Mac Pro vs. iMac: Video Compression

Posted: January 3, 2014

[ Please see my disclosure statement on product reviews. ]

There are a variety of excellent performance reviews of the new Mac Pro on a variety of sites, so I decided to compare the Mac Pro with an iMac from a different perspective: video compression. What I learned surprised me, as you’ll see in this article.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The purpose of this test was to judge compression speed, not image quality, in an effort to compare these two systems; though compressed image quality seemed comparable between the two systems.

When running Apple Compressor 4.1 as a bench-mark, the new Mac Pro is faster for some compression tasks and significantly slower for others when compared to a recent model iMac. If video compression is your primary use for a new computer, you may be better off buying a top of the line iMac.

Take a look at the table below. Different compression tasks yield significantly different completion speeds. Select the system that meets the needs of the compression tasks you need to accomplish.

A NOTE  ON HARDWARE ACCELERATION

One of the speed advantages of the iMac is that it uses an Intel technology called “QuickSync.” This is a special processor “engine” inside many consumer-grade Intel CPUs that accelerates H.264 compression for certain encoding settings; for example, when compressing for Apple devices, QuickTime or MPEG-4 movies using the H.264 codec. The Mac Pro Xeon CPU is considered “workstation-grade,” and doesn’t provide this hardware acceleration. This explains why the iMac is faster when encoding in single-pass mode, which enables hardware acceleration, but slower in multi-pass mode, which disables hardware acceleration.

Hardware acceleration is a two-edged sword. It is MUCH faster than software encoding. However, it only yields image quality and file sizes equal to single-pass encoding. This will often be fine for movies that don’t contain a lot of movement, such as screen captures; or movies where getting it done fast is better than image quality, such as news or digital dailies. However, hardware compression is generally not the best choice for movies with lots of movement between frames or where you need the highest image quality with the smallest file size.

WHAT I DID

I ran a series of 21 compression tasks on both a current model iMac and new Mac Pro, noting how long the compression took and the difference in file sizes created. I used four test files:

  • A ten-minute audio and video episode from “2 Reel Guys” which included a reasonable amount of movement between frames.
  • A two-and-a-half-minute audio and video talking head video from my YouTube channel.
  • A twelve-minute audio and video screen capture from my current Compressor 4.1 training.
  • A one-hour audio-only podcast from the Digital Production Buzz.

All videos were 720p ProRes 422 or ProRes 4444 files with uncompressed audio. The audio podcast was in uncompressed WAV format.

I created nine compression test settings:

  • The default YouTube 720p setting to create a QuickTime movie
  • The default Apple devices HD Best quality to create an MPEG-4 movie
  • The default DVD compression setting for audio and video, which scaled the HD video to SD
  • A custom QuickTime setting running in single-pass mode to test hardware acceleration
  • A custom QuickTime setting running in multi-pass mode, which turns hardware acceleration off.
  • A custom MPEG-4 setting running in single-pass mode to test hardware acceleration
  • A custom MPEG-4 setting running in multi-pass mode, which turns hardware acceleration off.
  • The default MP3 audio compression setting
  • The default AAC audio compression setting

All settings matched between the two computers. Both Compressor and Mavericks were running the latest version. The Mac Pro had its latest firmware update installed.

Here are the settings I used for the custom QuickTime setting: H.264 codec, 2000 kbps data rate, frame reordering on, keyframes every 90 frames.

Here are the settings I used for the custom MPEG-4 setting.

WHAT I LEARNED

Compression speeds varied depending upon the length and complexity of the source files, though compressed file sizes were essentially the same between the two computers (which I would expect). All files were stored and saved to the desktop.

NOTE: As measured by the Blackmagic Design Speed Test (BMD), the Mac Pro was roughly 5 times faster at reading and writing to the desktop than the iMac. This speed differential does not seem to be significant in compression.

The BAD NEWS

  • When compressing audio, the Mac Pro was about 15% slower than the iMac.
  • When using hardware acceleration, the Mac Pro was, on average, 29% slower than the iMac. (Speeds ranged from 2.8% faster to 73% slower.) This is due to the fact that the Mac Pro does not support hardware acceleration for compression.

