I know that you love your Mac Pro. It’s been with you years. It’s reliable. It’s dependable. It’s powerful. But, well, it’s also massive, doesn’t do you any favours when it comes to data transfer and, unless you definitely need upwards of eight cores, you could probably make do with something smaller…
The new iMac: big processing power, small footprint
If you’re running a quad-core Mac Pro, chances are the current top-of-the-line iMacs are actually more powerful. In recent benchmarking tests, they managed to edge past their Pro equivalents to complete processor-intensive tasks like rendering faster than any other machine at their price point.
Granted, they’re not quite up there with the 12-core Mac Pros, but if you’re working on smaller projects and know you could make do with four cores, swapping your aging Mac Pro for a current iMac will save you space and money, while giving you access to a native 64-bit OS and the latest Thunderbolt technology.
Hardware that works natively with your software
Another thing to bear in mind is that Apple tie their software and hardware together more closely than practically any other company. If you primarily use Apple software – especially tools like the latest version of FCP X, Motion and Compressor – you need to be aware that you’re working on software that’s optimised for the current generation of machines (and their OS), meaning you can take advantage of the full potential of your editing and finishing software.
Even if you’re not a Final Cut user, the latest hardware is really nippy – Lion is natively 64-bit, so you’ll see great compatibility with the latest version of Premiere Pro and Media Composer, and Xsan is now built right into the OS, so you get Xsan client software for no extra cost. Newer machines all use second-generation Intel processors, so the processor, graphics engine, cache and memory controller are all integrated to give you faster data transfer and better overall performance, and we can set you up with a custom-configured machine that gives you all the screen space, graphics processing power and memory you need.
10 Gbps data transfer with Thunderbolt
I know we’ve talked about Thunderbolt a lot, but dual 10 Gbps streams and the ability to daisy chain up to six devices (including the latest Apple displays) really make this technology ideal for video workflows, especially if you’re working with multiple hi-res streams. Third party suppliers are lining up to bring out storage and video I/O devices that work with Thunderbolt, from the latest Matrox MXO2 models to AJA’s Io XT, all the way through to high performance RAID arrays like the Pegasus R6 (which allows you to edit multiple streams of uncompressed footage right from your desktop, without the need for PCIe cards or a tower setup) and Fibre Channel adapters like the SANLink.