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Which is more important for Adobe CS6 and FCX on imac? Processor or Graphics Card?

815 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 11, 2012 7:30 PM by MartinR RSS
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Nov 10, 2012 6:50 PM

Hi, I want to get the new 27" imac when it comes out this December. It will be my first mac although I have both an iPhone and iPad. I'm and artist and aspiring filmmaker and want to run Adobe CS6 and Final Cut Pro on it. I'm looking at the highest 27" but have limited funds for additional upgrades. Apart from RAM, what would i be better off upgrading on the imac? Going from the i5 to the i7? or going for the GTX 680mx Graphics card with 2gb of memory? or going for the 1TB Fusion drive? If you could only pick one or possibly 2, which would be the best to choose for video and graphics on the programs I mentioned? (I'm not into gaming, so performance on that front is of no concern to me)

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)

    For CS6 and FCPX, you would want to maximize the processor, RAM, hard drive speed and graphics processor, more or less in that order.  That said, the i5 processor and 8GB RAM that come with the 27" iMacs is plenty for CS6 and FCPX.


    If you want more RAM, it will cost less to order from Crucial or OWC instead of Apple.  And the Crucial or OWC RAM will work perfectly.


    Beyond that, I would strongly encourage you to invest in 1 or more external FW or Thunderbolt hard drives for backup and potentially additional online storage before even thinking about investing in a Fusion drive or the top end gpu w/2GB VRAM.

  • David M Brewer Level 6 Level 6 (9,180 points)

    I don't have CS6...


    1) I would max out the video card. FCP X and Motion 5 uses the GPU over the CPU for processing power. Once you buy your new iMac you can't upgrade this...


    2) FCP X and Motion 5 will use all the ram you can throw at it. I have 16 GB of ram and both programs at times uses all 16 GB of ram. I really should bump up my ram to 32 GB. I would say 16 GB is the minimum for video.


    3) The processor would be last on my list. Computers are really fast even with an i5 processor. Once you buy your new iMac you can't upgrade this...


    This is the iMac I bought last year:


    27" iMc mid-2011

    3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7

    16GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x4GB

    2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive

    AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5

    Apple Magic Mouse + Magic Trackpad

    Apple Wireless Keyboard (English) & User's Guide

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)

    The Fusion drive is a nice idea.  But it's very, very new, and a 128GB SSD is not large enough to make a difference in your use of CS6 or FCPX, which will require significant amounts of disk space in operation.  Video, in particular can easily require significantly more disk space for swap space, editing & rendering ops that you don't even see being used, but it is.


    For the $, I would invest in a larger 7200rpm hard drive and an external thunderbolt or firewire drive for backup before worrying about investing in an SSD or Fusion drive.


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