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Getting new editing station - Best for the money

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Sascha Engel
Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 10, 2012 at 8:34:35 pm

Hallo People,

I have a question about hardware - MAC, which I feel the best advice could come from my friends from the FCP forum, since you all have macs :-).
Since I live and work in the Middle East, my budget is very limited, but I want to stay on MAC. My MBP cannot handle the workload anymore and I'm not trusting the MacPro line anymore. So here is my thought: getting a 27inch new iMac, i7 processor, pumped up RAM, 3,4ghz. A T-Tap from Aja, connecting a second HD screen over that to the Mac, and run plenty of external RAID Drives. Does that sound like a fast, stable and professional solution.
Would be happy to hear your thoughts.

Thanx a lot.

Greetings,


Sascha.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 1:33:59 pm

Ad on: I was thinking as 2nd monitor the Dell UltraSharp U2711 and the 12TB Pegasus Thunderbolt RAID Station.
Any thoughts on this package? Or experiences from somebody using the same or similar set up?


Sascha


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 9:06:51 pm

Lots of people like the iMac line, but I still prefer a tower. After switching to using Premiere/After Effects primarily I dropped a Quadro card in the tower. Suddenly a 17 hour AE render dropped to a bit under two hours. That kind of flexibility can add a couple years onto the lifespan of a computer.

If you're looking to buy for a couple years you need to decide if you're betting on Thunderbolt or PCI-X. There are Thunderbolt -> PCI-X adapters, butThunderbolt isn't fast enough for a Quadro/Redrocket - it's the equivalent of a 4x PCI-X slot. The RedRocket wants at least 8x, and a Quadro wants 16x. If Adobe CS or RED footage are in your foreseeable future, opt for the tower if budget allows.

If Final Cut and HD footage are in the foreseeable future an iMac should serve you well. Make sure you stick with the 27 inch model with user upgradable RAM, and consider buying an external BluRay drive as the new generation lacks an optical drive.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 9:23:55 pm

Thanx Jeff for your POV.
What is your take on the fact, that many people say, Apple wants to let the line of Mac Pros run dead.
Of course, the MAcPro is faster, but as you mentioned, budget plays a role as well.
In Israel Mac is so much more expansive than in the States, it's hard to pull off.
But I think, I should be able to handle RED with the iMac - I even edited 2K Red Footage on my MBP and it went well. Of course, some waiting times for rendering, but it was ok.

I also heard in the current iMacs you can pack 2GB of Video Card (2 Cards).
Wonder if that is possible as well with the new ones.
At least the new ones have NVidea Cards, so AE and PPro can benefit from that.


Sascha


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:07:52 pm

It sounds like you're pretty sold on the iMac - you just need a nudge. If you need a computer today, I don't think the iMac - with a Thunderbolt RAID and a pile of RAM - will disappoint.

Regarding the end of the run for MacPros - I think we're there. The last "update" was a bad joke. Still no BluRay, still no factory CUDA options, no Thunderbolt, some serious option missing. The only display Apple sells has several dormant ports when used on a tower due to the Thunderbolt issue.
All indicators point to a new box for pros in 2013. No early/late timeline, just sometime next year. I've got funds at work for a new box, but I'm waiting it out.
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/12/apple-spokesperson-confirms-new-mac-pro...

If you're looking for something to hold you over until a new pro product, a MacMini might be worth looking into. With a Thunderbolt RAID, there's a surprising amount of power in that little box, and for about $1300 USD you could have a well speced Mini. The 27" iMac starts at $1800 USD. I wouldn't recommend it as a MacPro replacement, but if you need some extra horsepower for a little bit it might just get the job done. Plus you could probably get a fair amount of your money back selling it when the pro product arrives.



Also, worth noting about the iMac, right now nVidia isn't listing the GTX680 as CUDA compatible, but since it's built on the Kepler architecture it will probably be CUDA accelerated.
http://www.adobe.com/products/aftereffects/tech-specs.html


I think the big question is do you need a computer today or tomorrow?


