Which iMac for video editing between these 2?

san001

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
60
1
Hi
I am not very technically minded however need help deciding on which imac for my video editing , which is just family HD videos all in AVCHD filles, i only cut/past, add music, titles,menu page,transitions.

I have looked at loads of posts about this and have come up with the following.

which one would be better for me? I would appreciate any advice.

Apple imac 12,1, 10.8.5 Mountain lion
Mid 2011 model
27" IPS led backlit display 2560x1440
2.7ghz intel core i5 quad processor
16gb ddr3 1333mhz ram
1tb 7200rpm hard drive
AMD radeon HD 6770m 512mb graphics card
£945 + VAT

VS

imac 21.5" NEW OS X Maverick
2.9 ghz intel core i5 quad processor
8gb ddr3 1600mhz ram
1tb 5400 rpm hard drive
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M with 1Gb
£1082 + VAT
 
Last edited:

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,055
30,595
Boston
I'd say the newer model will be faster even though you have a slower hard drive and less ram. The CPU/GPU improvements between 2011 and now are such that it will compensate for the slower components you chose.

Another difference however is the older iMac is a 27" vs. the 21" Which form factor do you want to use?

Personally, I'd hate to spend a lot of money on a 2011 computer given its age, but that's just me.
 

san001

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
60
1
I would agree with getting the newer over the older one, but didnt know if the spec was far better with the older model.

I am not bothered about the bigger screen either.

Thank you for your input, it would be interesting to see if others agree.
 

RCAFBrat

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2013
269
79
Montreal, QC
There is not much difference between the 2.7 and 2.9 GHz CPU and you probably don't need the dedicated GPU either.

For about the same price you could either max out the RAM at 16 GB or get a Fusion drive; I suspect you would probably benefit most from the Fusion.

For serious video work the i7 CPU and RAM upgrade would be prioritized over fast storage since it can be added later (ie external SSD or hard disk array); however, since this seems more a hobby than business with deadlines, I would think the 2.7 GHz CPU and 8 GB RAM is more than adequate. I am sure there are many on MR doing video editing with lower specs. Note of course that one drawback of the 21.5" iMac is the fact that for most of us it is not upgradeable and the configuration you buy is what you live with.

Getting back to your question, like I suggested above the 21.5" with Fusion will give you a great experience. You will also need plenty of additional external storage for your video files but it can be added later as you need it.

Do make sure you get a 2 TB or more USB hard drive for Time Machine backups from day one!
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
I have the exact 2011 model, with the same amount of RAM, but different HDD configuration. Keep in mind that, with the new 21.5 inch model, what you buy is what you get. If you are skilled enough, some components can be switched out on the 2011 model, but MUCH more difficult on the newer models....
I edit a lot of video on my iMac, and it does a great job...but it does bog down on encodes. I did my first handbrake encode of a Blue Ray this past week...took almost 12 hours to complete :eek:
I can't wait to get my nMP coming sometime this month! :D
 

san001

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
60
1
Thank you for all replies.

I note that you CH12671 are getting a new Macbook pro, i did look at this option as preferred it, but came to the conclusion it would not be powerful enough (again bearing in mind my videos are for a hobby), what where your conclusions?

I have also been told it is far easier to edit video on a PC than a Mac, which has really confused me as to what to do.

I will opt for the fusion as recommended.

Thank you for all advice
 

Georgio

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2008
365
36
Essex, UK
Who ever told you it was easier to edit on a PC is mistaken; the Mac platform is designed for creative work as all the included free software, iMovie/iPhoto/iTunes is designed to seamlessly interface with each other making your life very easy.

iMovie is very simple to use even for a complete beginner, but also has enough depth to grow with your skills as you become more proficient at movie making.

Finally if you get the bug, you could always buy Final Cut X which takes everything to another level while still retaining familiarity with iMovie.
The only other things you need are a DVD/Blu-Ray external burner (assuming you go with the new iMac) and some form of DVD authoring software to give you some DVD polish.

