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Activity Forums Creative Community Conversations The iMac “Pro” rumor looks interesting

  • Tom Sefton

    April 7, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Would the switch to Xeon forego the accelerated h264 encoding?

    Co-owner at Pollen Studio

  • Craig Seeman

    April 7, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    That’s a big concern of mine and it would negate an important asset that the iMac has in workflow dependent on fast H.264 delivery. I did hear that the next generation Xeons may support hardware accelerated decode/encode of H.264 but not sure if that’s what they’re aiming for here. The odd thing is otherwise I don’t see any significant advantage to using Xeon over i7. There has to be another piece to the puzzle.

  • Walter Soyka

    April 7, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    [Craig Seeman] “The odd thing is otherwise I don’t see any significant advantage to using Xeon over i7. There has to be another piece to the puzzle.”

    ECC RAM? But I agree, Xeon seems a strange choice. I think the best reason to go Xeon is for multi-processor support. In all other cases, I think i7 is the way to go.

    Walter Soyka
    Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
    Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
    @keenlive   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]

  • Craig Seeman

    April 7, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    I just don’t think ECC RAM would be enough performance incentive much as you describe, given the variety of workflows.

    In fact I do wish Apple would take advantage of Xeon’s multiprocessor support. I wouldn’t expect it in an iMac though but it was one of the disappointments with the Mac Pro. I’d like to see that change.

    It’ll be interesting when people test the Xeon vs Kaby Lake Quad i7 as they’ll probably release one as well.

  • Scott Thomas

    April 7, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    [Craig Seeman] “I just don’t think ECC RAM would be enough performance incentive much as you describe”

    Usually ECC has a performance penalty for the increased protection against errors. Might be important if you live in higher elevations.

  • Roy Pearson

    April 8, 2017 at 7:20 pm

    The rumor suggests the iMac Pro will use a Xeon E3-1285 v6, which would include Quick Sync for encoding/decoding H.264 etc. so no issues there. Actually it could be ideal for video editing.

    If you need more than 4 cores you’ll step up to the Xeon E5 family which has up to 22 cores, although no Quick Sync because those chips don’t include integrated graphics. However this can be handled by other GPUs (for example Nvidia NVENC), so in theory the next Mac Pro could still be great for encoding too. Then on the software side Apple could integrate the GPU encoding into FCPX and Compressor.

  • Oliver Peters

    April 9, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    Here’s the actual transcript from that recent meetings:

    – Oliver

    Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
    Orlando, FL

  • Craig Seeman

    April 9, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Rereading does bring something of the Apple Mac ecosystem to mind that isn’t mentioned directly (and rarely mentioned in the forum I think), the relationship of the sales of one Mac to another for a user.

    My guess is that many (most?) Mac Pro users also own another Mac. Likely that’s a MacBook Pro for portable use. I imagine some own MacMinis as desktop for lighter use in the home. I wonder how many MacPro users also have iMacs. In my own case I have a few generations of Mac Pros, MacBook Pros’ MacMinis but no iMacs. I don’t know what the norm is though.

    One thing a multi mac user runs into is peripheral compatibility across Macs. One might have accumulated several TB2 peripherals to use interchangeably between Macs. If one busy a new MBP with TB3 you can certainly adapt your TB2 peripherals. If you buy peripherals to take advantage of TB3 it’s pretty much an island though.

    I’m wonder if they considered how the stagnation of the MacPro had a ripple effect on whether to upgrade other Macs. I certainly think it would impact peripheral makers if people are reluctant to buy the latest (TB3) peripherals since they lack the interchangeability until the user can replace Macs with newer models using the same technology.

    Even though the Mac Pro makes up single digits it may impact the uptake of TB3 which is why a more “professional” iMac is that much more important. But for those who’d prefer a Mac Pro there’s less incentive to move to TB3 (upgrade other computers) until a TB3 Mac Pro comes to market.

  • Lance Bachelder

    April 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    A Xeon. ECC based iMac… starting at what 6 grand? There’s no reason for a Xeon ECC machine for anything other than high-end CG, CAD and scientific crap. A 10 core i7 as a top choice would be more than enough horsepower…

    It was at a Vegas premiere that I resolved to become an avid FCPX user.

    Lance Bachelder
    Writer, Editor, Director
    Downtown Long Beach, California

  • Roy Pearson

    April 10, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Well there aren’t any 10-core i7 chips so no choice there, even the Xeon E3s are 4-core only. That’s why Apple needs a Mac Pro in their lineup.

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