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Replace my homebrew Win7 Q2000 workstation with a Mac?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

After being a Mac loyalist for 10 years, I started building my own Wintel video workstations about 5 years ago for the simple reason that, at the time, I had $1500 and needed to cut AVCHD quickly. I still loved Apple, I just couldn't work with one anymore.

 

Eighteen months ago, looking at a fossilized Mac Pro, inexplicable changes of FCPX and some truly remarkable advances in PPro and AFX rendering speed from CS5.5, I built another Wintel box with a Quadro 2000 card which has served me inelegantly but well since then.

 

By the way, I make a living as a freelance video editor, copywriter and project manager.

 

So, now that we're caught up...

 

It's time for me to buy another workstation, and I'm ready to come back to the Mac.

 

After a few other discussions here and some subsequent catching-up research (thanks, BareFeats!), it's clear that while the new rMBP and iMac/680MX have narrowed the gap between consumer-level and true workstation-class performance, big-time compositing, 3D and multi-layered video FX still require more horsepower than even the most powerful Macbooks and iMacs can reasonably offer.

 

And so, I'll be keeping my Win7/CS5.5 workstation around (probably move it back to my home office) to crunch big, texture-heavy animations or to use as a color-grading and finishing station for my bigger video projects.

 

What I need now (or would at least prefer now) is an "everything else" machine for the fairly small, fairly-posh, all-Mac ad agency for whom I'm an exclusive contractor.

 

Due to a conspiracy of cash flow and tax strategy, I need (or, again, would at least prefer) to purchase a new computer now instead of whenever in 2013 Apple may or may not introduce a new Pro solution that I may or may not then be able to afford.

 

I've narrowed my two choices to either a built-to-the-gills rMBP or a built-to-the-gills 27" iMac, either of which should be able to handle the 75% of my workload that isn't huge FX projects.

 

My question for the forums is this: which of these two machines will give me the longest working life serving as an auxiliary to my Win7/CS5.5 workstation?

 

I'd like to get 5 working years (not simply usable years) out of whichever machine I choose, but realize that 3 working years is probably more likely.

 

Despite obvious pros and cons between desktop and laptop choices, here are circumstances specific to my decision:

 

rMBP

 

Pros: portability would allow me to conduct client presentations from my own computer at the client's location; allow me to write/plan/organize in hotels, coffee shops, etc; and potentially allow me to log and capture video footage on location.

 

Cons: priciest choice; heard it turns cast-iron-skillet-hot when under load in even basic video editing, absolutely non-upgradable.

 

27" iMac

 

Pros: gorgeous, massive screen real estate, user-upgradable RAM and more of it, superior GPU options, more affordable

 

Cons: perhaps too similar in capability/functionality to current workstation; obviously not portable; would lose considerable cachet and working value if/when Apple introduces "true" pro offering.

 

....

 

Looking forward to hearing everyone's advice...

post #2 of 27

If you really want to come back to the Mac buy a fully loaded iMac 27 incher with 680mx and Fusion Drive.  32 gigs of ram.  You have your Thunderbolt ports as well.

 

...with the spare cash buy a i7 Mini with x gigs of ram and pass over some render jobs to it.

 

Need more?  Buy another i7 Mini and pass more render jobs over to it.

 

Either that or wait until 'whenever' in 2013 that Apple decides to update the 'pro.'

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #3 of 27
It seems like you might be asking a lot out of a laptop, any laptop. If you really need a portable unit, I would adjust Lemon Bon Bon's recommendation and suggest an RMBP and add mini render stations if it turns out you need additional compute power. That would also allow you the option of getting a Thunderbolt display at your desk so you have a good size screen for your productive work.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

If you really want to come back to the Mac buy a fully loaded iMac 27 incher with 680mx and Fusion Drive.  32 gigs of ram.  You have your Thunderbolt ports as well.

 

...with the spare cash buy a i7 Mini with x gigs of ram and pass over some render jobs to it.

 

Need more?  Buy another i7 Mini and pass more render jobs over to it.

 

Either that or wait until 'whenever' in 2013 that Apple decides to update the 'pro.'

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

 

See, this is what excites me about Thunderbolt. In another thread I mistakenly said something about wanting an "external Thunderbolt video card" but what I meant was something like what you're describing with the minis, a little miniature 'render farm' that won't effectively take my application offline while I wait on it to digest multiple textures/flares/etc.

 

A 'true' render farm is beyond both my fiscal and technical abilities for the moment, but if I can just find a piece of the workstation/workflow puzzle that gets me back on a Mac and doesn't set me up to completely start over when/if a new Mac Pro manifests itself, I'd be plenty happy.

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

One thing I'm definitely purchasing to accompany either Mac I choose is one of the Thunderbolt RAID arrays, my ultimate goal to be able use it as a shareable/portable media drive between multiple Macs (home workstation, office workstation, mobile workstation, etc.)

 

I'm really excited about this idea of Mac Minis as slave/render stations, but I have exactly ZERO experience setting up render farms, server networks, anything like that.

 

If those turn out to be an option, I'll probably buy the iMac + Thunderbolt RAID first, then add Mac Minis and portable options as money and business allows.

 

Can anyone point me toward a reliable how-to or overview of using Minis as render stations?

post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr View Post

One thing I'm definitely purchasing to accompany either Mac I choose is one of the Thunderbolt RAID arrays, my ultimate goal to be able use it as a shareable/portable media drive between multiple Macs (home workstation, office workstation, mobile workstation, etc.)

I'm really excited about this idea of Mac Minis as slave/render stations, but I have exactly ZERO experience setting up render farms, server networks, anything like that.

If those turn out to be an option, I'll probably buy the iMac + Thunderbolt RAID first, then add Mac Minis and portable options as money and business allows.

Can anyone point me toward a reliable how-to or overview of using Minis as render stations?

