Is the new Mac Pro worth it for your church?

Two weeks ago we received a little box from UPS. Inside the box was another box, a black one with an apple logo on it. Inside that box was another box, a red one. Inside the red box was a triangle shoe, one not fit for a boy with such large feet. It was then that I woke up from my afternoon nap and tore open our new Mac Pro.

We upgraded to the newest Mac Pro from a 2010 version of the same name. Our previous machine seemed to show it's age more and more with every OS and software update, which made it more and more justifiable to make the large jump to the new machine; that and we really, really wanted one. This posts aim is to tell you whether or not the large jump was worth it, and whether the new black trash can lives up to all the hype in the real world of a church video content creator.

OUR SOFTWARE SET UP

To begin, I'll run down the software we use on it daily. We use Premiere and After Effects more than anything else. For the most part, we are editing full HD h.264 and ProRes video. I've worked with R3D files on the previous machine, and would love to test it out on the new one I tend to get a little heavy with filters and layers of motion assets, which pushed our previous machine to the point of re-starts and pretty regular renders, even in the very fast and very open Premiere timeline. We also color grade everything, usually in Magic Bullet Looks, but occasionally in Speed Grade.  

THE DIFFERENCE

I'll make this short and sweet because you most likely don't have much time or desire to read much more of my muck of an article, and I am writing this while watching the Titanic, Jack just handed Rose a note after dinner and I'm utterly engaged. The first time I really noticed a significant difference with the new machine was my first render our of Premiere. It was a basic enough project, a couple of video layers and some minor filters. I hit the render button and began searching out amusement on the web as I usually do during a render, however the new machine would not allow it as it rendered off the video in about the same time it took the previous machine to simply pre-process the render. It was a bummer that I realized my internet breaks would forever more be shortened so much, but quite impressive at the same time.

I suppose it's important to run down the specs of both machines. Our previous machine was a quad core with 16gb of RAM, a graphics card of some sort, and other specs that I really should gather for you to make this article even more appealing. The new machine was literally decked out with every upgrade Apple offered. 12 cores, 64gb of RAM, and top notch everything else. Definitely a fair upgrade, and one you expect will improve your render life for sure... and so it has.

I'll cut to chase, the new machine is blazing fast as expected from the specs it holds. But the real question is, does all of this really make a big enough difference. This is my biggest take away from the new, very small trash can I now work from, I hardly notice it's there. With my old machine, I was very frequency interrupted with slow performance, the need for re-starts, and numerous other reminders that the machine was aging, and was not built to optimally handle  the newest software and OS offerings. This in turn made my job of creating compelling content more and more difficult. It was almost as bad as working with children near you, not as bad, but I did threaten to spank my old Mac on two occasions, and once wiped it's mother board with a liquid soup, which it turns out is a terrible idea.

The new machine simply works. You press render, it does just that in record time. As you edit, or work with multiple layers in After Effects, it simply stays out of the way, and lets you work. No hesitations, no need for re-starts, not sluggish attitude. It feels like a well trained athlete, it just makes everything so effortless. Whether or not that's worth the money, I don't know. I can say however that working with video has never been more enjoyable, fast, or distraction free. For us, I'd say we are defiantly happy with our upgrade, and have no regrets.

We'd love to hear what you think if you've made the switch. Hit us up at our email: hello@creativechurchessuck.com. Or head over to our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/creativechurchessuck