Can't Decide, 13" MBP or 15" for FCPX

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by steemax, Mar 28, 2017.

  1. steemax macrumors regular

    steemax

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    Dec 21, 2009
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    SoCal
    #1
    Hello all,

    I currently only have a Hackintosh desktop (not sure if I'm allowed to mention that) and a Chromebook. I edit a couple videos a week, nothing crazy, just for YouTube on Final Cut Pro X. Mostly 1080 30p/60p, on the rare occasion some 4K content. My desktop handles this well but I'm in need of a portable solution.

    I've been reading, watching and researching for a few days now and am having a hard time deciding which MacBook is right for me. I would love to get a 15" with 16gb ram and a Radeon GPU but i'm having hard time coming to grips with paying so much money for something that will be a secondary computer for me. Not to mention since this will only be used outside of the house I would like the portability of the 13".

    I suppose my question is, will the 13" MBP leave me pulling at my hair trying to render/export the video due to it's 8gb of ram and intel graphics?

    I'm hoping someone has experience with this and can give me some insight on the topic.

    Thank you!
    EDIT: I suppose it's worth mentioning the TB is of no importance to me.
     
  2. Shermy macrumors newbie

    Shermy

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    #2
    Two really good videos to watch for video editing with the 13"...both the 2015 and 2016.



     
  3. SteveJUAE macrumors 68000

    SteveJUAE

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    #3
    Why not pick one up for 14 days and give your best :)

    I always find Lisa Grade on MobileTechReview gives a good balance of review and some useful tips



     
  4. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #4
    Thank you! I'll check these out.

    I may have to just take this route, it may be the only way to know for certain. Thanks!
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

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    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Honestly the 13" is a lot better for FCPX than the paper specs give it credit for. The SSDs are seriously quick so they do export at a reasonable rate. Also FCPX is beautifully optimised for macOS, so it really makes the most of the hardware.

    Historically I was one to argue that Final Cut or Logic Pro meant a quad core or bust. However the 2016s coupled with Apple's seriously lean programming on their Pro Apps have proved me wrong on this. 13" or 15" — they're both unmatched by any other portable and overachieve far beyond their hardware.

    Will the 13" be incredibly powerful and massacre everything FCPX related? Well, no. But would you be tearing your hair out using the 13" for FCPX? Absolutely not. It's somewhere in-between and certainly not as bad as you'd imagine.
     
  6. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #6
    Thank you, this is what i've come up with as well from doing some research. I'm thinking it may even outperform my Hackintosh since I have an Nvidia GPU in that which FCP is not even optimized for. If this is the case the 13" would be perfect for me. The quad core vs dual core was also another thing bothering me. I'm going to try and pickup the 2.9ghz i5 model and see how it works out for my needs I suppose.
     
  7. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #7
    Yeah, you're absolutely right. You may find a few posters here boasting that their Hackintosh has much better specs than any Mac today and can run circles around anything Apple have released. But their argument relies solely on paper specs without any real world application.

    When it actually comes to doing stuff in LPX and FCPX then even a 2016 15" with a 'paltry' CPU and 'Fisher Price' GPU (yes, you'll encounter hyperbole like that, I kid you not), can outperform their machine.

    It's just important to try it for yourself, is all I'm saying; don't get sucked into the hardware spec argument. If the 13" won't cut the mustard, the 15" certainly will. These absolutely are Pro machines, despite what many claim, and they are extremely capable for the job they were designed for. :)
     
  8. kotlos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2017
    #8
    I am in the same boat as well. I have been using the macbook 12" for 4K editing with FCPX but it overheats and throttles as a results. I tried the 15" as a companion to the 12" but I wasn't convinced with the size, and I much prefer a single small laptop to carry around and do all of my work.

    I am thinking about the 13" with an eGPU. My thinking is that once you compensate for the GPU the differences between 2v4 cores is going to be less. Here is an interesting thread to follow:
    https://egpu.io/forums/mac-setup/best-amd-card-for-fcpx-compatibility/#post-5850
     
  9. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #9
    Exactly, i came across a video comparing a base 2015 13" MBP to a Hackintosh with the exact specs as mine except with a slightly better GPU and the MBP actually beat it in rendering/exporting back to back in FCPX. Took me by surprise. My only other dilemma now is if I should go with a 2015 15". BB by my house carries brand new 2015 15" with i7 16gb of ram (intel graphics) 256gb SSD for $1749 right now. Only reason I would consider this is the SD card slot and added power. Seeing as how this is primarily for photo/video, having to remember to carry a SD card dongle with me is worrisome if say I forget it one day and i'm stranded lol.

