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What Computer Do I Buy ?

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Rory Keenan
What Computer Do I Buy ?
on Oct 8, 2016 at 2:33:31 am
Last Edited By Rory Keenan on Oct 8, 2016 at 2:39:12 am

I'm looking in to buying a used Editing computer (mostly for Adobe Premier) and I could use some advice.

I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, but I didn't know where else to post this, and I'm working mostly in Premier, so here goes:

On my home system I do a mix of advertising videos for large tech companies, as well as a few short and long from documentaries. We also are shopping a pilot for a cooking show we just finished.

I've been editing on an iMac late 2012 with Adobe CC loaded on to it.
I'm editing mostly in Premier (and I occasionally do some of the simpler graphics in After Effects when our graphics guy is busy). I also have one FCP7 legacy project (a feature documentary shot over 5 years).
I have to render most effects and the big issue is that 4K instantly chokes up the machine.
I've used the new feature to create proxys. It worked but I'd like to not have to create proxys for even the slightest bit of 4k video.
Basically I currently have to render almost everything (even basic color correction), and any 4K chokes the system almost instantly.

I'd like to upgrade my system.....especially with more and more things being shot on 4K.
However, one of my clients may hire me as full time staff in the next 10 months......based on that, I do not want to spend thousands of dollars on a brand new MacPro.
...........Thus I'm looking at used systems.
Something more powerful than what I have, but not a full price brand new MacPro.
I realize the hard drives I work from matter. Rightnow I use solid-state USB 3.0 drives. But I may upgrade to Thunderbolt drives.

I have a guy that sells used Macs.
My question is would a 2012 Mac Pro tower with 2 x 6-core 2.4/24GB RAM/2x1TB hard drives and a video card with 1GB of VRAM be enough to support 2 HD monitors and 4K video ????
I'd also have to install a USB 3.0 card in that machine. I need to spend the $$ to jump up to at least a 2013 (one of the new black "trash can" models) ????

Any thoughts on what the cheapest system I can get that won't choke on 4K or need to render every color correction effect?

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Marc Nibor
Re: What Computer Do I Buy ?
on Oct 8, 2016 at 9:26:15 am

Hi Rory,
haven't read the whole post. But here's a quick piece of advice from own experience.
Make sure to get a GPU with as much RAM as possible cause this is one of the mayor bottlenecks that will slow you down or even cause errors and crashes without ever telling you the reason. if you go 4K You shouldn't even start with anything less than 2gig of videoram on your card. That is the absolute minimum specs. Try to go with 4gig. Don't be greedy... you'll thank me later! ; )

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Rory Keenan
Re: What Computer Do I Buy ?
on Oct 8, 2016 at 11:21:14 pm

Thanks for your advice Marc.
So at least 2gig of Video RAM?

It seems like the biggest hardware issues when dealing with video editing are:

1) Graphics Card (amount of VRAM)
2) Processor Speed of Computer
3) Speed of Hard Drive Connection (thunderbolt, USB3.0, etc)

It sounds like you are saying that the graphics card (and amount of VRAM) is the single biggest I have that right?

All the MacPros 2013 or later (the black "trash cans") all have 4gig of VRAM.

What are everyone else's thoughts on specs for an editing computer?

Does everyone agree 2gig of VRAM is now the minimum for professional editing?

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