FORUMS: list search recent posts

New iMac for 4k editing

COW Forums : Apple Final Cut Pro X Debates

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Claude Lyneis
New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 5:52:52 am

I am thinking of buying a new 27 in iMac in preparation to editing 4k instead of using my mid 11 27 in iMac for 1080 p at present. I don't expect to be editing Red footage or other versions of video which include some version of 4k and raw. So I am thinking about a "loaded" new iMac rather than waiting on the iMac Pro. One choice is the 3.8 gHz 4 core I5 vs the 4.2 gHz 4 core I7. For RAM I would probably order the 8G and then buy 32 G from OWC at about $300. The max memory for this thing would be 64 G of ram, but it is hard to guess if I would need that.

Thoughts? Advice?


Return to posts index

Peter DeArmond
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 7:47:13 am

I think this could work for you. I'm thinking of doing the same thing myself, but I would choose the core i7 over the core i5 processor. I also would get the SSD internal drive, and an external Thunderbolt 3 4-bay SSD RAID, such as the one made by Akito https://www.akitio.com/portable-storage/akitio-thunder3-quad-mini

Good luck, and let us know what you decide.



Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 2:34:20 pm

[Peter DeArmond] "but I would choose the core i7 over the core i5 processor."

Why? While working with FCP X, Motion et al, the CPU is by far the least relevant when it comes to working performance. You want to max out the GPU first and foremost, then get a decent amount of RAM, then fast external storage.


[Peter DeArmond] "an external Thunderbolt 3 4-bay SSD RAID"

This is complete overkill imho. Why in the world SSDs? You are paying, what, TEN TIMES more per GB compared to a regular spinning disk? With a four (spinning) disk RAID such as a Promise R4 you're already getting near 600MB/s… what could that not be enough for? And that at a fraction of the price. It's not like he's looking to edit uncompressed 5K material or the likes.

Having an internal SSD also has little to no bearing on FCP performance as well (aside from maybe booting up?). Same story. If anything, I'd upgrade to the 3TB Fusion.

Either way, I can say from experience, the current iMac with the above characteristics is more than fine for doing 4K work of any kind. Other than maybe Thunderbolt 3 or 10G Enet, I really don't see why you'd would want or have to wait for the Pro. Never mind that it's starting price is already near TWICE that of the largest current iMac.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index


Claude Lyneis
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 5:16:34 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "
Having an internal SSD also has little to no bearing on FCP performance as well (aside from maybe booting up?)."


Booting up on my 2011 Mac is a real irritation to me, it drags on for what seems like forever, so for sure I will get the 2TB fusion internal disk. I keep my FCPX project and media on a Raid 0 disk, LaCie 6 TB which provides 3T net storage, and that seems to work well enough. Of course with 4 k media, it will require more storage.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 16, 2017 at 6:38:52 am

[Claude Lyneis] "Booting up on my 2011 Mac is a real irritation to me, it drags on for what seems like forever"

I meant more booting up of FCP. 😉 Since I never actually turn off my machine, only really restart it when it's updated, I really don't care much about machine boot-up speeds.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Don Walker
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 7:29:10 pm

[Robin S. Kurz] "[Peter DeArmond] "but I would choose the core i7 over the core i5 processor."

Why? While working with FCP X, Motion et al, the CPU is by far the least relevant when it comes to working performance. You want to max out the GPU first and foremost, then get a decent amount of RAM, then fast external storage."


Ok, so now Robin says that the choice of an i7 is not that critical over the i5. Peter says the i7 is crucial. Which is it?
Is an FCPX editor really going to see much difference between the two, all other options being equal?

I would love to read some other opinions.

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


Return to posts index


Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 16, 2017 at 6:50:40 am

[Don Walker] "Is an FCPX editor really going to see much difference between the two, all other options being equal?"

I was talking about performance specifically regarding FCP, yes. And I can only tell you that we have 20+ iMacs with part i5 and part i7 and I can guarantee you that no one can tell you which is which without running an actual benchmark or checking the Mac info window.

Personally, again, in the context of FCP/Motion, I find the price : speed increase (single digit percentage at best, for select operations) ratio rather disproportionate. But if the several hundred $$ more for the i7 are no issue, go for it.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 20, 2017 at 1:29:47 pm

[Don Walker] " Robin says that the choice of an i7 is not that critical over the i5. Peter says the i7 is crucial. Which is it? Is an FCPX editor really going to see much difference between the two, all other options being equal?"

The two options discussed were a quad-core 3.8 Ghz i5 vs 4.2 Ghz i7 for 4k editing in FCPX. The clock speed difference is about 11%. Benefit from i7 hyperthreading will vary from zero to significant. I have tested FCPX export performance with hyperthreading on vs off on the same i7, by using the 3rd party CPUSetter utility. Hyperthreading improved export performance by 30%, so the total i5 vs i7 performance difference would be about 40% -- for the export case.

