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Old October 26th, 2012, 08:50 AM   #1
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The Imac dilemma

My current camera: Canon XH-A1 (4pin firewire output)

My wanted Imac minimums:
1gig graphics card
3.1 or higher quad core processor
8 gigs ram

Question 1.
I want to get an Imac, but the newest I-macs ditched the firewire inputs. Is a 4 pin firewire to thunderport possible? or should I buy an older model imac that still has the firewire input.

Question 2.
Looking to buy the CS6 master suite once I get the Imac. Any potential problems to look out for?


Any info is appreciated.
Thank you.

-Paul
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:17 AM   #2
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Re: The Imac dilemma

I know several iMAC owners personally that regretted buying them for editing once they got them. If you are a hobbyist an iMAC is fine. CS6 runs OK. If you are getting paid to edit then - not just no but hell no. Don't do it.

You will quickly outgrow it. Unless you have your heart set on one and are willing to put up with the limitations I would seriously recommend a MAC Pro or a PC. Pretty much anything else other than an iMAC.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #3
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
I know several iMAC owners personally that regretted buying them for editing once they got them.
Main reason being its hard to ingests footage? or performance is not up to par?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
If you are a hobbyist an iMAC is fine. CS6 runs OK. If you are getting paid to edit then - not just no but hell no. Don't do it.
Video editing is mostly a hobby for me.

My work computer is a 2010 model 27" imac. 12gig, 2.8ghz i5, 1gig graphics card, and I really like it for video editing. However, I am using FCE, not premiere.

My home PC, is an old one(4gig ram, 2.6 dual core, windows vista), using the CS3 suite.

Eitherway, my home computer is in desperate need of an upgrade. I am weighting my options, and I don't really want to be on the windows platform anymore. Can't afford a MAC pro. Considered building a hack-a-mac.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #4
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Love my 2009 iMac which upped to 8Gigs of RAM and works well with FCP X for my nanoFlash footage off my XLH1 and my XHG1s.

Am planning to get a MB Pro if only for portability. Strictly amateur which I guess most iMac users are.



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Old October 26th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #5
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Re: The Imac dilemma

You are really hamstrung when it comes to expandability. Apple is pushing thunderbolt hard and as you see is removing virtually every other IO option from their machines. That alone would be grounds enough for me to pass on one since I have a collection of equipment that uses firewire and/or USB.

Performance is modest. As recently as last night I sat and watched an iMAC grind through transcoding for an hour when my machine at home would have been done with the same job in a few minutes. We were stuck waiting because they had to create proxies to get any usable performance out of the machine.

For the cost its not a good value in my opinion. You have no option for improving the video card performance next year when your edit software does an upgrade to improve real time performance of difficult codecs such as AVCHD.

If you are doing simple projects that can fit on a simple external drive then it is a workable choice. In a few months you will likely want a bit more out of it and won't have any good paths to get there.

Even a hack-a-mac is a better option in my opinion. At least there you can choose hardware that more closely fits what you need for editing and have options when the next version of "software-x" comes out and demands higher hardware requirements.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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Re: The Imac dilemma

I disagree. A properly spec'd iMac is more than a capable tool for video work.

I've been working on a 27" iMac for almost 3 years now and it's plenty fast for anything I want to do with it. With a quad core i7 processor I can't image a similarly priced MacPro could be any faster encoding. In fact, it's not the horsepower that causes me issues, but the bandwidth of Firewire drives. Thankfully, Thunderbolt fixes this issue.

What I think we're forgetting here is that Thunderbolt IS the expandability. There are products available that hold full-size PCI cards with anything from video inputs to Firewire and eSATA connectors. Most people will never need something this specialized, but they're available if you absolutely need to have Fiber Channel or something: Sonnet - Echo Express SE Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion Chassis

Not to mention the $29 TB to Firewire adapter that Apple sells: Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)

And this awesome new product from Belkin: Thunderbolt Express Dock | Belkin USA Site

As far as value goes, you're getting a $700+ IPS screen with 2560x1440 resolution. Aside from being high in quality for a computer display, the real estate helps you be more productive. The Mac Pro is nearly double the price once you get a screen for it, and it STILL doesn't have the Thunderbolt capability. USB 3.0 drives should be more than fast enough to handle anything you're doing with an XHA1.

For what it's worth, I think the OP would be thrilled with one of the new iMacs. If he "really likes" using FCE on a 2010 model, he'll be blown away by a program like CS6 that can actually take advantage of all 8 virtual cores on the i5 or i7. When it comes down to it, a hackintosh just takes way too much work and the MacPro is dead in the water when it comes down to the new consumer standard: Thunderbolt. Get the iMac.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 03:27 AM   #7
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Re: The Imac dilemma

The new i-Mac will be the fastest computer to edit with Final Cut:

In December this Mac will run Final Cut Pro X the fastest and look cool doing it too - fcp.co

In order to keep your mac as current for as long as possible; I reckon its best to always get the highest specs you can.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 04:39 AM   #8
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Re: The Imac dilemma

I've been wondering about this. I see that it's getting time to get something new (currently have 08 imac), and was of course looking into the spanking new Imacs.

