Minimum specs for video editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bilekbp, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. bilekbp macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008

    I have a confession to make - my girlfriend and I have been PC users since childhood, and are completely new to the Macintosh (she did use one for a time when she was a kid, but has forgotten how). She has a love for video editing and has done so on the PC for quite a while. However, after much frustration in trying to get her PC to edit the Quicktime format (She even has Adobe Premier Pro 1.5, and just can't get things to work right/easily) I am trying to help her by picking up an inexpensive (hopefully) Mac. My goal is to ease her problems and to make her life easier.

    What she is trying to do - take video capture from a Kodak Easyshare camera (stored in either 720p HD or 640x480 Quicktime MPEG-4 format), edit it, add effects, possibly record sound separately and dub it in. The clips are up to about 5 minutes long, she won't be creating full-length motion pictures or anything.

    What should the minimum specifications be for this? She'll be creating at least one video per week, though not a full-time job for her. I would like to find a used Mac in working condition at a low cost, since we don't really have a ton of money to spend - is it possible to do this for under $100? What are the minimum specifications for such work on a Mac? Will iMovie do the job, or do we need another software package, and what will its cost be?

    I see an "iMac SNOW" going for $50 on eBay - will this, or something like it, do the trick?

    If she likes it enough and it will be used heavily, we can upgrade to a nice, shiny new MacBook in the future, but for now I would like to try and do this as inexpensively as possible.

    Thank you very much in advance for all your assistance!

  2. jakealdred macrumors member


    Feb 24, 2008
    Manchester england
    haha for editing videos in hd u need a MBP not a imac snow
    i meen come on even if its light editing you need a macbook
  3. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I switched from a PC with Adobe software (which I couldn't get working either) to a Mini 1.66 Core Duo with 512 Megs of RAM and that works fine for "light" video editing, as it's also the OS X and iLife software that's tightly integrated.

    An Intel Core Duo Mac I think would be your minimum...
  4. remmy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    iMovie is very basic but will do the job ok. Just remember to back up footage before editing.

    A macbook is ideal now, although a G4 with a 1ghz processor or better will do.

    I still use my iBook g4 1.2ghz with 756RAM which manages okay. Don't think you'll find it for under $100 though.
  5. bilekbp thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2008
    Thank you - I had no idea what is necessary, which is why I asked. I don't know what "light" or "heavy" editing needs, or what type of Mac can handle that. If it were a PC I would have some minor clue, but not a Mac...

    I'll look around and see what may be available with these specifications.

  6. Globetrotter macrumors regular


    Nov 5, 2007
    I think the best option would be to buy a refurbished Macbook from Apple, and try it out. If it doesn't work out for you then you should be able to sell it on ebay for only a little less than you paid (providing you do so within a few months).

    Any older mac will really stutter with 720 HD, although if you wanted something that was really just 'useable', then an older Mac mini would probably be ok, but still set you back 3-500 dollars.

    Peace and God Bless!
  7. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    I had an iBook G4 1.0 GHz with 756 Megs RAM and video editing on it was sort of rough..

    I'd go with an Intel Mac over that - earlier Intel Minis can be had pretty cheap...
  8. remmy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 1, 2007
    I do agree. The G4 is the bare minimum possible. A refurbished macbook or mini would be most suited.
  9. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Really any of the current Macs would fit your need. iMac. Mac Mini. It doesn't matter.

    If you are looking used, I would get a Core Duo Intel Mac or newer. You'll be good from there.
  10. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6

    A dual PowerPC G4 system would certainly fare much better. :)
  11. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    This statement shows that you know exactly nothing about video editing. :rolleyes:

    For this simple work a G4 that is 1GHz+ with 512MB RAM will do. You will not get blazing speeds, but you are looking for the cheapest solution possible.

    I do agree with others however, get a Core Duo (1.66 GHz) Mac mini.
  12. BlakTornado Guest


    Apr 24, 2007
    Washington, OH
    I've seen fairly old Mac Minis with 512MB RAM that can run Leopard and Final Cut Express perfectly.

Share This Page