2013 Apple Product for HD Video editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mmdambro, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Mmdambro macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013
    I am pretty new to the apple world but have transitioned over with the iPods, iPhones, and iPads. Now I need to make the desktop transition.

    I edit gopro videos and they are typical 1080p 60fps. I have a PC and it is barely up to 5 minutes of editing.

    So I am interested in what imac would suit my needs best.

    I am considering the 21.5 with the dedicated graphics card and upgrading the ram to 16gb. Total cost will be around 1500-1700. Is this the best configuration for editing these HD videos?

    Do you guys store your video on external drives and edit from there?



    I am also willing to consider more customized approaches or even older macs and upgrading them. Just trying to find a solid machine for HD video editing for years to come
  2. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013

    Any configuration will work fine for what you do. My 2010 iMac with an i3 processor was still working fine for me. I do video production for a living. I have my own business. I do that, and I teach a hands-on college course for sports broadcasting.

    I just got the new model with i7 and the 780m.. 27". My 2010 just took a little longer to render batch lists than I liked, and had a hard time doing After Effects work.

    So yeah, any current model will be fine for you. Definitely get the dedicated gfx card. I don't know if they have one with integrated, but do avoid that one, if so. Otherwise, just think about what you will be doing in 3 to 5 years. If you're going to expand into more resource intensive work. If you're going to need to be able to finish projects without waiting for the computer to churn through them. And how long you want your machine to last for you. With my 2010, I couldn't afford to step up in CPU and GFX back when I bought it. It lasted me 3 years. I can definitely see this new one lasting me 5.

    Yes, I only edit on external drives. And I usually make a backup of source footage, at least until I have a finished product. I'm just now getting to enjoy the speed that my USB 3.0 drive can do. Thunderbolt really flies, but it's more expensive. I've yet to use one with it, but I know it flies.

    Also, consider the Fusion drive. It's a big improvement, without the cost of getting a large SSD. Feel free to ask me anything.
  3. Mmdambro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013

    Thanks a lot, that actually helped with quite a bit.

    Honestly, I only edit short clips of gopro videos but they are so big that my computer can't handle it. I also don't see my editing becoming any more than a pastime to throw together videos for fun so I am looking for something that will easily last me 5 years but can handle editing these big files (1080p at 60fps). I would like something with some room to grow as well in case I gopro comes out with a 1080p at 120. My biggest issue is just lag while editing. My comp now lags so much that I can't do any time-specific edits because the lag makes it all so jumbled.

    Am I correct in the understanding that the 21.5 new iMacs do not have interchangeable memory but the 27s do? I have read a number of oeople saying that if I think I may upgrade then I need to purchase it now.

    Also what do you use as your external Hdd? I have heard only to buy something at 7200rpm.

    Again thanks for all the info.
  4. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    It'll be more than speedy for your needs ;)

    I have a 27" iMac from 2010 (Mid 2010, Core i5) and its been a charm to work on since then. I do videos both as part of my YouTube channel as well as for my business (in sig). Its coming to a point where I could do with a new model but I think I can squeeze another year out of it (I have a Macbook Pro 2013 too so no rush :D ).

    Long story short, you'll be fine for 3-4 years with that spec of machine... if not longer.
  5. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    21.5" iMacs DO NOT have upgradeable RAM, this has been the case with the 21.5 models since the introduction of the 2012 iMacs. There will be some on this forum that say I am incorrect however for the typical user this is true.

    IMHO you would be better suited to a 27" model that does have upgradeable RAM. Other items such as SSDs, HD's, CPU are not intended to be upgradeable on any iMac by the typical user. If speed is your concern on processing videos I would also suggest getting an i7 iMac because video processing is CPU intensive.

    I would also STRONGLY recommend visiting an Apple Store or reseller and test various models until you find one that suits your needs. Ultimately the decision will be yours so you should do complete due diligence including test drives prior to making your decision. Not judging by what you read on a rumor forum.
  6. Mmdambro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013
    I have done a few test runs but doing that doesn't give me hands on experience editing HD videos. I just need something that won't start skipping and lagging after a few hrs of editing.

