are sort of stuck. It does OK on FCPX but not everybody runs that. Does Apple want to limit nMP hardware sales to people running FCPX? I doubt it.

It appears that major performance improvements in Premiere, AE and Photoshop are at hand from Adobe using Metal, so that might help soften the blow for those on the nMP. However it will be very interesting to see if Apple modifies their "sealed box" philosophy when the updated nMP is released.

You can sort of write off an iMac and replace it more frequently but a Mac Pro is more expensive and the repercussions of a non-upgradeable design are more severe.


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 12:32:35 am

I have a feeling that when the new nMP's hit there will be GPU upgrades available for the older models. The SSD and the RAM are user upgradeable officially, the GPUs seem just as easy to swap out.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 26, 2016 at 5:39:01 am

[Darren Roark] "I have a feeling that when the new nMP's hit there will be GPU upgrades available for the older models. The SSD and the RAM are user upgradeable officially, the GPUs seem just as easy to swap out."

If true I'll bet there will be a nice amount of sticker shock to go with it. I can't imagine custom GPUs for a low volume computer will be cheap.


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 4:37:44 am

Not sure if they are low volume, they are everywhere here in LA.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 4:55:31 am

[Darren Roark] "Not sure if they are low volume, they are everywhere here in LA."

Apple doesn't release hard numbers by product line, but I'd bet the nMP is probably Apple's lowest selling computer by a country mile. Okay, the Mac Mini, which hasn't been updated since 2014, might be down there too but, iMacs dominate the desktop sales and the Apple laptops outsell the iMacs. Desktop workstations are a niche market these days and the nMP s a niche w/in that niche.

If there is a standard, computer industry range for 'low volume' I don't know what it is, but the nMP is definitely low volume compared to everything else Apple sells.


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Darren Roark
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 5:36:00 am

Agreed, but calculating the raw parts minus the GPUs the 'dollars to donuts' profit margin is huge.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 3:44:30 pm

[Darren Roark] "Agreed, but calculating the raw parts minus the GPUs the 'dollars to donuts' profit margin is huge."

Oh, yeah. I can't imagine Apple making a hardware product that doesn't have very plush profit margins.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 6:34:11 pm

[Darren Roark] "Agreed, but calculating the raw parts minus the GPUs the 'dollars to donuts' profit margin is huge.
"


I just looked it up: 69%. Compare that to 40%-ish company wide and it's clear who's carrying the freight, which is why declining iPhone sales dropped Apple's stock value by $40 billion in a single day.

I'm not sure that counting margins against list prices is fair. Somebody's paying Apple for the iPhone you got "for free," but I'm paying $7/month as thanks for my long standing VZW account -- going back to roughly 1987, before the name Verizon even existed!!!! -- so the whole of it ain't coming directly out of my pocket. Not even close.

(This is why I have no interest in changing carriers, btw. On top of the best coverage, when I ask for something, they JUMP, even though it's just 2 phones on the account, and we're by no means massive data users or anything. I think once you get your 25 year pin and are staring hard at the 30 year pin, they've already bled you pretty well dry. LOL)

Anyway, Apple is reporting these as gross margins, which they are, so that's all good -- my point being that there might be a bigger gap between gross and net than they're letting on to anyone who's not sitting in front of a spreadsheet.

Whereas I am sitting under a bedsheet. LOL Big difference.

But the fact is that even gross margin is down. Check this chart from the Fool, who a) I don't trust as far as I can throw, and b) is insanely on bullish on Apple even after posting this chart:



Apple's not in trouble or anything like it, but pretty much everything is down, except for a $6 billion first year for Apple Watch. (Not bad for a first year, not bad.)

Here's what's crazy: it costs $81 to build an Apple Watch, and the entry level model goes for $349...for a profit margin of....drumroll please....SEVENTY SEVEN PERCENT.

But wait! There's more! The average Apple Watch sale is north of $500! So $81 into $500, and we get....brumpumpump....EIGHTY FOUR PERCENT!!!!

Dude. 84% is in the neighborhood of like, movie concession stand soda pop. That's INSANE.

