27" iMac - which to get

Discussion in 'iMac' started by photogpab, Nov 29, 2011.

  1. photogpab macrumors 6502

    photogpab

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #1
    i have a 5 year old iMac and Im ready to upgrade to one of the new 27" iMacs.

    One of the main problems I have with my current "old" iMac is that years ago video editing was great but with time, the new video editing softwares dont run as well on it anymore, its slow and sluggish, and editing HD video can sometimes be a little frustrating as the machine has a hard time keeping up. rendering can take an eternity!

    anyhow... my current iMac has 128MB of video ram, and with the new iMacs I have a choice between the less expensive model with 512MB of video Ram or the more expensive one which has 1GB of video ram.

    I dont know what to go with. I cant afford the more expensive model right now. i'll have to wait atleast another month to save up. but I can probably buy the "cheaper" one ($1699) with 512MB of ram right now or very soon!

    i just want to make sure i buy the right one. will i see a drastic difference in speed between the two? particularly with video editing??? i edit alot of HD video and I'd like my new machine to handle editing well... QUICKLY... efficiently. sometimes the "rendering" on my old machine will take so long i leave the room and come back 10 minutes later and its still going... once i tried to add stabilization to HD video in Final Cut Pro and it said it would take over 30 min just to analyze the video. that cant be typical?!

    i rather save the money if the cheaper one is going to be more than enough video ram for editing... but if i really "need" that 1GB of video ram... then should i keep waiting? video ram is one thing i dont know much about.
     
  2. dylin macrumors 6502a

    dylin

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    California
    #2
    since you say you do HD video editing alot, i would say wait a little longer and save up for the higher end model. and if you can even wait and save up some more, upgrade the CPU to the core i7. The hyper threading will help out alot and you will see a big difference in rendering time.
     
  3. photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #3
    dylin - what type of performance would i get from the lower model? is it going to be alot of the same frustrating experience I've been having with my old dinosaur?
     
  4. colonelbutt macrumors regular

    colonelbutt

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #4
    graphics is irrelevant for video editing today

    either buy the cheapeast 27" model and load the RAM to 16gb or buy the top model with an i7 and load the ram to 32gb

    you will probably see 10-40% speed increase in video editing dependent on the exact task

    the cheapest model is pretty damn fast though. What cpu are you coming from ?
     
  5. foxyfabio macrumors member

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    Nov 28, 2011
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    Kauai, Hawaii
    #5
    You could also consider a refurbished "pimped out" iMac. :cool:
     
  6. 1goodidea macrumors member

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    Nov 11, 2011
    #6
    The bottom spec 27 is going to be way faster than you 5 year old Mac.
     
  7. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #7
    Agreed +1

    See if you can get a refurb 27" with specs along the lines of mine:

    27" 16GB RAM 2GB VRAM.

    Bought mine new back in July, but if you want, PM me and I will put you in touch with some useful people at :apple:

    You are better off saving and waiting a while, but I think a refurb should be possible.....You won't get 16GB RAM, probably 8, but I upgraded ny RAM later on anyway. I work in the Music business, render video and music files and mine never misses a neat. Have tried similar tasks on the lower end iMacs and they lag a bit.
     
  8. daftpunkstu, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

    daftpunkstu macrumors member

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    Edinburgh
    #8
    I have a bottom spec 21.5 imac from 09 and it's editing my 1080p 30fps dslr footage perfectly alongside running 2 screens with after effects + premiere. Any mac in the current range would do the job fine really so i say you're safe with the base 27. video editing as of recent is more ram dependant then graphics anyways, so maybe boost the ram?
     
  9. photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #9
    thanks all -

    so from what i'm reading it seems like video editing is more RAM dependent these days, so if I got the low end 27" iMac and boosted it up to 8GB of RAM or even 16GB of RAM I should see fast speeds???

    I was watching a tutorial on youtube the other night, this guy was showing how to "stabilize" video in Final Cut Pro, and his Mac literally analyzed and rendered the video in about 10 seconds! I was floored.

    Then I tried the same thing on my 5 year old iMac and it said it would take over 30 min!! LOL

    Here are the specs of my machine:

    [​IMG]

    I just want to make sure when I buy my new iMac I wont get home and be disappointed that its only slightly or moderately faster. I really want to see BIG improvements in performance. Not just for bigger tasks like editing video, but I'd just like a fast smooth machine. I don't edit video all the time, maybe once every month or so, but I do use Photoshop almost daily and that's become quite slow too.

    My iMac in general has become VERY sluggish. Even web browsing, running iTunes, multiple programs at once... the iMac starts to stall or goes extremely slow. It wasnt like that years ago. I guess it's reaching the end of its life...
     
  10. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2004
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    #10
    Your biggest problem currently is the 2GB of RAM. Since the limit is 3GB (says Apple) there's not a whole lot you can do. Refurbs are great and get you a bit more for your buck. If you can afford it go with the i7 quad core.

