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Old June 3rd, 2010, 04:49 PM   #1
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Is my iMac powerful enough for FCP?

Hello,

I currently have this iMac (specs below). I'm wondering if anyone could shed any light on whether it is powerful enough for HD video editing with and some motion graphics rendering? Obviously it's not the ideal system, but will it work for now? Thanks much for any insight...

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac5,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.16 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 04:55 PM   #2
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Yes for the HD-editing. (well, not uncompressed HD editing, but I'm guessing you're not gonna do that anyhow).

About the Motion rendering, I'm guessing it should be possible but it could be that you are gonna get frustrated. And maybe there your VRAM is important. Check what the minimum specs are for the version of Motion you will use (if you will use that program) and how much you have.

For FCP you don't need a very heavy graphics card.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 07:25 PM   #3
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I own the exact same iMac (I'm typing on it now). I edit HDV in ProRes ALL THE TIME with it. Renders aren't screaming, I don't dare edit HDV natively (hence the ProRes) and would never CONSIDER AVCHD on the system but it makes me money.

The issues I've had have been exactly as Mathieu says: the VRAM is seriously lacking and OCCASIONALLY an effect just WON'T render due to insufficient VRAM - when I say won't render, I mean WON'T. AT ALL. Very very seldom but something you should be aware of.

Motion will run into the same issues but basic stuff works fine.

OS10.4.11 with FCP6.0.6 w. QT7.6.2
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 09:31 PM   #4
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Are these the '08 imacs? I have one, and every time I tried to mess with HD, it pretty much grinds to a halt. Even moving the playhead around causes the colored beach ball to come up. I've dropped EX1 footage in the timeline as well as dealing with an animated project using 1080 QT movies, and reference movies with image sequences. What am I doing wrong? Sequence settings match footage, etc.
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:30 PM   #5
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Josh, I guess something must be wrong with your iMac if you have an '08 model.
I bought my Macbook Pro in the beginning of 2008, and in horsepower the iMac is always a bit stronger.
And on my Macbook Pro has enough power to edit Prores, EX1 footage, ...
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Old June 3rd, 2010, 11:44 PM   #6
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I doubt it's the imac so much as a setting somewhere, in the computer or in FCP. RAM is maxed out (all of 3GB), but I've never defragged it.. .if that matters.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 12:35 AM   #7
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Shaun,
Not sure if this is the same problem, but i have noticed that sometimes a clip REFUSES to render. for me, i think it is less of a vram issue, and more of FCP having render connection/management issues.
to solve it, i just copy the clip and paste it into the same spot, and then it will render (i think that maybe the clip wouldn't break the connection to its old render file...). i've noticed that if a clip has a transition on it, then it will sometimes not render when you make changes to effects/etc. if i remove the transition, it renders, or i just do the same copy/paste trick.
sometimes i kick my desk, but that rarely seems to help anything...
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:06 AM   #8
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I think that one of the issues with the imac for editing is an optimization issue. That single drive takes the brunt of all the day to day data activity and it's hard to keep the OS drive clean & uncluttered.

Ideally, for a "work machine" the OS drive should just have the applications on it & it should rarely be on the internet. Since that is not always possible, it's best to at least strive for that ideal. It won't overcome the limitations of a machine, but it will add as little stress to the system as possible.

One of the things I love about the MP is that I can always just pop in a new OS drive if it is showing signs of fatigue.

- Josh - If you've tried everything else (trashing preferences etc.), Have you tried a clean install of just FCP. That's one of the things Apple told me to do in the past, I don't remember the process for an uninstall now though.
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Old June 4th, 2010, 10:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Korrow View Post
I don't remember the process for an uninstall now though.
Use the free tool FCS Remover. Great tool, should be included by Apple.
(Shame a Logic Studio doesn't exist yet, but AppCleaner gave me good results with that in the past).
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Old June 4th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #10
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Brian: in my case, I actually get a dialog box that says something about the filter being too big or something... hasn't happened in a while so I don't remember the verbiage...

My iMac was bought in May '07.

I use external FW400 drives for all media and renders. As I mentioned earlier, NO problems with ProRes material at 720P60 but it CRAWLS with long GOP MPEG formats like HDV natively.
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