An Editing Machine

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gentlechainsaw, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. gentlechainsaw macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    Hello all.

    I will be short and to the point here.

    I do some photo and HD video work and my early 2009 MacBook Pro simply is not cutting it anymore. Rendering is a nightmare and general performance is low.

    I am in the market for a new machine and I am prepared to keep my current MBPro for offloads in the field/traveling and such.

    What I am looking for is an iMac or MBPro that can handle editing HD (mainly 1080p) Video within FCP7/FCPX/Adobe Premier and has overall fairly high performance in handling everyday tasks (keep in mind I am used to a pretty sluggish machine right now). My price range is $1,500 - $2,000.

    I love having a laptop but I will most definitely settle for an iMac. I would love to hear some suggestions as I am currently not sure what to get.
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Perhaps it would be wise to go to forums (here or elsewhere) that deal specifically with those apps.

    The reason I say this is that it is better to identify the apps first, what systems they run best on and then buy accordingly (with your budget of course).

    Typical things to look for when investigating apps -

    Amount of RAM suggested for optimum performance
    Processor - how well does the app(s) engage multi-core
    Video GPU - onboard vs ATI vs NVidia (open CL and open GL)

    Next might be hardware and costs such as highest speed available external drives (if you get an iMac as example) etc. There is USB3 and TB to consider.
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Imac for better performance

    If your main use is in video then an iMac is the obvious choice, desktop class processors better mobile GPU's permanent external storage all good stuff.

    If however you want something to give you the power you need in the field then the rMBP with NVIDIA graphics is the answer.

    In your price range go refurbished for a bargain. This is particularly good for an extra $120
  4. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    Thank you both. I will definitely take this into consideration.
  5. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This would be certainly a step up from what you have now. If I were to get this machine, I would be considering at a later date possibly upgrading the RAM (I assume that model allows for upgrades to 16gigs). As well, you'll need to consider external drives potentially for your media files and possibly making sure your monitor is "soft" calibrated (as in maintaining a software profile for colour, contrast and white balance). The latter is easily done with various 3rd party calibration tools.
  7. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    That is a great machine but

    One thing I will say for all imac purchases a fusion drive or SSD is a must in my book. Actually that applies to any modern computer. If you want fast boot times, instant app opening and general all round snappiness with whatever you are doing then some sort of SSD is a must. That computer with a 1TB Fusion drive would be a much better option.

    It's even the same price....

    Don't worry about RAM it can be upgraded yourself with aftermarket modules relatively cheaply...
  8. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    I will most definitely upgrade the RAM to 16 if more is not available. Also I have a Mac formatted 1TB external and will also buy more as needed. Thank you for your input!

    Awesome. Thanks. Should I worry much about going with the i5 instead of i7 though?
  9. Samuelsan2001, Feb 17, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015

    Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    OOOOh that is the question???

    The big difference is hyperthreading, (I forgot as I use macbook pros much more and they all have hyperthreading) and most video editing software does use hyperthreading very well which will make the i7 quite a bit faster for that than with a process or app that doesn't use it. MMMM it is a tough question if you can get both then all good.

    I personally would go with the SSD option (or fusion) over the i7 but I don't do video editing and rendering. It is a really tough call, much better everyday use and fast fluid app use and desktop switching vs lower rendering and editing times. I'm afraid thats going to have to be your call, as you use it for work it could be a big bonus to have the i7.

    If you have ever used the rMBP and marvelled at how quick everything opens and works that is what you would give up for better performance in very specific circumstances. Also yosemite seems to be optimised for SSD's and runs far better with one than without...

    Unfortunately no i7 and fusion together in the refurb store at the moment (apart from a 2012 maybe getting a bit long in the tooth) It might be worth waiting til one comes up to see the price I don't think it'll break $2000 though.

    maybe someone else can jump in here...
  10. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    Definitely get i7 as compression work uses processors in your computer and the speed boost would be better than an i5. One thing I would suggest though is getting the 4GB graphics card version, you can always upgrade to an SSD but you are stuck with your cup and gpu.

    I currently own a 2012 i7 3.4GHz with 2GB graphics card and sometimes run out of GPU memory when working in Resolve and Final Cut. I will definitely be upgrading to a 4GB card system, possibly the 2013 iMac and sell my 2012 IMac.

    I just bought an external SSD and video editing is much faster, but still I need a 4GB graphics card.