I think it depends on the software you're using. I don't need one, so I don't have one and don't know how to do it for any software. Bergermeister said he had a mini as a render station, but he didn't make a complete report on how he did it or how well it worked.
Edited by JeffDM - 12/22/12 at 8:22pm
post #7 of 27
Price-wise, they'd work out about the same.

The rMBP you'd get would be:

2.6GHz i7
16GB RAM
256GB storage <- if Apple charged $1/GB I 'd say 512GB, maybe one day
1GB 650M
$2499

the iMac would be:
3.4GHz i7
32GB RAM from OWC for $197
1TB Fusion
2GB 680MX
$2599

In terms of processor performance, the 2.6GHz i7 scores about 6.7 in Cinebench, the 3.4GHz i7 scores about 7.5 so for raw rendering, the 12% difference is negligible.

The 680MX GPU has 1536 cores at 720MHz, the 650M has 384 cores at 850MHz best-case. So the 680MX should be around 3.5x faster than the 650M.

The desktop GTX 680 has 1536 cores at 1GHz so you can expect around 72% of the performance of a GTX 680.

In CUDA/OpenCL accelerated apps like AE, this can make a significant difference as shown here:

http://www.barefeats.com/aecs6.html

The top iMac would probably be close to the top 2 scores with the desktop 580 and you can clearly see the 3.5x+ speed difference. When you aren't using accelerated effects, the difference will be less noticeable but waiting an hour vs waiting 13 minutes is a huge difference.

But of course, if you keep your workstation anyway, it can do that heavy lifting. In terms of how the computer copes, there is a noise test of the Retina MBP here with the fans at full speed:



When the mic is away from the machine, it barely picks up the sound so even if it's running quite a heavy workload, it shouldn't feel like you are taxing it much. Temperature-wise, it will still get fairly hot but in a test here, it seemed to have improved over last year's model at least on the base of the machine:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6023/the-nextgen-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review/12

You will need a keyboard/mouse and a large display to go with the laptop but you can pick up a fairly inexpensive 24" IPS display to go with it:

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-UltraSharp-U2412M-LED-Monitor/dp/B005JN9310

You will also have to get additional storage but if you need to capture footage, you can even pick up a 256GB SSD and put it in a USB 3 enclosure:

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-sata_6_0_gb-2-5-Inch-MZ-7TD250BW/dp/B009NHAEXE

Your work will no doubt have bulk storage options.

If you went the iMac route, it could be supplemented with an iPad Mini for presentations with HDMI out but it's hard to take your work home that way. If you have a tight deadline, going the route of copying data to an external drive and syncing it up at home is worse than just popping a laptop in your bag without shutting down and starting right where you left off when you get home.

The iMac has an amazing display and will perform better under certain heavy tasks. The Macbook Pro will handle a heavy workload and has the benefit of portability. If it's more important to have a powerful machine outside the office, get the MBP. If it's more important to have a great display, lots of internal storage and a very fast GPU, go for the iMac.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr 
One thing I'm definitely purchasing to accompany either Mac I choose is one of the Thunderbolt RAID arrays, my ultimate goal to be able use it as a shareable/portable media drive between multiple Macs (home workstation, office workstation, mobile workstation, etc.)

These things look really neat for portability:

http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?id=10549

$1000 for the 1TB SSD isn't bad. Older projects can be 'archived' to cheaper storage if it's not enough space.
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr 
I'm really excited about this idea of Mac Minis as slave/render stations, but I have exactly ZERO experience setting up render farms, server networks, anything like that.

If those turn out to be an option, I'll probably buy the iMac + Thunderbolt RAID first, then add Mac Minis and portable options as money and business allows.

Can anyone point me toward a reliable how-to or overview of using Minis as render stations?

You'd just hook a bunch of them into a network hub using gigabit ethernet. You 'd have to install the appropriate software on each and set them to be able to share files. Once you have that setup, you'd just copy the projects over and run a script to render a certain batch of frames. There are examples here for AE:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/aftereffects/cs/using/WS3878526689cb91655866c1103a4f2dff7-79a3a.html

You'd be best rendering to image sequences so you can pull them in and merge them easily (assuming Apple keeps QTPro on the go as you can open image sequences, view frame/timecodes and save as self-contained). So for example, you'd maybe render frames 1-150 on one machine and 150-300 on another. It would be good if it could do this all automatically and adjust the load between machines as some sequences will take longer then others - it would be nice if Apple could do this over Thunderbolt. Because it's multi-protocol PCI, it should be possible to connect them all with very low latency and treat them like co-processors so you don't even have to think about configuring software. The Minis unfortunately only have one TB port so it would need a hub or special cable but who knows. For now, ethernet is the only real option.

It would make for a nice setup though. For less than the price of a top-end MP, you'd get 28 physical i7 cores and the 7 Minis would take up hardly any space. Like this idea:



That H-squared rack holds 18 Minis for a total of 72 processsors.
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Marvin. I'd checked out some of those links before, but the rest of the info you posted really helps clarify my decision.

FWIW, my all-time-best-ever computer was my Powerbook G4 Titanium, with which I finished film school and upon which I really learned how to edit video using FCP. All of which makes me very sentimental/lustful for the rMBP.

 

My biggest holdups on the rMBP are the soldered RAM and the ever-so-slightly-less-than-cutting-edge GPU. I know the rMBP is a fantastically capable machine, but the (admittedly small) gap in performance between rMBP and big iMac puts it ever so slightly below my performance "Mendoza Line."

 

Since it seems RAM/GPU specs are likely to improve with the next rMBP refresh, it seems sensible to wait for that and assemble other pieces of my workflow in the meantime.

 

That leaves me leaning toward the big iMac. Properly outfitted, it seems able to handle all but the most demanding animation and compositing projects, even if still lags behind "real" workstation performance. At any rate, I'd have a great screen and the long-awaited chance to explore the new (apparently much-matured) FCPX/Motion/Compressor workflow, as well as assemble media drives, Thunderbolt RAIDS and so forth...all of which would make a future rMBP purchase (clients willing!) more valueable.

