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Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing

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Thomas Hanser
Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 25, 2018 at 5:58:31 pm

I have to upgrade my aging Mac Pro 2008 to a newer machine and I'm considering the Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 or similar. This is the newer style machine that resembles a black cylinder and not a traditional-looking desktop box. (I guess they're not so new anymore if they were around since 2013.)

Does anyone edit video with these machines and how do you like them?

With no room for additional internal drives, where do you store your source clips?

Do you use FireWire drives or USB external drives?

Any comments our suggestions before I purchase one, used? How easy is it to do your own upgrades (RAM) on this machine?

Thanks so much.

Thomas Hanser
Seattle, WA


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John Rofrano
Re: Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 26, 2018 at 12:03:23 am
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Jun 26, 2018 at 12:07:46 am

[Thomas Hanser] "I have to upgrade my aging Mac Pro 2008 to a newer machine and I'm considering the Mac Pro 3.7GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 or similar."
Have you heard that Apple is about to come out with a new Mac Pro? I would not buy now if you are buying new. You can get a used 2013 Mac Pro 4-Core 12GB memory 256GB SDD for $1749 at OWC. Of course, you have to consider that for that price you could also get a 2015 iMac 27" Retina 5K 3.3Ghz with 32GB memory and 2TB Fusion drive which also has an absolutely gorgeous display.

You might want to check out the Geekbench Scores because there are a whole lot of Mac's that are way more powerful than that old 2013 Mac Pro 4-core. The Geekbench multi-core score for the 2013 Mac Pro 4-core is 13116 while the older 2010 Mac Pro 12-core is 16517 which is why a 2010 Mac Pro 12-core might not be a bad option for you.
[Thomas Hanser] "Does anyone edit video with these machines and how do you like them?"
I don't edit with one. I had the decision to buy one or buy a used 2010 Mac Pro 12-Core when I was moving up from my 2008 Mac Pro 8-core and I bought the 2010 Mac Pro 12-core because it was more expandable, almost just as powerful, and way cheaper used. It runs the latest macOS High Sierra and you can use all of the cards and other peripherals in your 2008 Mac Pro with it. They are very cheap on eBay (12-cores for $1,300 - $1,500)
[Thomas Hanser] "With no room for additional internal drives, where do you store your source clips? "
Most people use an external Thunderbolt RAID drive. I have a 12TB external RAID 5 even with my 2010 Mac Pro which has 4 internal drive bays.
[Thomas Hanser] "Do you use FireWire drives or USB external drives?"
Firewire is old and slow by today's standards. Newer Mac's don't even have Firewire ports anymore. Thunderbolt is the new interface. I edit with external USB 3.0 drives and they are plenty fast enough but I'm still working in HD (no 4K) so it would really depend on your media size. If you plan to edit 4K I would look into Thunderbolt drives.
[Thomas Hanser] "Any comments our suggestions before I purchase one, used? How easy is it to do your own upgrades (RAM) on this machine? "
RAM is about the only thing upgradable on the 2013 Mac Pro. It is not the Mac to buy if you like to upgrade (which is why I chose not to buy one). You will be stuck with whatever graphics chip is in it forever (and the 4-core probably has the basic D300) because it's not upgradable.

My advice, if you can't wait for the new Mac Pro to come out and you need a workhorse for rendering, then buy a used 2013 Mac Pro but take a look at the iMacs. They are great for editing. I understand they get a little hot when performing a lot of long renders but they are a delight to edit on with that big 5K display. If you do more editing than rendering you might find that a nicer choice.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Thomas Hanser
Re: Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 26, 2018 at 5:32:09 pm

Wow, thank you, John. You took the time to respond succinctly and I will consider a newer Mac Pro that you suggested from OWC.

I've been doing some reading on USB 3.0 vs Firewire and for now I'll go with USB. I don't have any 4k footage to deal with, so USB should be fine. I wasn't even aware that the new Mac Pro's didn't come with FireWire.

Thanks again!

Thomas Hanser
Seattle, WA


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John Rofrano
Re: Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 27, 2018 at 3:54:29 pm
Last Edited By John Rofrano on Jun 27, 2018 at 3:54:47 pm

You're welcome Thomas. Glad I could help.

Personally, I'm waiting to see what Apple announces for the new Mac Pro before I make my next purchase. There is also the recently announced iMac Pro but they are rather expensive with the 8-core 32GB starting at $5,000 and the 18-core 64GB at $8,000 but they are beautiful if you have the money.

Good Luck in your decision.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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George Riddell
Re: Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 28, 2018 at 3:05:45 pm

I have to echo John's points about Firewire and external hard drives. There are no Firewire peripheral devices on the shelf - or otherwise easily available any more. And with the various generations of Thunderbolt to use instead, why would there be?

I edit all my work onto external TB2 hard drives, which are backed up onto external RAID arrays. It's probably more redundancy than most people want or need, but it gives me peace of mind. And it also provides the freedom to change my editing machine whenever I want. So, I can switch from the MacBook Pro I use today (perfectly suitable for all HD editing I do on Premiere Pro these days) to an iMac or MacPro down the road. The only thing that lives on my internal drives is the OS and the software programs I use to work with.


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Thomas Hanser
Re: Apple Mac Pro "Monolith" for Video Editing
on Jun 28, 2018 at 7:26:56 pm

Thanks, George.

I'm so used to internal physical drives for source clips - I'm a bit behind the TB2 wave so using external drives for accessing clips while editing is a little foreign to me.

And another vote for editing with Premiere Pro on a MBP, also. That's good to know. 😃

TB2 drives are still a bit pricey, so we'll have to wait for now and continue to use USB 3.0.

Thanks again, everyone.

Thomas Hanser
Seattle, WA


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