Latest post Tue, Sep 10 2013 8:49 PM by Isaac T.. 14 replies.
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  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 4:02 PM

    • lodoiska
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    Which Mac with MC 7?

    Hi all!

    I'm completely new to Avid, and I was asked to choose a computer to put MC7 on. Which one should I get? I know which ones are suppported, but money-and-use wise, is it preferable to have the newest 2.66GHz 6-core Westmere with only 6gb of ram and an internal SSD as a scratch (3000$), a new 3.2GHz Quand Nahelem (Scratch SSD, 12GB ram) (2200$), or is a used Octo Nahelem 2009 (2.26GHz, SSD scratch, but 32GB ram) better (1500$)? Is there a real-life time saving difference between those machines? (assume they all have a 5770HD video card). Will any of these will be more stable?

    Also, I can't help but notice the new Quand 3.2GHz Nahalem isn't listed as suppported, not does any Octo Westmere... Since they do have the minimun (or more) cores & memory stated at the end of the Qualified Systems PDF, am I to understand they are supported, but have not been thoroughly tested by Avid? If I end up buying one of those, will the Avid Support still help me if I run into problems?

    This system will be used to edit documentaries feature movies, so not 3d or special effects whatsoever, just HD images with subtitles.

    Thank you for all your help!

    A total newbie,

    Lodo

  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Any of those will work. While Avid tests as many configuration possible, olders and "low-end" systems usually take a back seat to newer and higher end Mac Pros.

    I would select the most cores with the highest clock speed (12 core Westmere being on top). SSD is not necessary and probably not a good investment for media drives because of cost. They are great for system drives.

    If you are using background transcoding, it is highly recommended that you have at least 16GB of RAM.

     

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  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 4:37 PM In reply to

    • lodoiska
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Hi!

    Thanks for the reply.

    We do not have the $ for 12-core westmere; the options we have are the 3 written in the first paragraph of my post. Hence the less-core-more-ram / less core-more-speed questions. Even the naked 6 core is REALLY streching our budget, and I'd rather avoid it. In an ideal world, I agree the fastest 12-core with boosted ram would be the best; but our situation says any of the 3 mentionned options HAS to be our option, unless someone has another suggestion in the same price range.à

    So I'm looking foe the best option within these.

    The SSD are not for media, but for scratch. Our media is on usb3/firewire 800 7500rpm external drives.

    Thanks

    Lodo

  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 6:43 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Lodo,

    I understood but just wanted to clarify the core count thing. Selecting between core count vs clock speed is a little tricky. Usually higher core count trumps raw clock speed. But there are so many other factors including chipset and software core utilization.

    I would go with the Westmere 6 core. Remove the SSD and the RAM if you need to. Buy your own RAM (much cheaper than the Apple Store route).

    The 4 core Nahelem would perform better than the 6 core Westmere on applications that depended mostly on clock speed. But with 2 more cores, multithreaded app would likely beat it. The 8 core sounds great but it is getting older and overall performance would not be that much different from the 6 core Westmere.

     

     

    MC 2020.6, W10, Gigabyte X299M, Intel 9940X, Gigabyte 2080Ti Waterforce, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, BM Mini monitor & Dell UP2718Q. MBP 2012... [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 7:43 PM In reply to

    • lodoiska
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Oh, ok, I get it for the 12 core reference. Thanks.

    I have been looking to find if MC 7 is using the multiple cores or not, but could not come with a definite answer. On various forums, the information seems to be contested...  I know FinalCut Pro 7 makes good use of it, but this system isn't for FCP; it would be for Avid MC7 only. From your answer to get the 6-core Westmere, should I understand that MC7 can multithread?

    As for the ram and ssd, I also tend to do it myself; Apple does charge a lot for it! It is nice of you to suggest, though.

    :)

  • Thu, Sep 5 2013 8:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    FCP is usually dual threaded if I remember correctly. I think only some parts of L&T and 3rd party plugins are multi threaded.

    Avid is better threaded but not all functions are. In particular, SD codecs are not but DNXHD are.

