My early 2009 Mac Pro can't run 10.12 and I'm needing to run software that only runs on it. Plus I can't move to FCPX 10.4. I had wanted to wait for the new Mac Pro but that now looks like it's 2019. Not going the iMac Pro route.
So for a solid nMP configuration, my tendency would be to go for a used D700 equipped one but it's hard to make sense of all the the performance benchmarks trading off cores and graphics. I want great snappy editing and decent rendering. What configuration would you recommend for a good nMP FCPX/Motion workstation?
All my clients are 1080p edit to web. I shoot XDCAM 35MBS and GoPro.
Recently purchased a top spec 2017 iMac 5K to replace my medium spec 2013 nMP. Got it refurbished from Apple, with minimal ram, upgraded Ram to 40GB myself. Approx. $2,600 all in.
Definitely snappier than the nMP. Very happy (although I miss the huge number of ports on the nMP but am making do).
We deliver mostly 1080 videos, with 1080 and 4K source material. Very happy. Was toying with the idea of the new iMac Pro but price/performance wise, this was the right choice for our workflow.
An iMac might just fit the bill but you need to assess your peripheral situation before making a decision. I have had a 2013 8-core MacPro for over 4 years now and have been very happy with the performance in FCPX and Compressor. Don't use Motion at all. The pluses are great rendering times in FCPX and Compressor, it's rare to have so many effects and layers piled on that you can't have live playback in FCPX. The minus is that it is essentially obsolete unless Apple is somehow using the same dual thin GPU cards for the 2019 MacPro which is unlikely. There were never any improvements to the GPU cards but that's not saying that the cards are bad, quite the opposite but upgrades never appeared. Compressor likes more CPU cores, Motion likes the dual GPUs which I believe all nMPs have. You will probably have to get a number of adapters for your monitor(s) and external drives that are not USB3 or Thunderbolt.
I wanted a desktop system with separate display with an Eye to upgrade to next Mac Pro in 2020 or so. I picked up an Apple Refurb nMP 2013 but it hug and froze all the time. Ended up returning it and getting the new MBP 15. It makes for a nice video output device for editing and doing color correction. The touch bar looks interesting. TIme will tell if it holds up to desktop usage.