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

Which iMac for video editing?

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Member Since: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 4
Dev1975 is on a distinguished road

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Hey everyone,

I'm looking to purchase an iMac later this year (probably sooner if I lack the willpower!) and was wondering which one to go for? I'm looking to be doing mainly photo and video editing on it, though I'll be starting with the beginner software before moving on to something more complex.

Will the entry level 21.5" iMac be sufficient? Will it have the muscle to cope with video editing whilst web browsing and listening to music? I don't want something that will be grinding to a halt or judder along, I want it to be nice, smooth and capable.

I saw both 21.5 and 27" models in PC World all setup and running. The 27" looked glorious but I don't have the room for something that big, which leaves the 21.5" but the standard video playing on it was very juddery. It could be due to the way it was setup but I wanted to know that if I went for the entry level model, would it be as smooth as the 27" one?

Hope this makes sense, I'm in a rush to get to TKD but thought I'd post this before leaving. Thanks for reading and I look forward to your thoughts and comments!
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Member Since: Feb 12, 2010
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Short and sweet. Thanks dude!
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If you're working with standard-def video, the entry level 21' iMac will be great. It will handle the multi-tasking no problem (especially with snow leopard).

If you're going to be working with Hi-def video, it could benefit you to add some more memory to ensure smooth performance.

Lastly, if you are planning on doing a lot of video editing, a bigger hard drive would help with all of the raw video storage

I’ll keep it short and sweet — Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business. -Monty Burns
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Member Since: Feb 12, 2010
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Hello Danc,

Thanks for the input, much appreciated. I've recently bought myself a HD camcorder (budget Sanyo Xacti model) which records in MP4 format. If I wanted to convert this video footage to a standard DVD, would I need a lot of disk space above the entry level 500gb? I do have an external 1TB drive, would that be sufficient?

Apologies for the rather newbie-sounding questions, I just want to make sure that I get the right tools for the job.

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True Bassist

Member Since: Oct 30, 2008
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Depends if you want to store all the video on your drive. I run a 500GB drive in my MBP but then store all my my video files on 2 x 1TB external drives. 500GB should be enough working room as long as you have adequate storage elsewhere.
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
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Honestly, my laptop where I've done a lot of work lately only had a 250gig in it, and I still had plenty of room because I kept most - if not all of my work file on external drives. You'll want to make sure to use a firewire drive for best performance/best experience. You may be able to use a USB, but you'll spend a lot of time rendering to be able to play your edits.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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Member Since: Feb 12, 2010
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Thanks for all the responses thus far, you've been most helpful and provided plenty of food for thought. As I'm leaning heavily towards the entry-level iMac anyway, I'll get myself that model and get an external drive if need be.

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Member Since: Feb 08, 2010
Location: Los Angeles
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i've got an imac with 1TB hard drive. I just bought a LaCie d2 Quadra Enterprise Class 1TB because i've been told by several people to keep the files off of your computer as it will slow down your system. I now need to get an additional hard drive as i'm filling up space fast. I was also advised to get the second to back up the first. After experiencing major computer failure in the past i'm not taking any chances.
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