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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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Do Macs render faster?

I know this sounds like a weird question, but do Macs, using Final Cut, render faster than the equivalent PC solutions? (Vegas, Premiere Pro, etc.)

Also, and this may sound like a VERY weird question, but I've heard that FCP can use xGrid to use multiple computers to render faster.

Two words: "Beowulf Cluster." Sound like a plan?

-- Brian.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:13 PM   #2
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Depends on what you've composited in your edit, if its SD or HD, and how much ram you have.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:39 PM   #3
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Most effects are rendered in real time on Intel based machines (even scaling and format conversion in FCP6) so I guess that's as fast as fast gets.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:43 PM   #4
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Depends on what you've composited in your edit, if its SD or HD, and how much ram you have.
Assume that I'm compositing the same material at the same resolution with the same amount of ram. That's what I'm getting at here.

Mainly, I need to get a laptop. Should I go Mac? Or should I save my money and get a PC?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:53 PM   #5
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Assume that I'm compositing the same material at the same resolution with the same amount of ram. That's what I'm getting at here.

Mainly, I need to get a laptop. Should I go Mac? Or should I save my money and get a PC?
If you use FCP as your NLE you have to get a Mac. Also, Macs really are not more expensive than pcs if you actually compare specs. In fact in some cases Macs are less expensive then the equivalent power in a pc.

As far as using multiple computers to render something faster, isn't this moot if you're using a laptop?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #6
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...Also, and this may sound like a VERY weird question, but I've heard that FCP can use xGrid to use multiple computers to render faster.
-- Brian.
Final Cut Studio includes compressor (for transcoding, compressing etc) and Qmaster. The latter allows distribution of compressor jobs among several machines on a local network. Using a single FCS license, you can (legally!!) install Qmaster on as many machines as you like.
To give you an example: I'm using a desktop mac (a dual 2.3GHz G5) for work. But I also have a mac mini (intel 1.8Ghz core2 duo). When submitting jobs to this little cluster (G5 and mini, connected via gigabit ethernet), compressor jobs take about half the time they'd take on the G5 alone. It's worthwile to emphasize that the mini in its basic configuration renders at a comparable speed as the G5. So, essentially, you could buy a couple of cheap minis (they're around $700) to massively accelerate compressor jobs.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #7
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The system has nothing to do with the speed.

A mac with a certain speed will be faster than a slower PC; and vice versa.

If the stats are the same, it may be faster with a mac as I heard a while ago that the processor speeds are measured differently, though I'm not sure to what extent or if that is valid.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 02:12 PM   #8
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...I heard a while ago that the processor speeds are measured differently, though I'm not sure to what extent or if that is valid.
That used to be true when comparing the performance of x86 processors to PowerPC G4 and G5, but now that macs use the exact same Intel duo-core processors available for PCs it is all the same.
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Mainly, I need to get a laptop. Should I go Mac? Or should I save my money and get a PC?
I recommend to everyone sitting on the fence to just get a Macbook Pro and then you have the best laptop for either Mac or Windows. Check the refurbished section of the Apple Online store. They sometimes have amazing deals on clearance stock.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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If you use FCP as your NLE you have to get a Mac. Also, Macs really are not more expensive than pcs if you actually compare specs. In fact in some cases Macs are less expensive then the equivalent power in a pc.

As far as using multiple computers to render something faster, isn't this moot if you're using a laptop?
You're not getting me here.

I'm well aware that FCP only works on Mac. Basically, I'm wondering if the advantages of FCP over Premiere Pro mean that I should invest in a Mac instead of a PC.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #10
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Final Cut Studio includes compressor (for transcoding, compressing etc) and Qmaster. The latter allows distribution of compressor jobs among several machines on a local network. Using a single FCS license, you can (legally!!) install Qmaster on as many machines as you like.
To give you an example: I'm using a desktop mac (a dual 2.3GHz G5) for work. But I also have a mac mini (intel 1.8Ghz core2 duo). When submitting jobs to this little cluster (G5 and mini, connected via gigabit ethernet), compressor jobs take about half the time they'd take on the G5 alone. It's worthwile to emphasize that the mini in its basic configuration renders at a comparable speed as the G5. So, essentially, you could buy a couple of cheap minis (they're around $700) to massively accelerate compressor jobs.
Dino
Could it work with a Beowulf cluster?

