iMac powerful enough to finish a feature film?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by luzzerylavender, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. luzzerylavender macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009

    I am currently animating a feature length cartoon (up to 75 minutes) using Adobe Flash cs3 and editing with iMovie, keeping things simple... all on my mac mini o_0

    Question, I am leaning more towards mac pro to finish the film, but doya think an iMac could just as well get the job done with little problem or lagging etc etc?

    any help would be great, thanks
  2. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    If all you can afford is the iMac, I think it would do the job. However, I think the Mac Pro would scream through the work while the iMac may spend some time stuttering or "thinking" while doing intensive tasks. But truthfully, my experience has been consulting and talking with the end users of the Mac Pros, who all seem to be insistent that they MUST work on the Mac Pro to be efficient at what they do... the same people that MUST have a 30" ACD to be effective - the people that work on Mac Pros, generally never "downgrade" after extensive use. And of all the ones I have ever spoken with about it, they all have Mac Pros with 30" ACDs at home. Apple is really doing something right in this high-end market.

    The two are really different systems. You must remember the iMac is running high-end mobile components, while the Mac Pro is running high-end SERVER components.

    I think the Mac Pro would be a great long-term asset if you plan to make a living doing this kind of work...

    Best wishes with your decision.
  3. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    True. The iMac is very capable (though I suggest waiting for the next update, quad-core is highly likely), especially with 4GB of RAM. New revisions will probably go to 8GB. I would recommend an iMac. You might spend half the $ on an iMac than you do on a Mac Pro. Sure, it might be a bit slower, but you can afford to upgrade much faster.

    Especially if you're not sure whether this is a one-off or a long-term investment, I would recommend the iMac as a starting point. If you're definitely going to be doing this sort of thing a lot more, as a full-time sort of job, Mac Pro is better.

    If you're happy with the Mac Mini's performance, an iMac will suffice easily :p
  4. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The iMac will do everything you want it to and more. We produce a weekly half-hour television show using an iMac, and it chugs along with no problems. The Mac Pro might be faster if you have lots of 3D effects to render, but otherwise the iMac is plenty quick. :)
  5. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    I concur....

    Despite owning a Mac Pro myself, I've also owned one of the aluminum iMacs before - and current iMac models are capable enough to get the job done effectively. (As already mentioned though, max. out the RAM in one. It's not expensive at all to do, and will make a difference in performance.)

    The performance difference between the iMac and Mac Pro line has been a gap that's narrowing in a "real world, typical usage scenario" sense, if not in a purely technical one.

    That's because despite having 8 processor cores, most applications either don't utilize them very efficiently, or at all, right now. Snow Leopard is probably the "missing ingredient" that will eventually help the Mac Pro regain lost ground .... but here and now? A higher-end model of iMac will do you just fine for most things.

  6. EB66 macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    iMacs are very capable machines, Mac Pros i believe are overpriced because the equipment they use in them does not really get utilized to its full potential because of sofware and ram bottlenecks
  7. thunderclap macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2003
    Downgrade to iMac?

    I currently own a Mac Pro with 4GB RAM and a nVidia 8800GT card. Along with it I have a 24" Cinema Display.

    Lately I've been thinking of selling it and "downgrading" to an iMac. When I originally bought the Mac Pro I thought I'd be doing a lot more with video editing then I'm currently doing. While I do some editing and some After Effects it's only once every couple of months, so the Mac Pro feels like overkill. Everything takes up so much room and with an iMac I'd be getting rid of a lot of excess cables.

    Am I completely crazy wanting to move from a Mac Pro to an iMac? I know for the limited FCPS2 editing and After Effects CS3 work I do that the iMac would be fine if maxed out with 4GB RAM. (And the occasional PC game through Boot Camp.)

    So what does everyone think?

    EDIT: This was suppose to be its own thread. Sorry for the hijack.
  8. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Again, the iMac will more than suffice. Especially if you wait for the next revision, which should offer better graphics and address more RAM. But it sounds as though you're not using your Pro at anywhere near its limits, so the iMac would easily handle your needs.

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