Need helps to choose a Mac for video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by moreforus, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. moreforus macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    Hello everyone,

    Been reading Macrumors forums since a few months, I enjoyed it:) and decided to register today !

    Up till now, I was satisfied with my "old" macpro. But I need a new computer I will use in a digital video project, typically short HD movies of 15-20 min with effects such as chromakeying. I am planning to use FCP X and Motion 5, perhaps Boinx TV.
    I have a limited budget (2500 $ approximately), I would like advices concerning which would be the perfect mac for these softwares ( I am a complete newbie concerning video software )?
    I was thinking about
    1) macbook pro 17" 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 8GB 750 GB HD
    2) iMac 21" 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 8GB 1TB HD
    3) Mac mini server # 2.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 8GB 750GB HD + 256GB SSD

    Do you think I should get a discrete graphic card ? Will 512 MB of VRAM be sufficient, should I get more VRAM ? Is the HD3000 powerful enough for chroma keying ? Would it help concerning rendering time to have a Promise Pegasus R4 4TB (4x1TB) RAID System ? Or a Matrox MXO2 Mini MAX ?

    What do you think ? I really appreciate your help.

    PS sorry if I did not choose the right forum and for my english :eek:
  2. jedimed macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    My 2 cents

    Based on, you'll want a discrete graphics solution for what you are doing:

    Really, the MBP or the iMac are your best bets.

    I've got a Core i7 2011 iMac, and I love it. It manages what you're taking about with ease. The Pegasus array likely won't make any difference in rendering, based on available benchmarks. It's better to use that money towards a better video solution. An SSD upgrade, while expensive, will also make the machine feel much snappier.

    Hope this helps!
  3. moreforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    MBP or Imac 21" for FCP X & Motion 5

    Thanks a lot Jedimed,

    It helps me clarify the choice :)

    Imac 27" Intel Core i7 3,4 GHz AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1-2 Gb would be ideal, but it just seems too big for my desk.
    Would the Imac 21" Intel Core i7 2,8 GHz and AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 512 Mb GDDR5 be still a good choice ?
    On the other hand, I like the idea of having a MBP with a AMD Radeon HD 6770M 1 Gb GDDR5 for FCP X & Motion 5.

    If I select a laptop, would you recommend 15" or 17" MBP for Motion and FCP X ?

    Anyway, I am planning to visit the Applestore today to see these beasts in real !
  4. The Man macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2004
    A MacBook will get pretty hot and fans will go full blast with rendering FCP X, or not? MacBooks components are stacked so closely together. I know a Mac mini's fans can go full blast and it's pretty loud. I would think an iMac is more quiet? Also iMac has IPS screen.

    But I would wait for redesign of iMac to be launched Feb-March 2012, if you can.
  5. bill001 macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2007
    You want as much power as you can get for video. iMacs and powerbooks are okay for home movies and more casual projects, but if this is a business then you need to invest in the right tools. You will need some form of speedy external drive system. Thunderbolt is nice, USB 3, eSATA. Graphics cards necessarily get used by chroma key filters, I think FCP X built in plugin might benefit from that.

    I assume you have a decent monitor from your old MacPro, so you may want to look at ebay and other companies that sell used macpros to fit within your budget. I'm still using an 8-core 2.8 Ghz machine just fine. FCP X uses all cores and many plugins are slowly gaining real multicore support.

    You'll hit the wall much faster with a finite machine like the iMac than you will with a macpro that has readily upgradeable components. Macbooks should only be used if you have to travel or need that extra portability.

  6. moreforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    The Man, Bill001 Thanks a lot for the input :)

    I am starting a business. So we have a limited budget for now. We plan to make 2-3 short movies per month at the beginning and if it works I will probably upgrade to the Mac Pro. Meanwhile I hope MacPro will be upgraded ! This is why I was looking forward using a MBP instead of iMac during the launch of the business :)

    I found that both MBP and iMac are hot at the Applestore but relatively silent, Apple guy told me that's normal. Concerning the noise, I am already accustomed by the one my MacPro 1.1 is making.

    Concerning the screen of the MBP, is it better anti-glare or not ? Should I go for 1920x1200 or less would be ok ? Which monitor would you recommend (I have a SyncMaster 226 at the moment) ?
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    I would go with an iMac. better cooling and higher clocks than a laptop, and a 2.8 i7 would be comparable in performance to the base Mac Pro anyway.
  8. will waters macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2011
    Great Britain
    Imac or consider waiting until the new mac pro comes out

    Since you are on a budget of $2500, i would consider waiting until the next Mac Pro comes out, as Mac Pro's start at $2500, and i am sure you will be able to get some discount (VAT off or Educational discount or even refurbished if you are starting up) if you cant wait get the iMac, do not even think about the MBP, the Imac will be much better!!

  9. moreforus thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2011
    Will wait till next year

    Thanks all for the comments.

    It really helped me to consider two options at the moment: MacPro and iMac.

    After testing on my coworker's pc premiere element, I understand better that cpu and gpu are important for the video editing, as well as memory and hard drive. I am leaning towards waiting 2-3 months. Meanwhile, I will test and set up some video techniques with my coworker :) and probably have a little more in my budget :D

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