iMac 3.1 i5 or MacBook Pro 2.2 i7 for Photo & Video Editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by rupnok, May 6, 2011.

  1. rupnok macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    Hey all,

    I've recently started shooting a lot of DSLR photos and videos, and want to upgrade to a machine that can handle RAW images and H.264 videos faster than my mini. I just sold my trusty Mac mini 2.0 C2D, which was my workhorse photo and video editing/encoding machine, as it was getting a little long-in-the-tooth.

    Essentially, I want a machine that will let me move from iPhoto to Aperture, and iMovie to Final Cut Express. Not pro-level software, but prosumer. I do no absolutely no gaming (hence base model MBP), but do rip/encode videos for my iPad using Handbrake, as I travel frequently. This machine is probably going to be stationary positioned at my desk, as I have a PC for work/school (I ::hate:: Mac Excel), so portability is a "nice-to-have" but will likely not be transported ever.

    I've narrowed my choices down to:
    - MacBook Pro 15" 2.0GHz i7/8GB RAM/ HD Anti-glare screen/SSD + HDD (using Optibay)
    - iMac 27" 3.1GHz i5/8GB RAM/HDD only

    The pros of the MacBook Pro seem to be:
    - Easy ability to upgrade and use SSD as scratch and HDD as main storage
    - Hyperthreading on the i7, which seems to come in handy as the three programs I'll be using the most are optimized for it (Aperture, Final Cut Express, Handbrake)

    The pros of the iMac seem to be:
    - Beautiful 27" screen
    - Faster clock speed (but at the cost of hyperthreading)

    What should I choose?
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    I'd probably get the iMac. The screen space would be a huge benefit, and a sandy bridge quad will mow through videos like nothing, hyperthreading or not.
  3. rupnok thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2002
    alust2013, I appreciate the response, but don't know if I can trust a Buckeye (went to the better school in Ann Arbor ;-)

    I guess my main question boils down to impact of hypertheading and SSD. If you're saying hyperthreading is that big of an advantage (I have to believe the GeekBench numbers are inflated to give a lot of weight to hyperthreading), then my other concern is SSD.

    I lean towards the MBP due to the ability to easily have a SSD + HDD, but I don't know how much either will benefit me (the 256GB SSD option for the iMac is just WAY TOO expensive for me to consider). I've heard people rave about a fast SSD for scratch drive on photo and video editing. Is this overblown?

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