Is the iMac the best computer for Blender and Video Editing?

I’m about to purchase an iMac. Here are the Specs:

21.5 inches
1920 x 1080 resolution
2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
8GB (two 4GB) memory/RAM
500GB hard drive
AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB

Before I purchase it however, I was wondering if there is any other computer that’s better for Video editing/running Blender/making animations/movies/graphics etc.?
I’m trying to get the best I can get for what I like to do.
So is the iMac the best thing to get? From my research, I’ve found that to be true.
Please tell me if I’m wrong.

So is the iMac the best thing to get? From my research, I’ve found that to be true.

It depends what software you want to use. I don’t see OSX as being inherently better for what you want than Windows.
iMacs generally come with old graphics cards and you won’t be able to make any upgrades other than RAM.
For the same price you may be able to get a better spec machine and for what you want to do I’d go for a bigger screen as well.
For blender I’m sure many would say that it actually runs best on Linux systems.

I would go for the 27" iMac, I have a 24" 2008 iMac.
And yes there are better, Mac Pro. You get insane amount of cores, (12 cores in 2010 versions, you can get a refurbished 2008 with 8core) which is always good nowdays (GPU rendering isn’t just there yet, and still 2 processors is just awesome)

the bottleneck as in any mac is it’s often quite old graphic cards, but in a mac pro you can upgrade, and have 2-3 gfx cards.

in a iMac you can’t even change the harddrive (unless you have a way to remove the screen glass) and there’s no upgrade possibilites at all.

I would consider an iMac better for graphic design work, easier motion graphics, programming etc, rather than a rendering workhorse.

Like what?
See, I’ve always been a Windows person. So it’s kinda hard for me to switch over. But I’ve just come to the conclusion SOMEHOW that mac is better for this type of stuff (Blender, Video editing etc.). Maybe from all the popular youtube partners that make home videos (Julian Smith, Freddie Wong etc. all use mac products). Maybe from all the special features of movies, i see macs being used. etc.
I don’t know. If there’s a good Windows computer out there that’s better than this iMac i’m about to purchase, then please tell me now.
This iMac will cost me $1,330. So that’s my price range.
Any computer ideas with links are appreciated.
Thanks guys!

Aermartin: yeah, I guess I was thinking that the iMac would be super fast at rendering and stuff. Is that a wrong assumption?

it’s not super fast at rendering at all. really a mac pro would be consider, I’m selling my iMac to eithr buy a new mac pro or a refurbished 2008 with 8cores and just add 2 graphic cards. be it the 5770 atm, but apple is about to upgrade the mac pros I think.


well windows for me is out of the questions, it’s mac , or linux.

aermartin already said that you were wrong in your assumption. He also pointed out that imacs are not really upgradeable in many respects.
May I point out that you can have Linux, Windows, and MacOS on a mac computer. So, if you have a lot of money, you get a Mac and set up a triple boot system so you can use all three operating systems as they all have the positive sides and negative sides.
When deciding on a computer to buy, if you need to be able to use MacOS, then you need to buy a Mac (let’s not get into hackintosh.) Like if you prefer to use Final Cut studio, for example.
But, being able to upgrade later is a big deal so don’t buy something like an imac that you can’t upgrade.

a.) you believe too much hype
b.) How much you want to spend? That is the magic answer… odds are you’ll be able to get a windows machine that will run circles around any apple for the same price.
my laptop
cost $1300
has a i7 2.6GHz dual core
6gb ram upgradable to 16
2gb nividia
500gb hdd

I imagine you can find a desktop that would crush both for $1300.
c.) If you are dead set on using Apple proprietary programs or you have to have OSX then yes get an apple… otherwise it’s a waste of money.

I was using an Imac the other day and essentially what it is, is a dolled up PC running a slightly more consumer friendly Linux OS.

Now an Imac may be a good machine for what it is, an all in one PC. But for what you want to do it is not, firstly it’s an all in one machine will be getting pegged at 100% most of the time while working, this will take it’s toll on the hardware, so getting a machine with more cooling/ ventilation that is required for the hardware would be your first priority. This won’t effect it over the course of a few months, but a year or two of high temperatures will do horrible things to your hardware.

If you give us a list of software you use/ want to use then we can determine what would be the best platform.

As a base though I’d definitely recommend you go for a machine which has a separate tower, I can’t recommend a mac pro, for that price you could purchase a very nice Boxx system, or a system with an I7, plus lots of RAM and a very beefy graphic card and general set-up (HDD’s etcetera).

P.s. I’m not sure if it was the Mac I was using the other day, but it crashed an awful lot, and when it wasn’t crashing I kept getting the spinning little ‘I’m busy’ mouse icon, this put me off pretty much straight away.

$1330 is the max amount I will spend.
Software used…A TON of blender, and a TON of Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0, also a lot of Adobe After Effects.

To me the only reason to go mac in this case is if you like Final Cut pro, if you want to use Blender I suggest the very first thing you do is dual boot it with Linux. I think you’ll find Linux is generally more Blender friendly in terms of builds.

Then you don’t need an Apple.

In that case you’re best off going with a PC, you’re limited to Windows on that PC as you use Adobe products, but Windows 7 is quite nice to use these days. As long as you don’t download random files etcetera.

You’ll probably want an Nvidia graphics card to as I believe that some of the Adobe software packages are accelerated by Cuda, which will make a huge difference in performance.

Look for a PC that has reputable parts, some of the PC’s on newegg have quality components which will come with a 3 year warranty, but also a little more comfort in knowing that they are good, reliable parts.

I’d also go for Windows 64-bit and aim for around 8GB’s+ of RAM.

This is off-topic slightly, but what you may want to consider as well is dual booting and running something like Ubuntu 64-bit for when doing 3D work as it’s way more reliable and a lot faster when running Blender. Not to mention a lot of the open-source applications work really well with it i.e. Jack support between Blender and nearly any audio/ video editing software.

Meteor_Freak: okay, so what would you suggest?
Does anyone know anything about the reliability of Alienware?

this is an option… but there are many good options out there.

Not to offend you but that’s a terrible option!!

The base configuration is over $1,000 with an I3 dual core, integrated graphics and 2GB of RAM.

Dell are completely ripping off the customer there.

my laptop is an alienware… haven’t had it long but I’ve had zero problems… my desktop is a 3 year old dell that is rarely turned off and it has never failed me. I’m sure others will have their favorites.
AMD X6 (A lot better performance in multi-threaded/ core applications, Blender rendering, dynamics etcetera)


Or I7 (Faster single core performance)

Those prices would leave enough to buy a 21" + monitor if you needed one, plus a keyboard/ mouse if you weren’t using the one from your old system.

EDIT: Looking at the pictures of the AMD machine it looks like it has an H-60 water cooled CPU, which is a big plus, and for the price is actually quite a surprise to see on the machine.

Those machines would perform very well. Also the AMD machine has 8GB of ram!

need to look a little closer…

xeon 3.10GHz
4GB ram upgradable to 32GB
1GB ATI firepro (can upgrade to dual cards)
500GB HDD can have up to 4 internal

for $1394

I look at how upgradable the rig is when I buy one… but again I said others would have opinions too. I never said get this… I said it’s an option.

Question: a computer being defined as a “Gaming” computer. Is that a positive thing or negative thing for using Blender/Video Editing?