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Old January 12th, 2008, 12:54 PM   #1
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iMac's for FC Pro

Hello all,

I'm buying an iMac (Mac Pro out of my league I'm afraid) and unfortunately price is of real importance.

How significant a difference would you gauge there to be between the 2.0 ghz intel core duo processor and the 2.4ghz model? The computer is intended to solely be used for editing with the latest Final Cut Pro.

I'll be getting 2gb RAM either way I think.

I might be able to scrape the cash together for the 2.4ghz if people think it's really worth it - if the 2.0 model is okay though and the difference isn't that significant, then I can lavish the money on a microphone which I'm sorely in need of!

Many thanks for your tips.

Matt
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Old January 12th, 2008, 02:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Matthew Whitney View Post
Hello all,

I'm buying an iMac (Mac Pro out of my league I'm afraid) and unfortunately price is of real importance.

How significant a difference would you gauge there to be between the 2.0 ghz intel core duo processor and the 2.4ghz model? The computer is intended to solely be used for editing with the latest Final Cut Pro.

I'll be getting 2gb RAM either way I think.

I might be able to scrape the cash together for the 2.4ghz if people think it's really worth it - if the 2.0 model is okay though and the difference isn't that significant, then I can lavish the money on a microphone which I'm sorely in need of!

Many thanks for your tips.

Matt
I've recently bought a 20" 2.4 for using with FCE. The guy at the Apple Store in Glasgow (who does video himself) thought the 2.0 underpowered for that.
For the extra cash you get the slightly faster processor, a better graphics card and a bigger HD. Are you entitled to an Education discount? That would help a wee bit with the cash, as would fitting extra RAM yourself.
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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Thanks Colin. Yeah, I noticed the graphics card thing just now.

I didn't know that you could fit extra RAM yourself for a Mac? Glad to discover that. I have been assuming that their whole vertically integrated thing made upgrading them yourself much harder.

I guess the next question is - how important is the faster graphics card?
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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Matthew Whitney View Post
I didn't know that you could fit extra RAM yourself for a Mac? Glad to discover that. I have been assuming that their whole vertically integrated thing made upgrading them yourself much harder.
I guess it used to be that way. My iMac has 3rd party memory, 3rd party DL DVD burner, and I have bought bigger hard drives from Seagate and WD, both of them work just fine.

With that said, I would maximize your processor speed because it often gives you better performance for video editing vs. a a higher end graphics board.

-gb-
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Old January 13th, 2008, 01:46 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Matthew Whitney View Post
The computer is intended to solely be used for editing with the latest Final Cut Pro.

...

I guess the next question is - how important is the faster graphics card?
Hi Matthew.

If you are editing with the latest Final Cut Pro, this means that you will have Final Cut Studio (a full suite of applications).

One of these applications is called Color and will give you a much more "higher end" result when you color correct your footage.

The graphics card on the 2.0 GHZ iMac is ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT.

The graphics card on the 2.4 GHz iMac (and above) is ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO.

If you look at the system requirements for running Color on this page:

http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs.html

you will see that only the ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO is mentioned (and not the XT) for handling Color.

So I guess your purchase (2.0 GHz or 2.4 GHZ) depends on the editing speed you require and whether you think you'll ever need to use Color or not.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #6
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i'm running a 17" iMac, 2 GHz, 3 GB SDRAM, Lacie 1 TB external, RadeonX1600, with FCPS2. Editing lots of HDV and finding rendering a little slow, though i'm running high quality all the time and using lots of subtitles and transitions. That said, it all seems to be working pretty smoothly. If i could do it over, though, i would have definitely gone with the 20" with more speed and better graphics card etc...
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:02 AM   #7
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I'm just getting back to learning FCP (5.1.4) on a Intel iMac 24". I had some weird lines (vertical and horizontal) as well as some latent icons, etc. appear. I discovered them when my editing of a photo in Photoshop was having no affect and I moved the image and the lines, etc., stayed where they were. I bought Applecare (highly recommended especially on an all-in-one machine like the iMac) and called.

Applecare Level 1 support told me to take it to an Apple store. I did and they said I had a hardware problem and they don't fix hardward problems. They said they'd send it in to Apple for me for repair and in 7-10 working days it should be back. I can't be without it for two weeks so I brought it back and called Applecare again looking for a plan B. I was transferred to level 2 support.

To my surprise I was informed by an Applecare level 2 support person that Applecare includes on-site repairs for desktop machines. They set it up for a local contract service place to handle it and sent them the parts. They replaced the motherboard and video card which only got rid of most of the glitches. They then requested that Apple send a new LCD as well. Waiting for the call on that.

Here's the interesting part. The tech told me that Apple considers the iMac consumer machines and does not put the S-IPS (8-bit) LCD panels in them like they do the Apple LCD monitors, they put in TN Film (6-bit - uses dithering to fake millions of colors) panels in them instead. What?!?

I called Apple and no one could tell me exactly what LCD panel is in the 24" iMac. They just said, "Well, Apple uses a lot of vendors and..." So I did some online checking and, from what I found so far -- I do not know the real source of this information, I found it in a thread on a Apple discussions forum http://discussions.apple.com/thread....sageID=6155766:

Aug '07 24" ALU: LG.Philips LM240WU2-SLB1, S-IPS, 8-bit
Aug '07 20" ALU: LG.Philips LM201WE3-TLF1, TN Film, 6-bit
Sep '06 24" white: LG.Philips LM240WU2-SLA1, S-IPS, 8-bit
Sep '06 20" white: LG.Philips LM201W01-SLA3, S-IPS, 8-bit _OR_ Samsung LTM201M1, S-VPA, 8-bit

When they replace my LCD panel I'm going to see if I can get the specifics from the tech. So, I'm adding this as it might be a consideration in which iMac to get.

This is a decent explanation of LCD panels: http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides...anel-types.php
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Old January 17th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #8
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It's a good thing that the 24" uses the 8bit panels
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Old January 18th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #9
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It's a good thing that the 24" uses the 8bit panels
Confirmed yesterday when they swapped out my LCD panel, it's a LG.Philips LM240WU2-SLB1, S-IPS, 8-bit.
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