August 16, 2015 at 5:56AM


New IMac for Editing

Hey all,

Tossing this question out here, since I'm a little unsure of where to go.
Looking at getting a new iMac to edit on (with probably some light aftereffect/motion work as well) and I can't decide if the 21.5'' i7/16gb/Fusion drive with the GT-750M would be okay, or if I should look at a refurbished 27''. I can get a refurb 27 with an i7/8gb/ fusion drive/ GTX-680M for around the same price, and I can throw 32gb of ram in myself. I'm just a little hesitant on buying a refurbished product, but the smaller, less powerful gpu in the 21.5 gives me pause, since render times will be worse using the 21.5 with final cut x or premiere.

Any Thoughts or personal experiences?


Hi Jason,

I currently edit with FCPX on the 27" iMac. With the power capability of the Mac, videos render in almost no time at all and if you are looking to do any 3D work, the 27" can certainly do it! After consulting other forum members, they advised me not to upgrade to an i7 processor (just stick with an i5) as unless you are thinking of doing serious, 'hard' editing (i.e. feature films) software such as FCPX will work and perform fine.

I hope this answers your question :D


August 18, 2015 at 3:11AM

Simon Throssell

I would probably wait a bit as 21,5" Imac hasn't been updated since 2013, it's already an old computer and the full hd screen isn't up for today standard.
I need to buy a new one too and I am waiting for the new version that will be out soon and is very likely to be a retina screen.
If you really need to buy it right now then it's probably worth to go for the refurbished one, but more for the screen than for the gpu power, 27" does makes a difference when working with images and video. For the gpu it only depends on the work you do, if you work only in full HD then all the imacs are good enough, if you do 4k then go for the more powerfull.

August 23, 2015 at 5:19AM


I've been waiting on that, and the apple rumor mill seems to indicate that a 4k 21.5" iMac is coming.

I'm working in 1080p (AVCHD and H.264 MOV) right now, but I'll be investing in Panasonic GH4 and one or two G7s in 2016, which is why I'm looking more at the 27"

Jason Belack

August 24, 2015 at 7:47PM

Buy a 27" refurb. Put 16gb or 24gb of RAM in it. Also drop a SSD in it.

I have purchased multiple refurb macs and they have all been great experiences! Don't use a HDD or a Fusion Drive. They both have moving parts and are at a higher risk for failure. As far as SSD, the Samsung Evo 849 series has an incredibly low fail rate.

August 23, 2015 at 8:24PM


I think u shouldn't buy 21", I recommend bigger monitor for editing & if ur looking for something handy then Macbook Pro is better. I would never buy 21" for editing stuff. Maybe save more money & buy a new 27" ? I think iMacs are great products, I have my for 4 years now & it's still performing very well, so don't save money, coz u will use it for many years.

August 24, 2015 at 6:43AM

You voted '-1'.
Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist

Andy, I agree; I've had my macbook pro for going on six years strong. I have to replace it soon, but I'm a sentimental creature, and don't want to lol.

The 21.5" was really low on my .list of wants. I don't quite want a macbook pro just yet, maybe as a field laptop soon, but I prefer to work on a desktop.

A new 27" 5k Retina is a definite want, but the processor upgrade to the i7 kind of puts it out of my price range, since that jacks it up to almost 2,800, and I'm currently working with around 2300 as an absolute maximum. I can get the refurb 27" for around 1800 and add 32gb of RAM myself for around 200.

Jason Belack

August 24, 2015 at 7:53PM

another question, guys. Apple Care, do you think it's worth it?

27" iMac would set me back around 200 bucks I think.

August 24, 2015 at 7:54PM

Jason Belack
Video Editor/Multimedia Journalist

I never buy it and have yet to need it. Some people always buy it.

If you can spend the money and are concerned, go for it. If you have to sacrifice the quality of machine you can afford it may not be of better value for you to purchase it.

Ty Maier

August 25, 2015 at 6:21PM

Buy a PC and save yourself a lot of dough. easy and cheap to upgrade and to troubleshoot.

June 17, 2016 at 6:05PM


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