 

Going to research a bit more on these Mini-as-render-slave setups before I pull the trigger, but will post on forum with whichever I choose and rationale for doing so...you know, help the next poor sucker on his one-way trip...

post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

If you really want to come back to the Mac buy a fully loaded iMac 27 incher with 680mx and Fusion Drive.  32 gigs of ram.  You have your Thunderbolt ports as well.

 

...with the spare cash buy a i7 Mini with x gigs of ram and pass over some render jobs to it.

 

Need more?  Buy another i7 Mini and pass more render jobs over to it.

 

Either that or wait until 'whenever' in 2013 that Apple decides to update the 'pro.'

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

That's what I would do. I'd buy the ram third party and test it thoroughly upon installation. The display will need to be positioned so it can be shielded from light as they're still quite reflective. This is really ideal with any display, just more with the Apple mirror like ones. This would definitely be faster than what the OP is currently using as these applications are fully capable of leveraging the newer cpu types. A problem with the mac pro is even if he goes that route, Apple's pricing on the lower mac pro end is out of alignment with what it delivers.  If anything they're a better option for someone looking at a 12 core model, because they actually require every bit of power they can get in a single box and run applications that will scale in a near linear manner with core counts.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr View Post

 

See, this is what excites me about Thunderbolt. In another thread I mistakenly said something about wanting an "external Thunderbolt video card" but what I meant was something like what you're describing with the minis, a little miniature 'render farm' that won't effectively take my application offline while I wait on it to digest multiple textures/flares/etc.

 

A 'true' render farm is beyond both my fiscal and technical abilities for the moment, but if I can just find a piece of the workstation/workflow puzzle that gets me back on a Mac and doesn't set me up to completely start over when/if a new Mac Pro manifests itself, I'd be plenty happy.

Intel has strict certification standards, which are a hurdle in producing off the shelf solutions such as this. PCIe is not a typical networking protocol in itself. I think I linked the sonnet page once before regarding external gpu solutions.

 

Originally Posted by filmjr View Post

One thing I'm definitely purchasing to accompany either Mac I choose is one of the Thunderbolt RAID arrays, my ultimate goal to be able use it as a shareable/portable media drive between multiple Macs (home workstation, office workstation, mobile workstation, etc.)

 

I'm really excited about this idea of Mac Minis as slave/render stations, but I have exactly ZERO experience setting up render farms, server networks, anything like that.

 

If those turn out to be an option, I'll probably buy the iMac + Thunderbolt RAID first, then add Mac Minis and portable options as money and business allows.

 

Can anyone point me toward a reliable how-to or overview of using Minis as render stations?

This has been set up with cheap i7 boxes in the past where people have configured barebones solutions lacking any kind of discrete graphics. Basically a box wrapped around a board. It tends to be more effective if you're able to dedicate large blocks. Obviously it depends on how much information must be transferred to the slave box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


The top iMac would probably be close to the top 2 scores with the desktop 580 and you can clearly see the 3.5x+ speed difference. When you aren't using accelerated effects, the difference will be less noticeable but waiting an hour vs waiting 13 minutes is a huge difference.
But of course, if you keep your workstation anyway, it can do that heavy lifting. In terms of how the computer copes, there is a noise test of the Retina MBP here with the fans at full

The desktop 680 is still significantly faster if you're using this stuff all the time. The bigger difference is memory. If projects exceed the available memory on the 680MX, that's a bigger factor than the difference between desktop and mobile variants. Paging tends to mess these things up. It's usually a matter of if you're using a lot of textures. High resolution textures eat memory, and some of the older virtual memory mapping algorithms don't work when we're talking about video memory. I wanted to point out a possible reason they used the 580. The 580 and 680GTX versions aren't officially available for Macs. They work in recent OS revisions without a boot screen and there's one guy on Macrumors that comes up with driver tweaks for them. It's not quite the same as a natively supported card. A possible reason for the lack of a 680GTX is because it would be slower than the 580 in floating point calculations. Anything with rendering uses a huge amount of floating point math. I don't recall the exact algorithm. They're primarily normalized in 0-1 which would be 1/(2**32). Typically some kind of handling for "over bright" calculation outside of the 0-1 range exists, as these can be clamped way beyond 0-1, so I'm not that confident in the math above. I haven't been able to find enough information on the topic. I just wanted to point out that Kepler isn't really better in this regard, although NVidia may improve upon it with the latest CUDA standard. I don't view a notebook as a good investment for longevity with a workload that keeps increasing as the OP has seen thus far. On the cpu rendering side, Adobe typically recommends 2GB of ram per logical core assigned. In the case of either of these machines, it would be 8 logical cores so 16GB of ram. The OS might need a bit too, and this assumes the current version of After Effects. Overall I'd suggest that machine with a faster gpu than a 650m and some wiggle room on ram would be a better investment for longevity.

 

 

Quote:
The iMac has an amazing display and will perform better under certain heavy tasks. The Macbook Pro will handle a heavy workload and has the benefit of portability. If it's more important to have a powerful machine outside the office, get the MBP. If it's more important to have a great display, lots of internal storage and a very fast GPU, go for the iMac.

I wouldn't go as far as amazing. The OP could pick up better options for such purposes if he's not tied to the imac. NEC is a significantly better option than the thunderbolt display at comparable price points, as Apple doesn't really focus on that market. It's something that people buy because it's often good enough and available at the time they purchase a new machine. That's not an entirely bad thing. If someone is buying an imac anyway, I wouldn't tell them to go buy a different display unless they're positive that the imac isn't suitable for a primary one (as in after they've tried it). It's automatically replaced with the machine, so using it past 3 years or so is less likely, although depending on use, it's typical to update every 3 years or so if you need it to remain spot on. I don't know what the OP currently owns, but he mentioned a few color grading plugins. Magic bullet specifically relates to color effects/styles.

