10 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 8:23 AM by Bill Gehrke

    Secondary editing computer??

    lysiac46077766 Level 1

      Hi all,

      I'm looking to purchase a secondary computer for editing away from the office. It doesn't need to be as much of a workhorse but does need to get the job done! I work for a nonprofit so budget is definitely a consideration. I work on mostly short videos for web viewing but sometimes have to do heavy color work and resizing (nature drone ftg). Mostly 1080p with occasional 4K. I do often run Photoshop simultaneously. I've done research online but am a bit overwhelmed by all the info and terminology. I am fairly comfortable with tech and a fast learner but new to the Mac world, specs and Premiere. I am not set yet on laptop/desktop. I do think Mac is the best way to go because our primary editing computer is a Mac and I figured it'd be a smoother transition when working on the same project on 2 different computers. I have a screenshot of our primary setup but no photo attachment option here... I'll try posting it as a reply.

      Thanks so much for your input!!

        • 1. Re: Secondary editing computer??
          lysiac46077766 Level 1

          Well apparently there's no photo option on mobile??  Thank goodness for voice text! Here goes…

          iMac 5K retina 27 inch late 2015

          4 GHz Intel core i7

          32 GB 1867 MHz DDR3

          3 TB fusion drive

          AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4096 MB

          • 2. Re: Secondary editing computer??
            Jim_Simon Level 9

            I do think Mac is the best way to go


            You should rethink that.


            $2,000 Custom PC vs $4,000 Mac Pro - YouTube

            • 3. Re: Secondary editing computer??
              lysiac46077766 Level 1

              I meant because I'll be working on the same project, moving back and forth between the 2 computers. So I thought it would be smoother, less potential glitches, to do this on the same platform. I do know there are awesome PCs great for video editing.

              • 4. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                awgovers Level 1

                While Mac has my personal preference any day, i don't think you should run in too many trouble while trying to swap out Adobe project files between Windows and Mac. If you're only using software that runs on both Mac and PC (Like Premiere Pro, Photoshop and After Effects) then sure, lysiac46077766 makes a very valid point. PC will be much cheaper for better specs!


                Do keep in mind that many 3rd party plugins and effects are based on your operating system though, you might have to buy some of the plugins again to get them running on Windows versions of Adobe.


                If you need a stationary work station your should definitely go for a desktop instead of a laptop. Again this should get you much more power for a lower price tag. If you also need to work outside of your office, laptop might be the way to go.


                A third option, i don't know if we're allowed to say this here, is buying these "cheap" PC parts and install OSX on it. I won't go into too much detail, but it takes some tech and computer skills to pull it off. Google is your friend


                Hope this helps! All the best,

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                  Andrew_S Level 3

                  Switching between Mac and Windows is not ideal. The only problem I have come across involved HDV files captured on Mac will not play on Windows and vice versa. Assuming you a using video files using a codec common to both Mac and windows you may be OK. However, as the paths to all your files in a project will use / on windows and \ on Mac you may have to manually locate the files each time you swap over. And it may have to re-conform all the audio files as a result.


                  As a confirmed user of Windows I have to say "through gritted teeth", use Mac for both set-ups in your case. (or both windows).

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                    Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    I'm moving this to the Hardware Forum where the hardware experts might have more answers.

                    • 7. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                      lysiac46077766 Level 1

                      So whether I stick with Mac or switch to PC, what are the minimum specs I could get away with? And by that I mean function effectively (as described in OP). From what I've read, 16GB RAM should be good but I can't find a concensus on processor. So on MacBook Pro for instance, is the Intel i5 enough or would I really need the i7? And GHz? Any input is super appreciated!

                      • 8. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                        awgovers Level 1

                        That would totally depend on your workflow. To edit and work with 4k footage real-time would take a more powerful machine in comparison to 1080


                        As for the Macbooks and RAM, 16GB should suffice in general. I would strongly recommend you look into RAM replacement, Apple even has tutorials on their site on this. You should buy the Macbook with the least amount of RAM available, and buy the higher RAM from a 3rd party seller. This could easily save you a few hundred of dollars if you want to max it out And on the newer models it's just opening the case and swapping the ram, a "no-risk"/"5-minute" job. This saved me nearly 400 bucks on my last iMac. Link to the official Apple thread.


                        For the processor i would recommend the i7 over i5. It costs a bit more but it will be worth your while.


                        For the storage you definitely want to go SSD or flash. Don't get the older HDD's of Fusion Drives, they will slow everything down. The disk should be large enough to hold your OS, your software and ideally your render files and cache. You could also move the last ones to an external USB3 or Thunderbolt drive (TB even better)


                        Another important spec is your graphics card, don't cheap out on this one.


                        If it fits your needs i would recommend you consider the iMac as well. A fully maxed out 27" 5k Retina iMac would set your back at roughly $4000 (Maxed processor, RAM, SSD disks, Graphic card.) while the brand new Macbook Pro would cost you $2800 without any upgrades.


                        You could also check out one of the resellers that deal out refurbished Apple products. I've bought several and i can;t complain about the machines. You're not getting a brand new product, but with the greatly reduced prices i could settle for that.


                        Hope this helps!

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                          lysiac46077766 Level 1

                          Sorry for the lagtime Had to put things on hold for a bit. So it's been decided that it'd be best for me to get a laptop for flexibility. I was just looking over the specs for the 2017 Macbook Pro and it looks like the improvements they made to the processor and graphics may be worthwhile (MacBook Pro 2017 vs MacBook Pro 2016: what’s changed? | TechRadar and The 15-inch MacBook Pro: What's changed?). I definitely want the 15" and within that there are 2 options with applicable differences being processor, graphics and price.


                          Storage doesn't much matter since this is my secondary computer so will only store active projects on it. Currently I'm mostly working with 1080p but I may be working with more 4K down the road so good to be prepared for that. I had to do lots of resizing, color editing, time remapping, etc on my last project (drone footage) and may have similar projects upcoming. Do you have an opinion on whether the slightly cheaper model would be sufficient for my needs? Would obviously love to save the $ if possible but not compromise being able to work efficiently...


                          Thanks again for all the input, it's REALLY appreciated!!!

                          • 10. Re: Secondary editing computer??
                            Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                            I am a Windows PC person but here is the workflow I am using very successful on my PC's (Laptop and Desktop).  I have several Samsung T3 USB 3 portable SSD's.  With all my project and media files on this drive I can move almost instantly from one computer to the other.  Of course I do not have any way to test this out on Mac;s but I do not see any reason why this same procedure would not work  Now remember not all USB 3 devices are high performance but I now have three Samsung T3's and here is the performance that is easily 3x a typical hard disk drive even internal drives.  Just look at those sequential read and write speeds.  I am editing 4K XAVC-S, 4K GoPro and have as many as 3 different cameras.

                            T3 USB 3.0 Desktop.png

                            Of course you might do even better with the better SSD's with a Thunderbolt interface enclosure but at higher cost