FCPX and the Mac Pro: A real broadcast job, real editing and real deadlines


No more testing in the office, we took the Mac Pro on the road for a real outside broadcast TV job. This was cutting on the front line. So just how did the Mac Pro perform? You will be in for a very short surprise.

There have been many benchmark tests since the Mac Pro was released, but how do these relate to the real world? Would all those very large and very small numbers translate into performance in editing, rendering and outputting?

We put the MacPro back in the box and took it on the road with us on a terrestrial TV job for a broadcaster in the UK most people have heard of. The suite was already equipped with a fairly beefy 'old Mac Pro' under the desk driving the Apple 27 inch monitor and running FCP7.

The first obvious difference between the two here, the old Mac Pro is under the desk taking up floor room and the new Mac Pro is sitting on the desk. To be fair, you can't hear either of them over the air conditioning, but the new model was very close to the operator.

Both machines are connected to a handful of NAS machines and EVS storage. The new Mac Pro has a Thunderbolt 1 GRAID attached. For monitoring, Blackmagic Design were very kind in lending us an UltraStudio 4K to try out, the job was 1080i 25FPS however! The 19inch unit fitted neatly into the rack mount, although we used a box to support it so we wouldn't mark the unit screwing it in. This was connected to one of the Mac Pro's Thunderbolt 2 ports and would have the ability to run at Thunderbolt 2 data rates. read more...

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