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TOPIC: My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX

My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX 07 Sep 2014 08:06 #52293

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Early this week we bought the new Mac Pro, smallest version (4 core, 12gb, d300, 256gb).

Here's my first impressions:

1. It's MUCH faster than our 2010 MacPro.

2. It's a bit faster than our hackintosh but much more stable. No crashes or strange "why doesn't the usb ports work suddenly"

3. It's slower in encoding than I had feared - to the point where we find it a bit sad. I cannot see why we should buy a pro model and get beaten by the consumer iMacs. Makes no sense to me (I DO know why iMac is faster but my point is that buying from the top line shouldn't be worse than buying from the consumer line).

4. It's pretty fast for editing - hit play and it plays, but I was hoping that it would manage to show the waveforms and thumbnails in realtime when editing. When we play and cut a clip, the rest of it goes "block mode" until we hit stop and THEN it renders the waveform.

5. Import is fairly fast but as soon as we turn on the different extras when importing, it's not as fast as we'd hoped.

6. It's really quiet and fast for every day use. The built in flash drive is almost hyperspeed :)

7. In a typical day, we measure a lot of page outs (hundreds of thousands), so 12gb is not enough for us, it seems. We've since ordered 64GB ram kit from OWC but has not received it yet.

All in all, the smallest one is a very descent computer - for our job it seems we should have gone with the top line iMac or waited for the money to get the 8core d700.
Last Edit: 07 Sep 2014 08:07 by Living Smart TV.
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My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX 07 Sep 2014 13:44 #52312

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3 - Only with H.264 encoding. Other codecs should be faster. But that's because Intel only puts the encoding engine on specific CPUs, not all CPUs. I find it easy to live with. Encoding is in the background, I can keep working, and Notification Center lets me know when it's done.

4 - That's just the program coding, not machine speed, that does that. Hopefully we'll see real time redraws of the timeline during playback, some day.

5 - Importing will be limited to the speed of the SD card you're important off of. Or whatever type of card you pull from. I pull from 7D, GoPro & Blackmagic SD cards, and Blackmagic SSD drives. It all seems fast enough for me. Not sure if anything on my system would make that any faster than on yours, though. Cards and card readers, ugh...

More RAM may help. I'm running an 8 core, 32GB RAM, D700, Thunderbolt 2 RAID, and my imports are very fast, screen redraws are fast, etc.

What drive are you writing your Libraries (imports) to?
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My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX 08 Sep 2014 07:10 #52362

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BenB wrote:
3 - Only with H.264 encoding. Other codecs should be faster. But that's because Intel only puts the encoding engine on specific CPUs, not all CPUs. I find it easy to live with. Encoding is in the background, I can keep working, and Notification Center lets me know when it's done.

Sure, but as almost all of our videos goes to YouTube, we're never using other encoding codecs :) But yes, being a back ground process, on the other hand, it can be left to itself, but as we're doing a weekly show and ALWAYS seems to be editing right up to the last minut, having to wait 2 hours for encoding after that, Friday afternoon when we want to leave for weekend, is pretty annoying - it still takes time, even though it's a background process :)
BenB wrote:
5 - Importing will be limited to the speed of the SD card you're important off of. Or whatever type of card you pull from. I pull from 7D, GoPro & Blackmagic SD cards, and Blackmagic SSD drives. It all seems fast enough for me. Not sure if anything on my system would make that any faster than on yours, though. Cards and card readers, ugh...

We have two setups. One is Black Magic 4K recording in prores on SSD being imported through USB3. Another is Canon HF G10, recording i AVCHD on SD cards, through USB3 card reader. The first is fast enough and the second one we can live with. I was actually mostly talking about the transcoding part here. Import is fast but still a lot work / waiting for the files to be transcoded and analysed.

Would that part be faster mostly on more cores or mostly on better GPU?
BenB wrote:
What drive are you writing your Libraries (imports) to?

A Caldigit Thunderbolt 1 RAID 0 with 3 HDD - with Black Magic speedtest at around 400 mb/s read/write.
Last Edit: 08 Sep 2014 07:11 by Living Smart TV.
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My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX 08 Sep 2014 23:08 #52407

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I bought the base model Mac Pro as well to replace my newish maxxed out iMac, for Thunderbolt 2 and more RAM expandability, as well as other POTENTIAL upgradability, and its been great until I run out of the 12GB RAM and everything slows down, which is pretty quick to do...

I now have 32gb of RAM and its working a lot better, but will probably still add more in the future, since even that fills up over a couple hours of working in FCPX. I'm mostly editing 1080p but will be doing more 4k stuff soon, so a graphics card upgrade would be nice...

This $3000 model was kind of my budget for now (essentially sold the iMac to buy the Mac Pro), but i'm also kind of convinced/hoping that someone will come out with graphics card(s) upgrades for the new Mac Pro's, even if they are pricey. I know its a smallish market to make an entire new form factor of your normal graphics cards, but at the same time, it seems that it wouldn't be that unreasonable to just sell the cards Apple uses in the machines, as OEM style or even direct upgrade from Apple, since the Mac Pro's are technically upgradable as far as pretty much all components go?

The 4 core doesn't bother me so much, as I know I can eventually upgrade that with an off the shelf 6,8,10,12 core CPU. Same with the SSD - which OWC is already beginning to sell upgrades for...

Here's to hoping!
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My first impressions with smallest nMP for FCPX 01 Dec 2014 00:32 #56687

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Do you feel the price difference between a Hackintosh and Mac Pro is worth it?
Raisins are the worst and I love making fcpx plugins!
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