The current iMacs do not support OpenGL rendering. I would pick one with the highest VRAM you could afford, but an iMac is, at this time, not a very good choice if you want to use CS6 and open GL assisted ray trace rendering.
For any other AE work in HD the iMac will work just fine.
Who knows when or if the iMac's graphics adaptor will be included on Adobe's list of supported GPU devices.
Judging from the inclusion of an INVIDIA GPU in the new MacBook Pro R, there may be a supported card in the next generation iMac.
Thank you very much for helping me!
I'm still a student, and I don't have too much experience in filmmaking. But I'm very interested and I learn fast.
So in my lack of knownledge about "open GL ray trace rendering" I really wonder if that's one of the things I want to use this first couple years. Or is that mostly used by the profis and people who really work like editors? Well, to be more specific, I only ask you if "open GL ray trace rendering" is nesessary for the commonly used articulations and plugins for After Effects, and for a person on my stage?
I don't want to spend much more than 1700 $ on a computer. So what would you recommend me to look after? firstly I struggle to deside between iMac and Windows. And if you say windows is best for me, what processor and graphics card would you recommend?
(I'm primary a musician and compose film music. So therefor I love to make film! http://soundcloud.com/rafael-johansen )
Thank you, again:)
Mac or PC is entirely up to the user. I much prefer the Mac for many reasons. They last an incredibly long time. I have a client that I sold a first generation Intel 24" iMac to 2 years ago. I bought it January 10, 2006, the day it was released, carried it around for nearly 3 years like a laptop in an iLugger case, and it's still running CS5 and working every day. That's six years and eight months of productive life. It's not as fast as a shiny new machine, but it produces HD video and graphics every day. The only maintenance it ever had was routine software upgrades and a new hard drive and cleaning every 2 years. The client's office has about 30 PC's in it that also work every day. Not one of them is more than 3 years old. There's also not a single display in the office that's more than 4 years old. Evrything else died...
Given exactly the same standards of quality in components and same specifications, there's not that big a gulf between Mac and PC in cost. Some will argue with that, but if you buy a PC that's got the same specs as a Mac and fill it with the same quality of hardware and expect it to last as long you'll spend about the same.
Can you get more processing power in the short run on a Windows machine for the same money? Sure, if you're careful about how you shop. I work on PC's and Mac's every day. The mac's have historically been productive machines for me at least twice as long as the PC's in my stable so they cost less in the long run. Mac's have traditionally required less fussing with the OS. Will Windows 8 change the fussing with the OS side of the equation? Will Mountain Lion prove problematic? I don't know. I do know that with the tens of thousands of possible hardware configurations available for the PC there will never be the kind of quality control on the hardware / driver side you get with a Mac.
That said, and at the risk of being flamed by all the Apple naysayers out there, the choice is up to you and up to your pocketbook.
I'd also like to add that the ray trace 3D renderer is only necessary if you plan on creating 3D graphics from within AE. So, I would say that it's not really necessary for the most commonly used AE functions, unless creating 3D objects in AE is the one of main things you want to be able do with the program.
Not to step into holy war, both Mac and PC are just tools. They both are not perfect, and they both can be reliable (moreover, all their components are manufactured now in the same region...). My DEC HiNote VP notebook, bought in 1996, is still in a good condition apart from the battery. However, the truth is that it's completely obsolete. A couple of years in our modern pace is quite enough to feel the need for some hardware upgrade. Is Apple land as friendly here as PC world?
Regard to OS, the game has actually changed since Windows 7 advent. What is true, you never know what to expect. Will Windows 8 be a disaster like Windows Vista?
To sum up, you can obtain better PC for the same money (or spend up to 30% less for the same spec) compared to Mac, which is important for both businesses and individuals (especially if one is on a budget). And yes, it will be a reliable machine.
If you are not experienced in hardware, find a reliable retailer, who can customise a machine for you.
What you definitely need is a good CPU, enough RAM (the more, the better) and several HDD (for OS, for source media files and for Cache, exporting files etc.)