I'm caught in a purgatory where I'm certainly not an amateur, but I rarely edit for pay. Mostly for personal projects. I didn't say never, just rarely. A Mac Pro would be overkill for me, I feel. I certainly am not spending $5k+ for a new one with screen, though I'd consider an older one for about half that if folks have recommendations (that includes NON-Apple monitors comparable to the luscious 30" cinema displays). Of course I'd want something that would somehow be compatible with modern devices, everything going thunderbolt these days, and no anything-to-thunderbolt (input) adapters.

Would the latest Imac, with the upgrades to the processor, etc., really not be up to par with prosumer HD footage (from your EX1s, DSRLs, HPXs, etc.--no red or Alex or any of that madness, more than likely), using Premiere or FCP6 and motion graphics via Motion/After Effects? I'm getting by with that stuff (it ain't necessarily easy) on the 08. I'd assume it'd be 1000x better with a new one.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 06:51 AM   #9
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Wood View Post
The new i-Mac will be the fastest computer to edit with Final Cut:

In December this Mac will run Final Cut Pro X the fastest and look cool doing it too - fcp.co

In order to keep your mac as current for as long as possible; I reckon its best to always get the highest specs you can.
Exactly because expanding or upgrading next year when things change again it is not practical.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 09:48 AM   #10
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Re: The Imac dilemma

I have a 2011 i7 IMAC. It replaced my 2.1 8 core MacPro tower and I have never looked back. The latest IMAC's are significantly faster than all but the most recent Mac Pro towers.

Expandability, while perhaps you can't add PCI cards without going to an external thunderbolt box, the ability to throw 16GB of ram in the iMAC for a fraction of the cost of doing the same with the MacPro is fantastic. In addition as I also use a TB equipped MacBook Pro for editing on the road I can use all the same accessories, I/O adapters, drive adapters etc on both machines. The new iMacs will have two thunderbolt ports so will be much more expandable. As Windows laptops are also starting to add TB ports as well the expandability will only get better.

Once upon a time I did need to be able to add PCI cards etc to get HDSDI, surround sound audio or raid arrays. But now I don't. Delivery of programmes is now on a hard drive, external raid boxes are plentiful and convenient and can be easily swapped between machines. If you need a second monitor for you project bins etc you can use a TB adapter, TB monitor or use an apple TV connected to an HDMI or DVI monitor and AirPlay.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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Re: The Imac dilemma

In response to Alister, You can now put up to 32GB of ram into the Imac.

With two TB ports, 4 USB 3 ports, and a host of other features, the iMac is an amazing choice for editing. The only other option to consider is building a hackintosh, but those require lots of time and skill to make and you're still not saving a whole lot of money compared to an iMac.

Last edited by David Aronson; October 27th, 2012 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Clarification...
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Old October 28th, 2012, 05:59 AM   #12
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Saw this thread and thought I'd mention something for those not immediately needing to make the call on a new iMac or say a Retina MBP.

Apple have publicly stated (in the Summer of 2012) that there will be a new Mac Pro in 2013. We of course have no idea what it will be like but I'd expect to see a beast performance wise, a few Thunderbolt connectors and easy expandability. As to whether or not I will be able to afford it (or want it) to supersede my 2009 Mac Pro now that I mainly use Adobe Production Premium as my editing software is another matter!
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Old October 28th, 2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Thanks everyone for the reply's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Haustein View Post
Not to mention the $29 TB to Firewire adapter that Apple sells: Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter - Apple Store (U.S.)
Thanks, hopefully this would work with my XH-A1. and should answer question 1 of mine.

As for question 2, anyone here running CS6 on OS X mountain lion?
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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #14
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Check out www.barefeats.com for specific performance tests of iMacs vs. MacPros - I can't link directly to a test because the site is currently down (related to Sandy???)

I have a 2008 8-core MacPro w/14gb ram, SSD boot drive, Radeon 5870, and the 24" display (pre-Thunderbolt). The just discontinued 2011 top line quad-core iMac is faster on everything. The new ones that come out in December will be even faster.

I'm just waiting to see what the 2013 MacPro upgrade is like (since I won't need a monitor) but I may get an iMac instead.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:04 AM   #15
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Re: The Imac dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Check out www.barefeats.com for specific performance tests of iMacs vs. MacPros - I can't link directly to a test because the site is currently down (related to Sandy???)

I have a 2008 8-core MacPro w/14gb ram, SSD boot drive, Radeon 5870, and the 24" display (pre-Thunderbolt). The just discontinued 2011 top line quad-core iMac is faster on everything. The new ones that come out in December will be even faster.

I'm just waiting to see what the 2013 MacPro upgrade is like (since I won't need a monitor) but I may get an iMac instead.
Well, looks like I have to reconsider my opinion on the iMAC for editing.

And hope that some folks I know get new ones soon.
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