6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 22, 2014 9:22 PM by mgreed

    Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)

    mgreed

      I am a serious budding professional filmmaker and my current budget is considering a 27-inch iMac with their 3TB Fusion drive and 32GB of RAM.  A friend tells me that a seperate 512BG SSD and 3TB normal HDD would be a better deal, but I can't get that on the iMac.  I have an external four drive 16TB RAID setup connected by USB3.  Would that work with a 512GB SSD in an iMac to give me better performance than getting the iMac with their 3TB Fusion drive?

       

      Would there be a huge difference with the possible drive setups available by going with a Mac Pro tower, my budget could possibly be stretched for it?  It is really too expensive...but if it would make things MUCH faster, I would consider it.

       

      Also, I understand that PremPro is multi-threading and can work with up to 12 cores.  Would that make a huge difference over the Quad-core available in the iMac, or is the extra core system only a minor improvement?

       

      Lastly, would the iMac's "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5" graphics card be good enough?

       

      Thank you for any help.  Nathan Ehrlich (on a friend's computer)

        • 1. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
          cc_merchant Level 4

          A friend tells me that a seperate 512BG SSD and 3TB normal HDD would be a better deal, but I can't get that on the iMac

           

          He is right.

           

          I have an external four drive 16TB RAID setup connected by USB3.  Would that work with a 512GB SSD in an iMac to give me better performance than getting the iMac with their 3TB Fusion drive?

           

          Yes, although the USB3 raid is very slow.

           

          Would there be a huge difference with the possible drive setups available by going with a Mac Pro tower, my budget could possibly be stretched for it?

           

          Definitely.

           

          Also, I understand that PremPro is multi-threading and can work with up to 12 cores.  Would that make a huge difference over the Quad-core available in the iMac, or is the extra core system only a minor improvement?

           

          Again, definitely, but it works with up to at least 96 cores (maybe even more?), so you benefit from dual 12 physical core Xeons with 48 logical cores.

           

          Lastly, would the iMac's "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5" graphics card be good enough?

           

          Usually, yes.

          • 2. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
            DMH79 Level 2

            Remember, the 3TB Fusion drive has only 128gb of SSD in there. Might as well get the 256GB SSD for the same price or the 512gb SSD for $150. One of the improvements in the 2013 model was the PCIe SSDs which are very fast. I'd go for the bigger SSD for sure over the fusion drive. Granted, to save money Apple does offer the model you mentioned on their refurbished page (http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac/27) for less. Then, just add memory from macsales.com saving you even more rather than buying it overpriced from Apple.

             

            I too am waiting for a few more "real world tests" to come out covering the 2013 MacPro vs. 2013 iMac specifically for use on Premiere CC. A good site is barefeats.com but they are still waiting on the MacPro release. In theory it should be much better given it's far superior GPUs. Granted the iMac does use a CUDA enabled nVidia card (granted it's a "mobile" version) that "should be good enough" as you asked. Another important question for you would be "good enough" for what?

             

            Other than that, people on this hardware forum are all way smarter than me. I just have a mac and many of them don't so that's why I chime in.

             

            Good luck!

            • 3. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
              mgreed Level 1

              You say that the USB3 connection to the external four-drive 16TB RAID setup would be slow.  Yes, I know it would be slower than a connection to an internal HDD.  Do you know if there is a faster way to connect such an external RAID setup?  I have compared speeds between Thunderbold and USB3 and Thunderbolt is not any faster.  Would an eSATA connection be any faster?

               

              While I am hoping to go with a 27-inch iMac for budgetary reasons, you say there would be better drive possibilities with a Mac Pro tower, but I am shocked to discover that even the top of the line Mac Pro does also NOT allow more than a single internal drive, making my hope for an SSD and seperate internal HDD impossible on a Mac . . . making me wish I was a PC guy.  Anyone have any advice on this single-internal-drive dilemma?

               

              Thanks for your input so far.

              • 4. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
                mgreed Level 1

                Appreciate your chiming in!

                 

                While it feels weird to consider having an SSD as the only internal drive, it seems I would be stuck with that on both the iMac and the Mac Pro if I want a true SSD.  It seems inconceivable that the Mac Pro cannot be configured with multiple internal drives, but...

                 

                Life's choices are not always easy ones.

                • 5. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
                  DMH79 Level 2

                  mgreed wrote:

                   

                  Appreciate your chiming in!

                   

                  While it feels weird to consider having an SSD as the only internal drive, it seems I would be stuck with that on both the iMac and the Mac Pro if I want a true SSD.  It seems inconceivable that the Mac Pro cannot be configured with multiple internal drives, but...

                   

                  Life's choices are not always easy ones.

                   

                  Well that's what Apple is pushing with the new Mac Pro...external connectivity. So that one can go externally with all the superfast Thunderbolt 2 ports it has. Only problem is not many drives can take advantage of Thunderbolt 2 yet. I think the Fusion drive is a great idea but when I found out that the 3TB one still only had 128gb of SSD, and then I read some people having interesting experiences where their cache files were possibly going to the HDD instead of the SSD portion, then I thought...well, I'd just stick with the SSD and get a larger 256gb one for the same price. Plus I've seen where the SSD alone is even faster for some reason. Just what I've seen so far in various tests by various sites.

                  • 6. Re: Premiere Pro on a 27-inch iMac (SSD or Fusion drive)
                    mgreed Level 1

                    Well, now, that is very helpful.  I was not aware of Thunderbold 2 which seems to be 4-times faster than both the original TB and USB3.  The question it now leaves me with is whether that 4-times faster translates io real world time savings sufficient to trade in a current USB3 external RAID setup for a new PROMISE Pegasus2 setup.

                     

                    As for an internal drive, it is looking more and more like a 512GB SSD would be the way to go, using the eaxtr space for PremPro's working cache with any cache overflow going to the external RAID as necessary.  Any disagreements on that?  Any thoughts on going all the way up to the 1TB SSD for increased working cache capacity?