2011 Macbook Pro 13" for Video Editing

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jspec, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. jspec macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI

    I am thinking of purchasing the new 2011 Macbook Pro 13" with Intel HD Graphics 3000. Would the Intel HD Graphics 3000 be sufficient enough for myself who does video editing for recreation? I would just be using iMovie video editing software...not Final Cut Pro. I really don't want to purchase the 15" with AMD Radeon HD 6490M with 256MB GDDR5...if I don't have to. Any feedback is appreciated.

  2. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The 13" would be perfectly fine for you. People are making the HD 3000 out to be something awful, which it isn't. It is pretty similar to the graphics in the previous generation. Plus you don't need a whole lot of graphics power to do video editing, but the new processor will definitely be helpful with editing.
  3. jnash macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007
    I would have to disagree a little bit, and I say that because one of the most important questions wasnt asked or stated... If your editing in imovie and your using a DV camera sure that 13" is fine. However if your editing using like a canon t2i footage (1080p 24fps) then you would appreciate the quad core and a better video card. I am not a pro video guy by any means but upgrading from my 15" mbp i5 2.53 ghz to this new i7 quadcore 2.0ghz I have already seen a huge difference in rendering, and its a lot easier (more fun) for me to edit a project of my family videos.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Even 2007 MacBooks will be able to edit video, therefore the 2011 MBP, even if it is the 13" one, will be able to do that too.
    But prepare yourself for some waiting times, as HD consumer cameras use an MPEG-4 codec for storing the video, but iMovie will need to transcode that footage using a proper editing codec (AIC), which will take time. Thus the 2011 MBP will be faster at this than the 2010 MBP.
  5. jspec thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    Wow you're quick! Thanks for you response...Yah, I've been reading forums and there were many not so great comments for the Intel HD Graphics 3000, got me a little worried. But you're probably right, the 13" should be sufficient for my iMovie needs. I just needed a second opinion...

    Thanks again for your help.
  6. Mac-key macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2010
    You should have no problems. I shoot 1080 with my rebel t2i and edit using FCP on an 09 13" MBP. It's not ideal, but it can definitely handle it.

    You'll LOVE the extra CPU processing power when it comes to renders and exports
  7. henrikrox macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    the biggest concern for me isnt the gpu really, its the screenspace, even for imovie, i think 1280x800 is so cramped up. But fullscreen helps a bit though, so you should be fine. Just keep it in mind
  8. jspec thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    Thanks for your feedback guys. The camcorder I have is a Panasonic SD60 which I record video at 1080. Would the 13" still be suitable for me?
  9. axu539 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 31, 2010
    Currently, based on documentation, the HD 3000 actually isn't supported by the current version of FCP. This might change when FCP gets updated, or maybe the documentation will get updated, but maybe you should wait for some people to try it.
  10. jspec thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    Yah, I think I can handle the wait time...it shouldn't be that bad. I will rather wait, then pay the extra $600 for the 15". I'm just doing the video editing for mostly family outings, then upload to vimeo.

    I have a 13" work laptop and yah, it's small for video editing...but oh well.

    Thanks for the feedback. I now know the caveats for the 13" Pro.
  11. Scottsdale macrumors 601


    Sep 19, 2008
    You don't want Intel's IGP for your graphics needs. I would rather have an Nvidia 320m for that use, honestly. Or, you can buy a refurbished prior gen 15" maybe?

    I think the graphics users are all going to be coming out against the Intel IGP when the numbers come out... you could wait for some real world honest numbers, but I think those will show Intel's IGP inferior to even the two plus year old Nvidia 9400m for graphics editing. For playing HD videos, it will be fine, but for actual graphics work, no.

    You also have to realize the 13" MBP has a low-res display on it. I would literally believe a 13" MBA with 1440x900 display and Nvidia 320m a much better option all the way around, and that's sad. I would advise you to explore other options.
  12. jspec thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    I wont be using Final Cut Pro...just iMovie. Thanks for the information though...
  13. jspec thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    Yah, maybe I will wait until there are more reviews out on the MacBook Pros.
  14. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    When it comes to transcoding video, the i5 in the new Pro will be way, way better than the slow Core2Duo in the Air. Graphics card doesn't make that much difference in video editing, unless you're talking about 3D effects.

    As to the screen... if only external monitors were available at reasonable prices. Oh, well! :rolleyes:
  15. CR93 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    Video editing

    I am also considering buying the new MBP 13", but the only thing that makes me hesitate is the fact that the new graphics has been criticized a lot.

    If I have got it right from reading in this forum, using iMovie for video editing should work fine, but how about Final Cut Express? I have used that program in school and discovered all the great features so it would be nice to have the possibility to buy it in the future (I don't have the budget for it at the moment though).

    When I have searched for facts about the graphics at different sites I have mostly just found tests on which games which are compatible with it, but I am not a gamer so the only features I want from the computer is to be able to watch and edit movies in a decent quality.
  16. TomCondon macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2010
    this is laughable from the people advocating the 2010 version!

    the HD3000 can EASILY play 1080p!
  17. abasak macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    First of all doing any video editing in FCP is primarily something that taxes the CPU not the GPU. There isn't a whole lot of hardware accelerated stuff going on in FCP, and if you look at Premiere CS5 it only supports a very limited set of NVIDIA cards for hardware acceleration (which eliminates all the new AMD-based Macbook Pros). What really counts is CPU power, and of course a quad core i7 would be ideal.

