Which iMac Pro?

If you are new here check this forum first, your question may have been answered.
User avatar
Ed A.
KVRist
282 posts since 27 Jul, 2004 from Outer Bongolia

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:30 pm

Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:40 pm
get a mini.
imac pro will blow fans in your face.
Yeah, one of the new Mac Mini's would be a great choice for music, just don't attempt any intensive video editing with it since it only has built in Intel graphics.

The funny thing about my iMac Pro is that even when rendering most projects in FCP X, there's almost no fan noise. An older iMac I had would sound like a wind tunnel with similar projects. That tells me that my iMac Pro is not even anywhere near maxing out.

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7535 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:31 pm

Just a heads up, but for those that DONT know yet, Apple makes it near impossible to upgrade these so make sure you know what you want when you get it.

CPU Note: Some VSTs such as Reaktor only uses single cores as they are not multi-core optimized, so having the fastest single core speeds will be beneficial.

RAM Notes: 64Gb of Ram is a good middle ground for workstations IMO, it gives you lots of flexibility in how fast your OS and applications will respond. Also as a bonus if you do any Video production work it will give you plenty to work with as well.

Radeon Pro Vega 56 Notes - Since you are working with audio I'd just go with the cheapest video card available and save some money.

External Drive Notes: For an external drive I'd recommend you use a Thunderbolt-3 drive for sample storage, and if you can find one with fast read/write speeds. There are some good TB3 RAID enclosures available such as the 2Big series or G-technology series. I'd research the read/write speeds on them to make sure you are getting fast enough transfers since you'll be streaming your samples off them.

Internal SSD Notes: The NVME SSD Flash based Drive is insanely fast. It will most likely be the fastest drive you will have on the system unless you buy a super expensive TB3 RAID solution but i doubt it since most of the best ones cost more than the imac pro. Anyways If you can afford it, I'd get the most space I could since you might want to steam your favourite most-detailed multisample libraries off your internal drive versus an external one.


Here's a valuable read id recommend you check out.
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac ... orage.html
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7535 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:34 pm

Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:30 pm
Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:40 pm
get a mini.
imac pro will blow fans in your face.
Yeah, one of the new Mac Mini's would be a great choice for music, just don't attempt any intensive video editing with it since it only has built in Intel graphics.

The funny thing about my iMac Pro is that even when rendering most projects in FCP X, there's almost no fan noise. An older iMac I had would sound like a wind tunnel with similar projects. That tells me that my iMac Pro is not even anywhere near maxing out.
What sort of video (4k, 2k, codec?) are you rendering? How many effects layers / Warp stabilizers or generators are you using in the project? Also are you using multiple layers of video as well ?

I'm asking out of curiosity, because I"ve been thinking about an iMac Pro myself.
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

User avatar
Ed A.
KVRist
282 posts since 27 Jul, 2004 from Outer Bongolia

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:45 pm

Most of the time, Sony XAVC 4:2:2 50Mbps optimized to ProRes 422, occasionally, some UHD, but not for local TV. FCP X doesn't use layered tracks it uses connected clips instead. I don't do a lot of video graphics except for titles, lower thirds, etc.

Ploki
KVRian
643 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm

V0RT3X wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:31 pm

External Drive Notes: For an external drive I'd recommend you use a Thunderbolt-3 drive for sample storage, and if you can find one with fast read/write speeds. There are some good TB3 RAID enclosures available such as the 2Big series or G-technology series. I'd research the read/write speeds on them to make sure you are getting fast enough transfers since you'll be streaming your samples off them.

Internal SSD Notes: The NVME SSD Flash based Drive is insanely fast. It will most likely be the fastest drive you will have on the system unless you buy a super expensive TB3 RAID solution but i doubt it since most of the best ones cost more than the imac pro. Anyways If you can afford it, I'd get the most space I could since you might want to steam your favourite most-detailed multisample libraries off your internal drive versus an external one.

Here's a valuable read id recommend you check out.
https://everymac.com/systems/apple/imac ... orage.html
some misinformation there.

On the mini, i paid 80€ for the TB3 enclosure, and 250€ for Samsung 970 EVO 1TB.
Speed of internal 512GB drive is around 1800 write, 2750 read.
External is 2000 write, 2560 read....
So around the same performance. for good 300€. And 500€ less than going for 1TB in the mini.

I get no performance increase by going from the internal drive, in fact, it's mostly empty now since I use the 1TB NVMe drive between my Mini and my 13" quadcore.
Frankly, I wish I went for 256GB on both Mini and 13" and for a 2TB external.
it's also ridiculously small and light.

TB3 is already saturated with NVMe drive, so going for RAID is throwing performance at the bottle neck which is x4 PCIe you get over NVMe/TB3.
NVMe raids are pointless. Two drives will give better performance because they can use two TB3 ports.

As far as upgrading storage go, I haven't seen a single successful attempt yet, since the blades in the iMac Pro are limp NAND with controller being in the T2 chip.
I doubt the T2 makes it easy to upgrade, since some things need to be verified by the T2 chip.

edit:
just checked, 415GB free on the internal drive, on both mini and 13" (clones)
mac internal drives are fast, but samsung NVMe drives are... amazing.
Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:30 pm
Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:40 pm
get a mini.
imac pro will blow fans in your face.
Yeah, one of the new Mac Mini's would be a great choice for music, just don't attempt any intensive video editing with it since it only has built in Intel graphics.
eGPU with Vega 64?

