Video Editing - iMac or MBP?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by midas, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. midas macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Hi all,
    I am buying my first Mac. It will be used mostly for video and photo editing. I have never used a Mac before and my dilemma is between these two configurations. If performance and not portability is the issue, which one would you recommend for video editing? Is a bigger screen better for that purpose? Is iMac compatible in performance with MPB or MPB has the lead?
    I am curious to find out what these, who have used both machines, think.

    2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme
    4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    1TB Serial ATA Drive

    2.6GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm

    I haven't gotten it yet and already feel like an addict :)
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    the iMac would be better since it has a higher resolution screen and uses a 3.5" hard drive.
  3. Leemo macrumors 6502


    May 7, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    I have a 20" iMac I use for editing broadcast material. It more than copes with Final Cut and Motion etc. The only thing I would suggest is not bothering with a 1TB internal drive - as you should always have your applications and footage on separate drives. Just get a large FireWire drive for your footage.
  4. rhythman macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    iMac and HD DVDs?

    I also am about to spend major bucks on a Mac and am deciding between the 20" iMac and Mac Pro, quad core for about $1,000 more. Can the iMac produce very good quality HD DVDs? I want to produce them here in my home studio with Final Cut and Pro Tools audio.
    Your comments are very appreciate.

    Chuck S
    Los Angeles, CA
  5. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2006
    Southern California
    For the price of that iMac, get the Mac Pro in Quad, with minimum RAM, 8800 video card & wireless capability.

    buy a screen from Dell or someplace that can get you a 24" or larger for a price you can afford.

    internal HDs are less than $150 for 500GB models

    then get more RAM as you can afford it,read up on how to configure your RAM

    8GBs is plenty

    will this cost more? YES will it be a better value? if you keep your computer longer than 2 years, I believe so

    MUCH more powerful, will be useful for MUCH longer
  6. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    Apple doesn't support Hi-Def burning yet (except in a very limited fashion in DVDSP). You could use Adobe Encore for Blu-ray authoring.

    The quality of a DVD (or a Blu-ray/HD-DVD) is not dependent on the type of computer. They results will be identical. Differences in quality come down to how the video was shot and processes that are applied to it (in software).

    Oh, if you go with the Mac Pro, do not get the 8800GT unless you are going to be playing games. It doesn't provide any advantage in video production apps.
  7. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    The mac pro is easier to add a blu ray to later. And to upgrade the blu ray as faster versions come out.

    Tho with the iMac you could always add the blu ray as an external DVD drive, and upgrade that one as necessary.
  8. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Is that true of Motion? I read somewhere that 2600XT was actually faster in a lot of Motion (the Core Image-y bits), but it seems surprising. Same question for Color...
  9. Galapp macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2008
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    iMac... better resolution... besides the fact that I think it is much easier to edit on a desktop than on a laptop...
  10. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    Yes, that is true of Motion. I don't think I've seen any benchmarks of Color between the two cards.
  11. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    If portability is not a factor...

    go with the iMac hands-down.
  12. Willis macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2006
    Beds, UK
    I'm thinking the same thing. But I do need a portable.

    so my question is, what spec of MBP should I get? I was considering the base with a 7200 drive thrown in. I have a 320GB external too which already houses most of my video work.

    It would only be for fairly light editing. anything more hardcore will be done on the MacPro when I'm able to use it
  13. IC3D macrumors regular


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fairfield County, CT
  14. ShakeWellProd macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2008

    I was in the same hole as you mate. I needed something to edit on that was powerful and affordable. Buy the Mac Pro. Because, once you have Final Cut it comes with a host of other programs, Color, LiveType and Motion. You'll start wanting to use the programs. Clients, now expect you to be able to use those programs along with After Effects. You have all the room in the world to grow w/ your Mac Pro and you have the comfort of expanding on that Mac Pro if you need too. 32 Gigs of RAM if need be.

    I don't know a single pro that uses an IMac and there will be dudes saying, "well I'm doing this and that on my iMac just fine."

    If you edit any kind of video or do any kind of graphics, don't be a fool, get the Mac Pro. You'll be happy that you did. Get the iMac and you'll always have doubts.

    Just my opinion thou!
  15. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    Do you make money from editing? I don't mean in the future. I mean right now this moment? Is it your main income?

    If yes, then yes buy a Mac Pro. If you don't make enough money from editing to cover the cost of a mac pro, then don't buy a mac pro.

    Back when I made money from writing, I bought a Powerbook, as I wanted a laptop with the best keyboard on the market. That powerbook paid for itself several times over.

    Now, I make my money other ways, not from writing, so now I'm on a macbook. Buying a MBP would be silly as my main income is no longer through the laptop.
  16. Macmaniac macrumors 68040


    If its for money invest in a Mac Pro, if not then just get an iMac and a nice external FW 800 drive.
  17. midas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 28, 2008
    thanks for all the advices

    Red Tomato, thanks for the "Do you make money from editing?" advice. I need to remind myself on a daily basis that I shouldn't spend more than I can afford and I should stick to what I really need.

    Everybody was really helpful and it seems that iMAC is the way to go. I may wait a week or two for the update. I'll let you know when it's on my desk ;)
  18. D*I*S_Frontman macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2002
    Lombard, IL
    Don't know why everyone is mentioning a tower. I thought the original question was iMac vs. MBP.

    My suggestion would be 17" MPB with the 1920 x 1200 low glare (NOT glossy) display. They come with 512GB VRAM, so they can run just about any external display you could want, including the behemoth 30" Cinema display.

    No matter which way you go, you'll NEVER use your boot/app drive for your project and render files, so you'll be getting external FW drives for that. The 17" MBP has FW800, which is wicked fast, and when it comes time to do a RAID array, you'll get a ExpressCard/34 FW800 for $75 which will give you a completely separate second FW bus.

    The 17" MBP is expensive. But being able to work anywhere is a huge productivity booster, IMHO. Apple laptops tend to quickly become appendages that you use every hour of the day for everything. I am a believer in the "desktop replacement" ethic, now that portable systems are capable of a ridiculous CPU workload--and Apple's are the best of the best. Reliable, durable, and sleek.

    These are the good ol' days, AFAIC.
  19. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    Go for the desktop and you won't be disappointed. The info that everyone has given is right on. Skip the 1TB internal and grab a LaCie RAID enclosure that will last you longer and provide a much faster bandwidth.

    Also, as was said.... you may want to consider the Mac Pro since you are spending that much cash. That machine alone will last you a LONG time cutting video and what not.

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