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Macbook Pro 13 or 15 for video editing

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
To improve my mobility and as a general upgrade, I plan to buy a MBP for my photo and video editing within the next couple of months. Although I prefer the size, weight and price of the 13", the 15" offers two advantages in addition to the larger screen:

- The matt screen option
- The AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 1GB GDDR5

The first would be my preference, but when it comes to the graphics processor, I ask myself how significant it will be for HD video editing and playback. Does anybody here have an idea?
 

kevinparis

Member
Depends on what software you plan to run on the video side... I wouldn't make any decision video wise until we find out more about FCP X

I am guessing that bigger fast GPU's will make for better video editing with FCP if what I took from the videos posted of the sneak peak at NAB is correct



K
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
FCP X is what I have in mind. Seems like the obvious option on a Mac now. The safe bet would obviously be the 15", but maybe I should hold back until we know more. Time is going very fast anyway these days :)
 

kevinparis

Member
cant imagine a major rev on the macbook pro anytime soon - but if i was buying today for using FCP X I would get the most cores and the biggest GPU around - thats where FCP X is going to find it performance.

K
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
cant imagine a major rev on the macbook pro anytime soon - but if i was buying today for using FCP X I would get the most cores and the biggest GPU around - thats where FCP X is going to find it performance.

K
That's my gut feeling, so maybe I should aim in that direction. More power will also leave me better prepared for whatever comes up in the future.
 

ustein

Contributing Editor
>but if i was buying today for using FCP X I would get the most cores and the biggest GPU around - thats where FCP X is going to find it performance.

And the most memory (8GB). The problem with slow disks may get solved once we get Thunderbolt drives.

As FCP X claims realtime rendering it has to tax all(!) resources) and the GPU is one of them. I actually think the MBP will work great with FCP X (FCP 7 is used by many pros to pre-edit scenes today).
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
You're looking at much higher end software than I'm using at present. FC Express 4 is doing just fine for me at present on MBP13" ... I'm still in the early learning phase of the video editing business anyway. ;-)
 

ustein

Contributing Editor
>FC Express 4 is doing just fine for me at present on MBP13"

This is 32 bit and has no realtime rendering (also FCP is not 64 bit).
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
And the most memory (8GB). The problem with slow disks may get solved once we get Thunderbolt drives.
... which leads to the next dilemma: 750GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm (512GB SSD would be nice, but it's kind of... $1,100 :( )? I would definitely prefer as much space as possible, since the old rule "hard disks are either new or full" still applies, but if the faster disk will speed up things radically, I guess a compromise is interesting.

An alternative would be to throw out the CD/DVD drive and replace it with another HDD, and hoping that I won't need to burn anything when travelling, but now we're talking inserting hard, pointed devices in to a virginal, new $2,000+ gadget to remove something that Mr. Jobs has placed there at a moment of incomprehensible genius.... well, almost anyway :rolleyes:

Have anybody tried? Is it doable for an amateur, or would it be advisable to ask somebody with a higher screwdriver education?
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
FC Express 4 is doing just fine for me at present on MBP13"
This is 32 bit and has no realtime rendering (also FCP is not 64 bit).
Very true, but it works fine for what I'm doing right now. It was free on a coupon deal some time ago and I've barely started learning it.

Until I know where I want to go with my video efforts, I don't see the point of buying more software. Once I get the flow of video editing down, moving to FCP X will not be difficult if that's where I need to go. If I go pro with it, I suspect I'll need a Mac Pro tower to do what I want anyway, not a laptop.

Heck, I started editing movies with iMovie on the iPod Touch the other day. Even that does a good enough job at the moment. ;-)
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
... which leads to the next dilemma: 750GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm (512GB SSD would be nice, but it's kind of... $1,100 :( )? I would definitely prefer as much space as possible, since the old rule "hard disks are either new or full" still applies, but if the faster disk will speed up things radically, I guess a compromise is interesting.
...
All the video*editing folks I've spoken with tell me the same thing: put data on a FW800 or eSATA external drive. Keep the internal drive mostly empty other than for os, account and application essentials. I use 500G internal drives and 1-2T external drives.

I'm planning to take a course in video editing very soon. It's a bit much for an amateur like me to get my head around all by myself, even with a good book to learn from.
 

Terry

New member
... which leads to the next dilemma: 750GB 5400 rpm or 500GB 7200 rpm (512GB SSD would be nice, but it's kind of... $1,100 :( )? I would definitely prefer as much space as possible, since the old rule "hard disks are either new or full" still applies, but if the faster disk will speed up things radically, I guess a compromise is interesting.

