video editing on a powerbook?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hpeezy, Feb 17, 2005.

  1. hpeezy macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2004
    vancouver, bc
    a friend of mine is getting into video (ie. short films, etc.).. i'd convinced him to go with a powermac G5 vs. a PC, but now he's decided a laptop would be more convenient for editing on site when filming in different cities.

    i'm not familiar with how well vid apps (FinalCut, Avid) run on a power book.. any thoughts/opinions?? there's the obvious advantage of portability, but besides processor speed, what are the disadvantages of the powerbook vs. powermac G5 as it applies to video editing?

    i'm thinking i'd recommend the 15" w/ superdrive model..

    also.. do powerbooks use the same 'physically' sized RAM as desktops?
  2. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Ask me...

    I use a 12" Powerbook 1Ghz with an external 20" cinema display. It works incredible well, I mean, no problem at all.

    The only variable is the size of the screen, I can achive way more with the 20" of course. When I have been traveling using the 12" screen it really feels like I am in a Powerbook but when I am connected to the 20" I do not miss not having a G5 around at all.

    I would sugest your rfrind to get a 15" IF he is going to do things around and of course with a super drive. Probably a 17" would be better but I think a 15" would do. The only thing that get slower is the final render but no matter what computer you have renders will be always slow.
  3. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Just need RAM, but you have to get SO-DIMMs (Small Outline) so that they fit. 1 GB or more would do nicely. Get the RAM elsewhere and install it yourself. Cheaper. Better. :D

    15" would be great. I do editing on a 12" screen. :)
  4. dxm113 macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2005
    for what it's worth. . .

    i'm actually using the new 15" superdrive PB (1.67Ghz / 512 ram / 128 Vram) right now to do some video editing, and I have to say that I'm impressed.

    I've never edited video on a top end G5 (outside the apple store) so I can't really compare the two, but I think it'll do as long as you load it with ram.

    the only latency I've noticed is when I'm messing around with clips that are around 700 MB. I wil soon be adding a 1GB stick to increase performance

    make sure you get 200 pin so-dimms

    maybe you can take him to an Apple store to play with the 15" and 17" PBs to see which screen he likes better

    don't forget to show him how well "connected" the PB is with all the various built-in FW / USB / video ports, would be great for on-site editing. . .plug the camera in and go!
  5. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    I've edited video on bothe a 17" powerBook and a Dual 2.5Ghz G5, and whilst I love the PowerBook, the G5 really rips it up in the render.

    The PB is excellent, the screen size alone is worth the extra weight, but the render times can be very slow, video rendering is a herd buisness for a processor, and there's no substitute for pure muscle.

    Everything else is just fine as long as you remember an external FW800 drive to throw the media at, cos the new PB's only have 1 FW400 port and 1 FW800 port, so with a camera attatched you need the 800 for the drive.

    Capturing to the sytem drive is the easiest way to lose frames I know of.
  6. SurfAddict macrumors member


    Feb 7, 2005
    My 17" does great

    Well I have the new 17" that came out a few weeks ago and it handles it like a champ, givin the g5 2.5 can probably run a circle or two around it I have no problem getting things done relatively quick and can move files and clips around no prob. (see sig for specs)
  7. hpeezy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2004
    vancouver, bc
    thanks for the advice, guys.

    so it sounds like powerbooks do the job just fine, with the biggest difference being in rendering speed (which is gonna be painfully slow no matter what..). just out of curiosity tho, what would you say the difference in video rendering speed is when comparing the G5 to a powerbook? half as fast? even slower? cuz theoretically it's half the processing power when comparing to a dual G5, and the G4 is also a slower chip already, right?

    i know RAM is important.. the more the better.. i'm unfamiliar with SO-DIMM's tho.. are they more expensive? same price?

    i think i'd recommend the 15" vs the 17" and instead just buying a monitor to work off of (or together with the PB screen) when working at home.. i've seen the 17" model in person and although it looks great and would be a pleasure to work on, it almost takes away from the PB's "portability" just because of its sheer size... to me, at least.. but obviously he'll decide what he wants.

    i'm takin him to a store this weekend to take a look at the different models, so now i can confidently recommend the powerbook. so thanks again!
  8. hpeezy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2004
    vancouver, bc
    one more thing... any confirmed date on when tiger's being released? should i tell him to wait until then before buying this laptop? does apple have any policy that would allow him to receive tiger for free if it was released shortly after he purchased a PB?

    (i know i could look elsewhere for the answer to this one, but it's late, i'm tired, and i'm lazy. :D )
  9. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    The new PB's should do very well.
    And the 17" has a wide and nice screen (good for video editing)
    ATi 9700 with 128MB VRAM should be ehough
    1.67Ghz G4
    100GB HDD

    Look's good to me (well to me look's VERY good :D )
  10. Mavimao macrumors 6502a


    Feb 16, 2005
    Lyon, France
    I couldn't agree more. I'm a filmmaker and it is almost IMPERATIVE that you have a seperate media drive - no questions asked.

    As far as Final Cut Pro versus Avid... Final Cut all the way. It's mind boggling the amount of money this company asks for their systems :eek:

    Oh - and the bigger the screen, the easier on the eyes.
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Coupla' weeks and you only need to pay the shipping.
  12. DickArmAndHarT macrumors 6502

    Jul 22, 2004
    Powerbook will do fine

    I have a 15" 1ghz..(sig) running FCP 4 and it works just fine. If you doing simple edits..and a few transitions a powerbook works just fine..being that mine is much slower than the new ones. But if you layering video and doing effects a g5 is quite neccisary to be productive. Definitly a fw800 drive.

    Ahhhh film..the greatest of mediums.....
  13. filmmaker2002 macrumors regular

    Jun 6, 2003
    My Powerbook is my G5's sidekick. I CAN do everything I do on my Power Mac (Dual 2.5 w/ 6800Ultra) on my Powerbook (new 1.67 15" loaded), it's just simply not as fast. I work as an editor and I use FCPHD on my Powerbook every day, works great. Damn, it can even run Motion effectively, just stay away from particle emitters on the Powerbook...that'll bring it to a crawl REAL fast. I come home, do my heavy rendering, heavy Motion work on my G5, do all my rough edits, quick Motion work for client demos, and various other odds and ends on my Powerbook. Even if it's your primary machine, and you're not a heavy Motion user, you'll be fine.
  14. evil_santa macrumors 6502a


    Sep 23, 2003
    London, England
    Editing on a PC!

    If anyone is thinking of trying to edit on a PC forget it! My employer decided he didn't want any macs on the network because we do not have the support for them & they would not run the company anti virus. As a result i got a Dell & Adobe Premier & have had 3 months of hell trying to get the thing to do simple stuff like playing video in sync, rendering clips with out crashing, exporting mpegs etc etc...all the everyday things you would do as an editor. Last week the D drive with over 1 months work on it failed.

    It is so nice to get home and use FCP on my 4 year old G4, it works with out problem & does all that i ask. Much more than i can say about the PC & premier pro.

    If anyone asks you about editing on a PC tell them it will be nothing but trouble, from my experience the mac is the only way to go for Video.

    so well done hpeezy for pointing your friend in the right direction. :)
  15. specialist macrumors member

    Dec 4, 2004
    Is an iBook upgraded to about 768MB RAM (with external HD and DVD-RW) good enough for novice video editing (making shorts, compiling family video)? Novice as in working mostly with iMovie and Final Cut Express. I'm getting a job this summer exclusively to buy some sort of Mac, so I want to know what I should work towards.
  16. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    I second this. Windows is impossible to use with video stuff.

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