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jayne_cobb
07-06-2016, 11:41 PM
I'm pretty new to this stuff.

I'm wondering if someone can help me understand what it is I will need to do to edit 4K video on my Mac. My camera does have the ability to record in 4K but when I import it to iMovie (or even in Photos) it is choppy.

My Mac is getting on in age

Mid 2010
Processor 3.06 Ghs Intel Core i3
Memory 8 GB 1333 Mhz DDR3
Graphics ATi Radeon HD 4670 256MB

I imagine something about this is old enough that is the source of my problems, but Im wondering if someone else can help me understand what it is. Is it something I can upgrade?

Appreciate the help
Cheers

lclev
07-07-2016, 12:08 AM
What do you have - a macbook, macbook pro, macbook air? What year is your mac? What file type is the camera using? The choppiness could be due to incorrect frame rate settings.

4K video is very CPU intensive because it is very detailed large files. An i3 CPU is going to struggle and 8GB is on the low side of the memory needed. Also the video card plays a big part and that card is minimal. Upgrading would be impractical given the i3 processor - which is really underpowered for the job.

You do not say what version of iMovie but I do know 10.1.2 will handle 4k video.

Now if you have an iPhone 6s or an iPad Pro according to Apple they will edit the 4k video - go figure. https://www.apple.com/mac/imovie/

Lisa

jayne_cobb
07-08-2016, 10:47 PM
Hey Thanks for the help

Its an iMac Mid 2010
I have a good camera that shoots 4K but maybe for the purposes of this conversation lets assume I have a iPhone 6s and want to edit video on my iMac. (I'll likely be buying whatever new comes out in the fall anyway)

I'm torn because Photos/Video/Editing are a bit of a hobby (nothing professional) and I see how things are going that way so I'd like to be able to have something that can edit it.

Buying something completely brand new seems a bit of an overkill considering otherwise my iMac works fine. Is upgrading the card and processor basically the same financially as buying a new computer all together?

pigoo3
07-08-2016, 11:11 PM
Is upgrading the card and processor basically the same financially as buying a new computer all together?

On many iMac models upgrading the CPU and GPU are not possible. With some models it is possible to upgrade the CPU & GPU. But then the question is (especially with the GPU) what do you upgrade to. There really are very few options.

Bottom line. Probably near 99% of iMac users that feel they need more CPU or GPU performance basically sell their old iMac…and purchase a newer iMac (used or new).

- Nick

lclev
07-08-2016, 11:55 PM
To add to what Nick said, keep in mind even if you upgrade the CPU (and I do believe you can) and add memory (you do not indicate if you have the 21.5" or 27") up to 16GB or 32GB depending on which model, you still will be underpowered for 4k video unless they are very short in duration.

But just some FYI - this shows how to upgrade a 27" 2010 iMac's CPU:
https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Upgrade+iMac+Intel+Core+i3+CPU+to+Core+i7/8670

Lisa

ferrarr
07-09-2016, 07:44 AM
Saying "Buying something completely brand new seems a bit of an overkill considering otherwise my iMac works fine. Is upgrading the card and processor basically the same financially as buying a new computer all together?", does this mean the choppy 4k is ok, then there is no issue.

Check out Apple Refurb (http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/imac).

lclev
07-09-2016, 04:47 PM
Jayne - You can try the upgrade or buy a refurb. It is up to you. We just offer opinions. If all you will do is create short videos (less that 15 minutes) occasionally you might do fine upgrading or getting a refurb.

As to the choppy video. There could be several reasons for it.

1. The video card can not handle the 4K.

2. The hard drive can not feed it fast enough - slow RPM - or is too full to create an adequate swap area for the video. You do not say how full your hard drive is. If you can put the video on an external that might help.

3. The CPU is too underpowered to handle the 4K.

4. The frame rate of the video is different from the frame rate iMovie is set to or can handle. And since I do not work with iMovie enough I can not tell you how to check that. I work in Premiere Pro and that is really different from iMovie.

When I work with 4K video I spread the videos out on several drives (if there are more than one), set the cache drive to use another SSD (not sure iMovie allows that), and the main drive was only concerned with handling the video editing programs (In my case Premiere Pro.) The more spread out I can make it the better it flows as I am not clogging one drive with all the demands thus creating a bottleneck.

