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Samuel Berger

Imac Prooooooooo......

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Is anybody using the iMac Pro yet? They cost as much as a small car. I'm wondering how well they handle 4K video. The 18 core sounds great, I wonder if it has 32 virtual cores? Maybe that's only on Windows.

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Is anybody using the iMac Pro yet? They cost as much as a small car. I'm wondering how well they handle 4K video. The 18 core sounds great, I wonder if it has 32 virtual cores? Maybe that's only on Windows.

 

"virtual cores" are based on processor technology so should work the same way on mac and windows like with any other intel processors (dual registers per cpu core instead of only one register per physical core)

 

as for the iMac Pro itself.... I think it is kinda difficult to fit to for example my working environment where one needs to have a backup system if something breaks up and I would not trust the i-pro to be absolutely reliable (I suspect heating issues etc)

and it really should have dual gpu etc. for that price. The "trashbin" mac pro I currently use is not that good either (thunderbolts and usb:s unreliable, impossible to get gpu drivers separately, etc.) but it is much easier to transport than imac because of being small and relatively lightweight (one can have monitors in workplaces A and B and just transport the computer back and forth) .

The thing is... most heavily cpu and graphics use for me would be rendering Blender and other 3d modeling stuff and for that Windows or Linux based pc with interchangeable GPUs is much better anyway . If one does very cpu intensive format conversions or very heavy noise reduction to large files on hfs+ drives then the imacpro could make sense... otherwise kind of meh at the moment for me. I would maybe take one trashbin macpro and one windows pc instead for that price -_-

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I'd also look into PC market as well. Price to performance with Mac is much less. Apple has become a consumer company, and I have not seen any of their products - even the ones they label as 'pro' - to be anything close to pro level. Yes, they are reliable (but so is PC), and their OS does have some neat features, but nothing that Windows can't do.

 

All I'm saying is, do your homework. Talk to people on both sides of the game. The iMac Pro's are expensive - I have been building computers since I was 12 - and in my opinion, the hardware side of the new Macs is severely limited.

 

Another thing to consider: The new IMAC's use Vega GPU's from AMD. I started with one, but returned it for an nVidia GTX 1080ti, which performs at least twice as fast as the 64 did - and given the modern editors use GPU more than the do CPU, I'd put your focus away from raw core-CPU power and toward the GPU.

 

I'd be happy to share my 32-core, 64GB, 12TB Storage system part list with you. It all cost me less than $3,000. A 10-core iMacPro is around $10,000. 1/3 the CPU cores for 3x the price.

Edited by Landon D. Parks
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yep... our current trashbin macpro was originally bought for DIT use, running Silverstack XT and Resolve and it was really important then to have osx based system for file transfers. And most of the work and archive HDD:s (around 150TB total) are hfs+ so it is much faster and easier to work with the raw files with native hfs+ support.

 

But for editing etc. use it only depends on how you manage your media and if you really want to use programs like FCPX which are only available for mac.

For generic use PC is normally much better option, even if maybe being noisier and slower to setup. Macs are not very reliable or stable either, and they are especially bad if needing more power than the very basic default configuration could offer. With macs you can basically add memory afterwards but that's about it, everything else needs to be custom factory ordered when purchasing the machine new.

For 5000 or 10 000 you will get hell of a cool pc system (or couple of them) with multiple new gpu:s and lots of cores on two physical processors.

 

For a photographer or other graphics artist the imac pro could be neat though, especially if considering the computer also as a part of int.decoration in addition with being a tool (this is what macs are mostly used for I think :lol: )

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In my opinion, now macs are good, but they aren't so much different from a pc like in the old days. I work with mac only, but the reason is that when I started to work as sound engineer, the only type of computer you can find in a Studio was a mac. That's the first time I knew a mac (tiger then, a much unfriendly SO that the modern ones), and the reason why is because mac in that time was sooooooooo much stable than pc. I mean, in that time pc maybe freeze or has problems with .dll and librarys, and in mac the file management was great.

 

Nowadays, is not like that at all. I mean, yes, I prefer windows to mac anytime but is a matter of what I used to, but nowadays pc are much stable than before, and the SO aren't so different either.

 

Now I'm curious... in the world of cinema was like that? People only work with macs in the studios? I'm talking about 8, 10 years ago.

