Late 2009 iMac w. 12 GB RAM or early 2011 MBP w. 2.0 i7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by samuelf92, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. samuelf92 macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    Hi guys
    I'm fed up with having a laptop. And I want more powerful rendering when I edit video. Therefore I want to swap my MBP with a more powerful iMac for video editing in FCPX.
    So far I've got a lot of rejects, but not from a certain dude. He's got an early 2009 iMac with a 27" screen, 2,66 GHz i5 CPU, ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB GPU, and 12 GB 1067 MHz DDR 3 RAM!
    I've got a i7 2.0 GHz CPU, a Radeon HD 6490M 512 MB GPU and only 4 GB RAM.
    Is it a fair deal? Is his more powerful for video editing, or would it be a downgrade, since I've got a newer CPU than him? (despite the clock speed not being faster)
    Hope you can help me guys.
  2. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    I'd beef up the RAM of the MBP and get an external screen. The 2009 iMac would be step back.
  3. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    I don't think I'd do it. I'd try to sell your laptop and look into getting a refurbished iMac. The latest 27" iMac with a 2.7 i5 is only $1419. I'd spend a little more to upgrade to a much more powerful iMac if I were to make the move. His memory upgrade is only worth $40 at the most, so don't be too impressed with the 12GB. You could easily upgrade your memory to 8GB that might get you along for the time being.
  4. samuelf92 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2012
    I'd still like an iMac, because I don't like the thought of batterypower and so on, but anyway, thanks for the help, I won't swap with him :)
  5. bagelche macrumors 6502


    Nov 2, 2007
    Western Mass.
    I'm not going to stop you from buying an iMac, but I don't understand your thinking here. What is it you don't like about the thought of battery power? Not just handy as a built-in battery backup?

  6. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    If you're going for power, why would you look at an earlier generation of anything? It's pointless. Buy something newer. Look at Apple's refurb section unless you're getting a great deal, because at some point, Apple will drop these as legacy hardware. The 2009s will probably go through Mountain Lion, but no further. They'll cite eol support on the gpu again or something of that sort.

    Yours looks like the lower end of the 2011 15" models. If i'm not mistaken on the model you own, the imac would be a significant step down. You can go to 16GB of ram without spending a lot. It should be under $200. If it's too expensive go to 8 instead. The only gain in power you'd see from the imac is via ram. The most common issues with using a laptop for what you're doing are lack of ram and slow hard drive. One feeds the other. It doesn't have enough ram so it uses swap space, then runs into a slow disk. Upgrade ram. If it's still slow, buy ssd. If you want to buy an imac, look for a refurb on the i7 3.4 model or wait for the newest one.

    A 2009 imac is a completely wasted purchase for what you are doing.

    Last thing, the Mhz war ended long ago. You need to accept that you really don't know anything about computers and get some help when you make your purchase or learn more about them in the way of tracking down bottlenecks and understanding performance. Doing either of those will help prevent you from making the wrong purchases.
  7. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
    Well, that's kind of exactly what he did !
  8. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    Oh I meant he should get more help if he knows someone who is knowledgeable. It's not always the cpu that's holding you back. Rendering in FCPX you'd most likely benefit from cpu gains, but I was thinking from the perspective of what he has now, someone could look at that and figure out where it's choking on performance. His indication is that he's unhappy with performance, but it contains little real detail. Perhaps I made my initial response a little harsh. I've just seen so many computer problems where it's really an issue of configuration more than whether the person owns a capable machine.

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