The GOOD NEWS

  • When compressing using multi-pass settings, the Mac Pro was, on average, 45% faster than the iMac. (Speeds ranged from 33% to 60% faster.)
  • When compressing for YouTube, the Mac Pro was 37% faster.
  • When compressing for Apple devices, the Mac Pro was, on average, 24% faster. (Speeds ranged from 12% to 35% faster.)
  • The Mac Pro compressed MPEG-4 videos faster than QuickTime videos, when compared to the iMac.

Click the table to see a PDF of all my results.

Column definitions:

  • The left column describes the specific test
  • iMac 2013 are the timing results from the iMac computer
  • File size is the size of the compressed files from that test, created by the iMac
  • Mac Pro are the timing results from the Mac Pro computer
  • File size is the size of the compressed files from that test, created by the Mac Pro
  • Mac Pro Speed Difference is the difference in speed between the iMac and Mac Pro. Negative numbers indicate where the iMac is faster.
  • HW Accel. iMac Speed Diff. is the difference in speed when hardware acceleration is enabled. This column compares differences in speed with the iMac between accelerated and non-accelerated compression for the QuickTime and MPEG-4 custom setitngs. Not all compression settings support hardware acceleration.

NOTE: To compare the differences in hardware acceleration between the iMac and Mac Pro, look in the Mac Pro Speed Difference column. In all but one case, the Mac Pro is slower when hardware acceleration is turned on than the iMac.

  • Mac Pro Single vs Multi Speed Diff. compares the difference in speed between single pass and multi-pass for QuickTime and MPEG-4 custom settings; as the Mac Pro does not support hardware acceleration.
  • Notes indicates that the QuickTime compression setting created uncompressed audio, while the MPEG-4 setting created compressed audio. As this setting did not change between machines, I am ignoring audio compression when comparing results.

NOTES ON THE TEST

  • iMac
  • 3.4 GHz i7
  • 16 GB RAM

I am working with a new Mac Pro, which is on loan from Apple. (You can read my first review of it here.)

  • New Mac Pro
  • 2.7 GHz 12-Core Xeon E5
  • 32 GB RAM

I used the same compression settings on both computers. Timings were measured by Compressor and displayed in the Completed tab. One job was fully complete before the next job started. Two jobs never ran at the same time.

Compressor was run in single instance mode, which is its default setting. Though I didn’t test for this specifically, I discovered that for short movies, single instance mode is about 20% faster than multiple instance mode. This difference disappears as the duration of the source media increases.

NOTE: Running Compressor in multiple instance mode does not guarantee faster performance. In general, I recommend leaving Compressor in its default setting with multiple instances are turned off.

Here’s an article that explains the difference between single-instance and multiple-instance mode and when to use which.

With the exception of compressing for DVD no files were resized and no filters were applied. All source files were copied to the desktop of the computer, and all compressed files were also stored to the desktop of the test computer. No network drives, or direct attached drives, were used for any part of this test.

Audio file sample rates were converted from 48 kHz to 44.1 kHz.

The same compression settings were used between the three video tests. The only difference was in the source media.

The only difference I made between the single-pass and multi-pass compression settings was checking, or unchecking, the multi-pass check box.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I was totally surprised by these findings. Until we start to see applications optimized to take advantage of the power of the Mac Pro, if video compression is your key task, a high-end iMac is your best choice.

As always, let me know what you think.

Comments
52 Comments to “Mac Pro vs. iMac: Video Compression”
  1. Benji says:

    You can only test what you got, but I think that it’s premature to recommend the iMac as best choice over the Mac Pro for video encoding. You can only speak for the performance of the 12 core version. All the other enhancements of the Mac Pro can’t make up for clock speed. As an avid FCPX user and all around video guy, I’m surprised Apple sent you the 12-core version as the 8-core is what they said is the “sweet spot” for video work because it’s a better balance of number of cores vs. clock speed (even with ALL cores fired up it can still turbo boost to 3.4ghz).

    So these benchmarks are not representative of what a Mac Pro configured for video encoding would achieve. You are using the MacPro that is optimized for cores, not clock speed. The nature of the Xeons is choosing the amount of cores you think you’ll take advantage of and sacrificing CPU speed with the more cores you choose. Someone who renders using the 12 core in Maya, C4D, 3DS Max etc. would see a huge increase in speed vs. the iMac, but ONLY when it came time to render as that task utilises all the cores. Most other daily tasks would be slower than the iMac.