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Now I'm curious... in the world of cinema was like that? People only work with macs in the studios? I'm talking about 8, 10 years ago.

it depends on what you do. Windows on Avid editing, mac with fcp7.... In picture post it apart of editing and sound it was more pc based here, running software on linux or windows based systems (Lustre, Flame, Resolve, etc) depending on the company and artist. I think the macs have been better used here for editing purposes and maybe some encoding and the rest been pc based. Now there seems to be more mac based post but it will change again soon i think. Vfx has always been pc based, it would be insane to do heavy vfx with mac shitty graphics :P

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it depends on what you do. Windows on Avid editing, mac with fcp7.... In picture post it apart of editing and sound it was more pc based here, running software on linux or windows based systems (Lustre, Flame, Resolve, etc) depending on the company and artist. I think the macs have been better used here for editing purposes and maybe some encoding and the rest been pc based. Now there seems to be more mac based post but it will change again soon i think. Vfx has always been pc based, it would be insane to do heavy vfx with mac shitty graphics :P

In audio, people use mac because you don't have a second take. If you are working with an artist or mixing an orchestra with lots and lots of files an plugs in, you need a SO stable. In that time (windows xp, and vista era, I believe) you can't find a PC in any of the mayor studios. Also, in that times, all the mayor plugs ins for audio, were built-in for mac, and windows was a less offer. In some home studios or low quality ones, you can find, maybe, a hackintosh (a pre build pc with mac software) but people mostly use macs.

 

And let me be clear, windows was awful at that time, but tiger wasn't so pretty either. It was stable, and that is important, but tiger and panther and the previews one, were not so intuitive like an iphone nowadays.

 

 

Ps. I fall in love with mac when I found out (in tiger I believe) that when you open the trash can, and press the delete buttom, the trash can windows close automatically, and I thought, "why in my PC I have to close this windows myself? When, ever, I want to erase my paper trash but I want to just look the empty window?" and then I understand that people in mac really think about the design, in a time that windows was pretty much DOS with some make up.

Edited by Giacomo Girolamo

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I fall in love with mac when I found out (in tiger I believe) that when you open the trash can, and press the delete buttom, the trash can windows close automatically

 

I never open the recycle bin. I just right click on the icon, click 'delete files' and it does it without ever needing to open the folder. I don't know how long that feature has been in Windows, but it's at least been since XP.

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I never open the recycle bin. I just right click on the icon, click 'delete files' and it does it without ever needing to open the folder. I don't know how long that feature has been in Windows, but it's at least been since XP.

Haha, I do it in the same way, but is just an example of how mac, even when the look of the OS was as awful as windows, always has design in mind. I don't know your age, but my first computer was an XT, later a 386, and I see everything (the monitors have two colors, black and pink and later black and yellow). When I started I have to launch every program in DOS. Windows 95 was incredible but you can tell that was computer people making computers. With apple and lot of these little details, you can tell that they have designers thinking about the interface. You just have to been using windows (and before DOS) for years, and later use the in-search file system in finder or how you can install a new program just moving the app to the applications folders, to appreciate what a new paradigm was apple to the computers at that time.

And again, if I wasn't a sound engineer, I probably never use a mac (not in that time so early, at least) because in every office or home you find a PC. But was the little things like that that let me realize that macs were something new. Later they go for the ipod and the rest is history.

 

Nowadays windows is pretty intuitive too. And off course, the OS steal ideas all the time between them.

Edited by Giacomo Girolamo

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And most of the work and archive HDD:s (around 150TB total) are hfs+ so it is much faster and easier to work with the raw files with native hfs+ support.

 

Is HFS+ intrinsically faster than NTFS?

 

P

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I'd be happy to share my 32-core, 64GB, 12TB Storage system part list with you. It all cost me less than $3,000. A 10-core iMacPro is around $10,000. 1/3 the CPU cores for 3x the price.

 

Sounds good, Landon, please do share this as I imagine it will help a lot of people out there who don't have $10k.

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So, below I'm going to include parts for the system I'd suggest building right now after learning from my own build. This is not exactly my own build, but rather a build I would do again if I was going for a second shot at it, after learning from my own build. I'm only including 32GB of ram in this build. When I built mine, I was able to get 64GB for about $75 more than what a 32GB kit costs now. Ram prices will come back down here soon. See note on Ram below.







