I want to buy a new iMac, how should I configure? (I’m a video editor)

Maceditor87

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2019
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I want to purchase a new mac, specifically for video editing. I do a ton of corporate videos, but not necessarily all 4k.

I am looking to get the top 27 inch iMac but I don’t know where to spend my money for upgrades. I’m currently editing on a Mid 2014 MacBook pro, 2.2 GHz, i7 with 15 GB of Ram. I’ve actually been impressed with how well this thing has done over the years with editing but it’s time of an upgrade.

Here are my 3 big questions…


1 - From what I have read I should upgrade to an SSD. However here’s my question, I always edit off externals, so do I need an internal SSD or should I just buy an external SSD for my projects?


2 - Should I upgrade to the i9 or stick with the i5? Will I notices that much of a difference?


3 - Should I upgrade the graphics card? I spoke with the Apple rep at Best Buy and he said this would be my best upgrade if I’m editing a lot of video.

I will be upgrading the ram on my own.


If I upgrade all of these with RAM, apple care and tax it comes close to $3800. Which then begs the question, at that point to I just get a refurbished iMac Pro?


Thanks for any insight…
 

Jimmdean

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2007
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How much of your time would you say is spent waiting on your Mac to process something? Like you literally cannot continue until it finishes...
 

Maceditor87

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2019
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How much of your time would you say is spent waiting on your Mac to process something? Like you literally cannot continue until it finishes...
This would be doing video exports. On my most consistent video project I would say I spend about 30 minutes doing exports?
 

Jimmdean

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2007
407
139
Is that closer to one big one, or many smaller ones?

Working with larger/longer videos it's not unreasonable that you would cut your "wait" time in half, and you'll see more benefits the more power you add.

Conversely, if you mostly work with short videos and your time is mostly spent prepping with a smaller share actually exporting then it's completely possible nothing will change much from what you currently have no matter what you buy.
 
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Jimmdean

macrumors 6502
Mar 21, 2007
407
139
Both Final Cut and the Adobe Suite, mainly premiere pro, less After Effects.
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Multiple exports of a video. So I would have to export a 5 minute video twice, each with a different export setting.
Well a more powerful machine would certainly do it faster, but on shorter videos as soon as it outpaces the human involved it's not really much help and not worth the extra money...
 

Maceditor87

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2019
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Well a more powerful machine would certainly do it faster, but on shorter videos as soon as it outpaces the human involved it's not really much help and not worth the extra money...
Got it So would any upgrades be worth it for the top end 27?
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,519
24,633
Got it So would any upgrades be worth it for the top end 27?
I’d go with the top end GPU, i9, 1TB SSD, and keep the RAM at 8GB. Reasons:

1) The components I mentioned can’t be upgraded afterwards.
2) FCPX utilises Metal. The better the GPU, the faster it runs.
3) Adobe suite is very CPU heavy.
4) Internal SSD is ~4 times faster than an external USB SATA enclosure. You’ll get a massive performance benefit.
5) RAM can easily be upgraded afterwards at a fraction of the cost that Apple charge. Plus this is only if you find that your memory pressure is consistently high; macOS’s memory management is great, so it’s unlikely to be immediately required.

EDIT: reread your post and I haven’t really helped. You knew most of this.

Might be best to save the little extra for a refurb iMac Pro. You get much, much better graphics for your money.
 

Maceditor87

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 8, 2019
7
0
I’d go with the top end GPU, i9, 1TB SSD, and keep the RAM at 8GB. Reasons:

1) The components I mentioned can’t be upgraded afterwards.
2) FCPX utilises Metal. The better the GPU, the faster it runs.
3) Adobe suite is very CPU heavy.
4) Internal SSD is ~4 times faster than an external USB SATA enclosure. You’ll get a massive performance benefit.
5) RAM can easily be upgraded afterwards at a fraction of the cost that Apple charge. Plus this is only if you find that your memory pressure is consistently high; macOS’s memory management is great, so it’s unlikely to be immediately required.

EDIT: reread your post and I haven’t really helped. You knew most of this.

Might be best to save the little extra for a refurb iMac Pro. You get much, much better graphics for your money.
This is helpful. I was going to ask about the graphics card but your suggestion about getting the iMac pro kind of answered it.
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,604
393
The Sillie Con Valley
This would be doing video exports. On my most consistent video project I would say I spend about 30 minutes doing exports?
So rendering is not an issue?

The i9 will be a very good machine, certainly better than what you are using now.

The iMac Pro, OTOH, is the machine built for what you want to do. Says who? Apple, actually. Look at the page they use to describe and benchmark various tasks. Read the whole thing.
https://www.apple.com/imac-pro/
Although it does not include the i9 iMac in the benchmarks (yet?), the 10 core and 18 core are both included as well as the 12 core Mac Pro.

You can get a refurb base model for $4,249 anytime. (dirty little secret: Most are not refurbs, otherwise they'd run out). You can add AppleCare for the same $169 as the i9. 10 Cores and other BTO variations do show up now and then (those will be actual refurbs) but the 8 core base model is always there.
https://www.apple.com/shop/refurbished/mac/imac-pro
These come with 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD and a Vega 56—base model; you can't order an iMP with less. Compare that to a tricked out i9, Vega 48 with 32G aftermarket RAM and you'll find the price difference isn't that great.

A Samsung X5 over TB3 is as fast as an internal or close enough for practical purposes.
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Portable-SSD-Thunderbolt-MU-PB1T0B/dp/B07GBWZJFG/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=samsung+x5&qid=1554764452&s=music&sr=8-1
Again, you might want to factor the cost when deciding how much on board storage to order.