The reason I ask is because I already have a very good desktop system (Dual core athlon 4000+ x2 w/2GB Ram). I'd like to be able to "render on the road" with a laptop, to be sure, but I want to be able to use the powerful system that I already have too, to cut my rendering time in half. That's especially important with HD...
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Old October 17th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #11
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You're not getting me here.

I'm well aware that FCP only works on Mac. Basically, I'm wondering if the advantages of FCP over Premiere Pro mean that I should invest in a Mac instead of a PC.
FCP vs. Premiere Pro is an argument with no winner, it comes down to personal preference.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 04:58 PM   #12
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Could it work with a Beowulf cluster?

The reason I ask is because I already have a very good desktop system (Dual core athlon 4000+ x2 w/2GB Ram). ...
I don't think so. Qmaster only runs on apple hardware on Mac OS X.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #13
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You're not getting me here.

I'm well aware that FCP only works on Mac. Basically, I'm wondering if the advantages of FCP over Premiere Pro mean that I should invest in a Mac instead of a PC.
Rendering speed? There doesn't seem to be any published spec comparisons lately. The last I saw was years ago and compared Premier 6.5 on a Mac vs. Premier on a PC. It was a poor choice since Adobe had abandoned Premier on the Mac earlier.

The state of the art is that most common renderable effects (fades, dissolves, color correction, aspect ratio, PIP) are real time on most systems, even cheap ones. If you are planning to do heavy effects processing, there might be differences but those tend to be code related as opposed to hardware related. One effect is faster on a PC but another is faster on a Mac. Check out Photoshop comparisons, if any have been done lately. Although a better video card will help with certain programs, laptops usually do not have a good selection of video cards.

The advantages of FCP over PP? Possibly a few that would be important to you and I would first recommend FCP over PP across the board, I would also recommend the Mac OS over Vista or XP. You have $3000 for a 15" MacBook Pro with additional memory? Go for it. Do you have a Windows laptop already? Can it run Premier Pro at all? You might have to buy a new laptop regardless.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #14
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Rendering speed? There doesn't seem to be any published spec comparisons lately. The last I saw was years ago and compared Premier 6.5 on a Mac vs. Premier on a PC. It was a poor choice since Adobe had abandoned Premier on the Mac earlier.

The state of the art is that most common renderable effects (fades, dissolves, color correction, aspect ratio, PIP) are real time on most systems, even cheap ones. If you are planning to do heavy effects processing, there might be differences but those tend to be code related as opposed to hardware related. One effect is faster on a PC but another is faster on a Mac. Check out Photoshop comparisons, if any have been done lately. Although a better video card will help with certain programs, laptops usually do not have a good selection of video cards.

The advantages of FCP over PP? Possibly a few that would be important to you and I would first recommend FCP over PP across the board, I would also recommend the Mac OS over Vista or XP. You have $3000 for a 15" MacBook Pro with additional memory? Go for it. Do you have a Windows laptop already? Can it run Premier Pro at all? You might have to buy a new laptop regardless.
I just went to the Apple store and brought my camera with me. The difference in speed was night and day. Quick export to a quicktime file? 1 minute of video = 1.25 minutes of rendering. Then I did some effects - adjusting gamma and saturation. 1.5 minutes of video = 10 minutes of rendering. This is 1080i, mind you, I can't even get that speed out of DV on a PC that -should- wipe the floor with the Mac laptop.

I'm going to buy the Mac, which means I'll probably put this desktop up for sale soon.
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