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Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU

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Camilo Ramos
Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 5, 2016 at 7:55:56 pm

Hello. I have acces to a pretty good deal for late 2015 iMac 5k with this configuration:
3.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
8GB (two 4GB) memory
2TB Fusion Drive1
AMD Radeon R9 M395 with 2GB video memory
Retina 5K 5120-by-2880 P3 display

I plan to max it out on RAM and have external thunderbolt 2 graid HD. Can aybody share their fcpx and motion experiences on an imac like this one? I currently edit on a 2009 mac pro with 32 gb of ram and 3gb video card. i'm pretty sure that the imac will be lightning fast compared to my old mac pro but will it be a good investment?

Any advice is highly apreciated.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 5, 2016 at 8:08:00 pm

Yep solid FCPX machine there.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops


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Don Walker
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 8:30:32 pm

[Noah Kadner] "ep solid FCPX machine there"

Noah,
Does the fact the computer has a quad core i5 vs a quad core i7 bother you at all? When dealing with FCPX and Motion, is there a large amount of difference between the two?

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 5, 2016 at 9:15:30 pm

That's a great machine for FCP X and Motion. The screen will spoil you against wanting to look at anything else.

Depending on what you will be editing the only possible bottleneck I can see is the G-RAID drive if it's a 2X drive model.

If you ever work with Red footage, keep the 2009 machine, it's still a great workhorse for heavy transcoding jobs. Gotta love Apple for making machines that are still useful eight years later.


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Camilo Ramos
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 5, 2016 at 10:31:53 pm

Thank you guys.

My biggest concern is that the AMD Radeon R9 M395 graphics card might not be good enough. I do mainly tv commercials and a lot of longforms with tons of compositing and effects. Nothing mayor but many seconds and minutes per video.

In a few weeks i will upgrade my hard drives if they give me any trouble

With that in mind plus the issue of 4k becoming the new standard, you think this mac is a decent work horse?

Again, thank you for the advice



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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 2:34:59 am

I think 4K is a long time away from being standard.

The M395 is pretty impressive having used it next to my dual D700 Mac Pro. What GPU is in your 2009 Mac Pro?

If it's a really good deal then it should hold that value for at least the near future so you could get your investment back and trade up to a beefier machine.


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Camilo Ramos
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 3:11:57 am

Thanks a bunch for your opinion! I'm getting my brand new imac first thing tomorrow morning.



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Camilo Ramos
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 3:25:55 am

Sorry, i forgot to,answer your question.

I have a SapphireHD 7950 3Gb Mac Edition installed, plus a 1tb ssd drive with 32 gb of ram on my Mac Pro 8-Core (Early 2009) 2.7 GHz.



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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 4:08:42 am

I'm doing a 180 with the new info but you may want to try it out first if possible.

The 7950 is a very very good card that rivals the new Mac Pro GPUs though you only have one.

Is it used? If so you could take a drive and test it out first with sample timelines to see if it feels faster. Specs aren't everything when it comes to the newer iMac models.


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Camilo Ramos
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 1:33:33 pm

Yikes!!! It's a brand new computer still on the box so i can't try it. a friend is selling it to me for 1,900. I can go to a store but since they don't have fcpx or motion installed i won't be able to perform any valuable test.

Know I'm back where i started jejejejeje. Do you think i should hold my self and wait for a better machine?

Thanks again!



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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 5:48:13 pm

You may want to wait. The display is amazing, you'd have Thunderbolt as well, but if you do GPU intensive work, the machine you have is still very impressive.

If you don't have a USB 3.0 card yet that's something that will modernize it. A natively supported card is available for $30.

There are ways to add a second 7950 which would make that a beast of a computer. Even further, you can swap the CPUs and make that machine rival the new mac pros for very little money.


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Camilo Ramos
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 6:27:52 pm

You're right on the spot Darren. This morning after reading your post i contacted a friend of mine who's a mac expert and he almost quoted you word by word! He has already requested a quote from owc for the cpu upgrades. Do you have any recommendations as well as on how to install the second graphics card? I think i would need an expansion chasis since i already have a decklink card, a esata card plus the 7950.

BTW, thanks again! You saved me from doing a bad investment!



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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 7:21:42 pm

Glad you mentioned what card you had just in time.

There is a way to install a PSU in the optical bay, it requires customizing the case but it's doable.

If you aren't opposed to an expansion chassis that's a good way to go. For dual 7950s you would lose a PCI slot without one.

Regardless, a single 7950 is still fast.

You can buy used CPUs and make it a 12c. If you are handy working on computers or know someone who is, sourcing your own CPUs can save you a lot.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 8:36:45 pm

[Darren Roark] "The M395 is pretty impressive having used it next to my dual D700 Mac Pro."

Impressive as in 'it's surprisingly good for a mobile GPU' or impressive as in 'it runs almost as good as the dual desktop GPUs in my MP'?


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Bill Davis
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 9:10:19 pm

Theres this thing I'm going to mention from my experience.

Years back before my switch to X, my orientation was to buy and maintain the biggest and most powerful hardware I could afford. And I'm not arguing against that at all in the new era. But...

I would argue, the new approach that X has pioneered (and that Adobe seems to be copying?) - of sequestered pools of transcodes and the switching of metadata pointers between them, combined with today's super quick and capable CPUs and GPUs allowing you to blast high-raster pixels to a screen super efficiently even on a laptop processor - has largely changed my thinking about the type of hardware needed to effectively do my work.

Yes, there are times when I have a deep composite or am transcoding from one format to another that the heaviest duty hardware will surely help. But for me, that's simply not that often.

