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TOPIC: New iMac PRO - spec recommendations

New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 12:27 #92287

  • swsw1550
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Hi guys, I can give you all some real good advice on Xeon CPU'S I use to use them on a professional basis using Grass valley Edius for editing full time,I don't do a lot these days and have switched to mac (apple) and don't own a windows machine now, when I was editing I had a dual Xeon machine with 10 SSD drives in a raid array with raid card,and also 256gb of DDR3 ram, all the highest end gear 2 years ago, and still would be today, anyway cut a long story short an i7 with plenty of ram is just as good, Xeon's are good for number crunching , medical, science , CAD,ect ect, not needed for video at all, plus I would hate to think of the price apple is going to charge for this stuff, 4 times what you can build a system for yourself for I bet. We use to get better results from the highest end i7's then we did with the dual Xeon's, you may find a good read at Antons Videos in NSW Australia if you search for his site, Oh yeah the motherboards i use to use where Supermicro very nice boards but as I said not needed at all, with the raid setup running 10 intel SSD use to get 4200mb read, and 3900 write speeds which was bloody quick! due to a very very dear raid card as well, even tried the Quadro Graphics cards, makes no difference at all guys, Xeons and Quadro cards work great in CAD, medical ect as I mentioned where there is high number crunching going on, who knows though I may buy one of the new macs if the price is ok, but knowing apple I doubt it very very very much.
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2017 12:32 by swsw1550.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 13:15 #92292

  • joema
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swsw1550 wrote:
....I can give you all some real good advice on Xeon CPU'S I use to use them on a professional basis using Grass valley Edius for editing full time,I don't do a lot these days and have switched to mac (apple)....an i7 with plenty of ram is just as good, Xeon's are good for number crunching , medical, science , CAD,ect ect, not needed for video at all....We use to get better results from the highest end i7's then we did with the dual Xeon's...the motherboards i use to use where Supermicro very nice boards...

You are right an i7 system can be faster than Xeon in some cases. E.g, my 2017 top-spec iMac 27 is 2x faster than a 12-core Xeon Mac Pro with dual D700 GPUs on importing, transcoding to ProRes and exporting to H264 in FCPX.

However that is comparing a new i7 iMac to a Xeon-based Mac Pro from 2013. Compared to a new 10-core iMac Pro, my iMac is about 1/2 as fast. So when comparing the fastest available 2017 machines which can run FCPX (this is a FCPX forum), the new Xeon-powered iMac Pro is much faster.

Could Apple have hypothetically built a 18-core iMac Pro using the i9-7980XE? Probably, but they needed a scalable CPU solution using the same socket, chip set and motherboard that supports 8, 10, 14, and 18 cores. Xeon gives them that. Not everyone believes ECC memory is important for high-end applications, but Xeon also gives them that; the i7 and i9 do not.

The high-core-count i7 and i9 CPUs do not have Quick Sync, which is critical for video editing any long GOP codec. Prior to the iMac Pro, Xeon over four cores did not have Quick Sync either but Apple apparently convinced Intel to make a custom version which does. Whether those will remain Apple only or be available to other workstation vendors, I don't know.

Re building your own powerful machine, that is possible even as a Hackintosh. However this is a FCPX forum, and I have never seen *any* Hackintosh generally out-perform a top-spec 2017 iMac 27 on FCPX. Since the iMac Pro will be about 2x faster, it will be even more difficult for a Hackintosh to beat it on FCPX.

IF running cross-platform editing software besides FCPX such as Premiere, Avid or Edius, there are two sub cases:

Case 1: You are comparing the closest equivalent editing operation on FCPX to Premiere, Avid or Edius running on Windows. That is a difficult comparison because some tasks (such as the FCPX skimmer) have no equivalent. Other tasks like the FCPX stabilizer are vastly faster than Premiere's warp stabilizer, so the hardware/OS difference is swamped by the more efficient algorithm. Hence in that (and many similar cases) drawing conclusions about hardware or OS makes no sense.

Case 2: You aren't running FCPX at all, but running Premiere, Avid or Edius on a Mac and comparing that to the same software on Windows. Those may be interesting but they have nothing whatsoever to do with FCPX so aren't a good fit for this forum.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 17:25 #92301

  • saba01
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Sorry, I don't mean to highjack this threat, but I have to make a decision tomorrow. I am editing on a MacBook pro TB 15 (2016) that is maxed out with everything, even 2TB. I usually have to cut multi-cam 4K from at least 10 cameras. Cut in FCPX and grade in Resolve Studio. Cutting proxy works pretty good with this setup. Only creating proxy and transcoding is pretty slow, BUT in Resolve render the final cut is a pain, after some grades and noise reduction I am lucky to get 0.5 fps.
So while I love my setup, I am getting an iMac Pro (hopefully soon), the question is wich one, since prize is an issue. Do I really need more than 32 GB ram, or more than 8 cores for my projects? Is the upgrade graphic card a must, or is the standard good enough? Your advice would be highly appreciated !
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2017 17:28 by saba01.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 19:57 #92302

  • pszilard
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Hi Saba01 - I have decided to get the iMac Pro, and by the sound of it we are similar in trying to choose our sweet spot spec wise. I have just installed iStat Menu 6 to see how my current iMac 27" i7 Late 2013 is using its resources. I have 32GB ram and 1TB SSD.
Based on my own thinking (probably flawed, but what the heck), I have decided that as the Pro is not upgradeable, I want a little headroom, but can't afford to sell my house to go top shelf. Prices come out tomorrow at 9am, but here is my thinking:
  • CPU: Either 8 core or 10 depending on the price delta and availability
  • RAM: 64GB
  • Video: 8GB version
  • SSD: 2TB
Hope this helps a little. Funny thing, 2 days ago I ordered an iMac 27" 2017 model. Then yesterday the pre-announcement came that ordering will start in 2 days, so I rang up and cancelled my order. Spoke to the same helpful lady in Apple Business, who is giving me 6% business discount and promised to enter my order as soon as ordering is opened, so I can be close to the front of the queue! Fingers crossed. LOL
Last Edit: 13 Dec 2017 20:24 by pszilard.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 20:06 #92303

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Thanks for the feedback on Xeons. However we don't have a choice between i7 or Xeon for the iMac Pro. Judging by the specs, it seems that the iMac Pro Xeons are actually the i9 cpu range in Xeon skin. Coupled with ECC ultra high speed ram, it seems to be pretty damn quick.

The machines you described were indeed awesome, but if we want to stay with Apple then the choice is either hackintosh or iMac Pro or next year the new Mac Pro. They tell us that the Apple might be using some special version of the Intel cpu's so I think I'll stick with the Apple product.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 21:47 #92304

  • swsw1550
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At the end of the day if yo u want speed ect and true real time editing check out Edius, as I said I only play around these days and thats with FCPX, I am pretty sure though that Edius is still the only real time editing suite out there, anyway these where my findings with Xeon i7 cpu's, and a $20,000 plus computer, so not worth it, I just read a passage in this post about ram and the amount needed, ask your self this, how much ram with FCPX or any other NLE ever use? Not a great deal.
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New iMac PRO - spec recommendations 13 Dec 2017 23:58 #92305

  • pszilard
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Edius is Windows only, so talking about that on a FCP forum where most people are on Macs and use FCP seems less than optimal. Having said that I know that Edius has a good reputation.
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