An alternative would be to throw out the CD/DVD drive and replace it with another HDD, and hoping that I won't need to burn anything when travelling, but now we're talking inserting hard, pointed devices in to a virginal, new $2,000+ gadget to remove something that Mr. Jobs has placed there at a moment of incomprehensible genius.... well, almost anyway :rolleyes:

Have anybody tried? Is it doable for an amateur, or would it be advisable to ask somebody with a higher screwdriver education?
I think this is where thunderbolt is going to come in handy. The products are just starting to be announced. Here is a rundown of stuff at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week. The way I understand it a Thunderbolt port/drive is going to be faster than one of the internal drives.

http://www.jigsawbroadcast.com/news/nab-news-thunderbolt
 

Terry

New member
All the video*editing folks I've spoken with tell me the same thing: put data on a FW800 or eSATA external drive. Keep the internal drive mostly empty other than for os, account and application essentials. I use 500G internal drives and 1-2T external drives.

I'm planning to take a course in video editing very soon. It's a bit much for an amateur like me to get my head around all by myself, even with a good book to learn from.
I don't think the eSata option exists anymore. There is no express port on a 15" MBP for an eSata card. Enter Thunderbolt.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
All the video*editing folks I've spoken with tell me the same thing: put data on a FW800 or eSATA external drive. Keep the internal drive mostly empty other than for os, account and application essentials. I use 500G internal drives and 1-2T external drives.
That's the ideal solution, but I'll be editing while I'm out an about also, and apart from a backup drive, I try to avoid carrying more stuff than necessary. Each external (rugged) drive is 250g. It all ads up, you know :rolleyes:

Oh well... I guess I can carry two of them :)
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
I think this is where thunderbolt is going to come in handy. The products are just starting to be announced. Here is a rundown of stuff at the NAB show in Las Vegas this week. The way I understand it a Thunderbolt port/drive is going to be faster than one of the internal drives.

http://www.jigsawbroadcast.com/news/nab-news-thunderbolt
Can the thunderbolt interface power a HDD?

I found that Lacie has a 500GB 7200 rpm (or 1TB 5400 rpm) rugged external drive with FW800 that seems perfect for my needs. Good solution.
 

kit laughlin

Subscriber Member
Thunderbolt can power a number of HDDs. I just took delivery of a MBP 15", quad-core, i7, best graphics card, and I am so glad I did. Make sure you get the hi-rez matt screen option, too.

Using geekbench.com, this new machine smokes the just-the-last model dual-core MBP, top spec version (also i7); (11, 700 compared to 5,100), and utterly smokes my quad-core MacPro (around 4,000).

BTW, the 1TB LaCies are about the same throughput as the 7,200rpm smaller ones, because of information density. I can expand. I edit HD video using FCP 7 using a 1TB LaCie Rugged as the Capture disk. Works perfectly.
 

Jorgen Udvang

Subscriber Member
BTW, the 1TB LaCies are about the same throughput as the 7,200rpm smaller ones, because of information density. I can expand. I edit HD video using FCP 7 using a 1TB LaCie Rugged as the Capture disk. Works perfectly.
I actually suspected that. Having worked with computers since the early seventies, my experience has been that higher information density beats faster rpm most of the time. In addition, it also means better reliability because of less physical movement within the HDD.
 

ustein

Contributing Editor
>Very true, but it works fine for what I'm doing right now.

Godfrey, my comment was related to the original question: MBP + FCP X. I did not debate whether it is fine for your needs. FCP X will be likely more taxing on the hardware.
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
Godfrey, my comment was related to the original question: MBP + FCP X. I did not debate whether it is fine for your needs. FCP X will be likely more taxing on the hardware.
Uwe,

Maybe, maybe not. It will not run as fast as on faster hardware, for sure. But how fast is useful, how slow is unusable? It is really required for the work you want to do, or are much of the added features a benefit to convenience and ease, not production necessity? These are the qualitative questions that no one seems to address. There seems to be an unwritten assumption that "if it isn't the fastest, biggest, latest, most expensive ... it isn't useful at all."

I see this sort of assumption all the time in the discussions here and elsewhere. That's why I add my counterpoint. For amateur and fine art use, do we really always have to spend the top dollar for everything, really always have to have the most processor, the most memory, the biggest hard drives, etc etc at the highest prices? I don't think so.

The quantitative question .. "How much in computing resources does it need to function well?" ... is not answerable in detail until the software is released. It can only be speculated about, and the speculation invariably turns to "I must buy the biggest, fastest, most in every direction..." I find that a daunting prospect.
 

ustein

Contributing Editor
>hat "if it isn't the fastest, biggest, latest, most expensive ... it isn't useful at all."

True. But the OP plans to buy a new MBP anyway. Also video is very performance hungry or you wait a lot.
 
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