Help me pick my iMac for editing please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gnomeflyer, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Gnomeflyer, Oct 23, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012

    Gnomeflyer macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2012
    #1
    Like many on these forums, I have been anticipating the new iMac for some time now. In anticipation, I went so far as to sell my 1st gen Mac Pro tower that was used primarily for video editing, and web usage in preparation of updating my gear. I was left torn by today's announcements.

    My dilemma is should I get a high end 2011 27 inch iMac model or a new 27 inch model with fusion drive?

    I do not want to get another Mac Pro at the present, so that is out.

    My main uses are Final Cut for video editing, Photoshop, web surfing, photo apps and iTunes. Occasionally I may game, but that isn't a priority (more of a console guy).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #2
    I bought a refurb 2011 27 inch iMac with the i7 ghz processor, 1 tb HDD, and the 1 gb video card. I use my comp the same as you alot of Final Cut hd editing and multitasking while Im at work editing. I must say go for a refurb high end. Avoid the temptation of SSD for the time being. Use that money toward applecare and upgrading your ram. It is possable to go 32 gb of ram on a 2011 model which can be done by yourself for under $150 on Amazon or other brands. Im running 20 gb in mine two 8 gb stick and the stock 4 gb that came stock, made a HUGE difference in HD editing. 4 is not nearly enough. Got mine for $1789 with government discount, $100 off with 3 years apple care to boot. So even with no discount your what $1789 right now for that comp as a refurb. Then add apple care which they will discount if you ask. So tops easily under $2000 and money to spare. But go i7 for sure you will thank me when it comes time to render, it is a beast. The 3.4 ghz is still top of the line BTO even with the 2012 models which you can get in the 2011 models
     
  3. bagelche macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    #3
    I've been waiting for the 2012 iMacs to update an editing machine at work (FCPX/Premiere CS6).

    I'm still holding out a final decision, but I'm leaning to the refurbished 2011 27" i7 w/ 256GB SSD. After using machines with SSD boot drives for the last year, I don't want to go back to a disk (I still need to upgrade my personal MBP drive). Other than the difference over SSD, I second Ak907Freerider's advice. Stock up on RAM aftermarket.

    I will miss having USB3 ports, but I can survive. Other small benefits of the 2011 model: more easily accessible SD drive (use it constantly pulling footage from cameras), firewire ports (though a Thunderbolt adapter could be bought), optical drive (still burn DVDs regularly...yes you can buy an external drive, but that all these extras start to add up).
     
  4. Gnomeflyer thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 23, 2012
    #4
    Thanks for the input! Also have been looking at the MacBooks and wondering if one of those and a thunderbolt display was a serious option. I have a MacBook from late 09 that I don't use for editing really and would sell in that case.
     
  5. nagareru macrumors regular

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    #5
    Well you might want to reconsider the new iMac as it will have or already has mercury and cuda support for CS6 applications, specially Premiere. And probably AE's GPU ray trace rendering.
     
  6. bagelche macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    #6
    Good point. I had considered that, but I have several constraints.

    #1 is budget. I am allocated $2200 for the purchase and it must be spent by the end of the calendar year. Apple hasn't released the BTO pricing, but I suspect it would quickly push me over the edge.

    Secondly, We primarily use FCPX (and last night's updates fixes many of my day-to-day concerns (not all, but many)). Premiere is used occasionally, but honestly I use Media Encoder more than Premiere (I like it over Compressor).

    That said, this computer is expected to last us another 4+ years, so who knows what we'll be editing with in that time.
     
  7. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a

    chevalier433

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    #7
    Buy the strongest hardware you could afford editing is very demanding.Be sure you have at least 2 separate high speed drives etc SSD for your applications and a RAID for data especially if is HD media.
     
  8. nagareru macrumors regular

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    #8
    Well for 2200 I think the best is to get the base 27" with i5, 660m and add a fusion hdd. That will give you a good machine for +4 years.

    You will still get the cuda, mercury support with the 660m, the fusion hdd will give you ssd features that will increase speed instantly. You will still have the ability to upgrade the ram to 32 later on when you can.

    As you said we still dont know the BTO prices and I am too, a bit scared of how much they will charge.
     
