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drfunk1986

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 6, 2012
15
1
I've been told both various people that if I want to do heavy video editing to simply build a PC however I'm still trying to find a work around due to the fact I have a iPhone 8plus and a 2015 MacBook Pro. I feel I want the 5K 27-inch 2015 iMac i7 for my desktop workstation but what's the realistic expectation of the machine doing some solid video editing? I'm not extremely experienced but want a machine good enough to start me out with video editing, learning Premiere and After Effects. What's some specs I should be looking for a must have for my needs?
 

Bryan Bowler

macrumors 601
Sep 27, 2008
4,025
4,353
A properly configured iMac is a great machine for video editing. Anyone that tells you that a PC is the only thing for heavy video editing is giving you bad advice. Across the world, full-time video editors are happily using the iMac to make a living, including myself. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a PC...I'm just saying that both a PC and an iMac can do the job well.

As for what you need, if you go with a regular iMac, you will want to get an i7. With a regular iMac, get one with the base-level 8 GB of RAM and then upgrade the RAM yourself to either 24 or 32 GB. (Super easy to do.). I strongly recommend getting the internal SSD drive. 1 TB is probably preferred, but 512 GB is workable depending on the size of the projects you are working on. An i7 iMac is perfectly capable of smoothly handling most 4K workflows.

If you will be cutting and editing really high bit-rate 4K video (such as the Canon 1D X Mark II in 4K/60 fps) and you want a highly fluid experience, then you may want to consider the iMac Pro. If you are cutting and editing 8K video, then you might want to consider an iMac Pro. If inaudible fan noise and silent acoustics are very important to you, then you might want to consider an iMac Pro. But if you are simply editing 1080p video or 4K GoPro video, then an iMac Pro is total overkill for your needs. For the latter, the mid-2017 iMac i7 will serve you well for several years.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask away about any of the other configuration options. There are a lot of great people here that can offer up some advice.
 

ThatSandWyrm

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2017
251
214
Indianapolis
I've been told both various people that if I want to do heavy video editing to simply build a PC however I'm still trying to find a work around due to the fact I have a iPhone 8plus and a 2015 MacBook Pro. I feel I want the 5K 27-inch 2015 iMac i7 for my desktop workstation but what's the realistic expectation of the machine doing some solid video editing? I'm not extremely experienced but want a machine good enough to start me out with video editing, learning Premiere and After Effects. What's some specs I should be looking for a must have for my needs?
You’re talking about the very same iMac that I just sold after getting the iMac Pro. It was a wonderful machine for desktop publishing and HD video editing, and could probably have handled 4K just fine. Only downsides on that model were the aging GPU, and the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports for expansion. Also, it could be blow-dryer loud under load.
 

h9826790

macrumors P6
Apr 3, 2014
16,624
8,555
Hong Kong
As long as you know how to use your hardware and software properly, the iMac can definitely do the job. However, just not that ideal. e.g.

1) It's cooling system is bad. For continuous high loading, the fan will be loud, but both CPU and GPU still running at very high temperature with possible thermal throttling. And this kind of continuously high temperature may cause pre-mature failure.

2) Adobe apps work better with Nvidia GPU, and 5k iMac doesn't provide this option.

And I would like to emphasis that you need to know how to do your work correctly. e.g. If you insist to edit your high bitrate H265 4K video without proxy. Then don't expect you can get any smooth experience. But if you transcode it and use proxy properly. Even a lower spec Mac can give you decent editing experience.
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
I do video editing. 4K video from my drone work and 360 degree photos and videos from my GoPro Fusion. Here is my set up with NO issues.

Machine
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
macOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.3
4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 (i bought with the minimum and bought 64 GB aftermarket)
500 GB SSD
Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

External 3 USB3 slots with 27 card reader mounted under the iMac

Displays (total of 3)
27-inch (5120 x 2880) (the iMac)
Dual LG Ultra HD Display 27-inch (3840 x 2160)

Storage
Super Drive - I still haven't used it yet, but at least I have it.

500 GB Flash Storage (Macintosh HD) used for programs and stuff that stays on the iMac

WD 8TB External HDD - used for every day storage such as pics, documents and stuff most people keep on their machines..

