i7 imac and final cut

Discussion in 'iMac' started by allupons, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. allupons macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    I am very near deciding on a purchase for a final cut system. I have been editing on a pc for a while now with full HD video and since I am nearing the end of a feature length project I can finally afford to switch over. What I am wondering is how suitable is the core i7 imac for editing full HD in the final cut studio? Does final cut take advantage at all of the 4 cores and 8 threads? Are external fw800 or gigabit ethernet storage good enough for prores 1080p video editing? Just how much worse will the performance/renders be on the imac compared to an 8 core intro mac pro? I am trying to get a good gage on where my money will be best spent. Thanks for any help / shared experiences!
  2. Vol7ron macrumors 6502


    Jun 11, 2009
    Derry, NH
    The i7 is an extremely fast Processor. Unless you plan on maxin out the cpu on the MacPro and using 8GB of RAM, then the iMac will do just as good. Final Cut should take advantage of the additional cores/threads the i7 have to offer
  3. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2002
    You can upgrade the i7 iMac to 8GB of RAM for less than $150. And I would HIGHLY recommend doing that for an HD video editing application.

    FW800 is most definitely not sufficient for uncompressed 1080p video though, so unless you shoot with some kind of pre-compression I would look at whether the internal HD size is enough or look at a Mac Pro.
  4. Vol7ron macrumors 6502


    Jun 11, 2009
    Derry, NH
    Agreed, I should have made that clear. Since the iMac can go up to 16GB it should be more then enough. What i meant to say was that with the MacPro memory is more expensive since it has to be ECC due to the server grade mobo
  5. allupons thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Hey guys. I would likely run the iMac with 12 gigs of ram if I picked it up, so that really isn't a huge concern for me. And I too would hope that the final cut would tax all of the i7 cores, but I am wanting to know how it works in practice in the real world. I am also more concerned with any users who may have experience with running final cut studio on the new i7 imac vs a mac pro solution. If there are any unforeseen issues that arise in trying to make the i7 iMac work, outside of the lack of hdd expansion(hopefully fw800 is good enough to not slow down the process).
  6. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2002
    Are you editing uncompressed or not? If so, FW800 is just not going to cut it for 1080p.
  7. avihappy macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2006
    Eh, I think the gigabit Ethernet on the i7 is reported to have issues with HD video editing, in that it does not support Jumbo Frames. You better look into it.
  8. allupons thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    It would be prores 422, I believe.
  9. coolmacguy macrumors regular

    Dec 6, 2002
  10. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  11. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    What would that have to do with anything? "Jumbo Frames" doesn't refer to video frames.
  12. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Jumbo frames refer to the payload of an ethernet connection and the maximum packet size than can be transferred.

    When editing HD with the ProRes codec, one second of video can take up to 40MB.

    That is doable via Gigabit Ethernet, but it might conflict with the Jumbo frame problem.

    Another thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=829787
  13. allupons thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    So is there anyone that has any experience with how fast/seamless the renders and such are with the i7 iMac for 1080p prores movies? Also, does anyone have firsthand knowledge of trying to use the gigabit for video editing? Thanks for the info.
  14. MacMojo1 macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Final Cut editing and producing in HD is a breeze on my i5 with Logic running as well for audio production. 8GB is helpful as both are 64-bit
  15. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
  16. allupons thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2010
    Thanks for the ram suggestions and the barefeats info. Any other final suggestions/thoughts regarding the i7 iMac and final cut?
  17. yargok macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    I got my i7 imac this week, and tried out final cut express 4. My experience has been very positive.

    I have a SR11 1080i AVCHD camcorder. I was able to import the video to AppleIntermediateCodec in better than realtime, and export a 1080p h264 mov clip while deinterlacing at around 2-3x realtime. I didn't time it very precisely.

    Under both operations, my 4 'primary' cores were taxed 100% and my 4 hyperthreaded cores were taxed about 60%. Looks like I can finally work with HD video. My Core Duo 20" imac (early 2006) wasn't cutting it at all.

    And my new screen looks great (no defects).
  18. Kabir8 macrumors regular

    Feb 3, 2010
    27" i7 with 10 GB RAM (I got a 6GB package from OWC - get it!)

    Final Cut 7 works great.
    I dump my Canon 5D MkII footage (1920x1080) straight into it with zero hiccups and smooth editing.