    A more equal comparison would be to test ANY of the Mac Pros EXCEPT the 12core as all of them will turbo boost up to 3.9ghz and are more likely to SUSTAIN those speeds due to the increased thermal design power of the Xeons (130w compared to 84w i7 in the iMac). I think the story would be different here and you would see improvements across the board in Compressor compared to the iMac. How much I don’t know, but the 12-core’s top turbo boost speed is 3.5ghz, and that is only if ONE core is being used (it decreases as more cores are fired up).

    It’s more likely that in testing all the Mac Pro’s processor options, the end result would be advising the purchase of a Mac Pro with “X” configuration if you want to optimize for video encoding (who knows, perhaps the quad core since it has the highest single threaded clock speed @3.7ghz, but obviously not the 12 core).

    I’m also wondering if hardware acceleration takes advantage of multiple cores. You mentioned “disabling instances”, I’m not sure if that is for distributed rendering or it also gives Compressor permission to use multiple cores. If the latter, than the 12 core Mac Pro surely never got to shine.

    • Larry says:

      Benji:

      Good comments, though I disagree with several.

      The 8-core sweet spot is balancing cost vs performance. For flat-out top speed in FCP X, the 12-core is superior.

      I think these tests point out something I would not have expected: that the Mac Pro would lose ANY speed race to an iMac. CPU clock speed is important, but not all encompassing, otherwise the MacPro would lose by the same percentage in all tests. Some tests is won, others it lost.

      During the course of this test, I learned that the Mac Pro does not support hardware acceleration, that clock speed is only part of the equation – with or without turbo boost – and that different codecs yield different results on both systems. It will be very hard for any Mac Pro to beat the hardware acceleration in an iMac.

      Also, instances have no relation to cores. Here’s an article that explains this in more detail: http://www.larryjordan.biz/compressor-4-1-a-tip-to-increase-speed/

      Larry

      • Benji says:

        Thanks Larry, I checked out the Compressor article and it’s very helpful to know the difference between instances and cores. Though interestingly enough I have a 2011 iMac w/ sandy bridge i7 and 32GB RAM and compressor will only show 1 instance available in the drop down box. Not sure what’s going on there :/

        I’m still not sure about top FCPX speed being the 12 core. Are you referring to export (which I’m guessing would utilize all the cores and definitely be faster than the other processors)? The rest of the performance increases of FCPX 10.1 on the Mac Pro is due mostly to the FirePro cards, correct? If I had a 6 or 8 core Mac Pro with D700s, do you think I would notice the speed difference while editing (not export) in FCPX compared to the 12 core?

        I guess another thing that comes into play is background rendering, which can happen constantly in FCPX (if you choose) and the 12 core would have a lot of extra threads to throw at it, which would contribute to everything feeling a lot snappier than with the other processors.

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Benji:

          Keep in mind that background rendering only happens when you are not doing something in the foreground. And… Apple is making a big deal that the new Mac Pro is so fast that you can turn background rendering off and let the Mac Pro play everything in real-time without rendering until you get to final export.

          Just on a more practical note, if the 12-core were not the best performing Mac Pro, Apple would not be sending it to reviewers – they would be sending the Mac Pro that features the best performance.

          Larry

          • Benji says:

            That’s the thing, Apple isn’t only sending out the 12 core version for benchmarks/reviews. You and Anantech received the 12 core version with 32GB RAM while “The Verge”, “PC Mag”, and “The New York Times” received the 8-core version w/ 64GB RAM.

            After reading Anantech’s review it seems the 8-core may be the fastests for my uses (3D rendering, after effects compositing, and some HD video editing). But it also seems that this time with turbo boost in play more than ever and the optimization of software for the FirePro cards up in the air (except for FCPX), it really depends on what you’re using the Mac Pro for as to the speed you’ll get (cores vs. clock speed). If money weren’t an issue, perhaps the 12 core may not necessarily be the configuration of choice as in certain instances the top of line iMac will out perform it due to its lower clock speed.

            I think with every other apple device you can check off the biggest numbers all the way down the list on the Apple store configuration page and know you’ll be getting the fastest version, but with the Mac Pro this time around it seems more complicated/confusing.

            In thinking about video encoding, I wonder if the FCPX “Share” options that don’t send the timeline to compressor for encoding would leverage the GPU for export and if so how fast this is compared to a similar preset in Compressor. In other words, are the GPUs mainly for live playback or can we use them them to improve export/encoding speeds?

