Crossing over from the "Dark Side"

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by abulukas, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. abulukas macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2007
    I used to work for IBM and provided sizing for midrange computers - so computer sizing isn't new for me, but I'm just finding it hard to get my head around this Mac thing.

    I've been working in Video Production with Adobe Premiere for the last years and now need to improve the quality of my work for a more professional product. I create 3-5 Minute promotional materials in a documentary style. My Win system has a dedicated Matrox video production card for rendering, etc, so I am used to this level of performance. I have the funding to upgrade my software and hardware. From what I understand, I believe that the learning curve for FCP will be worth it to provide a much better product than Premiere creates. I am, though, , a little hazy on the hardware.

    I would love to get a 17" MBP D2C 2.33 with 2GB of memory, but am I selling myself short by getting the MBP? Funding for a Mac Pro would not be a problem, its just the portability of the MBP is a big draw for me. Any video pros that would tell me that I'm making a wrong move with the Macbook Pro?

    As far as I understand it, the 160GB internal hard drive should be sufficient for video work - is this correct?

    Will this MBP have the capability to pull off the full fuctionality of FCP for 3-5 minute shorts?

    As I understand it, the best storage option that I can get is an external enclosure for some Sata 7200 RPM hard drives, keeping all video on these drives and off from the system hard drive - does this make sense and does someone have a recommendation on a good enclosure?

    Please let me know your thoughts.
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    Hi, and welcome to MR.
    From the sounds of it you have some high expectations from your hardware, and seem to know quite a bit about computers in general. The deal is that for 3-5 minute shorts, the MBP will likely give you about the same performance as a MacPro in FCP.
    Yes, in many things, the MacPro is faster- higher FSB, better graphics, and obviously easier upgradeability. For what you're going to be doing, an MBP will be more than sufficient. The main thing to remember is that the RAM in the portables is not fully buffered, which in your "short clip" scenario would be a benefit. Given the portability of an MBP, and your said need of mobility, a 17" would be fine.
    I tend to store larger files on an external RAID (when I'm away from the lab's XRAID). It's basically a couple of RAID 1 250GB SATA drives that are connected on a CoolGear Dual 3.5 SATA enclosure, and connect to my MBP via FW800, it's fast enough for transferring files that range between 512MB and 4GB in seconds.

    So the MBP would be fine for your needs, will give you the chance to try out the system, and later on, when you need some more power, you can decide whether a MP is worth the upgrade.
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I can tell you right off the bat that the limiting factor will be the internal 2.5" hard drive.

    The raw video digitalized from my camera alone takes up 20-30GB of space for every 3-5 minutes of final production. The small notebook hard drive can do it but it won't be the fastest experience.

    I would recommend getting an external RAID-0 setup (either FireWire800 or eSATA). That would really speed things up.

    You may also find the screen real estate somewhat lacking but if you can cope with it, you should be fine.

    But a 17" MacBook Pro with 2GB ram and an external RAID-0 setup is going to be very sufficient and while maintaining a great deal of performance, you also get the portability and ability to edit in the field.
  4. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    I love my MBP to pieces - it's the first portable I've owned, and was surprised it was easily faster than my 2x2GHz G5 desktop - but the things I'd be wary of if using one for heavy duty editing would be the speed of the internal drive (as already mentioned) and the heat generated. Mine gets uncomfortably hot after a while, you might consider an external keyboard if you're going to be using it for a while.
  5. abulukas thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2007
    Thanks for the insights. Your advice very much concurs with the info that I've been reading. If anyone else has any insights or recommendations I would be very grateful.

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