Video Editing - imac vs powermac


Novice Member
Hey new to the forums, Ive used pages to resolve issues before but this is my first post.

looking for some help regarding my new business setup please!

about to take a 5k loan to purchase a new machine now i will be doing a mixture of video editing with HD cameras but will also be doing some 3d rendering in Adobe After Effects.

now recently i was in the Apple store and was looking at purchasing a power mac with the upgraded chip with the intention of selling next year for the up to date powermac thats been hinted at being released at next years WWDC.
While browsing and talking to the staff he suggested i go for an imac as its being used more and more for video editing. so the dilema was imac or powermac due to one being better used for editing but the power mac better for 3d rendering... so that is my first question which do you think i should go for?

Second question is, if i go for power mac can it work with HD cameras?

I'm new to Apple computers but i know that it seems to be the best way forward for what I'm undertaking for business so any help would be great, and before anyone suggests holding off till 2013 for the latest Power-Mac... I cant wait that long business needs to start now.

Thanks! hope i have supplied enough info any questions please don't hesitate to ask as i need you guys help :)

Oh and i plan on using the Adobe Master collection to work with as opposed to Final Cut.

**EDIT** this is the kind of spec PowerMac i looked at

Two 2.66GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon processor (12 cores)
24GB (6X4GB)
1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive
ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
Last edited:


Prominent Member
Mac Pro for the ram and internal drive bays. I video edit using a mac pro. An iMac will do the job, but the MP will be the best tool. Unless you're working to a budget, get the MP, bang in as much crucial ram as you can afford, and fill up those drive bays with at least 2tb in each. HD video editing will eat up a lot of it!

Good luck with the new business, if you ever need to farm out any work....... :)


Distinguished Member
I don't know anything about the field but I'd have thought some technical information on the content you'll be editing will be required to determine what's sufficient to handle it. e.g. resolution, file size, encoding requirements etc.


Novice Member
@peter Thanks :) for the info, so the MP can work with HD video cameras?

@EndlessWaves well I plan on being almost a middle man for wedding photographers who work with the latest HD cameras who do DVD's and Blu-rays

and also plan on doing the same with my current cameras which are Canon XM2's and Canon XL2's
The 3D rendering are various 3D photobook projects burned to blu-ray and DVD also so we are talking FULL HD at 1080p does that help at all?

Thanks for the quick responses


Moderator/Games Reviewer
Personally I wouldn't buy a Mac Pro. They are (apparently) due a refresh next year. An iMac with plenty of RAM and an i7 CPU would pretty much match it performance when it comes to video editing. If you ensure you have fast RAID5 or RAID0 storage for video, another fast drive for renders/scratch/cache all separate from your OS drive it will perform nicely. I edit HD video on my old Core2Duo iMac and its never missed a beat with the above drive config. I am about to upgrade to a 27" iMac (also due a refresh) in the next few weeks so I should see a nice performance jump.
The big advantage of a Mac Pro would be the ability to add a Video output card for full screen HD preview playback on a second monitor. This is achievable with an iMac via a thunderbolt port and a Matrox mini. Final Cut Pro 7 still works great although its only a 32bit app. Premiere Pro is a little more advanced as of CS5 and upwards. Final Cut Pro X is great if you can live with the interface.


Novice Member
@hillskill yeh iv'e heard great things about the iMac when it comes to video editing, my main worry is how well will it handle my 3d rendering from after effects as this is why im unsure whether just to bite the bullet and get the imac.

I noticed the refresh next year and thought if worst comes to worst im sure i will get a decent bit of cash for the MP still after it since its got the updated processors at least


Moderator/Games Reviewer
Just compare the CPUs. Unless your hammering out massively detailed composites in AE I don't see how the iMac will lag that far behind. You can stick in 32GB of RAM into an iMac if you want so its about just how much quicker the Xeons are over the i7s in the iMacs. What will make a difference is GPUs with Cuda cores for use in AE as that can help massively with rendering. Problem is all the GPUs currently offered by Apple are ATI/AMD cards which don't have Cuda so you would have to replace the GPU to an Nvidia one.
How much AE work are you going to be doing? What sort of content are you working on?


Novice Member
mainly will be doing 3d Story books with hi-res photos and video (hd) and 3d titles kind of like what is used on
main income is my video editing burned to dvd and blu-ray eg. weddings, theatre shows, corporate vids
but the storybooks and titles etc are jsut as important as these will fund me in between major projects

that help any?


Moderator/Games Reviewer
Lol! I do weddings too. Successfully ran my business for a year on an old Core2Duo mac and will now get an i5 or i7 iMac. Obviously if you have your heart set on a Mac Pro then go for it but there will likely be a new offering next year.

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