    That's probably the one thing keeping me from returning my third machine (which still has some little problems but not nearly as bad as the first 2).
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    The 27" iMacs are not suitable for using with storage over ethernet:
    Apple i5 and i7 27" iMacs do NOT support high speed ethernet transfer

    While the i7 has a lot of CPU horsepower, it's not as good as a Mac Pro for production work, IMO, because it's not as versatile. The single FW800 port as the only option for expansion is a big bottle neck (storage, video I/O and camera/deck all fighting for the same port). Also, the AJA Io HD is the only FW device that works w/Color but it is only support at SD res. An iMac would be a great secondary editing machine to compliment a decked out Mac Pro though.

  20. Arron Rouse macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2010
    Chichester, UK
    Jumbo Frame Support No Big Deal

    There seems to be a lot of fuss about jumbo frame support being missing on the i5 and i7 iMacs. I'm in the market for either an i7 or Mac Pro myself so I was quite concerned at all the fuss.

    However, while I don't own a Mac (yet), I have been a techie for a long, long time. I know some stuff about jumbo frames, networking, storage, NASs and performance.

    Firstly, the theoretical improvement with jumbo frames is minimal. Secondly, the actual improvement varies wildly from device to device. Thirdly, the internal performance of the NAS plays a far greater part than anything else.

    Take a look at the benchmark results here for some evidence and decide for yourself whether it's important: http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.p...sk=view&id=274&Itemid=70&limit=1&limitstart=6

    So don't go dismissing the i5 and i7 just yet.
  21. creativeliquid macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2010
    iMac as an edit computer

    Hey All-

    I just wanted to weigh in on the question of whether the iMac makes a good FCP workstation. The short answer is yes, but as many people have mentioned in this thread it all depends on your needs. I speak from experience which comes from owning a production company that uses an assortment of Macs as FCP suites.

    As a FCP workstation the 27" Quad-Cord i7 iMac is an excellent computer for FCP. Here's why:
    1) Great High-Res monitor (above 2k resolution)
    2) Great processor
    3) You can upgrade to 8GB of RAM and run FCP w/o any major issues

    With that said, remember your i/o options are limited.

    What is Firewire 800 good for?
    -PRO RES (not HQ, but unless you're doing high end broadcast you don't need HQ)
    -All SD codecs

    We use MacPro's for major graphics and long-form projects, but the iMac work stations are excellent for smaller projects, DVCPRO HD, Pro Res and SD projects. They also make great logging stations!

    If you need more professional i/o options (ie: adding a Kona or Matrox device) you will want to go with a MacPro. The extra money is worth it.

    As for FCP capture scratch and storage, I recommend an external HD array such as a G-Tech or Cal Digit. Something with Firewire 800. Again, you're more limited than a MacPro, but if you don't need the extra i/o options, it's a good choice.

    A final note on FCP: We run Final Cut, Motion, Color, etc on a variety of Macs including heavy duty MacPros to 2+year old MacBook Pros. It all depends on what you're editing to determine how much computer you need. (BTW we're running the latest version of Final Cut Studio)

    Hope this helps.
    Good luck!
  22. coopross81 macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2010
    i7 imac FC Studio user here

    I was one of the people who pre-ordered the i7 imac and I have been editing pretty heavily on it since it arrived in late 2009. I'd have to say all in all I'm somewhat disappointed with its editing performance. I shoot on Panny HMC150's and the log & transfer to a prores codec is quick and painless (especially when using class 10 SDHC cards).

    I have 8GB ram and a 2TB hard drive. The only real issue I have to complain about is choppy playback issues when dealing with prores 422 HQ (or higher). I can tweak the RT settings all I want and still have choppy playback. I especially have this issue when I'm throwing down live edits from a multiclip. I always shoot in HD - progressive frames (24, 30, or 60).

    I work a lot in Motion and there are some serious lag issues with the 422HQ codec as well. Stick with 422 or 422LT and all is well with the i7 I would say. (I realize not everyone uses these prorez codecs so I'm sorry if this post doesn't give you any help).

    is there anyone else who has this problem? I press play and it plays perfect for about 4 seconds then the choppiness starts. I can only assume I simply don't have enough processing power.
  23. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    What kid of Hard Drive are you storing the clips on. The speed of the drives, or better yet, a RAID, has a lot to do with it.
  24. hundert macrumors regular


    Jan 24, 2010
    This should have nothing to do with the CPU or RAM size.

    It is the Harddrive.

    Actually, you need a second harddrive!
    Store your program and project files on one harddrive, and captured footage on the other.

    As it is an iMac, it will have to be a Firewire 800 external harddrive - and thats where iMacs suck. You can't put a second SATA HDD in there.

    Maybe there is a way to remove the optical drive and put a HDD in it, but it will void the warranty.

    Your answer is a HDD! You can't store project and program files AND captured footage on one single HDD.

    It is like the first lesson they tell you in the editing classes.

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