Final Cut Pro 7 - 8 GB RAM vs. 16 GB RAM; Retina vs. non-Retina

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by NickH88, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. NickH88 macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    If I'm going to be editing a lot of video in FCP 7 (not X) as a prospective Film student (it's what my college teaches on), just how much, if any, difference am I going to experience between having 8 GB RAM or 16 GB RAM?

    Also, since FCP7 is not Retina-optimized, would a Retina display not be particularly useful to me, or even detrimental (though I'd still be able to play HD videos in a higher resolution)? I'm thinking of getting a new MBP and am leaning towards the non-Retina model. I understand that the rMBP has an improved thermal system though... how much of a difference would this make for editing in FCP7?

  2. jjhoekstra macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2009

    I use a rMBP for heavy-duty FCX editing. I have 16 Gb but FCX uses only a small part of that (about 500 Mb). It is very rare to see more than 4 Gb of RAM in use, and that is including iTunes and Safari. So looking back 8 Gb would have been more than enough. The only real difference you will notice is that it takes more time for the 16 Gb to start up after sleep. The 'instant on' on the 16 Gb is not that instant.
    The rMBP has a superior cooling system in comparison to the classic MBP. For instance if my MBP renders a long video, say 2 hours of rendering, it gets a bit more noisy and gets warm. But it never gets loud and it never gets uncomfortably hot. Reviews of the MBP show that it gets very hot and very noisy under those conditions.
    I have no problems with the retina screen, it looks great and is a pleasure to work with.
  3. NickH88 thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 9, 2012
    I'll be working with FCP7, though, which is not Retina-optimized like FCPX.
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    FCP 7 itself can't access more than two or three gigs of RAM. The extra RAM can be helpful when running other programs but it won't help you with FCP7.
  5. jasonvp macrumors 6502a


    Jun 29, 2007
    Northern VA
    FCP7 is a 32bit application, meaning it can't address anything higher than 4GB of RAM. So unless you're running a bunch of other applications on your new laptop, you're unlikely to see a difference between 8 and 16GB.

    That said: I'm always all about maximizing RAM because you just never know when you can use it. So with that, I'd recommend maxing it.

  6. Kevin Monahan macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2011
    Right, FCP7 is a 32 bit app and won't address all that RAM. Premiere Pro will, as it is a 64 bit app.
  7. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    Premiere is also recommended as a 'prospective' film student. It's not worth learning FCP7, It's redundant.

    Learn Premiere, which is stunning... or FCPX if budget is limited.

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