21.5'' imac vs HD video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iSlave, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. iSlave macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2007
    I'm interested in getting one of the new 21.5'' iMacs and am stuck between the base model with 9400m or the 4750 version. Primarily, my concerns are about the 9400m's ability to handle HD video editing, has anyone used this graphics chip for HD? How did it perform?

    My budget really doesn't stretch to the quad core models, so it's between these two.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    The graphics chipset is going to have very little impact on video editing, HD or otherwise. Processor speed and amount of RAM will have a far greater impact. There may be slight performance gains when software begins to use the graphics processor for additional processing power, but we're still not talking about much of a difference even at that point.
  3. iSlave thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2007
    ....and what if we throw in a little After Effects as well? Would it start to be a problem then?
  4. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009

    Please disregard that fool who said that video editing has little to do with the graphics card.

    This couldn't be more untrue.

    The only thing holding me back from editing video really well on my MBP is the 9400m. Don't get me wrong I love my notebook and its perfect for taking to work and stuff but I edited HD video for my brother's wedding recently, and definitely wished I had a better GPU. The difference is in the rendering and preview in real time. This has a lot more to do with your GPU than Heb1228 realizes.

    If you want to edit HD, do yourself a favor and go with the separate video card so you don't kick yourself later because you can't upgrade that part of the computer if its onboard.

    Good luck.
  5. MacKiddyWiddy macrumors 6502

    Aug 18, 2009
    if you have any doubts go for the 2nd tier imac 21.5 with the better gfx but then again I don't think you'll struggle too much with the base model [​IMG]
  6. MrSEC macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2008
    No need in calling him a fool.
  7. tempusfugit macrumors 65816

    May 21, 2009
    only a fool would so resolutely tell someone that graphics cards don't make a difference in video editing.
  8. menzic macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2009
    HD Editing

    This post has been really useful as I am looking at the 21" Model and was wondering if the upgrade to the graphics card would be worth the extra £250 (I appreciate you get 500GB more disk space as well). The main things I'll be using it for will be photo-editing and HD-Video Editing.

    Thanks Chaps.
  9. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    From all the info I can find, plus my own experience, Final Cut Pro barely uses the GPU at all. It certainly does not use it for rendering. It looks like it uses the GPU just for color correction. I'm not sure if it's changed in the new version of Final Cut Pro but it's certainly true for older versions.

    If you are using Motion, however, that is basically all Core Image/Video GPU-dependant tasks.

    Just because something is slow doesn't mean you can blame it on the GPU. :) The 9400M is not actually that slow.
  10. motherly macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    i am too having the same dilemma as iSlave. can i know where to get benchmarks or comparison notes base on apps running on both 9400 and 4670 iMacs? apps that i usually use are fcs, aperture, cs4, after effects..
  11. MovieCutter macrumors 68040


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Well you sir, are the fool. I have edited at least a dozen global network half hour shows in HD format on my MacBook Pro without the discreet graphics card turned on. It's been perfectly fine. Final Cut Pro is CPU based, no GPU based...try doing a little research before showing yourself you don't know what you're talking about.

    OP, the 9400M 21.5" iMac you're looking at will do fine for editing video. If you want to get into Apple's Motion, that's a slightly different story, but I've done a ton of motion graphics work in Motion while forgetting to turn the discreet GPU on and have never run into problems.
  12. tri3limited macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2008
    Motion and AE use alot of the GPU. Color pretty much only uses the GPU. Otherwise for FCP/E, Premiere Pro/Elements or iMovie you'll be fine with either graphics card.
  13. fensantu macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    I'm not sure if it's changed in the new version of Final Cut Pro but it's certainly true for older versions.
  14. motherly macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    i've read some comments ppl said bout the Open GL is not that reliable compare to the base 3.06 C2D plus 4gb ram. so is it ok to get the base iMac to do my video editing? i'm saving the extra few hundred cos i plan to save up for my video camera.

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