imac for video editting value?

aoaaron

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 4, 2010
450
41
Before I used to think imacs were great value for a screen + perpherals + pc
...

but now i feel its too overpriced. is anyone here in agreement? I was ready to buy an imac this gen but the refresh has left me thinking I might as well buy a gaming rig for photo and video editting.

Firstly to upgrade to an i7 is a huge premumium when we can just grab an AMD ryzen procc. The 2TB fusion drive is an insult and all the upgrading options look like price guaging..
 

BeechFlyer

macrumors regular
Nov 5, 2015
152
73
Cedar Rapids, IA
I agree the 2TB SSD is expensive, but I got it anyway in my new iMac - and boy is that drive fast. I tend to keep my computers for a long time, so in the long run the larger drive will be good value for me.

I went with the i7, too, even though the i5 would make a very nice editing machine. An i5, a 1TB SSD, and some 3rd-party RAM wouldn't be all that expensive - considering the beautiful screen it comes with.
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,830
7,369
I just bought the entry level iMac for $1625. Added in 16GB RAM, ext. 1TB SSD, 4TB RAID for video and photo. Total outlay was about $2100. Runs like a champ. My old MPs use to run that much. The only thing I miss is the ability to do more internal upgrades. But the low end MP was no powerhouse and it did video just fine on a hobbyist level. The low end iMac is the same. i5 is no wimp unless you are talking the most uncompressed 4K video or better.
 

JasonMovieGuy

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
111
11
Chicago, IL
The upgrade to an i7 processor from the top tier 27 iMac is only $200. Considering the power and additional benefits of this compared to the i5, that's a pretty good deal to me.

Yes it's true the SSD upgrades are pricey. I paid the $600 to get the 1TB SSD and was almost tempted to spend $1200 for the 2. But that would've have been too much out of my budget. But I'm glad with my decision. 1TB is still a solid amount of internal storage and it's just a matter of finding the right external drive. I originally wanted a desktop external but many seem bulky or require an outlet. I might just opt for Samsung's small, portable 1TB external SSD. It's about $400 so that's why I'm a bit skeptical. But it's reviews are outstanding. It's either that or a cheap 4TB seagate. I would also love to find out how to use one external drive that can act as both a backup for time machine and storing video files.
 

JasonMovieGuy

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
111
11
Chicago, IL
I just bought the entry level iMac for $1625. Added in 16GB RAM, ext. 1TB SSD, 4TB RAID for video and photo. Total outlay was about $2100. Runs like a champ. My old MPs use to run that much. The only thing I miss is the ability to do more internal upgrades. But the low end MP was no powerhouse and it did video just fine on a hobbyist level. The low end iMac is the same. i5 is no wimp unless you are talking the most uncompressed 4K video or better.
Where did you get your 4TB RAID? And what's the difference between that and a regular external drive?
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
Only a raw true 4k sony shot video wasn't able to be played and scrubbed through comfortably until someone told me a different player. I used it in final cut pro x and it let me scrub without any issues.

this new imac 2017 is a great editing machine. everything i threw at it has been a joy to work with.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,292
4,681
The upgrade to an i7 processor from the top tier 27 iMac is only $200. Considering the power and additional benefits of this compared to the i5, that's a pretty good deal to me.

Yes it's true the SSD upgrades are pricey. I paid the $600 to get the 1TB SSD and was almost tempted to spend $1200 for the 2. But that would've have been too much out of my budget. But I'm glad with my decision. 1TB is still a solid amount of internal storage and it's just a matter of finding the right external drive. I originally wanted a desktop external but many seem bulky or require an outlet. I might just opt for Samsung's small, portable 1TB external SSD. It's about $400 so that's why I'm a bit skeptical. But it's reviews are outstanding. It's either that or a cheap 4TB seagate. I would also love to find out how to use one external drive that can act as both a backup for time machine and storing video files.
What the reviews don’t tell you is that there is no TRIM on Macs with external USB drives.

So as the Samsung T3 (and probably T5 which is not out yet) fills up, speeds can slow dramatically.
 

