Is Imac better than mac pro for FCPX?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Agnoslibertine, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. Agnoslibertine macrumors member

    Agnoslibertine

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Before I ask, I HAVE looked for this information, and since I have not been able to find my answers, I ask for your wisdom here.

    I am into movie making, usually use Powerdirector on the PC, and it sucks donkey di*k. And I edit full HD clips, for longer movie projects, yes, scenes etc. And I want to be able to make good use of color grading and other advanced video editing options on final cut pro.

    But from my experience video editing is demanding a lot from ones computer. So I just want to make sure I will get a good machine, and no I don't have any possibilities to test final cut myself, except a demo on my gf's macbook air.

    I think I need the Imac, but I wonder if I should get one with a SSD or with more ram. One thing to make clear, I don't care about exporting times, I just want a stable working platform, while I edit the clips, I want fluidity while I edit my scenes. And I have trouble finding information how Final Cut pro works.

    Do I need to focus on the ram, SSD or graphic card when I purchase a Imac?
    Or, whats the deal with the Mac pro? Is it better or worse than Imac when it comes to final cut pro editing.

    I would be so grateful for any advice.. I really hope to get good answers.
     
  2. Santabean2000, Jun 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012

    Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #2
    The Mac Pro will deliver the smoothest editing experience. But the iMac is quite capable also and is significantly cheaper (until you get into Thunderbolt storage options). There is also a rumored iMac refresh coming in a matter of weeks (around the release of Mountain Lion).

    It sounds like you're after a more professional setup which would, in my mind, suggest you get a Mac Pro. The base config + 3rd party RAM and extra HDDs.

    Depending on your budget an SSD or OWC Excelsior would be a nice addition. A 3rd party hardware RAID card would be handy too. And the BTO upgrade to 6core is pretty sweet if you can stretch it.
     
  3. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #3
    Personally I bought an iMac rather than a Mac Pro for Several reasons:

    1) Cheaper
    2) Newer Parts
    3) Amazing Monitor (that you’d pay apple premium for otherwise)

    However both are viable options. With the Mac Pro you get an older machine (the hardware is about 2.5 years old at the moment) but you can upgrade the vast majority of it’s components yourself with minimal effort. This means longer life of the computer BUT it also means additional charges on top of the price for a mac pro which is already pretty steep.

    As far as what’s important. CPU, RAM and GPU all play a pretty big role but mostly they center around the rendering times. If you don’t care about that (as you claim although try and render out a full length film, 1080p and you might think otherwise) than any of them will really work. The Mac Pro does use desktop GPU’s which are more powerful and it uses better CPU's but they are rather old compared to the iMac ones. As far as RAM goes, both can take the same amount (always buy third party and install yourself) so that’s not a deciding factor. SSD is an option in both but will really just make for faster load times, won’t change much for your editing.

    Personally, I would say it depends on your budget. If you have the coin for a Mac Pro and the patience to upgrade parts it will last you longer and be more powerful. However it costs more up front and you will have to pay a hefty price for a monitor as nice as the iMac has. As I said, personally I couldn’t do this so I went with the iMac.

    To sum it up: Both will work perfectly well. iMac is newer but Mac Pro can be upgraded more. Depends on your budget.
     
  4. mcpix macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    #4
    Unless money is really no object, it's hard not to see the iMac as a way better value for a FCP X user. I bought my 27" on the refurb store for $1419. If you buy a Mac Pro and a 27" monitor you'll easily spend twice that. Plus as was mentioned, the 27" is a great size for video work.

    I don't have an SSD so I can't comment on the benefits, but I do think you'll want to upgrade the memory. For about $50 you can easily add another 8 GB of ram and you should be good to go.

    I do mainly SD Video, but I've also done quite a bit of HD work and the iMac handles it perfectly. I've even used compressor to burn some Blu rays (with an external Blu ray drive).
     
  5. harcosparky macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #5
    iMac ..... focus on the RAM and maybe HDD storage.

    IMHO - SSD technology isn't mature enough yet for a working professional to be depending on one especially for an activity such as video editing.

    I am hoping that in the next one or two generations the SSD will prove to be a more viable option for those who use their computers to generate income.
     
