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Re: iMac Pro Configuration Advice Needed

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Joe Marler
Re: iMac Pro Configuration Advice Needed
on Sep 19, 2019 at 9:29:45 pm
Last Edited By Joe Marler on Sep 19, 2019 at 9:34:37 pm

[Howie Young] "What types of projects do you edit?

How much RAM does your iMac Pro have?

Which GPU would you recommend?"

Re iMac fan ramping up, that is *definitely* the case on 2017 and earlier. However supposedly the 2019 8-core iMac is much better in that regard, although not as quiet as the iMac Pro. Despite all the discussion of this I don't recall any review doing a controlled test of this area - iMac Pro fan profile and db noise under sustained load vs 2019 8-core iMac under the same load. Maybe someone else does.

I think some people are over-sensitive to noise. They complain about the iMac fan noise at *idle*. I've measured my household HVAC and it's much louder than that. I don't see how such people could work in a typical office environment.

That said, I often spend *days* transcoding material and the 2014-2017 iMac is irritating. Even though it's "white noise", that gets old after a while. By contrast the iMac Pro almost never spins up.

My projects are mostly documentary, often 50+ 2-3 camera interviews, 4k H264 but more recently 4k ProRes 422. The final products range from 5 min to 30 min, although sometimes we'll do a 2 hr stringout. The final product may contain thousands of edits and many effects.

We've done several blue screen shoots and those don't seem that bad. However -- as the edits and effects pile on the timeline slows down. Anyone who says their Mac is always super-speedy has never done this kind of work. Put Imagenomic Portraiture, Digital Anarchy Flicker Free and Neat Video on a bunch long clips and see how fast your Mac is.

My 10-core Vega 64 iMac Pro has 64GB, but it would probably do OK on 32GB. My 2017 i7 iMac is 32GB and I've never seen Activity Monitor showing memory pressure when under heavy load. Note: even the iMac Pro can be field upgraded with more RAM, although only by an Apple-certified service center.

Re GPU I usually recommend the top one, simply because GPU progress is rapid and software people are constantly finding new ways to harness those. That said I'm not sure in the real world you could tell a major difference on a FCPX workload between the Vega56 and Vega64 GPU.

Part of it is just "emotional protection". Anyone doing serious work will inevitably encounter slowdowns, and often when facing a deadline. When that happens, if you spec'd a lower-end config you will think "maybe it wouldn't be so slow if I had only...". In reality it would probably have been slow no matter what the config. But if you got the top config you can comfort yourself thinking "I got the top machine and it's STILL slow....I did the best I could!"

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