JasonMovieGuy

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
111
11
Chicago, IL
What the reviews don’t tell you is that there is no TRIM on Macs with external USB drives.

So as the Samsung T3 (and probably T5 which is not out yet) fills up, speeds can slow dramatically.
What do you mean by no TRIM?

Would you recommend I just go with a regular external hard drive (like the Seagate 4TB?). Or maybe a RAID, which I'm still not sure the difference is between that and a normal External? I still don't know all the terminology lol. What is the difference?
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,292
4,681
What do you mean by no TRIM?

Would you recommend I just go with a regular external hard drive (like the Seagate 4TB?). Or maybe a RAID, which I'm still not sure the difference is between that and a normal External? I still don't know all the terminology lol. What is the difference?
TRIM is one feature keeping your internal SSD in your Mac running fast. This feature is not available on external USB drives on Macs, but is unnecessary for platter drives. It's only a requirement for SSDs.

I believe it is supported for some external Thunderbolt drives, but I am not sure of the specifics, since I've never had a Thunderbolt machine until last month.

It's up to you to decide if an external platter drive will serve your needs.
 

JasonMovieGuy

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
111
11
Chicago, IL
TRIM is one feature keeping your internal SSD in your Mac running fast. This feature is not available on external USB drives on Macs, but is unnecessary for platter drives. It's only a requirement for SSDs.

I believe it is supported for some external Thunderbolt drives, but I am not sure of the specifics, since I've never had a Thunderbolt machine until last month.

It's up to you to decide if an external platter drive will serve your needs.
Im not sure if it will or not. I would like 4- 5TB on an external drive for video files. There's a Seagate that goes for only $120. I would also like to be able to use part of the drive for Time Machine, but not sure how to split the drive to do that. I think there's a process where you can convert it that way, just not sure how to do it.
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
I just bought the Crucial MX300 - Interne SSD - 525 GB for 150 euro in the Netherlands here. I am adding it on a usb-c port, with adapter cable (10gbit) to sata3 (6gbit), so I can use it together with another one as 1 bigger drive and stick it to the back of my iMac again. I've reviewed a lot of 4tb drives, and unless you pay almost double the money, you don't get a reliable disk, all the reviews were so negative.. I just couldn't make a pick. At least this is quiet, compact, much better read/write speeds than traditional HDD drives, and dont' reuqire an extra power adapter. I think i might save up some money for some WD red pro 8tb drives for next year. and put them in a usb-c enclosure on raid5 or something. But that's next years problem. For me personally, for video editing, etc, i have enough space now. And enough older 1tb/2tb drives on usb3 that I can mount for storing my archive and back ups.
[doublepost=1499953688][/doublepost]
Jason - don't confuse archival storage drives with drives for video editing. Video editing drives are usually RAID arrays or SSD's. Take a look at the interfaces and speeds at G-Tech and LaCie to get an idea of the differences.

http://www.g-technology.com/products

http://www.lacie.com/professional/
Lacie shows usb-c rugged ssd drives, .. reporting at 140mbyte/sec read/write.. what the heck/ am i seeing this right?
[doublepost=1499953739][/doublepost]
TRIM is one feature keeping your internal SSD in your Mac running fast. This feature is not available on external USB drives on Macs, but is unnecessary for platter drives. It's only a requirement for SSDs.

I believe it is supported for some external Thunderbolt drives, but I am not sure of the specifics, since I've never had a Thunderbolt machine until last month.

It's up to you to decide if an external platter drive will serve your needs.
Going through system profile on the i7 27" 5k 2017 iMac, I don't see trim being mentioned anywhere at all anymore. Other systems this was trim: .. listing, but i checked sata/nvme/pcie/ etc.. and i dont see it listed on the interface gateways
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,292
4,681
Going through system profile on the i7 27" 5k 2017 iMac, I don't see trim being mentioned anywhere at all anymore. Other systems this was trim: .. listing, but i checked sata/nvme/pcie/ etc.. and i dont see it listed on the interface gateways
I noticed that too. But regardless, TRIM is not supported on Macs over USB.
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
Yeah, that is slow. I have the 1 TB version of this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1294391-REG/lacie_stff2000400_2tb_bolt_3_thunderbolt.html

I have this portable SSD http://www.lacie.com/personal/porsche-design/porsche-design-slim-drive/ in 250 GB and it is faster than Rugged Design.
is that a 2.5 " porsche, and if so, how's the noise? i had ppl mention they felt it was more noisy than other external drives they have.

