Editing/VFX question about iMac 21.5"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Joltyness, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Joltyness macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #1
    Hi all,

    Ever since I received a shiny Macbook Pro from my college, I've been in love with OS X. Four years later, the laptop runs like a charm for most tasks (minus a failed battery I'm too cheap/lazy to replace). However, the old bugger has a very difficult time with video editing. I plan on learning more VFX/3D software over the next few months, so I need to buy a better system as soon as I can.

    Unfortunately, I'm under a pretty tight budget. At the moment, all I can afford is the baseline 21.5" iMac (I MIGHT be able to save up another 300 for the next step upward, but that's as far as I can go). Will it be able to handle video editing/some VFX work? Will I need to upgrade the RAM? Should I save up for the slightly better $1500 model? I really, really do not want to go back to PC, since I've grown a little too attached to Final Cut Pro (and OS X in general).

    Thoughts/ideas? Thanks in advance. :)
     
  2. SawceBaws macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    #2
    The i5 with 4-8GB ram should be usable. Ideally you shouldn't use anything below an i7 with around 4-8GB. It'll take forever to render something out in C4D with an i5...especially the low end one.

    I'm personally all about Mac, but if you're on a tight budget you might wanna do yourself a custom i7 build PC. As lovely Macs are, the truth is that they are a little overpriced. If you really want one, why not try a refurb?
     
  3. Joltyness thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #3
    Interesting, thanks for the reply. Good idea on the refurbs! Do you think I'll be OK with a 21.5" i7? I can probably afford a refurbed version of that.
     
  4. smali macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2010
    #4
    Hey,

    I was in a similar position as you, needing a new Mac for video/vfx and light 3d work in cinema 4d. I made some notes for the baseline imac which might help you. (made a list of possible candidates for myself lol).

    Pros:
    -Low Price
    -Good processor - will handle FCPX/7 with ease, may struggle on After Effects with tons and tons of effects at full HD resolution, final renders will be longer but those can be left for overnight processing if you aren't making money from this yet.
    -512mb dedicated graphics, good for video/vfx work, photoshop etc
    -upgrade to 16GB RAM is very cheap, much better to spend on memory than minor clock speed increase to top model

    Cons:
    -No hyperthreading (only on i7) gives you extra cores, FCPX and After Effects make full use of it so you gain a bit of a performance boost around 10-30% depending on the project.
    -Video card will struggle with high end gaming, Starcraft 2 runs on medium

    According to Primate Labs benchmarks, the baseline iMac is almost as fast as the baseline macpro form 2009! It will be fine for your needs I reckon. Just max out that ram.;)
     
  5. Joltyness thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
  6. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #6
    dont forget to take advantage of that student discount, you can also upgrade the ram yourself for cheaper!
     
  7. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    SLC

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