What do you guys think of the new iMac for video editing? I'm tempted to just get the 21.5. It's cheaper, and I think it would rock with the 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 (Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz), 32 GB of RAM and the new fusion drive. My only concern is the graphics card. The best you can get on the 21.5 inch is the NVIDIA GeForce
GT 650M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, while if you upgrade the graphics card on the 27" you can get the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB of GDDR5 memory. Do you think the GT 650M will be sufficient for Motion, FCPX and even DaVinci Resolve? Thanks. Specs
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I use an iMac at home that I have on loan from work. You need to understand the following.
You CANNOT upgrade an iMac. Ever. Well, you can possibly add memory or bigger hard drives, but you can't change the CPU, add cards to it, etc. What you buy is what you have to live with forever. It's like buying an expensive and non-portable laptop.
EVERYTHING you do on a Mac is harder than on Windows. You have fewer programs to choose from. If you don't like them, that's too bad.
Macs cost more. A lot more.
I do not do any kind of video work at all on my iMac. If you actually have to worry about your video card in an editing set up, then in my opinion your whole box is under powered. It would not be difficult at all on Windows to get a box so powerful that you can use motherboard video as it's good enough. Editing works faster if your CPU is more powerful. That is your bottom line.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100019096%20600030539&IsNo...ED&PageSize=20 Obviously Mac's are going to be more expensive, however not "a lot more."
You're right to say everything is not harder on Mac and Jman is right to say everything is harder on Mac. The simple truth is that for a Mac trained person everything makes sense, when a Mac person tries to use Windows they find it difficult. A PC person sees it the other way. Once you figure out that you only have to do things backwards, Mac or PC it's all the same. The OS may be backwards, but surfing the net, editing a spreadsheet or video... using programs in general works the same. There are only so many ways to do a task.
One big difference between Mac and PC, on a Mac, be prepared to pay (often double the price, just look at USB capture devices) for anything you want to do that's not included in OSx. There just isn't that much freeware and open source software available; most developers figure that if a Mac user is ready to pay a premium for a computer they won't mind paying for software. Don't kid yourself about Macs not being much pricier than comparable all-in-one PC's; the PC manufacturers cashed in on the opportunity to charge a premium.
PC's are better for technical users, there are tasks you just can't do (easily) on a Mac. Those tasks are more technical and the tools available to a Mac just aren't suited; a good example is the disk utilities. Working with MPEG files on a Mac can be a major PITA.
To answer your original question about the video card, don't worry about it being too weak, Apple wouldn't sell an Imac that doesn't come configured to perform properly with the hardware. After all, that's why you want a Mac, everything runs smoothly on a Mac.
honestly, with a base price of $1500 for a computer with only 8 gigs of ram (which only costs about $80 on a pc), a 2.9ghz i5 and a 1tb 5400 rpm hdd, i consider it a rip off. i tried to see how much it would cost with the i7, 16 gigs of ram and fusion drive but was unable to, i would be surprised if it didn't pass the 2 grand mark.
you can build a much faster pc, with a bigger display for quite a bit less; with regards to the software, i've never used motion, davinci or fcp so i don't know how they stack up but i do know that there are tons of good, full featured video editing software on the pc in the $100-$200 range, so...
If someone's work situation requires them to use Apple-only video software, then it is true they have no choice but to buy an Apple computer. All-in-one computers are almost like a giant laptop. Battery usage isn't an issue, but heat can still be a problem because of the thin form-factor, so they often use mobile CPUs and/or GPUs. The new iMacs do use a mobile GPUs, but it looks like the i7 CPU is a desktop version (i7-3770S or i7-3770), judging by the operating frequencies.
The iMacs meet the minimum system requirement for Motion and FCPX. An iMac may or may not be good enough for Davinci Resolve. It depends on the sources you want to work with. The documentation I found for Davinci Resolve, dated 13 October 2011, says the following regarding suitable hardware configurations for 2011 model iMac and Mac Pro systems:
An iMac can provide faster image processing than a
MacBook Pro due to the availability of faster CPUs and
GPUs in the top models. An iMac provides a flexible
and simple desktop work horse for previewing and
grading material up to and including HD720p video.
A Thunderbolt connection can be used for ingest of
video tape and high speed disk storage.
A powerful Mac Pro will be required if you ingest video
from tape, have video clips in a raw digital camera
format, or for working with projects in HD, 2K and 4K.
I would probably go with the 27" as it has more capability. The macs I've had have lasted longer the the pc's I've owned so I usually don't mind spending the extra for a better unit. I purchased a Mac mini last year for some basic video capture and editing using Elgato HDHomerun and turbo.264HD. They have worked exceptionally well and I am trying to decide between the new 27" iMac or waiting for the new Mac Pro due next year. I'll probably get the 27" as my only real complaint was the last of USB 3 which has been resolved with the new iMac.
