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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Will I need a new Mac for HD editing?


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appleeater

 
Member Since: Jan 06, 2010
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I've just purchased a panasonic HDC SD200 1080i video camera. I plan on using a mac for editing the content for home video's etc with a view to streaming them to my apple TV.

At the moment I have a original imac 20" core duo with 2 Ghz and 1 Mb ram. I plan on purchasing final cut express 4 for doing a decent job of editing the footage. I don't like doing things half hearted and wondered if this system will be up to scratch. I know I can add an extra gig of memory but don't want to spend money on updating unless it will run perfectly after.

The alternative I am thinking of is getting a new 21.5" imac and possibly an external hard drive. Would the base model do or would I need the better grafics card and larger hard drive on the top end 21.5" model? Would 4Gb memory be fine or would i need to bump that up?

I'd rather keep the cost down to as low as possible but be able to produce excellent results without waiting all day for the computer to catch up. Would the new imac be worth the money or would the unit i have work perfectly well?

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Checkout the Apple Tech page for Final Cut ExpressHERE

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appleeater

 
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Thanks for the reply. I am aware that my imac meets the basic requirements but would it do a good job? Would the system run slow or would I barely notice the difference in the performance running FCE with the 2 systems.
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Well it goes without saying the better graphics card, more RAM and the better screen will do the job better than the machine you have now.
IMO go for the 21"
If you have Final Cut open with other apps especially something that uses alot of CPU your system will run slower.
I use CS3 and when i had 1GB Ram it was sluggish and took forever to load and render, but i just upgraded to 4GB and she flies like the concord now. And that is just in a White MacBook ...

Upgrade if you have the $ to burn
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appleeater

 
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Thanks. Wasn't sure if mine would run slow when rendering etc. Will upgrade and take my old one to work. Had enough of the computer there.
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You're Apple TV won't "stream" the video. When you load it into iTunes, it will be converted by iTunes, the "synced" to your Apple TV (actually copied to the Apple TV itself). Get Final Cut Express, export from there to Apple TV format (it's a preset in the Export > Using QuickTime Conversions section), you'll be good to go.

And when you get Final Cut Express, get the Peachpit press book titled, "Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Express". You're really going to want that book.

With an iMac, you will HAVE to have an external FW800 drive. Get a 1TB Mercury FW800 drive from Other World Computing (.com), as it's great quality, great tech support, and a great price.

You'll want as much RAM as you can get. 4GB RAM minimum, and if it's HD, you want 8GB RAM minimum. The more the better, trust me.

The standard NVIDIA GeForce 9400M is just barely enough to work but will chug along. You REALLY need the ATI Radeon HD 4670 on the 21" iMac. But that 21" screen is going to be just barely large enough for video editing. You will get along with it, but if you get serious enough, you'll really wish you got the 27".

The 27" iMac with the ATI Radeon HD 4850 is really the best way to do with an iMac, for sure.

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appleeater

 
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Thanks for my info. I was a bit keen on my other thread stating I had ordered my imac. Was planning on doing it later that day but haven't yet. The space my mac lives in dictates it has to be a 21.5" model. My budget will allow for the bottom spec 21.5" mac with upgraded ram to 8GB, or the top spec 21.5 without the ram upgrade. I will obviously be getting an external hard drive. Which system would be best?
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