  2. Benji says:

    A little unrelated to this particular post, but while you’ve got the Mac Pro can you see if the iMac works as a Target Display for it? According to the official Target Display documentation the iMac should in theory work as a display for the Mac Pro (requirements are to have a desktop mac with a thunderbolt port and an iMac that supports target display mode), but I can’t find any information if this actually works or not. I’m trying to figure out if I should sell my iMac and purchase a new display for my new Mac Pro or keep the iMac and use it as a display and general purpose stuff while the Mac Pro is rendering.

    See here:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3924?viewlocale=en_US#4

  3. ryan says:

    In your Mac Pro summary you stated: “If you are doing video compression, the Mac Pro wins hands down over any other system. The hardware acceleration and GPUs will save you months of time.” Now that you’ve had some time to look at it more in-depth vs. an iMac, does that deserve a re-visit?

  4. Charles Jones says:

    I think there are more factors to the choice of a iMac over a Mac pro. For example, for the very few of us such as myself who waited for the Mac Pro to update the simple Mac Pro upgrade/replacement is a Perfect Purchase. I waited a patient 5 years, (maybe too long) LOL. Not all of us purchases every mac that comes out and there was about 3 years when they did nothing to the Mac pro guys, that little upgrade was silly to buy since we knew a new one was on its way. SO i say that depending on how old your current MACPRO is that is a HUGE factor on just replacing it with a new one because you are gonna get a Speed boost in the user experience regardless and Not all of us are all in one users we are workstation pro users where we like dual monitors and we want them to match, or maybe I’m just a desk diva and appearance of my set up matters. EITHER WAY All that matters is that if your system is old, really then a new mac pro 6 or eight core will be faster than what you have currently using so it may be a great choice.
    Speed is in the eye of the beholder.

  5. John Lamont says:

    If you consider adding PCI flash to a top-end current iMac it will fly even faster. Not convinced Apple has wrung the most it can out of the workstation class processor and i/o structure. Think Mac Pro late 2014 might be the one to buy with truly new graphics cards, unconstrained PCI busses and well engineered retina support, time will tell. Good catch on hardware h.264 rendering missing from Xenon’s.
    A great decision by Apple to make all parts replaceable, will help residuals over time.

  6. Gregory Minton says:

    A big thanks for this article Larry. I work at a college and have started encoding lots of H.264 video. Last August I asked for a 5k budget line for a better video workstation. I’ve been holding out waiting, and waiting for the new Mac Pro. My dilemma was, with a base model new Mac Pro and a thunderbolt raid storage unit, I didn’t even have enough money left over for a mouse and keyboard! Not to mention No monitor, No SD card reader, No optical drive.

    After reading this, I’ve changed the PO to an iMac. Now my 5k is now getting me:

    • iMac 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    • 27” Monitor
    • 32GB Ram
    • 512GB Flash System Drive
    • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    • SDXC Card Slot
    • USB Super Drive
    • Magic Mouse
    • Wireless Keyboard
    • PROMISE Pegasus2 R4 8TB (4 by 2TB) Thunderbolt 2 RAID System

    If I had a little more money to spend, I would have loved to have joined the Mac Pro club but it just wasn’t realistic for my needs right now.

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Gregory:

      You are welcome… and correct. There are times where the Mac Pro makes sense. There are also times where an iMac is a better decision. That’s one of the reasons I wrote the article.

      larry

  7. Sjoerd de Vries says:

    Larry and others,

    I have in order a 6 core 32 GB 1 TB PCI flash D700.
    But I want to now if i could better order a 8 core (btw I can order a 8 c but not a 12c (financial))

    I use the machine only for video with FCP-X 10.1 Motion and compressor

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Sjoerd:

      What you ordered should be fine for both FCP X and Motion. The gating factor on performance is your storage system, not the computer.

      You would get slightly better performance with the 8-core, but, frankly, I don’t think its worth taking out a second mortgage solely for the processors alone.

      You put the emphasis in the right spot – graphics cards and RAM.

      Larry

  8. Sjoerd de Vries says:

    Thanks Larry, I did make a good choice than

  9. David says:

    Good article, Larry, really interesting stuff. I didn’t know that the Xeon’s didn’t have the hardware acceleration, so that makes me feel even better about the 2013 iMac that I’m getting this week!

