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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:34 PM   #1
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New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

The latest info on the just confirmed new iMacs suggest that these will be more than suitable for modest NLE work, especially the top of the line 27 inch model. News still coming through but some interesting info on engadget.

Apple iMac refresh official: Thunderbolt and next gen quad-core processors -- Engadget
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

27" Model has 2 thunderbolt ports and can support 2 external screens.

Comparing a new $3k imac to a current $3k mac pro is pretty interesting. You can get a 27" screen, quad core 3.4GHz i7, 8gb ram, 256GB SSD, high end GPU(2gb 6970m) and thunderbolt expansion. At $3k for a mac pro you get no screen, a 2.8GHz xeon, 8GB ram, 1TB HDD, last gen mid range GPU(1GB 5770), PCI-e expansion.

With companies like matrox and black magic bringing their products to thunderbolt, the mac pro begins to lose the PCI-e expandability "edge" it had over the imac. Now it is just internal storage, upgradeable GPU, and money permitting, the ability to custom order it as a screamin' 12 core beast. For many editors I could see the 27" imac (with external storage) being more than good enough for a while. I'm sure FCPX will run well on them.

Last edited by Nevin Styre; May 3rd, 2011 at 04:45 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

HELP!!!!

I getting one..just need to figure out how to take it on a plane. anyone?

Should i even consider to try a carry-on style for the bare 21.5 inch?
or does it have to be checked in? is that safe? have you done it?

thanks
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Don't know about carry-on but there are options for checked luggage. Check out these links Osmany:

ilugger.com

http://www.amazon.com/iLugger-24-iMac-Carrying-Case/dp/B002F1VA3I

iMac 21.5, 24 or 27 carrying case | Product information

'21.5 inch iMac Carrying Case Black'

iMac 21.5 Carrying Case by CaseCruzer

Travel Case Keeps iMacs Secure - Gearlog

Reviewing Top 5 iMac Travel Cases
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 05:26 PM   #5
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Check out Tenba. I use several of them all the time.

Tenba: Professional Bags for Photography, Computers, Shipping, Portfolios and Grip
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

I was considering a new Macbook Pro, but this is looking interesting! I have a question that is probably better served by taking it to the RED forums, but I currently have a VG10 and will probably pick up a FS100 when it becomes available. When I am able to actually purchase a Scarlet, I plan to, but I plan to use these cameras as an A/B setup until then. Will a top of the line model of either of these computers hold up when processing the AVCHD files of the sonys, as well as footage if I tack on a Atomos Ninja and eventually RedRAW files? More than likely by the time RED takes care of current RED owners, and the Scarlet becomes available, something better will have come along, but I was thinking that the specs look nice on these especially if combined with a thunderbolt storage array(when available).

Love to hear some thoughts! Thanks guys!

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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:06 PM   #7
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

That question really comes down to software as the hardware (especially the 3.4ghz quad) would be more than capable. Adobe Premier Pro would easily handle native editing of any AVCHD with mercury BUT you cant get mercury or any other CUDA magic on apple as they are persisting in sticking with ATI graphics.

So really it will come down to FCPX and how it performs and handles native footage and for that we need to wait until June.

On a personal rant I simply cant understand Apple sticking with ATI when everything in the Pro video world has shifted to NVIDIA and their CUDA engine. I mean even Davinci, arguable one of the best grading aps has features such as real-time noise reduction but ONLY using an NVIDIA card...which apple doesnt offer / support...yet Davinci is a mac only offering...?

Sure you can get a mac pro and hack it to put in an NVIDIA card and drivers...but if you're going to screw around with that then why not just build your own hackintosh from the ground up and save a couple of $ in the process!
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Old May 4th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #8
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Perhaps companies shouldn't have put all of their support into CUDA. That was a risky move for Adobe. Pinnacle has been supporting massive gpu acceleration for years without the need for CUDA. Just because Adobe and a few other high end companies decided to "experiment" with CUDA doesn't mean Apple should have to use it. I think the better question to ask is why Adobe and others insist on only using CUDA. Apple doesn't make hardware to support others. The others need to write software that supports the Mac and CUDA may not be the best option. Just like how Adobe has a Mac and PC version they are going to have to also support both GPU flavors.

In my opinion this all falls on the shoulders of companies who insist on only using CUDA.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 09:48 AM   #9
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

CUDA has very good parallel processing API, that turns GPU into CPU, and can be freely programmed. ATI simply does not have this kind of functionality. Witness a few @home programs that also use CUDA for parallel processing, and can't make similar use out of ATI cards.

Were it not for CUDA, I would be using Radeon cards, but until AMD can come up with something similar, I'm going to stick to nVidia.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

CUDA was developed years ago and ATI has been trying to play catch up ever since. For the last few years, programs ranging from $30 (Badaboom) to $200,000 (Flame) have been using CUDA acceleration to make life easier and faster for its users. When you talk about game changers, CUDA is definitely one.

