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Tim Lantz
Recommendations
on Jan 1, 2010 at 7:36:33 pm


Looking to invest in the iMac (27", 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 1TB hard drive) to run CS4. Any comments pro or con from those who've also gone this route? Any recommendations?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Recommendations
on Jan 2, 2010 at 1:50:52 pm

[Tim Lantz] "Looking to invest in the iMac (27", 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 1TB hard drive) to run CS4."

Tim, what kind of work do you plan on doing?

My general opinion is that the iMac is not a great primary computer for video pros, because it's very easy to outgrow. You can't add expansion cards, and the only upgrade you can make within warranty is adding RAM. I've got a dual-core iMac in my office, too, but my Mac Pro runs circles around it in After Effects.

That said, the iMac is an outstanding secondary machine, great for web-browsing, photo editing, and offline video editing.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Tim Lantz
Re: Recommendations
on Jan 2, 2010 at 3:31:40 pm


Thanks for the reply, Walter. I've also been looking at the Mac Pro but thought the iMac would offer portability of sorts.

The goal is to produce video (industrials for clients and our own 'creations' for the web and DVD) shot, for now, with a Sony PD-150. I also plan to edit with Final Cut Pro and possibly add professioal 3D animation and audio mixing software.

Let me note I've been a PC guy for decades, but my industry contacts rave about Mac. Before succumbing to peer pressure, I just want to make sure I'm investing in plug-n-play hardware that's capable of running the software right out of the box without giving me headaches-- don't need memory or speed issues.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Recommendations
on Jan 2, 2010 at 5:35:08 pm

[Tim Lantz] "The goal is to produce video (industrials for clients and our own 'creations' for the web and DVD) shot, for now, with a Sony PD-150."

The iMac isn't a bad choice at all for DV-based standard def video production.

[Tim Lantz] "I also plan to edit with Final Cut Pro and possibly add professioal 3D animation and audio mixing software."

Here's where it gets dicey -- once you start doing 3D renders, I think you will find that 2 cores is not enough. At a minimum, you might think about the new 4-core iMac (with 8-16 GB of RAM), but of course you'll prefer a Mac Pro here.

For audio mixing, keep in mind that the iMac doesn't have any expansion slots, so you can't add a dedicated audio interface. There's only one Firewire bus, so adding external drives, plus video, plus audio on Firewire might be taxing.

[Tim Lantz] "I just want to make sure I'm investing in plug-n-play hardware that's capable of running the software right out of the box without giving me headaches-- don't need memory or speed issues."

The iMac is basically a laptop with a really big screen and no battery. If you're comfortable on a similarly-configured PC, you should be right at home with the iMac. If you have a desktop PC now, you might think about going for the Mac Pro after all.

Since portability is a concern, check out iLugger for the iMac, and Benson Box for the Mac Pro.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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