A Little Buying Advice

Slydude

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Attention fellow Mods: Feel free to move this to some other area as you see fit I put this in the notebooks section but the solution might just as easily be an iMac. Keeping options open so to speak.

My niece called last night just before the Sunday chat started. She would like to get a first Mac and begin using iMovie to edit video for You Tube etc. Most video would be less than 10 minutes long but being able to do longer clips is a plus. She is into music as well so recording her keyboard through GarageBand would be nice.

I haven't followed the new models closely other than when helping others on the forum. I vetoed the two machines she looked at in the refurb store because they only had 4 GB of memory. My goal is to get something which will be useful for a few years. Any thoughts on best hardware would be appreciated.
 
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27" iMac with 16GB to 32GB memory, largest SSD she can afford, add an external for storage. video card with most onboard memory she can afford - 2gb nice, 4gb better.

Why? Video editing is very intense and while lesser machines will do a nice job, for years of use get the most you can get up front. I know it depends on what she has to spend. Most important is system memory and video card quality followed by hard drive.

Lisa
 
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Slydude

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I hadn't thought specifically about an iMac but otherwise your thoughts were similar to mine. She has only looked at notebooks so far but I was starting to think iMac last night since I don't think portability is an issue.

I hadn't really thought about the graphics card capacity yet but you are certainly right there. This is a case where my general rule of buy the most you can afford certainly applies. Although I'd like the Mac Pro to some extent bang for the buck wise the iMac is probably better.
 

pigoo3

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I agree…if someone is going to get a new Apple computer (and wants to be able to keep it for a while)…I wouldn't get anything with less than 8gig of ram.

If the iMovie endeavors are mostly amateur (the occasional 10 minute iMovie video)…any Mac will get the job done.:) But if someone was going to be dealing with frequent videos & longer lengths…then a more powerful computer would be better.

Here's an Apple article on iMovie performance

iMovie: Tips to improve performance

Any budget limitations?

- Nick
 
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I admit I don't use iMovie or Garageband but I have helped others use them. I do use Premiere Pro, Photoshop and Audacity - a lot - daily.

My thoughts:

I have already posted my opinion on machine specs. I guess I just jumped in and went with the iMac because for me screen size is a huge consideration. Editing anything is much nicer on the biggest screen(s) you can get. I have edited on my 15" MB Pro. I also work daily on my Windows desktop with it's two 27" monitors. Screen size does matter if you are into fine trims and details. Granted I am old and your niece is much younger (who isn't younger than me...sigh) but eye strain is something to think about.

If portability is a must go with the most tricked out MB Pro you can afford. If not iMac all the way.

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I would recommend a iMac honestly unless she minds carrying around a external hard drive with her where ever she goes
 
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Slydude

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Thanks guys your advice kinda mirrors my thoughts. Right now she's planning to use iMovie but it would not surprise me if she decided to move to other software before long.

We haven't discussed the need for portability yet. It's one of several questions I'll be asking soon. Knowing my brother's frugal streak he'll be asking if there are Windows boxes/software that is similar.
 

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