Which imac for video editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ilovemacs1967, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. ilovemacs1967 macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009

    Finally I will replace an old white core duo IMAC that we use in our house. Besides the basic stuff like doing kids homework, my main intensive use is to use imovie for family video editing.

    I have a HD sony camcorder and with my current mac its impossible to work.

    Now with the new imacs I would like to know what option will be better for those long processes in imovie (importing, exporting, stabilization, etc).

    better processor: core 2 duo 3.06 or i5
    more memory: 4 vs 8 gb
    better graphics: 4670 vs 4850

    Of course I know everything is better, I just want to know where are the priorities.

  2. xWhiplash macrumors 68000

    Oct 21, 2009
    It depends how patient you are. I have a current PC that renders so slow compared to a 1 year old base 20 inch iMac. As you said, everything is better with the second choices, but it will probably be around 1-5 minutes of encoding time difference or something small like that.

    Personally, if you are not doing heavy editing like After Effects and you just plan to use iMovie, I would go with 4GB and Core 2 Duo. Low end graphics will be good enough unless you want to play lots of games.
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm assuming that you're comparing the two 27" base models...

    If you don't envision yourself venturing beyond iMovie, the C2D model would probably be fine. iMovie itself is a 32-bit application and isn't really optimized to take advantage of a quad-core, though this could change in the future.

    For your application...

    - Get the 3.06GHz C2D model.
    - Upgrade the RAM to 8GB from OWC (don't get ripped off by Apple).
    - As for the GPU, the $150 upgrade price for the 4850 seems a bit steep, considering for $150 more than that, you can get the Core i5-based model that comes with standard with the 4850. Having a larger frame buffer (512MB vs. 256MB) does help, especially if you decide to drive a 2nd display later on.

    Hope that helps.
  4. ilovemacs1967 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2009
    i5 vs c2d

    Thanks CaptainChunk.

    Yes, I am comparing 27" models.

    So let me get this clear, unless apple changes imovie (maybe 2010) nothing would be faster on a i5 than a c2d?

    What happens with turbo mode? I read that with it speed of the Core i5 chip can go as high as 3.2GHz.

    If they change imovie to 64 bit, what speed improvements can I expect,
    5% or 50%?
  5. thomanjones macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2006
    Can never have enough proc power for video crunching. Even if iMovie can't take advantage now; it might be able to in the near future, and you'll be kicking yourself for not going with the i5 or i7, IMHO.

    I'd go with the stock 4GB RAM now (since that's the only item of the three that can be upgrated later w/o voiding your warranty).

    For graphics, I'd go heavy, since I think CUDA will be the next big leapfrog in computing speed/power.

    Take with a grain of salt though, besides the RAM advice, the Graphics and Proc advice are based on future unknowns and my admittedly weak understanding of gfx and proc architecture and utilization.
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    The way Turbo mode works is when there are idle (unneeded) cores and an application (presumably, one that isn't heavily multithreaded) demands additional CPU cycles, the CPU will turn off the unneeded cores to provide a clock speed boost to the active cores.
  7. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I highly recommend the quad core for video editing. For transcoding, exporting and stabilization it will double your performance.
  8. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    if you want to do realtime video editing you need something much more powerful then the imac , ok you can even do video editing with imovie with a imac g3 if you are patient enough , but as you are already complaining about your current model beeing to slow , i would advise you to look for something else if money is no option and you want as much speed as possible , because you are unpatient you only have one choice
    like a mac pro eight core with 2.93 nehalems, possibly 2 or more invidia gt120`s (512mb each) and max out the ram to max 32gb , and job done you can do realtime video editing without any waiting time ..:D
    with a all in one computer you always will have to do some sacrifices
    so you will get waiting times ;)and the processor isnt the only drawback
    its the amount of grafic cards and ram the more the better it is

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