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will all presently selling iMacs run FCP Studio 3?

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Russ Johnson
will all presently selling iMacs run FCP Studio 3?
on Feb 19, 2010 at 4:47:13 pm

Hi folks,

I have a friend who is going to buy an iMac for a college student and they want to make sure FCP Studio will run on it. Does anyone here know for a fact that it will run on the lower end iMacs with integrated Nvidia graphics processors?

The way I thought it works is that FCPS would not run on any machine that shared it's main OS memory with the graphics processor. But the FCPS system requirements page states it this way:

-ATI or NVIDIA graphics processor (integrated Intel graphics processors not supported)
-128MB of VRAM

This means the Mac mini will run FCPS.

Just looking for first hand knowledge so these people won't make a costly mistake. BTW, when pressed on this issue, the Apple phone rep I talked to wasn't able to answer this question satisfactorily.

Thanks a bunch for your help.


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Jerry Hofmann
Re: will all presently selling iMacs run FCP Studio 3?
on Feb 20, 2010 at 1:26:18 pm

Yes and No actually.

One can load the software I'll wager, but there's not a way to expand an iMac. It will only work with FireWire drives for media storage, and so if capturing video via firewire is in the future, it's dicey at best that it can capture to a firewire drive at the same time a FW camera is connected. If the capture is tapeless it's less of a problem, but you still have a problem with it viewing video externally. Pretty tough to do with an iMac.

I teach part time at the Colorado Film School, and your upcoming student would be MUCH better served with a 17" MacBook Pro... it's portable, expandable, and is much more likely to give a better overall experience, and last all the years that the person is going to need it in school. It has that express card slot which allows for all types of expansion. FCS is professional software and really runs best on the pro machines. A Mac Pro is even better, but likely overkill for a college student. It's not a matter of will it load and run the software, it's a matter of will it work for the workflow that's needed. Color and Motion will both benefit from the better graphics card shipped with these machines too.


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Russ Johnson
Re: will all presently selling iMacs run FCP Studio 3?
on Feb 21, 2010 at 10:53:29 pm

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for your kind response. The MacBook Pro is an interesting idea. I'll pass this on to them.


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