Help me spend $7,500!


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2011
Hello everyone

I have a small company that deals with video production, graphic design, advertising 3D motion graphics. We shoot with canon dslr's and moving into RED we also use adobe master collection, final cut 7 - pro, and cinema 4d. In house we have 2 editors and need something for mobility.

We currently have 27" iMac (2009) that does most of the work, but it dosn't have thunderbolt so we are selling him. We are now looking to upgrade a few things and setup a network.

Should I wait and get a mac pro? Tell me what you would do differently.
Total has to be under 7500

1) 27" iMac 3.1GHz quad core with 1TB HD and upgraded graphics card to 2GB
2) 15" Macbook Pro 2.2 quad core with upgraded HD to 750GB
3) Thunderbolt Display (for editing when not taking out in the feild) and wireless keyboard and mouse
4)Pegasus 6TB Thunderbolt RAID drive. (store all video/graphic files on, RAID 5 to back itself up)
5)Time Capsule 3TB (back up both MBP and iMacs HD)
6)RAM not purchased from apple
7) BookArc for the MBP

the total for that is a little under 7500.



macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Take The IMac

Up to 16GB ( I'm in a similar line of work in the music business) buy the Crucial memory, it's half the price of Apples and is the same.

I have a top spec MBP and an Top end MBA. Backup is handled at the moment with a separate hdd for each mac, but am moving to SSD shortly when larger capacity becomes available, and reliability improves.

I'd say you were pretty much on the button iMac ( custom spec 2GB VRAM bought with 8GB but stuck another 8 in a week later) does all the donkey work and never misses a beat.

My MBP I use in the studio, and use the super fast SSD in my MBA for quick backup and file transfers.


macrumors 601
Jul 17, 2010
I'd get one Mac Pro for the heavy lifting and renders/ transcode etc. Do you care about correct color? You may want to have that Mac Pro connected to a professional display for proofing. The TB stuff is not really needed and you could recoup some cost there. RAID5 does not "back itself up" and should not be considered a backup solution by itself. You may want to backup the RAID as well. You can have one drive fail but the data will be untouchable until it rebuilds itself with a new drive.


macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2011
Perrysburg, OH
If possible, maybe buy from Amazon or similar to avoid sales tax? Also, the iMac I would go to the 3.4GHz, since you're already getting the 2GB video card, might as well max it out.

I personally would want a Mac Pro over an iMac, but that is more costly, since you'd need a separate display and it starts at $2499.


macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 4, 2011
any idea of the speeds i can get from the raid drive when Im on the network ?


macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
For video editing I would strongly recommend a Mac Pro, but if not then get the 3.4GHz iMac with 16GB of RAM and it'll work pretty darn well for your desktop. Why 3.4 and not 3.1? Because the 3.4GHz i7 has hyperthreading which is a huge benefit when rendering and transcoding video.
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