Better for Video Editing? MBP 13" or 15" w/9600M GT

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by PastaZombie, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. PastaZombie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #1
    I am planning on purchasing a Macbook Pro for relatively extensive use of Final Cut Pro (HD video) along with possibly some Motion work and video transcoding. In addition I will be using it for photo editing and web editing. I don't plan on using it for any high-end 3D gaming.

    I will be purchasing a $200 24" external monitor to use most of the time along with external keyboard and mouse (so MBP screen size isn't an issue), but I need the portability and don't have the funds to purchase an additional dedicated desktop yet.

    I am having trouble deciding between the 13" and the 15", mainly due to conflicting opinions I've been hearing over the importance of a dedicated graphics card for video editing. Salespeople at the Apple store tell me it's important and I should get the 15". Research online yielded heated forum arguments over whether it really makes a difference or not (for example: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=718284).

    The price difference is quite significant though at the configurations I picked ($765) so I am seeking advice here for whether people think the cost difference is really justified for my needs. Note that both configurations include 4GB of RAM, smallest hard drive option (i've got external drives) and AppleCare protection.

    Pricing with education discount after tax:
    13" 2.26GHz - $1520
    15" 2.66GHz w/9600M GT 256MB - $2285

    Is there a real difference in video editing performance and if so, is it really worth an extra $765? Or is there a better option that I'm not considering?
     
  2. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    #2
    You are asking for a whirlwind of opinions on this topic. :D

    Try to look at it this way, which one of these two sets of requirements best suits what you want?

    1. Smaller, lighter and more portable system with better battery life but will have smaller screen, lower resolution to fit programs and use a slower integrated GPU that will borrow up to 256MB of system ram.

    2. Larger, heavier and still portable system with a faster CPU, faster GPU with dedicated RAM (its own, not stealing from the system), slightly higher resolution and size.

    If smaller and lighter mean more than power and resolution then you have your answer.
     
  3. netwalker macrumors regular

    netwalker

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #3
    For HD in Final Cut and Motion you need as much CPU + GPU power and fast disks (internal/external) as you can buy. That is not just some sales talk. Maybe consider buying a used MBP, which would also give you the ExpressCard slot so you can attach eSata drives.

    Yes, some. Personally I don't think it is enough. Start saving for a Mac Pro.
     
  4. joehahn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Location:
    CT
  5. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    #5
    It does it you want to use all of your system ram or if you are using Motion inside of FCS.
     
  6. netwalker macrumors regular

    netwalker

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #6
    Motion and Color use the GPU for processing as well as many Final Cut plug-ins (FXplugs are GPU accelerated).
     
  7. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    2nded
     
  8. TheYellowAudi macrumors member

    TheYellowAudi

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2008
    Location:
    DFW, but could be anywhere on the planet.
    #8

    Good idea. I'd be happy to sell you my perfectly good condition 17" MBP, 2.33 Intel Core 2 Duo (Apr. '07), 3GB ram, currenly 160GB HDD (about to upgrade to 500GB this weekend), Express Card 34 & the most current OS 10.5.X Leopard on it AND an extra battery that has ~ 85% life on it. Hell, I'll even throw in the full FCS suite and iWork '09. It's also got iLife '09. Throw me a reasonable offer. I might even take less than what you quoted the optioned 15" for. :D No dents, dings or scratches at all on
    it.
     
  9. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #9
    ...the market place isn't open to you until you've been around for a while with 250+ posts:p
     
  10. PhixionFilms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    Deployed atm
    #10
    GPU does help with SOME plug-ins, but its not worth almost $800.

    Ill take your question on a personal level since i was in your exact same position awhile ago.
    I didnt know whether id need the extra gpu power a 9600 would provide, but i needed portability and battery. To make a long story short, i went with the 13" mbp because its small, has the 9400 (which is WELL above ordinary intigrated) 4 GB ram battery and the 2.53 processor. If you have an external screen and 4 gb ram, you will be fine. Usually the only con about not getting the 9600 is the rendering time, but its only off by about 30%.

    Save your money, get the 13" mbp, upgrade your internal HDD with the scorpian blue, with your 4 gb ram and 2.53 and you will have almost the same results with the 9600 gt.

    And someone else posted, it does "Barrow" 256 mb ram but this is nothing when you have 4 gb ram in your machine. You wouldnt even notice its gone.
     
  11. RebootD macrumors 6502a

    RebootD

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    NW Indiana
    #11
    I said it earlier I will say it again.

    If time = money buy what you can afford. If its 'only' 30% faster than you will save 18min per every hour of video you have to render. Multiply that over 100 hours and you get my point.

    If your biggest concern is portability and size while compromising performance not only in CPU but GPU + Ram then get the 13in. Again not a huge difference but go back to the time = money argument for reference.

    Only you can decide which is more important to you. Plus I highly suggest getting to a Best Buy/Apple Store and messing around with both to see if the trade offs are okay for you.
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #12
    If budget is important, get the 13" MBP. The 9400M isn't much slower than the 9600M. It's definitely slower, but not $800 faster. You'd be better off getting better accessories and backup drives with the money you save, IMO.
     
  13. PastaZombie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #13
    Thanks everyone for all the feedback! :)

    I hadn't checked into the refurbished options, but now that I did, I found a nice configuration that would provide a lot more value for the buck. For about $550 more than the new 13" config I would get faster processor, 2" bigger screen, 512mb 9600M GPU, double the internal storage, removable battery as well as the ExpressCard slot (even though its not listed in specs, its there). The only tradeoffs I can see are battery life and not being able to get the ipod touch rebate (big deal...).

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC026LL/A?mco=MjE0NjE5MA
     
  14. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    #14
    The question you need to ask yourself is this: will you be making money on your work? If the answer is no, it's just a hobby or whatnot, then skip the dedicated GPU. It will be slightly better in Motion or Color, but if you're not making money from your work, then what have you gained from that speed increase? Absolutely nothing. The end product will be the same.

    OTOH, if you are making money, then there's a good possibility every second counts. If you can't move on to your next project because your last one is still rendering, then you're loosing income. If this is the case, then spring for the better graphics.
     

Share This Page