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Looking to purchase a Mac desktop...should I go new or used/refurbished?

#1DynamoManXPosted 6/19/2014 7:54:19 PM
As an aspiring filmmaker/editor, one of the things that's held me back from further success is the lack of a Mac. To be specific, the lack of regular access to Final Cut Pro (7), which is still the gold standard in the editing industry. I've post-produced on Windows alternatives such as Sony Vegas Pro and now Premiere Pro CS6, but haven't worked much with FCP7 let alone X, which has shut me out of several job opportunities that called for proficiency in the latter.

I'm not too fond of Apple products to be honest...they're too expensive for my broke ass, and one could save a lot of money by purchasing a PC or Android device with similar or better specs. However, I'm willing to swallow my pride and the hit to my wallet to get ahead in my career, so I'm buying me a Mac.

I've already researched my options prior to making this thread, so let me keep it short but sweet:

- Not looking to spend more than $1500.

- Out of the question: Mac Mini (too underpowered for its price range, no discrete graphic card), MacBook Air (same), MacBook Pro (my ideal choice, but even the 13' models are too underpowered AND expensive for my budget)

- Looking into a new 2012-2013 model 21.5'' iMac (decent balance of affordability, portability and power) or a used/refurbished Mac Pro tower (most 2010-2013 models still seem to have good specs for video editing, would enjoy the expandability options lacking in the iMac)

Here's the 21.5' iMac (2012-model) I have in mind:

http://www.macmall.com/p/Apple-iMac/product~dpno~9425078~pdp.iaebhaj

And the kind of used Mac Pro tower (2009 model) I have in mind:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Apple/MP09D226M12C/

I'm trying to wrap my head around the advantages/disadvantages of going with either (USB 3.0 & Thunderbolt? Built-in optical drive? Multiple cores?) as well as the risks of buying used/refurbished hardware (I'm guessing that many of the Mac Pro towers out there have taken a beating from years of heavy processing), but am overwhelmed by it all. Any suggestions as to which kind of Mac I should go with? Any suggestions on which Mac retailers/resellers I should hit up as well? Any help would be appreciated, thanks!
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What were you looking for you wine-cooler sipping pansy, a witty sig??? Carry on.
#2GriffPosted 6/19/2014 8:05:29 PM(edited)
The Mac Pro would absolutely be your best bet,
the built-in mobile video cards on the iMac seriously lack punch.
With the Pro you'd at least get a decent video card up front and be able to upgrade it at a moments notice, not to mention much more space for internal HDD's and more i/o ports.
For any kind of editing or rendering, I'd steer clear of the iMac.
As for 2nd hand worries, these things are built like a brick, I'm assuming you'll get the standard store warranty, but I rarely see failures of the Pro's and the people that I know run them 24/7 for years,
Also might want to post this on the Mac forum, albeit, it's pretty quiet there.
Check out Macforums.com, very friendly site, lots of Mac stuff.
#3cancerstormPosted 6/19/2014 8:07:53 PM
mac pros are out of his price range, i don't think you can get one cheaper than $2500

agree on imacs being weak
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#4DynamoManX(Topic Creator)Posted 6/19/2014 8:11:56 PM
cancerstorm posted...
mac pros are out of his price range, i don't think you can get one cheaper than $2500

agree on imacs being weak


The Mac Pro tower I linked to is selling for $1100. >_>

The higher-end Pro towers and all of the Mac Pro cylinders are definitely out of my price range.
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What were you looking for you wine-cooler sipping pansy, a witty sig??? Carry on.
#5LouisvilleXVPosted 6/19/2014 8:12:36 PM
Weird... I just put mine on eBay O_O

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261510557571?redirect=mobile
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#6cancerstormPosted 6/19/2014 8:15:57 PM
yeah i saw that that, with a radeon 4870 you're better off just buying a new macbook pro
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#7rkpeaglePosted 6/19/2014 8:18:07 PM
I'm an editor too and I"m not sure about getting a Mac if you're budget is only $1500 because you're going to regret it.

I started off with a iMac '09 just to use FCP7 and it was just extremely underwhelming to edit with. I was constantly dealing with render times and when a client is paying us for a time then that's something we can't be dealing with. I eventually built a PC for $1500, switched to CS6, and I can handle editing RAW footage let alone HD footage with no problem. For me to get that kind of performance on a Mac, I'd be looking at a price range of $4000.

I understand the getting shut out of jobs because someone prefers FCP but if you're skilled enough in Premiere then it shouldn't matter because Premiere can do everything that FCP 7/X can do and more.
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#8GriffPosted 6/19/2014 8:59:26 PM
^^^
Yeah, I was not talking about the Laptop, but the link he provided, the tower.

Forget the iMac or anything portable, the internal video just won't cut it.
#9TimePharaohPosted 6/19/2014 9:06:14 PM
DynamoManX posted...
As an aspiring filmmaker/editor, one of the things that's held me back from further success is the lack of a Mac


lol

Yea that's totally the reason
#10DynamoManX(Topic Creator)Posted 6/19/2014 9:11:04 PM
TimePharaoh posted...
DynamoManX posted...
As an aspiring filmmaker/editor, one of the things that's held me back from further success is the lack of a Mac


lol

Yea that's totally the reason


one of the
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What were you looking for you wine-cooler sipping pansy, a witty sig??? Carry on.