First time apple machine for video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by shanehm2, May 24, 2019.

  1. shanehm2 macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2019
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Hi all I am going to be buying my first apple in the next month or two and am needing some advice.

    Now first of all I am not wanting portable and not wanting an iMac.

    So I have looked at the mac mini 3.0ghz 6 core.

    Now should I get 32gb of ram to be comfortable or 16gb ?

    What size hdd is comfortable ground to have macOS, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop and possibly premiere with room to have a project on the drive as I have a 19tb and increasing server I will unload final projects too.

    edit: also should i look at what apple might bring with the new mac pro i have heard of being announced in june ?

    thnx for any help
  2. Nbd1790 macrumors regular

    Jan 2, 2017
    New York
    If you're not in a rush, it's always a good idea to wait and expand your options. Although, if Video editing is your number one concern, the mini may not be the way to go (at least out of the box). The only reason I say this is because there's no dedicated graphics card. If you're planning on using Final Cut as well as Premiere, I would imagine that your video editing is beyond a hobby. The mini is great from a power standpoint, and I would highly recommend it for Audio and non GPU powered processes.

    If you had to choose now, I would say your safer bet would lie with an iMac (or iMac Pro) or even a 15 inch MBP, as all of these models come with a dedicated graphics card, or at least an option to add one.
  3. shanehm2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2019
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
  4. MSastre macrumors 6502


    Aug 18, 2014
    OWC or Crucial are the best, I do some video work and have always used Crucial memory in my Macs.
  5. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    You are pretty vague in letting us know what kind of footage (1080p, 2k, 4k, 6k, 8k in h.264, ProRes, CinemaDNG, ArriRAW 8bit/10bit) you are planning to ingest into your editing workstation and what final product are you going to export to and do you need to color grade and color correct your final product. That too requires some external monitors for monitoring and grading. Without those information, it is utterly IMPOSSIBLE to advice you to what sort of machine and options you need to have. However, I'll try to give you some ideas since you said you want to use Final Cut Pro X and Premiere Pro.

    In video editing, there are 3 things you need to be concerned about. RAM, Video GPU and disk speed. CPU choice is based on the encoding format of the video. Like I said earlier, you didn't provide any specifics of what sort of footage you are importing into your editing workstation, but if you are only importing h.264 compressed files, then for HD 1080p 8Gb of RAM is a good start being 16Gb is the max you want. For 4K h.264, 16Gb to start being 32Gb is the max you want. However, if you are dealing with non-compressed footage like RAW or CinemaDNG files, then for 1080p HD, you need a min of 16Gb but 32Gb or 48Gb would be good. For 4K raw files, you need a min of 32Gb of ram with 64Gb being ideal. So you see from here, your RAM requirement really depends on what type of footage you are planning to ingest and edit with. Having said that, your second requirement is a fast and powerful GPU. Minimum is a Radeon RX580, but if you are dealing with RAW 4K footage, you would need something like the Vega 64/GTX 1080Ti to work somewhat comfortably. It's not uncommon to have 2 Vega 64 or 2 1080Ti chained together like you can using Davinci Resolve Studio to do noise reduction and have several nodes running to say that you are satisfied with its performance. That's with RAW 4k footage. You will need less if you are just dealing with consumer grade files. Disk speed is determined AGAIN by the type of footage you are dealing with. If you are dealing with RAW or uncompressed files, you NEED the fastest storage like TB3 with SSD raid. If you are dealing only with consumer grade files like you get from a Go Pro 4K, then you are ok with a USB 3 RAID or even a Firewire 800 RAID drive via a TB3 to FW adapter.