There's no 1 TB version of that super fast write/read thunderbolt3 special, only a 2tb, for 2200$
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
It is a SSD.
There's a HUGE HUGE HUGE difference between ANY ssd product lacie sells and their t3 2tb one .. write/read speeds are tenfold at least, and so is their price, you can't just say "i got THIS ONE, but in a different size", there's not a different size of it, there's just that one.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2009
1,775
686
TRIM is one feature keeping your internal SSD in your Mac running fast. This feature is not available on external USB drives on Macs, but is unnecessary for platter drives. It's only a requirement for SSDs.

I believe it is supported for some external Thunderbolt drives, but I am not sure of the specifics, since I've never had a Thunderbolt machine until last month.

It's up to you to decide if an external platter drive will serve your needs.
It is not really a requirement. TRIM doesn't really matter on external drives, even on internal drives. It might slow down some, but it is still much much faster than a spinning drive. I have had an SSD in my 2010 Mac Pro for about 5 years with no TRIM and I do not notice any major slowdowns (note major. Some slowdowns yes, major no). I hate the fact that people treat no TRIM as if it will become slower than a 5400 RPM spinning hard drive at SATA 1 speeds (not you, just over the years of discussions on this site people have said running without TRIM would cause it to be TOO SLOW).

Just the fact that the SSD is external means it will be slow. I have not been able to find any decent M.2 external enclosures. So we are mostly dealing with external SATA drives which will operate at SATA 3 speeds. On top of that, the fact that it is external makes it a little bit slower too.

For example, I have an external Samsung 850 Pro 1TB. It bounces between 150 MB/s and 350 MB/s write and around 400 MB/s read constantly. Putting the same drive internally reaches high 400s and low 500s write. I have tried many external enclosures, but the speeds are never 100% as if it was internal.

SSDs shine most when random access is needed. There is no spinning or RPM to deal with, so the data is accessed nearly instantly. TRIM does not affect this, just when writing data.

Now if you DO care about constant high data transfers, even if it is a little slow, the Western Digital Black 5TB and 6TB drives are incredibly fast! I am constantly getting around 200MB/s write and read from those drives.

I do find editing in FCPX off an external SSD to be a bit sluggish compared to performing the edits on an internal drive. This is why I will be getting the 2TB internal SSD on my iMac.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Fishrrman

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,292
4,681
It is not really a requirement. TRIM doesn't really matter on external drives, even on internal drives. It might slow down some, but it is still much much faster than a spinning drive. I have had an SSD in my 2010 Mac Pro for about 5 years with no TRIM and I do not notice any major slowdowns (note major. Some slowdowns yes, major no). I hate the fact that people treat no TRIM as if it will become slower than a 5400 RPM spinning hard drive at SATA 1 speeds.
My external Samsung 850 EVO can slow down to become slower than a 5400 rpm spinning hard drive at SATA1 speeds.

Why? Because it's almost full. The drive is 512 GB, and when I put 480 GB worth of stuff on it, and then try to use it, with repeated writes it becomes unbearably slow. The behaviour was the same whether I used FireWire 800 or USB 3 on the same enclosure, or if I used USB 3 on a different SATA dock. Tried on multiple machines too. Same behaviour. Heat is never an issue. Through all this usage the drive is cool.

This is undoubted related to the lack of TRIM. The solution would be to buy a bigger SSD, but what that means you're spending a lot more than you might normally think you need to get a certain level of expected performance on a TRIM-less drive. In other words, if you think you need 512 GB for an external TRIM-less SSD, you'll probably want to buy 1 TB to get the speeds you expect.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2009
1,775
686
My external Samsung 850 EVO can slow down to become slower than a 5400 rpm spinning hard drive at SATA1 speeds.

