Which mac pro spec to buy for starting a video editing career?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by alancheeky, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. alancheeky macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2008
    Hi everyone. I've just graduated from university and am looking to start a career in video editing, what does everyone recommend to buy? Ive got a macbook at the moment, and its pretty slow for final cut pro. I was looking at the mac pro desktop, but i havent got a lot of money...so does anyone know the kind of low spec mac pro i could get away with proper video editing without spending a bomb? Heard iMacs are too slow for proper video editing...

    thanks a lot guys
  2. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    get what you can afford. simple as that.

    upgrade when your buisness fortunes allows you to
  3. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    What a useless advice and a great way NOT to run a business.
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
    um right......

    he JUST graduated from college and telling him to get what he can afford now and then upgrade as his business expands is useless advice?

    you are really something....
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    I'm going to agree with dukebound85 here. I'd get your career off the ground and then scale your hardware to the load you need to accomplish.
  6. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    A refurbished 2.8GHz single quad core will run you $1,999. Add a 750GB or 1TB hard drive and another 2GB of memory and you will have a solid system for video work.
  7. digitalfrog macrumors regular


    Nov 26, 2007
    He's starting a career and purchasing the right thing is important. Not just what you can afford. Would you suggest to invest ALL his money in a big Mac Pro because 'he can afford it' ?
    Maybe he has enough to purchase a big one but would be better off saving some money for something else if a smaller would fit !

  8. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    You could get away with an iMac until you get your foot in the ladder, especially if the next generation go quad core and support upto 8gb RAM.

    If they don't, refurb Mac Pro, chuck in some more RAM, couple of high capacity storage drives and a fast boot/apps drive, and a reasonable Dell monitor or refurb ACD.
  9. allmIne macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2008
    United Kingdom
    That was plainly not what dukebound meant. He's just finished college; the OP stated he didn't have a lot of money to spend on the computer, and that he wanted a low end mac pro. So dukebound quite rightly told him to buy what he can afford.

    That doesn't mean spend all his money on a computer, it means spend an amount of money on the computer he can afford to spend.
  10. Malivar macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2008
    He's going to need accuracy of colors with Video Editing. I think it's a good idea as well to just get a refurbished (or new, if affordable) Mac Pro maybe base configuration to get you off the ground. Also get a new/refurb ACD, or any good monitor such as Dell, as mentioned above. Once you start to really see what your workload is and you start to make money I would advise getting maybe better or even just upgrading the RAM.
  11. highjumppudding macrumors 6502


    Mar 1, 2008
    if you need a portable get a macbook pro, hands down. if you dont need a portable, get a mac pro for sure. if you THINK you can run your business on a portable editing HD footage, you're mistaken. i tried this, big mistake. if you're doing small projects and possibly some HD stuff, the macbook pro can handle it. but keep in mind too, that the MBP cant multitask. so if you have to render a big project, you cant be doing anything else... youll have to let it sit for a few hours or let it run overnight. the mac pro you can let a render run and then work on other editing, compressing, dvd authoring, etc. the mac pro is definitely worth it. maybe consider the mac pro, then if you discover you NEED a notebook, just whatever you can afford. you dont need that nice of a notebook if you have a Mac Pro for the heavy work. that is my best recommendation from experience as i was in the same situation. also, i used to work at apple and i know this stuff and have dealt with people with the same questions.
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    dukebound's advice was good, so I'll back him. ;) No idea what digitalfrog is going on about....

    Get the best system you can afford to buy. If you're starting a small business for video work, then of course this implies that you take your other costs into consideration. If you have a budget of $10000, don't spend it on a computer just because you can technically afford to do so.

    I know that didn't have to be said so explicitly, but you never know when someone will misinterpret what you're saying.
  13. KilljoyPBN macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2008
  14. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    You just graduated from a university and you're asking what kind of computer to buy for video editing? Please don't say you have a degree in video! By your question, I can tell that you don't know much about video editing, much less having a business doing it.

    Anyhow, instead of jumping head first into your own business, why don't you see if you can get on as an editor at a post house? Let them buy the equipment and pay you to learn! Or, at the minimum, try editing wedding videos until you're fast and know what you're doing. Not trying to discourage you too much, but it looks like you don't have a clue what you'll be getting yourself into. Kind of reminds me of someone who goes out and a buys a prosumer camera so that they can become a professional photographer. It takes much more than equipment know-how to be successful.

    Good luck with that.
  15. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2008
    On the contrary, I agree with what digitalfrog said. What you can afford, and what is right for the job are two different issues. dukebound may not be wrong with what he said, but he failed to give suggestions as to what to purchase. Saving buy what he can afford? What if the OP can only afford a refurb mb? Should he buy it then?

    There ain't many choices in mac for serious video editing, only between the mbp and the mp. Like spice25 rightfully pointed out, the mbp is handicapped by video multitasking, and if you are purchasing a refurb mbp, you will be getting the 8600 gpu which is a time bomb, and facing with unexpected gpu failure and downtime which essentially is what a business tries to avoid. The new 15" mbp's glassy display is not well liked by all, and the price may not be within the OP's budget anyway. So it may not be what the OP wants either. So why not save up enough to get the minimum required setup instead? I believe a good start is half a battle won.

    Since the OP has the MP in mind, I would suggest getting a quad-core MP, refurb notwithstanding.

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