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Old May 9th, 2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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New Mac choice for FCPX?

I'm thinking about finally buying my own editing system. I guess I'll go FCPX.
The question is, what is the cheapest Mac I can get away with for editing? Can the basic iMac do the job? Or the cheapest MacBook Pro?
I'd prefer to edit on an iMac because of the bigger screen. A Mac Pro is out of my limited budget.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

As long as the video card in the iMac or MacBookPro is listed in the tech requirements on the FCPX page, you are good to go. The newest models are probably all good, older models have to be checked. From personal experience I know that my oldest iMac which runs FCP7 fine for DV edits and simple HD work, will not run FCPX or 10.7.
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Old May 9th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #3
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

iMac will do it, mine does and it's a 2009 model. Get some extra RAM, I've got 8GB but NOT from the Apple Store. Macbook Pros have the same works as iMacs, but (obviously) a smaller screen.


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Old May 9th, 2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

I have an older iMac 27" (i7 though) and an i5 MBP 13". Both run FCP X, although it's a more pleasant experience on the iMac (better GPU is one of the reasons). Running FCP X on the small screen of the 13" is hell, though.

I think pretty much any new system will run FCP X. I think a 15" MBP or an iMac (21" or 27") will all be okay. Of course, the better you go, the faster the renders, etc.
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Old May 11th, 2012, 09:35 AM   #5
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

I've just bought a 27" iMac with the 6970 1GB graphics card and upgraded the memeory to 12GB and FCPX works very smoothly indeed.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:05 AM   #6
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
I'm thinking about finally buying my own editing system. I guess I'll go FCPX.
The question is, what is the cheapest Mac I can get away with for editing? Can the basic iMac do the job? Or the cheapest MacBook Pro?
I'd prefer to edit on an iMac because of the bigger screen. A Mac Pro is out of my limited budget.
If you don't need it right away I'd wait a month. The odds are in favor of new iMac's and MacBookPro's by then which means more power for less or equal money. And yes, you can edit on the cheapest iMac but adding RAM would be a good move, either now or later when you have the funds. I'm running on a 2011 Core i7 MBP with 8GB RAM, it's very useable. Also using the Pegasus 6TB Thunderbolt RAID which helps make things go smoothly.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:06 PM   #7
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Companion thread over at FCP Suite

For info, somewhat related to your thread is another one over at the FCP Suite:

Is there any reason not to get a refurb MacPro vs. new iMac?

There may be some additional interesting information there.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

Definitely wait a month.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

i have fcp x running on a late 2011 macbook pro, with 4gb of ram. 4gbs of ram is too slow for fcpx; it just crawls and is painful to try to edit. i'm upgrading to 8 gbs of ram, which will hopefully help the speed problem. just my two cents. good luck!
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aya Okawa View Post
i have fcp x running on a late 2011 macbook pro, with 4gb of ram. 4gbs of ram is too slow for fcpx; it just crawls and is painful to try to edit. i'm upgrading to 8 gbs of ram, which will hopefully help the speed problem. just my two cents. good luck!
And I truly believe this is what is just bogging down my computer as well. It's not handling the files very well and everything moves at a snail's pace. I only have 4gb of ram as well. My iMac is a little bit older and I don't know whether to add the ram or go to a newer computer. (I always wanted a 30" monitor anyway. LOL )
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Old May 14th, 2012, 08:31 PM   #11
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Memory is pretty cheap now

In March I bought 8 GB of memory for my '09 MacBook Pro 5,1 for $49.79 with free shipping from Other World Computing.

They will buy your old memory and that can help defray the cost.

Background rendering is definitely speeded up and other operations are noticeably faster. I think is is money well spent.

There may be a downside, but I don't know for sure: If the operations are faster then would this cause more heat? If so, then a cooling fan for the bottom would help. For the moment I'm using a couple "Wild Turkey" corks to hold the back end of the laptop up. They're nice because they have a flat end on them.
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Old May 14th, 2012, 09:49 PM   #12
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

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Originally Posted by Scott Brooks View Post
And I truly believe this is what is just bogging down my computer as well. It's not handling the files very well and everything moves at a snail's pace. I only have 4gb of ram as well. My iMac is a little bit older and I don't know whether to add the ram or go to a newer computer. (I always wanted a 30" monitor anyway. LOL )
I've talked to a number of other people about the problem too, and apparently 4 gb is just not enough for fcpx. it just crawls, its painful! (lion overall isn't nearly as snappy as i had thought it would be either.) there is no other way around it, apparently. so i ordered 8gb from crucial.com, which has very reasonable prices ($45, as opposed to apples' $400). i'm going to install it this week, and will let you know if it helps. i'll keep an eye on the heat too as john suggests.
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Old May 17th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #13
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

I just found out recently that my graphics card is NOT on the list of those that work. In fact, it is on the list of those that WON'T work. It's the ATI Radeon HD 2600. Now I thought that when you went through the App Store that it would check your computer before allowing you to download. Apparently that didn't go so well.

While I would like to wait it out for the latest and greatest ... the fact is that my computer almost came to a dead halt today. While waiting for it to it's thing in FCPX ... it took close to 60 seconds for Word to open.

This has been brutally painful, but at least now I know that it's possibly just not enough processing power and an incompatible graphics card.

2.8 Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro 256
Mid 2007
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Old May 18th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #14
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Re: New Mac choice for FCPX?

I'd wait on buying a new Mac if you can. Rumor is that at WWDC they'll have a new 15" MBP with two Thunderbolt ports and one USB3 port. I'd imagine new iMacs may be just some weeks beyond that.
Don't underestimate the importance of Thunderbolt if you're doing any serious work. Whether it's Video I/O (at least for monitoring) or fast hard drives for media, the expansion is a must. I'm actually hoping for a new iMac or MacPro replacement (I think the tower is gone) with four Thunderbolt ports. There's too many "end of chain" devices to have less IMHO.

One of my peeves about the iMac (even the new ones) is the inability to replace the GPU. I kept my 2008 MacPro alive (FCPX compatible) by purchasing a Radeon 5770. Of course Apple would rather you buy a new computer (possibly another reason for them to kill the tower).
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Old May 19th, 2012, 08:50 PM   #15
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Craig - don't think things like that about the Tower!

They'd be crazy to kill the tower. Not only for video processing but also for CAD. There are too many jobs that would be very hard on the little laptops.

Look at the fan on the MacPro - it's BIG. Then look at the fans on the MacBook Pro - a couple dinky little critters.

There are a lot of fields that I'm sure that also need to use power, such as maybe genetics, for example. If Apple gave up on the desktop they'd surrender that piece of the pie to the other guys. What a shame that would be.

As the FCPX team adds capability to the program I'm sure they'll need more capability, not less.

Lets pray they come up with a new Mac Pro.
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Last edited by John Nantz; May 19th, 2012 at 11:18 PM. Reason: spelling mistake field > fields
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