Which is beter for Final Cut editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tarsierspectral, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. tarsierspectral macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2010
    I currently have a 2012 iMac.

    Here are the specs for my current iMac:
    27" iMac (late 2012)
    Processor: 3.4 GHz Core i7
    Memory: 32GB
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2048MB
    HD: 3TB Fusion Drive

    Will this MacBook Pro outperform my current iMac?
    MacBook Pro 15"
    Processor: 2.9GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
    Memory: 16GB
    Graphics: Radeon Pro 460 with 4GB memory
    HD: 1TB SSD

    Thank you
  2. Johnsyounger macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2013
    Final Cut X will benefit from more cores. So assuming the iMac is 2 core, then the MacBook Pro.
  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    The GeekBench4 numbers for your two listed machines are:

    2012 iMac 27 CPU performance: 3,912 single core - 12,356 multi-core
    2012 iMac 27 GPU performance: 30,000

    2016 15" MacBook Pro CPU performance: 4,350 single core - 13,700 multi-core
    2016 15" MacBook Pro GPU performance: 54,242

    In general the MBP is only a little faster on the CPU side but it's GPU is considerably faster. The 1TB SSD will be vastly faster than the 3TB Fusion Drive but with video editing you normally have your content on an external drive.
  4. tarsierspectral thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2010
    --- Post Merged, Feb 8, 2017 ---
    Thank you. Yes, my content is on external Thunderbolt drive, which I might not be able to use with the new MacBook Pro. I haven't looked what they have for adapters.
  5. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    Final Cut Pro X is generally better optimized for AMD graphics and well performing OpenCL cards and it is very likely why Apple went with AMD over Nvidia on the new MBP. Depending on the type of video you work on, you should see solid gains.

    CPUs I would call a wash. Synthetic benchmarks are not real world performance. A desktop chip has a higher thermal envelope and will be able to maintain peak performance for longer periods. The i7 in your iMac might actually be faster in real world tests than the one in the MBP. All things equal, the difference would be hardly noticeable.

    Depending on the type and length of project, RAM might be an important factor. Your iMac has 32GB, the MBP has, and is stuck at, 16GB.

    Using external storage should be more or less equal.

    My advice: Get the MBP if you need portability. Otherwise, desktops always provide way more performance for your money when it comes to design/media. The next iMac update should bring Kaby Lake,support upto 64GB RAM, and have grapics equivilent to an RX 470 or RX 480.

    Might be worth sticking it out to see what happens.
  6. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I second this, and I would say "Get the MBP *only* if you *absolutely* require portability AND will regularly be doing major editing tasks in the field. In all other cases a 2017 iMac 27 (whenever that is released) will be a better choice. If you need a relatively inexpensive laptop for utility tasks in the field (e.g, consolidating files from SD cards), get a used MacBook Air off eBay.
  7. 3568378 Suspended


    Dec 30, 2015
    Orlando, FL
    +1 on the SSD comment. Your fusion drive has a portion that is SS but the majority of your content would have been stored on the platter side which that year was probably 5400 RPM. That's 2004 technology :). The SSD will be awesome - you can of course hook up an external drive but if your projects are small enough keep them on the SSD and take advantage of the speed. I have a 2015 with 512 SSD and though I shoot everything in 4K and the project files are 200-300 GB, I don't keep much else on my computer so I'm able to keep the files and thus do all the editing all on the SSD and it's fantastic. Once I finish the project I dump it to an external storage option.

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8 February 7, 2017