    I was considering getting the 21.5 and adding an i7 and ap16gb of ram. That looked like the easiest way to keep my costs down.
  7. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013
    That sounds like a good route. Consider still the Fusion drive. If it came down to selecting 16 GB of RAM or the Fusion drive at the same price, I think the Fusion drive would be the one to go with. What do you guys think?
  8. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    You need the i7 and SSD.
    Cheapest mac to deliver that is the Mini 2.6 quad, add a 250GB+ SSD and 16GB yourself, and if you have some cash left, also swap the HD for a scorpio black for fast internal storage of large files (but a 3TB Barracuda on USB3 will be great too, albeit it's an extra box).
    If you want to buy SSD and RAM from Apple, the iMac becomes much more expensive.
  9. TheyCallMeBT macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2013
    Btw, if you haven't already, look into PayPal's Bill Me Later service. You get 6 months no payment/ no interest. I've bought two (professional) cameras, and my iMac this year through it.
  10. Mmdambro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013
    I really like the idea of piecing it together with upgraded parts. I have read that the Mac mini hardware us sub-par, has anyone else heard that?

    What about the graphics card in the mac Mini? Is it any good?
  11. Nyy8 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2011
    New England
    It's an Intel HD 4000. Pretty lower-end card. Intel has gotten better, but not to that point yet. Like the integrated graphics on the baseline iMac, just a generation behind. The Mac Mini has also not been upgraded for 2013 yet, so you are running last years processors, and if you looking to keep this machine for 5 years, and need to do something CPU intense, I'm not sure how good it would be to already be behind a year in Tech.
  12. Mmdambro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013
    Does anyone agree with this? I am thinking ram would be most important but what does the fusion drive do to make it a better option.
  13. MacPat333 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    Ha, I am one of your subs for some time now, didn't know you are in the forum here too.

    I am pretty much in the same boat (well, kind of as I do video editing daily) but not as my main job (hobby).

    I am currently working on a late 2012 Macbook Air with the 1.8 Ghz, 128GB SSD and 3x external harddrives.

    The plan is now to go for the iMac next year around February/March and the following setup is planned:

    - 27" iMac
    - 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    - 32GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4X8GB (will buy myself outside)
    - 512GB Flash Storage
    - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5

    How much faster will I be able to import my videos from the SD cards to iMovie/ FCPX, edit them and finally render them compared to my Air?

    Would you be able to break it down in minutes for a 1GB video file?

    Thanks a lot.
  14. The Samurai macrumors 68000

    The Samurai

    Dec 29, 2007
    Small world eh :D

    Damn, thats one beast of a machine! Swap? :D... pretty please?

    Your iMac will chew up your Air in 0.98 seconds and take it out the other end in no time... thats the best way to put it! The quad core i7 chipset, the amount of RAM (32 in your case) is going to be a right CHAMP. I'll be picking myself a new iMac at some point next year too, I think I can squeeze a few more months out of this (but this may change).

    Enjoy :D
  15. MacPat333 macrumors regular

    Sep 16, 2012
    I was looking at the Benchmark scores for the Air and iMac in the above configs and if I am not mistaken the Air was around 6500 or so while the iMac was at around 12500 I think.

    But the score can't be translated into 2x the scores = 2x the speed, but it would be several times this fast right?

    Is there something like a processing speed calculator for the various systems where you can input liek 1GB and it will calculate how fast it will be rendered?


    p.s.: Sorry, no swap mate, will need to make use of it myself to get the money right back in after spending big bucks for it. Hope to get the money back within 4-6 months of using it! ;)
  16. Mmdambro thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2013
    Price is beginning to become more of an issue. The 21.5 upgraded to the i7 and 16gb of ram still comes to close to 2k. I would like to keep it below 1500. Any new suggestions?
  17. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    Depending on the program you use the RAM vs. Fusion drive is a big differentiating factor. Just today I worked on a short HD clip in iMovie 10 (Which is 64 bit) and got it up to 4GB of RAM used out of 16 in my MBP. I also have an SSD so I didn't really see a hit in performance. However, the CPU was at 130% used.


    Here is a 27" for what you can afford. Check out the refurb sections a lot to see what you can get. The deals constantly change, and they look and function as new. I am pretty sure the entire MacRumors community will agree with me that the refurbs from Apple are the best deals you can get! This iMac also has 1 GB of video RAM which will certainly be useful. That model can also do 32 GB of RAM which you can upgrade later when you can afford it for the fraction of the cost from Apple.
  18. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Video is I/O intensive and heavy in encoding, if I'm not mistaken.

    An i7 and a pure SSD is crucial for maximum performance. As video is almost always multithreaded, it will take advantage of the i7's hyper threading capabilities (the i5 only has 4 threads, the i7 has 8 threads).

    In general, an i7 performs about 30% better than a similarly clocked i5 in tasks that make use of hyper threading.

    Having a GTX780M can also speed up your rendering times as well.

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