    Is there any chance you could do similar tests with Adobe Media Encoder? I don’t think GPU acceleration is disabled with multipass encoding, but I think GPU acceleration also works differently in AME vs Compressor. When you send a sequence from Pr to AME then all the GPU accelerated features of Premiere are utilized. However, if you do what you did, and just drop a file into AME then only certain things are GPU accelerated like scaling, deinterlacing, some other things (details here: http://helpx.adobe.com/media-encoder/using/whats-new-media-encoder-7-1.html#gpu-acceleration). So I would be really interested to know how AME stacks up vs Compressor here, because when I did a straight test of the AME vs Compressor (without changing any compressor preferences), AME was much faster; but I’m almost positive that multipass encoding was selected for both programs.

  10. David Arbor says:

    @John Putch,

    John, are you planning to grade your project in SpeedGrade through Direct Link or Native Mode? If you’ll be using Direct Link then GPU acceleration is not enabled with OpenCL on the Mac. See bullet 2 for more details here: http://blogs.adobe.com/movingcolors/2013/12/12/speedgrade-cc-7-2-update/

    The Xeons are fast, but I don’t think they will be fast enough for a perfectly smooth workflow without GPU acceleration. On the other hand, if you’re grading say, a finished ProRes file, then you can do that natively with scene detection and happily have GPU acceleration.

  11. Al says:

    Just bought a used but like new 2013 27″ iMac on ebay for $1900 w/2GB RAM video card 16GB RAM & fusion drive to replace my 2008 Mac Pro. Sold the Macpro for $800. Thanks for justifying my decision to pass on the MP for an $1100 iMac! I’ve not tried turning off two pass export yet, but since most work of mine goes to web and is relatively static, this ought to hold me for four more years, or until 4k crushes our i7 world. The money I saved will buy a lot of drives, or pay for my C100. Or maybe a vacation…bleeding edge isn’t always best. Lots of marketing hype in any such launch. Though I’d love to have a Mac Pro someday.

  12. David Arbor says:

    Hey Larry, so I got that 2013 iMac that I mentioned in the post above and I did a very quick, unscientific test of my own. I have presets in both AME and Compressor that are for YouTube. Both have very similar settings, however, for AME I used MP4, and for Compressor MOV H.264. Other settings were 1920×1080/29.97fps/Sq PAR/10Mbps/Progressive/Multi-pass/48kHz Stereo AAC audio.

    I did 4 tests, 2 in Compressor and two in AME from the same ProRes master. The settings were as mentioned above, the only difference between the two was the number of passes.

    Compressor H.264 MOV
    Single-pass: 0:50
    Multi-pass: 2:23

    AME MP4
    Single-pass: 0:24
    Multi-pass: 0:37

    This is really interesting, and I think it says a lot about MP4 vs H.264 in MOV, but either way, AME was way faster and there wasn’t much difference between single and multi-pass encoding.

    I did try to do H.264 MOV in AME, but I swear I couldn’t find where to switch from single to multi-pass. So I did a test where everything else was the same as above, and AME did the conversion in 57 seconds. I don’t know if that’s CBR, VBR 1, or VBR 2 pass.

    Anyway, I’d love to see something more scientific because every time I try to compare AME to Compressor, it always seems that AME wins in terms of speed.

  13. Marc says:

    Dera Larry,
    Did you ever made a test of “clustering” and it’s result in compression speed for something like an hour of video and audion in proress 422?

  14. Joe says:

    Larry,
    incredible.

    This is an iMac AGAINST a 12 core? I mean I will miss the ports and I would LOVE to get the new mac pro… But it seems like the new Mac Pro… I am paying for the future… as if the software just hasn’t written code to utilize all of that Bandwidth. Because theoretically it should be exponentially faster… Not just 1/3 faster…

    Still I will I had the money for the mac pro..

    I am setting up a low budget color correction suite… and I want it all. But I have to spend some money on the CC monitor and maybe an i/o from black magic..

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Joe:

      You have it exactly right. The software industry is in the very early stages of optimizing for this machine. By the end of the year, I expect the Mac Pro to win handily. But, for now, its a close race.

      larry

  15. Arturo says:

    Hello I would like do the right thing to replace my old MacPro 2×3,2 Quad Core Xeon, 8Gb Ram and GeForce 8800 GT.
    At present I can spend just 3.500, have I to get basic MacPro model, top end iMac or top end MacBook pro retina?
    Just to edit HD footage on FCP and Avid, no 3D, neither After Effects or simila composition tools.

