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Old Jun 13, 2009, 06:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Encoding DVD's on New Unibody MB

Hey I'm fairly new to mac and it's safe to say i've seen the light. Before I bought my 2.0 unibody MB, I was using an older HP laptop to encode DVD's using Handbrake for Windows. It did a really good job encoding however, I truly believe that the process of encoding was the reason that this PC failed. The CPU would go to 100% and the thing would run really hot. I actually had to place the laptop on it's side while doing it so the fan could move more air through it to keep it from shutting down. Laying flat on a table seemed to restrict airflow.

Anyhow I have more movies that want to encode but i'm kind of hesitant to put the wear and tear on my new MB. I baby this thing, ya know? The old HP wasn't nearly as powerful as the MB, I believe it had only 512 megabytes of ram and an 80 gig HD. How many of you guys use a 2.0 MB to do your encoding? Does your machine run really hot? Would it be worth it to upgrade to 4 MB of ram? Please chime in.

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Old Jun 13, 2009, 07:01 AM   #2
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The RAM is worth it so you can do other things while the encoding is taking place.

As for wear and tear, you bought the computer to use it, so I say go for it. The only real concern is the wear and tear on the optical drive, so if you want get an external. I encode on AVG, at least one dvd a week in my iMac, and it is almost two years old without problems. I think you'll be fine.
iMac 27: 3.4 Core i7 Quad, 768gb SSD, 24gb of RAM, 2gb NVIDIA 680mx
rMBP 13: 2.6 Core i5, Iris 5100, 8gb RAM, 512 SSD
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Old Jun 13, 2009, 07:34 AM   #3
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I have the Unibody MacBook (2GHz, 2GB RAM) that I have used to encode for the last two months, I could do 5 DVDs a day on it. It gets very hot, so I don't suggest using it on your lap, keep it on a desk, I've never had to lift it up or anything to help with airflow. (It's done a fair few DVDs so far).

I've also used my Mac mini (Core Duo) for encoding, the DVD drive in that lasted about 2 years (200 DVDs) before giving up. Not sure if the MacBook drive has the same tolerances.

iBook G4 - 12" 1.33GHz 1.5GB RAM; Mac mini - 1.83GHz CD 1GB RAM; Unibody MacBook - 2GHz C2D 2GB RAM; Mac mini - 2.53GHz C2D 4GB RAM
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Old Jun 13, 2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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as far as hb is concerned, ram doesn't make much difference at all, for sd dvd's hb shouldn't use much more than about 140 mb of ram. as far as cpu? as you've noted hb will use all of the cpu you have available up to a quad core typically.

its safe to say I use hb a fair amount and do everything on a 2.16 ghz mbp c2d which runs hotter than the new unibodies. If your cpu temps get too high, OSX will thermal throttle the cpu and drop its performance to keep from damaging the hardware.
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