Trying to Choose an iMac for Beginner Video Editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Mulvihill16, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Mulvihill16 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #1
    I currently have an old PPC G4 iMac that has finally shown its age for me now that I want to start doing some basic HD video editing in iMovie to start. I wouldn't totally rule out using Final Cut, but most likely I will be using iMovie for a while. I use consoles for gaming mostly, but would be open to using the iMac for it. So I am basically wondering if I can get away with using the following refurb for at least the next 3 years or so:

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    Or seeing as how I do not replace stuff very fast, am I just better off taking the bigger plunge now on this iMac:

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.93GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 processor
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory
    Built-in iSight camera

    I am not looking to start a which one is better conversation, that is obvious. I just do not know enough about the performance of these to determine if I am purchasing a machine that is built for something that I will never use.

    Thanks,

    Dan
     
  2. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000

    rkaufmann87

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    Location:
    Folsom, CA
    #2
    Comparing those two configurations is a difference in night and day in performance for video editing, without a doubt choose the i7 machine. There are numerous bench mark tests available that will show how much quicker it is, you can search using Google to find one or perhaps someone here can provide a link to one so you can see.
     
  3. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #3
    It's worth comparing benchmarks between the two machines, just because on paper they look similar and a lot of us are usually pretty sceptics on real world increases between 2 chips. It's easy to write "Quad Core" rather than "Dual Core" in order to sell something, but if the programs you use can't make use of it then it's not worth the money.

    http://www.barefeats.com/imi7.html

    The i7 and the C2D are both listed here, and imo the differences aren't just "a nice refresh" but pretty darned significant for video based applications. If you look at the bottom chart, it shows a huge increase in render speeds compared to the C2D model. These are the important things in computing these days, not written specs.

    You'll see a lot of different groups of Apple users online, those who own G4/G5 machines who are happy with the performance they get (but are easily riled up when they find out they can't install new versions), those who have the C2D machines and those with the cutting edge i5/i7 hardware platforms. They'll all give you different advice.

    It really depends on you, your budget and your expectations. Personally, I put in the extra money to buy the cutting edge machine as at the rate I was paying, I knew I could probably sell it in a years time for a similar price to what I paid. I also have a 2007 C2D MBP that feels like it's being left behind a little bit. The i7 astounds me with regards to how fast it can get work done (literally 6x the FPS when doing simple encodes) and even using it to surf the web it just feels like it has serious grunt.

    At the end of the day, both machines are cracking and you'll love it. The C2D will definitely be left behind faster than the i7, even though it won't be for some time. You'll see a greater return on the i7 if you decide to sell, because it's the latest revision. Without listing the prices you can get them for, it's hard to make the call but as an i7 owner, I'm not going to sit here and convince you to buy the C2D, am I ;) Good luck with whichever purchase.
     
  4. Mulvihill16 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #4
    First, thanks for the great feedback, it is much appreciated!

    Second, the prices probably would have been some help!

    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics with 256MB memory
    Built-in iSight camera
    $1,269.00
    Save $430.00
    25% off


    Refurbished iMac 27-inch 2.93GHz Intel Quad-Core i7 processor
    27-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen display
    4GB memory
    1TB hard drive
    8x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1GB memory
    Built-in iSight camera
    $1,899.00
     
  5. cluthz macrumors 68040

    cluthz

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    Norway
    #5

    I would believe that 256 MB VRAM on a 27 inch screen would be a huge bottle neck in several tasks. The i/ is just hands down much faster, and I mean MUCH faster!

    $1269 is a good price tho, since a 27 inch IPS/LED display will set you back $900+ alone.

    Anyways, the C2D iMac will still run video editing at decent speeds

    edit: Don't look at the "save $430", because that was the price a year ago.
     
  6. JayX macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #6
    Yeah, on paper the C2D looks the better 'deal', but there's a reason it's reduced. You could possibly wait for a i7 to go into refurb?

    I converted the $>GBP so I could look at component cost for the differences at my usual stores, and it's not hugely off to be honest. Personally, I'd say it was worth the difference.
     

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