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MacPro / imac / MacBook Pro - which to get for home studio?

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Sean Kapleton
MacPro / imac / MacBook Pro - which to get for home studio?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:44:39 pm

Hello friends,

I have been searching through previous threads looking for advice on what system to purchase for my home studio set-up and I am a little confused still. I work as a freelance editor mostly at post facilities and motion graphics houses so I usually have access to calibrated monitors for color correction, decks for laying off, etc - so I am not so sure I will need a MacPro at home.

I use Adobe CS4, FCS3, Logic 9, Serato (for djing digitally on technics turntables) but am hoping to also check out C4D in the future so my question is basically what system makes the most sense to get if i dont really work from home.

Some things i have considered: I have an apple cinema display so I could go out from a macbook pro i guess, and the newest imac's seem pretty beefy but I am concerned that I might be missing out on something in the long run - a lot of threads talk about the expandability of the MacPro but I honestly cant see myself getting an HP Dreamcolor and blackmagic card and doing CC work in COLOR from home - at least at this point so I am not sure what the merits are for a MacPro.

I also do not travel with a laptop doing field editing or Adobe work on the road however i do have a serato dj setup and will need some type of mac laptop for my home serato setup anyways but a little macbook probably would suffice.

needless to say I am going to eait for the updates that are coming soon (fingers crossed) but i am not sure what system to get for my home studio.

any help or advice would be amazing.

thank you


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Andrew Evans
Re: MacPro / imac / MacBook Pro - which to get for home studio?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:56:10 pm

I'd either get the MBP or the imac. The macbook is mobile and you can take it anywhere. The imac has a faster processor, bigger screen, and it's cheaper(more bang for the buck). I'd make my decision based on that.


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kyler boudreau
Re: MacPro / imac / MacBook Pro - which to get for home studio?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:09:49 pm

I just went through all of this for my system.....some things to consider:

1) If you are editing high rez HD, the iMac will only give you one hard drive to run your app on and store footage. Not always ideal. If you are just doing HDV and stuff, well no worries.

2) The iMac does not have eSata out. So you cannot hook anything faster than FW800 up to it. Again....depending on your footage this could be fine.

3) Don't purchase an Apple Cinema Display unless you have a really good reason. I've got a 24" 1080P HD display from Dell that cost me $160.


kyler boudreau

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Colin McQuillan
Re: MacPro / imac / MacBook Pro - which to get for home studio?
on Mar 25, 2010 at 6:40:38 pm

Get the best thing you can comfortably afford.

Personally, I would not get an iMac. Too many limitations for my tastes.

That leaves the MBP and MP tower. Processing power, connectivity, and upgradability over portability. Which is more important to you?

I have both and use both daily. I prefer to work on the tower because rendering/encoding is sooo fast along with the attached RAID storage and Kona card. However I do a lot of 'on-the-road' editing and am not disappointed with the performance of my MBP.

Colin McQuillan
Vancouver, B.C.

"Live, love, laugh and be happy."

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