Attn: FCP Users...(refurb) Mac Pro or (new) Mac Book Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mindgame, Oct 25, 2006.

  1. Mindgame macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    #1
    My current system couldn't handle exporting the video I've been working on for several months. First, here are the specs:
    - 1 Ghz PowerPC G4
    - 1.25 GB RAM
    - 133MHz system bus

    The project was edited in FCP 4.5, was 55 minutes long, and had lots of effects. The export (Uncompressed NTSC 8 bit 48khz) took 39 hours, and when it was finished, not only did the audio drop out in several places, but upon compression to MPEG-2, there were "streaks" across the video. The DVD authoring house said that the FSB on my laptop was probably too slow for such a huge export (66GB) and the file was therefore compromised. They suggested that I get a new computer for my next project. And they suggested I get something along the lines of their G5 Quad.

    Before I get in to the computer options, I need to ask: Does their assessment of the failed export make sense? The sales guy (not "genius") at the Apple Store seemed to think that it wouldn't have to do with the FSB speed as much as the processor speed itself. Regardless of the reason though, I obviously need a faster computer. The question is, how fast?

    So, on to my choices. Immediately, we can cancel the G5 off the list, because I want to get on the new processor as all of the new programs will be optimized for that. (I just got FCP Studio and am anxious to see the difference.) My dilemma mainly lies in the fact that I much prefer a laptop, because I use my computer in the office for graphic design, and then edit at home. I also travel. But is the new Mac Book Pro (2.33 Ghz) as fast as I need it to be? I need to know if it is comparable to the G5 Quad, because that's the yardstick I was given as an example. Moreover, I need to know if I am to compare procesor speeds, FSB speeds, or both. In the end, if it doesn't end up being fast enough, I will have to get a bottom-of-the-line refurbished mac pro for editing, and keep my laptop at the office. The biggest problem therein being that the Mac Pro is more expensive out the gate, and I was going to use the money from the sale of my PowerBook to fund the cheaper Mac Book Pro purchase. In the end, even though it is tight, I can't let the money be the determining factor. I need a machine that can get the job done. Your feedback and suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #2
    MacPro

    A Laptop hard drive is always slower than a desktop hard drive, even if they have the same RPMs. The smaller diameter (2.5" vs 3.5") = shorter perimiter (track length) which means that less data passes underneath the heads in a given period of time (1/7200th of a second)

    You have quad, server class processors in the Mac Pro, room for 4 full size SATA drives up to 10,000 RPM in speed or up to 750 Gb each in size, no processor performance scaling for battery life, a better video card, PCIe slots, possibility of multiple monitors, better heat management for long renders, and room for up to 16 Gb RAM.
     
  3. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #3
    The macbook pro in terms of raw processor power is not going to be able compare to the G5 Quad, although it is not far behind. Compared to the Mac Pro, the MBP falls rather further behind. Considering you are making movies in FCP at 66gb in size, I would suggest the Mac Pro, but if you really need the mobility, then MBP will be a massive jump step and a leap upwards from what you currently have.

    I'm sure someone will be able to provide you with actual numbers, but I'm currently in geometry, so maybe I should pay attention now :eek: :D

    As a last note, I think the MBP will be powerful enough for you, considering what you are stepping up from, and it will keep you mobile. What I suggest is going into the apple store and spending a couple of hours running your most used effects in FCP if they have it loaded onto the machines (sometimes they do, sometimes they don't) and see how they run.
     
  4. spicyapple macrumors 68000

    spicyapple

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
  5. techster85 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Location:
    Lubbock, TX
    #5
    I made the jump from a 12 inch PB to a Mac Pro a couple months ago...let me tell you, it's worth the extra money. My productivity is EASILY 10 times more than ever before with the laptop. Not to mention that I can store all my files locally in the Mac Pro and not have a myriad of externals just waiting to crap out and lose all my files. I would suggest, keep your PB, it still works for graphics and all that stuff, but if you edit mainly at home, get a Mac Pro, you'll thank yourselk when you see how many more videos you can do a week. Plus, you will still have the reliable PB to use for travel and that kind of stuff.
     
  6. Mindgame thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    #6
    Thanks for the advice, guys. I guess the Mac Pro makes the most sense for the type of projects I am doing. However, my PowerBook could be on its last leg (drive makes a cranking noise on occasion, battery will not fully charge, seems to be running slower and slower), so I don't think it's a good idea to depend on that for my portable needs. And since I need a laptop for work, I'm kind of scared to pigeon hole myself with a tower. What I might do is buy a standard MacBook now, sell my PowerBook to my friend (he rebuilds computers), and then save my money for the next gen. Mac Pro. I don't have another big video job for several months, so I could probably get by with the MacBook until then.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    Remember you can fix those problems (HD and Battery) for about $125 each, and maybe get a faster larger hard drive in the bargain.

    Split the concept of "portable" and "production". Unless you;re doing location work in video or audio, you don't need the performance in the portable machine.
     
  8. theWholeTruth macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    #9
    The DVD authoring house is correct. Why don't you do a layoff? They can just easily encode from tape.

    Get a refurbished MBP; fairly inexpensive right now. Remember, if you work with film or video for a living, you can write off the computer as an expense. That's how I always rationalize the overpriced mac products!
     

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