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  • Which 2020 iMac for best After Effects / Premiere & Photoshop performance?

  • Phil Bauch

    January 19, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Hi around,

    I need to buy a new iMac soonish and after reading lots of negative experiences I’d appreciate to listen some other user’s experiences. My planned setup for now is:

    iMac 2020 27″ 5k

    i7 8core 3,8GHz or alternatively i9 10core 3,6 Ghz

    64 GB RAM (if highly recommended, I could go for 128, too, Crucial 2x32GB or 4x32GB prefered)

    Radeon Pro 5500 XT

    2 TB SDD

    I was first thinking about the Radeon Pro 5700 XT 16 GB, but have been reading horrible stuff the last 2 days (lots of issues like crashes, display errors, really poor performance), so I canceled my order (just in time). Right now I’m totally uncertain, if I should really invest now (although I’d need to, still working on my late 2013, although good equipped, it’s deffo in it’s years…)

    I’d appreciate if anyone could share some personal experience, especially concerning the right graphic card (5500XT or 5700 XT) and processor (i7 or i9) for best real-life Adobe CC performance.

    Is the 5500 XT behaving crappy with CC, too? And which processor is the better choice (I won’t care paying some 400€ extra if it’s worth it, but I don’t feel to trust these thousand of youtube videos only made for the idea to get some affiliate money redirecting to Crucial or OWC 😉

    My major tasks (in order of most used)


    1. After Effects (really important)

    2. Premiere (when used, timelines are usually not overloaded, when it comes to more complex visuals, I prefer linked AE comps or prerendering)

    3. Media Encoder (just for the usual AE RenderQueue Stuff and some mp4 converts, so not daily deal maker)


    1. Photoshop (of course, 100% needed)

    2. Illustrator (daily and heavily used, too)

    3. Indesign (more or less some 2-3 jobs a month, so neiother the biggest time waster)

    4. Lightroom Classic (huge Library, as I work sometimes as photographer, too, but not used daily)

    Dreamweaver (Coding) and Animate (mainly HTML5 Banners) are quite often used, too, but I don’t expect nothing horrible there (I hope…)Â

    Beside this I compose music (LogicPro), but as this i not Adobe, I’ll ask around in other places for the music stuff 😉

    I’m working with Macs since mid 90ies, and never felt that unsure like this time. Thanks a lot, hope to find some answers.

    Cheers and stay tuned,


  • Jim Krause

    January 20, 2021 at 12:09 am

    Well the i9 10 core appears to have the processing advantage- and the more memory the better. For graphics and storage I’m now a fan of NOT putting it all into one box (your iMac). One-box solutions are hard to update and costly.

    I’ve been editing/doing AE work with my 2018 MacBook Pro i9 6 core / pro vega 20 (in clamshell mode diving 3 external monitors) with an external graphics processing unit (eGPU) connected and external SSD storage. It really screams along and AE & Premiere work great with the eGPU.

    So if you can swing it, sure get the maxed out iMac- but if you want to add more graphics processing power- consider using a thunderbolt-connected eGPU.

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