Anyone else tired of video performance numbers for Apple Silicon?

Every time I read an article about new Apple Mac hardware, and they start blathering about how many 8K video steams it can blah blah blah, I get more and more annoyed.

Video editors are not the only professional Mac users. I work for a design firm, and we have 3 video people, and 16 other designers using Adobe Creative Cloud. How many graphics cores do you think they use? What about data scientists? You know, guys who like to manipulate HUGE data sets? How much do graphic cores affect their work, compared to being able to load a big database fully into memory without disk swaps, and then CPU process on top of that? I know of a TV show music composer who needs memory to load ALL THE INSTRUMENTS (:grin:) and only enough graphics to drive four 4K monitors. His current Intel Mac Pro’s PCI slots are all loaded up, but he’s got no reason to move to Apple Silicon as the Intel Mac Pro just works, and even if he did move over, he’d have less RAM, which would present him more difficulties loading sound libraries. Don’t even get me started on software devs with at least tens of thousands of files to juggle.

So, yeah, video editors are not the only pros. (And there are a huge number of video pros using Adobe Premiere anyway.)

Sorry for my rant. I guess I’d like to see the pundit class expand their views of what professional users are, and what those compute needs might be beyond 8K video.

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Color management and color fidelity. Try calibrating colors on either the system level or using them in app like Photoshop, etc. on a PC and see what you end up with in video, film or print. Shadows and shading tend not to be easy to work with either. The gamma tools on Adobe and other professional video stuff just doesn’t work as well, and tend to be a bigger PITA in Windows than Mac. Typography in professional level print or video usually isn’t a walk in the park on PCs either.

And I ain’t nothing resembling a pundit.

Certainly not in terms of believability/respectability of your views, at any rate!! Keep it up…

(Edit)
Adam pulled this posting due to an automated action that my posting was “offensive, abusive [or] hateful conduct [/] a violation of community guidelines.” I deeply resent and disagree; what I thought was playful irony was interpreted by some as despicable sarcasm. I FULLY SUPPORT MMTALKER’S POSITION AND STATEMENT(S). I meant NO offense or disagreement which I believe she understood, given the
“heart” she granted my posting. No one posted a response which justified pulling my original post so I’m not sure what the story is there.

However, Adam has given me the opportunity to edit my original (deleted) post so this edit is my side. It’s important to me that TidBITS readers know that I consider MMTalker to be one of the two or three bastions of this community, and should always be accorded associated respect. My thanks to her contributions, always.

Mark

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Might this help handling large data sets?

If 64 TB is not enough, you could add additional cards.

I don’t even know what this reply is supposed to mean. My original post was that the pundit class reviewing high end Apple Silicon Macs always go directly to video editing as their heaviest lift professional use-case scenario for Macs, while ignoring other high end uses. What you seem to be doing here is introducing a Mac vs. PC argument, which is not germane to my original gripe. Sooooo… :woman_shrugging:t3:

Yeah, for large yet fast data storage needs, I think 16 lane PCIe SSD cards would be the way to go in a Mac Pro. I think it certainly should be faster than anything external over Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 for use in a Mac Studio.

Still, the 192GB max memory for M2 Ultra could be a sticking point for some people, on either Mac Pro or Mac Studio.

Remember back when people (universities, mostly) were building massively parallel supercomputers using G5 towers? Ahhhh, those were the days…

So sorry about that! Here’s my more focused take:

A lot of out of in home usage, including printed, out of home and digital OOH signage, and stuff like digital building and transit wraps, stadium signage. Packaging design is another Mac heavy duty specialty, especially when government requirements on ingredients and medical uses are required. If you look at the advertising and printing trade publications, you’ll find lots of other heavy lifting requirements that Mac is the best in fulfilling. Windows seems to give up the ghost when the going gets heavy duty.

Print design has certainly been a Mac stronghold. Again, it’s not a Mac vs. PC argument, it’s a misperception that “video work is most demanding work.”

All our designers have been chugging away on Macbook Pros, having moved them from iMac 27" 8 years or so ago. Our creative director wanted them to be able to move around the office and collaborate as opposed to being locked to their desks using the iMacs. RAM has always been what they needed for loading large image sizes without disk swap. I can’t see one of our print/web/UX/UI designers ever needing a Mac Pro, let alone all those graphics cores. At most they use the LG Ultrafine 27" 5K monitor, though have migrated most from Thunderbolt Displays in Dongletown to LG 27" 4K USB-C monitors without complaint.

