Can the MacBook Pros handle After Effects renders in HD?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by txdawg, Feb 12, 2009.

  1. txdawg macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2006
    Hi all:

    I'm trying to determine if the new MacBook Pros can handle AfterEffects renders in HD (1020x1980).

    My Powerbook G4 has given out and I'm trying to decide between repair ($300) or replace ($3000). The one thing that it couldn't do was render After Effects projects if they were HD. (well, it could - but it would give an estimate of a 7 hour render for a pretty basic 10 second animation). With probably 80% of my work being in HD nowadays, if I knew the MacBook could handle that, it would seal the deal for me.

    If it matters, I'm using AE CS3 because my desktop isn't compatible with CS4. I would also prefer a 15", but am fine going with the 2.8GHz/320GB/7200. (And would do the 17" if it is capable and the 15" isn't)

  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well, the Intel C2D chips are significantly faster than the PPC G4s (as in multiple times faster, no kidding!). Doing just about anything HD on a G4 is painful. So, your render times will improve significantly. I render animations out in AE at 2K resolution (slightly higher than broadcast HD1080) all the time on both my MBP and my Mac Pro.

    On my MBP (last-gen 2.6GHz, 4GB RAM), fairly complex 15 second sequences (with particle animation, lighting effects, smoke, etc.) take somewhere around an hour to render out to an external RAID-0 in Apple Animation codec. And that's in 2K film (2048x1556) resolution.
  3. txdawg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 29, 2006
    Thanks for the info - that's great to know ...sounds like broadcast 1080 work shouldn't be a problem. Out of curiosity - any reason you're rendering out to an external? I'm assuming just for the sake of space - or is that necessary?

    (I generally use my desktop for most of my work (a pre-intel G5), but I travel fairly often, and for travel not to be a work-stopper for HD projects would be a big boost and worth the investment.)

    Thanks again - if anyone else has experiences out there, please still chime in with em!
  4. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    when working with video/GFX, keep all assets on an external drive at all times. internal laptop drives are just not fast/big enough for video work.

    just get an external with eSATA and an eSATA expresscard adapter. you'll be good to go.
  5. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    It depends the level of HD rendering that you are doing, Uncompressed, 4:2:2, 4:4:4, hdv, hdcamsr, etc... macbook pro is fine, you'll still be lagging through as you skim through the timeline. If you use aftereffects for a living, you should do a mac pro. if you like to go places and work and only do a couple animations here and there any 15" or 17" macbook pro will sufice, heck I do HD 1080 4:2:2 on my 1st gen macbook for a couple random animations.

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