    I'm still using my 2.0 GHz Core Duo original Macbook Pro and plan on getting an iMac in the not to distant future as well. I feel your pain on the render times.
     
  11. photogpab, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

    photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #11
    cawesjmu - yep! at the time the iMac only came with 1GB of RAM and I upgraded to 2GB on the advice of the sales employee.

    I will beef up my new iMac with atleast 8GB of RAM. But hopefully more, maybe 12GB or the max 16GB.

    But since I am no expert, I don't know how much realistic effect that will have on video editing and other heavy tasks like Photoshop. I know I will see improvements I just don't know how drastic these improvements will be.

    It would be nice to actually edit video in Final Cut Pro and have it run QUICKLY and smoothly. Even simple tasks like converting video from one format to another or exporting video from iMovie takes FOREVR.

    I would also like to try the new Final Cut Pro X (which I know has mediocre reviews) but it requires minimum 256MB video Ram and my current iMac doesnt even have that. So I've never been able to try it.
     
  12. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #12
    Go For 16GB

    If you can, your newbie will render in next to no time....Mine was good with 8GB but is blistering with 16. You don't have to do that right away, it's a simple job and does not affect your warranty....Apple even give you a diagram booklet with your iMac.
     
  13. colonelbutt macrumors regular

    colonelbutt

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #13
    I am wondering whether there is any real speed difference in photo editing (adobe lightroom mainly) between 12gb and 16gb ?

    12gb is so easy to install, as you get 4gb with it and 8 gb can be plugged in without throwing away the apple installed memory.

    Also, can the 27" i5 version install 32gb ? Crucial website seems to think only the i7 can take 32gb !!!!
     
  14. photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

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    Jun 21, 2010
  15. dylin macrumors 6502a

    dylin

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    #15
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Came back to check on any replies, seems like everyone gave you some good input. Hope you figured out which one you are going to get
     
  16. photogpab, Nov 30, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011

    photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #16
    dylin - i am leaning towards the lower end 27" model because i think it might be the best one for me. i don't do tons of video editing, i mostly do lots of photo editing, but i do enough video editing that i want a good machine.

    the lower end 27" model sounds like it should be solid enough for me with some added RAM.

    i have a friend who works at the apple store who can get me 15% off one of the new iMacs, so now its a choice between buying a new one or getting a refurbished one. although I rarely see the refurbished ones selling for more than 15% off so i think its a wash for me either way.
     
  17. elpmas macrumors 68000

    elpmas

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    #17
    Sounds like the low end will do. :)
     
  18. EricT43 macrumors regular

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    Oct 5, 2011
    #18
    I think the Apple store has a 2 week return policy, so if the lower-end one was not good enough you can always return it and get the i7 or whatever.
     
  19. photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

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    Jun 21, 2010
  20. Boogsephine macrumors 6502

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    Feb 28, 2011
    #20
    Hey. Have you thought about buying the late 2010 model from MacMall? I bought the i7 27" from there and bought some RAM off of Amazon for $92 shipped or so. Plus, you can use your display as a monitor for an external device with the right adapter.

    For about $1600 (including shipping) total this is my machine:

    [​IMG]

    I was too lazy to type all of the specs. ;) I do have 1GB of video memory and combined with the 16GB of RAM, Final Cut Pro runs flawlessly.
     
  21. photogpab thread starter macrumors 6502

    photogpab

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #21
    Boogsephine - i didnt because everyone told me i had to get the quad core sandy bridge processor because it was much faster than even the previous generation iMac. i dont know though???
     
  22. Boogsephine macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #22
    I agree that the sandy bridge processors are quite nice but they are also i5's if I'm not mistaken. As we speak I have the current applications running and I see no lag or slowness with the computer: Final Cut, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Photoshop, VLC Player, Skype, Google Chrome, iChat, iTunes and Preview.

    Like most people say, the Mac Pros are more designed for video editing and such but those are out of my price range right now. I settled for the i7 2010 iMac and it has been perfect!

    I say at least save for the higher end model if you can wait. I know you'll end up wanting the top of the line as far as specs go after you buy the entry level machine.

    Edit: Now if I am rendering a video or something like that, I can notice a speed difference. As far as the editing and switching between the applications, works perfectly fine for me.
     
  23. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #23
    I Have

    A 27" i7 2gb VRAM 16 gb Ram.... It was speced over the phone, but top of the range I guess.
     
  24. sheadacus macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Texas
    #24
    " "27" 16GB RAM 2GB VRAM.

    Bought mine new back in July, but if you want, PM me and I will put you in touch with some useful people at :apple:"

    MacMan45, i'm currently looking at buying an IMac 27" refurbished and was seeing if you could help.
    The one i'm considering is the 27" 3.1Ghz i5, 4GB memory, 1TB hard drive refurbished for $1660
    or the 3.4Ghz i7 refurbished for $1870
    Wondering if this is the best deals I'll get or if you have better connections. If I got either I would defiantly upgrade to 12GB memory.
    Sorry i couldnt PM you, I'm a new member.
     

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