iMac 5K for 4K video editing - what upgrades?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by digitaldave, Jun 21, 2015.

  1. digitaldave macrumors regular

    digitaldave

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #1
    I've been thinking about upgrading my early 2011 MacBook Pro 13" as it's getting a bit long in the tooth, and isn't coping too well with some tasks, e.g Lightroom with 24MP RAW files. I'd pretty much decided on replacing it with an iMac 5K with the 3.5 GHz i5 and M290X graphics card. However, I've recently got a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, which can shoot 4K video, but editing this brings my MBP to its knees :(. So, I'm wondering if I should look at some upgrades for the iMac...

    1) I think the i7 CPU would be almost a no brainer for working with 4K video. Would that be a good idea?

    2) Would the GPU upgrade be a good idea for 4K editing, or will the base GPU be OK? I'm not going to be editing hours worth of video on a regular basis. Also, I'm concerned about the reports on here that the M295X fans running at higher levels than the M290X. I'd rather stick with he stock GPU if it's not going to make that much difference for what I want to do.

    The rest of the specs would be pretty much unchanged - standard RAM from Apple, upgraded with third party stuff, and the 1TB fusion drive, possibly with an additional USB3 drive as needed.

    Any comments on my upgrade ideas?

    Thanks,

    Dave.
     
  2. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #2
    I think an i7 is mandatory for fast 4K editing. The graphics card is a massive memory boost, so I don't think it's that necessary. Also I suggest you upgrade to 16GB of RAM, although it's be much cheaper to manually upgrade it yourself instead of ordering from Apple.
     
  3. yjchua95, Jun 21, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015

    yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #3
    1. Yes, definitely the i7.

    2. The M295X packs quite a lot more power than the M290X when it comes to rendering videos. So yes by all means get it.

    3. A Fusion Drive won't cut it. 4K is heavily I/O intensive, get a 512GB SSD and also a RAID 0/10 array as a scratch space.

    PS - I'm a cinematographer and I frequently work with ArriRaw footage (from an Arri Alexa) and also 4K footage from a EOS-1Dc.
     
  4. Gwendolini macrumors 6502

    Gwendolini

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    #4
    Though I had no problems playing back UHD content using a USB 3 HDD, since ProRes HQ and 4444 use 105 to 155 MB/s when one uses 25 fps.

    ProRes 4444 is overkill for GH4 compressed footage anyway.
     
  5. digitaldave thread starter macrumors regular

    digitaldave

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #5
    Thanks for the replies.

    Gwendolini, I have no idea what you just said, but it sounds to me like "a USB3 drive will be fine for what I want to do." :). The files will be 60mbps MOV or MP4, H264 I believe. Would that be a fair assumption?
     
  6. Gwendolini macrumors 6502

    Gwendolini

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    #6
    USB 3.0 HDDs will be fine for 60 Mb/s (7.5 MB/s) video.

    And even if you transcode it to another codec like ProRes to make editing easier, it will still have a lower data rate than what USB 3.0 offers. No need for SSD storage if it is for private usage.
     
  7. digitaldave thread starter macrumors regular

    digitaldave

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    Apr 6, 2006

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