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How ProMax’s One+ One-Ups the Mac Pro

New ProMax One+ PC Supports 16 Cores, 256 GB RAM, and up to 24 TB of RAID on Board

Video pros who want to run OS X on a full-sized workstation were left cooling their heels at NAB, as Apple declined to make any announcements related to its long-in-the-tooth Mac Pro platform. That spells opportunity in the PC market, where Windows boxes are becoming more sophisicated, attractive, and powerful. One of the companies taking advantage is ProMax, which used NAB to launch the new One+, an upgrade to the ProMax One workstation that was announced at last year's show.

For the record, we did speak with Apple at this year's NAB, and the company once again reiterated that some kind of major update for the Mac Pro line is on tap for 2013. And, to be fair to Apple, the show floor featured implementations of Thunderbolt technology that make MacBook Pros perform like full-sized workstations in many ways. But ProMax is aiming at the desktop computer jockey who wants a big box with CPU oomph to spare and massive amounts of storage right under the hood. 

The top-of-the-line One+ is called the Hero, and it's built around a 16-core Intel Xeon E5-2687w CPU running at 3.1 GHz with 40 MB of cache. (The Edit system has a 12-core 2.5 GHz Xeon E5-2640 CPU, and the On Set system has a 16-core 2.4 GHz Xeon E5-2665.) Every One+ configuration has 16 RAM slots, supporting up to 128 GB.

The One+ is built with eight PCI slots, including four 16-lane PCIe 3.0 slots, compared to the six PCI slots sported by the original One. There's also an LTO option for archiving. And, again, the eight-bay RAID system is built in, supporting up to 24 TB of internal storage. The system supports up to four different boot SSDs, allowing you to keep system backups, or just to boot into different application environments — for example, you could keep your Adobe editing environment on one drive and your Avid environment on another, booting the appropriate drive for a given project.

ProMax CEO Jess Hartmann told us another popular application for a well-loaded ProMax One is raw and uncompressed workflows in Da Vinci Resolve. One claim that ProMax couldn't make for the system? It's not exactly portable, despite the handles. The company's website says the One+ weighs in at 65 pounds in its base configuration.

And the biggest shortcoming for Mac fans? It runs Windows 7. (Please let us know in the comments if you've gotten a version of OS X to run on one of these.)

Shared Storage for Small Workgroups

The One workstation line seemed to get the most attention at NAB, but ProMax was debuting another new product, the Platform Studio shared-storage system. It's a portable version of the company's existing Platform system that's designed to be kept near a desk, carried on set, or taken to other remote locations. The system is modular, meaning you can buy new functionality to suit your needs, enabling transcoding, rendering, archiving, and asset management functions.

Hartmann said the Studio is ideal for two- to four-user workgroups who connect directly via Gigabit or 10-Gigabit Ethernet. A 16 TB version starts at around $8,000, but the system scales to a max of 64 TB.

For more information: www.promax.com

28 Comments

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  • Anonymous

    What complete utter NONSENSE. Not VIDEO pro need that kind of computing power and/or RAM. This is a machine for extremely high-end CGI or scientific applications. The only advantage for modern NLEs above and beyond what even AN IMAC can offer would be a larger/faster GPU at best. Any “pro” claiming he needs some BS *TOWER* for editing needs to retire or move into the 21st century already and catch a clue.

    • cLrSt

      …said the 15 year old canon rebel owner who edits his skateboard videos on his ipad.

      • Anonymous

        But since that would make me both older AND more professional than you aside from more successful, you might want to lower the bar to not embarrass yourself even more.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411422268 Brian Knight

          I guess you don’t edit 4k footage then, eh?
          Maybe you should consider that pro’s do and it takes extreme space, time, ram, speed, and power to do that.

      • Kurtz25

        It’s amazing to see the younger generation think that their iPads are computers. Yes, they do what most home users want to do very well, but… The home market is not the market we’re talking about here.

        I do statistical modeling on my 2008 Mac Pro. A recent model took 21 hours to converge. I ran it on my i7 iMac, too, to see if the newer CPU—despite being a consumer device—outperformed the older Xeon with that kind of task. It did not.

        Pro users are not dumb or old-fashioned; we just have different needs!

        • Anonymous

          Bummer though that the iMac outperforms a Mac Pro *overall* by a landslide (whereby the difference in CPU speed is *marginal*) and the fact that you can get the top of the line iMac for not even HALF the price of a medium sized MP and you still don’t have a screen for the MP… oh gee, oops!

          But thanks for making MY point… unless I missed the memo on when “statistical modeling” became a VIDEO production technique.

          • Max Permissible

            A “top of the line iMac” is basically laptop hardware stuffed behind an LCD panel. A Mac Pro is a *real* computer, with replaceable GPU, upgradeable RAM, capable of running more than one internal HD, etcetera.

            Now take your FUD and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine, trollboi.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411422268 Brian Knight

            The anger is off-putting. The point is OK.
            An I mac is not going to outperform a mac pro in processing 4k or better footage,
            regardless of what format it’s finished in.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411422268 Brian Knight

        EASY…

        • cLrSr

          It was an easy call…

    • the observer

      And what if you have a slew of visual effects or multiple layers and don’t want to wait for renders? Some of just do more than just cuts and dissolves. And what if you want to edit natively with Red files? You need that kind of horsepower that an iMac just can’t deliver.

      • Anonymous

        The moment you grasp that 95% of what today’s NLEs need to do today they do via the *GPU* not the *CPU* will be the moment you realize how irrelevant a machine of this caliber is for editing. VRAM and RAM are key.
        And I’m *already* editing RED files natively, so I have no idea what you’re talking about. Even though *editing* (as opposed to *finishing*) with raw RED files is nothing but a bs fallacy for people to act as if they are that much more “pro” without rhyme nor reason.

