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Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?

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Tom LaughlinPremiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:05:31 pm
Last Edited By Tom Laughlin on Nov 6, 2015 at 4:18:17 pm

Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro? I'm stuck now in a Mac Pro that will not update the OS any higher. I'v maxed out the RAM, storage, added an SSD as a startup disc, and updated the graphics card, and it's just getting old. I read that some post houses around the industry are buying up older MacPros, upgrading them, and making them more robust, versus those who are buying new Mac Pros (black cans).

I'm not really that excited about the new iMacs, as I know they are cheaper and sometimes faster. I figure, the money for a new iMac, I can buy an older 2011-2013 MacPro, and slam that money into that computer, and make it run more robust as the new black MacPros. I know that in about 2-3 years, these "band-aid" updated 2011-2013 MacPros, will be soon out of date, so I'd rather look at the option of a newer MacPro (back can) to sustain me for 4-5 years, as one of my film editor friends mentioned his reasons for buying a newer MacPro (back can) to sustain him for 4-5 years, rather an buying an older 2011-2013 MacPro, and putting upgrades into that, yet only holding you for 2-3 years more, make sense?

Rather than copy and paste a link to an article or a debate that I can find online on my own time, I'd love to hear about what pathways or journeys that YOU have taken in the last year or so, as you have faced this or similar circumstances in your freelance or post house businesses.

My specific reasons for the questions are:

1.) On my MacPro 1.1 (2007-2008), I cannot run the latest version(s) of Premiere Pro 9.1 - this is the biggest issue I'm having. I'm still paying for CC Cloud subscription. I can only run Premiere Pro CC (2013) v7.2.2. I tried to run v8.0, and 8.0.1, and it crashes every time. And frankly, those newer versions (v8.0, and 8.0.1) didn't have a ton of major updates, that I felt I needed, at that time, so why update.

2.) Premiere Pro now requires OS 10.9 or higher, and I've read all over that the older the MacPro, and the higher the OS, you run into more and more unpredictable and performance issues. Several other editor friends of mine, as well as me, are still stuck in OS 10.7.5. Red Giant's new Trapcode and a ton of other softwares and plugins that I own, are now out of date, but still totally functional to use.

3.) System requirements are also higher, so naturally, this is how computer companies get to you, or "force" you to buy newer computers, thanks Apple!

4.) Missing out on more current updates and newer Premiere Pro features, making my editing life a lot easier. However, that being said, I'm still plenty solid and fine with Premiere Pro CC (2013) v 7.2.2, for probably another 6-8 months, if I had to bear this burden, I'm ok with that. I was in FCP7 till 2012, so I guess this is something I've been through already, so.

5.) MacPro, over 4-5 years worth of use, is just getting slightly slower, still solid, but a bit slower. I haev to lower preview settings sometimes, and export time, obviously, is still ok, for how old it is. My upgrades helped a little: adding a ATI 5770 Radeon card, 16GB ram, an SSD for start up disc, and a few more RB of storage, so it's as much money as I wanted to spend, a tear or so ago, but do not want to put any more $ into this machine, so.

Any thought, editors out there?

Cheers,

Tom

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Digital Chop House
Salt Lake City, Utah
http://www.digitalchophouse.com


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Chris BorjisRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 6, 2015 at 5:53:43 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Nov 6, 2015 at 5:56:16 pm

We run (early 2009) 8-core MacPro 4.1's with 32GB of RAM and Nvidia Quadro 4000 or GTX gpu's under Mavericks.

These machines I know will be good for at least 1-2 more years of post work.

I did a :30 4k commercial this week with the latest Premiere CC 2015.02 and with
the program monitor set for 1/2 resolution it was a breeze. (storage is raid5 pci-express direct connected)

I'm digging the new MacPro smokeless ashtrays but have it in mind to get them on the 2nd generation.

Some tests have shown that at this moment in time due in part to the development stage of OpenCL
that the onboard Radeon graphics use with premiere just isn't that much faster than a beefed up MacPro 4,1 paired with a recent Nvidia gpu card.
indeed some have had actual issues with bad graphics chips hindering their workflows.

