MacBook Pro - tricked out or Mac Pro for FCP 7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by samcraig, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. macrumors G5

    Jun 22, 2009
    Ok -

    So I do a bunch of video editing for the company I work for. I do a bunch of work in Motion and FCP 7 (not X).

    I have a MacBook Pro 2.2 Ghz i7 with 8GB of memory. It takes a considerable time to render/use compressor.

    Just curious as to thoughts regarding a next step to have a better experience with both.

    Is a 6 or 12 core Mac Pro with at least 8 gigs of ram going to speed things up for me - or do I get a top of the line MacBook Pro and trick it out with a lot of memory.

    Thanks for the heads up.
  2. macrumors 68000


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    Is your laptop an early 2011? If so, I have the same setup. I upgraded to 16 gigs of RAM and dropped in dual SSD's (removed the optical drive). I previously used FCP7 and Motion on my 8 core MacPro. When I got this new machine I upgraded to FCPX and Motion 5 and never used FCP7 again. FCPX is much faster on this machine, renders and export are faster too.

    I think the challenge you're facing is that you are using 32 bit software. They're newer counterparts are significantly faster due to 64 bit usage. Your current software can't even use all the resources you have in that notebook. Instead of paying so much more for new hardware, why not spend substantially less and upgrade your software? I believe even without an SSD upgrade you have perfectly capable hardware.

    Also, just to give you an idea of how much I use it, I'm cutting a kids TV show weekly on my notebook using FCPX and Adobe Premiere Pro.
  3. thread starter macrumors G5

    Jun 22, 2009
    All good points and to be considered. The only "liability" is that many videos get re-produced with updated stats about our company. So if I switch to FCPX, I'm pretty sure I'd have to recreate all those videos from scratch, no? Last I read - you couldn't open FCP7 files in FCPX - and those that did some sort of jury-rigging found it "easier" to recreate vs what actually transpired from the import. Is that still accurate?

    For new stuff - I agree - just concerned over my many legacy files...
  4. macrumors 68000


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    That was the case when FCPX first arrived but now you can use 7toX to open your projects in FCPX.
  5. macrumors newbie

    Dec 22, 2012
    I agree with 4god, upgrade your software first, there is only so much life to be squeezed from poor old 7 now.

    I also need to deal with many revisions to old projects however, if they are simple I stay in FCP7, otherwise I import an XML to Premiere. If you do alot of motion graphics and titles I would suggest looking at Adobe, it's now a much more coherent bunch of production software than FCS ever was.
  6. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Given the age of hardware in Apple's towers, and the fact that Cook said new ones (whatever that means) would be coming this year makes me hard pressed to recommend buying a Mac Pro right now.
  7. 4God, Feb 19, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013

    macrumors 68000


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    Funny, I actually use Premiere CS6 sometimes to cut then XML over to FCPX for finishing (and sometimes vice versa). Motion 5 is pretty good for a quick graphic but I agree, the Adobe suite is most definitely worth a look - especially Creative Cloud...what a deal. I pay more for cable than the Creative Cloud.

    I really wish that there was a NLE that merged the good features of FCPX and Premiere Pro. IMHO that would be the perfect NLE.
  8. thread starter macrumors G5

    Jun 22, 2009
    So I'm trying out FCPX. I installed OS X and the trial on an external drive to avoid "cross contamination" ...

    I'll have to spend some serious time with it over the next month though. Quite the different interface.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    FCPX is not hard to learn
  10. thread starter macrumors G5

    Jun 22, 2009
    No. I'm sure not - but being so used to one interface and having to adjust to a new one and how it works does take a little time.

    And not for nothing - but I was never a fan of iMovie and its interface. Which probably is why I'm having an initial reluctance.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

    Jan 30, 2012
    I personally would rather have a slower spec'ed xeon processor than a higher spec'ed i7 simply because even though the i7 is faster it will throttle overtime whereas the xeon will just keep on chugging along
  12. macrumors 68000


    Nov 15, 2012
    Huh? I'm not sure what you mean.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2008
    The i7 is a consumer part where as the xeons are more server based. So the xeons are designed to keep plugging away for years, being a bit more resilient. I dont know how much that works out in real life though.

    To the OP, FCP 7 cant use more than 4GB of RAM or more than 2 (?) cores I believe (correct me if I am wrong) so there would not be much point in getting a pimped out Mac Pro because FCP7 cant use all those resources. FCPX scales with hardware so it will make the use of all of the RAMs and as many cores as you can throw at it

    All hail FCPx.....
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 4, 2009
    iMovie and FCPX look identical but trust me the both work differently. iMovie is a great software for learning the craft of editing. FCPX has more to offer and Apple have improved the software tremendously. Lets just say very much easier than working in FCP-7.
    In the end of the day each person to his own preference
  15. macrumors member

    Jun 24, 2011
    Kansas City
    The second I dropped 16GB into my Macbook Pro i5, FCPX ran as smooth as can be. I thought about throwing in a SSD but honestly I haven't had a "need" to yet .. not saying that I won't do it anyway LOL
  16. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 10, 2006
    FCP 7 will run plenty fast on the MBP and a Mac Pro won't speed it up a lot. FCP X is a completely different story and a 12 core Mac Pro will obliterate any MBP at rendering in FCP X. Motion 5 you should get similar performance between MP and MBP with the exception of having a nice desktop GPU in the Mac Pro such as a ATI RADEON HD 5870. Honestly wait for new Mac Pros and then get one of them, they will be faster at FCP 7 and especially FCP X or any other program for that matter.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2013
    MacBook Pro FCPx

    Switching over to FCPx, real world as I just did it about 8 months ago, has made me a faster editor in actual editing speed from a human perspective and from a machine perspective. Once you get past the thought that FCPx is iMovie on steroids and all the other various complaints you read about online you will realize that most of these posts come from people that simply don't want to learn something new. I spent about 3 hours on taking the FCPx course and I was able to edit that same day, since then I have never went back or missed FCP7.
    We have a client that we shoot the same events for each year and I have gone back into our time logs from the previous year and have noticed, to my surprise, that we are editing on average 20% faster than the previous year on FCP7. Some projects are even faster. FCPx represents a new way of thinking while editing and from a production, meeting deadlines, and making a profit perspective this has been one of the best investments my company HAS EVER MADE. I sold all our FCP7 packages and I am happy I did.

    The recommendations for MacBook Pro here will all help speed up FCPx, it is MUCH faster than FCP7. We had FCP7 on a Mac Pro and FCPx on a MacBook Pro and the MacBook Pro was usually faster even though the Mac Pro was a much more robust machine.

    My $.02

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