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jayne_cobb
11-26-2016, 05:25 PM
Hey Everyone

I'm curious would it would take to upgrade my Mac to handle 4K video.
iMac mid 2010
Processor 3.06 Ghz Intel Core i3
Memory 8 GB 1333 Mhz DDR3
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 4670 256MB

I admit I'm a little naive on this stuff. I just have a new iPhone a new goPro and my computer can't handle it.

I realize many of you will say it might just be better to buy a new one and I'm hoping I can just concede that point and move past it to better understand what would be involved with upgrading. My questions isn't should I upgrade vs buying, its what would be involved to upgrade.

I just want to understand that process.

Appreciate all the feedback
Cheers

ferrarr
11-26-2016, 05:48 PM
Start here, https://gopro.com/support/articles/minimum-system-requirements-for-4k-editing-and-playback

harryb2448
11-26-2016, 05:55 PM
If you check out Bob's site, alas the graphics card would not handle it and the i3 CPU is pretty slow also. Pushing seven years old so I guess you know the answer. You do not have to buy new. Say a 2013 iMac i7 3.5GHz with a 4GB graphics card and 16GB of memory would be great. Also most came with a fusion drive, which consists of a 128GB flash drive which handles things very fast, and a 1,2 or 3TB platter drive depending how much of the current hard drive you use. I am not into iTunes or movies and only use about 55GB of the 512GB flash drive on my iMac. OWC (macsales.com) sell used iMacs with great warranties at very reasonable prices and free delivery assuming you are in the States.

pne
12-03-2016, 05:35 PM
I would like to ask the same question, I dont think my imac is going to cut it but I just want to make sure before I start shopping for a new(er) one vs upgrading the ram on this one.

I would like to start doing some vlogging and editing my own videos. I don't really care about 4k but would like the ability to record in 4k and downsample to 1080 for my videos. I am looking to run Adobe Premiere and use footage from my gopro, S6 samsung, and I will also be buying another camera soon such as a GH4.

I have a late 2009 27", 2.66 i5, 4gb ram, ATI Radeon HD 4850 512mb.

jayne_cobb
12-11-2016, 09:40 AM
Hey Guys

As usual I appreciate the help.

Still just lots of things percolating in my mind. I'm going to frame my question a little different. I realize it will be a bit naive, but I"m asking it as such because I feel like I need to learn about it and I'm hoping the answer can start my learning.

When I used to buy video games or even some programs they would have a "minimum requirements" and "recommend requirements" in order for it to work. When considering something that would support 4k video editing. Is there some sort of "requirements' I should be looking for. Harry suggests a 2013 Mac would be fine....but he of course puts the appropriate specs with it. As I scan the refurbished sites I find I don't really know what I am looking for. I've even read in other places that if I bought brand new it might not support 4K editing. Is that possible?

I realize I am asking a simplistic question that likely doesn't have a simple answer, but gosh I just feel like my knowledge on this stuff is so minimal I need to start somewhere. My biggest disappointment would obviously be getting a new Mac and it not supporting 4K video editing.

Thanks!

ferrarr
12-11-2016, 11:06 AM
Did you even look at the link I posted? It is the "Minimum requirements for 4k" link. That is the minimum for 4k, not the recommended, which is usually higher than minimum specs.

http://www.mac-forums.com/showthread.php?t=338050&p=1738832&viewfull=1#post1738832

jayne_cobb
12-11-2016, 05:14 PM
Hey Ferrarr

I did look but it was still a little Greek to me. Perhaps you can help me out than.

1. When it says a "4th generation processor" is that what the "i" stands for. For example in my current computer specs above I have a "i3" does that mean mine is 3rd generation. I see Apple is offering most of their Macs with i5(or greater) so would that be 5th generation?

2. Does the Ghz Matter? I realize more is better, but is there no amount showing on the GOPRO recommendation. So would the 2.9 Apple is offering be fine?

3. Graphics confuse me. I have an ATI Radeon. All that Apple is offering these days are AMD Radeon. I assume that is the newer version. I also see Go Pro reference AMD Radeon. SO I think we are on the same page as far as that is concerned. Where I get super confused is the numbers. Apple seems to be offering a RADEON R9 (M390, M390, M395). Go Pro suggest you need HD AD-7800. I am not sure how those would compare.

Or if I went with the 21.5 Version
Go Pro recommends Iris Pro Graphics 5200. So when I see Apple offering Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 I can obviously assume that is better?

As sorta a general theme. I get that $2.99 worth of French Fries gets me more French Fries than .99. But I also feel $49.99 gets me more French Fries, than either 2.99 or .99 but at some point I'm just paying for more fries that I don't really need. I'm sure Lucasfilms will have a better computer than I do to edit Star Wars, but I don't really need to edit Star Wars. I likely buy more than the basic model, but how far up is hard for me to tell. I'm sure its hard for someone to recommend to me either, which is why I'm sorta looking to just understand the whole process more because ultimately I know I'll need to decide for myself.

