Older Mac Pro for Video Editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MeowWBO, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. MeowWBO, Jul 9, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013

    I'm looking for a Mac that I can use for video editing. I mainly use Premiere Pro CS6 and After Effects CS6 and I'm wondering what options are out there for a Mac that is capable of GPU acceleration through the Mercury Playback Engine.

    I'm not afraid to use the GPU "text file edit" in order to get potential GPUs into consideration.

    While searching for something that can do this, I came across some older 2009 Mac Pros on Ebay.

    Apparently there are 2 very nicely priced models: 1x 2.66 Quad Xeon Processor and 2x 2.26 Quad Xeon Processor. I'd love this option because you can use "standard" GPUs. Right? The GTX550ti seems like a nice affordable option that apparently beats the heck out of un-rendered Chroma Key.


    Not to mention, most of them are under 1000 bucks. If I get one, I plan to upgrade the RAM, obviously the video card, and in time the processor. I've heard the $500 3.3 Quad Xeon Processor is a great upgrade, but I'm wondering if it matters if I purchase the 2x 2.26 or the 1x 2.66 if and when I upgrade in the future.

    In my head, this all seems like a good plan but hard to piece together. Are there any other comparable Mac's out there in that price range that can do what my "supposed upgrade" can do? How does this rank in terms of the Mac Mini Server, or the iMac? Has anyone tried something similar before?


    EDIT: I want to make a quick note: GPU acceleration requires at least 1GB of vRAM, and it appears that not a lot of stock Macs support that.
  2. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Word of warning: You are dropping $1k on a 4 year old machine that is slower than a mid-2012 Mac Mini. Once you do the processor upgrade, then it is only marginally faster than a 2012 Mac Mini (Geekbench of 15000 vs 12500 for the Mini). I can't speak to GPU accelleration and how much that will truly help you.

    And yes it does make a difference which one you buy. If you are going to just put one processor in the 2009, then go with the quad core. If you want dual CPU's (which processors designated to be used in dual CPU machines are much more expensive) then go with the 8 core 2.26 but be prepared for sticker shock when you upgrade.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2013
    Would I then be better off buying a MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel i7? I found one in the refurbished section of the Apple Online Store. They go for about $1,400 which is reasonable. It comes with an out of the box supported graphics card which is nice, but I'm wondering if the build I listed will be "better" than this 2011 Macbook.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Sep 6, 2009
    Hi MeowWBO The video apps you're using benefits from multi-processors as I think an 8 core Mac Pro may help you a lot plus the larger storage options. Geekbench scores only show the cpu side and not the whole computer as a whole. If you would be mobile most of the time maybe the MacBook Pro would help your needs. it may depend on the type of setup you are comfortable with. :)

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