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iMac Pro slow performance

Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2018

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I just bought a new 2017 iMac Pro, 3ghz 10core processor, 64 gb ram, 16 gb GPU. I set the new iMac Pro up next to my 2014 5K iMac 4 ghz quad processor, 32 gb RAM, 2 gb GPU and they literally had the same exactly playback with RAM preview. The iMac pro could not even play full resolution playback. Both set to 1/3 and they both stuttered in the same places. So I'm just wondering did I waste $7,000. My projects are mostly animations with characters from high res photoshop files. Please help! Thank you!!!

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iMac Pro slow performance

Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2018

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I just bought a new 2017 iMac Pro, 3ghz 10core processor, 64 gb ram, 16 gb GPU. I set the new iMac Pro up next to my 2014 5K iMac 4 ghz quad processor, 32 gb RAM, 2 gb GPU and they literally had the same exactly playback with RAM preview. The iMac pro could not even play full resolution playback. Both set to 1/3 and they both stuttered in the same places. So I'm just wondering did I waste $7,000. My projects are mostly animations with characters from high res photoshop files. Please help! Thank you!!!

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Feb 23, 2018 2
New Here ,
Feb 23, 2018

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I'm having the exact same problem, I have a Mac Pro 3.5Ghz 6 Core with 64Gb of RAM.  In both Premiere and After Effects, my playback is so slow I can't even perform basic edits.  This has to be some setting I'm missing or some glaring issue, both programs are unusable.

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Feb 23, 2018 5
Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2018

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Its really disappointing. From my research I guess adobe apps currently favor faster processors, over multiple cores. So in my case I may have made a $7000 downgrade from a 4ghz processor to a 3ghz. I'm really hoping someone from Adobe answers and we can figure this out.

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Feb 23, 2018 3
New Here ,
Oct 28, 2018

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Yesterday I brought home a 27" i5 iMac to test it with Premiere Pro. The project I used to test it included footage in 4K 8bit (XF-AVC) and 4k 12bit (CRM) from a Canon C200. I had the files stored on an external SSD (860EVO) and I had previously found it extremely difficult to edit them smoothly.  To my disappointment, the 4k 8 bit files were still very laggy on playback, making editing a nightmare. CRM files were marginally better, but continuous playback was only with the preview resolution down to 1/4.

Seeing that this was not an improvement at all, I took that iMac back to the store and got myself a base model of the iMac Pro. I was hopping to have found a solution, even though at a much higher price than I had expected. Here is what I found out:

First, using the same 860 SSD as storage device for the project files:

- Playback is perfectly fluid with the 4k 8 bit files. No problem editing them in Premiere Pro whatsoever.

- CRM files playback laggy as before. It is not possible to playback these ones in full res in PP (mind you, I am able to playback these files within FCP X in a MacBook Pro from 2014 with no drop frames.)

Next thing I did to further test this issue was to copy my files to the hard disk of the iMac Pro. I though that perhaps the bottleneck was not in the CPU but in the drive speed. These are, after all, massive files.

Wouldn't you know: CRM playback beautifully in full res and editing is now a breeze, both for the 4k 8bit and 12bit.

Its not perfect, of course I wouldn't want to be using the internal drive for editing, but at least I know that if I need to edit in PP and full res, I have an option. Next try will be AE.

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Oct 28, 2018 2
Contributor ,
Oct 28, 2018

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Really interesting, thanks for sharing. My 10 Core iMac Pro has a 1Tb internal hard drive so I’ve been using that to edit with on a project by project basis - far from ideal but allows me to edit with 4K footage from a Sony FS7. Oddly though, I managed to edit quite happily on an old 2014 Macbook using a thunderbolt 1 external HDD the other day with the same footage - I just don’t get it...

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Oct 28, 2018 0
Advocate ,
Nov 14, 2018

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I think the screen is the problem, the imac can just about handle running the massive amount of pixels and doesn't have much energy left to actually do much work with them!  my old mac graphics card has more Gb/per pixel than the imac due to the huge increse in screen pixels, but acutally the 30 inch Apple display still allows me to 'see' more on screen as the aspect ration is much more useful with an effective extra 100-200 pixels vertical space (disregarding the sharpness of retina screens).

