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Buying a new Mac

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Greg Ball
Buying a new Mac
on May 30, 2020 at 2:46:32 pm

I think the time has come to look into a new Mac for editing on FCPX. Currently, I edit on a Mid 2010 tower with 2x2.4 Quad-Core Intel Xeon and an ATI Radeon graphics card.

This mac works flawlessly for me, and I consistently output excellent quality videos for large clients. But if I want to upgrade FCPX I need a mac that can have the latest OSX, and latest FCPX.

My problem is that I've been editing for years on E-sata drives. So all of my projects are on those drives. How would I be able to access those drives on a new Mac or iMac?

I really don't want to spend $6K on a new mac. What would you do? What are you using? What are the pros and cons?

Thanks for your advice!

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Mark Smith
Re: Buying a new Mac
on May 30, 2020 at 4:47:53 pm

There are thunderbolt breakout boxes that have Esata ports- I have 2 of those on my desk so that could get you over 1 hump. I use mine with a drive dock and it works perfectly with either a 2012 imac or a 2015 imac so that’s one solution.


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Greg Ball
Re: Buying a new Mac
on May 30, 2020 at 6:57:01 pm

Thanks Mark,

I see a Kanex KTU10 Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 & eSATA Adapter. Would that work?

Also what Mac would you suggest?

Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
https://www.ballmediainnovations.com


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Eric Santiago
Re: Buying a new Mac
on May 30, 2020 at 7:39:18 pm

If you can afford it go for broke 😉
I'm running two 2019 Mac Pros and even the cheapest config kicks ass in both Adobe/Apple apps.
But budget-wise, everyone seems to be working well with all of Apple's other Pro options e.g. iMac Pro, MacBook Pro 2019, etc....


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Mark Smith
Re: Buying a new Mac
on May 31, 2020 at 7:34:22 pm

Mac Purchase decision depends on your budget. An iMac 27 with upper pecs and plenty of ram>32 gb would give you years of useful life. I just upgraded a 2105 5K iMac to Ssd drive and that gave the computer a good boost. This machine works well for my editing purposes which is a mix of 4K and hd material, Black magic raw in different flavors. I am alway surprised by the years of usage I get out of my Macs.
I say determine your top budget, decide which machine suits you and then stretch for a little more for the max ram or larger SSD. I'm sure you;'ll get your use out of it.


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Joe Marler
Re: Buying a new Mac
on May 31, 2020 at 12:58:09 am

[Greg Ball] "My problem is that I've been editing for years on E-sata drives. So all of my projects are on those drives. How would I be able to access those drives on a new Mac or iMac?

I really don't want to spend $6K on a new mac. "


If your physical drives are over 5 yrs old they should probably be replaced. Some studies show a 20% annual failure rate if the HDD is 5 yrs old.

If you mean you've been using eSATA drives (in general) for years but the HDDs themselves are newer, you could put them in a 2-bay or 4-bay Thunderbolt or USB-C chassis like one of these: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/External-Enclosures/3.5-Inch-Dr...

I have several 4-drive and 2-drive OWC Thunderbolt enclosures which generally work well. However I just got the Mercury Elite Pro Dock. I really don't like it because the fan is so loud, and I am not sensitive to noise: https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/owc-mercury-elite-pro-dock

I'd personally consider a top-spec 8-core iMac 27. I have a 2017 iMac 27 and a 10-core iMac Pro. The iMP is great, very quiet and has 4 Thunderbolt 3/USB-C and 4 USB-A ports, also 10-gig ethernet.

The regular iMac 27 only has two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports and 4 USB-A ports, but with daisy-chained Thunderbolt drives you generally don't need as many ports.

If you need to replace a bunch of older 4TB drives, several of those will fit on a single 2-drive enclosure with 12TB drives. However the 4-drive enclosures aren't much more expensive and are a lot faster.

The iMac Pro is very quiet but supposedly the new 8-core iMac 27 is also significantly improved acoustically, just not equal to the iMP.

The regular iMac is a little smoother on some 4k H264 codecs, maybe due to Quick Sync vs the iMP's T2 chip. However your old Mac Pro has no hardware transcode acceleration whatsoever, so anything would be an improvement over that.

If Apple would just update the iMac Pro that could be a nice option. But even the top-spec regular iMac 27 is much faster than your current machine.


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