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Old March 11th, 2012, 01:42 AM   #1
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Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

Hello everyone and thank you for the great support.

I have an iMac i7, only 4GB RAM and ATI Radeon HD 4850. I use Premiere Pro CS5.5 and AE CS5.5. I work with several formats like P2, AVCHD, XDCAM EX and H.264 from Canon cameras. I want to upgrade my Mac and improve my editing workflow so I have a couple of questions.

First of all I realize that I need more RAM. That's obvious. I have 2x2GB. Should I buy another 2x2GB and have 8GB total or do something else?

Another great idea I think is to put an SSD drive into my Mac. Do you think that this is going to improve anything on my video editing workflow? The read-write speeds are much faster from the HDD.

My graphics card is not NVidia so it doesn't support the CUDA acceleration. It's pretty hard I think to change it and keep a stable system. So, what about Renderers? Maybe an AJA card or a Matrox card could improve my workflow.

Thank you for your support in advance

-Ilias
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Old March 11th, 2012, 11:42 AM   #2
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilias Papaioannou View Post
Hello everyone and thank you for the great support.

I have an iMac i7, only 4GB RAM and ATI Radeon HD 4850. I use Premiere Pro CS5.5 and AE CS5.5. I work with several formats like P2, AVCHD, XDCAM EX and H.264 from Canon cameras. I want to upgrade my Mac and improve my editing workflow so I have a couple of questions.

First of all I realize that I need more RAM. That's obvious. I have 2x2GB. Should I buy another 2x2GB and have 8GB total or do something else?

Another great idea I think is to put an SSD drive into my Mac. Do you think that this is going to improve anything on my video editing workflow? The read-write speeds are much faster from the HDD.

My graphics card is not NVidia so it doesn't support the CUDA acceleration. It's pretty hard I think to change it and keep a stable system. So, what about Renderers? Maybe an AJA card or a Matrox card could improve my workflow.

Thank you for your support in advance

-Ilias
Here are the problems:

1) No iMac has any internal component expansion or upgradability whatsoever besides RAM replacement. Almost everything in all iMacs are permanently soldered onto their system boards, and cannot be upgraded or even replaced at all whatsoever (nor can most of the onboard devices be even disabled whatsoever). Thus, you will have to use an external I/O box (but in your older iMac, it has only USB 2.0 ports, and maybe Firewire 800 ports). That makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade the system.

2) The iMacs do not use desktop RAM modules at all - but instead, you will have to purchase SO-DIMM modules designed for laptop systems.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 02:10 AM   #3
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

I can actually put an SSD to my iMac. And yes you can open the iMac and change things inside of it.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #4
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

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Originally Posted by Ilias Papaioannou View Post
I can actually put an SSD to my iMac. And yes you can open the iMac and change things inside of it.
Actually, only the hard drive is replaceable in the iMac. Unfortunately for upgraders, beginning with the 2010 model iMac, Apple has begun to restrict the drives that can be used with the iMac, tying the hard drive directly to the serial number of the system board and also locking out aftermarket hard drive upgrades by requiring the compatible hard drives to be equipped with chips that match the exact code number of the lockout chip on the system board. Thus, if the installed hard drive is too small or too slow or if the drive fails, the entire machine must be sent back to Apple for drive replacement. (You can technically upgrade the hard drive, but in most cases the system will refuse to even POST if you do until you remove the new hard drive and reinstall the original hard drive.)

And as I noted above, the system board used in the iMac has absolutely no internal card expansion slots at all whatsoever. No PCI-e or PCI slots whatsoever.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

I just read a huge post on a forum about this issue and you are right. Thank you. So the only upgrade that I can do is to go for more RAM. And maybe buy a Mac Pro or a good PC some day!
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Old March 12th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #6
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

The best upgrade option you have is to move to a PC and sell your iMAC.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

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Originally Posted by Randall Leong View Post
Actually, only the hard drive is replaceable in the iMac. Unfortunately for upgraders, beginning with the 2010 model iMac, Apple has begun to restrict the drives that can be used with the iMac, tying the hard drive directly to the serial number of the system board and also locking out aftermarket hard drive upgrades by requiring the compatible hard drives to be equipped with chips that match the exact code number of the lockout chip on the system board. Thus, if the installed hard drive is too small or too slow or if the drive fails, the entire machine must be sent back to Apple for drive replacement. (You can technically upgrade the hard drive, but in most cases the system will refuse to even POST if you do until you remove the new hard drive and reinstall the original hard drive.)

And as I noted above, the system board used in the iMac has absolutely no internal card expansion slots at all whatsoever. No PCI-e or PCI slots whatsoever.
Randall take a look on that: OWC TurnKey Upgrade/Installation Program for Apple iMac 27" 2010 Models (iMac11,3) - Add Solid State Drive (SSD), eSATA Port, and/or additional options
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Old March 12th, 2012, 06:22 PM   #8
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

Also this one: DIY: 2010 iMac 27 eSATA Port Installation Guide (99% Reversible) - MacRumors Forums

I can add an eSATA port onto my iMac and sacrifice the useless optical drive.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #9
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

I looked at both links. However, modding an iMac is not for every DIYer. Not even close. You have to be extremely steady-handed in order to perform this mod without destroying anything (I would say that fewer than 2 percent of the entire world's population have hands that are that steady). In fact, due to its very cramped space on the inside, it is all too easy to render the entire system permanently unusable because you could end up cutting the vital components beyond repair.
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Old March 14th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #10
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Re: Renderers - Premiere Pro CS5.5 - iMac i7 27''

Thank you Randall,

I know what you are saying but I think it worths do this. There are several detailed guides to open safely an iMac to Mac Repair - iFixit

So I'm going for 16GB RAM for sure and maybe work on to put an e-sata connector to my iMac. It's probably cheaper than buy a new Mac or PC!

Thanks for your time Randall!
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