My only concern is learning yet another video editor. Did you move to final cut from something else or did you always use final cut? How hard was the transition from either the previous final cut or whatever you used before?
My current box is nearly 6 years old and a bit antiquated. After having got rid of my last apple box in the early 1990s, I am now seriously looking at one of these as my new box in the new year. I wasn't contemplating Apple until I had a play with Windows 8 last week, and it's truly awful with a mouse or trackpad.
Plan now is either a (1) a Win 7 box; (2) try and stick with what I already have until Win 9; or (3) an Apple.
A linux box is running a (distant) fourth - I used one, like it, but it's not what I want for my main box - which has to run Office.
Jman98 - do think that your comment that everything's harder on a Mac than a Wintel box still holds true once Win8 is added to the mix?
My biggest issue with the Mac is that the HOME button doesn't go to the end of a line. Same for end of a line with END. When you're doing anything that involves typing, you'll find yourself pissed off pretty quickly that you keep having to take your hand away from the keyboard and play with the mouse. Some software will work properly, but most doesn't. It's not universal like it is in Windows, DOS, Linux, etc.
It's also only good for limited workflows, or even just subsets of certain workflows. It's great at what it does, but it does so little. If you need Apple tools (ProRes422, FCP, DVDSP, etc), then you're stuck. Mac is fairly crippled when it comes to video workflow options.
Macs do tend to handle images better than comparable spec Windows machines. The OS is just more finely attuned to photography workflows, which is why virtually all pro photographers work on Macs these days.
I'm platform agnostic. I just use the tool that does the job. Sometimes it's a Mac, sometimes not.
21.5" iMac - 8GB or 16GB of RAM - decide at the time of purchase because the RAM in that iMac is not upgradeable.
27" iMac - ships with 8GB (or more if you want to pay Apple's high-$$$), then upgrade up to 32GB (4x8GB) by opening a small door in the rear of the unit. Better video card standard on the 27"but you may upgrade at the time of purchase to a slightly better one. No user-upgradeability with the video card after purchase.
The T-Bolt to FireWire800 adapter works very well but understand that it does not provide the same power as a "real" FireWire800 port so, depending on the power requirement of, let's say, a 2.5" external drive, the drive may not get enough power to spin up reliably (and I can confirm this) so you might need to get a cheap 12v wall wart for some enclosures.
LaCie's eSATA hub works perfectly and provides a spare Thunderbolt port (which I've used with the FireWire800 adapter). Great product.
I'll be buying the 27" iMac when it's released in December; I sold my 2011 iMac (also a 27") in order to get the USB3 ports. The FireWire drives I have will work fine with the adapters; USB3 is as fast or faster than FW800 so that will be a cheap upgrade (a half-dozen USB3 enclosures will replace the FW enclosures soon enough). I have a bunch of USB2 enclosures that, fortuitously, also have an eSATA port so the LaCie eSATA hub will still come in handy. The OWC docks also have eSATA and that makes them quite fast. As for Thunderbolt drives, well, I'll believe it when I see some that are reasonably priced. Thunderbolt takes the place of FireWire for Target Disk Mode so the lack of FireWire shouldn't hurt. However, I don't remember if I've tried bridging between a FW800 Mac and a T-Bolt Mac using the Apple adapter. I'll have to double-check that and report.
I still use iMovieHD (v6 from 2006, IIRC) as well as Final Cut. I don't care for the newer versions of iMovie. There are also a number of other app choices for video editing but, just like Windows apps, some really suck (or have too steep a learning curve for my needs). I do use Windows apps for a few things; MS Access just will never be available on OSX so I run XP and Win7 in emulation using VirtualBox (Parallels is faster) in order to develop/run Access databases. Works perfectly.
Edit: As the 27" iMac's screen is glued into place (making it extremely difficult to repair), I've abandoned the plan and, instead, bought the Core i7 mini. Jony Ive's iMac design caused me to spend $1500 less. The mini is about as fast as the 2011 iMac and I get USB 3.0. Ive designs very pretty junk.
Last edited by rumplestiltskin; 20th Dec 2012 at 12:32.
As someone who fixes Macs for a living, It is always cheaper to upgrade the RAM yourself at a fraction of what Apple Charges.
if my 9 year old son can do it in 15 minutes, the average person should be able to do it as well.
Outside of that, look into Apple Consultants who will be happy ( I am ) to install Ram for you still cheaper than what you would pay Apple."Everyone has to learn, so that they can one day teach."
When I'm not here, Where can I be found?
Urban Mac User