Cheers

ferrarr
12-11-2016, 08:04 PM
1. As far as I know, Intel makes an i3, i5, and i7 processors. The number does not designate the "generation". Unfortunately, your iMac is too old, I believe 4k began in 2012, for Macs.

2. My take away is that the minimum requirement is a 4th generation Intel Core processor, whether i3 or i7 is not as important as 4th gen.

3. I believe the graphics in a 4k iMac will be acceptable, the list in the link is for people building a pc, or with an existing pc, they will need to confirm they meet the requirements to play and edit, but if you buy an iMac that says 4k, you will be good to go. Also, did you see this in my link?

Other things to consider:


You need to have a monitor which is capable of playing back 4K video if you want to properly play 4K.
Even if your computer meets the requirements, you may find that 4K video plays back choppy. This is due to the immense processing power required to play 4K.

pne
12-11-2016, 09:40 PM
Hey Ferrarr

I did look but it was still a little Greek to me. Perhaps you can help me out than.

1. When it says a "4th generation processor" is that what the "i" stands for. For example in my current computer specs above I have a "i3" does that mean mine is 3rd generation. I see Apple is offering most of their Macs with i5(or greater) so would that be 5th generation?

2. Does the Ghz Matter? I realize more is better, but is there no amount showing on the GOPRO recommendation. So would the 2.9 Apple is offering be fine?

3. Graphics confuse me. I have an ATI Radeon. All that Apple is offering these days are AMD Radeon. I assume that is the newer version. I also see Go Pro reference AMD Radeon. SO I think we are on the same page as far as that is concerned. Where I get super confused is the numbers. Apple seems to be offering a RADEON R9 (M390, M390, M395). Go Pro suggest you need HD AD-7800. I am not sure how those would compare.

Or if I went with the 21.5 Version
Go Pro recommends Iris Pro Graphics 5200. So when I see Apple offering Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 I can obviously assume that is better?

As sorta a general theme. I get that $2.99 worth of French Fries gets me more French Fries than .99. But I also feel $49.99 gets me more French Fries, than either 2.99 or .99 but at some point I'm just paying for more fries that I don't really need. I'm sure Lucasfilms will have a better computer than I do to edit Star Wars, but I don't really need to edit Star Wars. I likely buy more than the basic model, but how far up is hard for me to tell. I'm sure its hard for someone to recommend to me either, which is why I'm sorta looking to just understand the whole process more because ultimately I know I'll need to decide for myself.

Cheers

Your question isn't naive or silly, the computer industry and marketing is the real problem here. They purposely name these things in a stupid fashion. And unless you do some heavy reading and researching you can't understand what exactly you are getting for your money. Your french fry analogy is correct and I also asked the same question on a different forum with no answers. It is frustrating as hell, if I was shopping for a car I can just look at simple measurements that are easy to understand. This car gets 35mpg, this car has 300hp. If a car salesman refused to tell me the mileage but instead kept repeating "this is a 7th generation engine" I would walk out.


Intel came out with the "i3, i5, i7" processors a decade ago. They upgrade them every few years with a new generation, but they are still called i3,i5,i7. Unless you are tech savvy you don't know what generation your CPU is or what that really means. So my 2009 iMac was an i5 maybe like a 2nd generation, a new iMac has an i5 6th or 7th generation.

The main thing you need to know is that if you are editing with iMovie or final cut pro, these programs are very efficient compared to adobe premier. So you will need a lot less computing power than an equivalent PC (which seems to be what that go pro site is referencing in their specs). More confusing stuff, 4k is not all the same. 4k from a gopro or iPhone is a lot smaller in size than a DSLR or camcorder, and they use compressed files making it easier for your machine to handle. You need to decide if 4k is really necessary, or if you are happy just converting all your 4k footage into 1080p and then editing those files. The quality is still very high and not many people watch 4k yet anyway.

A couple ways to test out your iMac if you already have final cut pro. Import some footage into a new project, scroll through the video and see if your computer can "scrub" through smoothly, play it back as well. How much faster is a new mac going to be? Two apps will let you test that. #1 is called geek bench 4, get it and run it with all other apps closed, it will give you a score. On their website they list user submitted scores from just about every single computer out there. So you will know exactly how fast your computer is. People would tell me to upgrade to a new computer but my 2009 iMac is as fast as a 2016 MacBook. #2 is called Brucex and this is a more specific test of video editing capability. It's a small project you download and open in final cut, then measure the amount of time in seconds it takes to render. Same idea.

The best thing I did for my 2009 iMac was upgrade from 4gb of ram to 12gb. It cost $50 at best buy and plugged in in a few minutes. My computer felt like new after that. I would try that before buying a new unit. Other things include installing the latest version of sierra, and making sure you have lots of space available on your hard drive. Your graphics card looks a bit weak but my ATI radeon with 512mb is editing 1080p fine, i just have to wait a little longer for certain tasks like stabilization. Remember, most people don't even have 4k monitors, so if you are just putting videos on youtube, stick to 1080p, it still looks great.

jayne_cobb
12-11-2016, 10:33 PM
Thanks for both of the replies. I finally feel like I am making some headway into understanding this.

