I am currently using a macbook air for all my editing and rendering of videos in FCPX. The editing process is reasonably smooth when dealing with shorter clips, but when I tried to edit multicam clips, things started to slow down. Also, the rendering and compression processes are tedious. I am planning to edit and process a much larger number of videos in the next years to come, so I have decided to do a serious upgrade of my system.
For the moment, I am torn between a maxed out iMac 27", which would be the cheapest alternative, and the 6 core Mac Pro or 4 core Mac Pro.
When I look at benchmarks of the new Mac Pro's in Geekbench, the iMac is never very far away in terms of performance. Does tests like this tell anything about how well the Mac Pro will perform in FCP? Does the hardware in the Mac Pro have features which makes it superior to the iMac, in other ways than for example the "pure power" of the CPU and GPU?
rendering, transcoding and compressing
Lloyd Chambers suggests for those purposes, buy the D700's and don't look back:
"For video processing where the computing demands are large (effects, transcoding, etc), the D700 GPUs are a no-brainer choice."