Day to day, what I'm "actually" doing is creating metadata instructions about my editorial wishes and saving it in files to be applied across my content pools later. That's not actually a very heavy lift for even a modest modern laptop.

It's a fundamental change in my thinking. Basically that I'm not "crippled" in any functional sense when I'm working on my laptop compared to a bigger, more expensive (sometimes) desktop machine.

The cutting, coloring, sound work, editorial decision making and even the visual assessment of the images I'm working on - seem to go at the same speed on my laptop as they do when I'm working on a desktop system.

The only slowdown is when I'm ready to Apply those decisions to a finished master. That's where the heavy hardware can likely make things a bit quicker and easier? That would surely matter if I was working in, say a news station with breaking "get it to air as fast as possible" environment. But I'm not.

It's odd, but for the past 3 years, I haven't even had "render in the background" turned on. I don't care about rendering anymore. I can basically work without it and just invoke it when I sleep - and use the finished results when they are done without actually having to DO anything to get the improvement. It just shows up.. In between, the way X displays my work I feel I can make the same visual and editorial judgements without the necessity of pushing "perfected" streams through my computer in real time. For example, parking on a frame, gets me a full rez view, even if the entire stream hasn't had time to transcode yet. And that's fine until the rendered scene pool gets perfected in the background. When it does - bingo. I'm suddenly working with full rez files and seldom even notice the substitution.

Just one difference among many about making the transition from my old way of thinking to the new one.

Your workflow, needs and mileage may certainly vary.

But my 2 cents.

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


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 10:30:27 pm

[Bill Davis] "t's a fundamental change in my thinking. Basically that I'm not "crippled" in any functional sense when I'm working on my laptop compared to a bigger, more expensive (sometimes) desktop machine."

As someone that routinely edits with an '09 MP and an '11 MBP I completely agree. In the late 90's (when computers struggled playing back a single stream of DV or a DVD) it would be inconceivable that a 7 year old computer would remain viable as an NLE. Thanks to the constant march of technology though many of the 'difficult' computing tasks of yesterday are easy computing tasks today. I remember when Apple switched to Intel and the Mac Mini with a Core 2 Duo chip held it's own against the last generate G5 MP in CPU-centric tests. Either the C2D was a great budget chip or the G5 was really past its prime by that point (probably both).

Of course this is all kind of tangental to my question about the iMac vs the nMP. Is the iMac's mobile GPU really that good? Are the dual GPUs in the nMP really that bad? Or does the software just not leverage the GPU enough to take advantage of 2 desktop GPUs vs a single laptop GPU? Kinda like how FCP 7 couldn't access more than 4gig of RAM so 4gig was better than 2gig, but 16gig was no better than 4gig (as far as FCP was concerned).


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Steve Connor
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 6, 2016 at 11:00:18 pm

[Bill Davis] "Just one difference among many about making the transition from my old way of thinking to the new one.

Your workflow, needs and mileage may certainly vary.
"


They do Bill, they really do :)


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Bill Davis
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 7, 2016 at 12:14:02 am

[Steve Connor] "They do Bill, they really do :)"

Of course.

On other boards more X centric, we're currently celebrating Mike Matzdorff uncovering a collaborative workflow in FCP X that has the potential to change how FCP X teams share iterations when working on major motion pictures.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with how I edit every day. And may or may not have any bearing on how you accomplish your day to day editing either. But I'm glad Mike and Glen and Jan and Kevin et al, seem to be as excited about X's evolution and progress as I am!

The whole purpose of the recently shared FCPeXchange presentations was to highlight evolving FCP X solutions from all around the world that might be useful for many classes of editors, from single seat editors to the largest collaborative workflows on the planet.

That the same toolset that makes me a happy editor, ALSO makes folks at Metronome and Warner Brothers happy as well I find encouraging!

If we are actually on to something new and even a bit transformative in the editing space - a space that's been very much "me too" for decades - I figure the opportunities for X workflow growth going forward will just continue to expand. And maybe I can be a part of that.

At this point, somebody will likely dredge up another term like "triumphalism" to attempt to paint this as inexperience and foolishness. Thats fine. Knock your socks off. In my rear view mirror NAB rocked. Cutting on X in near real time AT NAB in a live presentation situation taught me lots of cool new workflow tricks. Plus, I'm loaded down with interesting work now that I'm back home and having a blast doing THAT in X. The foreseeable future of my new toolset looks really bright.

Good times.

That's all.

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


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Darren Roark
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 7, 2016 at 12:13:12 am

[Andrew Kimery] "impressive as in 'it runs almost as good as the dual desktop GPUs in my MP'?"

It surely doesn't do that.

My experience working on a machine with it is I don't miss my Dual D700s until I'm exporting or working in hugely complex effects or motion graphics. The day to day editing work is just fine, but exports take much longer.

Finding out the OP had a 7950 changed my mind. The tests I did with two of those in a cMP were faster than my Dual D700s, but not nearly enough for me to regret getting a nMP.

I read your other post, agreed that it's a crazy time where a seven year old computer can become useful again by purchasing a card for it.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Opinion about fcpx and motion on imac i5 with 2gb GPU
on May 9, 2016 at 5:18:04 pm

[Darren Roark] "I read your other post, agreed that it's a crazy time where a seven year old computer can become useful again by purchasing a card for it."

Speaking of this, what's you take on the new cards Nvidia just announced? Greater performance and lower power usage compared to the Titan X. I know one of the stumbling blocks to getting more powerful GPUs into the old MP's was that the factory power supply just wasn't designed to handle the load, but these new cards could give the old MP's yet another lease on life.

http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/5/7/11615806/nvidia-gtx-1080-10...


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