configuration questions

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by NickH88, Dec 25, 2014.

  1. NickH88 macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    I'm getting a MacBook and am trying to decide on options. I'll mainly use it for simple note-taking in college, web browsing, programming, streaming videos, and video editing.

    First of all, since I plan to be editing videos, do I need a MBP as opposed to an Air?

    Is the processor upgrade worth it?

    As a new Mac user, would One-to-One be worth it? I am a pretty tech-savvy guy, so I doubt it would take me long to figure out OS X on my own.

    Are the optional accessories (Apple TV, Thunderbolt cables) available cheaper elsewhere?

    Can I assume that the Time Capsule is a waste of money if I just back up my files to an external drive often?

    I don't believe I need the increased storage, as I have a 1 TB external HDD.

    What do you all think?
  2. Spink10 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2011
    From your post it seems like you really want to get the most of your money and not just upgrade or purchase accessories just to have it.

    Air can do video editing - certainly a rMBP will outperform it.

    Processor - probably not going to get much more out of it compared to the extra $$ it cost.

    One-on-One - no - you will be fine. Free tutorials all over online.

    Apple TV / Thunderbolt cable - yes cheaper from 3rd parties like Amazon.

    Time Capsule is convenient as router and backup - but not as thrifty as a router + an external drive.

    Storage - sounds like the base model will do you fine.
  3. NickH88 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    Thanks for the reply! Anyone else have an opinion on this?
  4. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Do you have a specific need the AppleTV will fill? There's really no reason to get one unless you're looking for a streaming box that will also link in to your iTunes purchases (movies/TV shows/Music). Be aware, you need a TV with a free HDMI port, or an iOS device and an audio system with HDMI or optical input to do "headless" music streaming on the AppleTV.
  5. stevemurrayphot macrumors newbie

    Mar 16, 2009
    my 2 cents

    I'd be inclined to go for the one to one as there are loads of tutorials I've been meaning to work through but not actually done - having a timed appointment should kickstart the learning process and you can cover what you want to learn from day one..
  6. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    Based on your usage, either the Air or MBP will serve you well. Either machine can handle light video editing work when needed. The only difference is that the Air will take slightly longer to render the video.

    In the dual core machines, the processor upgrades are not worth it. The only time processor upgrades are worth it is if you are doing processor intense tasks and fully loading the CPU for extended periods of time.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the RAM in both the Air and rMBP are not upgradeable, so you will need to get as much as you want/need up front. (You likely know this, but just wanted to be sure.)

    Personally, I wouldn't spend the money on One-to-One. You will find yourself at home pretty quickly on OS X.

    You can find good prices on optional accessories elsewhere. Apple's refurb store online can be a good place to find routers, Apple TVs, and other things at very nice prices. I've always used Apple branded dongles for video outputs, though many use cheaper versions successfully.

    Time Capsules are nice, but have never been in my budget. It's much cheaper to buy a router and HDD separately. The wireless backup strategy would be nice, because I don't backup as often as I should. The last time I tried using Time Machine wirelessly, it didn't work well, but that has been a few years ago now.

    Being new to OS X, there is a caveat about Time Machine that you should know. Time Machine will record hourly backups until it fills the available storage space. Then it will begin deleting the oldest stuff first, building a Library of weekly and then monthly snapshots. If you are looking to archive large amounts of old data, Time Machine is not the best solution, and you should maintain a separate snapshot library (a good idea regardless, as any drive can fail).

    As for storage, I wouldn't get less than 256GB. It gives you the headroom to run one or two virtual machines, if you still need some PC software, and room to have a fair amount of data with you without the need to plug in an external drive. I could make do with a 128GB drive, but I wouldn't be thrilled about it.

    Good luck with your purchase and enjoy your new machine!
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    You didn't indicate what size rMBP you're looking at (i.e. 13" or 15").

