Picking the right editing workstation typically starts with one difficult decision – which platform should you opt for: Mac or PC. On the one hand, Apple’s iMac Pro has been increasingly popular amongst creative professionals lately with its blazing-fast processors enclosed in a stunning 5K screen and sleek chassis. Conversely, PC users have been attracted more and more to custom built PCs from companies who specialize in creating computers for processor intensive workloads.
To sort things out, tech fanatic and filmmaker Max Yuryev takes the iMac Pro and a pre-built V3000 workstation and puts both machines through several benchmarks and render tests – all to determine which computer would provide the best balance between price and performance.
Before looking at the results, it’s essential to outline the technical specifications of each system. The iMac Pro is equipped with an Intel 8-Core Xeon-W processor, 32GB of DDR4 ECC memory, a 1TB 3500MB/s SSD, and an AMD Vega 64 8GB graphics card.
On the other hand, the Bizon V3000 features an Intel 8-Core i7-7820X processor, 32GB of DDR4 memory, a 1TB PCI-E SSD, 2TB HDD 7200 RPM, the new NVIDIA RTX2080 8GB graphics card, and a 600W power supply.
Looking at synthetic benchmarks, it’s no surprise to see the PC coming out ahead for most of the tests. To compare processor performance, Max ran Geekbench 4 and Cinebench R15 on both machines, showing how the Bizon system knocks the iMac Pro out of the park. However, it is worth noting that in Geekbench 4, the iMac Pro delivered a slightly higher score than the Bizon system when it came to multicore performance.
Looking at graphics, it’s also no surprise that the inclusion of NVIDIA’s latest RTX2080 graphics contributes to the Bizon PC’s much higher scores, compared to the AMD-equipped iMac Pro. These tests were conducted inside of Geekbench 4 (OpenCL and GPU) and Unigine Heaven. In addition, when testing the GPUs with CUDA enabled on the PC, the Bizon system performed almost 3-4x better than the iMac Pro.
While synthetic benchmarks may determine a computer’s performance in theory, real-world use must also be taken into account when comparing the capabilities of each system. For these tests, Yuryev rendered several Premiere Pro projects containing different file types, testing for the number of frames dropped during playback, render time, CPU/GPU usage, and thermal performance.
When processing 4K 8-bit H.265 footage (with effects and LUTs), both machines performed comparably with no issues. They rendered at relatively the same amount of time, however, the Bizon PC was slightly faster by a minute. In addition, there was a lower GPU usage in the PC, which is mostly attributed to the fact that the RTX2080 has more performance headroom.
Stepping up to a 4K 60fps 10-bit HEVC project, the results start to become a little more interesting. From this particular test, it becomes evident that the Bizon’s much faster components use less CPU/GPU power than the iMac Pro, all while maintaining a low dropped frames count. In addition, the PC – as with the last test – was able to render the project much faster than the iMac Pro.
Interestingly, the speedier performance of the PC over the iMac Pro seems to be closely related with the thermals of each system. While the PC’s processor uses its liquid-cooling system to run at a comfortable 64˚C (at 4GHz), the iMac Pro’s processor thermal throttles down to 3.3-3.4GHz, running at a dangerously hot 94˚C.
Another test conducted by Yuryev was to stabilize a 20-second 4K clip inside of Premiere Pro CC. Both computers were able to complete the task in roughly five minutes, with the iMac Pro being able to finish the process slightly faster than the PC.
The last two tests in Yuryev’s video consisted of extremely large, processor-intensive files, which included 8K R3D and 4K 60fps Canon C200 files. Following the trend with the previous tests, the PC blows the iMac Pro out of the gate with lower render times and better thermal performance.
In the end, it’s quite apparent which computer performed better when it comes to video editing. By going with the Bizon V3000 computer over the iMac Pro, you’re getting a professionally-assembled machine that promises to blaze through large and complex editing workflows.
Furthermore, choosing a pre-built PC provides you with several other features not found on the iMac Pro, including 3-year limited warranty alongside the ability to self-upgrade components and customize your build exactly the way you want.