    In regards to the choice of CPU. A Core i series CPU is a consumer grade CPU that comes with its own iGPU and supports Intel Quicksync which allows simultaneous decoding and encoding of h.264 footage as well as hevc format with the latest Coffee Lake in the mini 2018. Also comes with the mini 2018 is the T2 chip which also allow on-fly decoding and encoding of h.264 files, so if you are working solely with h.264 files to decode and then encode, then you want to stay with the Core i series. The Xeon processors are better if you are dealing with RAW video footage as there are more numbers to crunch and works more efficiently with the GPUs on the PCIe slots (Mac Pro 2010/2012) only. If the new Mac Pro 2019 bring back the PCIe slots plus it comes with a T2 and rumoured T3 chip, then the 2019 Mac Pro is a better buy if you are going to be using the Mac for commercial video editing. But if you are just editing h.264 files, then there's no point in getting a Xeon machine as the mini 2018 with an eGPU is better in dealing with this.

    Hope this helps.
  6. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    Obviously SSD would be better, but will a fast HD Raid work? Blackmagic seems to say it would be OK for Cinema DNG Raw:

    BlackMagic Promise Pegagus 60 TB DiskSpeedTest.png
  7. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    Yeap, I think it should be fine.
  8. shanehm2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 21, 2019
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Ok to answer some questions,

    What user will I be: Hobby level.
    Video resolution: 4k or less.
    File types: From my panasonic g7 or other consumer DSLR and DJI mavic/ spark.

    So I am not needing a machine to earn my bread and butter. I am more after a machine that is going to be a comfortable experience for me to do hobby level video editing.

    However is there going to be a benefit of me spending an extra $300 (Australian dollars so $200USD) based on the entry level 27inch iMac) to

    Go from Radeon 570X 4gb > 575X 4gb
    And from a 3.0ghz 6 core > 3.1ghz 6 core.

    Another question how much room does a base macOS install take up with final cut pro x installed ??
    Could I live with a 256gb ssd and have one or two projects still on the drive and offload them to external storage ?? Or would I have to go with a 512gb ssd ??
    I have a 240GB SSD brand new I can put into a TB 3 case and work from that.
    At the moment my network has a 19TB unRAID server and I am forever expanding capacity.
  9. HDFan macrumors 65816

    Jun 30, 2007
    It's not just the installation you have to worry about, it is all of the other files that are associated with the boot disk. For example Time Machine on my system takes up 385 GB. I use TechTool Pro protection which is ~155 GB. In contrast Applications (and I have a huge number of them) is only ~76 GB. My numbers are extreme, but when your boot disk runs out of space you can have major problems . Plan to keep 20% free, which would be ~50 GB on a 250 so you really only have 200 GB to work with.

    It's not just the amount of memory that's critical. A 10 second 4K video that I took on my iPhone is ~30 MB. A 16 minute film would therefore be ~ 1 GB. Uncompressed raw files would be even larger. You also have to worry about all of the intermediate and work files.

    Media could be stored on your network server. You could transfer them to an external SSD of the appropriate size to work on them.
  10. iluvmacs99 macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2019
    If you are working on a hobby level and you are planning to stick with 4K mostly, then I think 512Gb SSD as a boot drive would be a good start if you plan to store 1 to 2 projects on the main drive. Though I would recommend storing your projects on a separate drive as well as your media files and leave the boot drive mainly as an OS and application drive. This way your video editing software will work most efficiently. To be honest, video editing is very fluid because when you start to create certain projects, you will eventually tap into the special effects and transitions and corrections even for a hobbyist that can take from amateur to semi-professional with FCPX and Davinci Resolve very rapidly. Which means, your GPU memory will go from the basic 4Gb of GDDR5 ram to wanting a standard 8Gb ram. Professionals usually prefer 12 to 16Gb of GDDR5. Like I said; if you're a hobby producer, then 4Gb is a good start and opting for one GPU over another or one CPU over another slightly faster one is probably just going to give you a few FPS in performance. The difference between 4Gb vs 8Gb of GPU ram can be that certain effects and transitions can not be done because you run out of memory. That's going to be somewhat common with 4K than with 1080HD, which is why I work mainly with 1080pHD and 2K while when I did work in the digital media industry 4 years ago, we deal with 4K often. The good thing about TB3 and Mojave is that, you can hook up a eGPU and upgrade later on if your iMac's dGPU is no longer able to keep up with your needs. 4Gb is a good start with the GPU ram and you might be happy with it for awhile. Only you can decide.

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9 May 24, 2019