iMac vs. Mac Pro for Video and Motion Graphics

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jeffreyahaines, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. jeffreyahaines macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    I currently use an ancient PowerBook G4 from summer '04 and am in desperate need of an upgrade!

    Professionally, I shoot and edit video and create motion graphics. At work I have a stock Mac Pro from January '09 (not sure on exact specs, but I think it is a fairly fast setup) which has been able to handle everything I've thrown at it.

    I'd like to be able to produce the same kind of video and motion graphics that I do at work at home, and am looking for a new primary system. Because software runs at such a high price, i'm looking to save anything I can on the hardware setup.

    For this new system, I'm planning on editing short form 1080p video and motion graphics. I understand that the iMac does not have an interface for data transfer, aside from the ethernet jack, that could handle an external source of high def video. Since I will mostly be editing short form video, I expect that the hard drive space will be sufficient for current-project storage.

    I don't really think I have the money to spend on a Mac Pro, and i'm desperately in need of a new system. I'm fine with not having the fastest system, since this is for personal use, but I'd like to be able to handle HD video without too much lag. Will the iMac's graphics card and processing power be sufficient for my needs? I'm also open to looking at the MBPs, but since I'm not looking for a portable solution, and the iMac has the gorgeous built in monitor, I'm thinking that with a MBP (even with the looming upgrade) I'm going to be paying for portability that I won't need.

    I'm seriously considering the iMac 27" i7 with a standard configuration, and then upgrading with 3rd party RAM. Can anyone explain why I should or should not make the purchase? Can I provide any other information?

  2. auero macrumors 65816

    Sep 15, 2006
    I'd go for the iMac i7. You'll save some cash because you won't need a screen and the speeds of the i7 are amazing. The Mac pro is becoming outdated and needs a refresh.
  3. cosmos macrumors regular


    Dec 17, 2003
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    External Storage Too

    Assume you go the iMac route, you should also invest in an external Firewire 800 enclosure with enough storage and speed to suit your needs.

    I would recommend storing full backups either offsite or in a quality fire rated safe if stored onsite. I run my business on a 2008 Mac Pro with enough RAM and regular bit image backups of the boot drive as well as the data off my internal RAID as well.

    I sleep well knowing they are in a quality fire rated gun safe onsite. If you are happy with the video card and performance, there is nothing wrong in choosing an iMac if you take backup precautions.

    Remember how much you could lose with the loss of a drive(s), theft, disaster or fire.
  4. jeffreyahaines thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 11, 2010
    Thanks for the advice!

    As long as the i7 iMac has the power to run 1080p video through FCP, Motion, et cetera, it looks like it will be my choice.
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009

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