    • David Arbor says:

      Arturo, if that’s the kind of work you’re doing, you could buy a high-end iMac and a nice Thunderbolt RAID. You don’t even need the top tier iMac, but it’s nice. I have the fastest processor, 24GB of RAM (I bought the extra RAM from OWC), the 4GB graphics card, the 1TB Fusion Drive, and some accessories for under $3000. For that price you could also get a $400 or $500 Thunderbolt RAID from LaCie or G-Tech.

  16. Henry Pantowski says:

    Larry, I would appreciate if you could respond to the following question:…does your iMac’s specified configuration might handle working with some stuff while using either AE or Motion’s latest update?…

    would appreciate your response…thanks

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Henry:

      I’m a bit confused about the phrase “might handle working with some stuff”.

      However, if you are asking whether the iMac is suitable for After Effect and Motion, the answer is yes.

      Larry

      • Henry Pantowski says:

        Greetings Larry. What I meant by saying “might handle working with some stuff” was if the iMac could handle the usage of filters in AE as well as in FCPX, and or multicam projects with ease while rendering or doing composing within Motion.

        The fact of the matter is that your article Mac Pro vs. iMac: Video Compression, has broaden the idea I had when it comes to iMacs, being a Mac Pro user for as long as I remember. And since I have been trying to make up my mind as to what system I might be buying soon, I even thought of buying a refurbished aluminum Mac Pro newer than the one I already own.

        My budget is a bit tide at the moment, so reading your article has made me think that I should consider the iMac as a possible replacement instead of an already, though newer, Mac Pro.

        I appreciate your prompt answer to my previous post. Thanks

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Henry:

          For most applications, an iMac with a high-end GPU should be fine for most tasks. Clearly the Mac Pro will be faster due to its architecture, but when budgets are tight, the iMac is a great choice.

          Larry

          • Henry Pantowski says:

            Larry…Curiously I have found this interesting topic at MacRumors regarding the iMacs http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1724533…and I would love to hear your impressions on the matter.

            Maybe you have heard of all this but it surely has been new to me.

            Any thoughts on this?

            Thanks

          • Larry Jordan says:

            Henry:

            Hardware rumors are always fun to read. But, I can’t purchase a rumor. For me, the only thing that matters is the shipping product. Until a system is released, we don’t know what it can actually do or what it will actually cost.

            Larry

          • Henry Pantowski says:

            Indeed Larry, you are correct, seems I have never learned my mom’s lesson to “never put the wagon before the horses”…

            But shall will say….indeed. Best regards

  17. I don’t know if it helps, but we’ve had the same issues. We write software to brand and encode video for a big broadcast company and have switched from ffmpeg to our own mac application using AVFoundation. We found that even the mac mini which seems to support hardware accelerated h.264 encoding performed 50% faster than the 2010 and 2013 model Mac Pro.

  18. Ruben says:

    Hi larry, thanks for that!! I want to do some educational tutorials: maths, physics and chemistry (well a lot of them i have prepared +500pdf documents heheh)… and I have two problems: Time and space!

    About time: you posted a 37% faster results for MacPro compressing it for youtube…. Do you think a 6core d500 can manage with that results? Do you think i could not go for mac pro but for macbook pro??? i need some mobility so I’m not contempating imac so much, but if necessary…

    About space: 6min of screen capture (134Mb) and separated audio (140MB), it goes like 4Gb to 8Gb on Prores and HD720 ! I really can’t belive that!? Any recommendations/settings?

    I really appreciate a good response. it will be great, t as I have to handle with so many things ;) Thank you very much!

    Ruben Rosa i Pons

    • LarryJ says:

      Ruben:

      Video compression benefits from more cores — IF you are using Adobe Media Encoder. Apple Compressor is a bit behind the times and not as fast. MacBook Pro will be fast, but not as fast as a Mac Pro.

      Your file sizes are what I would expect. Keep in mind these are master files, not the compressed files you use for distribution. Master files have very high quality and are easy to edit.

