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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 31 Oct 2014 09:55 #55272

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX
www.fcpworks.com/5k-retina-imac-fcpx/

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 15 Feb 2015 17:12 #59816

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Thanks for the link.

It's still not clear to me if the new iMac Retina is capable to edit 4K smooth or not (and what kind of 4K, compressed, Raw).

I could not find any real life experience around.

Cheers
Alex

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 16 Feb 2015 13:28 #59841

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I have no problem smoothly editing 4k H.264 material from a GH4 on my top-spec 2013 iMac 27. My media files are on a Thunderbolt Pegasus R4 RAID5 array. The top-spec Retina iMac is faster than this. A lower compression codec would produce more I/O load and less CPU load, so the iMac should still be able to handle that provided the disk subsystem was fast enough.

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 21 Feb 2015 07:55 #60155

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Hi Joema,
thanks for your reply. The situation now is strange because top iMacs are faster and cheaper then the low entry MacPros.
I know that MacPros are better in many ways but usually they were also the fastest macs...
I think apple should update MacPro soon.

Bye!
Alex

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 25 Feb 2015 20:00 #60467

Thanks to a purchasing mistake by my employer, I have on my desk a base-spec Retina iMac. I've upped the RAM to 24Gb and have an 18Tb Pegasus 2 (RAID 6) connected, but it's otherwise stock: Core i5, Fusion drive, M290X graphics. I'm driving a 1080p second screen off the HDMI output.

It's an OK system, but in my opinion not great. Graphics slowdowns are apparent once you have a bunch of apps and windows open: pulling up Mission Control yields a sudden jump to show windows, with maybe a frame or two of animation rather than a smooth reveal. Cutting 4K footage off our GH4 In FCPX is workable, but slightly frustrating. Simple dissolve transitions don't always play smoothly and really need rendering, which for me is the clincher: I was absolutely right to spec the better graphics and Core i7.

It works – and the screen is still glorious – but I think it's just on the wrong side of the performance curve for demanding use. For frustratingly similar reasons I also have an early Retina MacBook Pro, and I have similar feelings about that system: it's terrific, but the graphics performance is marginal (and in that case, 8Gb RAM really isn't enough).

If you're speccing a Retina iMac for video editing, upgrade the CPU and GPU. The marginal cost difference is worth it.

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 08:47 #70131

does anyone have the latest model with i7 and M395x and can share his experience ?
i'm especially interested in the noise ...when i'm doing some basic HD editing(maybe a few simple transitions and some cc) - will the fans already make some noticeable noise?
on my 2014 MBPr they do that if i'm using a second screen (wich is likely on such a system)
also is the m395x worth the update against the default m395 (i'm not planning any 4k editing soon)

also how much worth is the i7 upgrade? does it really has some performance-gains? does the i7 get much hotter than the i5 - in one of the previous-generations the i7 became noticeably hotter than the i5

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Last edit: by verstaerker.

5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 11:10 #70138

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I have the 2015 iMac 27 with 4Ghz i7-6700K, 32GB, 1TB SSD and M395X GPU. I've done extensive 4k editing with it and compared it to my previous 2013 iMac. Media is on an 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID array.

It works pretty well but for multicam I always transcode to proxy -- rapid JKL editing is just too slow otherwise. Computational effects (stabilization, Neat Video noise reduction, retiming with optical flow) are very slow. This is expected -- it's 4x the data of 1080p.

My previous statement about editing 4k material from the GH4 on a 2013 top-spec iMac was single-stream only and was an investigational study of editing. It was not the more elaborate work of finishing a multicam 4k project.

Re acoustic noise, the top-spec 2015 iMac 27 is no louder than the 2013 model and IMO it seems quieter, although I haven't done a formal study. The fans will ramp up if doing sustained transcoding but they are much slower to ramp up and the noise is quieter than my 2015 top-spec MacBook Pro -- now *that* computer is trigger-happy on the fans.

Editing a significant 4k project is incredibly demanding on the hardware. There is no question you want the highest-end iMac available. In many respects today's top-spec iMac 27 is equal to an 8-core Mac Pro, but the task is still difficult. Attached are benchmarks I ran to evaluate three systems: my Windows PC, my 2013 iMac 27 and 2015 iMac 27.

Specs:
Windows PC, Windows 10, i7-875K @ 4Ghz, 2GB nVidia GTX-660, 1TB Samsung Evo 850 SSD
2013 iMac 27: OS X 10.11.1, FCP X 10.2.2, 3.5Ghz i7-4771, 32GB, 3TB Fusion Drive, 4GB GTX-780m, 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID5
2015 iMac 27: OS X 10.11.1, FCP X 10.2.2, 4Ghz i7-6700K, 32GB, 1TB SSD, 4GB M395X, 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID5
Attachments:

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Last edit: by joema. Reason: Updated benchmarks with additional results

5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 11:31 #70139

are you sure the geek bench results are correct .. did you maybe mix up the 2013 and 2015 iMac?
otherwise that would be really disappointing
my MBPr 2014 with i7 has 3304 single-core and 12637 multicore points

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 11:52 #70142

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Yes, that was a mistake -- thanks for catching that. I moved the column order and somehow didn't ensure the numbers were properly moved. I have revised it and uploaded a new copy.

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 11:56 #70143

now that looks much better for the iMac

can you say something about the noise level ?

my MBPr is after 10s of the geekbenchtest already at 3100 rpm and after 1min 4500 rpm .. wich is quite noisy

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 12:29 #70145

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The fan never moves from the default idle speed of 1200 rpm, even when running GeekBench3 three times in rapid succession.

