Will the 2012 iMac be good for video editing?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Siderz, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. Siderz, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: May 23, 2013

    Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    I can't get my head around that new case. It looks like they cello-taped a MacBook Air to a stand.

    I edited a 7 minute video on an 11" MBA* for a bit of fun, just to see how it faired, and, yeah I guess it worked. It lagged a lot, it's in no way ideal, but I got a 1080p video up to 7 minutes before deciding that I couldn't be bothered anymore - And I had a bit of compositions in it.

    Obviously the MBA is much thinner than the new iMac, and the specs aren't close. But I can't help but feel it's going to get hot quickly and just go really slow.

    So I'm pretty much wondering, how do people feel about this for some video editing? I would tell you what I used to edit on, if someone asks I will. I just don't want this message to get too big.

    *I was using the internal SSD.


    Edit: Just as an update, I've got the top of the range 21.5" iMac, and it works perfectly fine for video editing, no worries here.

    • 3.1GHz i7
    • 16GB RAM
    • GeForce 650M 512MB
    • 1TB Fusion Drive
    • 4TB G-RAID FireWire 800 (For scratch)

    At my College, we also have the lowest specs 21.5", and that works perfectly fine as well...this question is redundant, I can't believe I had a bit of doubt...comparing a MBA to an iMac?
  2. f64 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2009
    I've read where professionals are editing on MBPro with no problem. The new Imac with their best video card should be smok'in with no problem for HD video.

    Video editing is the reason I'm buying the new Imac. I'm considering the 760 GB SSD with maybe their 3-4 TB tower connected via Thunderbolt. I like the idea of the main Imac having no moving parts.
  3. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    I was using a 2010 21.5" base iMac for editing, upgraded to 8GB RAM. It worked great and then it broke last April and I've been waiting since to get the next one.

    I'm thinking of going up a notch this time and getting a 21.5" with Fusion Drive, not going to be able to get the model with the best graphics card.

    I'll get a Thunderbolt G-RAID some time next year, for now I'll use a FireWire to Thunderbolt adapter. And then later next year I'll get an external graphics card for the Thunderbolt port, maybe even a Thunderbolt PCIe rack thingymabob and plug a bunch of other things into it.
  4. atthecross macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2007
    not for full blown editing i would think but for simple stuff would think this guy would shine
  5. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    People have been editing with less for years, myself included. As long as you have a dedicated graphics card, external or another hard drive plus setup your sessions accordingly you will be able to edit fine.

    I just returned a new Mac mini because the hdmi port when connected to a display was causing screen flickering. I'm hoping the new iMac will be released next week so I can purchase. even the base model will be faster than many computers of the past. Couple that with a fusion drive or better yet external and you are Good.
  6. joeysarks macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2011
    If ur recording HD video with a fusion drive, does it record to the flash drive so u can achieve better quality? Only worried cuz my current 13 inch MBP has a 5400rpm drive and i can't seem to get above ProRes LT without any issues arising. Kinda confused on how the fusion thing works for that.
  7. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Yeah, I use an external FireWire 800 HDD. I bought a handy adapter from Apple last week so I could plug it into the Thunderbolt port.

    I'll just use that until I have the money to get a Thunderbolt drive.

    What do you mean? As in, have all the resources (Videos, project files, assets etc.) on the secondary/external drive?


    I think it's on the website that new files will be written to the SDD, and in the background will be moved to the HDD.

    So, yeah, I'm sure the OS should opt to encode videos to the SDD first and then will simply move to the HDD.

    However, it's not ideal to be encoding videos to the internal drive, you're better off getting an external one, or at least, one that's separate from the drive that the OS is on (In this case, the only option is to use an external drive for video). Simply it's because there's less work for the hard drives to do; one drive to deliver video, the other drive to deliver the OS and software.
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What is full blown editing anyway?

    If your footage is in an editable format, not that compressed feces called MPEG-4, then even a 2008 or 2009 iMac can be used for editing a feature length HD movie.

    Hell, we edited several TV series, though still PAL, on a G4 in 2008 and 2009.
  9. joeysarks macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2011
    Yeah I use an external 7200rpm for working with FCPX right now. That's great that I can record in a higher codec tho, may look into gettin an iMac over a MBPr then...or at least till the MBPr with Haswell is released. Been a laptop guy for a while now, if Haswell delivers on what it claims, I might not have to go back to desktop then:)
  10. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Could even just make proxies at 480p if it really can't handle it.


    I think you should definitely look into the iMac instead for editing.

    You get more for your money and a bigger screen.

    There again, I guess you could just plug in an external monitor for a MBP, but that means more money.
  11. tears2040 macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2010
    Yes, external HD will allow smooth playback of Pro Res files or native formats when used in other Editing programs such as Avid, Premiere, etc.

    SSD for the win if possible as that is my next move.
  12. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    I have professionally edited full HD on a 2011 15" MBP, a 2011 17" MBP, and a 2010 27" iMac. The 27" iMac was hands down the fastest and easiest to edit on.

    My 17" Macbook pro, 2.2 i7, 16gb RAM edits like a champ in Adobe Premiere CS6, although it gets bogged down and crashes occassionaly when working on comps with 5+ tracks. I am planning on getting a fully specced 2012 iMac as soon as the 27" is available... It will edit video famously, count on it.

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