CPU | Ryzen Threadripper 1920x | $750.00





Motherboard | ASRock X399 Taichi sTR4 | $330.00





GPU | nVidia GTX 1080 (any brand) | $550.00





RAM | G.SKILL Flare X Series 32GB | $360.00




RAM Note: I'm including 32GB here. Unless you are doing some major After Effects work or such, 32GB is plenty of RAM. If you need the 64GB, you can just purchase 2 of these kits (what I did) - but I'd suggest buying 1 kit first, and then seeing if you need the other.





Power Supply | Corsair RM-series 850 Watt | $110.00





Case | Coolermaster HAF-XB-EVO | $90.00





OS Drives SSD | Crucial MX500 1TB SSD | $230.00





Media Drives | Barrcuda 4TB Hard Disk Drives x 3 | $300.00




My media drives are running in a RAID 5 setup through Windows.





Operating System | Windows 10 64-bit | $20.00




Purchased key from Kinguine.





Disc Media | Generic DVD-RW Drive | $20.00





10-bit Monitor Support | Blackmagic Mini-Monitor 4K card | $200.00





TOTAL COST IS $2,960.00, and takes all of about 30 minutes to assemble.





If you have any questions about this build, or want more advice – hit me up. I'm an A+ certified PC Tech, as well as CCNP certified, and have been building computers for around 15 years now. I'd be happy to help anyone with build-issues or questions. If you're willing to toss in shipping and a small build fee, I'd be happy to build it for you even – if you don't want to hastle of wasting 30 minutes.


Edited by Landon D. Parks
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Thanks, Landon. On the other thread though you said you preferred AMD over NVidia for Resolve?

 

RAM prices are insane these days, I wonder if it's due to coin mining?

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coin mining is pretty much so all ASCI and GPU based; very little is on a CPU at all that I"m aware of. Most people these days are gonna be on a stand-alone device.

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Is HFS+ intrinsically faster than NTFS?

 

P

no but continuous file system conversions and paragon-everything does not work if you have couple of 8tb and 15tb drives at a time full of material which needs to be verified, reorganized, made previews from and then backed up to lto. One does not really want to add additional delays and conversions etc to the mix with intentional equipment mismatches, there is thousands of better uses for that time

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While it is true that AMD cards perform better with Resolve and Fusion, I included nVidia cards in this build because the performance difference isn't massive (maybe around 10% on the high end), but the benefits to running an nVidia card are still there. For me, I use Blender Cycles which relies on CUDA, and iRay rendering in Daz3D for 3D pre-visualization. Both CUDA and iRay are nVidia-only technologies, while OpenCL works on both platforms. So it's basically a trade off.

 

IF you don't plan to use any programs that rely on CUDA or iRay, then you could certainly go with the AMD Vega 64 GPU, which is as powerful or even a little more powerful compute-wise than the 1080 from nVidia. It's also about $100 cheaper. Blender will soon be transitioning to Eevee render engine, which uses OpenCL. However, at this point, unless I can find an alternative GPU-renderer for Daz, I'm stuck with nVidia.

Edited by Landon D. Parks

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I'd also look into PC market as well. Price to performance with Mac is much less. Apple has become a consumer company, and I have not seen any of their products - even the ones they label as 'pro' - to be anything close to pro level. Yes, they are reliable (but so is PC), and their OS does have some neat features, but nothing that Windows can't do.

 

All I'm saying is, do your homework. Talk to people on both sides of the game. The iMac Pro's are expensive - I have been building computers since I was 12 - and in my opinion, the hardware side of the new Macs is severely limited.

 

Another thing to consider: The new IMAC's use Vega GPU's from AMD. I started with one, but returned it for an nVidia GTX 1080ti, which performs at least twice as fast as the 64 did - and given the modern editors use GPU more than the do CPU, I'd put your focus away from raw core-CPU power and toward the GPU.

 

I'd be happy to share my 32-core, 64GB, 12TB Storage system part list with you. It all cost me less than $3,000. A 10-core iMacPro is around $10,000. 1/3 the CPU cores for 3x the price.

 

 

For my money Apple hasn't made a decent computer since the Apple II way back in the day.

 

I built my 32gig rig with an Intel i7 and win10 for less than $2000. If you're doing serious CGI work, then it's just a matter of dumping in more RAM.