I didn't test other FCPX CPU-bound operations such as transcoding, or CPU-bound effects such as stabilization, Neat Video, or Digital Anarchy Flicker Free. However the i7 would possibly help in those cases. Identifying these cases it easy -- just use iStat Menus or Activity Monitor, and if all CPU cores are pegged, it's not waiting on I/O or GPU. In all those situations more CPU horsepower (whether additional cores, higher clock speed, better IPC from a newer CPU or hyperthreading) would likely help. Whether it would be noticeable or worthwhile depends on the magnitude of improvement and how often those cases are encountered.

Obtaining smooth 4k editing is often difficult on almost any hardware. However this varies widely based on the codec. If the camera captures ProRes or has an external ProRes recorder, editing that is a lot easier. If it is H264 ( including containers such as XAVC-S), then it's a lot harder. If you never edit multicam or apply any compute-intensive effects, it's easier. Multicam and/or compute-intensive effects make 4k editing much harder. But if you are willing and able to transcode everything to proxy, it can be edited on a MacBook Air.

[Julius Jonas] "...when you would ONLY use Final Cut Pro X then you can "ignore" the processor, go for the best graphics card you can have..."

You definitely cannot "ignore" the CPU in FCPX. If so a quad-core 2013 Mac Pro with dual D700 GPUs would be as good on FCPX as a 12-core machine with the same GPUs.


Return to posts index

Martin Curtis
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 17, 2017 at 1:20:24 am

[Robin S. Kurz] "Having an internal SSD also has little to no bearing on FCP performance as well"
I disagree. A bit. It mightn't effect FCP directly, but the Mac is always doing SOMETHING in the background that it needs to pull from disk and the SSD is noticeably faster. It does effect FCP when loading plugins, effects etc. A lot? A little? That's relative. Enough so that I notice? Yes.

I have a 2015 iMac with a 1TB SSD in one office and a 2013 iMac with a 3TB fusion drive in another and I know which office I prefer. OK, the 2015 iMac has a 5k screen as well...


Return to posts index


Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 17, 2017 at 9:33:56 am

[Martin Curtis] "I have a 2015 iMac with a 1TB SSD in one office and a 2013 iMac with a 3TB fusion drive in another and I know which office I prefer."

I highly doubt that any mentionable performance differences will merely be due to the SSD as opposed to a Fusion drive by any relevant level. There are many many other specs that will play into that and make the real difference, whatever it may be.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Joe Marler
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 10:59:48 am

[Robin S. Kurz] "I highly doubt that any mentionable performance differences will merely be due to the SSD as opposed to a Fusion drive by any relevant level. There are many many other specs that will play into that and make the real difference, whatever it may be."

This is correct. I have a 2013 and 2015 iMac 27, one with 3TB Fusion Drive and one with 1TB SSD. Both have the top CPU and GPU and both have 32GB RAM. I have tested them extensively side-by-side and cannot tell any difference in I/O-related FCPX performance when the media is on an external drive. Re FCPX boot time, it's usually about the same between the Fusion Drive and SSD iMac.

If media is on the boot drive there are some cases where SSD is faster but (a) You normally don't want media on the boot drive, and (b) Even 1TB of SSD is too small to put much media on it.

Thus the dilemma is a 3TB Fusion Drive is big enough to put some media on it, but you shouldn't do that, whereas the 1TB SSD is fast enough but not big enough. If all media is on external storage, either Fusion Drive or SSD will generally deliver about the same real-world FCPX performance. In that case I would mildly prefer SSD because it's less complex and might help non-FCPX performance in some edge cases.

OTOH spending all your money on an SSD iMac then putting your media on a cheap, slow, bus-powered USB drive can often produce poor performance.


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 12:07:21 pm

[Joe Marler] "If media is on the boot drive there are some cases where SSD is faster but (a) You normally don't want media on the boot drive, and (b) Even 1TB of SSD is too small to put much media on it. "

The reason I get large-as-possible internal storage, is for various media libraries such as Photos, iTunes, Logic's and FCP's sound libraries etc. All of which amount to well over 1TB, but certainly don't demand super-speed. Media I want access to without needing to attach (and therefore possibly carry around) external disks.

And as you say (and I know from experience), an SSD will not do anything worth mentioning in terms of overall performance. Certainly nothing that gets you anywhere close to make up for the horrendous difference in $$ per GB.

That said, I certainly enjoy the mind-boggling speed (near 3GB/s) of my MBP's SSD when copying things or rebooting. But then it was not optional, nor would I have spent what they cost on getting one had it been.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index


Erik Lindahl
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 15, 2017 at 4:32:04 pm

If you're aiming for a high-end machine I'd defiantly go with the i7 CPU, top-end GPU, 32 or 64 GB of RAM and a SSD as boot-volume (256 GB should be solid as a start-up volume, 512 GB is more future proof).