    Depending upon what you'll be using to do video editing (iMovie, FCPX, Adobe Premier Pro), more RAM and discrete video may be in order. i.e. going with either a stock 15" rMBP with 16gigs of RAM, or a custom 13" with 16gigs may be in order.
  8. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816


    Apr 12, 2007
    What kind of video editing are you looking at? Casual iMovie, casual Final Cut or more serious work? Will you do a lot of transcoding or not (in which case you will want a faster CPU)?

    In most cases, the stock machine is fine. If you're doing casual stuff, don't waste money on RAM and processing power you don't need. But it ultimately comes down to your personal preference. I know people who edit on a 11" Air and are happy with it. Lack of performance is certainly not an issue on any modern Mac.
  9. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    That's because there's a difference between archive and backup. TM is GREAT for doing backups but for long-term archive, you're still best off copying to multiple external locations and verifying those from time to tim to ensure they haven't become corrupt.
  10. NickH88, Dec 29, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014

    NickH88 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    I plan to use it to wirelessly stream internet video and video files from my iPhone as well as the MacBook (via mirroring). It would also be nice to play my music from iTunes through my stereo. My TV does have an extra HDMI port, and my stereo has an extra SPDIF port as well.

    I'm actually not sure yet on what size. I plan on going to my local Apple Store and trying out them both. I'm used to 15" and 17" laptops, but that doesn't necessarily mean I would be opposed to the 13". From what I hear, FCP is the gold standard for video editing (though I've also heard that the older version is better than X), so I would probably use that.

    Also, multiple people have mentioned needing a router for backup. I have one, but why would I need it for that? My external HDD connects via USB 3.0, so I'd just plug it in that way and copy files. Am I missing something? That's how I always did it in the past, but then again, that was with Windows (this will be my first Mac).
  11. meson macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2014
    There is no need to use a router for backup. Just plugging in the external and backing things up from time to time works great. It's what I do as well as many others.

    Based on your listed uses, I strongly suspect the 13" machine will serve you well, unless you can't get past the screen size. As you gain experience in video editing, you may eventually find a need for the 15" machine, but at this point, I would consider it a luxury.
  12. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    One more vote for getting a "plain ol'" external drive for backups instead of a Time Capsule.

    And for a backup program, I'd recommend either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.

    Either one will create a FULLY BOOTABLE backup, a "clone" of the internal drive.
    If you ever experience a problem with the internal drive, you can connect the backup, boot from it, and have immediate access to EVERYTHING as it was before (or, as it was at the time of the last backup).
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    Time machine does this

    as the title says time machine does this just like CCC and SD.

    As to your configuration, I would suggest that you would be a little underwhelmed by the screen on the air. The best thing about any rMBP is the screen they are awesome especially for texts and photos.

    If you do a lot of video editing then you will probably want the 15 inch for screen real estate but the 13 is a great compromise between size weight and power that will do everything albeit a bit slower. FCP X uses all the cores and graphics you can throw at it so if you want speed the best bet is that quad core in the 15 and the better IRIS pro graphics.
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Questions numbered for ease of answering.

    1. The air uses a ULV processor, the rMBP does not. You can check benchmarks for both machines but I can assure you the rMBP is much more powerful.

    2. If you're looking only at the 13"(you haven't mentioned), the answer is no. The performance difference is negligible in 99% of cases, unless you're that one guy that pegs his CPU at 100%, 100% of the time. Going from dual to quad core (13 to 15") would yield an even bigger difference.

    3. Meh, not to me, but everyone's different.

    4. Sometimes, if you get lucky, yes. Check B&H and amazon, they sometimes have specials. Otherwise no. Discounts and Apple products usually don't go in the same sentence.

    5. The time Capsule acts as a router also, so if you're in need of one, I don't see why not. I personally own one, as I like the "set it and forget it" of it. It wirelessly keeps hourly backups of my stuff on my mac and my girlfriend's without me having to do anything. If you have a good backup routine at the moment and a decent wireless router, then yes, it's a waste of money.

    6. You tell me, I don't know you nor your needs.

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