Mac Setup: 4K Mac Pro Workstation of a Director

Nov 21, 2015 - 28 Comments

Mac Pro setup of a director

This time around we’re featuring the excellent Mac Pro workstation of director and video editor Joe S., let’s learn more about the hardware and software put to use in this Mac setup!

Tell us a bit about what you do with your Mac setup?

I am a director and I like doing my own editing. I shoot everything from commercials to music videos with some special effects and a lot of color correction.

What hardware is included in your setup?

Speed is very important to me. I need to be able to edit without too many hiccups, so a computer that is able to handle heavy loads is very important to me. Enter the latest Mac Pro.

This is my gear:

  • Mac Pro (2014 model), configured with 3.5GHz 6-core CPU, 64GB RAM, Dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, and 1TB PCIe flash storage. This is my main machine, and I love it!
  • Seiki 39″ 4K Display. What can I say? Screen Real Estate is King! I had to tweak the settings quite a bit when I first purchased this monitor but now it works great for what I do. I get to see all my footage in full 1080p as I edit it with plenty of space for my timeline, effects and viewer.
  • Beats Studio Wireless headphones, mostly because I cannot stand cables. The audio quality is pretty good and they are pretty comfortable on my ears, even after hours wearing them.
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard, Apple Magic Mouse 2 , Apple Airport Express. Like I said, I cannot stand cables.
  • iPad Air 2 to show samples to potential customers
  • iPhone 6s to do most of my email and communication
  • Apple Watch for faster response 
  • MacBook Pro 15″ (2010 model), 2.66GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB RAM and 500GB SSD, anti-glare higher resolution display. An older machine but still a workhorse, this is my travel machine.

Not shown: 2 each USB 3 double HD bays with 16TB total hard drive storage.

Mac Pro w 4K Display director setup setup

What apps do you use most often?

The main apps I use are Final Cut Pro X and Motion.

I still use DVD Studio Pro if someone wants DVDs.

Do you have any setup tips you’d like to share?

What I recommend is, spend your money wisely, don’t rush it and get only what you can afford right now. Take your time and build the perfect set up for you, for what YOU need and what YOU want. Money is usually the biggest issue with anything so it took me a while to get the machine I wanted, especially the Mac Pro but it was very worth it when I finally got it. Patience!

Mac Pro setup of a director

Want to share your Mac setup with OSXDaily readers? Go here to get started! And if you’re not quite ready to share your own workstation yet, you can browse through previously featured Mac setups here, there are many great ones out there!


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Posted by: OSXDaily in Mac Setups


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  1. CHRIS V says:

    hello! do you still use DVD Studio Pro all these years later? i still have not found a better alternative! and it’s nearing the end of 2023! so very sad. i still have clients that want dvds with professional menus. WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND? are you even able to run DVDSP on an M1 or M2 mac? thank you for any insight! blessings!

  2. Mark says:

    @joe: will that 4k display refresh at 60Hz with your mac pro? i’m stuck at 30Hz with my MBP

    • Joe says:

      It does not, it’s still at 30Hz. We were promised a firmware update a while ago that would fix that but that never happened.

  3. Mark says:

    Love this. Just upgraded $900 thunderbolt cinema display to sony 4k 43″ TV. Loving it with my maxed out mid-2014 MBP but the exact same MP config is what i spec’d for the CAD software that i use.

    Question: do you have any mouse lag? I turned off all the BS motion settings but i’m still experiencing some lag.

    @chad: the industry standard is the Sony MDR 7506, and with very good reason (the venerable V6’s before that are awesome too). check em out

    • Joe says:

      Mark, I did experience a little mouse lag. To help with the mouse lag I move the tracking speed closer to fast and downloaded Zoom (MouseZoom, free) and changed the speed to 2. I am so used to it now that it feels like there is no lag.

      43″ 4K Sony sounds pretty awesome. I have a Sony TV in my living room that is stilll waaaay better than any other TV I’ve owned. The quality is incredible.

  4. Chad says:

    Sony headphones… don’t do that. You said reference… and for that you need Sennheiser’s. Blow the doors off of everything imo. Once you try a pair, everything else will now “suck” for you.

  5. Joe says:

    HDMI since I already had the cables.

  6. Stewart Hart says:

    Do you use the Seiki up converting HDMI between monitor & Mac or a thunderbolt to HDMI cable?

    • Joe says:

      HDMI since I already had the cables. Back when I got this setup, Thunderbolt to HDMI cables or converters were pretty non-existent.

  7. Michael_in_TO says:

    Sorry for the typos. Too fast on my iPad. Buy not by and get not yet. Best!!

  8. Michael_in_TO says:

    Wires or not, if you’re serious about editing sound, you have to ditch the beats by a pair of Sony (or other) monitor phones. Beats add a ton of base and you yet a suuuuper unreliable reference for all sound. It’s like trying to colour grade your video wearing sunglasses. You just have no point of reference. Love the Pro. It is a great unit.

    • Joe says:

      I was concerned about the same thing but it’s not as bad as people make it seem, it’s actually pretty minimal. I also have external speakers and a pair of wired headphones that I use when I have to edit audio.

  9. Paul says:

    I have a similar setup, but using windows.
    Dell XPS15 as my laptop and an Overclocked Quad Core i7 @5Ghz, 32Gb Ram, dual 980Ti, 1Tb SSD and a 256Gb M.2 boot drive.
    x2 4k 27″ Dells.

  10. Steve Steele says:

    Nice. Love seeing the high end home studios.

  11. kazuba says:

    Great display and Mac Pro

  12. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Nice desk. I always wanted a Mac Pro but always go for MacBook Pro instead. For portability.

  13. Ted says:

    You forgot to show all the Apple stickers that you got with all the Apple “stuff”… :-)

  14. Brian Brown says:

    Good, always liked the Mac Pro! But please, push the Mac Pro back onto the desk!! It’s hanging off the desk an inch and it’s freaking me out!!

    Been thinking about getting a 4K display but I don’t think my video card could handle it, I guess I will wait to see what the 2016 MacBook Pro lineup looks like… hopefully they don’t move to ARM and turn the Pro into a big wussy iPad.

    • Buts says:

      THIS. Damn, when I first saw the cover photo I was like WHAAAAAT.
      That’s some rough cash to have on/over the border of the table.

    • Joe says:

      Good catch on the Mac Pro being on the edge. I moved it a bit to try to separate the blacks on the picture. It’s back to it’s safe space.

      Once you go 4K it’s very difficult to go back to anything less.

      I agree with you, I’m hoping Apple will keep their Pro line a legit Pro line.

      • Gregg says:

        Hey it’s an SSD drive. The only moving part is the fan. My impression is that you could almost treat it like a football and it’d be fine.

        I’m considering getting a Mac Pro instead of a MacBook Pro because I can stuff it in a backpack and go. If it gets banged around a little, that shouldn’t be a problem.

        As it stands, I treat my current i7 mini very gently…
        (when I stuff it in a backpack and go.)

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