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm 
The desktop 680 is still significantly faster if you're using this stuff all the time. The bigger difference is memory. If projects exceed the available memory on the 680MX, that's a bigger factor than the difference between desktop and mobile variants.

I don't view a notebook as a good investment for longevity with a workload that keeps increasing as the OP has seen thus far. On the cpu rendering side, Adobe typically recommends 2GB of ram per logical core assigned. In the case of either of these machines, it would be 8 logical cores so 16GB of ram.

The OS might need a bit too, and this assumes the current version of After Effects. Overall I'd suggest that machine with a faster gpu than a 650m and some wiggle room on ram would be a better investment for longevity.

NEC is a significantly better option than the thunderbolt display at comparable price points

It's always the moving target though. If Apple used a desktop 680, you'd say a 690 was better. If they used a 690, you'd say two 690s in SLI would be better and it needs slots. If they gave you two 690s in SLI, you'd say 4x Quadros are better and needs a 2kW PSU. If they gave you 4x Quadros, you'd say 4x Teslas are better.

As it stands right now, the 27" iMac is a very powerful workstation machine. The 680MX comes with 2GB of video memory, which is no less than most desktop GPUs ship with. The desktop GPUs are faster but the speed difference in a given job will be negligible.

In terms of display quality, they reduced the glare 75% so it's no longer an issue. You can clearly see this in the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dtyyA-b_Uqg#t=104s

For colour accuracy, they individually calibrate them using:

"three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point, and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet color standards recognized around the world for precision and accuracy."

Yes you could get a slightly faster i7-3770k workstation with a desktop 680/690 and an NEC display for the same price as an iMac but it won't be as quiet and it won't hold its resale value and it's really not going to be that much faster nor more colour accurate.

I also think the rMBP is fine for a workstation because assuming people buy workstations to last 3+ years, the rMBP is easily as fast as a 3 year old workstation. For the most demanding tasks that can take advantage of the GPU, the iMac is the better option but the rMBP is perfectly capable of it. As I've said in the past, it's no longer that these machines can't do the job, you just have to wait a bit longer just as you would with an older workstation. Laptops are a bit easier to resell too as the demand is higher and they hold their value more so upgrading yearly is a viable option.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 

Ordered the 27" iMac tonight. Now ordering 32GB RAM kit from OWC. Will use it for my bread-and-butter HD editing, hopefully discovering a fun, efficient new workflow with FCPX/Motion/Compressor.

 

My old warhorse Q2000 Wintel box will handle the heavy texture/color/AFX stuff in the meantime. If that part of my work continues to grow and my skills continue to evolve, I'll look seriously at the next (?) Mac Pro and some big-league Quadro for Mac iron.

 

As for rMBP: I ultimately decided that soldered RAM + slightly-less-than-cutting-edge GPU made it easier to wait on that one. I really want a laptop, and I have two cross-country video shoots in early 2013 for which I'd love to have a mobile workstation with me, but circumstances being what they are, I'll be happy enough to just save my money, manage camera media and capture when I'm back at HQ.

 

When I do finally add an rMBP to my stable, it will hopefully at least equal the specs on the iMac I just bought...and I should have Thunderbolt drives and network rendering whipped by then. 8^)

 

BTW, Marvin: thanks for link to AFX network rendering support article. I've only fantasized about doing it until now, but it looks REALLY cool and...man, if they ever let us daisy-chain Mac Minis...wow.

 

One more quick question: I'm going to buy a Thunderbolt drive for media. I see Marvin's link to the 1GB SSD, but I was leaning more toward a spin-drive TB RAID, like this one:

 

http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10573

 

That's some pretty wicked throughput, and a ton more space. Is the TB SSD so much faster as a media drive that it's worth the sacrifice in storage?

 

Thanks again to all of you for the advice and info.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


It's always the moving target though. If Apple used a desktop 680, you'd say a 690 was better. If they used a 690, you'd say two 690s in SLI would be better and it needs slots. If they gave you two 690s in SLI, you'd say 4x Quadros are better and needs a 2kW PSU. If they gave you 4x Quadros, you'd say 4x Teslas are better.

That's a valid point. I really like options.

 

Quote:

 

As it stands right now, the 27" iMac is a very powerful workstation machine. The 680MX comes with 2GB of video memory, which is no less than most desktop GPUs ship with. The desktop GPUs are faster but the speed difference in a given job will be negligible.

It depends on what is hit hardest. For the OP it probably won't be a big deal. My point remains that the 580 is still the fastest there for the moment, as in faster than Kepler. I haven't looked up what is different with the workstation variants, but the gaming gpus don't have Fermi's floating point numbers.

 

 

Quote:

In terms of display quality, they reduced the glare 75% so it's no longer an issue. You can clearly see this in the following video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dtyyA-b_Uqg#t=104s
For colour accuracy, they individually calibrate them using:
"three state-of-the-art spectroradiometers: one to measure gamma, one to measure white point, and one to check the work of the other two. This equipment is tuned to meet color standards recognized around the world for precision and accuracy."

 

I'll address that. I'm fully aware of what radiometers are. Once you're past a certain price point in displays, stringent calibration is normal. Speaking of that, here's an interesting review on the ipad's color. It's obviously a limited sample, but that's quite impressive. That statement is still marketing speech. It doesn't mention how many regions it handles, if Apple uses any technology to improve uniformity, how they actually set the hardware levels, or a number of other things like internal LUT systems to help with long term drift. Some of the other manufacturers have included these things for years, sometimes with published numbers. What I would say matters is if they've hit the point of being good enough for the majority of users that would have been held back by the display quality in the past. Hopefully that explains my position on it a bit better.

