Upgrade Your iMac To Become An Editing Monster With Other World Computing

Doddelme by Heath McKnight

If you’re like me, you buy the best Mac or PC for your work, but within your budget. I needed to move up to an iMac from my Mac mini for Final Cut Pro X editing, but didn’t want to spend too much money on a new, late-2012 model iMac. So I bought a 21.5-inch Apple-refurbished mid-2011 iMac, base model with 8GB of RAM. And I upgraded it to 16GB of RAM from Other World Computing (OWC), plus an OWC Mercury Elite Pro hard drive and a NewerTech Guardian MAXimus mini RAID drive for good measure.

I really liked my base model Mac mini from mid-2011, but with the integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics, slower dual-core processor, it wasn’t getting the FCP X job done for me. I do a little bit of editing here and there, but between FCP X, FCP 7 and DVD Studio Pro, the render and export times were killer, despite my 8GB of RAM.

So I saved myself about $300 to $400 buying an Apple-refurbished iMac, compared to a new the late-2012 iMac, which is powerful and perhaps the most beautiful iMac yet, to quote the late great Steve Jobs, but that’s money I saved that I can use for buying affordable RAM from OWC and additional hard drives. Plus, this iMac has a built-in DVD burner, which the new ones don’t have, so I saved $60 or so buying an external Apple Superdrive.

The new iMacs, like I said, are breathtaking, but darn hard to upgrade the RAM — you need to have one built-to-order with 16GB or more RAM in it, which adds more money to it. The good news is, the mid-2011 was very easy to upgrade the RAM — I went with 16GB, but you can put in up to 32GB — and OWC has plenty of installation videos available, which makes it easy to install everything from RAM to a new hard drive. read more...

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