April 16, 2015 at 6:21PM


Is this iMac suitable/balanced for editing and motion graphics?

Been working for 1.5 years as a videographer/editor and am looking to start working on my own things in my spare time. Music videos, short films, sound editing and 2D animation work whilst trying to teach myself further motion graphics.
Currently rocking a 13" Macbook Pro Retina with 8GB RAM but when I've tried basic editing in Premiere on it before it doesn't handle too well.

Suggested an iMac 21.5"/2.9 i5/16GB/1GB Nvidia/1TB Serial ATA from an Apple guy.
I've been thinking to go further than that for the 27"/3.4Ghz i5/16GB RAM/4GB Nvidia/1TB Fusion Drive.

Currently using a 3.4Ghz i5/8GB RAM/4GB Nvidia/1TB Hard Drive PC at work and it can be slow and laggy at times.

Thought about a Mac Mini with dual screen set up but the dual core and graphics card are a turn off for me.

Wondering if I'm overkilling and overspending for what I need and if the system is balanced enough between the speed of each individual component.

Open to any thoughts or ideas.


"Am I overspending?"

You are buying a mac.

But jokes aside I honestly think your biggest problem with the specs you listed is only having a 1tb HDD. I don't know what format you shoot with but that 1tb will get eaten up a lot faster than you think these days. And personally I keep my externals for backup and don't like working off them directly.

The rest of the specs should be plenty, try to get at least 16gb of memory but you dont need to spend the money for 4gb of video ram. My desktop runs a Nvidia gtx660 with 2gb of vram and ive never had a problem.

April 17, 2015 at 2:55PM

You voted '+1'.
Liam Leyland

The new Macs are designed to use Thunderbolt external storage which is extremely fast and reliable, so keeping all your work on externals should not be an issue. ( though you may want to use drive RAID to protect your data against drive failure )

I would also get an i7 CPU which is better suited to the performance load of video editing.

April 17, 2015 at 4:59PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I am using the imac 27' configuration and is very fast. But choose fusion not HDD.

April 18, 2015 at 3:27PM

Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director

I use a 2012 imac (2.9, 27", 24gb, fusion drive) and everything is working flawlessly. Even raw video editing (only 1080p, mind you ;) in resolve with multiple nodes. I use after effects a lot and sometimes c4d. That needs processing power as well as a graphics card. So i7 is always better. Thing with mac is, you can't upgrade, so next year I will have to buy myself a new one. The bottle neck with my system now seems to be my graphics card, so I would max that out when buying.

Which is going to be an iMac again. :)

April 20, 2015 at 2:14AM


i think going with an I7 would be a better choice paired with a 500gb ssd then use an external thunderbolt array for storing all of your media would be your best bet. personally i would go for a mac pro or a hackintosh at this point though because the imac does not really offer amazing performance having a laptop gfx card and only 16gb of ram but on a budget, go with the imac.

April 20, 2015 at 10:21AM

Derian Hartmann
Director of Photography | Cinematographer | Editor

You could build a hackintosh and shed some of those limitations? I am moving and selling mine, you can take a look at the thread to get some idea about components to build your own

May 2, 2015 at 2:10PM

post production

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