 

AMD used to perform much better at higher clock speeds than Intel. But that was five to ten years ago. I'm not sure if that's till the case today, but I keep hearing that AMD is the processor to have for heavy graphics work. And I'll echo what Landon said about Nvidia, you can't really beat their cards. They also make special "super sized" cards with uncounted loads of onboard video RAM for both graphics work and multiple (octopus) display work.

 

Apple makes a sexy machine, and even having worked down there via contracting with lots of other companies, they're more sales and image than actual good hardware. I coded on the fist Apples as a boy, learned basic and C on Apples, but it's the same problem now as they've had historically ever since they clamped down on unlicensed dupes of their architecture, they sell the public on style over performance.

 

Having said that you can get a decent Apple rig for editing, but you're shelling out cash for something that only they can fix, and you can do better with a custom design or a DIYer.

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So let's get a few things out of the way.

First, the iMac Pro comes with a 27" 12 bit 5k Retina display with calibrated P3 color space. I bought a similar display that's DCI-P3 12 bit and such, which was around $1600 - $1800 USD. Finding a true DCI-P3 compliant monitor that has real 12 bit electronics and display, is nearly impossible for less money.

Second, the iMac Pro uses a server-grade Xeon processor. This may not sound like it's important, but they do last a lot longer AND have far more cross checking for process accuracy. Not great for gaming, but REALLY important for rendering out big files where you're using all the cores and accuracy is critical. The 18 core processor Apple uses in the high-end iMac Pro isn't officially available to the public, but one very similar that was released a little while ago, sells for $4,500 USD.

 

Third, the iMac Pro uses a PCI bus for it's storage, with DOUBLE raided NVMe's capable of delivering over 3 gigabytes per second of storage throughput. This costs quite a penny to achieve at home as the 2TB NVMe's are $1200 - $1400 and to get 4tb (the max config on the iMac Pro) would be double that of course. So we're talking around $3k once you add the PCI controller board.

 

So if you were to build a PC using the same components as the iMac Pro, the cost difference is negligible. Apple just uses the best components they can source and of course, thermal signature is critical, so they do try to go after components that are efficient thermally. Yes, you can skimp out and build a PC for around half the price of the iMac Pro, but it won't run Mac OS properly and you'll be spending very close to the same amount of money if you get remotely close to the same components.

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Well, for my money it depends on what kind of project you're working on. My rig here in my office would need an overhaul and, as you say, cost nearly as much as an Apply, but, unlike an Apple, I can tweak this thing until the cows come home and save money to keep up with whatever it is I'm working on. That verse having to dump a massive amount of cash for a new Apple every couple of years.

 

I don't work on features. Hell, I don't work on anything anymore other than what little footage I capture with my DSLRs, but since I can get 24fps-ish look to whatever it is I've shot, it's therefore good enough for "government work".

 

If I was working for Disney, then I'd need to either clone my guy, dump in a parallel port MB and another CPU and high end NVIDIA, but, even doing so, that computer's going to last ages compared to a fresh of the factory floor top of the line Apple.

 

I don't knock current Apples for being performing machines, but again, it's the same thing with the first Macs. Macs took Apple several ages backwards, all the while real computing was done on IBMs and IBM PC clones. To me that's still the case with Apple trying to play catchup by marketing primo over priced computers.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Having said that, it does seem like most of the directors and local production houses I've comes across here in the Bay Area use Apples. Go figure.

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the main issue with Apple computers apart from the graphics cards is the non-maintenance design, you are totally screwed if something breaks up in the middle of a project.

Most authorized service centers here are used just to take the machine in and repair it when it's best time for them which may take couple of days or a week or so... and they really really like to reinstall a clean version of the operating system like PC repair shops so that you will lose everything on the hard drive.

I personally clone my system drives very often so that I have a full bootable clone of the system drive on external hdd and I can boot the osx installation on different computer if the edit mac fries and needs to be sent to service.

 

At the moment I use the 6-core trashbin macpro as main edit and one can't even get the freaking Firepro drivers for it separately, I mean not at all! they are custom drivers and Apple does not allow them to be downloaded separately and can't be downloaded from app store, so a clean osx installation in repair shop is basically the only way to get you the trashbin firepro drivers if you need them for some reason.

