Final Cut video editing: Mac Pro or iMac?

Discussion in 'Tech' started by tweakmonkey, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Looking to possibly buy a Mac at work for video editing. We want to play around with Final Cut Pro and currently only have Windows PCs, so... we need a Mac to do this.

    The options appear to be:
    1) Mac Pro desktop (quad Xeon) starts at $2500 + monitor (we may have an extra LCD)
    2) iMac desktop (Core 2 duo) starts at $1199
    3) Macbook Pro (notebook) starts at $1199

    I'm tending to think #3 is the worst solution, I don't want to do editing on a notebook.

    My biggest concern about picking #2 is that it won't be fast enough. #1 would be nice but it's double the price of #2. Budget is a big concern.

    If anyone has any experience, will the Core 2 iMac (3.06 GHz dual core) be fast enough for editing? Even with HD? I won't be making motion pictures, just like 2-10 minute videos for Youtube etc., sometimes using several cameras/sources including HD. Cars, 30 FPS stuff. I'll rely on external storage for the most part.

    Mac Pro would be awesome, but damn it's pricey. :D And what's with that 3 GB of memory vs 4 GB standard from the iMac? :(
  2. gB dAvId x

    gB dAvId x thats what she said

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    Do you really need Final Cut video editing...? Why not get build a high end windows desktop machine and use Adobe Premiere ?
  3. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I could try Premiere. My desktop at work is good, and my co-workers is even better (mine's a dual core, his is a quad Core 2). We also have an Avid editing station, but I don't like Avid. I thought Final Cut would be pretty sweet, I hear good things about it all the time.
  4. Commissar Smersh

    Commissar Smersh 2020 Staff Member

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    I can edit 1080p with real-time rendering for simpler (like not anything fancy) effects on my now 2 year old 2.4 C2D iMac. Obviously I have longer render times than Lurker's Mac Pro setup, but since neither you or I are doing stuff that is incredibly time-sensitive, it shouldn't be an issue.

    Option #4 Quad-Core iMac @ $1999:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2009/11/20...enchmarks-show-substantial-performance-gains/

    [​IMG]

    The i5 and i7 rock the Mac Pros' Xeons.

    Mac Pro's chipset supports triple channel memory.
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  5. randomtask

    randomtask Chimp.

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    The Mac Pro desktop is reaching the end of it's cycle, hold off on buying if you want one IMO. Otherwise you are paying top dollar still for early 2009 tech.

    The iMacs just had it's refresh, and took a big leap with the quad core introduced with the new 27" screen. If you really want to buy a powerful mac right now this is the one to get. You would be paying for up-to-date tech.

    However pretty much the new mac-pro will be a beast of a machine if the rumors are true. So if you want the absolute best, wait. Otherwise.. settle on the iMac.
    tweakmonkey says thanks for this.
  6. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    Great replies, thanks guys.
  7. chapel

    chapel Jolly Bolly Fo-Folly Staff Member

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    A couple friends got the new i7 based 27" iMacs and absolutely love them. So fast. Not too spendy considering you are getting a top notch (probably one of the best, if not the best) 27" monitors out there and close to the top of the cpu spectrum, with the power boost auto overclocking tech, you get up to like 3.6ghz out of them.

    I would say Final Cut is nice, if you want to do it professionally you probably should learn it. But premiere has just as much of a foothold. Up to you really. I wish I could buy one of the new iMacs.
  8. -=Lurker=-

    -=Lurker=- **BANNED**

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    I second the quad core iMac unless you need to use a capture card. If you're going to do HD video, you will need to get yourself some kind of RAID array as the throughput needed for HD is pretty high. This can be accomplished through an external solution though.

    As for the 3GB incriments, benchmark test show that the intel based Macs like RAM in 3 GB incriments and have shown that a Mac Pro with 6GB RAM vs 8 GB actually performs faster in CPU intensive tasks.

    The gain is really not noticeable IMO. Then again I run 16GB.