Anyone using i7 2013 iMac for Lightroom, Logic X, Premiere CC and After Effects?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by td2243, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. td2243 macrumors 6502

    Mar 14, 2013
    Santa Fe, NM
    I've been planning on a new Mac Pro, but many of the reviews are less than stellar. I'm debating getting a 2013 refurb iMac for half the price. That could last me a couple of years until the new Mac Pro are in future versions and maybe more software companies have optimized their apps for two GPUs.

    Are any of you using Lightroom, Premiere CC, Logic X, or After Effects on a souped up 2013 iMac? I only shoot HD now, so 4K won't be a factor for at least a year or two.

    How do those programs run and do you think there would be a huge difference between that and a 6-core Mac Pro?

    I appreciate the help. It is seriously half the price, which is substantial.
  2. Lauwie macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2011
    Are you using it professionally or just as a hobby?

    Half the price is quite big of a deal. The Adobe creative suite will be optimised for the new Mac Pro in the near future so will be a lot faster but the iMac is half the price so unless you're really really into what you're doing buy the iMac I would say :)

    From my own experience Logic X is muuuuch faster if you're editing a track with a lot of stems in it!!! There's no lagging on a Mac Pro all editing is just live so that's quite nice :D
  3. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    I use Lightroom, Premiere, PS and Illustrator CC on both a dual core and i7 iMac. Both machines handle these programs with ease.
    The modern iMac is a good alternative for the Pro but you do need plenty of memory to give the Macs some grunt.
  4. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I do professional video editing and photo work using LR, Photoshop CC, and FCPX on a 2013 iMac 27 with 3.5Ghz i7, 32GB RAM, 3TB Fusion Drive and GTX-780M. Main files are on an 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID 5 array. It works fine for that, but I work collaboratively with other editors using the same software on older Macs. They get along OK, although it's somewhat slower. Still others run Premiere Pro CC on prior-generation Mac Pros and MacBook Pros. They do fine.

    I don't use AE or Motion, since my co-editors do that using either Motion on a 2011 iMac, CS6 AE on a Windows machine or CC AE on a prior-generation Mac Pro. However all those are usable and present no problems.

    We just edited a HD video project a few weeks ago consisting of 330GB (many hours) of 1080p multi-cam footage, ending up with a 12 min. final product. This was done on the a 2011 iMac 27 with 3.1Ghz i5, 16GB RAM, and Radeon HD6970M (1GB) and it did OK. The slowest part was the initial import since that system had no SSD, RAID or Fusion Drive. A 2013 iMac with a faster disk subsystem would have been even better, but the 2011 iMac was adequate and did not interfere with the creative process.

    My main suggestion is get either SSD or Fusion Drive internal storage, and put your main files on a high speed external array. However even that is not mandatory. Lacking an array, at least put the video files on a 7200 rpm AC-powered external HDD. Or if your files are small enough and you have SSD or FD, you can use the internal drive for quite a bit.

    The 2013 iMac has another big advantage: if you are exporting or transcoding to single-pass H.264 or MPEG-2, FCP X uses Intel's Quick Sync on-chip transcoder. This is several times faster than software or even GPU-assisted methods, and is not currently available in the new Mac Pro. I don't know if Premiere Pro CC uses that feature.
  5. adamneer macrumors 6502

    Apr 18, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    I use my 2012 i7 iMac with 680mx gpu for professional video work. After Effects will run smoothly on pretty much any Mac built in the last 6 years, depending on what you are doing. The same goes for Photoshop and Illustrator, as well as Premiere Pro. If you are not sure whether the 3.5ghz i7 iMac would be suitable for these programs than I'm really not sure what your idea of acceptable speed is, considering the 3.5ghz i7 is one of the fastest non-Xeon Intel processors available and even though the gpu is a mobile version, it's still one of the most powerful gpus around. My 2012 is the fastest computer I've ever used, but I can assure you, I've successfully used much less.
  6. Georgio macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2008
    Essex, UK
    It's up to you what you buy but the new iMacs i.e. from late 2012 and current are very capable for everything you want to throw at them.
    The only cleavat is that for serious video work they need plenty of memory and preferrably a fast external raid array, but an internal fusion drive and decent external thunderbolt drive will also do just fine.

    The Pro is nice but just overkill for most users.

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