 

Anyway, the non-serviceable architecture means you can't do anything about it if having an issue. other than send it in for days or a week or so. With a pc you could just open the thing and change a component by yourself, or update the gpu and other parts if needed, with mac it is like having a solid block of metal which needs a gpu update... not gonna happen :blink:

 

The trashbin is quite handy in some situations though, I have transported it back and forth in a backpack, also in airplane as hand luggage...very easy... you can't do that with an iMac. the integrated display is handy in desktop situations if not having enough space but for an editor it may not be handy at all if you are working on different locations regularly.

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Surely the graphics card component is less of an issue these days with USB-C allowing proper, supported use of external GPUs?

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Well, for my money it depends on what kind of project you're working on. My rig here in my office would need an overhaul and, as you say, cost nearly as much as an Apply, but, unlike an Apple, I can tweak this thing until the cows come home and save money to keep up with whatever it is I'm working on. That verse having to dump a massive amount of cash for a new Apple every couple of years

People forget, Apple use to make great upgradeable computers and for a very long time, they were competitive on pricing.

 

Umm, I mean the tower I retired in summer of 2017 was manufactured in 2009. So that's 8 years of service on the same computer with only a PCI graphics card, storage and memory upgrades, all "PC" products pulled right from Amazon.com.

 

My current tower was manufactured in 2012, but it was the same computer from 2010 - 2012. It's a double xeon 12 core 24 thread 3.46ghz machine, so it's no slouch. I'm in no rush to upgrade, I can do 4k in all the raw formats perfectly fine. The only thing I'd like is a faster graphics card and if I wasn't so busy makin' movies and blowing money on that, I'd have one already.

 

The Mac Pro I own is basically the last decent computer Apple made. I can build one for $1500 bux with no drives, graphics card or memory, but all of those are just generic parts anyway. Sure they aren't VERY fast, but they get a geekbench score of a bit north of 24,000 which is about what a non-upgraded trashcan mac pro gets. You could make a cheaper PC that gets that score, but it wouldn't run Mac OS well if at all and probably be worthless in a year or two anyway.

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Surely the graphics card component is less of an issue these days with USB-C allowing proper, supported use of external GPUs?

USB-C/Thunderbolt 3, can only deliver around 60% of the performance of a PCI bus internally.

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the main issue with Apple computers apart from the graphics cards is the non-maintenance design, you are totally screwed if something breaks up in the middle of a project.

In the more than 20 years I've been using Apple's (many of them as a professional certified technician), I've had one storage/drive failure and it wasn't an Apple part, it was a 3rd party drive in my G5 that kicked the bucket on it's own with zero warning. Nothing to do with apple, nothing to do with an apple vendor, nothing but shitty luck on my part and it could have happened to anyone.

 

Most authorized service centers....

What keeps breaking?

 

Lets see... I've had two dozen apple computers easily, maybe more... I'd have to re-tally. Anyway, I've had ONE machine failure and it was my fault, my laptop was doing a rendering job and the vents were blocked and it cooked itself. Apple fixed it for $310 USD and the drive was fine. Most of the time when I saw broken machines at my shops, it was mostly the customers fault like software issues and/or dropping the machine.

 

With a pc you could just open the thing and change a component by yourself, or update the gpu and other parts if needed, with mac it is like having a solid block of metal which needs a gpu update... not gonna happen :blink:

Eh? Ebay has great deals on apple parts. Never had a problem sourcing parts. My CPU's were bought on ebay, my graphics card was bought on ebay, my memory, drives, even the computer, all used online. So IDK what the big deal is. YES you can't swap out the GPU on most of Apple's computers, but Apple does make computers you can and I own one. So when people complain about not being able to swap out the GPU's I just point to my computer and they sometimes still don't get it. You don't need the latest and greatest to get excellent performance.

 

The trashbin is quite handy in some situations though, I have transported it back and forth in a backpack, also in airplane as hand luggage...very easy... you can't do that with an iMac. the integrated display is handy in desktop situations if not having enough space but for an editor it may not be handy at all if you are working on different locations regularly.

The trashcan's were no better than what they replaced and they lack all the support that's necessary for growth. So they're great for carrying around but they suck for anything else. Apple admitted making a huge mitake with them and the next Mac Pro will be a real computer again.

 

BTW the iMac Pro is upgradable outside of the GPU. So if you order the high end GPU config, you can very easily put in a faster proc when Intel releases them to the public, which they haven't yet. The machine has 4 memory slots, 2 storage slots and 1 CPU socket, all upgradable.

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