So a few things.

I would say what I most want to use it for is for some of the travelling I am fortunate enough to do. I will likely most often display it on the TV. So..(and admittedly I never thought of this....again just naive) does someone need a 4K TV to actually appreciate my 4K project?

I have a high end Point and Shoot (paid about $2000). The 4K was kinda an "thats a neat thing" but not the main reason I purchased it. I also ended up going with the newest Go Pro...again more for some other features than specifically the 4K. SO what I am saying is I didn't purpose set out to shoot 4K video, but found myself now in the situation that I can.

So maybe I have this technology that in a few years will be nice to have, but really at this point won't really be able to show off what I can do. Is that correct?

I don't actually have Final Cut Pro yet. I have decided I will get it.....I was just holding off incase I purchased a new Mac in the next few days. I have only used iMovie to this point. While I realize I will be able to do more with Final Cut Pro.......is it possible that FCP will also render it better? I find in iMovie even though it supposedly supports it, there is a definite Lag. This even happens when I try to play it from Photos for example.

Appreciate all the advice here. Maybe I'm over thinking this a bit.

Cheers

RavingMac
12-12-2016, 10:40 AM
I will say up front that most of what I bring to this discussion is a LOT of ignorance. Having said that, let me chip in my 2 cents worth.

First question to ask yourself is do I need or even really want 4K at the moment? Reason is that 4K brings many costs (not all of them obvious) along with the benefits that you may or may not be able to effectively realize, because:

1) Your audience will need 4K capable devices; viewing on standard TVs will be just fine, but will be 1080p
2) Honestly, unless you stand very close to the screen, most people aren't going to a see lot of difference between 4K and 1080p. At usual viewing distances, 1080p is effectively a 'Retina' display
3) Every frame of a 4K video contains 4 times the digital info that a 1080p frame has, which means a 4-fold increase in video processing throughput is required for editing, meaning more heat, time and eventual storage space. This means you need faster CPUs, GPUs, internal and external Drives, and honestly, probably a better camera to really do 4K right

I'm not saying that 4K doesn't have benefits; it does, just like higher res on a DSLR (something I'm much more familiar with). More data in the frame gives more room for editing, the ability to crop and digitally zoom while still having decent IQ, but unless you are actually going to use that potential you will cost yourself a lot while gaining little IMO.

joema
01-03-2017, 10:12 AM
....4K brings many costs (not all of them obvious) along with the benefits that you may or may not be able to effectively realize, because:...Your audience will need 4K capable devices...unless you stand very close to the screen, most people aren't going to a see lot of difference between 4K and 1080p....Every frame of a 4K video contains 4 times the digital info that a 1080p frame has, which means a 4-fold increase in video processing throughput is required for editing, meaning more heat, time and eventual storage space. This means you need faster CPUs, GPUs, internal and external Drives, and honestly, probably a better camera to really do 4K right...I'm not saying that 4K doesn't have benefits; it does, just like higher res on a DSLR (something I'm much more familiar with). More data in the frame gives more room for editing, the ability to crop and digitally zoom while still having decent IQ....

I'm a professional documentary editor and we shoot exclusively with 4k. These are all good points. Almost universally, people underestimate the computational and storage requirements for dealing with 4k. As stated above -- it is FOUR TIMES the data. In theory this would require a machine four times as fast to edit with equal performance to 1080p. Editing software can use some tricks to mitigate this but 4k is still a gigantic load. Good quality 1080p shot with a good lens and properly edited is very, very good.

That said, 4k has major benefits beyond distributing in 4k. We don't envision distributing anything in 4k anytime soon (maybe ever) yet we still shoot in 4k. The advantages of recomposing the shot in post are huge, as is the ability to use 8 megapixel frame grabs.

E.g, each of these magazine covers are not a still photo but a frame grab from a 4k (or higher) video camera: http://www.red.com/shot-on-red/photography

The OP obviously isn't shooting with RED cameras but his situation is increasingly common: H264 4k content from an iPhone and/or GoPro. Depending on the editing software and volume of media, a 2010 iMac can barely handle 1080p much less 4k. IMO that machine cannot be upgraded to handle 4k very well (if at all).

Another major problem is the 2010 iMac used Intel "Clarkdale" or "Lynnfield" CPUs which did not have Quick Sync hardware-accelerated encode/decode support. Not all software uses this but FCPX does and it makes a huge difference in speed and efficiency in handling H264 content.

The OP's best option is get a newer iMac, preferably a top-spec one. There are some good deals on refurbished 2013 iMac 27s. If he gets one with a Fusion Drive or SSD (not a spinning drive) and puts his media on a sufficiently fast external drive, plus uses the built-in proxy media feature of FCPX or Adobe CC 2017, that would make editing 4k fairly smooth.