 

Quote:

Yes you could get a slightly faster i7-3770k workstation with a desktop 680/690 and an NEC display for the same price as an iMac but it won't be as quiet and it won't hold its resale value and it's really not going to be that much faster nor more colour accurate.
I also think the rMBP is fine for a workstation because assuming people buy workstations to last 3+ years, the rMBP is easily as fast as a 3 year old workstation. For the most demanding tasks that can take advantage of the GPU, the iMac is the better option but the rMBP is perfectly capable of it. As I've said in the past, it's no longer that these machines can't do the job, you just have to wait a bit longer just as you would with an older workstation. Laptops are a bit easier to resell too as the demand is higher and they hold their value more so upgrading yearly is a viable option.

 

There are some pretty quiet desktops, so I'm not sure of that. The NEC is still better. It's easier to track them in the long term. They've improved their quality control over the past few years, and they have a lot of interesting technology like Colorcomp. Apple could use something like that, but these things sacrifice some contrast ratio and increase costs. I prefer the height adjustable stands so that I can position a display at eye level. I somewhat disagree on the topic of resale value. A lot of anomalies pop up there. Look at the early/late 2011 thing. With what Apple charges for an early 2011 refurbished, it sets a certain price ceiling for someone trying to resell theirs. In terms of which is capable, the OP wasn't entirely happy with the performance of his current rig, and the gpu in the imac which helps facilitate playback in Premiere is just so much better on the imac. Compared to what he's using and feels is too slow today, the 650m would have been regressive. That's why I didn't suggest that route. The comments about really wanting a notebook came up later. If he does need one, I might concede that point. Previously it sounded like he was going to use it as a desktop anyway. If the mini had a passable gpu, I'd almost call that with a 1-2 year upgrade cycle a viable option. The appeal would be that I could choose my display. I know you think it's weird, but I've compared side by side at times, and I've seen a ridiculous number of displays to the point where it becomes kind of a mental checklist.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

It seems like you might be asking a lot out of a laptop, any laptop. If you really need a portable unit, I would adjust Lemon Bon Bon's recommendation and suggest an RMBP and add mini render stations if it turns out you need additional compute power. That would also allow you the option of getting a Thunderbolt display at your desk so you have a good size screen for your productive work.

Well, Jeff, looking at Apple's 'Mac' computer strategy...that may be the way things are going.  Laptop power has caught up with desktop power (at least in terms of Apple's solutions and maybe in PCs generally...)  bar Multi-processor and GPUs.  But as Marv' points out the 680 MX is no slouch at 75% more or less of it's desktop counter part.  The gap is closing.

 

My super skinny iMac will kick the snot out of an entry Mac Pro.  Something unthinkable when the iMac began all those years ago.

 

As Marv' points out above...you have a quad core laptop that about performs the same as the iMac bar the GPU!

 

...and with the retina you get the 500gig SD which you get for a £100 cheaper than I payed for my Fusion drive iMac (I'm still waiting...)

 

So...yeah.  The retina Macbook Pro has to be seen to be believed.  I may be getting the iMac...(I'm not a big fan of laptops...) but the retina screen beats it hands down.

 

If only external GPUs were available.  You could boost the GPU power of the retina Macbook Pro.  Or the Mini even.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr 
One more quick question: I'm going to buy a Thunderbolt drive for media. I see Marvin's link to the 1GB SSD, but I was leaning more toward a spin-drive TB RAID, like this one:

http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10573

That's some pretty wicked throughput, and a ton more space. Is the TB SSD so much faster as a media drive that it's worth the sacrifice in storage?

That drive was tested out here:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5577/lacie-2big-thunderbolt-series-review

I'm surprised by the numbers they get on the hard drive models. 300MB/s sequential write is pretty fast for 2 hard drives in RAID0. It must be the density of the drives as they are just 7200 rpm.

The write speed on the SSD didn't hold up well in that test at all but that's the 240GB one. It will be 2x 120GB in RAID0 and 120GB drives have slower writes.

I'd feel I could rely on a dual SSD in RAID 0 more than a platter drive and it'll be a lot quieter. Hearing all the clicking and humming noises from the two drives would be distracting. The big one isn't that portable either - it's 4x heavier than the small one.

You will need lots of space though and it's a good idea to keep important data outside the machine in case the computer has a problem but it's a good idea to have a regular backup of that data. You don't want to have TBs of data on a RAID0 drive and then one of the drives fails.

You could use something like a 512GB USB 3 or Thunderbolt SSD as a working drive and this might handle 3-4 big projects and once a project is done, archive the job to 2 or more platter drives. The SSD can be bus-powered and fit in your pocket:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaHPh5cKmTI
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

Price-wise, they'd work out about the same.
The rMBP you'd get would be:
2.6GHz i7
16GB RAM
256GB storage <- if Apple charged $1/GB I 'd say 512GB, maybe one day
1GB 650M
$2499
the iMac would be:
3.4GHz i7
32GB RAM from OWC for $197
1TB Fusion
2GB 680MX
$2599
In terms of processor performance, the 2.6GHz i7 scores about 6.7 in Cinebench, the 3.4GHz i7 scores about 7.5 so for raw rendering, the 12% difference is negligible.
The 680MX GPU has 1536 cores at 720MHz, the 650M has 384 cores at 850MHz best-case. So the 680MX should be around 3.5x faster than the 650M.
The desktop GTX 680 has 1536 cores at 1GHz so you can expect around 72% of the performance of a GTX 680.
In CUDA/OpenCL accelerated apps like AE, this can make a significant difference as shown here:
http://www.barefeats.com/aecs6.html
The top iMac would probably be close to the top 2 scores with the desktop 580 and you can clearly see the 3.5x+ speed difference. When you aren't using accelerated effects, the difference will be less noticeable but waiting an hour vs waiting 13 minutes is a huge difference.
But of course, if you keep your workstation anyway, it can do that heavy lifting. In terms of how the computer copes, there is a noise test of the Retina 
The iMac has an amazing display and will perform better under certain heavy tasks. The Macbook Pro will handle a heavy workload and has the benefit of portability. If it's more important to have a powerful machine outside the office, get the MBP. If it's more important to have a great display, lots of internal storage and a very fast GPU, go for the iMac.