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Sascha Engel
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:36:15 pm

Hi Jeff,

thanx once more. I really appreciate your time to share your thoughts with me.
Today or tomorrow? Good question. I am planning to upgrade my system the past 2 years...but the pro unfriendly attitude of apple scared me off many a times. So I kept rocking away with my MacBook Pro, even editing two Feature Films on it, one of them I even onlined on the MBP.
But I get more work coming around and I just cannot handle it anymore on that system. It's getting hideous. So, yes, I can wait another 1-2 months, since I am shooting now in NYC first anyway, but then...it's really time.
Mac Mini is nice as well, but I need two displays and that is extra money as well. I thought with the iMac 27inch, Dell U2711, AJA T-Tap and Pegasus Raid, I can work at least the next 2 years and then when I wanna upgrade to a new Pro Mac Machine, I just have to sell the iMac...or keep it in my shop if it grew till then and the Raid, and Monitor I still can use on the Pro Model.
I just really do not want to invest in this MacPro..as you said, it's a joke and the price here in Israel for it is unreal: 5,500.-Dollars only the naked machine with most simple specs.
It's really a nutcracker this subject. I even thought of getting a Hackintosh at some point.


Sascha


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 12, 2012 at 2:44:25 am

If you're looking for two years out of the iMac I'd say buy tomorrow and call it good.

You could be waiting 12 months (although I'm guessing 6) for a new pro Mac. At that point you've spent 25-50% of the lifetime of the iMac waiting for a new pro Mac. And who knows how many hours you've spent letting the older computer catch up with you. Besides, the first generation of the new machine is bound to have some bugs that get ironed out.

My Mac Mini suggestion was based on thinking you want 4 or 5 years out of your big iron machine. I believe 16GB of RAM is the max, and I have no clue about the display capabilities.


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Sascha Engel
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 12, 2012 at 6:30:40 am

[Jeff Meyer] "If you're looking for two years out of the iMac I'd say buy tomorrow and call it good."

I don't understand, what you mean with that sentence. Could you explain?

[Jeff Meyer] "My Mac Mini suggestion was based on thinking you want 4 or 5 years out of your big iron machine. I believe 16GB of RAM is the max, and I have no clue about the display capabilities."

What do you mean by that? What you refer to with iron machine?
Sorry, for being dumb - maybe it's also my English.

Why do you estimate a 2 year span for an iMac? I thought I could work with this system and Thunderbolt Raid at least 3-4 years then?


Thanx again for your time.

Greetings,

Sascha


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Jeff Meyer
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 13, 2012 at 5:18:46 am

Above you mentioned two years. I see now that you meant you have been considering an upgrade for two years. I thought you were buying the computer to use for two years, which surprised me.

I think the iMac will leave you happy. You'll always wonder if you should have gone for the new Mac instead, but if you need a computer now I think it will do everything you want it to do. How long will it last? I could see at least three years.



"Big iron" machine a phrase for a powerful computer. I borrow that phrase from Walter Biscardi, who has typed up several blogs for this site. This blog should be interesting for you:
http://blogs.creativecow.net/blog/11378/using-the-imac-to-replace-big-iron-...


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Sascha Engel
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 11, 2012 at 11:42:16 pm

How much can I pump up the RAM in the Mac Mini?
What is the max graphic card you can get it with?
Can you connect two screens - 27inch each to it?

Thanx.


Sascha


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adam taylor
Re: Getting new editing station - Best for the money
on Nov 12, 2012 at 9:24:20 am

I would certainly recommend the Dell Ultrasharp U2711. I bought one a couple of months back when one of my Cinema 24 displays died.
Very happy with the Dell - lots of connectivity, good clarity, colour seems accurate.

I have not got Thunderpants so cannot attest to how it behaves with that, but if its anything like the dual link dvi you won't be disappointed. Its a lot of monitor for the money.

adam

Adam Taylor
Video Editor/Audio Mixer/ Compositor/Motion GFX/Barista
Character Options Ltd
Oldham, UK

http://www.sculptedbliss.co.uk
My YouTube Animations Page


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