Latest post Tue, May 1 2018 9:49 AM by Bruno M. 2 replies.
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  • Mon, Apr 30 2018 7:58 PM

    • Dogllama
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
    • Posts 7
    • Points 105

    Need Help with Hardware Setup - Blank Check Scenario

    I have been asked for a list of hardware for a new feature, but unfotunately they do not have money for an assist. I haven't setup a new system in quite some time and could use some help. Looking at the "Qualified Hardware specs, it seems like any off the shelf Mac will work these days. That said, I would love to know if the macpros are better suited than the imacs. I'm leaning macpro because of the expanded outputs, but maybe it's not a big deal? I could really use reccomends on all the hardware, for anyone who has the time to help. Thanks!


    Here's what I'm looking for:


    Animated Feature, so tons of files and tons of video effects / layers / etc..

    I need to run 3.1 LCR audio

    Wacom Tablet

    4 monitors (2 editing / 1 color accurate ref / 1 big client monitor)

  • Mon, Apr 30 2018 11:06 PM In reply to

    • Martin Fox
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Fri, Mar 14 2014
    • Sydney Australia
    • Posts 260
    • Points 2,765

    Re: Need Help with Hardware Setup - Blank Check Scenario

    I use a 2017 iMac with best cpu Gfx card option for feature docco work. I previs  animation sections with layers masks inside mediacomposer. I also wanted good Gfx card performance for DaVinci Resolve grading.

    i was going to buy a macpro but then read about all the thermal problems with that machine and the davinci render glitches that result, so I bought the iMac. The iMac has quick sync on the cpu which means I can render an approval cut (mp4)  in a quarter of the run time of the video.

    For expansion I have a thunderbolt to eight x eSata adapter (highpoint rocket store 6328L) and a Caldigit T2(thunderbolt), which gives me two more Sata connections 3x USB an xtra Ethernet, and hdmi out. in all I have about 25 terabytes, but the essence of the drive setup is writing to a dedicated drive, not the one you are reading from.

    3 monitors, one on the Mac, hdmi to a bin monitor  and thunderbolt out to a Blackmagic Design min monitor, which gives me sdi and hdmi for proper video sync to a video monitor.

    its been a very competent system so far and relatively inexpensive, The davinci rendering has really surprised me, it’s much faster than I expected.

    I still think the macpro is viable for media composer, but I think it will loose its resale value quickly.

    iMac Retina27 late 2017 4.5Gz i7 40GB AMD 8GB with Sata Raid OS 10.13.4 MC 2018.3 BMD mini monitor with Eizo monitor [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, May 1 2018 9:49 AM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
    • London, UK
    • Posts 701
    • Points 8,775

    Re: Need Help with Hardware Setup - Blank Check Scenario

    if the macpros are better suited than the imacs. I'm leaning macpro because of the expanded outputs

    If you're talking about the trashcan Macpro, I would keep well clear of this disaster. It's now old technology and is plagued with heat-related issues.

    If you intend to stay with the Apple product line-up, you're going to have to attach all your peripherals (Media drives, additional GPUs etc) via Thunderbolt, and Martin's suggestion of hanging everything off the new iMac Pros is going to be your best bet. The iMac Pro is currently Apple's most powerful and expensive machine. You could certainly save yourself money if you went for a PC workstation, but if you want to stay Mac and money is not an issue, I would get the top specced iMac Pro with as much memory, CPU speed and drive size possible, as you won't be able to easily upgrade later.

    I'll be interested to see how these machines work in a year's time. I don't know of any computers with fans that don't need cleaning out every so often. Unless you're in a flitered, clean air environment, dust will build up on all your internal components and those that require cooling will begin to get hotter, to the point that they will possibly throttle their performance. This is especially true with workstations that stay on for long hours each day. I regularly blow out dust from my workstations and am always surprised how much crap builds up. Since you cannot take an iMac Pro apart without ungluing the front panel, you're reduced to blowing air into the small vents and hoping for the best.

    HP Z800, HP G3 Studio, SonnetFusion RAID, Mojo DX, Symphony 2018.9, JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, Avid Artist Color, Avid Transport [view my complete system specs]
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