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Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations

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Rod W.Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Nov 30, 2016 at 7:03:29 pm

Hi all,

It's time to update one of our edit suites which is currently running a 12 core 2.66ghz MacPro 5.1 with 48GB of RAM, primarily FCP7 and AfterEffects (and we are several versions behind when it comes to AE, we will also update AE to the latest version). We don't use Premiere Pro on it, but we will finally abandon FCP7 and move to Premiere in this suite. What would be an optimum machine? PP doesn't make much use of the AMD cards that come in the new iMacs and MacPros, right? Should we be considering an old MacPro with some sort of Nvidia CUDA enabled card? If so, maybe the best thing to do would be to add a GTX 780 into our current machine? (These cards seem to be hard to come by and support issues are a concern). My concern with an older machine is that someday the next version of the MacOS might not even be supported on it.

I'd say we do AE stuff on this machine 75% of the time and will use PremierePro for things like color correction, audio mixing and stitching together segments created in AE. Footage we use is typically Canon C100 Mark II files, and we also record Pro Res files from that camera on a Shogun Flame.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Been awhile since I had to put together a new machine.

Thanks,

Rod W.


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Vince BecquiotRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Nov 30, 2016 at 7:23:47 pm

Hi Rod,

If you're working in 4k, I would recommend a new MacPro, but you could give the iMac 5K a try. Premiere does make good use of all cards these days through openCL (CC 2014 and above). CUDA is still better, especially if you look at render times.

Vince Becquiot

Indigo Live | Kaptis Media

San Francisco Bay Area


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Brad BusséRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Nov 30, 2016 at 7:24:27 pm

Wait for the next revision of the Pro to come out. You need more cores and Ram than an iMac can handle, and I think it's worth having a decent desktop GPU. It will help for accelerated effects that have been added to Pr and Ae. There's not a ton of them yet to my knowledge, but Lumetri is a big one. I've switched over to that from Colorista III now that Lumetri Color has Secondaries and GPU acceleration.

I have a 2013 Mac Pro octa-core with d700 gpus and 64 MB RAM. If you were to need an upgrade I'd suggest that or the 12-core since you do 75% Ae, though Ae doesn't utilize multi-cores so well yet since they removed support and switched the underpinnings to focus on multi-threading. Also, you'd want 96+GB of RAM for 12-core with Ae (I think you'd need to go aftermarket, Hynix, Crucial or OWC).

But, I definitely wouldn't recommend that if you're just looking to upgrade your current dodeca-core and don't need an additional machine. The trash bin mac "pros" at this point are 3 years old design at the same price they were 3 years ago. They're an amazing feat of engineering, but not built well for Pro usage unless you travel a lot and need more power on the go for Ae and C4D that a Macbook Pro can't provide. Even if you're looking for an additional machine, I'd say find another used pre-2013 model.

Check your RAM usage in Ae. You might very well benefit from extra RAM for those cores for Ae so you're not starving them and/or paging out.

If you want to upgrade the GPU, look at the list of Mac compatible cards at tonymacx86

Hopefully Apple will come out with a redesigned larger Mac Pro very shortly or I'll have to recommend my department's upgrades this year go to either custom built Windows PCs, Boxx or the high end video line of HPs.


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Herb SevushRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 1, 2016 at 2:51:29 pm
Last Edited By Herb Sevush on Dec 1, 2016 at 2:51:48 pm

I have both a souped-up 2010 MacPro and a 2013 TrashCan. The problem with the 2010 is lack of either USB-3 or Thunderbolt connectivity, making ingest from external drives slow and difficult. If everything is coming in on a network then the 2010 is fine - Buy the best 2010 Cheese Grater you can find (probably cost under 2K), add an SSD boot drive ($400), a high end Nvidia GPU ($600) and max out your ram ($600 - 800) and for less than 4K you're in business.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Andrew KimeryRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 1, 2016 at 7:20:15 pm

[Herb Sevush] "The problem with the 2010 is lack of either USB-3 or Thunderbolt connectivity, making ingest from external drives slow and difficult. "

If you have an empty slot left on your cMP Sonnet makes a reliable USB 3 card. I have had one in my 2009 MP for 2-3yrs now and never had a problem with it.


-Andrew


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Chris BorjisRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 2, 2016 at 12:57:55 am

yes indeed.

I have 3 mac pro 4,1's and recently upgraded them to get better performance.
Here's what I added: (already all have 32gb of ram which is "sufficient" for 4k workflow as long as you have a fast raid)

USB 3 add on card.

Get the fastest/most recent/mac compatible Nvidia card you can (4gb DDR5 memory onboard)

Samsung Evo 850 SSD system disk. I can't tell you how pleasing it is going from a boot time
of just over 2 minutes down to less than 15 seconds. That and applications load MUCH faster.

Unfortunately you can't just add a card for thunderbolt...the chipset on the mainboard
has to support it so no thunderbolt for me, but I do use a mac mini with thunderbolt to
copy media on those rare occasions a client has a thunderbolt only drive.



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Rod W.Re: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 2, 2016 at 8:35:19 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice.

It sounds like for the older machines a key component is the Nvidia card. Which card, where to get it, and what about the issue of drivers? It doesn't seem like they are readily available, is it necessary to resort to eBay?

Thanks,

Rod

Rod W.
Kiel Pro Video


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Chris BorjisRe: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 5, 2016 at 5:41:01 pm
Last Edited By Chris Borjis on Dec 5, 2016 at 5:41:53 pm

This should help. Get the fastest/most cuda cores one you can afford.


http://www.macvidcards.com/store/c10/Recommended%3A_Mac_Pro_4%2C1_and_5%2C1...



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Rod W.Re: Need new Mac-based Premiere Pro machine recommendations
by on Dec 21, 2016 at 9:46:46 pm

So I decided to get the best Nvidia card I could, and upgrade the MacPro 5.1 machine. I got the GTX 980 and the latest web driver, and CUDA drivers. It shows up in Premiere Pro 2017 and allows me to select the "GPU based CUDA" acceleration in the project settings. But I don't see any speed increase when rendering previews. The fan on the card doesn't kick in at all during render. Speed boost is mimimal if any compared to a "software only" render, a few minutes on a 45 minute render of an 8 minute video (with color correction and Unsharp Mask on the clips). I notice on Adobe's website the 980 is not listed as an "approved" card, and most of the model numbers have an M on the end...doesn't that mean a mobile/laptop version of the card? And now some of the cards that were previously approved (we have a Quadro 4000) are not.

What's the secret combination of Mac OS and Nvidia Card/drivers to get good CUDA performance from a current version of Premiere Pro and 5.1 Mac Pro? And given that the next version of Premiere might drop support for a few more Mac Nvidia cards, how long will this combo be viable? Beginning to think a new iMac might have been the better choice...

Thanks,

Rod


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