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Nov 14, 2018 0
Enthusiast ,
Nov 14, 2018

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its not. I had a 5k retina imac (regular imac) 3 years ago, no lag or problems in AE or Premiere.

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Nov 14, 2018 0
Contributor ,
Nov 22, 2018

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You might wanna try Resolve for editing. It's way more optimized for smooth playback and fast rendering.

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Nov 22, 2018 0
New Here ,
Feb 23, 2018

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Same experience here. iMac Pro 10-core / 64GB RAM. It's performing about the same as a 2016 Mac Pro w/ 16 GB of RAM.

+ a new quirk where sometimes transparent PNG's can't be shown at all – they become a garbled glitchy pattern of random colors (?)

What's going on? Are the Radeon Pro Vega drivers not finished yet or something?

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Feb 23, 2018 2
Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2018

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From what I understand GPU drivers are included in Mac software updates. I checked the website for Radeon Pro Vega and the drivers are for windows and Linux. I just do not understand how these two machines are performing absolutely the same, while the iMac Pro is superior in every spec. Going from the iMac 2014 to iMac pro, I also went from fusion drive to SSD, read and write speeds are double, yet I see no difference in performance. Is there just a limit to how fast Premiere Pro and After Effects can run? So I can never expect to have smooth playback, no matter how powerful the machine? Ugh. One thing I did notice is when I switch GPU acceleration to OpenCL from Metal, exporting is way faster, but does nothing for playback.

Someone better call Apple and tell them not to make any new computers, because I guess 2014 iMac works as fast as iMac pro. Adobe is industry standard, and most creatives use it in some capacity. I just don't understand, Pro software should work better on pro machines.

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Feb 23, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2018

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This is a long standing annoyance for many Adobe users who've gone out and bought expensive multi-core systems, only to be unimpressed with the results.  For the time being, and for the past few years, in After Effects at least, Adobe have not been pursuing multicore enhancements with much fervour.

There are numerous threads about this matter:

AE 2018 multi processing

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2230330

There's a third party render tool that will make good use of all cores during renders:

RenderGarden | by Mekajiki

But this won't enhance your general user experience.

Your iMac Pro will make great use of the multicore engine on tools that are designed for it:  Cinema 4D, for example.  It also means you'll get better results running multiple tools simultaneously - using After Effects while rendering in Media Encoder, for example.

But there is no evidence that Adobe plan to add better multicore support in the near future.

Depending on where you purchased, some sellers (including Apple) offer a 30 day return policy.

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Feb 23, 2018 3
Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2018

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Thank you Andrew! I will look over those resources. I'm either going to return the iMac pro. Or hold onto hope that Adobe will support Multicore performance eventually. Such a bummer! So in other words, my user experience is as good as its going to get regardless of machine. Bummer. Thanks man.

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Feb 23, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2018

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hey mike, what did you end up doing? i just got my 10 core imac pro (64gb ram, 16gb gpu as well). premiere playback is ridiculously faster for me but still having a ton of trouble with AE. I'm considering returning my imac pro and getting an imac with a 4.2 ghz quad core instead

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Mar 08, 2018 1
Explorer ,
Mar 08, 2018

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Hey Austin, I actually reached out to adobe on twitter and they told me that at this time adding additional cores does not increase playback performance at this time. So AE is pretty much the same on my quad core 2014 iMac...So I guess there is just no way to improve performance spec wise for AE then, there are no macs with processors faster than 4 ghz, and multiple cores do not matter, so I think were stuck for now with AE. If I could return my iMac Pro I would, but turns out I can't, just ask yourself, was this a $7,000 improvement. For me no, If I could take it back, I would have not bought the iMac Pro, since I only use adobe.

