Post Production

Here’s the proverbial new Mac Pro can be ordered post

Expensive? Yes, but it doesn’t have to be compared to what else you can buy. Lots of discussions around the web are helpful.

Unless you’re living under a rock or locked in a dark post-production room you know by now that Apple’s new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR went on sale yesterday with deliveries looking to begin mainly after the first of the year. Apple shipped out what looks to be some mid-level configurations for some early testing. There are the obvious YouTubers who all seemed to enjoy the unboxing more than the actual testing but okay since this post is mooching off all the content from those folks lucky enough to be testing the thing here’s one of the unboxing videos.

But we want more real-world specs so this read from Vincent Laforet’s Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro – First Impressions was my favorite read. He uses the term “effortless” which really sums up his experience thus far. Of special note is his transcode tests on 8K RED media so instead of pasting those results here please click over to his article to see how the new Mac Pro tested against an iMac Pro and a new 16-inch Macbook Pro.

FCP.co spoke with a production company doing real video post-production work and there are some good gems in there as well which will mean a lot more to video production pros the all of the YouTube videos I’ve seen combined.

But the real gold comes from Twitter!

We knew it was going to be expensive and if you believe the internet then your new Mac Pro would cost as much as a nice mid-level sedan.

These shopping carts that quite literally check the high end of every checkbox are more for shock value as very few people are going to be buying that high end of a machine, even if you could use that much power.

I spent a bit trying to configure a similar HP Z* PC and while I don’t think you can get an exact feature for feature comparison you can get a high-end PC up there in the $50K+ territory pretty quickly.

You can always configure an expensive PC if you try. A discussion of this exact topic on Twitter has a bit more insight on the PC cost discussion.

I had this exact discussion with a number of folks after I bought an iMac Pro and I think my reasoning would be sound if I bought a mid-level Mac Pro. Besides the fact I just like and prefer Mac OS I want a powerful desktop video editing system where I can open the box, plug it in and go to work. The last thing I want to do is computer stuff like installing cards, updating drivers, configuring configurables, etc, etc, etc. If that’s your thing then that is great but it’s also great there are high-end plug and play options.

I don’t think the Elise comparison is a good one as used Elise prices are all over the map (I know as I’ve priced them) depending on the mileage and how much it has been abused so you’re not going to want to own a $14,000 Elise even if you can somehow find one.

I think a realistic mid-range Mac Pro model would set you back around $15,000 give or take a few thousand depending on what you want in the machine.

If I was in the market for a new Mac Pro I would wait it out for a while and see what the best configuration might be for all around post-production when you have to use Adobe and/or Avid products in the mix. All of the early seeds are heavily invested in Final Cut Pro X with some Resolve thrown into the testing. FCPX is going to scream on this machine but I have to wonder if this optimized hardware alone will help FCPX make more in-roads into high-end post-production. FCPX can already scream on good Apple hardware like an iMac Pro so I don’t think it’s the hardware that is the roadblock for many editors when it comes to being an FCPX convert.

Adobe’s Metal support on the iMac Pro is a good bit faster in the unofficial tests that I’ve done so once it is optimized for the new Mac Pro that will make for a screamin’ Premiere machine as well. Speaking of optimization I can confirm this tweet but it was tweeted back to me so here it is:

As far as Adobe goes right now let’s just rely on very smart Adobe people when it comes to a good Adobe configuration but remember that this is a lot of spitballing until someone really tests out Adobe on the Mac Pro or Adobe themselves certify and talk about Premiere and After Effects performance.

Speaking of iMac Pros, I do love mine and I think they will get lost in the shuffle these days a bit as they are still a great, affordable option for post-production.

Personally, I wouldn’t buy an under $10,000 new Mac Pro as I think if you’re buying into a new hardware system that you expect to run for years you want to buy into it not at the bottom of it.

Speaking again of iMac Pros, my initial thought was that the new Pro Display XDR might be the unsung hero here for post-production if you need to move into the world of higher-end finishing and HDR. Or if you’re just in the market for a good display that can carry you into the future. The Pro Display XDR is not exclusive to the new Mac Pro but boy was I disappointed to see that the newest iMac Pros aren’t supported without hardware like a Blackmagic eGPU.

Talking about this with people smarter than me reveals the answer to why the iMac Pro won’t support the Pro Display XDR: it’s old.

I guess that makes sense. Time and technology marches on.

I’ll end this little post with a shout out to my friend Thomas Grove Carter of Trim who’s been cutting on one of these things for a couple of weeks. He’s not producing YouTube unboxing videos, he’s just editing and his Twitter thread is the best I’ve read thus far. Thanks Thomas.

That podcast is a really good listen so add it to your listening list.

And finally a little transcoding:

 


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PVC Staff
Scott Simmons was born in rural West Tennessee and didn't really realize that movies and tv had to be made by actual people until he went to college. After getting degrees in both Television Production…
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