Any video editors running Final Cut Pro on 15" Unibody MBP?!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by macjunkie33, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. macjunkie33 macrumors member

    Jan 8, 2009
    First, I am a pro video editor and use Final Cut Pro, CS3, namely After Effects dailys. I plan on picking up the top model 15" MBP with the 2.5ghz, 4g ram, 512 Vid card, and adding a 320G 7200 RPM HD within the next week or so.

    I was wondering if there were any other video editors or designers out there who have done much editing on the same machine using Final Cut Pro and Adobe CS3 who might have some insight. I am just looking for some opinions from those of you who have been using your MBP's for a long time.

    1. Is the new LED screen easier or harder to complete design work?
    2. Does the screen bother you when working on it for hours at a time?
    3. Have you been able to calibrate the screen to accurately color correct?
    4. Is the 512mb vid card really going to be a good investment in the long run or just costing me battery life when unplugged?

    I have a Mac Pro at work which I would not trade for the world but I need a portable to get some work and Freelance done at home. I know there are a lot of questions to be asked about a first gen update but I feel Apple has confused a lot of us by taking away a lot of options we used to be able to pick from. Im not going to cry and whine about it I just want to make sure I spend my money wisely! I hope im making the right decision!!! Thanks for your input.....:)
  2. wiz7dome macrumors regular


    Sep 15, 2003
    I'd be interested in hearing some feedback too. I was going to purchase the previous model due to the economy, but I found out about the faulty graphic chips.......I don't like the sound of that. Im sure the new MBP's are solid, but its always cool to hear some real word user reviews.
  3. aZipGunOnParade macrumors newbie

    Jan 8, 2009
    I'm using the new 15" MBP with Final Cut, and I haven't encountered any problems.

    As we're all human, it might just be mind over matter (the computer is brand new, merely days old), so I might just be extremely excited about it. However, having edited a rough cut for a music video on it already for 5 hours straight (complete with the required 5 million breaks ;) ) I find that the screen doesn't strain my eyes the way my previous 15" MBP did. I find the screen to be much easier to work on. This, of course, is just me... but I'm quite particular about my display situations and I'm quite happy with how this works.

    As for calibrating for color correction, I haven't tried yet. But I'm sure it shouldn't be a problem.

    And yes, the card is worth it. When doing heavy graphics work I might recommend plugging in when possible, but I've been doing some while running on battery and all is well, plus a friend has had one since end of november, approaching 100 cycles, still at 100% health (via iStat Pro), and he does much more heavy work on it than I do. Always be smart with your battery. Don't plug in all the time, and don't run your battery to zero all the time either. Contrary to Apple's requirements, I prefer to calibrate on a much more varying basis (they say once every two months or so). So far, I have never had a battery fail (lets consider "fail" dipping below 90% Health) sooner than 20 months. And I have used Final Cut on all three of my MBPs from purchase to retirement/sale.

    I am not a certified expert, so please do not take my words as law, but I hope my experience thus far helps. :)
  4. thedarkhorse macrumors 6502a

    Sep 13, 2007
    I don't think a 512mb gpu will take up any more battery than a 256mb one.
  5. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2007
    Greener places than I used to live
    I use CS3 (photoshop mostly since getting the uMBP) daily for web development/design, and find the screen to be great. I haven't shopped any primarily dark images, which I feel will be a slight problem with glare, but beyond that it's been a pleasure. I work out of coffee shops where I don't have control over the light situation, or an external monitor, and I have never had glare that I couldn't get rid of by turning slightly or finding a different facing table.

    I have the base model and do find that the stock 2 gigs is terrible under adequate. But I've been waiting to find a definitively verified source for a ram upgrade (and enjoying its price fall) as I've read a majority of reports having trouble with 3rd party ddr3 upgrades. Hopefully prices will fall fast and Apple will give us a solution for enabling 8gigs on our machines.

    A fast internal drive for system/apps, and esata for external scratch and storage will give you a great setup, even for hd editing. It might be best to save the rendering/burning till you get back to your mac pro. Also, FCS 2 (maybe even 1) offers the ability to use external 'nodes' or machines as a render farm, in which case you might want to hook them both up and render in tandem.

    I find the 15 to be the sweet spot when it comes to price and portability. the 17 isn't that much bigger or heavier (now, especially), but for me it was too much for the amount of on the go that I do.
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I can't answer 1, 2 or 4, but for 3 if you are talking about color correcting video there's no way make the laptop's screen accurate.

  7. sal macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2007
    I am also a video editor and use Final Cut. I have been using the unibody MBP since it's release. I have been very happy with it.

    1) not sure what you are asking here. I guess it depends on what you mean by easier. If you are use to working with a 30" display, you might have an issue with the screen having lower resolution. But honestly, I don't see that as a problem. I don't like working with final cut on a high resolutions screen because it makes the timeline hard to read.
    2) no
    3) I don't do any serious color correction using the screen. As a video editor you would know that the only way to properly color correct footage is to use an external ntsc monitor.
    4) if you plan to edit on battery power, I find that working with the "better battery life" setting to be good when working with Final Cut(gives you about 4 hours). Working with motion however, you are better off in the "higher Performance" setting. using that setting will limit battery to less than 2 hours.
  8. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    1. The new LED is great. Provided you have the lights off! Like most glossy screens, it reflects like crazy. Saying that, the colours really 'pop' and come to life when the main light is off anyway. Just be aware of it for when you get to colour correction though. I thought I'd hate the screen (being an old macbook pro user) but I think it's much better now.

    2. I may have answered this one above. It's a fantastic looking screen, just make sure it's one of the only light sources in the room else all you can see is your own face in the darn thing!

    3. I honestly haven't got around to trying this yet, but it's next on my list so I'll let you know.

    4. It's a great investment. Not sure how other people feel about it, but it really makes a difference when doing graphically intense tasks.

    The other reason I bought this machine was the kicker for me: The easily swappable hard drive.
    You can jut buy yourself a bunch of different hard drives for different projects and swap them in and out. I guess you could do this with an external, but that's a tad slower. It's a very nice option I think.
  9. UVa.Jester macrumors member

    Dec 29, 2008
    Maybe I'm "special", but I don't see an option on Apple's site for a 512 vid card for the Macbook Pro...?!?! Can someone point out where you can add this..??

    I'll probably kick myself if that's an option becasue I didn't see it when I got my mbp...
  10. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008

    You have to select the big brother configuration of the two on the Macbook Pro page on the store. There's no option to upgrade to it on the little brother config.
  11. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Jan 2, 2009
    My MPB is similar, just with a 2.8 GHz processor (not 2.5), all the other parameters are the same. I use Final Cut Studio, Adobe CS4, Logic Studio and Maya, for animation and editing.

    1-2)The screen makes the works easier for me and doesn't bother me at all (at least during my 3-15-hour daily usage).
    3)I don't do any color correction using the screen.
    4)It's great and will be even greater once Snow Leopard is out;).
  12. danielchile macrumors newbie

    Feb 22, 2009
    About downloading videos

    What cable are you guys using to download your videos now that the new MBP Unibody doesn't have a firewire 400 (that's what I was using) I think I had a 4 pin Firewire to firewire 400. Is there a 4 pin to Firewire 800?
  13. emotta macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2009
    if you have a HD with multiple firewire, you can actually daisy them. I have a gdrive and i plug my camera into that and it works well when i import. im not sure if this is the right way, however i never had any problems.

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