    However I just bought an i7 13" MBP (upgraded it to 8GB myself), and let me tell you that performance wise it is great. I do recommend having an external monitor for editing, but otherwise this setup is more than enough, and the i5 will be fine as well for iMovie, Final Cut etc.

    I have a couple of Core2Quad 3Ghz workstations (Hackintoshes) I use for grunt work in editing and After Effects work, and this little 13" runs circles around them. It scored around 50% higher in Geekbench, and in my unscientific tests rendering out the same clips from After Effects with a lot of effects, distortions and stuff going on, it varied from being 35-110% faster. Which blew my mind. The same was true in a couple of rendering tests I did in Final Cut, and the Core2Quad is fast enough for editing as is.

    So take it from somebody talking from experience, you'll be more than fine.

    EDIT: clarification
  18. cyarema macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2007
    I was also considering buying the 13" i7 and will need to be doing some video editing in FCP. Nothing too elaborate. I generally use a monitor hooked up to my laptop....is this whole graphics card issue going to be a problem since I use a larger monitor? I really only get the 13" for travel purposes and it's considerably cheaper.
  19. abasak macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    In short: NO.

    Of course if you're editing RED footage you'd be in trouble with a 13"but that's another topic. :)

    I of course can't speak to what will happen with the next version of Final Cut Pro, they might have some GPU acceleration stuff up their sleeve but as of now Final Cut isn't really depending on your graphics card, it's about CPU speed, RAM and to some extent the speed of your harddrive (if you are editing large and heavy files). Editing video isn't about your VIDEO-card (as a rule). When we talk about slow or fast video cards it's more about how they handle 3D graphics in games.

    Just to be clear I've been working on a Core2Quad with 8Gb Ram and a 9800GTX plus with 1gb of Ram, and my new i7 13" simply kills it, even if the 3000HD is below average.

    So even medium to semi-heavy videoediting with Prosumer codecs in 1080p is fine on a 13" MBP save for the small screen. A pretty cpu-intensive codec such as Canon HDSLR h.264 runs ok on this, even if FCP doesn't handle this very well yet (compared to Premiere).

    Performance wise, sure the 15" is faster, but for me the smaller size was the main selling point, this is mainly for when I'm on the road or doing editing at home.

    Anyway. Go for it, you wont regret it.
  20. CR93 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    External screen

    Thank you all for the excellent answers! :)

    The only problem seems to be the screen size, but in fact I have an external display that I plan to use with the computer when I am at home. The possible resolutions seem to be enough according to the specs on apples site, but I want to double check with you experienced people before I make a purchase; will the computer work with my screen which hasn't regular wide screen formate? It's called "Samsung SyncMaster 214T".

    I would like to be able to use the computer with this screen in a decent resolution (at least 1280 x 960) and the right proportions on the picture. Is this possible?
  21. DudeMartin macrumors regular

    Dec 2, 2010
    Chicago, Illinois
    You can maybe connect the computer to a display?

    Also, the HD 3000 isn't bad, I can play Team Fortress 2 on medium-high settings on native resolution with nice frames and little to no slowdowns :)
  22. CR93 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2011
    Resolution on 3:4 display

    Yes, my intention is to connect it to an external display (see my previous post), but I just want to make sure that the computer supports to show the picture on the external display with 4:3 proportions in at least the resolution 1280x960.

    If anyone here have tried to connect this computer to a 4:3 formate display and can tell me which resolutions it does support, I am very thankful!
  23. adnoh macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    Video editing is CPU intensive so go with the I7 in the 13".
  24. Marley14 macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011
    Not sure which Macbook to get for HD video editing

    Hi everyone :)

    I have a Canon Legria F20 video camera and I want to transfer all of my HD video footage onto DVD. My current laptop cant handle the rendering part of the whole process and keeps crashing. So I'm thinking about getting my very first Macbook, but I'm not sure if I should get:
    • 13 inch 2.7GHz, or the
    • 15 inch 2.0GHz
    Just not sure if I need the 'quad-core-ness' or not?? I'm not making a fancy movie or anything, just editing home videos. But at the same time I'd like to be able to have a nice DVD menu, and a few nice effects etc. A friend told me that the software which comes loaded on the Macbook...(I think its called DVD1 or something), would be sufficient? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated! :)

    P.S: I have saved the files off my video camera onto DVDs at the moment as .MTS files...would a Macbook recognise these files??

  25. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    To create video DVDs you can easily use the 13" MacBook, even one from the last generation.
    The most time consuming process you will encounter is the conversion of the footage from the video camera to something iMovie and iDVD understands and the process of transcoding (converting) that iMovie/iDVD compatible footage into a proper video DVD format.
    Example: The camera records its footage using some MPEG-4 codec like H264, but iMovie and iDVD will not work with that, therefore you have to transcode the footage during import into iMovie to another format using the Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC), but iMovie does that automatically, if it recognises the camera of yours.
    iDVD will then transcode that AIC encoded footage to an MPEG-2 stream, as video DVDs work with that MPEG-2 codec.
    Btw, iMovie and iDVD are part of iLife, which comes with every Mac and it is already installed onto the Mac.

    If you can live with longer wait times (over night) the 13" MacBook will more than suffice your needs. But if you value speed, the quad core MacBook Pros might be up your alley.

    Was that understandable?

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