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Jimmy Holcomb
5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 23, 2015 at 4:53:25 pm
Last Edited By Jimmy Holcomb on Feb 23, 2015 at 4:53:49 pm

Nice comparisons around the 19m mark between FCPX and PP.








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Mitch Ives
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 3:27:49 am

I can certainly appreciate all the work that went into this, but like most comparisons I'm always questioning the choices.

What I got out of this was... if you're going to buy a woefully inadequately configured MacPro, you might want to consider the 5K iMac.

OTOH, if you're getting a seriously equipped MacPro, then it'll be game over.

I'd also like to see a real project length with complication. Five minute projects are fine, but once you reach 30 minutes or an hour, with complication is when you see the machines really stressed... and the men separated from the boys... metaphorically speaking...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Lance Bachelder
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 6:08:42 am

Could you please post your "game over" tests asap. You do have similar tests showing your uber MacPro beating the iMac right?

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Mitch Ives
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 3:59:12 pm

Lance, his machine appears to have the D500's in it, based on the price he's quoting, although he never actually tells us. Having watched it several times, in each of his areas where the iMac either slightly wins or slightly loses, he keeps referring to the GPU. When the MacPro first arrived, this forum was inundated with comparison tests among the models.

In every test, the overwhelming conclusion was that the one area to invest in was the faster video cards. Yes more ram, an SSD, and more cores (up to 8) all help, but faster GPU's, provided the biggest bang for the buck. More cores were second, with the 8 core being the sweet spot. So, a Mac Pro with D700's provides a leap in performance and would increase the gap substantially. Hell, you had people buying D700's in 4 core machines, it was so significant.

In his conclusions he even says that if you're "doing large complex projects" or "constantly rendering" you should get the Mac Pro. Even though he knows it, as I said, I'd like to see a longer more complex project used in his comparison, as that's where everyone on this forum is reporting the slow downs. It would be interesting to see how the iMac handled that? Might have surprised us.

He also mentions the "6 TB ports" as an advantage on the Mac Pro. What he doesn't mention is the advantage of having three separate busses across those 6 ports. Since a lot of us are using many external devices, like additional monitors, high speed disk arrays, client monitors, additional storage drives, etc., those three busses are very significant and really help. It allows the disk array to have it's own buss and not be slowed down by single external drives or additional monitors. As a result it's mid 900's on both reads and writes.

Now, if your 5K iMac is doing 30 second spots and you use only the internal SSD, and have no external devices, then maybe it won't mean much too you. OTOH, if you have many projects at once or have long ones requiring the use of external peripherals, you will see a difference between these two machines.

By your tone, you seem to be inferring that I don't like the 5K iMac. Not true, I do... and I can imagine having had a room full of those when I was teaching at the College. Would have been a dream.

He concludes that "he's impressed with the 5K iMac". I think we can all agree with that... it may be the single greatest value Apple has ever offered.

But, having said that, a full range of tests would have really made this article of more value to those who are just starting out or don't know all the other details that come into play. Speed is a function of so many things and configurations, not just isolated tests using just internal components. Apparently, I should have given more detail in my first post.

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Lance Bachelder
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 4:04:55 pm

A lot of verbiage and as I suspected not a single "test". Go re-read your smug, know-it-all original post. The fact is the iMac annihilated the MacPro in some of the tests and I just don't think this should happen in any test. Apple needs to refresh the Mac Pro's if this is really the case.

It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

Lance Bachelder
Writer, Editor, Director
Downtown Long Beach, California
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1680680/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1


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Mitch Ives
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 4:56:30 pm

Next you'll want me to provide my calculations for pi... something else that's been done exhaustingly by others.

I watched it again, where's the part where the iMac annihilated the MacPro?

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Tom Sefton
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 24, 2015 at 11:37:12 pm

Would have been really nice to see the specs of both machines before the test.

In our experience, a 6 core with d700s has been faster than his benchmarks for exporting ProRes and H264 material, but I suppose it depends on storage drives and destination drives.

I am really looking forward to seeing what apple brings to the market for the new, new Mac Pro though....

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Mitch Ives
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 25, 2015 at 1:10:50 am

[Tom Sefton] "Would have been really nice to see the specs of both machines before the test."

My thoughts as well. If I understood him correctly, he indicated that the 5K iMac had the i7 upgrade and the top of the line 295 GPU.

If that's true, that was my issue... if you're going to compare a stripped stone-stock 6-core Mac Pro, then why not compare it to a 5K iMac with the base CPU and the 290 GPU? That would be a more realistic match.

As he pointed out, the 290 GPU is an older design and no match for the upgraded 295 GPU, which if I was told correctly is newer than any of the MacPro options. So, if you're going to have a maxed out 5K iMac, shouldn't we at least have a Mac pro with an upgraded CPU (say 8 or 12 core) and the best GPU (D700's), if we want the comparison to be meaningful?

[Tom Sefton] "In our experience, a 6 core with d700s has been faster than his benchmarks for exporting ProRes and H264 material, but I suppose it depends on storage drives and destination drives."

I agree, which is what many others have reported as well...