For that I'll wait for the next version of hardware and in the meantime doing just fine with what i have now.



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Alex UdellRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 6, 2015 at 7:12:01 pm

[Chris Borjis] "MacPro smokeless ashtrays"

Made by day.

;-)

Alex Udell
Editing, Motion Graphics, and Visual FX
Let's Connect on Linkedin
Examples: Retail Automotive Motion Graphics Spots
Example: Customer Facing Explainer Video
Example: Infotainment & Package editorial


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Douglas MorseRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 6, 2015 at 7:33:51 pm

1. Rumor has it that there is a Mac Pro upgrade in your future. That said, I got the new iMac 5K and it's a fantastic machine (cutting Pro-res Blackmagic 4K on it) It's also a great value once you really look at what you are getting (5k wide Gamut screen, fastest NVRAM drives around and a 4GB Graphics card). You can get more power with either a Mackintosh or Windows machine( processors with more cores and even higher end video cards), but it will cost you and it won't come with the amazing screen.

Right now, El Capitain and Premiere are not playing nice, but I am still able to edit and both Adobe and Apple are working on fixes. I would certainly get the iMac unless you ant to wait for an updated Mac Pro (and associated cost)


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Greg JonesRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 8, 2015 at 11:07:58 pm

If it were me I'd by a 2012 MacPro 5,1 12 core, add as much ram as possible, and get the best video card, such as a MacVidCards Nvidia Titan. Then in a few years you'll be able to easily upgrade the graphics card when a new one comes out. Currently it's not very easy or affordable to upgrade the trash can. Premiere cares more about the graphics card than anything else.

Greg Jones
D7


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Mike KellandRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 9, 2015 at 3:17:38 am

I'd go with Greg's advice on this one. Have had my nMP D700 for a couple of years and playback has been pretty bad (dropped frames/choppy playback with simple effects or no effects). Export has has it's issues too with line artifacts for a while, chronic red frames in .MXF's till 2015 came out... and my colleague exports faster than me with his 2010 12core with a single graphics card (Nvidia titan). Bottom line - Premiere Pro CC is NOT tuned for the nMP - they've had a couple of years to do so but have chosen not to.

At least the nMP is really quiet and has thunderbolt. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Cheers,

Mike


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Tom LaughlinRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:08:30 pm

So, before I get too caught up in any on-line shopping or purchasing, what I'm hearing is, at this point, it is better to get a MacPro 2012 and update and max it out as far as one can, and this set-up would be much more cost-effective, sufficient, and more friendly working with Premiere, than purchasing a brand new Mac Pro (black)? And, that iMacs with 5K monitors, offer a great screen and fast machine, is another good option, any other ideas or suggestions?

What are some good graphics card options? I do not do a ton of VFX, so it's not like I need a Ferrari graphics card, however, I understand Premiere Pro "likes" a good graphic card or two installed.

Has anyone used OWC for some or most of their upgrade needs, or are there other cheaper resources out there for getting 2012 Macs beefed up?

A good source for cheap RAM, storage, etc?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Digital Chop House
Salt Lake City, Utah
http://www.digitalchophouse.com


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Greg JonesRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:36:07 pm

I'd get a Nvidia cars from MacVidCards.com. The minimum I would get would be a GTX680.

Greg Jones
d7

Greg Jones
Orlando,Fl.
http://www.d7-inc.com


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Ted BraggRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 10, 2015 at 7:46:08 pm

I've been a Mac user since 1999, leaving behind the horrors of Win98se. But now, I've found MS has their act together, and switching all the way back to WinPC is a no-brainer for me.

After stripping down a Win7 machine with BlackViper's services list, I haven't had one single issue. It's been very 'Mac-like', aside from the Finder / Explorer differences.
Speed is incredible (QuickSync on Devil's Canyon, anyone? WOW!) -- and stability is no longer an issue. We'll be phasing out our Macs soon...

