Video editing on an iMac/MacPro/Macbookpro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by assadkhan, May 24, 2012.

  1. assadkhan macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012
    I recently graduated from film school and unfortunately am still very technically ungifted when it comes to editing. However work is such that I need to edit heavy footage (upto 4k Red/Alexa) using Avid Media Composer 6 and need to figure out a system that will best help me get footage editing /rendering/ exporting without me wanting to bash my head against the nearest wall.

    I have around $4500/ £2800 to get a mac pro/imac and a macbook pro to get my life in order. I need to get both as there are times I am out in the field and need to edit stuff/ view rushes and my current macbook is ridiculously ill-equipped for it.

    So if you wonderful people could help figure out systems (for both the mac pro and a mac) that would make my life easier i would be insanely grateful.

    Since I am in Pakistan I can reclaim my VAT in Britain (and if there is any such thing in America that would be applicable there too).

    Thank you
  2. mrxak macrumors 68000

    Apr 16, 2004
    Drifting through space in a broken escape pod
    Mac Pro. Get one now if you can't wait. Wait if you can.

    I don't know how well Avid uses cores, but Mac Pros are chock full of them which will help you a lot. You can also cram a bunch of hard drives inside a Mac Pro, and optionally RAID them, which will speed things up for your editing and give you plenty of space to store your very large video files.

    iMacs are not that good for heavy editing. For small projects, they're fine, but it sounds like you're above that level.

    A MacBook Pro will also be unsuitable, don't let the Pro fool you, it's still just a laptop. You'll be able to do some work on the go, certainly better than an Air, but your render times will be much shorter on a desktop. But, if you need to be mobile, it's what you got, and the current model is surely better than what you're using now.
  3. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    It's going to be hard to get a Macbook Pro and a Mac Pro for $4500.
  4. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have to agree.

    The Mac Pro starts at $2500 new. That leaves $2000 for the MacBook Pro.

    I'd recommend getting a refurb 2009 single processor Mac Pro.
    Then flash the firmware to the 5,1 firmware (It sounds scary, but is easy).
    Then put in a 6-core cpu.
    I know you said you're technically ungifted, but it's pretty easy to do, actually. And it will save you quite a bit of money.
  5. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    The refurb site only has the 2010 Mac Pro for $2119. I'd get that one and do the CPU upgrade. It won't need the firmware flash.

    But then again the CPU upgrade will cost about $700.
    If you must have this stuff now get the refurb Mac Pro and maybe a refurb Macbook Pro.

    Use the rest for memory. You will need it.
  6. assadkhan thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2012
    thanks for all the help guys.

    as it turns out i can manage 4000 just for the mac-pro, would you still recommend me buying the refurbished pro and then upgrading it myself? i will need to buy a screen for it which adds another $849 (if i get it refurb too).
    I was also thinking of replacing my macbook pro with an ipad +apple tv so i have mobility and will be able to access footage.

    what do you guys think of that plan?
  7. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    iPads to me are worthless. I have one. It collects apps and dust. I like content creation and I always reach for my laptop after more than 5-10 minutes with the iPad. I'd go Macbook Air instead (refurbed?) Avid stuff runs better on a PC though so I am not sure why the Mac Pro is needed. You'll save a ton of cash as well. Using Final Cut? Get a Mac. Logic Pro? Get a Mac. Pro-tools and Media Composer? Get a PC.
  8. Zwhaler, May 28, 2012
    Last edited: May 28, 2012

    Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    For the price ($4,000) you'll get a lot less computer for your money from Apple. The Mac Pro is nice but the nicest feature is OS X. If you plan on using Avid only, go with a PC that way you can get the latest Xeons, etc. If you really want a Mac you'll end up with a less than ideal setup with 2 year old technology, and refurb is what you're going to want. I own a 12 core and that's the only Mac Pro i'd be willing to buy, but today you can get a Sandy Bridge E 12 core that is about the same speed for around that price range if you buy from the right place (that goes for Hackintosh or PC)
  9. gusmahler macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Agree with Zwahler. Getting a Mac Pro now is a bad idea. Either it will be upgraded (meaning you just bought a now obsolete computer). Or they will never make a Mac Pro again, meaning you just spent $4000 on 2 year old technology and a harder upgrade path.

    For $3k you can get a massively powerful PC that has the latest processor, the latest graphics cards, and bigger chassis that can hold more hard drives. Plus $1k left over to buy a laptop.

    For a video editor not tied to Final Cut, Apple is a dead end (at least until Apple announces what they're doing with the Mac Pro).
  10. GermanyChris macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
  11. fox10078 macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2009
    Sounds like a great plan, the only part is if you want to edit on the go, iPad won't cut it. But I myself use an iPad on site and it works great! Tower at the office for real work, and iPad for in the field, keeps my shot lists in order, and doing presentations to new clients is so cool with the iPad, they are quite impressed most of the time. tbh i see no reason for a laptop unless you want field editing, and at that point you need 15 inch mbp for decent performance.
  12. gusmahler macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Now, of course, you have to wait to see what the new Mac Pro will have. In your favor if you don't want the new model, there could be a flood of old Mac Pros on the market as people start buying the new model.

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