Need to upgrade for light-moderate video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by noahmoskin, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. noahmoskin macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    I need a new computer. I'm currently running a 15" PowerBook G4. FCP handles DV reasonably well on here but now that I'm shooting full-HD it simply can't keep up. I'm planning on upgrading to a system that can handle both FCP and Avid Media Composer. I've looked at everything from top of the line iMac to a MacBook Pro (probably 15" but open to 17") to a tower to getting a PC specifically for Media Composer.

    I work in television production so any intensive editing will be done at the office. This is for small projects, test tapes, music videos, etc at home. I'm not looking to spend more than $3k for this set-up.

    So, what do you think?
  2. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    I'd get a Mac Pro, but if that's out of the question, iMac.
  3. chinarider macrumors regular

    Jan 7, 2008
    I'd say MBP - Edit at home, as well as do some personal stuff if you have downtime at the office - Thats what I do.

  4. superplus macrumors newbie

    Apr 24, 2009
    I would also recommend a MBP. I work in video production as well and my first gen MBP works perfectly, even with HD footage. I would suggest one with a 7200 RPM hard drive, if you work with HD alot.
  5. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Well, do you want a laptop, or a desktop? You'll get more bang for your buck, a larger screen, and more HDD space with an iMac. Obviously you lose out on portability, though.

    So, it really comes down to: do you want a portable, or do you not? A MacBook Pro + an inexpensive LCD is a great desktop replacement solution, but more expensive than an iMac.

    I would be tempted to just go with a 17" MacBook Pro, since it has the same screen resolution as the 24" iMac, and offers a good combo of portability and power. But it's also the most expensive solution, and an iMac is better value unless you really want a portable. So, again, it really comes down to that. :)

    FWIW, a last-gen Mac Pro would be a nice rig, and would be well within your budget. The value in that machine is unbeatable, really... :)
  6. followme macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    The biggest problem with going with an iMac isn't the power of the system, it's the expandability. You have only one Firewire port available, and you can be sure that it'll be in use capturing video from your camera...

    Which means, you have no viable second drive option, which is really how FCP is meant to operate. I'm assuming you're using Final Cut or will be if you're buying a better rig just for video editing :).

    The Macbook Pro allows the use of the onboard Firewire plus a drive through the expansion slot.
  7. noahmoskin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009

    Thanks for the help. For a while I was thinking of going with a desktop but I've heard more and more good things about the latest MBP. And, yes, it gets back to the whole thing about a laptop/desktop. Reminds me of the last time I went to buy a car and I knew I wanted either a hybrid or an SUV. Decisions are much easier when I know what kind of car I want to drive. Starting to lean towards the MBP with a separate monitor.

    Thanks again for the advice, everybody. Keep the thoughts coming, especially if you've had any experience using Avid Media Composer software with either the MBP or iMac. I will likely be cutting HD video (thought not too gfx intensive) on both programs with whatever set-up I get.
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley

    Whenever I see these iMac/Mac Pro VS. MB/MBP threads, it almost always drills down to whether or not you need portability. If you need to be portable and take your computer wherever you go (coffee shop, office, home, road, etc.) then the MBP without any doubt. If not, then the iMac/Mac Pro. You can still find a good deal on a refurbished last generation Mac Pro for under $3000.

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