    Oh definitely, the regular 12" MB would not cut it for me. As is my Hackintosh breaks a sweat. Are eGPU's even compatible with Mac's yet? (i'm assuming you're talking about external GPU's)
     
  10. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    Utah
    #10
    If you're considering a 15" for video editing, definitely find one that has a dGPU (unlike the one you're looking at at BB). The 2016 would give you the best performance, by a lot for some things, but if you must have a built-in SD card slot instead of a plug-in, you can still find 2015s with the dGPU as refurbs from time to time. Make sure it's refurbed by Apple.
     
  11. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #11
    Thanks for the input, so you do believe it's pertinent I have a dGPU for editing. I'll have to look into the refurb 15's then, the 2016 15" with a dGPU is a tad out of my budget as we're now nearing $2400. Not having the SD card reader is not a complete deal breaker for me but would make my life a lot easier. Less to worry about is always a plus.
     
  12. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #12
    You may be fine with the 13", but if you do get a 15", it will be well worth it to get one with a dGPU for video editing. If you watch the second video @Shermy posted above you'll get a good idea of how much difference it makes compared to the 13". I don't know if there's a comparison online between the 15" with and without dGPU, but FCPX does very effectively use the dGPU when available.

    There are refurb 2016s coming out now, starting at a bit over $2000 plus taxes from Apple. They should start showing up at other sources that you may not have to pay taxes for.

    http://www.apple.com/shop/browse/home/specialdeals/mac/macbook_pro/15

    Best Buy also has 2016s in open-box deals that come with a good return policy and full new warranty. But the 2015 with dGPU will save you money and have the built-in slot if you can find it. Not quite as nice in other ways, but a bargain for sure.
     
  13. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #13
    Hmm that gives me a few options, ok thanks for the help guys i'll let you all know what I end up with and run a test of my own and post the results here if all goes as planned. I'm going to see what Bestbuy has today as well for open boxes in my area.
     
  14. kotlos, Mar 28, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017

    kotlos macrumors newbie

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    #14
  15. Sanpete macrumors 68020

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    #15
  16. kotlos macrumors newbie

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    Mar 20, 2017
    #16
    Correct, it depends on how you use the laptop. I do my heavy editing on a desk anyways where I have an external screen and external drives. But I carry the laptop with me all day for my actual work in which case I don't need the GPU.

    So if you want to do plenty of editing on the go (but still be plugged in), then yes a dGPU is still the way to go.
     
  17. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #17
    UPDATE...

    Let's just take a moment and appreciate Apples ability to optimize its hardware with it's software.
    I picked up the $1799 (price matched Amazon for $1719) Macbook Pro 13" with the 2.9 i5, 8gb of ram, 256gb SSD and intel graphics.

    Now onto the Hackintosh. It has a 4770K OC to 4.4ghz, 16gb Corsair Vengeance DDR3, GTX 770 OC 4gb, and a Samsung Evo 500 gb SSD.

    Both computers running the same version of FCPX with background rendering turned off for the purpose of the test.

    Uploaded a few different 1080 30p clips from my camera totaling 4min, added basic color correction and image stabilization to all of them and hit export using Apple ProRes 422 and left the rest of the settings on default. Total export file size 5.1gb

    Result: Hackintosh completed the rendering/export in 2:24:75 and the MacBook completed it in 2:03:64.

    That's insane!!! I'm very happy with this setup, going to definitely keep this 13" it's exactly what I was looking for.
     
  18. jharvey71884 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #18
    Took an interesting external ssd into the Apple Store to play around with FCPX on the 13. Definitely was impressed, even with iMac at home.
     
  19. kotlos, Mar 29, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017

    kotlos macrumors newbie

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    Mar 20, 2017
    #19
    I did an FCPX import with Proxy media creation test across MBP 15", MBP 13" & MB 12" all 2016. It was with 3 XAVC-S 4K files with a total of 10min duration, located on an external USB3 hard drive.

    MBP 15" 2.7 455 2016 : 3:30
    MBP 13" 3.3 2016 : 4:30
    MB 12" i7 2016 : 15:30

    The 12" throttles like crazy. Very impressed with the 13" as well. Can't wait to test it with an eGPU.
     
  20. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #20
    Definitely! Especially for someone like me who is not a professional, the 13" with integrated graphics is still plenty of power for FCPX.

    Nice results! but like you said the 12" really throttles, it's more designed for the college student I suppose for just word processing and web browsing etc.
     
  21. jerryk macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #21
    Seems really wrong to me unless your rendering is disk I/O bound.

    And does 2:45:75 mean 2 minutes, 45.75 secs, or something else.
     
  22. steemax thread starter macrumors regular

    steemax

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    #22
    Not an external drive and it's 2 minutes 45 seconds. There seems to be a few other videos with the same results.
     

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