Plus, the Adobe doesn't charge you to swap over...

Just a thought.


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Tom LaughlinRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:41:43 pm
Last Edited By Tom Laughlin on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:09:50 pm

Talked to a nice IT consultant, Calvin, who has had MANY years building Macs "custom-made" for media professionals, post houses, and studios across the country. So last night, I had a great conversation with Calvin about this very topic: buying older Macs vs Newer ones.

STATUS of CURRENT MAC-PROS: He said that with the new Mac Pros, Apple soon will not going to be building and releasing them anymore, they may release one or two more newer versions, but Apple is soon going to "stop" making MacPros tailored for "media professionals", BECAUSE, since 2013, they have not BIG sellers, and quite frankly, are impractically over-priced. Plus, if something breaks on your new MacPro, you are at the mercy of Apple Care, which is often expensive and unreliable at times. It cannot hold other graphics cards, and who cares about Thunderbolt, if you don't need it, why so much more for it.

BREAK IT, THEN WHAT: Another point he brought up, if you break it, you cannot buy parts for them, and easily repair them! For the older 2010 - 2013 towers, there are hundreds or resources (like OWC) for updates, upgrades, and support sites to buy used or new parts, ongoing.

SAME MACHINES!: Another interesting thing he mentioned: "The MacPro 5,1 is the same exactly built machine that they released from 2010 to 2013, and the only difference from the last tower, was a software update, but the Macs built from 2010 to 2013 are the same exact built machines". This changes the way one thinks about buying one, date is somewhat irrelevant. Its the processors, cores, storage (irrelevant cause you can always add more cheaper RAM and storage), and the graphics card.

12-CORES: The other interesting thing was, he said that the price for what you get for a Mac Pro 12-core, 3.94Ghz, is blazing faster than even the newest Mac Pros, and at 1/2 or even 1/3 the cost! There are several machines on ebay that are the Mac Pro 12-core, 2.66Ghz, and he advised me to go with the Mac Pro 12-core, w/ 3.94Ghz processor. Ebay has these kinds of macs listed anywhere from $1800-$3500, some are more, due to the amount of storage, as well as graphics cards.

GRAPHICS CARDS: He also talked to me about the graphics card situation, and has bench-tested card after card, OS vs OS, and so many combinations of OS, cards, and Premiere Pro versions, that he knows it down to a science, and has used and tested the "ATI 4870" against the ATI 5870, ATI 5770, Nvidia 8800GT and an Nvidia GTX285. The ATI 4870 has outperformed all of these other video cards in benchmark testing in a Mac Pro. Out of all the Higher End Video Cards he has used in a Mac Pro over the years the ATI 4870 seems to be optimized better and the performance he has seen shows it.

SAMPLE: Here is a sample of one of his builds and prices:
http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=34593129&cat=&lpid=&search=&ad_cid=...

CONCLUSIONS: I'm really excited about this finding, and info, knowing that for around $2K, I can have a MacPro that will be fast (for a while) and continue to support the needs I have, and possibly help others, in figuring out what to do next, what to look for, and how not to blow money out the door, when the older 2010-2013 Macs still have their place.

Any other thoughts?

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Digital Chop House
Salt Lake City, Utah
http://www.digitalchophouse.com


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Robert WithersRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 11, 2015 at 5:53:39 pm

Thanks for the helpful information, Tom.
BTW I clicked on your source's link and saw that he is offering a 17" MBP.
I love this model but my Apple repair service in NYNY, Techserve, tells me Apple is not making parts for this anymore so if something on the motherboard breaks it's not fixable.

Robert Withers

Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City


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Tom LaughlinRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 11, 2015 at 6:11:27 pm

Sorry about that, I meant to post this link:

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=34593129&cat=&lpid=&search=&ad_cid=...

He has other stuff for sale, and is constantly starting new Mac builds, and selling builds, so that previous link was a listing for another mac he had, sorry, this was the link I was referring to:

http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=218&ad=34593129&cat=&lpid=&search=&ad_cid=...