I currently have my 3 video producers using Maxed out Macbook Pros without complaint. They are typically shooting in 4K. If they were to complain of performance issues I would offer them Mac Studios, but that wouldn’t be fun when they travel to actually shoot video.

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Adam wrote an article last year, “Apple: Design Macs for Other Types of Professionals”:

It seems that discussions about Apple Silicon performance for other professions (e.g. math, data science) are mostly found in online communities of users in the professions. For example, there were some discussions on using the Accelerate framework/GPU/Apple Neural Engine for mathematical computations, but finding them requires a fair bit of searching:

I have a sinister theory though: Many of the popular “review” works are probably designed for monetisation i.e. making as much profit for the authors as possible. It is much easier to attract eyeballs with reviews of gaming, video editing etc. vs something like examining the differences between Intel MKL and Accelerate BLAS.

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I think your “sinister” theory is exactly correct. Everything these days is all about the eyeballs. It’s a sad state of internet affairs, I’m afraid.

Thanks for calling that out—I immediately thought of that piece too.

The overall criticism is valid here. There’s nothing wrong with Apple making great hardware for video professionals and talking about it. But the company could focus on other professions as well, both in its marketing and product development.

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I think there is a less sinister aspect to this though, to be fair - there is probably a degree of self-selection going on. Many of the reviewers are video creators, and video performance numbers are going to matter a lot to them. Having said that, I echo Adam’s comment that more attention should be paid to other kinds of professionals, and coverage of the reviews should be so extended as well.

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As a theoretical physicist who spends much of his day in front of computers writing code, I also sense that often times Apple portrays professional Mac users as people who edit video. I’m sure there are many Mac users among that group, but by the same token, there’s also many professional and even high-end Mac users who are very far from video editing.

In my own specific example, I rarely care about GPU core performance and even massively parallelized CPU core work doesn’t really do it for me. I can perhaps exploit two dozen or so cores efficiently, but after that there’s little gain. So while I love huge amounts of RAM, excellent mem b/w, and as much single-core performance as I can get, lots of other “pro” aspects of Apple Silicon or Mac Studio/Pro are lost on me or those doing similar work in my department. I’m sure there’s plenty pro users who need that stuff, but it’s also just as correct to acknowledge that to other pros, some of that stuff is of little to no relevance.

Overall though, I think pro Mac users are in a very good spot these days, at least in terms of hardware. Apple Silicon is really strong. Even if you think the Mac Pro is silly, you can safely ignore it and move on because the Mac Studio will likely offer all the goodies you want. And to those who like the Studio, but just find it overly expensive, the Mac mini does offer a budget-level desktop system that can absolutely be used for professional work. And in portable space things of course are looking as good as ever. Apple Silicon finally brings desktop level performance to the portable world without sacrificing battery life, weight, and noise to achieve it.

I would consider the only folks being left entirely out in the cold right now are those who indeed prefer AIOs. For years people were calling for a headless iMac (Pro) and now, with the Apple Silicon Mac Studio, we finally got all of that. Unfortunately, now it’s the the high-end AIO crowd that’s stuck without appropriate hardware. Some might argue that crowd doesn’t exist. And although I was never big on the AIO myself, I wouldn’t dismiss that segment in Mac land. In fact I’d be tempted to argue that if Apple considers those couple ten thousand potential Mac Pro buyers relevant, they shouldn’t be dismissing what is likely an order of magnitude larger crowd who’d want something like a 27"+ iMac. The 24" iMac just doesn’t cut the mustard in that sense — it’s as if on the headless side Apple had only the Mac mini, but no Mac Studio (or Pro). But IMHO that’s pretty much it.

To be honest, when it comes to pro use, my biggest gripe right now is not Apple’s Mac offerings. I’d claim they’re as diverse and well balanced as perhaps ever. No, my gripe is with screens. Apple has a nice 5K panel, but it’s over-engineered and the price tag is preposterous. There’s one LG 5K display I’m aware of around ~$1200 and then perhaps there’s one or the other from some other manufacturer. But that’s it. What I’d really like to see is more selection among 27" 5K displays, and perhaps 32" 5K/8K displays. That’s what I’m really missing in pro land these days.