On a PC the programs are very similar, however they tend not to want to work with each other without some coaxing on your part.

Thank you for all replies.

I note that you CH12671 are getting a new Macbook pro, i did look at this option as preferred it, but came to the conclusion it would not be powerful enough (again bearing in mind my videos are for a hobby), what where your conclusions?

I have also been told it is far easier to edit video on a PC than a Mac, which has really confused me as to what to do.

I will opt for the fusion as recommended.

Thank you for all advice
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
Thank you for all replies.

I note that you CH12671 are getting a new Macbook pro, i did look at this option as preferred it, but came to the conclusion it would not be powerful enough (again bearing in mind my videos are for a hobby), what where your conclusions?

I have also been told it is far easier to edit video on a PC than a Mac, which has really confused me as to what to do.

I will opt for the fusion as recommended.

Thank you for all advice
Well, if you mean the base model new Mac Pro, there have been some arguments on whether it is more powerful than the top end iMac or not. Again, comparing a quad core xeon to a quad core i7, D300 graphics, etc. But neither of those comparisons are valid for what you are looking at. Even the bottom end nMP will blow away either of the two computers you are looking at. I did not order the base model, so I know that it will be like night and day.
As stated earlier, PC's can hold a candle next to a mac when it comes to creating video's. I edited videos on a PC for years, using just about every software I could afford. They all ended up with horrible results. Dropped frames, lock-ups resulting in lost work, you name it. I've never had those issues on my macs. You won't be sorry, I promise! If you go the PC route, you will regret it for video work!
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,705
266
Oregon
Hi
I am not very technically minded however need help deciding on which imac for my video editing , which is just family HD videos all in AVCHD filles, i only cut/past, add music, titles,menu page,transitions.

I have looked at loads of posts about this and have come up with the following.

which one would be better for me? I would appreciate any advice.

Apple imac 12,1, 10.8.5 Mountain lion

VS

imac 21.5" NEW OS X Maverick
I'd buck the trend and get the 27" iMac. Reasons:
  1. The big display is much nicer for video editing
  2. Performance won't be that different, and you will save some money
  3. The older iMovie you get with the Mountain Lion equiped system is better than the newest one.
  4. You can upgrade to Mavericks for free and buy Final Cut Pro X and Motion if you decide you want to get more heavily involved with video in the future. The extra RAM will be a plus and you cannot add more to the 21.5" model.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
There is another argument for buying the new model...If you plan on upgrading regularly, then a new model with AppleCare will hold it's value way longer than the older one....The newbie will also perform better as posted above.
 

san001

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 5, 2014
60
1
Thank you for all your advice.

I have finally gone and purchased an imac from the refurb Apple store, i saw it and grabbed as felt it was a good deal

21.5" imac 3.1ghx quad core i7
8gb
1TB Hard drive
Nvidia geforce GT 750m
£1249

I will see how i go with the imovie, but feel i may go the FCPX route.
 

JTMusicVA

macrumors newbie
Mar 26, 2014
11
0
Woodbridge, VA, USA
Just a simple comment here, referencing the comment comparing video work on a PC compared to a Mac....
I had a very strong PC system that I optimized for video work (as well as music production) and had terrible problems with crashes and lock-ups.
A friend who owns a video production company told me I needed to move to the Mac for pretty much bug-free/crash-free video (and music) work. I purchased an older iMac (2006, 6,1) from him, and have put it through the paces...
I confidently concur - the Mac IS the way to go for video (and creative) work, as the software is a bit easier, this iMac SCREAMS speed-wise over my PC (though the PC components are in fact supposedly "faster" then what's in this older iMac...) and it is rock-solid and doesn't crash. I absolutely prefer it over my PC. My only complaint, and I'm trying to resolve or improve this, are render times. I encoded a 3-hour HD concert for blu-ray and it took 5 days!!!! I used Toast 11 Titanium, which may have been my mistake to use. Prior to that, I transcoded a 90 minute HD movie to blu-ray, and it only took several hours, using Adobe CS6 video products.... Granted, I'm sure this older iMac (maxed out at 4GB RAM, and video only has 256MB memory...) is surely not optimum for shorter, more reasonable render times, but, I got it at a steal price, and I'm happy with it.
In summary, forget the PC for video work - you're looking at headaches galore, get what these guys here recommend and you'll be much happier and more productive!
Good luck!
 