      Larry

  19. Ruben says:

    Oh thank you Larry for that fast response! :)

    So I cannot make my mind up to which model should I get, as I want to do those +500 6 to 10min videos in less than a year…

    And time is important, but money also as I quit my job to go for that dream (project), and I’ve got 2000$ and I have to ask my family for another 2 grand, and I’ve done some more research and I saw that instances in compressor goes for each 4core…

    So I shouldn’t deal between 4C to 6C and better upgrade the 500D card to 700D?? I mean… 500D: (4C) 3.1OO$ vs 3.6OO$ (6D) /or/ 7OOD: (4C) 3.700$

    Because 700D 6C: 4.100$, 300D 8C 4.600$ are a little just in budget or out in 8C, as I should buy some external thunderbolt storage (although I’ve got regular ones)… What do you think? In that specific case?? I guess i could let compressor or adobe working all night long??…

    You don’t know how much I appreciate your page, your work, and now your help! Really really Thanksss Larry! :)

    • Larry Jordan says:

      Ruben:

      If money is tight, you don’t need the Mac Pro. The biggest challenge to creating your videos isn’t compression, its the creative time to write and record them. Editing will take the most time after that. Compression time is trivial compared to writing, recording, and editing.

      Spend your money on high-performance graphics cards and more RAM. Oh. And high-speed storage.

      The speed of the computer’s CPU is far less important these days.

      Larry

      • Ruben says:

        Thanks again Larry! ;)

        I agree with you that writing and recording will be a huge stuff! But I’ve done some trials and it really goes smooth and nice! :) I can handle with that! I’ve got a mac mini for that… it doesn’t worry me so much…

        But i’m really worried about the post-productions stuff! Even though somebody is going to help me with that (2-3 afternoons per week)… I’m affraid to have a huge and desperating bottleneck in there! It will be hard but i don’t want so much hard…as it has be hard also to prepare them! hehe

        So coming back in case i decide for MacPro, you recommend me a 4C 700D? Because which are the other options? High-end Macbook Pro?? It won’t get as hot as the mac mini, will it? The mac mini could even edit easily the videos using proxy data easily but not sharing and compressing… you think is going to explode, as Imac i had to discart it because of mobility…

        Thanks Larry! You are saving my life… as i’ve done a lot of research but it really depends on each particular case, and i don’t want to make a huge mistake!

        • Larry Jordan says:

          Given the choice, I’d opt for faster GPU before more cores. Add as much RAM as you can afford.

          Any computer these days gets warm. But the laptop won’t overheat to the point it won’t work. On the other hand, with heavy video editing, I would put it on the table on a small stand to allow airflow, not your lap.

          Larry

          • Ruben says:

            Oh thanks Larry you are really making my mind up! And saving me a lot of money, I guess!

            So finally, I can handle with a macbook pro? because even if a mac mini could edit the videos a MBP of course… and for the same price than a macpro i can get MBP 3rd party ram and some external high-speed storage

            And for compressing I guess I could program or let it working all night long… if it’s not going to go overheated and damage it ?? even with intensive usage… That’s it??

            Thanks larry! I really admire your work and dedication! ;)

            Ps: and one last thing which storage do you recommend me??

  20. Tulio says:

    Strange, I clicked this URL from a post in Facebook and facebook alerted me it was probably spam, what is wrongwith FB?

  21. stefan says:

    hi Larry,
    i notice when encoding that system reports the the proencoding engine is not responding. when it works encoding is fast, but when it stops cpu load is low under 100% where it shoulde be in the 500-600% range on a macbook pro dec 2013 model.

    also transcoding motion templates is equally slow. i guess this kind of rendering is a combination of cpu and gpu effort. equally slow.

    what do you know about the proencoder, what does it do and what prevents it from responding.

    note: i have two similar macbook pro and notice different results, so also other factors might influence encoding. any ideas how to setup and maintain a smooth install and operation…
    stefan

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  1. [...] Larry Jordan testing Mac Pro vs. iMac Compression Speeds (link aded 1/15/14) [...]

  2. [...] Jordan has two interesting articles on video compression on the Mac Pro. In this first article he compares it’s performance to an iMac, performing a plethora of tests with different types of video content, codecs and lengths. You can [...]

  3. [...] касательно сжатия видео и Mac Pro. В первой статье он сравнил производительность Mac Pro и iMac, проведя массу тестов с различными типами видео, [...]

  4. [...] de estas pruebas Larry Jordan hizo las suyas mucho más [...]

  5. Website says:

    Website…

    Final Cut Pro Training | Mac Pro vs. iMac: Video Compression | Final Cut Pro Training & Classes…



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