1 TB External SSD (I forget exactly which one) - used for my work flow if all the footage is smaller than 1 TB

12 TB External HDD RAID 0 - used for my work flow if all material is over 1 TB; This runs pretty fast, but still nothing compared to SSD. Will upgrade to a large SSD RAID setup later this year.

Backup
I use BackBlaze. It backs up all of my iMac and 1 external (I have it backup my 8TB)

Time Machine - I have a 4 TB WD My Passport I used for Time Machine because I also have an iMac at the office and a Macbook Pro, so I partitioned it and use Time Machine at least once a week on all machines.
 

drfunk1986

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 6, 2012
15
1
You’re talking about the very same iMac that I just sold after getting the iMac Pro. It was a wonderful machine for desktop publishing and HD video editing, and could probably have handled 4K just fine. Only downsides on that model were the aging GPU, and the lack of Thunderbolt 3 ports for expansion. Also, it could be blow-dryer loud under load.

what specs did you get with your new iMac Pro?
[doublepost=1519672897][/doublepost]
I do video editing. 4K video from my drone work and 360 degree photos and videos from my GoPro Fusion. Here is my set up with NO issues.

Machine
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
macOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.3
4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 (i bought with the minimum and bought 64 GB aftermarket)
500 GB SSD
Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

External 3 USB3 slots with 27 card reader mounted under the iMac

Displays (total of 3)
27-inch (5120 x 2880) (the iMac)
Dual LG Ultra HD Display 27-inch (3840 x 2160)

Storage
Super Drive - I still haven't used it yet, but at least I have it.

500 GB Flash Storage (Macintosh HD) used for programs and stuff that stays on the iMac

WD 8TB External HDD - used for every day storage such as pics, documents and stuff most people keep on their machines..

1 TB External SSD (I forget exactly which one) - used for my work flow if all the footage is smaller than 1 TB

12 TB External HDD RAID 0 - used for my work flow if all material is over 1 TB; This runs pretty fast, but still nothing compared to SSD. Will upgrade to a large SSD RAID setup later this year.

Backup
I use BackBlaze. It backs up all of my iMac and 1 external (I have it backup my 8TB)

Time Machine - I have a 4 TB WD My Passport I used for Time Machine because I also have an iMac at the office and a Macbook Pro, so I partitioned it and use Time Machine at least once a week on all machines.


Thank you so much for this. Gives me a great blueprint to follow for what I'm looking for.
 
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ThatSandWyrm

macrumors 6502
Oct 30, 2017
251
214
Indianapolis
what specs did you get with your new iMac Pro?

10-Core Model with 128GB of RAM, 1TB SSD, and the Vega 64 Pro (16GB) GPU. Apple's site is down at the moment, but I think it cost me roughly $8K.

That's overkill for what you need, but I just ran a 30-hour photogrammetry processing run that sucked up 170GB of RAM for just that application. The fact that I could comfortably play Master of Orion at the same time was gravy. :)
 

Lewis315

macrumors newbie
Aug 9, 2018
1
0
I do video editing. 4K video from my drone work and 360 degree photos and videos from my GoPro Fusion. Here is my set up with NO issues.

Machine
iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2017)
macOS High Sierra
Version 10.13.3
4.2 GHz Intel Core i7
64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4 (i bought with the minimum and bought 64 GB aftermarket)
500 GB SSD
Radeon Pro 580 8 GB

External 3 USB3 slots with 27 card reader mounted under the iMac

Displays (total of 3)
27-inch (5120 x 2880) (the iMac)
Dual LG Ultra HD Display 27-inch (3840 x 2160)

Storage
Super Drive - I still haven't used it yet, but at least I have it.

500 GB Flash Storage (Macintosh HD) used for programs and stuff that stays on the iMac

WD 8TB External HDD - used for every day storage such as pics, documents and stuff most people keep on their machines..

1 TB External SSD (I forget exactly which one) - used for my work flow if all the footage is smaller than 1 TB

12 TB External HDD RAID 0 - used for my work flow if all material is over 1 TB; This runs pretty fast, but still nothing compared to SSD. Will upgrade to a large SSD RAID setup later this year.

Backup
I use BackBlaze. It backs up all of my iMac and 1 external (I have it backup my 8TB)

Time Machine - I have a 4 TB WD My Passport I used for Time Machine because I also have an iMac at the office and a Macbook Pro, so I partitioned it and use Time Machine at least once a week on all machines.

