2019 Mac Pro — crazy or not?

azylka

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Hey all, I haven't seen anything here about the latest Mac Pro yet (probably because it isn't released), but what do we think about it as a QLab/everything else production machine? Overkill? Future-proof to the gills? Is it missing something you'd want?

What config(s) would you consider for your own workflow? For video heavy stuff? For audio heavy stuff?
 

MNicolai

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Overkill for audio, some version of it probably necessary for video depending on how much content you're pushing, what resolution it's at, and whether you're using Qlab FX or not. Figure53 has some good guides on their site for selecting the storage, graphics, CPU, and RAM appropriate for your rig depending on what you're trying to do.

I would estimate most Qlab rigs I encounter are audio-only playback rigs on Mac Mini's, and the sound designers typically roll on Macbook Pro's when they're doing the initial sound design for convenience of portability.
 

ruinexplorer

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Looks like they want to get back a lot of the video editing guys that they have ignored for too long. How I would configure it? That really depends on what I want to do with it. Personally, I would love to have a shot at playing with one for editing. Rendering time would be so much better. It will also be able to handle real-time graphics a lot better than so many machines. So personally, I would be looking towards a program that fits that capability. Interactive projections will be killer!
 
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Gambino

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I come from a shooting/ editing background in cinema and video so I agree with @ruinexplorer. Before this mac all macbook pro from 2016 to this day are kind of too much hype and not enough stability or specs. They lost a lot of ground to pc and people building their entire workstations for half the cost. Which is a huge thing if you think about it! Now they have a whole new line where they ramped up not only the specs but also the prices, big time. So they're in a position where if they don't guarantee awesome specs and even better stability at that price point people will continue to look elsewhere.
I see this new Mac pro for big editing/VFX/ color grading companies who are willing to pay for that fast and stable machine.
It's an awesome machine to transcode video files but so are some pc's that cost 1/6 of the price
In terms of live performance I would not say that it is an overkill for video, as nothing is an overkill for video :)
 

MNicolai

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Side note: if you get the boss drunk at the Christmas party and borrow their AmEx card for a little bit to get the most tricked out Mac Pro Apple has to offer, this is probably the one time it's worth paying for AppleCare.
 
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Here at the UofM we purchased one of the new MacPros. It wasn't the top of the line, but it did cost OVER $17,000.
It wasn't tricked out with the super video cards, etc, but still, $17K!!!
I was not the one working with it, but was told by reliable people that it was unable to do more than 4 streams of video out.
AGAIN, THIS IS A NEW 2020 Mac Pro tower. I wish I could say this was wrong or something was messed up, and perhaps it was the USBC 3 dock or other USBC to HDMI adapters we tried, but FFS, not being able to get more than four streams out was really depressing.
 

chausman

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Four streams of what? What kind of software? What kind of source? I've had four "streams" of video running off my 15" 2016 MacBook Pro from ProPresenter (live video and multiple discrete outputs, plus operator display) with no problems. And nine "streams" of 1080p video using Qlab and two external GPUs from a 2018 Mac Mini including some video effects on the original video files being played back.
 

MNicolai

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I could be mistaken but I'm fairly certain you aren't leveraging the full hardware acceleration if you're using USB/HDMI adapters as opposed to connecting directly to the GFX card or external GPU's.
 

Jay Ashworth

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On the trashcan mac pros, there are 6 MDP jacks, and if you want to use them as direct video outs, you have to take every other one; otherwise you have to use active adapters (which are video cards, effectively, with a bus connection behind them) instead of the passive ones (where you're using the internal video adapters on the machine).

Likely something similar (and as poorly documented) is in play here.
 

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