Buying a Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Jalaaal, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Jalaaal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #1
    Hello everyone
    I'm planning to purchase my first Mac and I have some questions here that I hope you folks could answer.
    I'm willing to do some sort of heavy video and image editing on it. I want to be able to run Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop smoothly. I 'might' want to also run Adobe Premiere.

    So I planned to purchase the Late 2013 MacBook Pro with Retina display. It comes with Intel Iris graphics and I will choose the 2.6 GHz Intel dual core i5 with 8 GB of ram and 128 GB of PCIe Flash Storage.

    Is it enough to handle the applications I mentioned above? Except Adobe Premiere since I do not think it will run.
     
  2. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #2
    You'd need some sort of external storage. 128GB will get used up very quickly editing video. Especially if it is HD.

    Smoothly is subjective and depends entirely on your file sizes, types of editing you perform and expectations for speed. The RAM and CPU exceed the requirements so it will work.
     
  3. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #3
    128GB simply isn't enough. For a machine that almost never does video editing and holds a mostly iCloud-based music collection, I found 500GB barely enough. Since you'll likely be tied to a desk and power outlet while editing, I'd suggest a Thunderbolt-linked external HDD.

    Also, consider 8GB may be an actual minimum for HD video editing, and with the Retina models, you can't decide on upgrading later. You have to choose now.
     
  4. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #4


    I absolutely have no problem considering storage, since I will probably upgrade to 256GB SSD or get the AirPort Time Capsule. Is the dual core i5 enough to handle heavy video editing?

    ----------

    So I should go with the 16GB RAM? I don't think I will be able to afford it. Isn't 8GB enough?
     
  5. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #5
    When it comes to video editing you really need all the horsepower you can get in terms of moving data around... CPU isn't going to be your primary concern. Your first thoughts should always be RAM and storage.

    Modern CPU's are very powerful and you could easily edit HD on a 5 year old Mac as long as you have lots of RAM and fast storage. Your RAM should be 16Gb minimum.

    Your internal HDD, yes, as the other posters said 128Gb is way too inadequate. I might even go as far as to say 500Gb in inadequate for your internal drive but should be enough as this needs to store your apps/renders but NOT your raw captured video.

    Your raw video file storage should have a fast connection, USB 3.0 minimum and with RAID if possible. Thunderbolt if your budget stretches.
    Have a watch of Larry Jordans videos, he's excellent at explaining the importance of fast storage:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6NVJ-oUqW8
     
  6. Jalaaal, Mar 22, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014

    Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #6
    Excellent reply, so I shouldn't worry about the CPU since the 2.4GHz dual-core i5 will do the job very well, I will go with the 16GB RAM and 256GB SSD. Also, the MBP comes with Intel Iris. Are these specs enough good?
     
  7. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #7
    256Gb will be adequate enough for storage of your S and applications, but not much else. Expect that to fill FAST!

    Although the CPU will be fast enough for editing, no problem there I would say that you'd feel a hit when you want to transcode/export to H.264 for example which is a very CPU intensive task and will use every core to the max. But your first priority will always be having the capability to edit the thing in the first place!

    1st priority should be your external storage, RAID it, USB3 it, Thunderbolt it!
    2nd Priority is RAM, 8Gb should be ok but 16Gb if you can get it.
    3rd priority is CPU, unless you're planning on doing multi cam editing in full HD, the i5 is fine. Get an i7 if planning on doing a considerable amount of H.264 encoding.
     
  8. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #8
    Well what about gaming? Since I will probably game every once in a while and I want to know if the specs I've mentioned are enough to handle games like BattleField 4 and so
     
  9. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #9
    Whoaaa! Now you tell me....
    Well, I just googled the recommended specs on that.. you're gonna need a bigger boat!
    Iris Pro, although thats a very powerful GPU, you're gonna need the GeForce GT 750M and the max memory on that on a Macbook Pro is 2Gb. Thats the model I've got.