Just wondering if you are still using this setup, I'm looking to buy the exact same iMac and upgrade the RAM to 40GB (16 x 2 plus standard 8GB).

I will be using it for similar purposes. 4k video editing, screen-recording, trading, photoshop, audition etc.

I will be running two 24" Samsung Monitors 1440P.

How is your experience with the setup?
 

iamchrisstone

macrumors newbie
Feb 18, 2018
25
3
Just wondering if you are still using this setup, I'm looking to buy the exact same iMac and upgrade the RAM to 40GB (16 x 2 plus standard 8GB).

I will be using it for similar purposes. 4k video editing, screen-recording, trading, photoshop, audition etc.

I will be running two 24" Samsung Monitors 1440P.

How is your experience with the setup?

Yes I still use this setup. It is by far the best machine I've ever had. It has actually surprised me. It SMOKES my personal MBP and my work iMac and MBP. I haven't had a single hiccup, stutter or problem with any of the footage that I have worked with.

Full Disclosure: I have not used a ton of effects or After Effects, yet. So that may play a factor, but so far so good.
 
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iAugiStudios

macrumors newbie
Sep 11, 2018
1
1
Just wondering if you are still using this setup, I'm looking to buy the exact same iMac and upgrade the RAM to 40GB (16 x 2 plus standard 8GB).

I will be using it for similar purposes. 4k video editing, screen-recording, trading, photoshop, audition etc.

I will be running two 24" Samsung Monitors 1440P.

How is your experience with the setup?
[doublepost=1536695502][/doublepost]Did you have to dis-assemble the iMac to install the 64 GB 2400 MHz DDR4? How difficult was the process? Does it effect your warranty?

Dan
 
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oVerboost

macrumors 68000
Sep 17, 2013
1,565
1,039
United Kingdom
I've got the 2017 iMac with upgraded RAM (after purchase), and have no issues with any editing, photos, videos and 4k video editing is no issue either.
 

mannfilmz

macrumors newbie
Sep 19, 2018
1
2
I've got the 2017 iMac with upgraded RAM (after purchase), and have no issues with any editing, photos, videos and 4k video editing is no issue either.
[doublepost=1537405364][/doublepost]All real bad advice unless you have the money to spend. Sorry. Successful editor with +30 years advice here. A $800 late 2013 27" iMac will do prorez 4k just fine as long as you do not do FX or multicam with the client sitting next to you. If you are doing corporate or social media dog-meat, the late 2013 will edit your 4k footage with dropped frames just fine. And for dog meat, who cares if you get dropped frames during edit playback? If you are doing real editing; then offline edit with proxies, then color grade the 4k master clips on a still frame basis, then render out to your delivery format and check. A coupe extra steps, but if you are talking food money... And a new i5 iMac will edit prorez 4k great as long as you are doing not doing mutilple layers and lots of FX, but if so, then you just render the sequence and wait a minute or two. My point here is that instead of getting a killer iMac, go lower quality and get a nice second monitor and sound system... or maybe take yourself out to a nice time on the town once in a while.
 

alien3dx

macrumors 68020
Feb 12, 2017
2,188
525
[doublepost=1537405364][/doublepost]All real bad advice unless you have the money to spend. Sorry. Successful editor with +30 years advice here. A $800 late 2013 27" iMac will do prorez 4k just fine as long as you do not do FX or multicam with the client sitting next to you. If you are doing corporate or social media dog-meat, the late 2013 will edit your 4k footage with dropped frames just fine. And for dog meat, who cares if you get dropped frames during edit playback? If you are doing real editing; then offline edit with proxies, then color grade the 4k master clips on a still frame basis, then render out to your delivery format and check. A coupe extra steps, but if you are talking food money... And a new i5 iMac will edit prorez 4k great as long as you are doing not doing mutilple layers and lots of FX, but if so, then you just render the sequence and wait a minute or two. My point here is that instead of getting a killer iMac, go lower quality and get a nice second monitor and sound system... or maybe take yourself out to a nice time on the town once in a while.
My friend using freakin 4 GB RAM. He said to me, as long it work. He stick to basic video 720 and taking picture . Yup, if you deal with extra thing like 4K or 8K cum all those extra effect then killer monster machine.
 
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