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Am I wasting my money on old iMac?

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Steve Buke
Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 4:42:33 am

Finally making the move to FCPX but need a new MAC. Shooting with NEX-FS100 just need to do basic cuts and dissolves mostly one camera edits 2 cameras at most. Have been reading a lot of posts on here and have narrowed it down to an iMac with an i7 but here's the question.. I'm on a real tight budget at the moment, don't really have the funds for a brand new iMac so was considering either a mid 2011 iMac 21.5" 2.8GHz quad core i7 or a late 2012 iMac 21.5" 3.1GHz quad core i7, both with 16gb RAM. Will I be able to pull this off or am I wasting my money? I'm figuring the AVCHD footage will need to be transcoded before i bring it into FCPX. Any opinions? Thanks


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Steve Connor
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 6:43:35 am

What graphics card does that have? I work with FS100 footage a lot, I never transcode it as it doesn't seem to stretch my system at all even on an older 2011 MBP


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:50:38 am

Yes I've seen a few posts that people have edited AVCHD without transcoding the footage. The 2011 iMac has an AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory. The 2012 model I was also considering has an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics Processor With 512 MB Of Dedicated GDDR5 Memory


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Bret Williams
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 4:45:04 pm

I thought X required a gig of GPU. I have the maxed out late 2012 iMac. In some ways the 2011 maxed out is better. But you want the 2gig GPU. The difference in CPU between the 2011 and 2012 is negligible. I upgraded from the 2011 to get an NVidia card for Adobe. I also gained USB 3. But you lose FW800 (easily restored with an adapter). You also lose a SuperDrive but I bought a portable Samsung blu-ray burner that's better for $80.

My maxed out 2012 is worth $1750 on eBay.


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 5:13:46 pm

Thanks for the info. So it looks like neither of the 2 units I am looking at has a gig of memory never mind 2gig, that's the GDDR5 we are talking about correct? I might be able to swing the new 21.5" iMac 3.1GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 1GB GDDR5
would it be a dramatic difference in your opinion? about $800 difference in price


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David Powell
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 9:07:27 am

I've cut a lot of footage with FS100 on my 2011 imac. Generally 3-6 cameras. It works great. As far as money is concerned, that depends on how much you're getting it for. You'll get more milage out of an i7 than an i5. With 16 gigs of ram, you'll be good. As it happens I have such an imac for sale if you're intersted ;-) Its got 2gig vram which is maxed out for that year.


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 11:55:17 am

I found 2 iMacs on gainsaver.com. Purchased 2 old Power Mac G5's from that company back in the day and had great success with them. The 2011 model with 16Gb RAM will run me $1000.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 12:14:05 pm

I would say you're wasting your money, or at least not spending it as wisely as possible.

Check the refurbished section of Apple.com and for a little bit more money you can get a machine that's newer, has better hardware, and therefore will run fcpx more smoothly.

It will also have a warranty.


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Dave Gage
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 7:47:24 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I would say you're wasting your money, or at least not spending it as wisely as possible.

Check the refurbished section of Apple.com and for a little bit more money you can get a machine that's newer, has better hardware, and therefore will run fcpx more smoothly.

It will also have a warranty."


Steve,

I agree with Jeremy. My last 3 Macs were purchased from the Refurb section at the online Apple Store and I have no regrets. I even added the extended warrantys to all.

I edit on a 2011 MBP 17" Quad-Core i7 (16 GBs of Ram) with AVCHD and screen captured H.264 files and have no problems and no transcoding, but... I'm not really doing anything taxing on the machine. I'm also still on the Snow Leopard OS for business reasons and a version of 10.0. It all works fine for me as I don't make my living as an editor, I just do it for my online businesses.

In your case, I would definitely go with something refurbed and newer and with better graphics cards.

Dave


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 7, 2015 at 8:53:10 pm

Dave thanks for your post, problem is the 21.5" iMac i7 processors on the apple referb site when I bring them up to 16gb ram will be $200 difference from a brand new one. Everything I've read and heard is telling me to stay away from i5 processor if running FCP X, probably reason there are some good deals for them on Apple site.


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Bret Williams
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 8, 2015 at 2:33:00 pm

The i7 isn't just a newer faster processor, it also supports hyper threading, doubling the number of virtual cores. And, apparently, that's a good thing.


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Gary Huff
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:35:35 pm

[Bret Williams] "The i7 isn't just a newer faster processor, it also supports hyper threading, doubling the number of virtual cores. And, apparently, that's a good thing."

Absolutely. If you're doing video editing, you shouldn't consider any other class of processor under an i7.


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Bret Williams
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 8, 2015 at 4:40:31 pm

And if you go 27" you can change the RAM yourself. Buying 32gigs for $200.


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Dave Gage
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 8, 2015 at 8:21:38 pm

[Bret Williams] "And if you go 27" you can change the RAM yourself. Buying 32gigs for $200."

Steve,

Sorry for the late reply, but yes, what Gary and Bret said. As always, buy as much computer as you can afford. It will last you that much longer. As I said, I've got 2 x 2011 i7 MBPs, and if something major doesn't go wrong with the hardware, I can use them another couple of years.

As Bret said, with the slightly older Macs, you can go in and upgrade the RAM and HDs yourself which is a bonus. My next upgrade will be replacing my spinning drives with SSDs.

Good luck,
Dave


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 8, 2015 at 7:23:57 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. Here's my dilemma, not sure now if I can run FCPX properly with the GPU I listed in those 2 machines that I was looking at, they only have 512 of dedicated RAM. If not that only leaves me with buying a new 21.5" iMac i7 with my budget.


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Gary Huff
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:24:03 pm

Definitely avoid anything less than 1GB of GPU memory.


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Steve Buke
Re: Am I wasting my money on old iMac?
on Jul 10, 2015 at 1:55:04 pm

Thanks. Just picked up a 2011 iMac 27" 16gb (I can upgrade myself) with HD 6970 1gb card have some footage that needs to be edited and this was my quickest and least expensive way to get rolling. Thanks for all the posts, great forum.


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