  6. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #6
    Both the iMac and MacPro can crunch the work, but problems start to occur for the iMac if you have a lot of footage to work with.

    The (easily) expandable storage options in the MP win out. Esp too if one dies; getting into an iMac is a mish.

    The 'all-in-one' is not good for productivity if the whole machine needs to go in for a service when just one part of the computer needs attention.
     
  7. Agnoslibertine thread starter macrumors member

    Agnoslibertine

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Location:
    Sweden
    #7
    Well I figure I can just get a fast storage drive....

    but my main concern is if the Imac is processor wise enough to HD files... ehm. let me make a example. Say I have a scene 15 seconds longs, full HD. and it is made from a couple of clips (different angles etc.). Then I add sound effects, foot steps and such. I add background music. And of course I colorgrade the scene. I enhance the sound of the dialog. All these typical movie making parts of editing.

    Basically I am just worried, if the Imac is enough to handle this without a hitch.
    if it helps, which upgrade is most important to take care of. Should I get the faster Imac with I7.

    Of course budget is a issue. If it wasn't, I would just buy the most expensive Imac and the most expensive Mac pro. :)

    ----------

    by the way, is it a big difference on the Imac i5 vs. i7, now I am just talking about the editing process. Adding effects, sound effects, colorgrading. Does the processor make much difference there?


    You can tell that this is a important thing for me, but trust me, I am so sick and tired of PowerDirector (Cyberlink).
     
  8. MasterMacBook, Jul 1, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2012

    MasterMacBook macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2008
    Location:
    Austarlia, W.A
    #8
    Having an SSD to store current work / project on will speed things up immenseley as you said, thus having an effect on the editing process. Quicker to complete work etc etc more work in lesser time etc more money.

    Also an iMac and a Mac Pro cannot take the same amount of RAM. iMac is 32Gb max, Mac Pro is 128Gb max.
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/apple/memory/

    Other than that your post is correct.

    Make a list of what you need it for. Set a max price for a "complete setup" ie computer, monitor, peripherals etc and stick to it.

    Go on the apple store, BTO iMac and Mac Pro builds to your set price and compare between the two. Maybe go on geekbench and compare the results for at least the models you are comparing.
    http://browser.primatelabs.com/mac-benchmarks

    Mac Pro is always going to be better, if you can afford it.
     
  9. nagareru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    #9
    I agree with the mp if you can afford it. But i think the imac will suffice you enough. I use 12 Core mps at work. that plus the raid is a dream it works 24.7 capturing dvcpro footage rendering full hd tv programs as well as other stuff. In other words we squeeze all the power out of cores ram and gpu. An imac will probably just crash or melt under that work load.

    However if you arent capturing via sdi uncompressed 422 footage editing rendering nonstop using animation codec or stuff like that the imac will be more than enough. Thats why im looking for one too, i dont do that kind of work at home( i dont think any1 does) mps are for heavy duty work. You can do the same work on an imac but at smaller scale.
     
  10. Hillskill macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #10
    An iMac will be fine if you get decent external storage and a Cache/render drive. I run a Core2Duo 24" iMac that edits HD video 7 days a week for my business. Its never missed a beat when working in Pro Res. If your workflow plays to the strengths of your hardware then you will be fine with an iMac. The only advantage of buying a Mac Pro would be the ability to upgrade the hardware and add PCIe cards for mass storage etc. If your a one man operation then an iMac is ideal.
     
  11. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a

    AcesHigh87

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2009
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    #11
    I suppose I didn't consider that but I know, personally, I never edit off of my internal drive because it just takes too much space. That's probably why I said an SSD is not worth it.

    No excuse for the RAM, stupid mistake on my part haha.

    What I am considering though. If he wants the mac for FCPX (although personally I prefer the old one) can the MP CPU even make full use of the things built into FCPX because of its older parts? I don't know everything about the Xeons so yeah. I still say MP if the budget is there but still.
     
  12. nagareru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    #12
    I am with you on this one, FCPX is not good. Though fcp7 is 32 bit and fcpx 64, though this only matters when rendering.

    I would be getting an imac and a thunderbolt raid drive, that way speed/storage wont be a problem.
     

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