The choice of an i7 is a no-brainer for media production. It scales better with more threads and has a healthy boost in clock speeds. If you ever work with heavier formats you will appreciate it. I'd also imagine FCPX's background renderer likes as many threads / cores as possible. Most encoders scale well with more threads / cores as well.

RAM - defiantly buy from third party.

As for storage something like a Pegasus tends to be great. Some apps like an SSD for their cache but that can be sorted with an external TB3 drive.


Return to posts index

Julius Jonas
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 18, 2017 at 12:01:04 am

Exactly,

when you would ONLY use Final Cut Pro X then you can "ignore" the processor, go for the best graphics card you can have, RAM is good as well. But of course, if you will use your iMac for various applications (multimedia production and "normal usage" like Mail, Safari,...) you will appreciate a good all-round machine. Depending on how much you want to spend, you will have to adapt your selections. If I were you, I'd go for the i7 processor and put your own RAM in it. For the graphics card, take the best one; the 5K Display needs power. And for SSD vs. Fusion Drive vs Hard Drive I have to say the following: I am working on a MacBook but have an iMac as well, so SSD vs. Hard Drive. The Hard Drive is just horrible. Go for the 256 GB SSD and buy a whatever RAID you want, you have all the options. Then you will have all your apps and important documents on your iMac with super high-speed. On the other side, you have all the big stuff like 4K footage on your external storage: Connect it via USB 3 or Thunderbolt and it will be fast enough for editing.
(I am working with a medium speed hard drive, just connected via USB 3 and it is fast enough. I also have an external 512GB SSD, which I sometimes use to get even faster performance - when loading projects or importing videos, the SSD outperformes the hard drive easily...)

And with that setup you should be able to do video editing and multimedia production, while you still get good performance on everything else you will do.


Return to posts index

Claude Lyneis
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 5:14:08 am

Thanks for all the thoughtful replies. I haven't pulled the trigger yet, but I think I will go with the i7 based on some of the comments and the reality that this one should last a long time. I am currently still using my mid 11 27 inch. In the good old days when Moore's Law was working, two years was a long time to keep a Mac. For me, I think the 2 TB fusion disk should be enough. It has 128 GB of SSD in it and I am going to keep my media elsewhere anyway. For RAM, it looks like adding two 16 GB chips to the 8 GB of factory installed RAM would give 40 GB and that is probably enough. The only thing I will miss and internal DVD drive for some legacy materials. So at some point I would need an external one, but they are relatively cheap. Now to figure out the 4K camera.


Return to posts index


Julius Jonas
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 6:31:57 am

Okay so:

Which model are you getting? Radeon 475 or 480?
If you get the 475 then do not buy the 2TB Fusion Drive if you get external storage anyway. If you get the 475, buy the cheaper 256 GB SSD plus your own external storage - just makes more sense to me.

If you get 8GB of Ram from Apple do not insert two sticks of 16 GB. I am not an expert on it, but someone can probably back me up on this: it is not good to use different sized RAM sticks.

So rather go for 4*8=32; that should be enough

Unless you want to take out the original one and then put for 16 GB in there or whatever...


Return to posts index

Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 8:05:11 am

[Julius Jonas] "Which model are you getting? Radeon 475 or 480? "

???
No current iMac has either. Nor do I get what the GPU could possibly have to do with the storage options.


[Julius Jonas] "it is not good to use different sized RAM sticks."

That most certainly does not apply to iMacs and only applied to some very select few machines of yesteryear. Whereby mixing same sized PAIRS has never ever been an issue. If anything then mixing different sized sticks on the same bank and only with very specific types of RAM (for parity reasons). So this is a complete non-issue.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

Julius Jonas
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 2:51:34 pm

I am sorry, I obviously meant the 575 and 580.
And that has something to do with the standard storage option you get. For the 575 you get 1TB Fusion drive. He says he is getting a 2TB Fusion Drive, which would be standard for the 580. But if he wants to upgrade the 575 model to 2TB Fusion drive it would be cheaper to buy a 256GB SSD.

Also, you can pretty easily put your Logic library, Photos library and even iTunes if you really want to, onto an external storage.







I guess you might be right about the RAM, it must be different then between PCs and iMacs.


Return to posts index


Robin S. Kurz
Re: New iMac for 4k editing
on Jun 21, 2017 at 3:32:04 pm

[Julius Jonas] "Also, you can pretty easily put your Logic library, Photos library and even iTunes if you really want to, onto an external storage."

Yes, I'm aware of that, only that was my whole point: I don't want to. I want to have that media with me at all times without the need for external storage. Other than those "basics", everything goes onto external storage, yes.

- RK

____________________________________________________
Deutsch? Hier gibt es ein umfassendes FCP X Training für dich!


Return to posts index

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