Entry-level iMac for video editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by pusman83, Sep 19, 2007.

  1. pusman83 macrumors regular

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    May 9, 2005
    #1
    My office is looking at getting an iMac for video editing (and pretty much nothing else).

    We'd have an external drive so the HD difference would be negligible.

    We're looking at light/standard video editing for 2-10 minute pieces with FCP.

    Can the entry-level iMac (ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB memory) handle that? I'd assume so as my iMac G5 does OK with FCP.
     
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
  3. pusman83 thread starter macrumors regular

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    May 9, 2005
    #3
    The budget is quite tight. We'd like to get the higher-end model, but we won't if it's not absolutely necessary.

    What would be the big applied difference?
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #4
    The processor speed increase would be the biggest difference. This would be followed by the video card for high end video editing.
     
  5. Jimmdean macrumors 6502

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    Mar 21, 2007
    #5
    If you're editing standard resolutions, I'd go with the base model - you'd only be looking at 10-15% difference anyway at most.

    However, if we're talking about HD resolutions, I'd go with the middle model...
     
  6. DemNoir macrumors member

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    Aug 9, 2007
    #6
    I'm doing a ton of video editing on the 2.0 ghz iMac and its fine. Benchmarks show only about a 5% or less improvement for the 2.4ghz model. Thats not significant.

    I think the $1200 iMac is a very good buy.
     
  7. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #7
    I edit on FCP, and on much lower specced machines than even the base iMac model. You'll be absolutely fine. The biggest variables are not the processor speed (which only makes a difference in encoding and rendering speeds), but RAM and to a lesser extent the speed of the HDD. If you have longer sequences, you'll want more RAM. Basically, you should max out the RAM - but don't buy it from Apple, you can get it a lot cheaper elsewhere.

    Bottom line: get the base model of the 20" iMac - the processor speed difference is negligible on the next model - and max out the RAM (not from Apple). Then get a fast external HDD - minimum 7200RMP with a 16MB cache. Make sure that the external HDD enclosure has a fast port (like FireWire 800) - and the most compatible/reliable chipset is the Oxford.
     
  8. CavemanUK macrumors 6502

    CavemanUK

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    #8
    its worth noting that the 24" screen is the only one capable of displaying 1080p video at full size.
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
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    Indianapolis
    #9
    I'm seeing more then 5% here.

    http://barefeats.com/imacal2.html

    http://barefeats.com/imacal4.html

    If you're cash strapped but don't need it immediately, you can always wait for refurbished models.
     
  10. HLdan macrumors 603

    HLdan

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    #10
    Yeah, now that Apple has moved into the Intel world people tend to forget that the G4 PowerBooks and the G5 iMacs could do video editing very well on FCP. The current line of iMacs will fly with FCP even with heavy editing. No worries, get the base model. The key thing is that the current iMac line has a discreet GPU and dual core performance.
     
  11. Rhosfelt macrumors 65816

    Rhosfelt

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    #11
    I have a 20" 2.33ghz intel core 2 duo w/ 2gb of RAM

    and I beat just about everyone's computer, i love this thing, it kicks my macbook PRO.. At everything.
     

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