 

A well debated post, as usual from Marvin here.  The screen on the 27 inch is very good.  (How much better it is with the laminating to make it pop, I'll soon see for myself.)  I don't see how you can argue with the iMac's specs.  It's workstation territory now in my view.  (Plenty of cpu power.  Ram.  Fusion.  Big screen. ...and external expansion via Thunderbolt and USB3)  And has been since it got the i7 and the 6950.

 

It depends on what filmjr wants.  Portable or a portable on a 'stand' :P with the best gpu the iMac has ever seen and 'bigger' monitor.  I think Apple are saying portable power is on the rise and they're behind it.  For me, the new top of the range iMac is hard to beat.  It's the sweet spot on value.  If you want portability, Marv' and Jeff have made the case for the RetinaMacbook Pro for your consideration.  (The retina screen is stunning...and the 512 gig SSD...with an i7 processor is hard to discount.)

 

The 'rack' of Mac Minis, as an aside, Marv' looked very impressive.  *randomly musing.  Will Apple ever 'officially' support this kind of tech'?  The 'modular' Mac?  Two i7 Mac Minis wired together...and an external GPU for less than the entry Mac Pro?

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #17 of 27
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Will Apple ever 'officially' support this kind of tech'?  The 'modular' Mac?

 

There was wild speculation a few months back from a guy who claimed Apple was working on a new cube designed for just this. Basically 7.7x7.7x7.7, "black", and using Thunderbolt to connect them. Called it "Apple Galaxy" or something. 

 

Reminded me of the early naughties when people would just claim they knew Apple was working on such and such, back before popularity really boomed. Good times.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr View Post

Ordered the 27" iMac tonight. Now ordering 32GB RAM kit from OWC. Will use it for my bread-and-butter HD editing, hopefully discovering a fun, efficient new workflow with FCPX/Motion/Compressor.

 

My old warhorse Q2000 Wintel box will handle the heavy texture/color/AFX stuff in the meantime. If that part of my work continues to grow and my skills continue to evolve, I'll look seriously at the next (?) Mac Pro and some big-league Quadro for Mac iron.

 

As for rMBP: I ultimately decided that soldered RAM + slightly-less-than-cutting-edge GPU made it easier to wait on that one. I really want a laptop, and I have two cross-country video shoots in early 2013 for which I'd love to have a mobile workstation with me, but circumstances being what they are, I'll be happy enough to just save my money, manage camera media and capture when I'm back at HQ.

 

When I do finally add an rMBP to my stable, it will hopefully at least equal the specs on the iMac I just bought...and I should have Thunderbolt drives and network rendering whipped by then. 8^)

 

BTW, Marvin: thanks for link to AFX network rendering support article. I've only fantasized about doing it until now, but it looks REALLY cool and...man, if they ever let us daisy-chain Mac Minis...wow.

 

One more quick question: I'm going to buy a Thunderbolt drive for media. I see Marvin's link to the 1GB SSD, but I was leaning more toward a spin-drive TB RAID, like this one:

 

http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10573

 

That's some pretty wicked throughput, and a ton more space. Is the TB SSD so much faster as a media drive that it's worth the sacrifice in storage?

 

Thanks again to all of you for the advice and info.

 

I think you made the right decision going iMac at the moment.  Fully loaded, it takes some beating overall in value.  Plus the 680mx will drive that display a lot better than the retina gpu drives the retina screened Macbook Pro.  It will be a generation or so before the 'book can compete in that regard to the iMac I would have thought.

 

(...and I don't doubt that the iMac will suffer a similar fate when Apple goes retina in the iMac...with the Gpu...initially struggling to get the framerates of the current gpu relative to non-retina?)

 

((Part of the reason I pulled the trigger on the current iMac skinny was because, by the time I upgrade again in four+ years, the iMac will probably have retina and have a gpu or two generations in that will cope with running it...?))

 

As for the SSDs.  Interesting question.  I'm no expert, but I've been reading up on SSD drives for either internal (I doubt it will be easy to fit an internal into the new iMac skinny...for the interim...) and external.  What type of memory they have...can decide on whether they are value products or workstation products.  Read and write speeds.  What type of controller they have eg Sandforce?  You can get them Intel, OCZ, Kingston, Crucial.

 

I've seen articles where SSDs compete very well with traditional Raid systems and give them a bruising on some benchmarks.  And then some Raid SSDs look impressive indeed.  The benches on the OCZ Vertex 4 look impressive for a workstation class SSD?  Available in various sizes...(upto 1TB?)  As a brand, fast...but some questions over their reliability.  There's Lacie's external 'Little Big' for a couple of hundred from Apple.  It's not the fastest...but does have that orange rubber around it... :P

 

My cousin just bought an OCZ 240 gig Agility 3.  It's given his PC laptop a new lease of life after the laptop platter HD died.  It flies by comparison.  SSD prices are in freefall...but can't quite compete with bang for TB buck of platters.  But with SSDs at around £250-300 on eBay for 512 gigs (Versus the crazy smack talk of Apple charging a grand for 700 gigs...) you could buy a couple of those for less than Apple's SSD and still have four hundred to put to next year's Mac Pro.

 

Speaking of which.  Can you still run a Mac Pro tower 'through' an iMac?  So in effect you could add the machines core processing power to the iMacs?  And switch between the two?  Just a thought.

 

You can still buy the Pro later in the year.  If you're making a living from your Mac Kit you'll add it in time, I'm sure?  Same with a Macbook retina with a gpu that's worthy of the machine...even later.

 

I hope you have 'fun' with your new sexy iMac when it arrives.

 

Lemon Bon Bon. 

