QUESTION: I am looking to purchase a new iMac and have narrowed my search to the 21.5" version. I do a lot of dv editing, so in addition to the latest version of iMovie I may also purchase Final Cut Pro, offered for $300 with the purchase of the computer at my local Apple Store.
As for the iMac itself, I am at the crossroads regarding which options I should pay extra for and which options I don't really need, thus saving money.
For instance I was told by the Apple salesman that rather than choosing another 8GB of memory (for a total of 16), I would be better off applying that $200 towards the purchase of "128 solid state", or Fusion Drive ($250). He explained it would ratchet up the performance to a higher gear, vs. having the extra 8GB which would be OK if I opened more than one or two software programs and did a lot of multi-tasking.
Q: Do you agree? Also, is there a big difference in the way 2.7 vs. 2.9 GHz affects overall performance? Thank you in advance.
ANSWER: Well, video editing takes lots of resources.
First a few small things. FCP costs $299 with or without computer. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/final-cut-pro/id424389933?mt=12
Second, what do you edit? Is that commercial or a home videos? That matters. Based on your question i assume it's a hobby.
As for your question: Yes HDD is the biggest bottle neck for video editing. If you are on the budget then Fusion is not a bad choice.
Solid is better but 128 is way too small for video HDD. you need at least 512.
2.7 vs. 2.9 it's a couple % difference. You won't feel that unless you compare 2 computers. For pro works it matters but for home editing doen'st .
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QUESTION: I should have said that I've run a video transfer service for close to 20 years and that I do a lot of dv editing for a living.
Back to my original question. If given a choice, would it be better for me to choose Solid at 512 over 128 and having that extra 8GB of RAM? Also, is Solid the same as Fusion, and are you saying that this is a better way to go for HDD - meaning movies dv edited for Hi Def?
ANSWER: If that's your tool then i'd get 512 SSD, upgraded to 16Gn RAM and also made sure I have some fast storage such as Drobo 5D.
Fusion is a mix of SSD and HDD. The drive tries to keep data you access often in the SSD part and keep rarely used data in HDD.
It would probably make sense to wait for new Mac Pro that supposedly comes in a couple of months.
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QUESTION: Thanks. Your last line has me a bit confused. Are you suggesting I wait until the new Mac Pro comes out in a few months so as to purchase one of these, or that I should wait until then to purchase the iMac in question and currently in stock - in anticipation that the prices will come down to make room for the new inventory?
If I dealt with Pro video editing I'd most probably wait with new Mac Pro as it offers greater upgrade options such as PCI based HDD which is faster than standard SSD (http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/PCIe/OWC/Mercury_Accelsior/RAID
This is all what I"m saying. It's up to you to choose the path that fits your budget and specs. I'm not sure why did you initially want to choose between SSD and 16GB of RAM. Saving $250 on a TOOL that you use to make living every day doesn't make much sense to me. Faster the machine more you can do every day and thus generate more income. So yeah, this is what I would consider.