Buying iMac for film student daughter...

Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
My daughter is a film student at a university. Part of her curriculum and her main area of interest is editing. Her editing classes use Macs and Avid Media Composer. I understand that Apple MIGHT possibly be announcing iMac upgrades soon but she is in need of a home computer sooner rather than later. She uses a monthly subscription for Avid on her current laptop and will be transferring that to her new computer. I also have the opportunity for zero interest 18 month financing on Apple purchases before April 4, so waiting for a possible Apple announcement regarding iMac upgrades is not possible. Definitely interested in a 27" but am in a quandary re: i5 vs i7, mainly as related to heat and fan noise. I'm interested in the 1TB SSD, will get 8gb ram and upgrade myself and probably the 580 8gb GPU. Any thoughts and suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated!
 
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TheyCallMeBT

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2013
115
14
Give it just a few more days. They have an event on March 25. And I know they've released silent spec updates after events before, as well. The current iMac is almost 2 years old, and the price hasn't been brought down.

And you may have already thought about it, but if not, consider if the MBP would be a better fit for her. Taking it to class, taking it to meet with someone she's collaborating with to work on an edit, etc. It's been 9 years since I was in university. But I really disliked editing on a school computer during class, so I got a MBP as soon as I could and never worked off a school computer after that.
 

XNorth

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2018
167
83
United States
I second the MPB for it's portability. The new 13" 8th gen Intel should be more than adequate for class assignments. I have an iMac and MBP 15", and honestly I have used the MPB more for editing. I can edit just about anywhere with the MBP and a bus powered TB drive. Pair it with a 4K monitor and the MBP also becomes an iMac replacement at home.
 
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Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
Thanks for the replies TheyCallMeBT and XNorth. I will look into the MBP also, although my daughter has stated that one of the things she needs to do is work off a full sized keyboard, to learn Avid shortcuts etc. I'll definitely be continuing to do research and ask questions over the next week or so...
 

TheyCallMeBT

macrumors regular
Jan 9, 2013
115
14
You're welcome! I do love my iMac and otherwise highly recommend them. It's my main machine and what I edit on. I have a less powerful 13" MBP for mostly producer and DP tasks in the field (i.e., rarely for editing). Let me note that you don't get much more keys with the standard keyboard with the iMac. It's been a while since I've used any Avid software, so unfortunately I don't know any of those specifics. But be sure to see if you need to select the keyboard with numpad option for what she needs, or if you need to get a different, third party keyboard.

XNorth, great note on your uses. Sometimes I'm tempted to give up my iMac and go back to a MBP with a peripherals. If there was a modern display with good speakers, worked with brightness controls, and wasn't super expensive, I'd go for it. I do want to note that I don't think a 13" would be a good option for them, just because the 13" models don't have dedicated graphics cards. You have to get a 15" for that option.

Dige, if you didn't see already, there's an apparently respected rumor person who had said iPads and iMacs would be released this week. iPads happened today, and he's implying they'll do the iMacs another day this week. I'd still wait a day after the event on the 25th. But definitely give it this week.
 
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Digeeedad

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 18, 2019
42
35
So. California
Dige, if you didn't see already, there's an apparently respected rumor person who had said iPads and iMacs would be released this week. iPads happened today, and he's implying they'll do the iMacs another day this week. I'd still wait a day after the event on the 25th. But definitely give it this week.
More great info! Thanks again!
 
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Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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I would wait a few more days, the iMac line up could get a spec update this week. For video editing she would probably appreciate the extra cores from Coffee Lake.
 
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XNorth

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2018
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United States
I do want to note that I don't think a 13" would be a good option for them, just because the 13" models don't have dedicated graphics cards. You have to get a 15" for that option.
I can't attest to how well Avid runs on an MBP, but I tested the MBP 13" and had no trouble cutting and doing minor color grading with FCPX. I stayed with my MBP 15" for the larger screen, but the 13" was much lighter, and for quick edits, the quad core i7, integrated graphics and fast SSD performed surprisingly well.
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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13" was much lighter, and for quick edits, the quad core i7, integrated graphics and fast SSD performed surprisingly well.
is the i7 worth the upgrade tho over the base i5? depending on how quick she needs the edits done, the i7 is probably going to be a couple of minutes faster for renders.
 
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killawat

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Sep 11, 2014
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I third the suggestion for a notebook. Editing will take up a chunk of her time but it won't be the only thing she does. Sometimes you might want to head out to the library, maybe just take a break and get out of the dorm or something.
 

Dave245

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Sep 15, 2013
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The new iMacs are now listed, in the Apple store! I wonder if the updates will include a modified cooling system?
For video editing the 6 or 8 core will be great for your daughter, as for the cooling system I have no idea, I’m guessing they would of thought about it and implemented what was necessary.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
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The new iMacs are an unexpected and pleasant surprise, but looks like all they did was upgrade the motherboards (leaving all the other features of the 2017-design intact).

Still, not bad.
Prices seem to be stable, as well !
 

jaduff46

macrumors 6502
Mar 3, 2010
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Second star on the right....
The upgrade is timely in your situation, and I do love the iMac setup for her use case. Given that she’s in college, I would also consider MBPs as others have suggested. She’ll be hauling the iMac to & from school between semesters.

As @killawat and @XNorth have indicated, she should still be able to get reasonable performance for schoolwork with a suitably configured MBP (i7/large SSD/32 GB).

No experience with video editing requirements, but all the kids did well with MBPs in college and beyond.

Best of luck!
 
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