5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 21, 2014 10:29 AM by SebastiaanFP

    Which Mac?


      Hi there, wanted to ask some advice regarding hardware.


      My Macbook Pro (early 2011 model) died last week (logic board), I knew it was on it's way out but hoped it would last until the new year. So I'm looking into my options.


      I'm sticking with a Mac, I'm a freelance graphic designer as well as film maker and have to go into agencies to help out they all are on Mac platforms so that is a definite.


      I'd say I was a heavy user...

      Graphic design/photo editing, - Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Indesign.

      Video editing (ML Raw, 2k and 4k footage, Canon 7D/C100/C300, Red Dragon) - Premiere Pro. Rendering for online and theatrical use, projects from five minutes to 60.

      Basic After Effects use.

      All latest Adobe CC 2014 (8.1)

      I’ll also have a Thunderbolt storage system and a 30" Cinema display.


      I was all set to take the plunge with the new MacPro, then the 5k iMac popped up. I don't have as much budget as I'd liked to drop on it, but need a new machine urgently. So I'm looking at these two option;


      iMac 5k

      4.0Ghz i7

      16GB RAM

      256 Flash

      AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB


      Mac Pro


      12GB RAM

      256GB Flash

      Dual AMD FirePro D300 GPU 2GB


      RAM I'd be looking to upgrade both options to 32GB in the near future.


      So wondering if anyone had any pointers, mainly with the type of video work and camera's I'm using as that was holding me back with my old system. Either of these will be more than enough for the graphic design/photo editing I do.


      Thanks in advance.


        • 1. Re: Which Mac?
          IE Film Studios Level 1

          Really, both machines would likely do more than you would need undoubtedly. It really depends on how much you are willing to spend on one. If you can get the more powerful Mac 5k, I'd say get it, because it will last you longer with both life and it will also help to prevent from becoming obsolete faster. If you can't afford the 5k, the normal Mac Pro should also be more than enough for you.



          • 2. Re: Which Mac?
            SebastiaanFP Level 1

            I find I practically impossible to accurately calibrate the Imac screens, so I would take the Mac Pro and connect a good (non Mac) photo & video editing monitor to it. If color accuracy is of importance in your workflow of course. For example a monitor from Eizo, Nec, HP, Samsung, or Dell. I work on both an Imac and a Windows workstation. But for color accuracy in my workflow I definitely do not want the Imac screen (but I do really love the Imacs, they are such a beautiful pleasure to work with!) Or you could of course hook up a second calibratable monitor to the Imac, a solution which I also have used. But if all your clients already have been accepting your work as you made it on your 30" Cinema Display, then you already doing great of course.....


            One other advantage the Mac Pro has over the Imac is that it has HDMI, the almost universal monitor / HD TV port. afaik Apple again on this latest new 5K Imac did not add HDMI, but these ports are there finally now on the Mac Pro, because so many Mac Pro users have been complaining that they need more connectivity / compatibility for their workstations. I feel it is a little silly that my Imac is the only device in my house ( and I have a lot of devices) that I cannot easily hook up to other screens because Apple each time refuses to implement main stream ports like HDMI. Even my smartphone has this....


            You say you are replacing a Macbook Pro = a laptop, but now you are basically replacing it with desktop versions, the Imac or the Mac Pro. So before you did all this graphics work including video editing on a laptop (Macbook Pro) with only one harddisk? Or what is the Thunderbolt storage system that you have and how do you use it?


            Good Luck!

            • 3. Re: Which Mac?
              paula@iluvsoul.com Level 1

              Thanks Jack, I've pulled the pin on the 5k iMac. I guess my concern was further down the line would I regret not being able to upgrade more that just RAM and a lack of TB ports. Cost difference between these configurations is around £100 so yeah the extra oomph of the 5k seems worth it. Thanks for your message, really appreciate it.

              • 4. Re: Which Mac?
                paula@iluvsoul.com Level 1

                Cheers Sebastian, interesting comment. Up until last year my main income/workload was graphic design and my screen was calibrated for a print based workflow (mainly CMYK) so thats good to know, this is the first set up I've had with video work at the forefront. I shoot with a Atoms Ninja Blade on the C100 so maybe their Spyder might be a good investment? Also my top level work generally gets sent to a post house for grading and they haven't moaned at files yet, but good to be aware of.

                Yeah all previous work was done on the laptop, from various hard drives... not ideal but I needed a laptop for working in and out of agencies. I'll still need a laptop but it's main purpose is transfering and checking files on location. I have access to on in the meantime but my plan is to replace that come the new year but in the meantime speeding up my workflow with a proper spec'ed machine is a priority. I've opted for a OWC Thunderbay drive to help speed up storage, backup, workflow etc just awaiting delivery.

                Thanks for your message, much appreciated!

                • 5. Re: Which Mac?
                  SebastiaanFP Level 1

                  Great Paula,

                  I guess by having to choose between 2 beautiful machines, the end result is that you are going to end up with one beautiful machine, so thats anyway a great outcome!

                  And thunderbold ports & their devices are daisy-chainable, so as long as you are buying expansion devices that have 2 thunderbold ports, you will basically never run out of thunderbold ports. You just hook them up one into the other. So on this part you also have no worries since your Imac will not run out of TB-ports in this way.

                  I wouldn't mess with screencalibration when you workflow is already accepted by your clients. You can learn it yourself, but it takes some time, study and practice. I have the X-Rite i1 Dispaly pro, which works good. The spyders are comparable devices afaik (but I am starting in this field and by no means an expert).

                  And you are shooting on a C100 with a Ninja Blade..... Lucky you!!! I am working with an also really beautiful camera, the C EOS 5DM3. But I am also looking in the direction of the EOS C-series.

                  Enjoy your new Imac, and maybe come back to this thread once you have got everything up and running, and just tell us how you feel about your new equipment!

                  Just make sure you order your new Mac, whichever one, with a SSD drive I would say. Everything else you can connect externally by the TB-expansion ports.


                  Greetz Sebastiaan.