Georgio

macrumors 6502
Apr 30, 2008
365
36
Essex, UK
Learn the ropes on iMovie as it's very user friendly. I would recommend you get a decent external hard-drive to keep all your video files as your internal HD will fill up quickly once you get the bug.
If you have the cash splash out on a thunderbolt drive either disc or SSD, if not any USB 3.0 7200rpm drive will do as it's almost as quick for a lot less money.


Thank you for all your advice.

I have finally gone and purchased an imac from the refurb Apple store, i saw it and grabbed as felt it was a good deal

21.5" imac 3.1ghx quad core i7
8gb
1TB Hard drive
Nvidia geforce GT 750m
£1249

I will see how i go with the imovie, but feel i may go the FCPX route.
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
There is not much difference between the 2.7 and 2.9 GHz CPU and you probably don't need the dedicated GPU either.

For about the same price you could either max out the RAM at 16 GB or get a Fusion drive; I suspect you would probably benefit most from the Fusion.

For serious video work the i7 CPU and RAM upgrade would be prioritized over fast storage since it can be added later (ie external SSD or hard disk array); however, since this seems more a hobby than business with deadlines, I would think the 2.7 GHz CPU and 8 GB RAM is more than adequate. I am sure there are many on MR doing video editing with lower specs. Note of course that one drawback of the 21.5" iMac is the fact that for most of us it is not upgradeable and the configuration you buy is what you live with.

Getting back to your question, like I suggested above the 21.5" with Fusion will give you a great experience. You will also need plenty of additional external storage for your video files but it can be added later as you need it.

Do make sure you get a 2 TB or more USB hard drive for Time Machine backups from day one!
The current 2.9Ghz is around 50% faster than the 2.7Ghz in the 2011 iMac. Remember they are different processors, not just different clock speeds.

----------

I'd buck the trend and get the 27" iMac. Reasons:
  1. The big display is much nicer for video editing
  2. Performance won't be that different, and you will save some money
  3. The older iMovie you get with the Mountain Lion equiped system is better than the newest one.
  4. You can upgrade to Mavericks for free and buy Final Cut Pro X and Motion if you decide you want to get more heavily involved with video in the future. The extra RAM will be a plus and you cannot add more to the 21.5" model.
The older iMovie still comes with Mavericks and is found in the Application folder next to the newer one.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,705
266
Oregon
The older iMovie still comes with Mavericks and is found in the Application folder next to the newer one.
The old iMovie stays around if you already have it after an upgrade to Mavericks. New systems do not have the old iMovie. (And I know this since I bought a new Mac a month ago.) My recommendation if you have a Lion or Mountain Lion system available is to download fresh copies if the iLife/iWorks apps and archive them to have installable copies in Mavericks. (For some reason GarageBand works differently in that you can download the older version if you were previously entitled to it.)
 

MartinAppleGuy

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,243
888
The old iMovie stays around if you already have it after an upgrade to Mavericks. New systems do not have the old iMovie. (And I know this since I bought a new Mac a month ago.) My recommendation if you have a Lion or Mountain Lion system available is to download fresh copies if the iLife/iWorks apps and archive them to have installable copies in Mavericks. (For some reason GarageBand works differently in that you can download the older version if you were previously entitled to it.)
I was lucky enough to get my new 2013/14 iMac with OSX Mountain Lion.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,705
266
Oregon
I was lucky enough to get my new 2013/14 iMac with OSX Mountain Lion.
Well there you go! :)

I've got saved fresh installs of iMovie/GarageBand/Pages/Numbers/Keynote archived away that I used on the new system (and have for other ones that may be purchased or wiped in the future).