Advice: Alternative to Macbook Pro for video editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mabok, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. mabok macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2012
    I'm thinking to make a transition of my Macbook Pro 2011 15" to a Windows-based laptop.

    Any of you could recommend me any alternative laptop?

    Usage: After Effects, Premiere Pro (FCP is out of the question for Windows), Cinema 4D, Gaming AAA game titles

    I'm eyeing on a Razer Blade Pro (Nvidia 1080, and 100% Adobe RGB) , haven't done a lot of research on other brands because I've been so long out of the Windows world.

    Appreciate a lot!
  2. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    This recent review compared the 2015 and 2016 MBP to the Dell XPS 15 on both Premiere CC and FCPX. In general the XPS 15 was a lot cheaper and considerably faster than the 2016 MBP when using Premiere. OTOH, FCPX on the MBP was 5.5 times faster than Premiere CC:

    If you have to use Premiere and want the closest thing to a MBP from a form factor standpoint, the Dell XPS 15 looks pretty good. It even has an SD slot, USB ports, and a Thunderbolt port. I've never tried to connect a Windows computer with a Thunderbolt port to a disk array like the Pegasus series, but if that worked it would enable an easy migration path.

    Configured in a similar non-touch configuration to the 2016 MBP, the XPS 15 is lighter, thinner, narrower and faster, esp. for GPU functions. It is much less expensive, plus it achieves all that while retaining the SD card port vital to professional photographers and videographers. There is no wireless technology on the near horizon than can replace the reliability and data transfer speed of an SDXC II card, and AFAIK camera manufacturers are not pursuing that.

    OTOH the XPS 15 has a maximum of 512GB SSD, compared to the 2TB of the 2016 MBP.

    I have Premiere CC but most of my editing is on FCPX. If was was on Premiere full time I'd definitely use a Windows laptop like the XPS 15, not the 2016 MBP. If your entire workday is spent in the Adobe suite, what OS underlies that doesn't make much difference.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I cannot say what laptop to get but you may want to venture into laptops that lean towards "gamers." The reason why is related to those machines (laptops in this case) tend to opt for more powerful hardware and increased RAM. Perhaps looking at Alienware, Origin, HP Z series might be a good place to start. The HP Z is not about gaming but about machines for power users and pros.

    Items that might show improvement -
    Good i7 quad with large L2 cache
    capable of 32 gigs RAM (even if its DDR3 instead of DDR4)
    SSD drives (2 with one for scratch)
    screen - this is a matter of choice/opinion but ideally, one that can fine tuned via software calibration (profile) if there is no ability to hardware calibrate.
    USB3 ports, possibly Tbolt 2 or 3 port(s), better quality ethernet port/chipset and maybe a slot load for SD cards.

    Alas, I am at the end of the road with my two older Mac MInis (quad 2.0 and a 2.6 quad) and my 2015 15" rMBP. There is no new system for me from Apple now that offers me anything. I admit I miss my cMP but as I quote myself about their direction - Apple is just another company.
  4. Unami, Dec 25, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016

    Unami macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    have a look at the p50 and p70 from lenovo. you can get a much more capable machine than the 2016 mbp for significantly less money. sure, the trade-off is portability and design-aesthetics (besides not having osx and fcpx, naturally) - but that's usually not one's top priority when it comes to shopping for a video editing laptop. their top-machine is even sold-out right now, so i guess that's where all that "saved up for a 2016 mbp"-money is going.

    if you're from europe, have you looked a these: - a friend of mine recently bought one with a 4ghz cpu, 32 gb ram, geforce gtx 1070 with 8gb of ram as a work laptop and seems quite happy with it. (for office and other private stuff he still uses his mbp, because he prefers osx, but for work the mbp just doesn't cut it).
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Check out some gaming hardware. - Just make sure the better than average video is a good match to your apps.
  6. loby macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    Alas...sad day when you can post on a mac forum questions about alternatives (Windows) machines to use instead of Apple products and it becomes the norm..and requests for alternatives are legitamate..
  7. Bending Pixels, Dec 28, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

    Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

    I've tried Adobe Premier and After Cut CC on both my rMBP and on a higher end Windows laptop. While Premier/After Cut has a lot of higher end pro/film editing features vs FCPX/Motion, they lag on both machines. Haven't run into any lag issues with FCPX/Motion.
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Very sorry to hear you are "triggered" by simple sentences that cause a touch of back-up into your mouth. Maybe you can get some help for that.

    So the thought is - running a bit slower with more powerful software or remaining with FCPX/Motion which may run faster being a lesser software. Perhaps that can be worded a bit different - Unless you need features not found in FCPX/Motion, you may find FCPX/Motion on a MBP to be a good fit.
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    The OP wants windows recommendations, so this may be irrelevant. I went to windows for awhile but returned to a Mac because I spent way too much time and money troubleshooting. It was rarely a smooth workflow. I suppose if I was a tech geek with significant windose background I may have been happier. But the mac laptop and apple environment just seems to work with clean trouble free workflows for me. That may just be me, however.
  10. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Yes, everyone is a bit different on their thresholds of how easy a particular software is to use and how intuitive (including various OS). I agree that Windows often can prove to be a less than pleasant experience when things go wrong or when having to make some simple changes. For friends, I often set their Win7 up to "windows classic" mode, get things in order for them to use by need and then a walk through of basics.
  11. mabok thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2012
    Thanks for the replies guys.
    Upgrading my Macbook Pro 15" (late 2011) to a new Macbook Pro 15" 2016 seems overprice.. I know it might be good to treat it as an investment (for work)...

    Thought of changing my workflow and switch to Adobe. I'm a fcp7 user.
  12. Macist macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2009
    I find Final Cut X and Logic Pro X to be two product Apple make there are just brilliant.

    I'd love to move to Cubase and Premiere so I could stop buying overpriced, underpowered Apple laptops but they are just so clunky compared to the Apple software. Even on my old 2011-era MBP I'm pretty amazed how many tracks and FX I can run in Logic without issue compared to Cubase on either Windows or Mac OS (which has pretty lame performance).

    Don't get me wrong I wouldn't pee on Apple if they were on fire at the moment given their recent shenanigans and while I'd love to punish them by upgrading with other vendors neither do I want to cut off my nose to spite my face. I really love Final Cut X and Logic Pro X.

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