    Recommended requirements:
    WINDOWS 8 64-BIT
    PROCESSOR
    AMD SIX-CORE CPU
    INTEL QUAD-CORE CPU
    MEMORY
    8 GB
    GRAPHICS CARD
    AMD RADEON HD 7870
    NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660
    GRAPHICS MEMORY
    3 GB
    HARD DRIVE
    30 GB

    ----------

    Actually I'll correct myself a little, If the minimum CPU is INTEL CORE 2 DUO 2.4 GHZ and minimum graphics is GEFORCE 8800 GT 512Gb you 'should' be ok on the Iris Pro... but I'd still consider spending a little more cash since this is an investment you'll have on you for a few years.
     
  10. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #10
    Well nevermind, since the NVIDIA graphics card is only available in the 2,599$ MacBook Pro. And I honestly can't afford that, I'll just play CS Source and Pacman :D
     
  11. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #11
    One last thing, I might prefer an iMac over MacBook Pro, because of its performance, since it comes with a quad-core processor and NVIDIA graphics card. I will do video editing a lot, Will the 1TB Serial ATA @ 7200 rpm do the job well?
     
  12. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #12
    My son got a BTO iMac last summer and is very happy with it: 21.5" iMac with i7 CPU and 16GB RAM.

    While a different drive would have been very nice (he has the base 1TB HDD), the thinking at the time was that this was the most his budget could be stretched and fast / high capacity external storage can be added later either in the form of SSD or RAID connected by Thunderbolt or USB 3. We considered the i7 to be important for rendering and transcoding video.

    He got a great discount with education pricing including $100 gift card that he applied to FCPX (he didn't like X at first since he was used to Premiere and 7 at school but it didn't take very long to become proficient).

    He has now done several projects and is absolutely happy with his iMac.

    I do believe that the HDD is the weak link in his workflow but to be honest he has no complaints; I like switching to Activity Monitor when he is transcoding and seeing all of the i7 being used

    He has also said he will never buy another Windows PC again.
     
  13. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #13
    I just checked online and it seems like the specs you've mentioned would cost me about 1,899$ while I can get the 27" model which comes with 3.2GHz quad-core i5 and 8GB of RAM (RAM can be upgraded later) and NVIDIA GeForce GT 755M with 1GB video memory for 1,799$.

    Isn't getting the 27" model a better deal?
     
  14. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #14
    For video there is a difference between the base i5 and the i7; whether or not the upgrade was worth it is difficult to say.

    In my son's case, he wanted the 21.5" iMac since he thought the 27" would be too big for his desk and given the fact that upgrades are not possible (I personally would not even think about opening it although there seem to some decent tutorials), the iMac he bought was most bang for the buck. With education pricing it plus $100 gift card cost $1759 plus taxes; the base 27" would have been slightly cheaper (call it about even with third party RAM) with better GPU but lesser CPU.

    Since my son preferred the 21.5" iMac and does no gaming whatsoever it was probably the right choice. As I said earlier he is very happy with no regrets whatsoever.

    If you want to do some gaming or want the bigger display and don't mind some added minutes for renders and transcodes (I'm sure it will still fly), then by all means the 27" might be a better choice for you.

    Best of luck deciding.
     
  15. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    I've done large amounts of fast video editing (multi cam but few cuts and no effects -- it's college lectures) in the past 3-4 years. I've used a dual-core MacBook (with iMovie), advancing to a quad core i7 15" hi-res MBP (except for the retina aspects, it looks higher resolution than the retina models) and then switching to FCPX, and a 27" i7 iMac at home. But most editing is done on the MBP at school for convenience.

    Moving from the dual core to quad core was a massive improvement because most of my time is spent transcoding and rendering, operations that benefit from the extra cores. FCPX is also much nicer with a bigger display (more pixels). Both Macs have 1TB HDDs and 512GB would be a squeeze. I've used an external with the MBP -- reading from one drive and writing to another (for rendering) is a bit faster than using a single drive, at least for HDDs. Finally, RAM. Both systems have 8GB and when editing (with other program running as well) they use between 4 and 5, so I'd say 8GB is enough by a comfortable margin but 4GB is not.
     
  16. Jalaaal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    #16
    Thank you, everyone. I've decided to go for the 27" iMac 3.2GHz Quad-Core i5, 8GB of RAM, and 1TB of Fusion Drive. Since it perfectly fits Video Editing (It will run Premiere smoothly I guess) and some gaming.
     

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