iMac 5k - i5 or i7 ???? NEED REAL people opinion
Hey guys. I've read a whole bunch of techy techy stuff on the web about i5 vs i7 but it is all jargon to me so i need help from you guys who will just tell me straight up and speak non jargon English to me.
Is it worth the upgrade? How much of a difference is it really?
I use PP AE and PS as a hobbie for YouTube videos.. google me to view my style of videos "Tommy Damani Comedy Videos" and i've made pro short films for film festivals etc. I also use PS as i do club photography sometimes.
I'm going to get it from online Apple store with these specs:
• 512 SSD
• 2g graphics (cos really.. it's not like this is a full time gig for me. Or should i get 4g?)
• 32g memory
So do i get i5-3.5 or i7-4.0???
I have the 2GB iMac w/ i7. I would think that either machine will work fine for 1080p footage, especially for a hobbyist. But what I would warn you is that 4k footage, which is coming on strong, is going to make your 2GBs slow down a lot. That's what I am finding using Panasonic GH4 4k footage, though I'm able to work, but if I had to work with this for 5 days a week, I'd probably be looking to upgrade. If you are buying a new machine, and can afford it, you might want to consider spending the extra money both for an i7 and 4 GBs video RAM. Your machine will last longer for you.
Al thanks for the reply. I need to know something, does PP and AE actually use the 4g hardware or is it software and CPU?
I ask this specifically because in the 2011 mac i have now with the 2gb graphics card, i had to install a "Cuda" app to unlock the actual 2g graphics card because apple retardedly defaults to CPU not GPU. I installed cuda so that when i render, it actually used the GPU hardware instead of the software.
This is how you check:
Project > Project setting > General > In the general tab > under video render and playback > you should have the option to use "software" or "hardware"
Preferences > Previews > Under "fast previews" click GPU information > See if you can select "GPU"
Hopefully these images will display:
Not near a computer for a few days. Have to wait. Adobe does support the nvidea graphics card.
Happy to wait mate thanks so much. I've had the iMac in my online cart for a few days haha i'm happy to wait for you no probs. Apple store didn't have i7 on display let alone any adobe products installed on their displayed i5s
[Tommy Damani] "Al thanks for the reply. I need to know something, does PP and AE actually use the 4g hardware or is it software and CPU? "
PP can heavily leverage the GPU, but AE cannot. AFAIK the only thing in AE that's GPU accelerated is the Ray Trace effect.
CUDA is an Nvidia-only tech and years ago that used to be required to get the GPU acceleration in Pro. That is no longer the case. PPro works well with both CUDA and OpenCL (OpenCL can be used with Nvidia and AMD GPUS).
OK thanks for the reply Andrew. So do i need to manually install or activate the GPU in this new iMac machine?
[Tommy Damani] "OK thanks for the reply Andrew. So do i need to manually install or activate the GPU in this new iMac machine?"
If the iMac has an Nvidia GPU and you want to use CUDA then you'll need to download and install CUDA. If you want to use OpenCL then there is nothing you need to download or install. You'll just have to select OpenCL from PPro's Project Settings menu.
Some people are having playback and/or display problems when trying to use CUDA so much suggestion would be to use OpenCL until the CUDA problems are fixed.
DO NOT USE CUDA!!!! Lately it has been having a multitude of FAILURES. I've been watching this for some time, and I believe that, while it is great when used on Windows, it WILL NOT WORK ON MAC.
The story on CUDA: APPLE has been pushing their small device market, and abandoning their pro-computing model. Most of their resources have been leveraged toward small devices, especially with the market in china blowing up; they are a status symbol almost everywhere, though they are a bit restricted compared to their competing counterparts (we are treated like drones; lets face it).
This latest problem with computing gfx is no surprise, and there hasn't been any real action toward finding a solution; they blame nvidia, which reports they are attempting to track down the culprit, but they have seen very little help from Apple in the way of allowing access to the frameworks. Because it is designed as an engine to allow PARALLEL graphics processing (basically both cpu and GFX card processing at the same time in real time), it apparently has an issue where the system architecture forces it to access random memory locations (IRIS locks down the memory it uses?) along with a few proper ones, or, the two fight each other for the control of the screen in such a way that scrambles playback, at least in ADOBE software (mac software doesn't necessarily use CUDA, I think it sticks to OpenCL and IRIS load balancing). IRIS is the intel architecture that checks the workload, and only sends it out to the GFX card when it needs to, otherwise processing the data using the main CPU and internal ram only. In more extreme situations, it actually utilizes both, but all data has to pass through the main CPU in either direction. CUDA skips the CPU passthrough. Something in how this is handled on the mac causes playback problems in ADOBE. Skip the CUDA drivers. They aren't working.
I use a core2duo MBP with 4gb ram, 2x 1tb internal hdd's,256mb gfx, esata express card, and firewire based RAID to work on 1080 and smaller video while editing and occasionally rendering on it as well. I do this for a non-profit performance group, and allow them to upload to youtube, or send discs out to benefactors. I don't have a budget at the moment, they are just getting established; there is talk of allowing me to build a small render farm with mac minis. I've outlined the specs as i5 16gb models from 2011=2012 (non soldered memory that I can upgrade later), with hg gfx cards of 1gb, 512 SDDs for programs but cheap external raids on thunderbolt or usb3 with 2-3 drives at 1-4tb each, for storage (makes a fairly decent farm for shorter projects at 1080 or 2k).
