iMac 27" 4K Editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Trhodezy, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Trhodezy macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2010
    Hi all,

    I'm currently setting up a small recording studio and we've got down to finding the ideal Mac's for our needs.

    Our budget is fairly high at £7,500 (this includes the display budgets)

    We need three Macs:

    1. A Mac for recording audio tracks
    2. A Mac for (mixing & mastering) editing said tracks
    3. A Mac for 4K quality video editing (and occasional photo editing)

    Before I go any further, I'd like to say that storage is not a problem. We are running a thunderbolt RAID 0 storage system @ 18TBs.

    We believe we've found the Macs we need for 1 & 2 however it leaves us with £2,400 in the budget.

    Ideally we would have gone straight for the new quad-core Mac Pro but that's about £399 outside of our budget (monitor price included).

    We could easily afford a 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel i7, 16GB RAM,
    3TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB iMac 27" for £2,250. The question is; will this allow us to edit 4K quality videos?

    All answers are deeply appreciated; if anyone has ever tried editing 4K Quality on this iMac please let me know! :D

  2. Diversion macrumors 6502a


    Oct 5, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
  3. WorldTravelBro macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Go for a mac pro and use a temporary monitor that you should have at home or in the office. Little by little and when the 4k monitor comes out from apple you can buy it.
  4. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    What codec 4K are we talking here? And what software? That kind of has a big barring on if it can do it or not.
  5. DJJAZZYJET, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    DJJAZZYJET macrumors 6502

    Jun 4, 2011
    Not sure why you need 3 macs, why not just buy the new mac pro and your displays, it will do it all. :confused:

    Edit: Oh I see you said 'we' meaning you have people who each need a mac

    Ok, firstly 4k is very expensive right now, i'd wait till q1 in 2014 and we should start to see some cheaper 4K monitors. Right now they are stupid money, and maybe by then, you'll have enough budget to get 3 mac pros ;)

    For 4K editing, your going to want to have an Nvidia GPU, because it allows you to use CUDA, which offloads video encoding tasks to the GPU (which can do it MUCH faster than the CPU), and takes work load off your CPU, allowing for much faster editing.
  6. riggles macrumors 6502

    Dec 2, 2013
    It's gonna be tough

    4K source has the potential to really eat up your memory. Especially as you add titles, effects, and grading. I would configure the iMac w/ 8GB RAM from Apple and use a 3rd party RAM upgrade to 32GB to save some money, and put it towards the GTX780M 4GB graphics. The other thing is fast local storage. You're not gonna enjoy caching 4K video on a mechanical scratch disk. That might put you over budget, though. Perhaps you could add a Thunderbolt SSD for scratch disk later? Or bite the bullet up front. Those are my thoughts.
  7. Trhodezy thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2010
    First off, a huge apology to all who replied to this thread, I've been away on business and not had time to check the forums.

    Secondly, a very merry Christmas to you all.

    Thanks, that's what I thought :D

    That's not a bad idea, I'll have a look at the pricing breakdown and see what I can do. Thanks! :)

    We'll be using FCPX and the Blackmagic 4K camera.

    Excellent! That's helped a lot, I can refine what I need, thanks for the explanation regarding Nvidia. (And yes, there's three of us using the macs :))

    Thanks! We think biting the bullet may be the best option... Thanks again.

    Thanks everyone for your input, it's been great! :)
  8. johnnyturbouk macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2011
    on the yellow [oled] brick road to tech nirvana.
    why not get a mac air, mac mini and a mac pro? should be able to squeeze that into your budget - ps apple are offering 0% finance option on the mac pro
  9. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2011
    Not with this disk take the 256 ssd option for os and applications and add a thunderbolt raid for media and scratch
  10. Trhodezy thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 29, 2010
    Because the Mac mini and mac air do not give enough power, however thanks for the finance option heads up!

    Thanks, I'll be doing that, ;)

    Merry Christmas all!
  11. kylepro88 macrumors regular


    Jul 30, 2006
    The iMac will edit 4K fine, especially BMC 4K. My MacBook Air from this year can edit 4K from the Blackmagic Camera without any trouble at all. The only time it seems most modern machines have trouble in normal editing is if you start adding a ton of effects, or you're rendering out final output. Beyond that, the editing part is getting easier and easier...especially if you're using a fast storage solution.
  12. tears2040, Dec 25, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013

    tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    First of all the 4K Camera from Backmagic does not exist outside of a few BETA testers and knowing Blackmagic's History who knows when the camera will be available for purchase...... It could be next month or next year, NO ONE knows.

    Second and finally if you download the recent 4K Footage that was posted
    (PRORES HQ) you would see if your computer can handle it. My 2012 iMac
    (Top of the line) is able to edit the footage and play it back in realtime no problem.

    I did not use effects, but honestly I rarely if ever do as we concentrate more on lighting and great cinematographer work for our projects. If we need effects we usually do it in After Effects anyways.

    So while a new Mac Pro should be a lot faster than an iMac, I'm here to tell you that a current iMac can run 4k footage fine with no problems. Just make sure you have 32GB Ram (very helpful) and have fast SSD Hard Drives. My 2GB graphics card works great, the 4GB in the 2013 should be even better....
  13. Mr Dobey macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    If this thread is still going: 4K RAW on an iMac... not a chance ;) Titan X 12GB GPU is the name of the game.


    2160p30 ProRes 422 in Logic Pro X is good to go on the iMac 5K.

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