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May/June 2021

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Page 25 of 39 24 POST MAY/JUNE 2021 WORKSTATIONS The latest powerhouses for post production workflows BY MARC LOFTUS W orkstation manufacturers are taking advantage of the latest chips — be it from Intel, AMD, or in Apple's case, their own M1 — to create powerful solutions for work in media & entertainment. The COVID pandemic disrupted in-studio work for many, so some manufacturers are addressing remote workflow trends with powerful mobile workstations that allow pros to work from anywhere without sacrific- ing performance. This month, we look at the latest releases from some of the post production industry's top solution providers. APPLE Apple's all-new iMac features a more compact design that's powered by the company's M1 chip. The new iMac is just 11.5 millimeters thin, and is available in a choice of seven vibrant colors. The 24-inch 4.5K Retina display features 11.3 million pixels, 500 nits of brightness and over a billion colors. A 1080p FaceTime HD camera is joined by studio-quality mics and a six-speaker sound system. Touch ID comes to iMac for the first time, making it easy to securely log in, make purchases with Apple Pay, or switch user profiles. The iMac combines the power and performance of M1 and macOS Big Sur to help apps launch very quickly. iMac comes with a new power connector that attaches magnetically and a woven, two-meter- long, color-matched cable. The 24-Inch 4.5K Retina Display iMac has anti-reflective coating for an im- proved viewing experience. Compared to the standard models of the 21.5-inch iMac, the new release offers 85 percent faster CPU performance, up to 2x fast- er GPU performance for certain apps, like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, and up to 50 percent faster performance than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac. The workstation has the ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro. Complementing the 1080p camera is a three-microphone array that helps with clearer calls and voice recordings. The mics are positioned to reduce feedback from the rest of the system, while directional beamforming allows them to better ignore background noise and focus on a user's voice. The new iMac also features the best sound system ever in a Mac. It has two pairs of force-cancelling woofers placed side by side for impressive bass response, while reducing unintended vibrations. Each pair is balanced with a high-performance tweeter. The result is a six-speaker sound system. All of the speaker innovations, coupled with advanced algorithms, enable iMac to sup- port spatial audio when playing video with Dolby Atmos. There are thousands of Universal apps available that take full advantage of M1 and macOS Big Sur, including Photoshop and DaVinci Resolve, with more arriving each week. iMac features two Thunderbolt ports for fast data transfers and support for up to a 6K display, like the Apple Pro Display XDR. The eight- core iMac configuration offers two additional USB-C ports and also features a

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