One of the slowest, most CPU-intensive effects is Neat Video, since they do not support the M295X or M395X GPU. Thus it uses CPU rendering, which essentially maxes out all cores for long periods of time. Even on the 4Ghz 2015 iMac it can take Neat Video 5 min to process 5 seconds of 4k material. After about two minutes, the fan speed increases to around 2100 rpm which is audible but not really loud. Toward the end of that 5 min run fan speed hits 2500 rpm which is still quieter than my Windows PC with Noctua fans. Under that load I would roughly estimate the noise level is about equal to the 8TB Pegasus R4 array sitting beside the iMac.

You can definitely hear it as an additional noise source, but to me it's no problem. However if you do sustained high CPU work, are extremely noise sensitive and work in a quiet environment where there is no white noise from other equipment or HVAC, maybe a Mac Pro would be better.

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Last edit: by joema.

5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 14:16 #70151

my studio is very quiet and i'm also often producing music .. so it's important to me that the computer is not creating to much noise - my MBPr is totally fine till 2500 rpm

when i'm doing some 3d rendering i can totally accept some more noise - but it's not acceptable when doing basic video editing ,producing music or just editing photos

what you write about the iMac sounds not too bad - t's a good sign if it runs geekbench without getting louder
i repeated the test here:
after 10s i start to hear the fan ... it's at 3000rpm
after 50s it's on 5000
after 1:20 it's on 6100 (maximum) and really loud

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 02 Nov 2015 20:19 #70168

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iMac and late 2013 MP are your best bets for fan noise issues. I do tons of voice work (VO, singing) and my MP is the least of my room noise concerns.

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 05 Dec 2015 13:49 #71178

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joema, ben, or whomever....I'm upgrading from a late 2013 Thunderbolt iMac to a late 2015 Thunderbolt 2 iMac. Should I also upgrade my Thunderbolt RAID to a Thunderbolt 2 RAID if I'm not using SSDs?

I've read that the bandwidth of TB1 is more than sufficient for standard 7200 rpm drives, and that TB2 is wasted unless you have SSDs in the RAID - true????

Thanks!

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 05 Dec 2015 13:52 #71179

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I'd not worry about your RAID until the day comes when it is proven to be too slow. Until then, use what works and save some cash.

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 05 Dec 2015 14:16 #71180

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I've read that the bandwidth of TB1 is more than sufficient for standard 7200 rpm drives, and that TB2 is wasted unless you have SSDs in the RAID - true????
Yes that is true. To quote from Mac Performance Guide's test of the OWC Thunderbay 4:

macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-OWC-Thunderbay-versions.html

"For hard drive solutions, Thunderbolt v1 an v2 offer no significant difference in speed, because the hard drives are not fast enough to need it. Even four hard drives capable of 200MB/sec (very fast) do not max-out Thunderbolt v1. And that's assuming all four are in use simultaneously."

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 05 Dec 2015 14:41 #71181

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Thanks for the info - yes, you have probably saved me some cash! I plan to spend some time reading more at the link you provided - thanks again!!

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 22 Apr 2016 18:53 #75868

Hi, i bought the iMac 5k late 2015 8 GB RAM M395X 4GB 4,0 Ghz a few days ago and it renders very slow. If i render a 3D-Generator like mTitle3D with my iMac and my macbook pro simultanously, the macbook pro overtakes the iMac. But the macbook pro only has a 1GB graphic card 8GB RAm and 2,3 GHz..

Is my iMac a waste?
Is it so slow because of the 5k Screen?
Should i buy another machine?

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 22 Apr 2016 18:57 #75870

Surprisingly the iMAc performs better than the macbook pro with motion 5 (depth of field, 3D, 4k, etc)

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5K RETINA IMAC FOR FCPX 22 Apr 2016 19:17 #75872

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Hi, i bought the iMac 5k late 2015 8 GB RAM M395X 4GB 4,0 Ghz a few days ago and it renders very slow. If i render a 3D-Generator like mTitle3D with my iMac and my macbook pro simultanously, the macbook pro overtakes the iMac. But the macbook pro only has a 1GB graphic card 8GB RAm and 2,3 GHz..

Is my iMac a waste?
Is it so slow because of the 5k Screen?
Should i buy another machine?

As you can see from my below benchmarks comparing a 2015 top-spec MacBook Pro to a top-spec 2015 iMac 27 and other machines, the 2015 iMac is pretty fast. It is considerably faster than the top MBP at every test I've run so far.

Of course it's possible there is something unique about mTitle3D which exposes some narrow difference. If you look at my benchmarks you will see periodic large disparities. If your exact task falls into one of those it could be much faster or much slower. That is the nature of software.

In general the 2015 iMac 27 is a great machine and faster than a 6-8 core Mac Pro at some things. Most editing tasks (esp. on H264 content) are fairly CPU-oriented, not GPU-oriented. However some effects leverage the GPU very strongly and a faster GPU is always welcome for those. I have not examined mTitle3D.

It appears the 2016 iMac 27 update may have a significantly enhanced GPU since both nVidia and AMD are releasing new architecture chips based on 14 and 16 nanometer fabrication. If these are used in the iMac 27 it would not be until late this year. However the current iMac 27 is very quick and I generally have no problems editing 4k H264 multicam material on it. That said some effects are quite sluggish (e.g, Neat Video and Digital Anarchy Flicker Free) and that's not the iMac's fault -- they are just very compute intensive.

What model year is your MBP and what GPU does it have?

joema.smugmug.com/Computers/IMac27Benchm...n-hR5wtF/i-3mL6T5r/A

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