User avatar
Ed A.
KVRist
282 posts since 27 Jul, 2004 from Outer Bongolia

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:03 pm

Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm
Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:30 pm
Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:40 pm
get a mini.
imac pro will blow fans in your face.
Yeah, one of the new Mac Mini's would be a great choice for music, just don't attempt any intensive video editing with it since it only has built in Intel graphics.
eGPU with Vega 64?
You could do that, but a Vega 64 in an eGPU enclosure gives you less performance than a built-in Vega 56 in an iMac Pro:

https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/02 ... 8-mac-mini
Last edited by Ed A. on Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7535 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:03 pm

Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:45 pm
Most of the time, Sony XAVC 4:2:2 50Mbps optimized to ProRes 422, occasionally, some UHD, but not for local TV. FCP X doesn't use layered tracks it uses connected clips instead. I don't do a lot of video graphics except for titles, lower thirds, etc.
Ah yah I use FCPX as well, i guess i meant clip stacking you know where you have multiple clips over the main connected clip timeline. Especially for interviews where I want to add Multiple B-roll shots in during the dialogue. The camera footage I've been using lately is from an FS7 and FS5 so it's 10-bit XAVC-I DCI 4K which is fairly processor intensive.

I've also been thinking about just ditching FCPX and going over to DaVinci Resolve because a friend of mine says it's easier and you can take advantage of NVIDIAs GTX and RTX graphics cards which are quite a lot more powerful than what AMD has to offer so far.
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

User avatar
Ed A.
KVRist
282 posts since 27 Jul, 2004 from Outer Bongolia

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:11 pm

V0RT3X wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:03 pm
Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:45 pm
Most of the time, Sony XAVC 4:2:2 50Mbps optimized to ProRes 422, occasionally, some UHD, but not for local TV. FCP X doesn't use layered tracks it uses connected clips instead. I don't do a lot of video graphics except for titles, lower thirds, etc.
Ah yah I use FCPX as well, i guess i meant clip stacking you know where you have multiple clips over the main connected clip timeline. Especially for interviews where I want to add Multiple B-roll shots in during the dialogue. The camera footage I've been using lately is from an FS7 and FS5 so it's 10-bit XAVC-I DCI 4K which is fairly processor intensive.

I've also been thinking about just ditching FCPX and going over to DaVinci Resolve because a friend of mine says it's easier and you can take advantage of NVIDIAs GTX and RTX graphics cards which are quite a lot more powerful than what AMD has to offer so far.
Not many connected clips for TV, but if you're doing a cinema production or documentary, there might be. I have DaVinci Resolve, but never learned it, I'm used to FCP. DaVinci Resolve has much better color grading from what I've been told.

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7535 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:17 pm

Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm
some misinformation there.

On the mini, i paid 80€ for the TB3 enclosure, and 250€ for Samsung 970 EVO 1TB.
Speed of internal 512GB drive is around 1800 write, 2750 read.
External is 2000 write, 2560 read....
So around the same performance. for good 300€. And 500€ less than going for 1TB in the mini.
You know I didn't even consider doing that before, but that's really good to know! I have a 1TB NVME in my 2013 Mac pro and it's so much faster than my TB2 raid enclosure which are JUST barely fast enough to work with the video formats I use.

If I went for something like this https://www.g-technology.com/products/d ... er#0G04714 I'd get way faster streaming speeds for the Multiple TB of footage I often have to edit.

So for music and sample libraries (Which afaik don't consume as much space as Video) a solution like yours would be more than adequate.
Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm
I get no performance increase by going from the internal drive, in fact, it's mostly empty now since I use the 1TB NVMe drive between my Mini and my 13" quadcore.
Frankly, I wish I went for 256GB on both Mini and 13" and for a 2TB external.
it's also ridiculously small and light.
That makes sense since Thunderbolt is an interface for the system PCI-E
Ploki wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 2:53 pm
TB3 is already saturated with NVMe drive, so going for RAID is throwing performance at the bottle neck which is x4 PCIe you get over NVMe/TB3.
NVMe raids are pointless. Two drives will give better performance because they can use two TB3 ports.
Yah I didn't say that, I wouldn't do that either. I was referring to a TB2 or 3 external raid like i posted above.
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

Ploki
KVRian
643 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:21 pm

Ed A. wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:03 pm

You could do that, but a Vega 64 in an eGPU enclosure gives you less performance than a built-in Vega 56 in an iMac Pro:

https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/02 ... 8-mac-mini
dang, iMac Pro holds admirably well thermally. i was sure it was going to be hampered like pretty much all Macs since 2012.
V0RT3X wrote:
Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:17 pm

You know I didn't even consider doing that before, but that's really good to know! I have a 1TB NVME in my 2013 Mac pro and it's so much faster than my TB2 raid enclosure which are JUST barely fast enough to work with the video formats I use.



So for music and sample libraries (Which afaik don't consume as much space as Video) a solution like yours would be more than adequate.

yeah we are slowly hitting the apex of computing power necessary for current audio needs arent we?
in 2008 when i had my cheese greater i never would have imagined i could switch to 13" for portable and a Mini for desktop.

User avatar
V0RT3X
KVRAF
7535 posts since 4 Jul, 2012 from Canada

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:24 pm

Just found this for anyone who wants a 8TB NVME Drive
https://www.amazon.com/Intel-P4510-3-1x ... -2-catcorr
Sound Experiments -> |https://soundcloud.com/user-841453413|
Join the Anti-EDM movement :borg:

Ploki
KVRian
643 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Re: Which iMac Pro?

Post Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:26 pm

jesus the insanity.
ironically almost cheaper than 128GB of RAM from apple...

Return to “Getting Started (AKA What is the best...?)”