  9. echomango macrumors member

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    Jun 10, 2012
    #9
    A big thanks to the Gnomeflyer and contributors on this thread. I need a new machine and do hd video editing so this conversation is exactly what I need to hear. I am torn between the new imac and the refurbed 2011 27 inch I7, ssd, machine that seems to cost less than the newer upgraded 27 inch imacs with I5. Many thanks to AK907freerider who spoke of the importance of the I7 with rendering speeds.

    Sounds like some are thinking that the SSD is considerably less important than the I7. Great conversation. I am still using CS3 so the new updates that help CS6 are not as important to me. Then again maybe I should move to CS6? LOL I hope more will chime in.
     
  10. Ak907Freerider, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I don't think the i5 is wise going to regret it with rendering. Ssd can be added later externally prices should be dropping. Yes it won't be fusion or whatever but set it up once and your good. Buy biggest processor u can and if money left bigger video card rest can be upgraded later if u need it.
     
  11. bagelche, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    bagelche macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    #11
    Yes, it's the balancing of these elements. Some things you commit to when you order, others can be upgraded later.

    I am of the mind that the i7 is worth it over the i5 in terms of rendering, but I don't know the real world numbers offhand. RAM aftermarket, for sure, but it's so inexpensive I would certainly purchase 16GB now if not more.

    I'm a convert to the SSD experience and am not opposed to doing SSDs aftermarket. That is what I'm doing in my MBP, however on the iMac it's not as simple a task. The fusion drive is certainly interesting and sounds like a great improvement in drive/data management--the big question is cost.

    edit: Just to be clear, when I say I'd buy 16GB RAM now, I'm still referring to buying it aftermarket, not from Apple.
     
  12. nagareru macrumors regular

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    #12
    I completely agree that the i7 is so much better than the i5 of course specially for rendering; but, I would choose a fusion disk just because that is what you will be using while editing, the faster the drive the faster the realtime playback etc. And the nvidia GPU with mercury enabled will boost up premiere a lot.

    I think editors should spend most of their money on thing they interact with, components that make their job feel smooth, like faster previews, quick scrub thorough footage without drop frames. As far as the cpu is concerned I can press export and go and have a break time or something, let the computer work.

    Even more finish many edits, preview them correctly, and them batch export them over night if necessary. But thats just how I see it, of course get the i7 if you can. From my point of view the best bet is a better GPU.
     
  13. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Im using a 3.4 i7 for my editing and I use all HD and I have no stuttering nothing it plays edits flawless. I have yet to have it leave me hanging while it figures out what to do. I have never used the i5 though so cant say for sure how that works.
     
  14. nagareru macrumors regular

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    #14
    Of course most HD formats will play well but, try playing with Red format cameras or uncompressed 10bit or even Animation format.

    The main reason for SSD for speeding up stuff, like loading applications, it doesn't sound like much, but when you have 100+ plugins in media core and or FCPS it can take a while to open. Furthermore it also speeds things up when opening multiple applications, these ones just pop up like spam.
     
  15. redirector macrumors member

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    Aug 26, 2012
    #15
    Very helpful answer.

    Just guessing, but is this how you would prioritize the possible performance upgrades for the new iMac?
    1. Bump RAM to 16GB
    2. Add Fusion (1TB + 128GB SSD)
    3. Bump the GPU to the 680MX
    4. bump RAM again, to 32GB
    5. Upgrade the processor to i7

    I know it is not likely to be this simplistic in pricing, but say that each of these cost $250, and you only had $750 to spend on any 3, which would you choose to get the best performance for video editing for that investment?

    My prediction for buying all 5 of these upgrades is that it would cost $3199, or + $1200. (Ad that still does not consider the 3TB Fusion or the 768GB SSD.

    Thanks again for the helpful contribution.
     
  16. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I dunno I can load and be into my project and editing my project in 13 seconds just timed it. Using Final Cut Pro X had compressor and motion going also along with Safari . So seems like it is fine for me. If you want SSD hold out the prices are dropping quickly, Im going to go with a external ssd will give me full benifits of using ssd as my OS and also can take on the road with me when Im on location or anywhere and need my files quickly. Thanks to thunder port. Looking at either a 120 gb or 256 gb, 120 for $200 or $350 for the larger. and it is mobile.

