Entry Level Editing Machine

GOFF

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2009
2
0
Hey guys I have been lurking on the forums for a while, but have a few specific questions about picking up my first Mac.

I am looking to get a Mac, and my main use for it will be editing. I am trying to spend as little as possible since I'm on a pretty tight budget, but I would like to be able to edit HD video in both FCP and Avid.

I am trying to get certified in FCP, so I imagine I would need the newest FCP, which I learned only works on the newer Intel models. Although I am not sure If I could get by learning on a G5 with FCP 6.

Based on my minimal budget as a recent college graduate; I have pretty much narrowed my choices to a Macbook Pro, which I would hook up to an external monitor at my desk, an entry level 27 inch Imac, or possibly a used G5.

Which of these choices would give me the most use as an editing machine for the best value?
 

Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
1,954
4
Do you ever need to ask this question? iMac. No contest.

Although if you can afford to get an i7 version, you'll be happier in the long run.
 
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Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
as said before many times

A G5 can barely touch even a mini, let alone a new iMac

Whats your budget?

Did you factor in the cost of FCP and Avid? thats over $1000 right there. (Please dont tell us you are going to download it off a torrent, we dont want to know.)
 
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juanster

macrumors 68020
Mar 2, 2007
2,238
0
toronto
is this going to be your main machine? or just an editing station kind of thing. If this is gogin to be your main machine I'd say MBP, if it isnt then imac all the way...
 
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GOFF

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 29, 2009
2
0
My budget for total hardware would be somewhere under 2,000. The software costs I am not really factoring in yet because I may be getting a deal through the TV station that I work at.

It sounds pretty unanimous that the G5 is really not an option, so I can cross that off my list..

As for the use of the mac, it is pretty much only going to be an editing station; as I already have a PC and a laptop that I use for everything else. So I suppose I could cross the Macbook off my list as well..

So, if you guys think an Imac is my best option, which model would give me the biggest bang for my buck? Would it be smart to get the base 21.5 inch model and get a second monitor to edit in dual screen? Or do I really need the ATI graphics card, in which case the extra 200 bucks would probably be worth it for me to get the 27 inch.?

Thanks for all your replis and advice btw!
 
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Hellhammer

Moderator emeritus
Dec 10, 2008
22,166
581
Finland
Don't even think about G5, even Mini beats it easily. If you don't need the portability of MBP, get iMac because it gives you a lot bigger bang for your buck
 
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Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
1,954
4
Buy the quad-core 27" iMac. Forget the G5, and ignore the MBP unless you absolutely need a portable solution.
 
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jettoblack

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2006
70
0
If you're going to get serious about editing, I recommend you ask around on a dedicated video editing forum like creativecow.net before you buy anything.

The iMac is a nice editing machine, unless you ever need to output to a professional tape deck, in which case it is money down the drain (no expansion options for video I/O boards plus simultaneous fast storage).

The 17" MBP (or one of the older 15" models with Expresscard) is actually a better FCP machine in many ways because the Expresscard slot lets you add a professional video I/O board, or use one of the Firewire boards with an eSata Expresscard for storage.

A used, older model Mac Pro will have the most expansion options in the future, even if its processors, ram, etc. are outdated.

OTOH, if you just want to edit some media from your consumer camcorder and publish to DVD or the web, any current iMac or MBP would be fine.
 
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Husker

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2009
23
0
iMac is a nice editing machine, unless you ever need to output to a professional tape deck, in which case it is money down the drain (no expansion options for video I/O boards plus simultaneous fast storage).
AJA IO, connects via FW800 to give you all the IO you need. iMac is perfect for getting started on FCP. When you start editing Broadcast-level stuff for the Discovery Channel, move to a Mac Pro.
 
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jettoblack

macrumors member
Nov 1, 2006
70
0
I'm not saying the iMac is not a good entry editing system, but...

AJA IO, connects via FW800 to give you all the IO you need.
AJA does not support the IO HD on the current iMacs.

The IO takes up the entire FW800 bus, you can't connect anything else to Firewire then. So what are you going to use for storage? Not the internal drive (especially not if the OP going for FCP certification), and the only ports left are USB (too slow) or Gigabit ethernet (too inconsistent, unless you have a very high end SAN solution).

Apple really needs to get on the ball of putting the Expresscard slot (or something better, like Light Peak or USB3) on the 15" MBPs and all iMacs.
 
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Husker

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2009
23
0
I haven't had any problems, and even so, someone who's trying to get certified in FCP isn't in need of an AJA IO anyway most likely...an iMac is still the best bet for anything below uncompressed footage.
 
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nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,719
2
i7 iMac, from what's on your list.

But you'd be better off with a used '08 IMO, assuming you can locate one at a good price. Be patient, but they do come up, and can be had reasonably.

Try Craig's List, as you can inspect it prior to payment.

Just an idea. ;)
 
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Badger^2

macrumors 68000
Oct 29, 2009
1,962
2
Sacramento
i5 should be plenty

$1850 from macconnection after rebate

take the extra $$ and use $100 to upgrade to 8 gigs of ram, and another $100 for a external backup drive
 
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Husker

macrumors newbie
Mar 9, 2009
23
0
i7 iMac, from what's on your list.

But you'd be better off with a used '08 IMO, assuming you can locate one at a good price. Be patient, but they do come up, and can be had reasonably.

Try Craig's List, as you can inspect it prior to payment.

Just an idea. ;)
Just picked up a 3.06+8800GS with AppleCare additional monitor and AIO printer/scanner, etc for $1000 on Craigslist as a holdover machine until I can order my i7 iMac
 
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