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Mar 08, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2018

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thanks for the response. what a shame. i'm going to look into returning my imac pro (which hurts because i love everything about this machine) and look into a cheaper imac with a 4ghz processor.

one thing i did notice about this imac pro is that playback in premiere is flawless. I can add LUTs, color grade, change the scale, and i dont have to wait for one second.

adobe has really screwed this up. it seems like computers are headed in the direction of increasing cores, not processor speed. i wish they would announce that they're adding multi-processing in the next update so i could justify keeping this beautiful machine

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Mar 08, 2018 3
Explorer ,
Mar 08, 2018

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I agree, it sucks. Watching videos on youtube of the latest maxed out iMacs have pretty good playback in premiere also, so might not be that bad. my 2014 iMac in premiere actually is still pretty good. I agree, I'm sure in time they will take advantage of these more powerful computers, I mean they only want their software to get faster not slower, but who knows when that will be. By then the iMac pro 2 might be out. There's a rumor of a new mac pro coming out later this year also! So maybe wait for that if anything. I wish I had

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Mar 08, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Mar 08, 2018

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i just called adobe. turns out the source of my problem is that i was using old .aep files from my old comp. creating a new project and importing the old files has helped to speed things up. they did assure me, however, that the speed of the processor is significantly more important than the number of cores.

That being said, rendering/exporting files will utilize up to 12 cores which is nice. Still, I need to make a decision...I really wish I had a stacked imac with a 4.2 processor to test this out...

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Mar 08, 2018 3
Explorer ,
Mar 08, 2018

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Oh ok good to know! on my iMac pro I have started a new job, but same type of project. I opened it on both computers and it performs the same. For me the puppet tool is really slow, and acts the same on both computers.

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Mar 08, 2018 0
Advocate ,
Jun 29, 2018

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Me too, iMac Pro is no better than my 10 year old mac pro 3,1 which admittedly has a few fancy upgrades over the years. GTX970 card, PCIE drive and sad all round, and 32Gb ram, but i was expecting it to be better on iMac pro, just cos you know its 10 years old!

iMac pro is going back tomorrow.

also my first gripe was actually the screen. its gloriously sharp, but i have 2x apple 30 inchers on my desk, (only one for the old cheese grater) but i feel so cramped on the iMac pro screen, and the scaled screen just makes everything too tiny.

such a shame, I've waited years to 'upgrade' and this thing is not so great.

also in illustrator its actually slower and buggy just panning around a document.

i think the retina screen is jus too much effort for it to run.

8gb iMac pro card is essentially 2Gb per apple 30 incher, in terms of power per pixel. so my 4Gb card is better off.

is it worth getting a normal iMac? or same issues gonna be present? will i7 make any difference? still gonna have same issues driving that screen with the GPX card.?

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Jun 29, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 24, 2018

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Hey I am hoping the old project files are the source of my problems.   If I create a new project on the new machine, how do I import the old files?

I am specifically hoping to use a project file I bought off of envato/videohive.

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Sep 24, 2018 0
Contributor ,
Mar 18, 2018

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I’ve been finding the same performance issues on my new 10 core iMac pro, really don’t know what to do. Warp stabiliser is really slow and exporting is not as fast as I’d hoped. I have an old mid-2011 machine too and some tasks work just as fast on that. This is a massive issue, and not the only one I’ve found with Adobe, I’ve just invested £6k on a new machine to speed up my workflow - can’t believe it...

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Mar 18, 2018 1
Community Beginner ,
Mar 19, 2018

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i agree, warp stabiilizer is frustratingly slow. ive been pretty happy with render times. make sure if you are working on projects from your old system, youre importing them into new project files. ive decided to stick with the imac pro as i think this is an adobe issue, not a system issue. i think the solution is just to bug the hell out of adobe about the lack of multi core processing ability

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Mar 19, 2018 1
Contributor ,
Mar 19, 2018

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I have done so today, they assure me it will be improved with the next update later this month or early April

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Mar 19, 2018 6
Community Beginner ,
Mar 19, 2018

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awesome. that's great news. but if they dont make the necessary changes i think we all need to really go after them...the future of processing is multicore, embarassing they aren't already pioneering that

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Mar 19, 2018 1
Contributor ,
Mar 19, 2018

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it's either that, move to FCPX or sell your iMac pro...

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Mar 19, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 19, 2018

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I've got the same problem. I've been using a secondary monitor connected to one of the new USBC port using an adapter. As soon as I changed the connection to another port, AE and Cinema 4D started to work as expected. I don't know if this is the same environment as the one you are using, but for those of you using 2 monitors, try to change the connection.

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Mar 19, 2018 3