To illustrate how CUDA has helped someone like me: I tested 2 layers of AVCHD video with 6 effects on each and it took only 9mins to export thru PPro CS5 with CUDA acceleration and 51 mins without.

As for Apple using only AMD/ATI gfx, it is due to a dispute between Nvidia and Apple & Intel. People should realize that Apple does whats best for Apple, and not for its customers.

On a side note: the 'm' version of ATI's gpu is far weaker than the model number suggests. ATI & Nvidia both use higher-end model numbers in their mobile versions to make them appear more powerful but the mobile version is usually as powerful as their $120 desktop counterparts. If you would like, I can find links to benchmarks showing this. Personally, I find it deceitful to use a higher-end model number when the card is no where near that powerful.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #11
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Cook View Post
BUT you cant get mercury or any other CUDA magic on apple as they are persisting in sticking with ATI graphics.
Not true, and this is a common misconception about the Mercury Playback Engine
(MPE) and off-the-shelf Macs which have ATI cards. The misunderstanding comes
from the incorrect perception that MPE is either just "on" with a CUDA card and "off"
without it. But that's not how it really works. You get the benefit of Mercury already
just by having a 64-bit operating system and multi-threaded processors. The CUDA
card is just the icing on the cake -- but without it, you still have that Mercury cake.

See this Adobe resource for more info:

CUDA, Mercury Playback Engine, and Adobe Premiere Pro Premiere Pro work area

"Confusingly — because of one of our own early videos that was unclear — a lot of
people think that Mercury just refers to CUDA processing. This is wrong. To see that
this was not the original intent, you need look no further than the project settings UI
strings Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration and Mercury Playback Engine
Software Only, which would make no sense if Mercury meant “hardware” (i.e., CUDA)."
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Old May 4th, 2011, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

CUDA is Nvidia's proprietary standard. Requires a license from Nvidia.

OpenCL is what they should be using for cross platform and hardware compatibility. Drivers available for ATI and Nvidia, and it's free.

If Nvidia hadn't paid for or subsidized CUDA development for various apps, they would have used OpenCL...
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:09 PM   #13
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Thanks Chris I did not know that (but Im guessing Im not the only one)

David sorry but I believe your assertion is incorrect - if OpenCL is what everyone should be using and is as good as CUDA in its current form then please explain why Davinci Resolve has features that can ONLY be performed using the power of CUDA technology?. Resolve is mac only so dont you think if openCL was viable they would jump onto that and dump CUDA?

The reality is openCL development is nowhere near that of CUDA, a situation that has nothing to do with kick backs or subsidies. Its simply NVIDIA have invested a huge amount of time and money developing software to bring a superior product to market.

As Adobe has said they haven't closed the door on openCL but I think its clear to most people that the horse has already bolted and CUDA is the de facto standard both now and for the future.

I just wish Apple would wake up and get with the 'pro' program.

We will see...
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Old May 4th, 2011, 11:59 PM   #14
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

CUDA is not the only form of GPU use for applications. Everybody talks about Adobe this and that but many forget what Pinnacle did with the GPU over six years ago already. Pinnacle and then Avid Liquid did use the GPU as an extra CPU for processing data. This is why Liquid could slice through HDV on a single core Pentium 4 like it was butter. Liquid also had it's pure 100% GPU effects that were RT on even a $30.00 GPU.

While CUDA is nice it isn't the end all technology on GPU support. I still say Pinnacle used the GPU much better then Adobe does today. On a basic core 2 duo machine I could edit 3 or 4 layers of HDV with effects in RT without breaking a sweat thanks to it's GPU support.

Apple also makes great use of the GPU today without the need for CUDA. CUDA gave a door for companies to do what other companies like Pinnacle developed from the ground up. Pinnacle spent a lot of money and time developing their GPU support. Now companies can just use CUDA. So while CUDA has finally helped other programs to catch up to Liquid's GPU support it isn't the only way to use the GPU.

Even Sony Vegas is moving towards supporting AMD video cards for GPU acceleration instead of just using Nvidia. Adobe will need to follow suit at some point.

Apple doesn't need CUDA because they have their own native technology for allowing programs to use the GPU for processing. I'm still not sure how well it can be made to work but it is there and I'm betting we will finally get to see it shine with FCPX.

Honestly I think with a bit of clever engineering companies don't need to use CUDA. Pinnacle was proof of that.

Finally nobody for sure can say what Adobe would run like with OpenCL. Maybe it would be a bit slower but if it worked on every video card in the market I think that would be more important. If a company the size of Adobe would put some RD behind OpenCL perhaps it could work just as good as CUDA.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 07:39 AM   #15
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Re: New iMacs (Spring 2011) for FCPX etc.

Additionally, these new Sandy Bridge iMacs have support for Intel's Quick Sync technology, which means hardware accelerated encoding & decoding built right in, and in many cases it's faster than using a dedicated Nvidia/AMD GPU. I expect FCP X to take full advantage of this!

And I have to wonder how far away the day is, when even the hardware specs of the lowest end Macs can run circles around most video editing software. It's not here yet, but that day feels like it's coming up fast.
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