My Suggestion: 4k, 5k, 6k... ...If you have the money to go with a faster machine, it will last a little longer, sure, but not by much, especially when working with the higher end of resolution (it's always going up). Since it is an iMac, it is an all in one, and not very adept at upgrading much other than a hard drive. The Processor, IDK for sure, but some have attested that it is soldered to the board (YUCK!!!). As for Ram, I've only seen that soldered in the latest mac mini (ugh! I just threw up in my mouth a little there). The GFX card should be your main target, but these other considerations are actually going to be your main limiters. Since it is not very upgradeable, you're looking at 3-5yrs feasibility no matter which option you choose.
4gb is wonderful if you work large projects (2-4hrs +) and render on a regular basis in 2k or 4k. If you are only occasionally uploading to youtube, you can get away with 2gb and stick with that until you're ready to upgrade to higher resolution. IF you are at 2k, this will be very fast indeed; at 4k it will make the cut. Beyond that, it will begin to seem slow. If you are planning on doing any kind of heavier work, you could go with the lighter model for direct editing, and save up for some minis to use as render farms for output. Even older minis would be helpful when outputting your files. Just use AE to render out a folder of images, and a sound file, roll that into a movie, and compress that with AME or compressor (compressor will farm out the compression step).
Plus, with CC and the new ANYWHERE function, i've heard it is possible to render the sources on outside machines but playback and edit on your primary in premiere (similar to farming a render, but for previews only; set previews to higher quality and it will function like a full render farm, but that will slow down the edits more than likely). The key here is to define your workflow and match it to a setup.
Why this opinion:
I've done a few jobs with a pro at 2k, and they had a lot of machines at 1gb gfx or no gfx but 32gb ram across the board and i5's. We also used several PC's for another project with similar specs. Both had roughly the same render times, very fast compared to my laptop setup. Here's the kick: I did all the editing on my laptop, and only used the other for rendering. I had to relink on pc, but it allowed me to make 2 of everything, a directors' cut and one that "went to print", or that was sent out to the masses. The compression steps were done on mac with compressor and qmaster. I couldn't believe how fast it went. That was just last year. A 2 hour video took us a week and a half to produce, with several of those days spent waiting or reviewing with the client (a non profit client, but a client all the same).
I know that explanation was long and tedious. But maybe it'll be of more help.
Brass TAX: if you're a hobbyist, you'll do fine for a while with 2gb gfx, just up your ram to 32gb; but forget about cuda. It's a dead horse, shoot it and put us all out of the misery. If you can work with windows, you can get a cheaper computer and OS, with better specs, and still have access to CUDA. IF you play your cards just right, you can get a MAC COMPATIBLE system (mackintosh) that will allow you to make small upgrades as you go, putting you in the 5-10 year range for feasibility and upgradeability, but you may have to customize it on your own, and you'll have little support from apple, adobe or any software manufacturer, but better support from the community that goes with this type of setup (go figure... ...a bunch of non-paid garage computing enthusiasts give better support to the masses than some big company who could care less if the damned thing works as long as they put billion$ in their own pockets; sound like anybody we know? Or should I say, "Knew"... I'm sorry for the way these imbeciles are destroying the house that STEVE built... ...We miss him...)
In the "2011 i7, 3.4, AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2gb" iMac i have now, the GPU was greyed out in PP until i installed CUDA. So you saying the new iMac's will give me the option to use the graphics GPU in PP without the need of installing CUDA?
[Tommy Damani] "In the "2011 i7, 3.4, AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2gb" iMac i have now, the GPU was greyed out in PP until i installed CUDA. So you saying the new iMac's will give me the option to use the graphics GPU in PP without the need of installing CUDA?"
In Premiere it shouldn't be greyed out. I 2011 have a MBP with an/AMD GPU and my options are Open CL or software. In AE it might be greyed out because I think the Ray Trace effect requires CUDA, but the Ray Trace effect is the only thing that's GPU accelerated in AE so it's really a moot point.
Just to confirm to everyone reading this in the future. Do not listen to anyone above. I'm now giving you REAL and ACTUAL experience instead of rubbish that people claim to know.
The new 5k iMac DOES NOT allow Premiere Pro to use the GPU for rendering. (Or vice versa, who cares?) Even installing CUDA did not activate the GPU, even adding the card name to the list of cards in GPUSniffer DID NOT activate the GPU. Rendering now takes 4 times as long as it did on my 2011 machine with the GPU activated. Whats the freaking point in getting a 2g graphics card if you can't even utilise it?
When i opened up a project (first created in my 2011 iMac with GPU activated) in the new 5k iMac a pop up said:
This project was last used with Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration (OpenCL), which is not available on this system. Mercury Playback Engine Software Only will be used.
I'm now returning this unit to Apple and getting a full refund and then sticking with my 2011 unit.
[Tommy Damani] "even adding the card name to the list of cards in GPUSniffer DID NOT activate the GPU"
What version of PPro are you using? Only certain video cards were supported in older versions of PPro and manually adding the card name to the list was just a hack that was never guarantied to work. I think starting with CS 6 or CC Adobe stopped approving specific cards and any card that had at least 1 or 2 gigs of VRAM.
That's really unusual re: OpenGL not working with Premiere. I'm on a 5k iMac now and it purrs like a kitten - beautiful workstation actually. Using Premiere 2015.0, but OpenGL has worked since CS6 from memory.