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

There was wild speculation a few months back from a guy who claimed Apple was working on a new cube designed for just this. Basically 7.7x7.7x7.7, "black", and using Thunderbolt to connect them. Called it "Apple Galaxy" or something. 

 

Reminded me of the early naughties when people would just claim they knew Apple was working on such and such, back before popularity really boomed. Good times.

:)  I think that was Junkyard? 

 

Hey, I like the sound of it.  A cube, in slate black alu?  I'd buy one of those.  No doubt about that.  Collect more Cubes as you go.  The question being, how can Apple add incentive to the workstation market to drive volume of their units?  If you can just add power you buy another unit.  I can see many pros of all budgets getting down on that.  Instead of chucking my iMac out...or Cube...I just add another to the mix.  Apple gets a sale.  I'm a happy customer who isn't throwing away kit to replace with new kit.  With Thunderbolt, motherboards we have now and all those ports and OS X, ...and that old Virginia Tech' G5 cluster...you'd think that Apple could 'consumerize' and reinvent teh workstation market.  They''ve made great strides with the iMac.  Be great if you could run a few Cubes behind / with it...to augment that blossoming power.  If anyone can?  Apple can?  Why not.  It's partially there with the Mini.

 

And the Marv' mini rack (!  Oh yes...) link hints at what 'could' be done.  Same with that external GPU stuff.  I sometimes wonder if we're still in transition with all this stuff.  Retina.  External gpus.  Clustering CPU power.  Shouldn't it be all coming to gether by now?  Or does Thunderbolt need to go to Mark 2 for it to be a reality..?

 

I'd have a 'gasm over that a 'slate' cube like that.  Apple Galaxy...  (Where Tim Cook and Scott would rule the galaxy as father and son...and bring order to the workstation galaxy...)  *rasping voice.

 

As to your latter paragraph.  Too right. ;)

 

Lemon Bon Bon.


Edited by Lemon Bon Bon. - 12/23/12 at 8:35am

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


That drive was tested out here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5577/lacie-2big-thunderbolt-series-review
I'm surprised by the numbers they get on the hard drive models. 300MB/s sequential write is pretty fast for 2 hard drives in RAID0. It must be the density of the drives as they are just 7200 rpm.
The write speed on the SSD didn't hold up well in that test at all but that's the 240GB one. It will be 2x 120GB in RAID0 and 120GB drives have slower writes.
I'd feel I could rely on a dual SSD in RAID 0 more than a platter drive and it'll be a lot quieter. Hearing all the clicking and humming noises from the two drives would be distracting. The big one isn't that portable either - it's 4x heavier than the small one.
You will need lots of space though and it's a good idea to keep important data outside the machine in case the computer has a problem but it's a good idea to have a regular backup of that data. You don't want to have TBs of data on a RAID0 drive and then one of the drives fails.
You could use something like a 512GB USB 3 or Thunderbolt SSD as a working drive and this might handle 3-4 big projects and once a project is done, archive the job to 2 or more platter drives. The SSD can be bus-powered and fit in your pocket:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaHPh5cKmTI

 

What he said. :P  Particularly the last paragraph.

 

Lemon Bon Bon. 

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #21 of 27

*Scratches head.  Aren't there some Thunderbolt SSD drives that can be bus powered or externally powered for extra thoughput/speed?

 

Lemon Bon Bon 

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by filmjr View Post

One thing I'm definitely purchasing to accompany either Mac I choose is one of the Thunderbolt RAID arrays, my ultimate goal to be able use it as a shareable/portable media drive between multiple Macs (home workstation, office workstation, mobile workstation, etc.)

 

I'm really excited about this idea of Mac Minis as slave/render stations, but I have exactly ZERO experience setting up render farms, server networks, anything like that.

 

If those turn out to be an option, I'll probably buy the iMac + Thunderbolt RAID first, then add Mac Minis and portable options as money and business allows.

 

Can anyone point me toward a reliable how-to or overview of using Minis as render stations?

I think you're on the right track with your thinking overall.  The iMac with that Pegasus Thunderbolt set up looks a bit of a beast combo.

 

I was reading about an artist only the other day.  He works on his iMac and passes off a job for his Mini to render.  Maybe it was 3D work.  (eg doesn't Lightwave allow render nodes?)

 

This sort of stuff isn't mainstream...yet?  But the parts look like they're there and it's upto software to catch up...and maybe someone like Apple to make it 'just work...?'

 

It's an area I'm looking into myself.  ie to have Fusion on my iMac for programs and 'in work' projects and pass them over to external drives when I'm done.  That way, if the iMac goes down...my data is safe.  If I then buy a Mac Mini with the Haswell update (better gpu...*Moans...at lack of gpu grunt in current one...) then I have a Mac I can keep working on.

 

I have no doubt that SSD drives are plummeting.  

 

My cousin missed out on a 1 TB SSD drive on Ebay that went for over £200 quid (from China..).  He kicked himself for not putting a bid in.  If 512 gig SSDs are going for £250-300 now...the 1 TB ones will be soon behind them in a year's time at this rate of going.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

Well, Jeff, looking at Apple's 'Mac' computer strategy...that may be the way things are going.  Laptop power has caught up with desktop power (at least in terms of Apple's solutions and maybe in PCs generally...)  bar Multi-processor and GPUs.  But as Marv' points out the 680 MX is no slouch at 75% more or less of it's desktop counter part.  The gap is closing.

My super skinny iMac will kick the snot out of an entry Mac Pro.  Something unthinkable when the iMac began all those years ago.

As Marv' points out above...you have a quad core laptop that about performs the same as the iMac bar the GPU!

...and with the retina you get the 500gig SD which you get for a £100 cheaper than I payed for my Fusion drive iMac (I'm still waiting...)

So...yeah.  The retina Macbook Pro has to be seen to be believed.  I may be getting the iMac...(I'm not a big fan of laptops...) but the retina screen beats it hands down.

