i5/32GB/M290X - suitable for my editing needs?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bounce08, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. bounce08 macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Planning on purchasing a 27" 5k iMac for home use only - it will be used for a few work based projects which I may take home occasionally. Footage is shot in 4k to oversample. We used Mac Pros at work which handle the task fine.

    Editing using FCPX. Also will be using Adobe CC, possibly DaVinci Resolve 12 too. Most of our projects are around 60 mins in duration.

    The iMac I'm looking at is:

    27" 5k
    i5 3.5Ghz
    32GB Ram
    M290X 2GB
    1TB Fusion

    • Will this machine be comfortable doing what I need it to?
    • Is there any major difference between the i5 3.5 and i7 4.0 and between the M290X and M295X when it comes to performance on FCPX/Resolve/Adobe CC?

  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Yes of course it'll do it it will just be a bit slower about it.

    Those apps are pretty much what the higher specs are designed to do quicker.

    The i7 is hyperthreaded giving you 8 virtual cores, all three of those apps can leverage this advantage meaning rendering etc will be a lot faster, the M295 is also faster and utilised by all those apps.

    So yes it'll do it and yes the higher spec will be much better at it.

    Don't upgrade the RAM with apple, it is user upgradeable with a little access panel and can be had much cheaper online to install yourself.
  3. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    It will get the job done but take it from a professional video editor -- the faster the better. I use FCP X on a top-spec 2013 iMac with an 8TB Pegasus R4 RAID array, and top-spec 2015 MBP. As soon as the iMac is updated I will get another maxed out one.

    If you are doing basic assembly edits and collecting material for a select reel, a mid-range Mac is OK. If you are doing finish editing with effects, the fastest machine is not enough.

    Will most of your material will be on external drives? If so you might want a 256GB SSD iMac since the media will be external anyway. If you'll be working exclusively on the 1TB FD, that's not much space, especially for 4k material.

    In general video editing with interframe codecs like H.264 is CPU and GPU-bound, not I/O bound. That said I would not want to edit off a 5400 rpm bus-powered USB 3 drive. The fastest single-platter bus-powered USB 3 drive I've tested is the 1TB HGST Touro S: http://amzn.com/B00IVFDQ48

    The fastest USB 3 bus-powered drive is probably the 4TB Seagate Backup Plus Fast: http://amzn.com/B00HXAV0X6

    The i7 4.0 is 14% faster than the 3.5, plus it has hyperthreading which helps in some cases. In my tests FCP X export was about 30% faster with HT on vs HT off. LightRoom import/export and preview generation was not improved.
  4. bounce08 thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Think you've just convinced me to go for the i7 4.0. It's more of a personal convenience purchase than a necessity so it was more a cost cutting exercise/compromise than personal choice.

    We use Pegasus2 R6 12TB RAIDs so 256GB SSD for software only is ideal.

    Just wanted general opinions on using the various specc'd 5k iMacs as only worked with the new Mac Pros which do the job.

    For what I need, sounds like i7 4.0/256GB SSD and the M295X is the way to go.

  5. littlepooch21 macrumors regular

    Sep 26, 2010
    yeah i always say get the best you can. sounds like you need it
  6. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    You're in luck.


    After Effects, Resolve, Photoshop all tested (though perhaps not as finely grained as you would lik)

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