Why? Because it's almost full. The drive is 512 GB, and when I put 480 GB worth of stuff on it, and then try to use it, with repeated writes it becomes unbearably slow. The behaviour was the same whether I used FireWire 800 or USB 3 on the same enclosure, or if I used USB 3 on a different SATA dock. Tried on multiple machines too. Same behaviour. Heat is never an issue. Through all this usage the drive is cool.

This is undoubted related to the lack of TRIM. The solution would be to buy a bigger SSD, but what that means you're spending a lot more than you might normally think you need to get a certain level of expected performance on a TRIM-less drive. In other words, if you think you need 512 GB for an external TRIM-less SSD, you'll probably want to buy 1 TB to get the speeds you expect.
It physically can't become slower than a spinning drive. Having no TRIM does not magically turn it from flash storage to a spinning drive. There is still no RPMs to deal with. It can still be fast to read data from that SSD. Like I said, writes might become slower.

And my brand new 850 Pro 1TB with only 100GB on it sometimes dips down to 136 MB/s write - within the SATA 1 limits. Not due to lack of TRIM, but because it is an external. Putting that same drive in my Mac, still without TRIM, makes it 400 MB/s or higher.

Even TRIM enabler benchmarks show there really isn't that much difference in TRIM vs no TRIM (looking at around 50 MB/s loss): https://cindori.org/trimenabler/

I have constantly filled up my internal SSD on my 2010 Mac Pro to even 1% full. It did not slow it down. Granted that drive is in the SATA 2 interface and not using PCIe, but it did not slow down to SATA 1 speeds.

Like I said, the fact that an SSD is external means it is already slow. I have tried so many SSD enclosures but my brand new SSD will still dip to ~130 MB/s even if it is only 10% full.
 

EugW

macrumors 604
Jun 18, 2017
7,292
4,681
It physically can't become slower than a spinning drive. Having no TRIM does not magically turn it from flash storage to a spinning drive. There is still no RPMs to deal with. It can still be fast to read data from that SSD. Like I said, writes might become slower.

And my brand new 850 Pro 1TB with only 100GB on it sometimes dips down to 136 MB/s write - within the SATA 1 limits. Not due to lack of TRIM, but because it is an external. Putting that same drive in my Mac, still without TRIM, makes it 400 MB/s or higher.

Even TRIM enabler benchmarks show there really isn't that much difference in TRIM vs no TRIM (looking at around 50 MB/s loss): https://cindori.org/trimenabler/

I have constantly filled up my internal SSD on my 2010 Mac Pro to even 1% full. It did not slow it down. Granted that drive is in the SATA 2 interface and not using PCIe, but it did not slow down to SATA 1 speeds.

Like I said, the fact that an SSD is external means it is already slow. I have tried so many SSD enclosures but my brand new SSD will still dip to ~130 MB/s even if it is only 10% full.
Reads are still fine yes, but writes can drop to below 1 MB/s when a drive is that full with no TRIM support.

I've experienced this myself.

Depends on the drive though. It should also be noted that apparently the 850 Pro may be less susceptible to this, but I haven't tested the 850 Pro.
 

xWhiplash

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2009
1,775
686
Reads are still fine yes, but writes can drop to below 1 MB/s when a drive is that full with no TRIM support.

I've experienced this myself.

Depends on the drive though. It should also be noted that apparently the 850 Pro may be less susceptible to this, but I haven't tested it.
Even a nearly full SSD with TRIM gets a little slower. That is crazy. I have never seen reports or experienced 1MB/s or lower myself due to lack of TRIM. And I have CONSTANTLY filled up my 2010 Mac Pro internal SSD without TRIM to where it only had a few MBs of free space.

I am not sure what the issue is. It might be an issue with the USB interface and the fact that it is an external drive. It sucks my SSD gets on average 230MB/s write when it is an external but 480+ MB/s write when I make it an internal drive :(
 
Last edited: