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-   -   iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/final-cut-pro-x/525569-imac-retina-5k-mac-pro-basic-4k-editing.html)

William Hohauser November 1st, 2014 08:46 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
What I said made sense in this sense: if a person struggles to carry 100 pounds but manages to get it from one place to another successfully then we can be assured that they will be able to carry 50 pounds easily. Why do you need six streams of 4K running at once? What are you intending to film, a six camera concert in 4K and you want to multicam switch it on a budget? Guess what? You can do that on a regular iMac now using proxy files. Yes, it requires some minor extra work but it keeps you in your budget.

We keep coming up with new forms of video that goes beyond the capacity of average computers. Today it's 4K, tomorrow 6K or maybe 8K. These are pro formats as HD and DVCAM were considered in the past as examples. Once you venture into the "pro" format of the moment expect to make investments.

There are people who fixate on the newest formats when there are options that are more reasonable for their needs. Years ago I worked on a project and the producer was obsessed with the old Panasonic 200 memory stick camera even though I had the JVC HD100. Even though cinema projection tests showed that HDV pretty much looked great on the big screen he felt that expensive at the time DVCProHD was the way to go. Well in the end he bought the camera and support equipment, I operated it, the project was edited and finished but in the end nothing came of it and the producer lost a lot of money. Instead of fine tuning the project he worried about technical stuff that didn't make a difference to how the audience reacted to the project. Here, Noa uses 4K in way that compliments his already accomplished work process but he certainly can produce excellent work with now plain HD. I am sure you can too. Presently I am not going to get 4K, except as a rental for clients, because what I do at the moment doesn't require the overkill of 4K. HD in it's various flavors is just fine now and I am creating work that is projected in cinemas on large screens. A friend is dumping his Canon 5D for a GH4. He usually gives the raw footage to clients but when he does edit it's usually a single line timeline and he knows his older laptop will handle it just fine.

Sabyasachi Patra November 15th, 2014 10:48 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Allan Barnwell (Post 1866493)
Sure the Mac Pro will be more powerful. It also has more Thunderbolt ports for expansion. But for the price, the iMac 5K is an incredible value.

Yes - you can do "basic" editing on it. Will it take a little longer to process some effects? Yes. Is that money better spent on your camera and other items? You have to decide.

I think the iMac 5K is going to be huge for helping get more people into 4K workflows.

Allan Barnwell
Omega Broadcast Group

I full agree with Allan.

The Mac Pro hits the pocket immediately. The iMac is more soothing on the pocket.

By the way, clients (broadcasters) still want the C300 footage and I guess will continue to ask for some more time. So iMac is perfectly fine for me.

Unless we invite the clients to come and watch the edit process, it may be better to utilise more money on the front end things (equipment etc which the clients will see). That is the logic businesses use and hence hire pretty woman for the front desk and men to work in the backend like mules. :) Well one can always buy the iMac and call clients to see the project on that superb 5k screen. And for complex projects, may be editing proxies instead of directly cutting in 4k?
Cheers,
Sabyasachi

Bill Davis November 22nd, 2014 12:58 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
This precise question was asked of Sam Mestman, the FCP X workflow architect for FCPWorks in LA. They're the guys who do most of the high end consulting for the Hollywood studios interested in adapting an FCP X workflow into their operations.

His advice (given in public on Chris Fenwicks FCP X Grill 100th episode podcast) was that if your focus is EDITING (or assistant editing - the job where stuff gets prepped, keyworded, and organized for editing) a 5k Retina iMac is the best current tool.

If your focus is high end constant color correction or compositing. THOSE are the areas the dual GPUs will make enough difference to warrant the use of a MacPro.

Sam's a smart guy who uses this stuff at the highest of the high end daily. So I trust his judgement.

FWIW.

Derek McCabe February 1st, 2015 04:41 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
I am in the same exact situation right now... deciding to purchase the new 5K iMac or Mac Pro.

I have 2 Sony 4K camcorders and 3 Canon 5DIIs... and do editing and color correction.

I just wanted to point out that the iMac which includes a 5K monitor is a steal. If you price out any other 5K monitors, they run at least $2000 just for monitor, and you have not purchased a video card.. or a computer.

But with that said, the iMac, even maxed out has a "slow" video card. Of course the Mac Pro has better GPU specs, but I have heard rumors there will soon be a 5K Apple Thunderbolt Display -- AND THE CURRENT Mac Pro will NOT BE ABLE TO RUN IT AT 5K. And,as we all know the Mac Pro video card is not upgradeable. So Apple will be releasing a NEW Mac Pro to go with the new 5K Display.

This makes investing in the current Mac Pro a very limited option.

If you need a 5K monitor, go for the iMac now. It works. When Apple releases the next Mac Pro and Display, you can upgrade and get a completely new setup.

If you only need a 4K monitor, go for the current Mac Pro and a Asus PB287Q 4K monitor for only $600. But remember, you will be stuck with 4K monitors and not be able to run a future 5K monitor.

Also, if you get a 5K iMac... get the 1TB SSD drive upgrade. Run all Thunderbolt RAIDs for storage externally.

my 2 cents.

Jeroen Wolf February 1st, 2015 07:43 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
I went with the Retina 5K even though I'm not blown away by the speed, but I guess I've always had unrealistic expectations... ;-(

If I had bought the Mac Pro, it probably wouldn't have lived up to my expectations either.

These machines do become faster but at the same times the demands on computers grow on par with their abilities. So in effect these machines edit 4K as fast as the older machines edit 1080P... quite a speed bump... but I don't notice the speed change as much as I'd like to...

I like the iMac for it's screen and it serves my needs well enough as far as power is concerned.

I chose to get the 3TB fusion disk because I knew I'd be getting a RAID system. Besides, Apple SSD's are just too expensive.

So far it has been very stable with FCP X. The only quirk I've encountered was yesterday when short bursts of audio were inaudible while playing back an interview in the timeline. Recording was fine so there's something on the Mac not working properly. I'm editing off a thunderbolt RAID 5 system.

Today the same timeline plays back fine...?!

They're still consumer computers...wonderful yet fallible...

William Hohauser February 2nd, 2015 08:36 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Three points here:

1) The MacPro video cards are exchangeable so upgrades in the future are possible. Since they are custom designed cards built specifically for the unusual MacPro chassis we will have to wait for Apple to announce new cards. A single 5k card is unlikely because....

2) A 5K display could be available for your MacPro right now: Dell UltraSharp 27 Ultra HD 5K Monitor ? UP2715K. To get 5k you theoretically have to use two Thunderbolt 1.2 ports until Thunderbolt 1.3 is available which an issue with Intel CPUs inside the MacPro. And Thunderbolt 1.3 will require a new CPU in all PCs and likely a new computer in the case of the MacPro. Unfortunately neither AMD or Apple have updated the unique MacPro video card drivers to drive a single monitor over two cables and Dell does not make this clear in their PR either. Some PC video cards are able to do this right now. Seems that the iMac has a bit of unique engineering going on inside. You want a MacPro with 5k? Make some noise with Apple and AMD, doesn't seem to be a huge outrage going on yet.

3) Regarding the audio drop outs on a RAID5 array. The nature of RAID5 means that the array has to take time out to make a back-up on a regular basis. This is the PAR drive which enables you to rebuild if any of the other drives fail. The momentary loss of audio or even missing frames on playback are the side effect of the array doing it's job. Takes a little getting used to but it's a sign that all is well with your array.

Jeroen Wolf February 2nd, 2015 02:52 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Thanks for clearing up that audio issue, William.

Derek McCabe February 3rd, 2015 04:52 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by William Hohauser (Post 1875519)
1) The MacPro video cards are exchangeable so upgrades in the future are possible.

Here is a complete guide on how to break down a 2013 Mac Pro:

https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Mac+...Teardown/20778

It is quite complicated. Not for the average user to upgrade anything except maybe RAM.

Although "possible".. no third party companies sell ANY video cards (or upgrades) for the MacPro. Highly unlikely Apple will ever sell an "upgrade" path to the current 2013 MacPro.

If you want to run a 5K monitor on a 2013 MacPro desktop, you can't. And as you pointed out, it is impossible to get a third party Dell 5K monitor to run on the 2013 MacPro. So why buy a desktop model that you know has a major upgrade limitation?

William Hohauser February 3rd, 2015 06:34 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
A better question is: Why is 5K so important to do video work? Answer: It isn't.

Two 4K monitors, possible right now, is enough unless you are working on something so cutting edge that doing it on a standard computer set-up is an unlikely option. 5k gives a person the ability to run 4K at full resolution white still reserving some screen space for other windows. Great if one monitor is all you have. A MacPro can run several 4K monitors at once. What would 5K bring to the table at this point in time?

Derek McCabe February 13th, 2015 10:47 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
A better question is: Why buy the first Generation MacPro that will never support a 5K monitor (even though you stated that the video card could be swapped).. when you can wait and buy the soon-to-be released 2015 Mac Pro that will support TWO 5K monitors.

And if you can't wait, then buy the less expensive 5K iMac now.

Running two 5K monitors is better than running two 4K monitors.

Pete Bauer February 13th, 2015 06:40 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Derek McCabe (Post 1876665)
soon-to-be released 2015 Mac Pro that will support TWO 5K monitors.

Apple has made no such announcement and rumors are all over the map. I'd recommend against making a buying decision on a speculative commentary such as this.

William Hohauser February 16th, 2015 01:57 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Derek McCabe (Post 1876665)

Running two 5K monitors is better than running two 4K monitors.

That's an interesting statement. What are the practical reasons behind that besides having money to spare?

Gary Huff February 16th, 2015 02:13 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by William Hohauser (Post 1876931)
That's an interesting statement. What are the practical reasons behind that besides having money to spare?

Because it goes up to 11.

Derek McCabe February 17th, 2015 11:19 PM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by William Hohauser (Post 1876931)
That's an interesting statement. What are the practical reasons behind that besides having money to spare?

Are you sticking with your statement that users will be able to upgrade the video cards on the current MacPro?

Why would Apple release a 5K screen? I wonder why anyone would need that...??? And I see Dell has released a 5K monitor as well... what could be the practical reasons?.. must be a lot of people with "money to spare".. yeah... that's it.

William Hohauser February 18th, 2015 11:20 AM

Re: iMac Retina 5K or Mac Pro for basic 4K editing
 
Derek, I did not say a card was available or in the future. If you read my post, there are several obstacles to a 5k monitor on the present MacPro: one of them is the lack of driver software for a two connection solution, the other, hardware issues beyond Apple's control for a single cable solution. The driver updates are addressable right now but nobody involved has mentioned it as an upcoming release. Why? Who knows? Maybe because the demand isn't there right now.

Please give all of us legitimate reasons that a 5k monitor is is going to improve our output that two 4k monitors or one 4k and a second 2k monitor can't cover.

Just for reference, a Dell 5k monitor is around $2000 and a decent NEC 4K monitor is around $1000 on Amazon.


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