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I was a high-end AIO person, and was waiting for a 27" Apple Silicon iMac to replace my top-end 2010 27" iMac–screen size is not something I was going to compromise on. Now I have a Studio and a Studio Display. It costs me a bit of desk space, but in return it’s actually easier to plug things in now that I don’t have to stick my head behind the monitor to see what’s going on.

I think what the Studio Display revealed is that when you paid $2500 for a 27" iMac, you were really paying $1000 for the computer part and $1500 for the screen part. Arguably, if you care about the non-screen parts being “high-end”, getting out of the AIO space means you can replace the computer/CPU sooner without having to pay the cost of replacing the screen.

Dave

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I hear that. The 27" iMac was just good value. A low-end MS and SD together is a sweet setup, but it costs upwards of $4k.

Probably a better equivalent would be a mid-range M2 Mini and a Studio Display. That could get you down under $3K, depending on how much you want to boost the SSD capacity.

“No, my gripe is with screens. Apple has a nice 5K panel, but it’s over-engineered and the price tag is preposterous. There’s one LG 5K display I’m aware of around ~$1200 and then perhaps there’s one or the other from some other manufacturer. But that’s it. What I’d really like to see is more selection among 27” 5K displays, and perhaps 32" 5K/8K displays. That’s what I’m really missing in pro land these days."

I agree with this 100%. We have some LG Ultrafine 5K 27" monitors, and they are okayyyyy… But I’ve been buying LG 4K 27" USB-C monitors for FAR more value. These are all replacing Thunderbolt Displays. To my mind, these were the best monitors and they are completely unmatched in terms of quality of display and I/O features.

First of all, there are only 4 monitors I know of with real Thunderbolt 3 or 4 connections: The Apple Studio Display, the 2 LG Ultrafines, and I think a Dell which may or may not yet be released. Everything else is pretty much only 4K and only USB-C connection (and HDMI, but who cares about that.) Curved monitors are non-starters for graphic design pros who rely on straight lines from time to time.

The beauty of the Thunderbolt Display was that it provided real I/O: USB-A ports, Ethernet, Thunderbolt pass-through, Firewire 800 AND a camera with audio I/O. Before MagSafe died, this provided one thing Apple NEVER did: A realistic dock experience for laptops using only 2 cables.

Now, even the Studio Display STILL makes you live in Dongletown. Yeah, sure a camera with features no one wants for a display camera (who needs auto tracking when you’re sitting in front of the display for your Zoom and Teams calls?) But one TB3 port, and 3 USB-C ports still mean you have to go live in Dongletown to get Ethernet. Why? Yeah, sure, bill of materials to add Ethernet, but come on, for $1500 surely you could shove in $10 of Ethernet chip and RJ45 port? And a device that stays on one desk really should feature Ethernet - case in port, Mac Minis, Apple Studios, and Mac Pros all have Ethernet. Apple’s insistence that everyone can live on wifi does not stand up to hitting large files on a server…

Display manufacturers, despite how decent LG panels can be, just aren’t stepping up the I/O game AT ALL.

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A big majority of product reviewers are overwhelmingly NOT paid either directly or indirectly from Apple. And Apple is a multi national publicly traded company. Comparatively, they have a very small list of high priced, but very technically advanced hardware and services. Apple also very carefully limits the the availability of selling its hardware to Apple Stores and an extremely limited number of authorized retailers. They also have a an longstanding and extremely effective focus on user privacy, which does greatly limit the amount of tracking. They also greatly limit the amount of advertising they sell in apps.

Their legal primary goal is to produce the most revenue it can to create profits for its shareholders. But bribing journalists is something they are famous for NOT DOING.

MMTalker, no one is suggesting that Apple is paying tech pundits for reviews, let alone focusing only on performance from a video editing standpoint. But the idea that tech pundits, especially those of a YouTube variety, will focus on the performance standpoint that gets views to further their financial goals and engagement, is certainly valid.

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Thanks @bscarborough for clarifying, yes I did not claim that Apple bribes reviewers to receive favorable reviews. Rather, I was describing the circumstances where reviewers are incentivized to derive maximum profit from their reviews via advertisements and sponsorships. This is especially prevalent on YouTube, and involves some questionable tactics such as crafting sensational titles and thumbnails, and numerous product placement ‘showcases’. Most of the review content comprises regurgitation of facts and benchmarks that are also present in numerous other reviews already published, which makes me wonder what value do those reviews add other than to extract our attention. Of course, one cannot escape the line “smash that Subscribe button and the notification icon” in YouTube videos.

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