Ryan Hayes
Chief Educational Officer

Ideal Lab Set Up for both Video and Graphic Arts Classes?

I have been blessed with the motherlode of one time funding as part of a CTE Incentive Grant. I have two sequences: Cinematic Arts and Graphic Arts. As part of another grant last year, I upgraded to professional 4K cameras and got a 4K TV for my classroom. From the grant I also just upgraded my 2011 27" iMacs to 20 GB ram from 4GB and PS and AI work great.

Anyhow, my CTE Facilitator said, "No, you need a new lab." Who I am to say no? Here is my dilemma .... Both Cinematic Arts and Graphic Arts share a lot in common, but also differ in a couple of key ways. I was at the local Community College Digital Arts labs and they switched two labs from iMacs to Mac Minis with Cintiq Monitors. That would be great for my Graphic Arts students. I found the Cintiq to be so much more natural than the Wacom tablet. A Mac Mini would handle Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Cinema 4D, etc. just fine. 

Video on the other hand, not so much. Especially as we move into 4K. Video eats up cores like the Cookie Monster eats cookies. The Mini's are only dual-core. Plus, the integrated GPU is awful for editing, After Effects, and DaVinci Resolve. So, to best meet the need of the Cinematic Arts students my best bet would be 5K iMacs, but I then lose out on Cintiqs for the Graphic Arts students.

What would you do? I know ... first world problems.

5 / 5 • 2 Ratings

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Camille Dogbe

Posted on 11/11/17 12:12:42 AM Permalink

Hi Ryan,

You have/had one of the greatest dilemmas a teacher could have. What did you end up doing? I might have gone for maybe a half and half deal (half lab of Cintiqs w/mac mini and half 5k iMacs). I would love to see what some of your students are producing. I teach interactive Media which combines the graphics, web, video.

Ryan Hayes

Posted on 3/19/18 12:16:12 AM Permalink


By the grace of the gods I lucked out big time. We did a large district order for three iMac labs, so I was able to sneak in a few extra iMacs. :)

​I got 36 "mid tier" 5k iMacs with 512GB SSD and 32GB RAM that make up my Graphic Arts lab and an extra 6 top of the line 5K iMacs for my Cinematic Arts class to use as editing bays. California had a really big CTE incentive grant available. I am set for 5 or so years.

​I bought 8 Cintiqs and have my Honors Graphic Arts students use those. The hassle is no easy way to store them and I don't want them sitting out for my intro classes to break. Great dilemma to have indeed.

​Graphic Arts: ​​​

Cinematic Arts: ​