        • Rocket

          Vitriol. You make excellent points. Really. Why is there so much anger behind your wisdom?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411422268 Brian Knight

          With 16 slots + you can get more GPU in the box.
          Is that really so bad?

  • Hanson

    Fiber connections and 10G ethernet tend to be a bit challenging still to hang off an iMac with thunderbolt breakout boxes. Sometimes those card slots come in handy still.

    • Anonymous

      Baloney. Been working via fibre on a TBo Mac since day one. Outperforms the Mac Pro next to it.

  • Anonymous

    Bugati Veyron is fast and powerful. But where can you drive it?

    The crap filmmaking that is going on could be done on a 386. Speed is not quality.

    Pay for talent, real talent and rent the render power.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1411422268 Brian Knight

      Best advice yet.

  • Les Fitzpatrick

    I’ve come close to doing business with Pro Max for years. Each time, changing my mind at the last moment and staying reliable to my local Seattle vendor. As that vendor continues to trip over it’s own you know what, Pro Max looks better and better. I’m not in the market for a new work station but, when the z800 gets a little longer in the tooth and my Rorke storage system inevitably turns on me, I think Pro Max will be my new solution provider.

  • Tim

    I got Snow Leopard running on an HP workstation just to see if it could be done.

    If Apple would licence Mac OS for high-end workstations like ProMax’s, they’d have more time to focus on phones and pads. Their unceremonious killing of all their high-end software makes their objectives clear.

    With Avid, Adobe and others running fine on Windows, that’s how we’re going where I work.

    • Anonymous

      Hooray for you. Too bad you clearly are so clueless on the subject of OS licensing and too young to know what BS that has resulted in in the past.

      “killing of all their high-end software” LOL… love it. Keeping the brainless memes alive! :-D

  • Dan Supko

    I’ve been using FCPX on a 2011 Quad Core i5 Imac for a solid year now, and while it is fine for basic editing of short videos or trailers bound for the web, I would never consider it a professional machine. I use it because it’s all I could afford.

    Beyond the Thuderbolt, FW, and USB ports, there is no expandability, which is a problem. I know you can do a lot with a machine like this, but I can see how it would not be enough for professional environments.

    In a professional environment, I could imagine using it as an auxiliary computer for sound editing or photoshop, or maybe even motion graphics, but not as something to be used as an online edit or render machine for uncompressed HD video.

    And the amount of problems in the FCPX software is scary. I experience a crash every time I use FCPX, and find myself having to do a lot of things to fix little bugs in the software. I would be worried about trying to meet a deadline with this type of system.

    By comparison, I use Pro Tools LE 8 for sound editing on the iMac and it never crashes.

    Now, I can edit movie trailers very easily on it, and it’s database integration with the other Mac apps make it really fun to use on little projects, but FCPX is not a reliable professional app.

    And Motion and Compressor are very slow on this iMac. Compressor I regret buying at all. Motion you can do a lot of cool stuff with, but it lags on this iMac.

    I will probably buy the Media Composer 7 software when it comes out, and continue using the iMac, but if I had a bigger budget, and were working professionally as an editor, I would be looking to buy one of these super workstations. At the least something comparable to a Mac Pro or a PC equivalent. And if I were working all the time and traveling, I would invest in a Macbook pro, but I would not count on it for my main computer.

    For what it’s worth, I am a sound editor and designer, and my interest in video editing is mostly so I can work better with editors and make my own little projects so take my opinions for what they are worth.

    Whatever anyone chooses to use, it is their own satisfaction with it that matters in the end though, so good luck to everybody in that regard.

    • Anonymous

      Brilliant. Always extremely useful to get the opinion of an AUDIO editor on an NLE. LOL. Especially one that doesn’t even have a decent computer to work on, but blames FCP for the bad performance nonetheless whilst actually comparing it with A DAW. My hero. MC7 is NO DOUBT going to be a breeze with the same computer!

      I especially LOVE the bit about “Beyond the Thunderbolt, FW, and USB ports, there is no expandability”. Hilarious. Funny how there’s all that lamenting about it’s still missing so much to be “pro”, but not a single mention of WHAT that ominous something might be… :-D

      But yeah, he must be right. All those beginners out there such as Dean Devlin, Magic Feather Inc, Sam Mestman of Lumforge etc. etc. etc. are just way too NOOBIE to know better than some hobbyist audio editor. :-D

      • Dan Supko

        Multiple PCI ports with connections that are solid. Ability to have the computer in a different (climate controlled) room than you and your monitors. The list is too long, and really I don’t care about proving any point to you. I had an opinion, and I made it without insulting anyone, which is something you should probably learn how to do if you ever want to work with anyone.

        • Anonymous

          PCI PORTS??! :-D For WHAT exactly?? (and again, just blanket statements, no specifics… gee, wonder why?) Some outdated legacy hardware? Sorry if the world keeps revolving without you, we’ll work on it. :-D

          And why would you need to put ANY current Mac in some “climate controlled” room exactly? What is this, the 80′s?? :-)))

          If THAT’S your definition of “pro”… wow… get ready for a big disappointment with the next “pro level” Mac.

          • Anonymous

            Who the hell crapped in your corn flakes? As an editor/business owner that hires others to work with him, I can guarantee that you would never get a job from any of the people I work with.

            If you have a valid point, why not make it without any animosity? Your rants add nothing to the discussion. Go away.

          • Anonymous

            Aside from being on the hiring side of things in an L.A. studio, sorry, I wouldn’t take a job from some putz that thinks he can judge someone by some random posts in some random thread, so thanks for sparing me… wow.

            So yeah, I’m really worried now… :-D

          • Ralf

            please…stay…in…LA.