RMBP may be as fast as an iMac, but filmjr mentioned that they had a reputation of getting hot under continuous heavy load. I don't know if that's true.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


RMBP may be as fast as an iMac, but filmjr mentioned that they had a reputation of getting hot under continuous heavy load. I don't know if that's true.

 

That's probably true.  I find most Apple 'thin' kit...tends to get hot under duress.  I suppose it depends upon workload.  I noticed that about plastic Macbooks years ago when I used one.  Doing anything where the cpu has to work for a little while the cpu fan 'whirrrrred' up.  Apple have pushed the 'thin' enclosures thing.  With that must come some compromise re: temperature at times.

 

Take this Core 2 Duo iMac of mine...just take an old game engine which demands more of the cpu than gpu and the fans spin up...  Gets really hot on the left side as I look at it.  Though on a more modern game engine?  The cpu doesn't fire up at all.  Still, even at idle...the top left is 'warm' when the machine is on a while.  On a Summer's day doing anything I consider 'moderate' I wouldn't want my face gaffa taped to the left side of my machine.  *Cooking eggs comes to mind.  And not comfortable to the touch.

 

Same with a 27 incher (old iMac) sitting in Apple stores doing nothing.  Very warm/hot to touch on the left side.  Under very heavy workstation load mode...?

 

Maybe without DVD and HD moving parts the next gen iMac I have might run cooler with Ivy Bridge.  I'll be able to find out in the new year.  Hopefully that solitary fan will keep the i7 happy even under load.  We'll see when I start doing Photoshop style work again if it will get 'spin up' under load...or an extended 3D render.  

 

My iPad is always ice cold...but then...I never do anything heavy duty with it...or my iPhone.

 

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


RMBP may be as fast as an iMac, but filmjr mentioned that they had a reputation of getting hot under continuous heavy load. I don't know if that's true.


I'm a little biased in favor of the imac due to greater max ram, which a program like after effects eats, superior gpu, and I have no idea what his current display is like. A notebook screen would be quite small for cutting commercials, especially with the amount that would typically be dedicated to various track or graph editors. 15" is tiny to me. In my experience if I'm stressing out the entire machine, my macbook pro battery will drain even plugged in. Others mentioned the same thing on Apple discussions. The typical scenario seemed to be transcoding. In my experience the discrete graphics seem to draw quite a lot of that.

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

That's probably true.  I find most Apple 'thin' kit...tends to get hot under duress.  I suppose it depends upon workload.  I noticed that about plastic Macbooks years ago when I used one.  Doing anything where the cpu has to work for a little while the cpu fan 'whirrrrred' up.  Apple have pushed the 'thin' enclosures thing.  With that must come some compromise re: temperature at times.

Take this Core 2 Duo iMac of mine...just take an old game engine which demands more of the cpu than gpu and the fans spin up...  Gets really hot on the left side as I look at it.  Though on a more modern game engine?  The cpu doesn't fire up at all.  Still, even at idle...the top left is 'warm' when the machine is on a while.  On a Summer's day doing anything I consider 'moderate' I wouldn't want my face gaffa taped to the left side of my machine.  *Cooking eggs comes to mind.  And not comfortable to the touch.

Same with a 27 incher (old iMac) sitting in Apple stores doing nothing.  Very warm/hot to touch on the left side.  Under very heavy workstation load mode...?

Maybe without DVD and HD moving parts the next gen iMac I have might run cooler with Ivy Bridge.  I'll be able to find out in the new year.  Hopefully that solitary fan will keep the i7 happy even under load.  We'll see when I start doing Photoshop style work again if it will get 'spin up' under load...or an extended 3D render.

My iMac 2011 gets warm in idle, but that's OK. I think one concern is about heat generated vs. surface area to dissipate it. Another is to work on a notebook computer, your hands are on it, so you feel it more. On an iMac, you don't need to touch the machine.
Quote:
My iPad is always ice cold...but then...I never do anything heavy duty with it...or my iPhone.

My iPad is never even slightly warm, but ditto on not really stressing it. I sometimes play video, but not demanding games or compute apps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post


I'm a little biased in favor of the imac due to greater max ram, which a program like after effects eats, superior gpu, and I have no idea what his current display is like. A notebook screen would be quite small for cutting commercials, especially with the amount that would typically be dedicated to various track or graph editors. 15" is tiny to me. In my experience if I'm stressing out the entire machine, my macbook pro battery will drain even plugged in. Others mentioned the same thing on Apple discussions. The typical scenario seemed to be transcoding. In my experience the discrete graphics seem to draw quite a lot of that.

It wouldn't be an easy choice for me, I think it depends on the user's preferences and usage pattern. I think your case is a good one though, esp. if you benefit from more than 16GB of RAM. If there wasn't a chance of needing to change anything on the go, maybe use an iPad to demonstrate the work so far and the portfolio, and an iMac to actually do the work. I personally would chose the iMac, but I don't need a mobile computer for my work.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post
It wouldn't be an easy choice for me, I think it depends on the user's preferences and usage pattern. I think your case is a good one though, esp. if you benefit from more than 16GB of RAM. If there wasn't a chance of needing to change anything on the go, maybe use an iPad to demonstrate the work so far and the portfolio, and an iMac to actually do the work. I personally would chose the iMac, but I don't need a mobile computer for my work.

 

I have a reasonable level of familiarity with most of the software he's using. The rMBP isn't a bad machine. Some people seem to use it for similar stuff. I was going by the desire for longevity where it kind of just makes it in certain areas today and the fact that he mentioned his current machine is a little underpowered in spite of being reasonably good hardware. I could see staggering purchases, especially if he definitely requires a notebook. Personally I'd want to test power consumption prior to going forward. As I mentioned the 2011s can lean pretty hard on the battery during certain tasks. It's unfortunate that Apple doesn't have a charger available as an accessory purchase that can deliver more power.

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