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You’ve probably heard it all before. “This one product will fix your whole workflow”, or “it’s the missing piece of the puzzle for everyone in the video industry”. Big promises, empty words. But when it comes to Apple’s new Mac Pro, the hype is real – this truly is an all-in-one gamechanger…
Let’s just get it out of the way, shall we? Mac Pro is powerful.
Almost stupidly powerful, in fact. It features an Intel Xeon processor with up to 28 cores – more cores than in any other Mac ever – and 1.5TB of 6-channel ECC system memory. Apple’s most capable computer of all time has clearly been designed for creative professionals, and its capacity for video editing in particular is simply off the charts.
But if you’ve heard of Mac Pro before you started reading this article, all that power probably comes as no surprise. What might just make you stop and think, though, is how much of a difference this new workstation could make to your video projects and your entire business.
Now this is a biggie. Mac Pro is highly customisable, with a veritable smorgasbord of features and add-ons available to fit users’ requirements. One of these is an accelerator card called Afterburner – and it will absolutely blow your socks off.
Ludicrously, Afterburner can process up to 6.3 billion pixels per second and is capable of handling up to three streams of 8K ProRes RAW. That means video editors can now use their cameras’ native formats and decode in real time. No more transcoding, lots more time saved.
It doesn’t just speed things up and save time, either – it also improves quality and creativity, too. By being able to play clips back in full resolution, editors can accurately judge colour gradations, image sharpness and other vital factors in complete confidence. Any errors can be caught early, with less risk of time-consuming changes being spotted during final quality control checks.
But what if you need to generate proxy files for remote editing or approvals? Thanks to all those Intel cores, Mac Pro is the fastest Mac transcoding machine ever created – so the process is quick and painless.
Expandability, or lack thereof, was a key issue with the previous Mac Pro. With the old version, you had to invest in an external chassis, which took up money, power and space. But Apple have clearly listened to the industry, because they have brought expandability back to the table with the new Mac Pro – and then some.
To begin with, it’s entirely modular and customisable, so you can build the perfect machine for your work today and easily swap out modules and cards rather than having to invest in a replacement workstation down the line. And much to the delight of owners of previous Mac Pro models, a rack-mountable version of the new machine with a removable lid is also available.
Eight PCIe expansion slots mean there’s plenty of room to accommodate a wide variety of third party network, graphics and capture cards, while Apple currently have three different Mac Pro Expansion (MPX) Modules to choose from, each containing AMD Radeon Pro GPUs.
Add to that four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports and two 10GB Ethernet ports and it’s easy to see just how many adds-on and expansions are possible with Mac Pro. It’s a workstation that can improve your workflow now and stay optimised for it tomorrow.
All that power is only worth having if it can actually be put to use. Good news, then, that some of the biggest app developers in video are seeing impressive performance results from Mac Pro.
Maxon’s Cinema 4D performs GPU rendering 20% faster than ever before. Blackmagic Design say that working with Afterburner allows Resolve to apply effects to native 8K footage in real time, without needing a render farm.
And as for Avid’s Pro Tools? Follow this link to our article on Mac Pro for audio workflows.
It’s easy, then, to see why so many people have been waiting for Mac Pro so eagerly. Its high performance, flexibility and scope for continued reconfiguration make it a uniquely powerful workstation for video professionals.
Whatever your current workflow – and whatever your dream workflow looks like – Mac Pro is a workstation that can fit right into your business and grow alongside it.
Interested? We can help you design the perfect Mac Pro for your workflow. Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 210 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For the latest news, follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
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