Best 13'' MBP for Final Cut Pro?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Classic160, Oct 27, 2016.

  1. Classic160 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Location:
    Great White North
    #1
    G'day all. A long time lurker, I signed up today to ask this question: I'm updating my old laptop so I can learn how to use Final Cut Pro. I'm wondering if the new 13'' MacBook Air (now called MacBook Pro without Touch Bar) will be able to run FCP without struggling? It has a 2.0GHz dual-core i5 brain and Iris 540 graphics compared to the 'other' new 13'' MacBook Pro (with Touch Bar) which has a 2.9GHz dual-core i5 brain and Iris 550 graphics. Would there be a noticeable performance difference between the two new models?

    Also... after today's unveiling of the new MBP lineup, I noticed the refurbished section of the Apple Store now has a bunch of older 13'' Retina machines. A 2015 3.1GHz dual-core i7, Iris 6100 graphics and 16Gb RAM with a 1Tb SSD can be had for actually less than than the new MBP 'Air' with similar RAM & SSD.

    Any comments or suggestions to help me pick the right machine are welcome. Cheers!
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    Unless they made some big change to FCP, there should be no problem running it on the base model 13" MBP. It runs just fine on my 2012 2.5 ghz i5/16gb Mac Mini with Intel HD 4000 video for example. I have a 2013 1.7ghz i7 8gb Intel HD 5000 MacBook Air that is faster than the Mini, and it would also be fine, but the problem there is lack of ports. I need the thunderbolt port for a BlackMagic device for external video on a Sony production monitor. And that means I have to use the little 11" built-in MacBook Air screen, since there's no place to plug in another big monitor (which would normally be the thunderbolt port).

    I'm not very educated on the whole USB-C thing, but the new 13" MBP only has two ports. I guess there are adapters/dongles/hubs/ whatever that would let you hang a monitor on the same port as the power supply. Then you could use the other port for a second big screen. But where would you plug in an external disk drive?

    The other MBP models have 4 ports, which seem like a better setup for video editing and the different peripherals you might need.
     
  3. Classic160 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2016
    Location:
    Great White North
    #3
    Thanks Boyd01, very good point. I hadn't considered the number of ports. Excellent tip.
     
  4. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #4
    It may be possible with some kind of docking station. I had assumed a thunderbolt dock would let me expand the ports on my MacBook Air also, and got an OWC Thunderbolt2 Dock. But I couldn't get it to work reliably, there were video problems using either the HDMI or Thunderbolt ports and I tested several different monitors and cables. Ended up sending the dock back and switched to the Mini since it had all the ports I needed.

    The dock situation might be better on newer machines with USB-C, I don't know...
     
  5. sevoneone, Oct 28, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016

    sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #5
    Depends on what kind of editing you want to do... You're not going to be editing 4k on an integrated graphics chip set.

    I'd focus on RAM, 16GB, though you can get by with 8, just get 16 because you can not add more later.

    Get as much storage as you want or can afford.

    Honestly, I have used models with both the i5 and i7 and find processor makes the least ammount of difference in performance that I have seen.

    I see the 13" system you are talking about in the refurb store. There is a refurb 15" with discrete graphics, 16GB of RAM, a 512GB SSD and a quad core processor for the same price. Unless you really want a 13" for size, get that 15" instead.

    [Edited] original post was truncated and added detail.
     
  6. rx7dude macrumors regular

    rx7dude

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #6
    You can daisy chain a monitor and external drive from a single TB port.
     
  7. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #7
    You have edited my quote and changed what I said. If you actually read what I wrote, this is the significant part: "I need the thunderbolt port for a BlackMagic device for external video on a Sony production monitor".

    I use USB 3 external drives and those are no problem. The issue with the MBA is that it only has one thunderbolt port. I need that port for the Blackmagic device to view full quality video when editing in Final Cut Pro (without relying on the MBA built-in graphics card). Since the thunderbolt port is in use, I don't have anywhere to plug in a second large external screen.
     
  8. rx7dude macrumors regular

    rx7dude

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    Sorry didn't mean to confuse the issue by mentioning External drive. Have you tried these approaches to get dual monitors?

    TB -> Blackmagic -> Monitor via TB/DP cable (You'll need the BM with dual TBs)
    or
    TB ->TB monitor (doesn't have to be Apple. Most have dual TB ports for "daisy chaining") -> Blackmagic
    or
    USB to HDMI
    --- Post Merged, Oct 30, 2016 ---
    Apologizes to the OP for slightly derailing the thread. In terms of the validity of 13 vs 15. I found this article to be interesting last year when I evaluated this:

    https://www.macprovideo.com/hub/final-cut/final-cut-pro-x-performance-test

    It's a little dated but you get the idea.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    None of those apply to what I have, but we are getting way off topic. And it doesn't matter, because I switched to my Mac Mini for FCP since it has plenty of ports. The MBA is fine when I need to edit away from home and can accept some compromises.

    But the point I was trying to make initially is that more ports are better when choosing a laptop for video editing. :)
     

Share This Page