iMac for video editing?... since refresh

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Flatz, Jul 27, 2010.

  1. Flatz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #1
    So now the refresh has happened, I need to decide what iMac to get.
    I'm a visual artist who has made use of Adobe programs for a long time... but on PC.
    I now want to do some video work that will include things like After Effects and Final Cut.
    I want to get the 27" iMac, but need to know which one is for me.
    Do I want the i3 or the Quad-Core i5?
    Or perhaps the i3 with an upgraded 8GB RAM?

    This will be my first Mac... and I appreciate any advice.
     
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #2
    I think for your case, the RAM will be a more noticeable upgrade, but I would recommend going for the i5 as it will be faster and it will be more future proof - not to mention you can upgrade the RAM later, but not the CPU.
     
  3. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    i5 for me =)

    I am about to get the i5 Quad core for the exact same reason you are. I have Adobe CS5 Production Edition and need a powerful iMac to run that well. I have been looking at the Quad iMac for quite some time now and now that they have the new ATI graphics cards in them, I will be going with the Quad over the others with upgrades. However, I do plan on upgrading the RAM myself once it comes it. Keep in mind that it is super easy to do since there are 2 OPEN slots, so just pick up 2 sticks of 2GB DDR2 ram for about $100 and pop them right in for 8GB total! It is much better to buy the one with the better CPU and upgrade the RAM yourself. Try going to youtube and searching "27 iMac ram upgrage". There are a ton of video guides there to help you with the upgrade.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide =)
     
  4. Flatz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #4
    ^ I didn't realise it was that easy... and cheaper to do the upgrade yourself.

    I think you just made up my mind.
     
  5. Yakuza macrumors 6502a

    Yakuza

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #5
    Go for the i5

    I have one and beliave me, it will worth it. :D ger 8gigs in it, it will boost it up :)
     
  6. Flatz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #6
    One other question,
    If I buy from the online store, and there is a problem with the machine,
    is it just as easy to walk into the Apple store for help, as if I had bought it there myself?

    Oh, and is it usually safe to order online?
    Or are there a lot of risks to the machine when getting it delivered?
     
  7. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    Online store

    I would just get it online! I am doing it with my iMac. The service is just the same as if you got it in store. Loads of people buy their macs online, so I doubt that there are many issues. Of course there is always a few that get messed up, but just send it back and apple will take care of it and send you a new one.

    I'm glad I could help make up your mind! Someone gave me the advice that I am giving you, so I am just passing it on ;)

    P.S. I think I said DDR2 in my last post when I meant DDR3. Here is a link to the RAM I will be getting for mine

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148317
     
  8. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #8
    How does the 2.26 GHz Quadcore x 2 Intel Xeon compare to iMac 2.93 GHz i7 (upgraded) with 1 GB Video RAM (27 inch)? Shouldn't the new i7 iMac be able to handle HD video processing?

    The iMac can be be expanded to 16 GB RAM in the future and with quadcore i7 at 2.93 GHz, it seems to me that the Mac Pro is waaaaaay overpriced at 2500+ for just the low-end model.

    Am I missing something?
     
  9. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    You are not missing anything at all! The iMac is an amazing deal! The reason that the Mac Pro has an advantage is in the area of major expantion. You can put in INSANE graphics cards and 32GB of RAM. (for a TON of money!) Also there are more hard drive bays, but in my case, I have a server, so that doesn't interest me that much. I really think the Mac Pro needs a bigger update than what apple gave it today. It is only for a VERY small market right now
     
  10. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #10
    So is it possible to extend the life of the Mac Pro to ... say... 10 years by purchasing upgrade parts - graphics card, memory, hard drive?

    I am thinking I can get 5-7 years out of a top-of-the-line iMac but if I can get 10+ years out of a Mac Pro, maybe it is worth the extra costs in the long run??? :confused:
     
  11. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #11
    What do you mean by insane graphics. The iMac comes with 1 GB 5750 GDDR5, I think only the 1GB 256-bit 58xx is better and available for the Mac Pro....

    I am looking to do a lot of HD video editing and a lot of photo editing with a new child on the way.
     
  12. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #12
    Even though you can't get great graphics cards right now from apple, you can get cards later on as better ones come out. (As long as they don't change how they connect inside the computer) But honestly, from what you have told us you want to do with a computer, I would just go with the i5 iMac and in 6-7 years, pick up the new iMac that they will have then. Keep in mind that if you get the Mac Pro, you also have to get a display. And even though you can get a low price LG or Samsung, you want to have that quality apple display! So then you have to get a LED display from them! (Bumping the price of your new computer near the price of 2 iMacs! (One now, and one in 6 years)

    Does that help answer your question?
     
  13. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502

    NeverhadaPC

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    #13
    Thank you for the comments. I do have a 23" 1080p HD display as my G5 iMac's graphics has been busted for the past 2 years... so the Apple Display could come later, if at all --- it is even more overpriced than the Mac Pro...

