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Final Cut Pro X
The latest version of FCP from Apple.


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Old February 21st, 2014, 09:23 PM   #1
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New Mac Pro

So, are people excited about the specs for the new Mac Pro? I am nervous about loosing the internal drive space with only a thunderbolt port for adding external drives. Will thunderbolt for the media drives be the bottleneck, or will this be a great editing machine? The rest of the specs look great to me.
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Old February 22nd, 2014, 05:45 AM   #2
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Re: New Mac Pro

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Originally Posted by Byron Jones View Post
So, are people excited about the specs for the new Mac Pro? I am nervous about loosing the internal drive space with only a thunderbolt port for adding external drives. Will thunderbolt for the media drives be the bottleneck, or will this be a great editing machine? The rest of the specs look great to me.
Using Thunderbolt for media drives won't introduce any bottlenecks. Thunderbolt has a theoretical speed of 20Gb/s, which is about 3 times faster than SATA 2 (6 Gb/s).

I've been using an external USB 3.0 RAID as a media drive for about 2 years now on my Windows machine, and I haven't noticed any performance issues. I'd like to go to Thunderbolt though, but will wait for the price of external enclosures to come down.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 01:09 AM   #3
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Re: New Mac Pro

A couple of weeks ago I was in LA at the opening of FCPWorks - at the event, Apple demo'd a single MacPro Tube that was doing real time multicam editing display that consisted of live refreshed monitoring of 16 (thats SIXTEEN) 4k ProRes streams while simultaneously feeding a production master signal (that had multiple filters applied including a very render intensive Gaussian Blur) - out to a 4k Christie projector.

Presenters were commonly running their live editing demos off Thunderbolt external drives.

I don't think you have much to worry about.
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Old February 25th, 2014, 01:56 AM   #4
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Re: New Mac Pro

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I don't think you have much to worry about.
The new macpro will cost you between 3K for a basic model and 10k for a maxed out version + at least 1,5k for a capable thunderbold system in raid to handle all those streams of video.
I think that when a manufacturer showcases their machine you have to put it a bit into perspective, when adobe showcased their gpu acceleration they too where flying untill users started to complain why they where not able to do the same, that's when they found out Adobe's test machine was also maxed out on performance and much faster then their basic setup, you can also be sure Apple did not use a entry level machine for their demo. Something to consider if you are going to invest in such a machine.
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Old February 26th, 2014, 03:10 PM   #5
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Re: New Mac Pro

Fair point.

But how many people actually want to have live 4K output with filters running from an UNRENDERED timeline out to live display? Which is what they were showing at the demo.

Most of us don't need anywhere near that real-time processing in order to work efficiency.

And with FCP-X the ability to use those gorgeous ProRex and Proxy files for cutting, and instantly switch the internal references to the 4k masters for final output makes the issue kinda moot.

Apples software rebuild around modern metadata manipulation rather than trying to pre-process everything into new content streams via constant pre-rendering - is part of what makes X editing so fast and easy. The Dual GPU architecture in the MacPro really just makes all the background heavy lifting done outside the user experience happen much, MUCH faster. It doesn't really make the giant difference in actual editing, since you can edit with even the initial thumbnail video in X from the instant your card is read.

Day to day use for someone NOT needing to work on 4k movie files in real time is going to be blazing fast on even the base model MacPros, IMO - because the processing pipeline is so well conceived and optimized.

I've been recently working with Canon C-300 footage on my laptop via ProRes Transcoding - and it runs just as smoothly and fast as working with DSLR footage.

Those are the X architecture benefits in play.

FWIW..
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Old July 14th, 2014, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: New Mac Pro

Hi Bill,

I am hoping that you have time for a couple of very basic (Noob) Pro-X questions...

I am using Canon DSLR's for capture, primarily the 70d and 5D3. MBP Retina 2014 loaded for editing. Mac Pro next.

I am currently using Adobe premiere pro/ AE as my editors. I have a requirement to put almost all clips through stabilization in order to smooth some of the moves. I then do noise reduction, sharpening, deflicker and colour grading. What is killing me is the time requirement to render after each change in order to assess the effect. The cumulative render times really push the project times. Does FCP-X show edits in real time? Can I perform almost all of the edits and then do a full render prior to encoding?

I have no previous experience with FCP, but if it will cut my workflow times then I'll switch ASAP.

Thank you in advance

Andrew
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Old July 14th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: New Mac Pro

Wrong "Bill" here but here goes.

FCPX is real time until you load an effect in that pushes it into stuttering playback land. I can load several effects and not experience any stuttering but some complex filters will do it. Especially third party filters that have multiple image adjustments in the filter. The "makeup" filter I use is almost useless if applied to raw h264 files but works better with ProRes (or optimized as referred to in FCPX) files. So what I do is wait to the end of the edit before applying the makeup filter and then render the master file. As I rarely use stabilization I can't say how the new MacPro will do but the old MacPro was pretty good about it. The playback quality would drop down especially with AVCHD files. Your laptop might show more issues.
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Old July 14th, 2014, 06:05 PM   #8
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Re: New Mac Pro

Thanks William,

My MBP CC is substantially faster a warp stabilization then my current 6 core/32gb/ssd CS6 windows box. Once I can make a business case for a new MacPro, then I will go completely apple for computing.

It would be great if I could do my edits, and see the effects in realtime. It could then render/export on its own. Adobe, just seems clunky since I have to stabilize most clips in AE and then do my edits Premier.

Any other input appreciated.

Thank you.

Andrew
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Old July 15th, 2014, 07:03 AM   #9
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Re: New Mac Pro

My biggest question is about stabilization. In premiere, if I am going to do any other effect then the stabilization had to go to After Effects and back with the associated render in order to view. If FCPX will either background render with no editing performance loss, or allow a batch Stabilization, then it will really help.
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Old July 15th, 2014, 02:47 PM   #10
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Re: New Mac Pro

I think the question you really need answered is whether FCPX does as good a job stabilizing as AE. I can't answer that.
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