So, yeah, $6 billion is a nice start...but a little better than $5 billion is NET PROFIT. Dollahs in the pocket.

This is well on its way to becoming the success I predicted it would be. I feel obliged to mention this because it happens so rarely. LOL

But it's sobering that iPhone at 69% and the watch at 80%+/- isn't enough to pull company-wide margins over 40%.

Well, "sobering" is relative. Most companies would do, uhm, even worse things than they're already doing for a 40% margin.

BTW, how's Sammy doing? Samsung's clocking 39% gross margins with a business that includes a much more diverse product line. Hardly the slam-dunk for Apple typically proclaimed, especially with the new Galaxy phones up YoY, exceeding projections for both sales and profits. They're in no danger of passing Apple, but still.

Any guesses the gross margin over there at Alphabet? Bueller? Bueller?

22%.

TWENTY TWO PERCENT.

Which is why I hate Wall Street, and refuse to invest in individual stocks. U ppl are kvetching because Apple didn't meet ur expectations? Boo-pooping-hoo. Go back to counting your billions and stop picking on those poor babies at AAPL.

That's why I'm not trying to spread my risk with mutual funds. I'm trying to insulate myself from jackasses to the extent I can. And it's not easy, I assure you.

Of course, one could have been holding Adobe where all the kvetching hasn't pumped the brakes any at all, trading about a buck under its all-time high. A kvetch-proof stock? Hmmm, tempting, tempting, but I'd still be betting head to head against idiots with knives out. No thanks. LOL

Say, what's Adobe's gross profit margin? 85%.

Well alrighty then. LOL You could say, "Well hey, oranges to AAPL. Adobe is software only," and you'd be right...but with a profit margin that looks more like Facebook (also 85%) than the GOOG's mommy and daddy at 22%, that there looks like WATERMELONS to oranges, three of 'em right in a row across the middle of the dial.

ANYWAY....I think it's very easy to overstate Apple's margin-heaviness...but even at "ONLY" 40%, it's so weak that it should be dropping 9% in a day and down over 30% from its 52 week high? Srsly?

You know what'd fix this molto pronto? Thunderbolt 3. LOL All AAPL's troubles would vanish in a poof of butterflies and rainbows.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 7:03:40 pm

[Tim Wilson] "might be a bigger gap between gross and net than they're letting on to anyone who's not sitting in front of a spreadsheet.

Whereas I am sitting under a bedsheet. LOL Big difference.
"


Not if your spreadsheets are printed out on your bed sheets (anyone that gets that reference w/o Google is automatically my BFF).


[Tim Wilson] "Here's what's crazy: it costs $81 to build an Apple Watch, and the entry level model goes for $349...for a profit margin of....drumroll please....SEVENTY SEVEN PERCENT."

My caveat with that type of stat is the $81 is for parts and doesn't include everything else it takes to actually create and deliver the product (R&D, manufacturing, marketing, etc.,). It's like saying the DVD copy of Deadpool has insane margins because it's $16.00 and blank DVDs only cost $0.10. You can't ignore the 10's of millions of dollars spent in order to get a quality, finished product onto that 10 cent disc. ;)


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on May 4, 2016 at 4:39:00 pm

[Andrew Kimery]
Not if your spreadsheets are printed out on your bed sheets (anyone that gets that reference w/o Google is automatically my BFF).
"


Crickets huh? I can't be the only one here that likes Weird Al... Okay, every needs to take a three and a half minute break today and bask in the glory that is Weird Al's icon geek anthem from '99, "It's All About the Pentiums"







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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Apple and Thunderbolt 3
on Apr 29, 2016 at 11:05:57 pm

[Tim Wilson] "Here's what's crazy: it costs $81 to build an Apple Watch, and the entry level model goes for $349...for a profit margin of....drumroll please....SEVENTY SEVEN PERCENT."

I'd be curious to what the costs are in these profit margins. It costs Apple $81 to buy a watch in parts/assembly, or does that margin include all overhead including insurance, benefits, real estate, salary, bonus, r&d?


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