First iMac for AVCHD CS5.5 or FCPX. i5 or i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dlrpkris, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. dlrpkris macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
    Buying my first ever Mac - so help appreciated please! :confused:

    Working with a seriously tight budget for semi-pro AVCHD editing in either CS5.5 or FCPX so should I really prioritise the 3.4Ghz i7 processor over the 3.1Ghz i5? I mean, that money could go a long way elsewhere.

    Looking to have the computer for about 3years and not wanting to limit my options in the future, but if it will handle fine today I'm not going to replace my camera in that time either! Probably won't upgrade the RAM straight away. SSHD not a viable option either I'm afraid

    Thoughts or experiences welcome please :) FCPX is looking amazing today
  2. NutsNGum macrumors 68030


    Jul 30, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Go for the i7, you won't regret it. There's a fairly large difference between the performance of the i5 and i7 according to sites such as Geekbench and BareFeats.
  3. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    No doubt the i7. But consider the refurb 2010 model for around $1600.
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    Who knows what you will be doing in 1 year or 2, let alone 3.

    For me, the difference between a i5 (can get it with no tax and a rebate) or the i7 (BTO only + tax, no rebate) is $1865 vs $2200 + $200 tax = $500 difference.

    That $500 gets me more ram (which you might need), more screens, more storage, more everything -- for a few seconds slower machine.

    some new tests here:

    The largest margin the i7 wins over the i5 is 40 seconds. in the Photoshop test the i7 is 4 seconds faster.
  5. dlrpkris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2011
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    Hmm. Thanks for your tips guys. Just 4 secs? Not huge. For sure it'll do a better job but wish I could have a play with them side by side to see how much it's worth it.

    Shouldn't really be making this purchase anyway so the dilemma is even more irritating. Anyone actually use Premiere 5.5 anyways?
  6. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    According to the link you provided, PS will utilize at most 5 cores out of the possible 8.

    But won't FCPX do a much better job utilizing multiple processors than PS? If so, that would effect the equation, wouldn't it?
  7. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Yes FCPX will do a much better job of core utilization. The i7 is also something you can't really do later. You can always delay getting some of the memory or disk space you'll need until you have funds.
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I suppose it might.

    IF I spent 10 hours a day working in FCPX, then it would be totally relevant.

    But if I only spend 3 hours a day... meh.
  9. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    For HD video editing I'd go for the fastest CPU available, which is the i7.

    FCPX does a lot of stuff in the background (rendering, content analysis etc.) and while performance doesn't seem bad at all on first impression (on my 2010 MBP), the CPU usage is (obviously) very high a lot of the time. Since all cores are used, it will probably benefit noticably from the Hyperthreading in the i7.

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