    Currently editing RED footage and similar files in full resolution.
  11. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    Ah and there in lies my dilemma. Thank you for clarifying. Okay well I will probably wait to see what comes up on the store. I have never shopped refurbished before so I am unsure as to how frequently they are updated with more items. I assume my other option is to go with the i7 and buy a SSD separately? hmmmmm


    I am seeing some SSDs o n Amazon for under $100
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Not so easy

    The new iMacs are particularly difficult to work on take a look at this ifixit guide before you consider that an option.
  13. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    No not at the apple store

    They will of course sell you an imac with a fusion drive (128gb and 1 or 3tb HDD) or a 256gb 512gb or 1tb as an option, or on a refurb you have to find what you need. These are better than the 2.5 sata 3 SSD's you can buy they are PCIe connected and have far faster read write speeds and better bandwidth but in day to day use make not too much difference.

    If you get an apple certified technician or repair place to do it your warranty should remain in tact. But then it'll cost the same as getting a refurb with what you need in it, it's just a waiting game on the refurbished store.
  15. namethisfile macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2008

    I was in the same boat as you before when shopping for a mac. So, I got the most expensive Mac I could afford at the time, which is my current mid-2010 15" MBP. It was the last dual-core MBP released before the MBP went quad-cores in the 15" lineup.

    Anyway, this MBP of mine is definitely showing its age like your MBP. I think this is because of the architecture change of GPU-CPU and how OS X and Apple Pro Apps are now optimized to run new codecs and whatnot. I guess I am talking about Open GL and Open CL that Yosemite and probably FCP X uses heavily these days. So, our MBP's which has outdated Open GL drivers and GPU's that can't use the new Open CL drivers are really showing its age.

    Today, I think an intel integrated GPU is fasster than the Nvidia GT330m in my MBP. It's just how OS X and Pro Apps are optimized and our MBP's are not on that list anymore because the tech has progressed or changed.

    Anyway, I am rambling. Any Macs in your budget should get you up to speed. Like the $1500 21" iMac, or the $1800 27" iMac. I am not sure if the $2000 15" rMBP will be within your budget with tax added in. But, the intel iris pro in that laptop should also be adequate and it has hyper threading and 16 GB of RAM! Plus SSD!

    So, if I were you, even though you already have a 2009 MBP, I would be heavily eyeing on another laptop like the $2000 rMBP because it's the cheapest and fastest to me from reading the specs and assuming that OS X and Apple Pro Apps are optimized using the technology in it.

    Good luck.
  16. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    I basically doing the same thing.

    I am editing in FCX in a 2010 iMac in HD and is doing very good. I just would like to have an internal SSD drive.

    You could get a newer iMac and replaced the drive.

    Then... I have my 17" MBP from 2008 and is slow for video editing. I bought the latest 15" MBP fully optimized and I am paying in credit. I have a credit line and I am paying less than %5. That could be another option for you. But I would go for the 27" iMac.
  17. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    An ssd is key! All other specs are secondary.
  18. Sharewaredemon macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2004
    Cape Breton Island


    i do 1080p video editing on my 2009 macbook pro and i'm actually quite happy with it. i have 8 gigs or ram and an SSD.
  19. gentlechainsaw, Feb 23, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015

    gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    OK GUYS! Thank you all for your input. I have taken everything said into consideration!

    Here is what is in my cart and ready for purchase. One more final "WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK!?" before i make the purchase of this as well as the Apple Care Plan of course.

    Processor 3.4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz)
    Cache 6MB shared L3 cache
    Memory 8GB (two 4GB) of 1600MHz DDR3 memory; four user-accessible SO-DIMM slots; supports up to 32GB
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX graphics processor with 2GB of GDDR5 memory
    Storage1 1TB Fusion Drive
    Display 27-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology; 2560-by-1440 resolution with support for millions of colors
    Wireless 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking2; Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology
    Connections and Expansion SDXC card slot, Four USB 3 ports, Two Thunderbolt ports, Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately, 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
    Video and Audio FaceTime HD camera; Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to a 30-inch display (2560 by 1600 pixels) on an external display; Support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes
    I will be upgrading to the max amount of RAM.

  20. kelon111, Feb 23, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  21. namethisfile macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2008
    Is that from the refurb store? Why did you copy-paste every technical spec? You could have probably stopped at CPU, GPU and/or HDD choices. The rest of those specs are pretty much a given.

    Anyway, it looks like the previous top-of-the-line 27" iMac, which should make FCP X scream for a long, long time.

    Couldn't help it.

    Happy video editing!!!
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Go for it

    That is perfect for your needs and will last for years to come...
  23. gentlechainsaw thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2015
    Thanks I believe you are right. It arrived yesterday and so far I LOVE IT!

    Thank you all for your help!
  24. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Great news glad to help..

    Fusion drive all the way it'll get a bit quicker over the first week or so as it learns your habits too...

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