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2011 27" imac core i5 2,7ghz

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Niels Roza
2011 27" imac core i5 2,7ghz
on Dec 15, 2011 at 2:15:48 pm

Hey guys,

i've been reading all over the webs about the 2011 imacs being viable NLE machines capable of avid, fcp and premiere pro.
I'm on the brink of purchasing the 27 inch quad-core i5 2,7ghz because it just fits my budget and there's a 100 dollar (euro) discount now over here, this week.

my question comes down to this: is the quad-core i5 sufficient (comparing it to the mighty i7 3,4 ghz) I partially know the answer already and am aware of the benefits of hyper threading.
But the upgrade will cost me over 550 euros extra (the i7 BTO is not on sale as the i5 is..)

I'm an editor working on Avid and FCP and i'm not doing major jobs yet, small documentaries and short films and the likes.

if its just the rendering that makes the i7 stronger then i might be able to live with that as overall working speed should be plenty on the i5 , correct?
Also i am set on the 27 inch as that saves me having to buy an extra monitor. ( I wiill possibly purchase Matrox mini thunderbolt I/O in the future)

what are your takes on this...?


Niels Roza
freelance editor

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Gary Bettan
Re: 2011 27" imac core i5 2,7ghz
on Dec 15, 2011 at 4:50:41 pm

If you plan on editing native HD files, then you want to find the money for the i7. These highly compressed files need all the horsepoer they can get.

Avid AMA is GREAT! But you have to give it the horses to handle the footage. AVCHD & DSLR are the toughest to handle.

Also remember our rule of thumb on RAM. At least 3GB of RAM per core. For a quad core that means at least 8GB.


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Niels Roza
Re: 2011 27" imac core i5 2,7ghz
on Dec 16, 2011 at 11:03:51 am

Thank you Gary,

tough decision this is. Editing with native files is something i didn't consider as i'm used to transcoding files even with Avid AMA . I do work at post-production house that do Dutch drama's and they found that even with AMA media they still prefer to transcode to DnxHD , as when the project grows the H264 files start to choke the system.

You feel that with the i7-2600 should handle that native DSLR stuff whereas the i5-quad might struggle? What is your experience on working with native footage?

Ofcourse not having to transcode anything and begin work immediately would be rather great.

BTW i do plan maxing the RAM to 16GB on the imac as it's dirt cheap now anyway.



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