     

     

    MC 2020.6, W10, Gigabyte X299M, Intel 9940X, Gigabyte 2080Ti Waterforce, 64GB RAM, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, BM Mini monitor & Dell UP2718Q. MBP 2012... [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Sep 6 2013 1:13 PM In reply to

    • lodoiska
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

  • Fri, Sep 6 2013 1:39 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Some AMA transcodes, like RED, seem to peg all the cores available to 100%.

    Others use less power per core.

    I would assume this will only get better as time goes on, so if you plan to invest in a machine that you'll keep for a while (mine is currently five years old) get the additional cores.

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  • Mon, Sep 9 2013 10:10 PM In reply to

    • lodoiska
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 5:26 PM In reply to

    • Isaac T.
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    If budget is a concern:

    1) Visit the Certified Refurbished section of apple.com/store. You'll find a qualified Mac and save some money.

    2) Buy a Mac with the lowest RAM and upgrade for next to nothing at Other World Computing. They have tutorial videos and everything.

    If you can spare a bit more cash:

    1) Swap out the boot drive with a SSD.

    2) Get an eSATA external drive with PCIe card or Thunderbolt adapter. For max performance, make sure the enclosure is eSATA only.

    More tips on macperformanceguide.com.

    Can't recommend OWC enough. And, no, I don't work for them.

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  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 6:58 PM In reply to

    • lodoiska
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Hi!

    Yes, OWC are great! And no, I don't work for them either! ;) That's where I buy too, when I want to pimp up my mac. I also sometimes use Canada Ram, as I live in Canada and try avoid import fees by buying locally when it makes sense.

    I wasn't aware of the "refurbished" section on the Apple Store; it's a great reference. Nothing currently on it for me, but I'll keep looking from time to time.

    I usually use the SSD as the scratch disk, not the boot one. With FCP7, it was a better set-up. Is MC7 different on it's scratch use? 

    For the external drives, I was thinking of getting a USB 3 pci card, as I got to understand that the pci port in itself is slower than the Thunderbolt... and anyway, none of my external drives has Thunderbolt. I did consider the eSATA, but sadly we probably won't have the budget for it, at least for this movie. Next one we should be able to upgrade the components, if we don't have to buy yet another new edditing computer! ;)

  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 7:02 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    USB-3 may not be consistently fast enough for editing.  In order of my preference ... Thunderbolt, eSATA, FW800, FW400, separate physical internal SATA drives, USB anything ...

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  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 7:19 PM In reply to

    • jef
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    lodoiska:

    I usually use the SSD as the scratch disk, not the boot one. With FCP7, it was a better set-up. Is MC7 different on it's scratch use? 

    In FCP land a scratch disc is where the media lives.  In Avid land the term scratch disc is not used - just media storage.  That said, many people feel that due to several reasons, SSD are NOT a low budget option for media storage.  Unless you really need the highest data through put (uncompressed 444 HD for example) then you will get much more storage time for you money with high quality Esata drives in Raid of some sort.

    The reason people like SSD for the boot drive is that you can get away with a smaller size and have faster boot ups / program loads etc.  Also there is some concern about lifespan of SSD drives when they are being continually written and erased ( typical for media storage).

    Jef

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  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 7:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    Randall L Rike:
    USB-3 may not be consistently fast enough for editing.

     

    .- OH, Yeah, it is fast enough.

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  • Tue, Sep 10 2013 8:49 PM In reply to

    • Isaac T.
    • Top 150 Contributor
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    Re: Which Mac with MC 7?

    I'm with RLR's storage recommendations and jef's thoughts on SSD's as media storage. That said, I wanna try an Accelsior card sometime.

    lodoiska:
    For the external drives, I was thinking of getting a USB 3 pci card, as I got to understand that the pci port in itself is slower than the Thunderbolt... and anyway, none of my external drives has Thunderbolt. I did consider the eSATA, but sadly we probably won't have the budget for it, at least for this movie. Next one we should be able to upgrade the components, if we don't have to buy yet another new edditing computer! ;)

    To clarify: Thunderbolt is just PCI Express on the outside of the box.  So if you have open PCIe slots, why not take advantage of them with an eSATA card and a super-fast external RAID?  I'm sure I don't have the whole story...

    Mid-2010 Mac Pro • 2018 MacBook Pro [view my complete system specs]

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