iMacs good for Video Editing ??????

Jay9495

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jul 11, 2011
125
0
Melbourne Australia
Just wondering if they're good for video editing, planning on getting the highest end 27" iMac, I'm waiting for the 2012 iMac but just wondering if the highest end 2011 27" iMac with 8gb ram, and i7 3.4ghz would be a good video editor, just so I get an idea.
Thanks
 

Zeov

macrumors 6502a
Apr 1, 2011
634
113
Odense
i got the 27" base model (or the cheapest version W/E you wanna call it)

I have now stored like 100GB of videos on it, and it's lagging like freaking hell in iMovie, it's nowhere near smooth or anything, i'm not sure if its a RAM problem or what?

if anyone knows please tell.
 

azRieLThaNe

macrumors newbie
Feb 8, 2012
20
0
i got the 27" base model (or the cheapest version W/E you wanna call it)

I have now stored like 100GB of videos on it, and it's lagging like freaking hell in iMovie, it's nowhere near smooth or anything, i'm not sure if its a RAM problem or what?

if anyone knows please tell.
how much RAM you got now?
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,277
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Well RAM helps but its not where the bottle-neck starts, its where you store your media files.
even though the latest iMac can handle HD its best to use an external FW800 or better which is Thunderbolt.
Now of course if your using iMovie, Im not sure (no experience) if you can work off the external, Im hoping you can.
Pro apps such as FCPX (yes Pro!), Adobe PremierePro and Avid MediaComposer relies heavily on external hard-drives.
 
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AcesHigh87

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Jan 11, 2009
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I have the high end 21.5" model with the i7 upgrade and 8GB of RAM. It runs FCP 7, FCP X, Premiere Pro, After Effects, whatever I ask of it really. More RAM would help so I would suggest third party RAM up to 12 or 16GB. That model iMac will certainly run stuff though.

I do suggest at least a firewire 800 drive to store your files on as it makes an amazing difference in your editing.
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,277
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If you have the 2011 then shoot for the stars and get a Thunderbolt drive.
Most try to pass by with USB or FW, but your doing that model no justice by not taking advantage of its coolest tech :)

P.s. dont bother using USB unless your editing only in iMovie with SD media which is NTSC 720x480
 
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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located
i got the 27" base model (or the cheapest version W/E you wanna call it)

I have now stored like 100GB of videos on it, and it's lagging like freaking hell in iMovie, it's nowhere near smooth or anything, i'm not sure if its a RAM problem or what?

if anyone knows please tell.
Probably because your footage is on the same internal HDD as Mac OS X, which is not recommended, especially with bigger projects, as the OS has to fight for HDD access with the footage.
It is better to use an external FW800 HDD for storing video footage.

To the OP:
Maybe define, what you want to edit?
 

SandboxGeneral

Moderator emeritus
Sep 8, 2010
25,545
8,394
Detroit
Just wondering if they're good for video editing, planning on getting the highest end 27" iMac, I'm waiting for the 2012 iMac but just wondering if the highest end 2011 27" iMac with 8gb ram, and i7 3.4ghz would be a good video editor, just so I get an idea.
Thanks
I have a 2010 27" i7 2.93GHz with 16GB of RAM and it's great for video editing which I do frequently. It really screams when I use Handbrake, all 8 cores go full tilt and rip hours of video in minutes.

It's an awesome computer.

CPU Usage during Handbrake ripping.

 
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Nov 28, 2010
22,684
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located
Just home movies and on screen recorded stuff no heavy special effects :)
Then every current iMac will be able to do that, hell, I can do that with a 2007 iMac and am currently using it to create a video tutorial recorded in ScreenFlow and mastered in After Effects.
A 2011 or 2012 iMac will be faster transcoding all the files though, but you don't need a high end iMac for your purposes.
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,277
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But offloading your media to an external is still best.
The screen res on the desktop captures are way over HD2 right?
 

jsf721

macrumors 6502
Dec 27, 2011
399
4
Li, NY
I use my 21.1" iMac to edit home movies and it has the worse power to do what I need in iMovie. I would however love a bigger screen. Perhaps when the refresh the 27"iMac.

Other than the size of the screen the computer is great for editing. I just picked up final cut express (new - old stock) and I am looking forward to learning that.
 

Johnnygage

macrumors newbie
Jan 30, 2012
3
0
IIRC, there was a special behind the scenes show on Comedy Central about South Park. All the animation and editing was done on 27" iMac's, you should be good.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,736
985
Just home movies and on screen recorded stuff no heavy special effects :)
Top end iMac will perform really smooth for these tasks, you will be very happy with it. I'd get 8GB RAM and an SSD if possible. SSD is not required but will speed up data access a lot.
 
Nov 28, 2010
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So you guys think editing off a FW800 external is better than off your internal HDD? This is a serious question.
An internal HDD is faster, but if that is the same HDD, that houses the OS, then an external Firewire HDD is better.
When one uses the exact same HDD for he OS one runs and for the video footage one edits, then the OS has to fight for access time, as playing back video will access the video too.
If one edits a small movie and does not have lots of footage and can live with the extra slow down, then one can store video one edits on the same HDD of course, but if you are a bit more serious about this, an extra HDD (internal or external) is much better.
 

harcosparky

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,055
0
Just wondering if they're good for video editing, planning on getting the highest end 27" iMac, I'm waiting for the 2012 iMac but just wondering if the highest end 2011 27" iMac with 8gb ram, and i7 3.4ghz would be a good video editor, just so I get an idea.
Thanks
If it comes with 8GB it will most likely have 2 x 2GB RAM Modules, I would recommend you ad 2 X 4 GB giving you a total of 12 GB.

This way if you find that 12 GB *might* not be enough, adding two 4 GB modules to replace the original will get you to 16 GB.

Honestly though, after doing a lot of testing I found 16GB to be a sweet number.
 

alksion

macrumors 68000
Sep 10, 2010
1,703
102
Orange County CA
An internal HDD is faster, but if that is the same HDD, that houses the OS, then an external Firewire HDD is better.
When one uses the exact same HDD for he OS one runs and for the video footage one edits, then the OS has to fight for access time, as playing back video will access the video too.
If one edits a small movie and does not have lots of footage and can live with the extra slow down, then one can store video one edits on the same HDD of course, but if you are a bit more serious about this, an extra HDD (internal or external) is much better.
My projects vary from large to small. I know about using externals, but I thought you must at least use a RAID array to see speed increases with FW800 or internal.

Thanks for the input though!
 

mBox

macrumors 68020
Jun 26, 2002
2,277
41
Download BlackMagicDesigns Disk Speed Tester from App store.
Click on the gear button to select your internal drive.
Itll tell you how good your set-up is using real world file formats.