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NEW MAC advise needed

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Jake Stevens
NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 3:32:37 am

I'm a newbie to video production and Final Cut Pro.

I'm planning to buy a new computer and I'm leaning toward buying a:

NEW Apple iMac | 27" 5k Retina Display | i7 SKYLAKE quad core | 4.0Ghz | 32GB Ram | 1TB Fusion | AMD Radeon R9 M390 2gb Graphics |

I'd appreciate hearing your advise, pro & cons.

Is this a good system to run Final Cut Pro X?


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Darren Roark
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 4:27:40 am

[Jake Stevens] "Is this a good system to run Final Cut Pro X?"

Yes it is. The screen is amazing.

The main reason for wanting a Mac Pro is if you are going to be doing a lot of long renders, Red footage, lots of transcoding of footage.

Everything else that's going to be a killer FCP X machine.


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Cliff Elliott
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 5:20:00 am

I also agree and have been running FCPX on a top of the line 2013 i7 iMac maxed out with 32 gig of Ram and perform multi cam HD editing regularly without any problems. Go for it.



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Bret Williams
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 4:11:11 pm

If you need to transcode, for 4K for example, the MacPro will be helpful. But if you're dealing with HD you'll likely not need to transcode h264 footage because the i7 has accelerated h264 handling that the xeons do not. For many people the iMac is overall a better performing machine when dealing with h264 material.


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Jake Stevens
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 4:16:48 pm

I'm a complete newbie to video editing and Final Cut Pro X. Please can you explain to me what "TRANSCODING" is????

Thanks


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Noah Kadner
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 3, 2016 at 6:43:06 pm

Converting video from one format to another. Also google and youtube can help bring you up to speed on the basics.

Noah

FCPWORKS - FCPX Workflow
FCP Exchange - FCPX Workshops
XinTwo - FCPX Training


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John Perez
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 4, 2016 at 8:30:24 am

Hi Jake,

The iMac you have there is a great system, but if you can stretch your budget a bit further I would HIGHLY recommend going for the R9 M395X 4GB GPU and replacing the Fusion drive with a 512GB SSD (or 1TB if you can afford it).

The M395X 4GB GPU is actually a generation newer GPU than the M390 and will really help accelerate apps like FCPX that utilies the GPU for rendering and effects etc and if you run a second screen the 4GB memory helps performance also.

For editing or any kind of Professional use I'd avoid Fusion drives, it's a tiny SSD with a 5400rpm HD. A 'pure' SSD is going to make a lot of difference to you going forward.

Good luck with your new Mac :)

JP



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Joe Marler
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 4, 2016 at 10:10:14 pm

[John Perez] " I would HIGHLY recommend going for the R9 M395X 4GB GPU and replacing the Fusion drive with a 512GB SSD (or 1TB if you can afford it)....The M395X 4GB GPU is actually a generation newer GPU than the M390 and will really help accelerate apps like FCPX that utilies the GPU for rendering and effects etc..."

I would definitely not get the 1TB Fusion Drive version, even if most of his media is external. I have both 2013 iMac 27 with 3TB Fusion Drive and 2015 iMac 27 with 1TB SSD, and for many video FCPX editing tasks there isn't much difference, none of which is attributable to the I/O subsystem. The 2 and 3TB Fusion Drives have 128GB SSD which is much larger than the SSD on the 1TB drive. On a few things the 4Ghz CPU in the 2015 is faster and the M395X is mixed but modestly faster than the GTX-780m.

It doesn't take much video to exhaust the internal iMac 27 storage, no matter what that is. Thus if the media is eventually destined to be on external storage, then getting a 512GB SSD is a good option since it does have some modest real-world speed advantage on the 2 and 3TB Fusion Drive in some workflows, and is probably more reliable. But the real-world I/O performance difference is not nearly as much as benchmarks would indicate.

Even the M395X is not lightning-fast so I'd definitely recommend this, since you don't want anything slower. That said FCPX is very efficient and I can edit H264 1080p content on my 2013 MacBook Air without using proxy.

The big factor is H264 4k. It is very demanding on any hardware and any software. If the OP needs or ever plans on this, he needs the fastest possible machine. It is mostly a CPU limitation and secondarily GPU on effects, not I/O. However if proxy or optimized media is used to speed up the CPU/GPU part, then it can quickly become an I/O limitation since the transcoded media is much larger.

Here are some benchmarks I ran. The M395 tests were contributed by another user:

https://joema.smugmug.com/Computers/IMac27BenchmarksVsOthers/n-hR5wtF/i-3mL...


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Fred Turner
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 7, 2016 at 4:47:44 pm

A Fusion Drive is not a bad option, IMHO, since it'll prioritize system, apps, and frequently used data to the SSD portion, and it will give you 1TB+ for media library storage. However, I'd STRONGLY recommend you get the 2TB or 3TB Fusion Drives, not the 1TB: in a not-so-widely-disclosed cost-cutting move, Apple changed the 1TB Fusion Drive to have only 24GB of SSD in the latest round of iMac updates. The 2TB & 3TB have 128GB of SSD— far more useful.

The 1TB Fusion Drive pairs a 1TB hard drive with 24GB of fast flash — enough to store important OS X files and applications to ensure fast startup, near instant wake from sleep and quick application launching, with room left over for your most frequently used files and apps. The 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drives pair a larger hard drive with 128GB of fast flash storage, providing even more space for your most frequently used files. For the best performance, iMac systems with 32GB of memory should be configured with a 2TB or larger Fusion Drive or all flash storage.


Whatever you get, enjoy!

Fred


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Jake Stevens
Re: NEW MAC advise needed
on Jul 10, 2016 at 4:04:45 am

Thanks everyone for all the great info. Much appreciated :)


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