Thanks for weighing in...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Andrew Kimery
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 25, 2015 at 4:53:32 am

[Mitch Ives] " So, if you're going to have a maxed out 5K iMac, shouldn't we at least have a Mac pro with an upgraded CPU (say 8 or 12 core) and the best GPU (D700's), if we want the comparison to be meaningful?"

Depends on what the meaning of the comparison is. If the meaning is to have a no holds bar showdown then I agree that all the machines should be maxed out. If budget is part of the comparison, say what's the best machine for 3-4 grand, then having a maxed out iMac with a low-end MacPro makes sense.


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Tom Sefton
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 25, 2015 at 6:52:54 am

There is a piece out there somewhere on barefeats which compares Mac pro models when rendering from Resolve, FCPX and RedCine X. It mostly looks at encoding r3d files to ProRes but shows almost to the dollar how much benefit you get from the upgrade from 6 to 8 to 12 core, as it shows the huge gulf in encoding times between each model. Although the top of the range is a lot more expensive you are literally saving hours per week, which if you only have one machine it's worth the extra spend. It's horses for courses, but if you are going to work in 4K regularly, and encode from raw to ProRes or similar, the extra money on a Mac pro is always worth it. You can also get up to 128GB RAM in a Mac pro now by purchasing upgrade kits from 3rd party resellers and getting a model with the lowest possible stock ram which is gold for most tasks.

Just my tuppence.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Mitch Ives
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 25, 2015 at 12:55:54 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Depends on what the meaning of the comparison is. If the meaning is to have a no holds bar showdown then I agree that all the machines should be maxed out. If budget is part of the comparison, say what's the best machine for 3-4 grand, then having a maxed out iMac with a low-end MacPro makes sense."

Andrew, I don't disagree, but that's a separate discussion. This piece seemed to be all about speed, and it seemed lopsided in it's design. Once that issue is settled, then there is the "which gives the best bang for the buck" discussion.

But even then, as you say, and as Bill Clinton famously said: "it depends on what the meaning of is is". If all you have is a single job this week, then you reach one conclusion. If OTOH, you have many, then Tom's points in the post below yours comes into play. For myself I can tell you that a maxed out 8-core has penciled out quite well for us, in the greater amount of work it can process, and in the process acquire additional clients. Of course the onus is on us to find the additional work at that point.

In either event, both Lance and Tom are right that Apple needs to update the MacPro's...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Rick Lang
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Feb 26, 2015 at 5:21:05 am

He was running the entry-level 6-core Mac Pro with D500s I believe, which lists for $4K. My memory (haven’t wanted to sit through the video twice) was 16 GB RAM, 256 GB flash (which he calls SSD, for shame as the PCIe flash is better than the SATA SSD).

I expected the H.264 transcoding on the iMac to beat the 6-core Mac Pro as has been well documented elsewhere due to QuickSync. It was a little surprising to see the iMac beat the entry-level 6-core Mac Pro on most of his ProRes transcodes except when the going got heavier.

I think everyone here has a healthy regard for the amazing 5K Retina iMac considering the Mac Pro screen is arguably non-existent or limited to 4K as an add-on.

A fully tricked out busy 6-core Mac Pro very likely will trump a loaded busy iMac (okay forget about H.264 for a moment) but I think for many the iMac does a great job as we often hear from those using it. I think the differences were minimized as well because he was using FCP X that has been tuned for these machines. It would have been more interesting if he had added DaVinci Resolve in the mix at which point I suspect the loaded 6-core Mac Pro would be pulling away from the iMac. Still I think he did a decent test all in all.

Rick Lang

iMac 27” 2.8GHz i7 16GB


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Max Yuryev
Re: 5K Retina iMac VS 6 Core New Mac Pro ~ 4K Video Editing Comparison - Final Cut / Premiere Pro
on Mar 29, 2015 at 5:56:03 am

Hey Guys, Sorry if I'm resurrecting an old thread but I just found this and wanted to chime in. My Mac Pro (now sold) was a 6 core with D700 graphics, 256GB PCI-SSD, 16GB ram. When ordering it I knew that the extra GPU power would help so I opted to spend the extra $ and wait time.

This testing really opened my eyes and made me more curious as the iMac seems to be very quick at rendering. I just build a hackintosh using the same CPU as in the iMac (with much better cooling of course) as well as a fairly quick SSD (not a bottleneck) 16GB RAM, and GTX 970 GPU. The 970 GPU should be much more powerful than the M295X (just like the D700's are) but my results were very similar to the Mac Pro times. I also tested this same build with the 750Ti, 960, and 980 and the render times are almost identical as the 970.

This is because the GPU's are almost never fully utilized. I also have a R9 285 and 290X to test but unfortunately I can't get them to boot. I REALLY wish AMD would provide OSX drivers like Nvidia does. The 290X is the most powerful single GPU AMD makes, and the R9 285 is the second newest card after the M295X and the M295X may be based off of the architecture so I was really hoping to try it and see if the results are similar.

It really seems that FCX is taking full advantage of the M295X and is using it much more efficiently that other cards, even though those are more powerful. After doing all this testing there is really no other explanation, as I'm using the same CPU now with Quicksync. It would be amazing to see a M295X or a slightly slower version of it in a new Macbook Pro 15" (or 17").

Attached is some info on how the Hackintosh with similar specs but more powerful GPU compares.



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