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How much should I beef up a new IMAC?

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Glenn Payne
How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 5:33:05 pm

Hello all!
I need to upgrade from my current system:
macbook pro
2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT 128 MB
Final Cut Pro

I've been debating on whether to go PC/Vegas or invest in a new mac/fcx. Given I have a couple feature films that I've edited on Final Cut Pro I'm currently leaning towards a new mac (so I can export the endless number of files they'll need as I go through deliverables for distribution). Idea being using the new faster system to do these.

My question is this... I'm most definitely on a tight budget so if I go with an Imac (to save $ vs mac pro) what would be the least I could spend to get by. And I'm certain people have asked similar questions on here but I looked over the posts and couldn't find one that fit quite what I am looking at.

I am, and will be, editing Canon DSLR footage (h264) and potentially editing some Canon C300 footage at some point (XF-AVC footage from what I've read) or something comparable. What IMAC setup should I go with without spending any extra cash?

http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/

IMAC 27" package = $2,300.00
3.4GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5
8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M 2GB GDDR5
Final Cut X

Upgradable options
3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7 ($200)
VIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5 ($150)
RAM and Hard drive are upgradable in various ways

*I figured I'd hold off on additional Memory for now and add my own later. Any specific brand you guys would recommend and how much should I get to work with the footage mentioned above without it being overkill?

*The 3.4GHz i5 is upradable to the 3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7. I'm assuming this is an obvious upgrade to do and possibly the only one I can swing.

*The hard drive situation is one that I'm still trying to grasp (options wise). Any thoughts on upgrades or should what's standard work fine?

*I'd really like the 27" version, but if other upgrades are where the cash should go I suppose I could get the 21" and another cheap HD monitor later.

*I'd ideally like to keep it around $2500 total (which is already way more than I need to spend). I'm curious what you guys think this same type setup would cost if it were a PC diy build.

*Will Final Cut Pro 7 work well with a newer mac? (I'll also be using fcx for new projects)


I hope that all makes sense. Feel free to ask for clarification. Once again this is all based on what is the cheapest system I can get by on while using the footage above. THANK YOU so much for taking the time to give any input.
-Glenn


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Charlie Austin
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 8:27:07 pm

Get the best video card first off. If you have $$ left in budget get a faster processor. Get the least amount of RAM, and then buy as much as you can from Crucial or OWC for much less than Apple charges, but do add RAM. (buy with 8MB, remove it, get 32MB from another vendor, and then send 'em the original RAM for a rebate. You'll still save money relative to getting 32MD from Apple. FCP 7, X, and for that matter Premiere and MC will run just fine.

Also, If you can Find a refurbished iMac with the specs you want on Apple's site (same warranty as new, I always get Apple refurbs when I can) you'll save a bit more $$

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Glenn Payne
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 8:35:05 pm

Thanks Charlie!
Thanks for the thought on referbs. For some reason that hadn't even crossed my mind. So it sounds like maxing out the graphics card is the way to go.

Have you personally ever used final cut 7 on a newer machine running Yosemite? I was a bit worried about the older program running on it.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 8:46:37 pm
Last Edited By Charlie Austin on May 1, 2015 at 8:50:23 pm

[Glenn Payne] "Thanks Charlie!
Thanks for the thought on referbs. For some reason that hadn't even crossed my mind. So it sounds like maxing out the graphics card is the way to go. "


Yep, GPU is the most important, at least for FCP X, though 7 likes more GPU as well. Also, can't vouch for refurbs from anyone but Apple. I've had no problems with the ones I've gotten from them.

[Glenn Payne] "Have you personally ever used final cut 7 on a newer machine running Yosemite? I was a bit worried about the older program running on it."

Yep, quite often (sadly... lol) It works fine. you need to install from a FCS 3 disc set though, as earlier versions have PPC code in the installer and it won't run. If you restore the new machine from a system that has it installed it'll work too, but I'd do a fresh install if possible...

One caveat... Older versions of Compressor and Motion will not work, so your "send to" stuff will be broken except for STP which still runs...
-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Glenn Payne
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 9:04:21 pm

Good deal! I believe the version I bought was studio 2. So I wonder how much trouble it will give me to install. Hopefully I can manage a way using those discs.

Thanks!


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Charlie Austin
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 9:15:18 pm

[Glenn Payne] "Good deal! I believe the version I bought was studio 2."

I don't think that'll work unfortunately. IF you can transfer it from another machine I'd do that. or, the internet can help you locate installers for discontinued software such as FCS 3...

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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Glenn Payne
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 9:33:39 pm

Hmm. I'll give that a try if i end up getting the new Mac. I guess I'd just link them via a FireWire cable/usb or would I copy files somehow on a jump drive/disc? Sorry, I'm inexperienced in transferring programs from one machine to another.


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Charlie Austin
Re: How much should I beef up a new IMAC?
on May 1, 2015 at 9:43:48 pm

[Glenn Payne] "Hmm. I'll give that a try if i end up getting the new Mac. I guess I'd just link them via a FireWire cable/usb or would I copy files somehow on a jump drive/disc? Sorry, I'm inexperienced in transferring programs from one machine to another."

When you get a new Mac, there's a Migration assistant to transfer settings etc from your previous Mac.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204350

-------------------------------------------------------------

~ My FCPX Babbling blog ~
~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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