    ----------

    1. Go after market ram get bone stock from apple for ram. So $150 for 32 gb ram aftermarket.
    2. Get the biggest hard drive they offer 3 tb so you dont have to deal with upgrading later. Probably a $200 upgrade.
    3. Bump GPU to the 680MX. Probably $150 upgrade.
    4. Upgrade to i7 biggest they offer 3.4 probably $150 upgrade maybe $200 who knows.
    5. Either buy a external SSD now with thunder port or wait a bit since there will be more options and cheaper prices. Right now $200 is cheapest Ive found for a name brand. Thats for a 120 gb SSD

    So were at $700 without the SSD external. So your under budget and will give you time to research your SSD plans. Biggest thing with going SSD external is you can upgrade with a simple plug in of a wire. So down the road when SSD 1 tb get cheap you can upgrade your iMac within what 5 seconds. No tear downs no losing warranty
     
  17. nagareru, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    nagareru macrumors regular

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    #17
    If you have a limited budget then definetely the gpu first a 670mx will do great. That machine costs 2000 already so you have two options fusion drive or cpu. I would go for the fusion drive. I guess that will bump it 300 more for 1tb, the 3tb provably 450 while the i7 will cost 250 more or so.

    you use your computer with apples 8gb standard and upgrade to 32gb later on when you have more cash. b

    ill go for that 3tb fusion drive + i7 + 680Mx and upgrade the ram on my own to 32gb or 64 if found possible. The 756ssd will be just too expensive, without it i see it costing around 3k including third party ram, with it probably $4350+-

    maybe my pricing is a bit off but who can say for sure now
     
  18. Ak907Freerider, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #18
    I dunno the i7 in the 2011 was $200 upgrade. so $250 tops there. I just dont think SSD is worth dumping on your iMac quite yet. Going external with it will help you future proof your machine. Gonna be a real bummer when your small SSD cant handle big programs 4 years from now who knows maybe sooner. Would be nice to walk into any store and walk out with a 1 tb SSD down the road like you can now with a HDD. Plus down the road when your in the market for a new iMac you will already have a SSD loaded with what you use.

    Also call apple and see what they want to repair that Fusion drive you might have a change of heart warrentys dont last forever. Would be a good feeling knowing a 5 year old could fix your failed SSD by pluging in a cable.
     
  19. nagareru macrumors regular

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    #19
    Thats true but that is an extra cost with the thunderbolt enclosure cable. I think thats why they made the fusion drive. But we dont know about prices yet once we know itll be a diff story
     
  20. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #20
    lol True I think people are going to be shocked at the fusion drive cost. You know Apple is going to ask a arm and a leg for one, maybe a hair sample your first born child.

    SSD was overpriced through Apple, now combine the two as a Fusion OMG look out it will be $400 to $500 Im sure
     
  21. racher, Oct 24, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012

    racher macrumors member

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    #21
    It sounds like you've made up your mind, but since you're using Premiere Pro CS6, I thought I'd point out that it would be able to take full advantage of the Nvidia cards in the 2012 iMacs for the Mercury Playback Engine. With the 680MX, Premiere and After Effects should simply scream. That's the wrote I'm planning to go.

    Edit: Sorry, just realized this was already suggested!
     
  22. Ak907Freerider macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Really gonna boil down to when u can see prices it's all guessing now but processor and gpu will be the big ones. Fusion if it is realistic pricing
     
  23. zhandri macrumors 6502

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    #23
    all i got to say is: newer i5 and i7 cpus don't give you much more performance they are just more efficient BUT the new grafic cards are a huge leap. those kepler cards have sooo much power
     
  24. bagelche macrumors 6502

    bagelche

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    #24
    For those who use FCPX, it seems that the new 10.0.6 update dumps even more onto the GPU for rendering/processing. I don't know anything about the cards used in the new iMac, but if they're as you say it might be quite an improvement over last year's model.
     
  25. lucasfunkt macrumors 6502

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #25
    Can you rank the importance of upgrades for editing.


    Would it go something like this:

    1. GPU
    2. Fusion Drive
    3. i7
    4. Bigger HDD

    Is that about right? (I'm leaving out RAM because that goes without saying).
     

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