Configuration for video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Evaluator, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. Evaluator macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2006
    Hi, all,

    What would be a *nice* Mac configuration for video-editing? When I say video-editing, I am not talking effects-heavy videos, but definitely something a little above the basic home video level.

    If machine portability raises costs significantly, I can live with a desktop. Though i would like to get a machine that can be upgraded, should the situation require it.

    This may or may not be the right place to ask, but given the dual-core platforms, how do Windows machines fare in video-editing, both in terms of price and performance?

    Thank you in advance,
  2. dwd3885 macrumors 68020

    Dec 10, 2004
    Nearly any Mac yuo get will be able to handle "prosumer" video editing. Except the mini probably. The intel macs will be good once Final Cut is Universal, but until then, the imac G5 or the Powermac would suffice.

    As far as Windows machines go...You can get a sweet dual core setup for under $1000 from Gateway or HP, both real good for editing. You'd have to upgrade to either Premiere on the PC or Final Cut on the Mac, so you'd be spending the same amount in software either way. Since iMovie or Movie Maker won't cut it for what you want to do.

    All that said, the Windows machine will be cheaper, the performance of an X2 4200+ that you get with the Gateway or HP would perform equal to the Core Duo or G5 Dual Core. So it just comes down to if you like Final Cut or Premiere
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    A MacBook Pro would probably be perfect for you. Up the RAM to at least 1GB and you'll be in good shape. FCP will be out for Intel in a couple of months, you can use iMovie til then.
  4. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
  5. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2006
    Athens, Georgia
    I would use more than 1 gig of RAM if you plan on doing anything major.
  6. metronycguy macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2005
    how does abode premiere compare to final cut pro? any links to comparisons?
  7. AJBMatrix macrumors 6502


    Feb 6, 2006
    Athens, Georgia
    I personally find that Premiere is very limited in what it wants to read. It does not like all the file formats that I like to use. Final Cut does a bit more and is compatable with more.
  8. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2004
    Huntsville, AL
    I use Final Cut Express, Final Cut Pro, and DVD Studio Pro on my PowerBook (see sig)
  9. jrk07 macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2005
    I use Final Cut Pro on my iMac G5 1.8ghz (w/ 1 gb of ram) and have never had any problems with it. sometimes I think that I would enjoy a nice powermac to edit on, but there is no practical reason to get one since I have never experienced long render times or any technical problems.

    So I would agree with the other posts that say pretty much any Mac you can get will handle video editing. I would love to have a nice powerbook/macbook pro to edit on the go with, so if you were thinking about getting a portable I'd go with it. The only drawback I could think of is the smaller workspace of a laptop, but if you can hang with being a little cramped, go for it!:D
  10. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    What do you consider a 'basic' home video? You might want to have a good look at iMovie before you start planning to drop a few hundred dollars on Final Cut or Premiere. To Mac users, yes, it's basic but to those I've shown iMovie videos, they've always been astounded that you could create those effects/transitions on a 'free' app.

    Lots of memory is important. Don't blow the budget on processor and end up with minimal RAM. The processor will speed up the effect rendering and final encoding but the encoding can always be left to do while the Mac is idle. Make sure you get enough hard space - you might want to consider getting an external firewire drive to edit from, particularly if you get a laptop.

    My 2 year old Powerbook (1.25Ghz G4 with 1.25GB of RAM) will happily edit 3 hours of captured DV down to 30 minutes or so of video in iMovie. With a 7200rpm external drive, it handles it fine. The only bottlenecks are if you add a major effect (although that just means waiting a minute or so), normal transitions render in a few seconds and then waiting for the file to encode (couple of hours). Then again, for me, it's an occasional hobby and the extra time taken doesn't yet justify me upgrading.
  11. localghost macrumors regular

    Nov 17, 2002
    do not get a laptop - might be fine now, but will not last as long: requirements for future software, less expandable/higher cost (no gpu change, need additional hd-enclosures etc).

    if you have deadlines for your projects, don't risk going windows, if it's just hobby it's ok. personally i also like FC a lot more than premiere (did commercial low end editing in both).

    get the cheapest PCIe powermac you can find (+ a copy of FCE ) and load it with 2-2,5 GB ram.
  12. Evaluator thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2006

    Thanks for the *very helpful* suggestions!

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