Specs for 27" iMac Video Editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by filmboy, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. filmboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    #1
    Please advise if the following specs are ideal for editing video on a new 27" iMac using; FCP 7, Premiere, and FCPX. If you have suggestions, please be sure to list them after each boldface heading name for easy reference. Thank you!

    Processor: 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz

    Memory: 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    (*please note: my thought here is to replace this Apple RAM, and fill it up to 32GB with Crucial RAM)

    Storage: 1TB Fusion Drive

    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5

    PLEASE NOTE: I intend to purchase an iMac that ships with Mountain Lion so I can edit in FCP 7. B&H still has them, and Apple still might.
     
  2. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #2
    Looks insanely fast, you should be fine.

    If you have some extra money to spend perhaps go all SSD and you would get more speed. Get a small SSD and use external drives for your general storage.

    Someone might even be able to chime in as perhaps the stock i5 processor with SSD will be better value overall.
     
  3. filmboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 1, 2013
    #3
    Specs for 27" iMac Video Editing

    Yes, all my media will be on external drives.

    But I'm confused about the best place to exploit speed, particularly the SSD. Do I go with 1 TB of storage; 256GB Flash, or 512GB Flash??

    In other words, how critical is on board storage if I'm using external drives?

    Should I going cheaper on any of the other specs (see first post in this thread) and put that money into on board drives?

    Thanks.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #4
    The best way to exploit speed is with a pure SSD setup.

    Fusion read/writes: 520/350 MB/s.
    Pure SSD read/writes: 750/650 MB/s.

    Besides, the Fusion is as likely to fail as a regular mechanical HDD, because it still has a mechanical drive. When the HDD sector fails, the entire drive is toast along with all your data, because you can't just operate off the SSD sector of the Fusion.

    Pure SSD it is. You can use a 256GB SSD and store projects in external storage, and only moving them onto the internal SSD when you're working on it.
     
  5. filmboy, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    filmboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I'm aware that all SSD is fastest.

    But my specific concern is about the effects of using a larger 1 TB Fusion drive vs a smaller 256GB or 512GB all flash drive? Will the general computer functions suffer in any way by having a smaller drive?

    When editing video, all media stays on external drives, so it will never go to the internal drives. The project is only referenced by the internal drive.

    Thanks.
     
  6. ender78 macrumors 6502

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    Jan 9, 2005
    #6
    I would go with the 512GB SSD. Your immediate work sits on the iMac and your finished or less used projects on the external storage. I benchmarked my 512 SSD at over 700MB/sec read and write.

    I would add that I would recomment that you take your imports and or active projects and store them on the SSD. If doable, only finished projects and backups of active projects on the external storage.
     
  7. filmboy, Dec 10, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013

    filmboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thanks, Ender78.

    My online editors have always recommended that I keep a copy of my project file on my desktop. And then at the end of each editing session, drag/copy it onto my external drive, where all my media is stored.

    In all honestly, I'm not very fluid in 'computer speak'. So maybe I'm not articulating my original concern correctly--or maybe my concern is a non-issue.

    Simply put: will the computer suffer or be lacking for the smaller drive?

    Specifically: Is there a marked trade off between having a larger, but slower 1 TB Fusion drive vs. a smaller, but faster 512 GB all flash internal drive?

    Thanks.
     
  8. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

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    #8
    Not at all :)

    All primary storage needs is applications the rest can be held on externals. iTunes, iPhoto, movies etc all run off an external with no problems.
     
  9. chevalier433 macrumors 6502a

    chevalier433

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    #9
    Go with primary disk a pure ssd and for your media files an external storage thunderbolt
     
  10. AndrewMRiv macrumors regular

    AndrewMRiv

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    Oct 29, 2013
    #10
    Not at all! Don't worry. OS X is not like windows. It doesn't take up the whole hard drive. You will have plenty of space on your hard drive if you follow the instructions of the other users here. Have a small SSD sounds scary when you're used to having terabytes of space but I can vouch for you having more than enough SSD storage with 257/512gb of ram without suffering performance.

    Good luck!
     
  11. filmboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 1, 2013
    #11
    Thanks everybody, I really appreciate the advice!

    Hmmm...a poster on a different forum wrote the following and so I'm still undecided which way to go:

    "Writing is hugely accelerated. Fusion has a 4 GB write cache, so up to four GB can be written at maximum speed - a normal SSD drive can't do that. Fusion works in the background, when your computer isn't doing anything else, so it doesn't have any noticeable impact on any system resources."

    So does this make an 512GB SSD--or any SSD--a comparatively lesser choice than a 1TB Fusion drive for a system set for editing video?? (*again, all my media will be on external drives)
     
  12. yjchua95 macrumors 604

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    #12
    That poster's pulling your leg. A 512GB SSD will be better because it's much faster and much less likely to break down. There is no disadvantage to using a smaller drive. Remember that this isn't windows. In OS X the computer doesn't slow down even if your hard drive is almost full.
     
  13. ender78 macrumors 6502

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    #13
    The 4gb cache is on the ssd itself and acts as a buffer. That cache is no faster than the native ssd itself.
     
  14. theSeb, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #14
    :eek:

    ----------

    No. The SSD will be always be the better choice by a considerable margin. For best results you should be editing files directly on the SSD.

    How big is the raw footage that you use for a typical project?
     
  15. yadmonkey, Dec 11, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2013

    yadmonkey macrumors 65816

    yadmonkey

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    #15
    Almost went with a fusion, but I'm getting the SSD version instead.

    I've talked to a few people who regretted their fusion drives and have heard enough anecdotal accounts of potential compatibility issues with some pro software and fusion drives that I'll suck it up and pay for the 512GB flash drive. Please note - those accounts are anecdotal and not at all conclusive, but enough to make me not want to bother risking it.

    Plus, this way you have one less moving part in your iMac, so less heat, less fan to suck dust into your iMac, and a smaller chance that the drive will break down.
     

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