    I guess waiting until USB 3 would allow the Mac Pro to last a lot longer to avoid being stuck with old inputs later on...
     
  14. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #14
    True. I don't know how much longer that would be though! Most people expected USB3.0 to come today, but it didn't. Oh well. Apple is still amazing without 3.0!
     
  15. Flatz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #15
    Thanks again for the info and the link.

    btw... since I have decided to at least get the latest Quad-Core i5,
    Would it be to my advantage to upgrade to the i7... considering the work I want to do?
     
  16. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #16
    I have to say no. The difference is so small that you would NEVER notice the difference while using it in real life! The only reason you should get the i7 is for the bragging rights! ;)

    (But that might not be worth the price difference!)
     
  17. pixel-vs-pencil macrumors member

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    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #17
    This is my exact dilemma too!
     
  18. Hilmi Hamidi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2009
    #18
    Yeah, the i5 is better for future proof, you can upgrade the RAM later.
     
  19. ytk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    #19
    What do you mean by "processing"? Pretty much any computer made in the last half-decade should be able to handle HD video editing. It's not really that big a deal anymore. If you're doing visual effects work or more complicated stuff, you can still do it no matter what system you buy, but your render times will decrease more or less proportionally to how many processor cycles you can throw at it.

    But if you're just using Final Cut, it doesn't really matter. Final Cut isn't multi-threaded, so you will see basically no difference between 2 cores and 8. That's even true for rendering and doing outputs. You really just can't get much more out of FCP by throwing more processors at it. The only way to take advantage of more processors to render video files with is to use a multi-threading capable application, e.g. Compressor in conjunction with Qmaster--which is basically just an ugly hack that splits your big render job into a bunch of smaller (single-threaded) render jobs, then merges the resulting files together.

    You will see a difference between 2.26 and 2.93 GHz clock speeds in day to day use, so for a lot of things the iMac would be faster than the Mac Pro. Exactly how much difference you'll see as a practical matter is debatable, though. On paper, 2.93 is about 30% faster than 2.26. But that really only applies when you're maxing out processor usage on a single thread. More often than not, tasks are I/O bound (or just waiting for the stupid user to click a button or something), so the vast majority of the time the processor sits idle--and the processor idles just as fast at 2.93 GHz as 300MHz.

    Anyway, the point of all of this is that processor speeds just really don't matter much anymore. The best way to keep your system running smoothly is to put way more RAM in than you might possibly need. 8GB in this day and age wouldn't be a bad idea.
     
  20. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #20
    Definitely a Quad Core CPU and definitely a minimum of 8 GB RAM. You should also invest into the 2 TB hard disk.

    The performance difference between the i5 and the i7 probably won't be worth the additional cost - there might be a difference when you look at benchmarks, but I doubt that you will actually feel it when you use the machine.
     
  21. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #21
    You want to use a Mac for ten years? Are you dreaming? As we all know, Apple makes their hardware faster obsolete through software updates than you need to pay off your credit card debts. It's completely unrealistic to plan on using a Mac - or any PC - for longer than two or three years (unless web surfing and typing letters are all that you do with it). It gets even worse when playing games is on your to-do list.
     
  22. iread macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    #22
    Computer Choice and Memory Upgrade

    I work from home and do everything on my computer including:
    Heavy internet browser use (10 pages with up to 30 tabs each).
    Plus some professional software usage and lots of multi-tasking.

    I was advised by an Apple Tech to purchased the iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 - Quad-Core 27" mostly due to the some professional software usage.
    I purchased the iMac 2.8GHz Intel Core i5 - Quad-Core 27" and was advise by an Apple Tech to update the included 4GB memory to 8GB.

    There are 4 memory slots which must all match like 2x2GB or 4x2GB or 2x4GB or 4x4GB which is the max.

    Can you tell me if I should use 4x2GB (keep the 2 included and add 2 more) or take out the included memory and use 2x4GB which would cost a whole lot more now but leaves the option to update to 16GB later on without having to throw out the 4x2GB .. I guess the real question is if you think I might need to update to 16GB later on ??

    I am so torn over this choice and really hope to hear your answers soon ..
    I would also like to hear if you all agree with my computer choice .. Thank you.

    P.s. Apple recommends the Crucial brand and I have used that brand before:
    I am not sure I am brave enough to try a different brand can anyone tell me which brands are considered to be the best and is there a website that rates them ??
    P.s.s. I keep my computers for about 3 years (about the same time as the extended warranty I always buy) and then downgrade them to my husband :)
     
  23. Dsync macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #23
    I think you have made a wonderful choice in computers! Sounds like your needs will be well met! As far as the RAM, Crucial is a great brand! I have some of their RAM in my laptop right now and love it! But is far as size, you really do need to get AT LEAST 8GB in there ASAP! If you have the cash, get the 2x4gb for now. It sounds like you may need to upgrade to 16gb later. With your major multi-tasking, your RAM plays the biggest part in the speed of your system, so having the option for 16 later in or in the coming weeks is a great option to have.

    Hope this helps!!!
     

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