Lisa

IWT
07-15-2016, 01:13 PM
I am in the process of buying a new computer to edit 4k video. My brief experience with iMacs tells me to avoid them because their thin-obsessed design prevents normal thermal efficiency and they bake themselves to death. My iMac, about the same age as yours, now sits on a shelf unable to even boot up any more after some time viewing YT videos and editing HD videos with iMovie. The new 5k iMac seems doomed from the start so I am waiting very patiently for the new Mac Pro to make its presence felt when I will make the choice between it and a Windows machine. At the moment I can't any other possibility but a Windows computer that I can vacuum out every now and then when the dust inevitabely builds up. Apple seems to be seriously letting down the computer user concentrating instead on the "froth" end of the market of watches, pads, pods, phones, super-high profit margins and is well and truly "Cooked".

I have responded to your comments about the iMac on another thread today already.

I think you are being unnecessarily harsh in your statement rubbishing the iMac. And I it is incorrect to say the 5K iMac was doomed from the start. Many of us have found the iMac in general and the 5K in particular, to be highly respectable computers.

Ian

jayne_cobb
07-21-2016, 12:06 PM
For whatever its worth I didn't make the other remark lol

I love all things Mac. Have an iMac, Macbook Air, on my 3rd iPhone, have a few iPod touches kicking around the home for the family. 2 iPad's and 3 Apple Tv's lol If I did need to get a new computer it would be a Mac. I love how interconnected everything is and for the most part my experience has been nothing short of spectacular.

In fact its kinda the reason for my post. I love my iMac and would prefer not to get a new one. (Cost is an issue sure......but its just as much in every other way I love it so why change).

I really do appreciate all the advice people are giving here. I still find myself unsure what my best option is. Please remember I am not an expert at this stuff. I'll try to answer the questions as best I can.

1. It is a 21'
2. Is there any way for me to know if my video card supports 4K? (In my head a video card either supports it or doesn't.....perhaps I am wrong on that)
3. All of my photos and videos are on external drives
4. I'm not sure how to tell if my CPU is overwhelmed or underpowered
5. I'm told iMovie can handle 4 K video (so I am told)

While I am curious if other programs would work I am not sure if this is the place to discuss it. I do have thousands and thousands of photos and video organized in a pretty detailed fashion in Photos. (faces, locations, keywords, folders etc) I think it would take me many hours to redo that from scratch so if there was a way to do it that didn't involve changing a program that would probably be ideal.

I do appreciate the feedback, I'm really just trying to understand my options. I appreciate in the end its my decision. I just feel my lack of knowledge prevents me from knowing what my current computer can do (or be upgraded to do).

Thanks everyone

IWT
07-21-2016, 12:15 PM
@jayne_cobb - "For whatever its worth I didn't make the other remark lol".

Of course you didn't Jayne. I was directing my remarks to @farpelito which is why I included his/her comments in my reply.

Ian

joema
07-25-2016, 08:43 PM
...help me understand what it is I will need to do to edit 4K video on my Mac. My camera does have the ability to record in 4K but when I import it to iMovie (or even in Photos) it is choppy....My Mac is getting on in age...Mid 2010...Processor 3.06 Ghs Intel Core i3....Graphics ATi Radeon HD 4670 256MB...
I imagine something about this is old enough that is the source of my problems, but Im wondering if someone else can help me understand what it is. Is it something I can upgrade?...

4k H264 video is generally difficult to edit smoothly on most computers using most editing software. It is 4x the data per frame as 1080p. Decoding H264 is CPU-intensive and due to the intrinsically sequential nature of the algorithm, cannot be meaningfully accelerated by the GPU. I edit video professionally on a top-spec 2015 iMac 27 using both FCPX and Premiere CC 2015.3, and 4k can be sluggish on both, although FCPX is considerably faster.

If you want to keep your current machine, your best option is probably get FCPX and use the built-in proxy file feature, which transparently generates 1/4-res files that you edit, then still allows exporting the full 4k resolution. Adobe just added this feature to Premiere but proxy generation is about twice as slow as FCPX in my tests.

Since 4k has become so common that cell phones shoot it, this can be a confusing area. However it is difficult to edit. Newer Macs have an Intel CPU with Quick Sync which can accelerate decoding and encoding of H264 content -- if the editing software support is. FCPX does; I don't know if iMovie does or not. But even with Quick Sync on a 2015 top-spec iMac, 4k H264 can be a bit sluggish.

I find 4k is useful even though I never distribute in 4k. It enables cropping and zooming in post. Here is an example (not mine) shot from a single locked-down GH4. All motions are done in post: https://vimeo.com/channels/humcrush/101051502