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Digital Chop House
Salt Lake City, Utah
http://www.digitalchophouse.com


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Spencer SyRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 12, 2015 at 4:22:41 pm

Like Greg's advise, I would go for the classic Mac Pro tower for a lower cost and will still be good for the next 3+ years. I've had some experiences in using both the classic Mac Pro and the new Dark Vader black Mac Pro. There is not much speed difference with both machines in terms of heavy graphic design and After Effects editing. I don't use Premiere Pro so I could not comment on that area.

Another consideration is some New cylinder Mac Pro users are having problems with rendering using Premiere Pro https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1422947?start=0&tstart=0 and some are having GPU crashes or freezes that they had to take the computer to Apple to replace the GPUs http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/mac-pro-late-2013-gpu-driver-issues.186...

I upgraded my 2010 5,1 Mac Pro's CPUs from 8 cores 2.4ghz to 2.93Ghz 12 cores. The prices of the Westmere Xeons making the upgrades cheaper. have gone down And added a blade PCIe Samsung SSD XP941. There is a newer Samsung SM951, this blade is similar to the one being used on the new Dark Vader Mac Pro and MacBook Pros. Here is a lab test of the Samsung SSD blade on the classic Mac pro http://barefeats.com/hard200.html I also added a USB 3.0 card and upgraded the Video Card to a flashed Nvidia 770GTX 4G vram.

When buying a used classic Mac Pro, make sure to verify with the seller if the cMac Pro is a 4,1 2009 model with the firmware upgraded to a 5,1 or a Genuine 5,1 cMac Pro from 2010 to 2012. The price of an upgraded 2009 should be cheaper. The link you gave on a sale ad at KSL.com is actually a 2009 4,1 Mac Pro with an upgraded firmware. You can tell by looking at photo no. 4 showing a screenshot of the hardware overview, the SMC version is 1.39f5. A genuine 5,1 2010-2012 cMac Pro will have a SMC version of 1.39f11. I am not saying don't buy a 2009 upgraded cMac Pro. It's best the seller discloses about the model in the sale ad. Note that 2009 cMac Pros uses Delidded CPUs without the heat spreader. The 5,1 2010-2012 Mac Pros uses lidded CPUs.

Here are some eBay ads offering for sale with CPUs upgraded cMac Pros. The first link discloses the machine to be a 2009 cMac Pro.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mac-Pro-5-1-8-Core-3-46-GHz-32GB-1333-Ram-250GB-SSD...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/APPLE-MAC-PRO-MID-2010-MINT-12-CORE-3-33Ghz-64GB-48...

Some sellers may offer a 30 day warranty. Another way to find out is if the seller provides the serial number, you can check the model and year here http://www.appleserialnumberinfo.com/Desktop/index.php Hope you get to your upgrade path.

Graphic Designer Illustrator
http://www.spencersy.com/


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Chris BorjisRe: Premiere Pro Editors - What road do we take? Buying a new Mac (Vader helmet) or a 2011-2013 MacPro?
by on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:52:32 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Nov 12, 2015 at 5:54:52 pm

[Tom Laughlin] "GRAPHICS CARDS: He also talked to me about the graphics card situation, and has bench-tested card after card, OS vs OS, and so many combinations of OS, cards, and Premiere Pro versions, that he knows it down to a science, and has used and tested the "ATI 4870" against the ATI 5870, ATI 5770, Nvidia 8800GT and an Nvidia GTX285. The ATI 4870 has outperformed all of these other video cards in benchmark testing in a Mac Pro. Out of all the Higher End Video Cards he has used in a Mac Pro over the years the ATI 4870 seems to be optimized better and the performance he has seen shows it."

All of those cards are quite old and will under perform compared to the newer gpus out there.


I would get the Nvidia GTX 680 one of the above posters mentioned earlier, I have one
of those as well as Quadro 4000 cards in two other machines...the GTX is faster
and the 4GB one in particular works better than them all at 4k editing resolutions.



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