First Time Buyer Questions (and Thank You)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jon4lakers, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. jon4lakers macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #1
    Firstly, I want to say thank you to all the contributers here. Ive been lurking for quite awhile, and you all really helped me decide to take the plunge and get a mac.

    Here is my background: I want to learn how to do video editing, but dont currently do any (laptop will need to grow with me if I get more into editing). Gaming is not important, but I do want to install Vista via boot camp. I want a computer that will last me 3-4 years. Im ok spending the money to get the best fit for me right now.

    Now that you are all buttered up, onto the questions :)

    I dont know which notebook to buy, MB (black w. 2 gigs RAM) or Pro?

    When I upgrade to Leopard, and Boot Camp is built in, will it effect any of windows files I have?

    Can I use a 20" external monitor without any hiccups w. the Macbook?

    Can I access files on the same external HD in both OS's?

    Will the MB run ilife without any hiccups or speed issues?

    The screen on the MB looked much dimmer (on max brigtness) then the MBP. Was that just me?

    I love the look and size of the MB, but wonder if the specs of the MBP are more future proof?

    THANK YOU in advance!
     
  2. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    I'd be inclined to say Pro, just because of the "wanting to get into video editing" part. If you ever want to crack into Motion or Color, the MB's integrated GPU will be a serious limiting factor.

    No.

    Yes.

    Yes and no. If your external is formatted as FAT32 (MS DOS Filesystem in OS X's Disk Utility), you can read and write in both OSes, but the drive will not be able to hold any individual file that is larger than 4GB (might be a problem while editing). If you format the drive as NTFS, OS X will be able to read it, but not write to it (but you'll be able to store large files to it in Windows and read them in OS X). If you format it as HFS+ (the Mac filesystem), OS X will be able to read and write large files, but Windows will not be able to see it at all, unless you purchase MacDrive, in which case it too will be able to read and write. Personally, I'd go with HFS+ and a copy of MacDrive for Windows—big files, and read and write in both OSes.

    iLife, yes. Pro applications, yes and no. Final Cut Pro itself will probably be okay (except for FXPlug), but Motion and Color are right out, they require a dedicated GPU. If you ever plan to move up to the pro apps, get a MacBook Pro.

    It might be the comparison of glossy to non-glossy. I've seen both the MacBook and MacBook Pro in person, and they both seemed equally bright. Had the MacBook just been woken from sleep? Sometimes it takes the backlight a minute or two to really warm up.

    Yes, the MacBook Pro is more future proof.
     
  3. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #3
    Thanks

    Thanks for the fast response, its much appreciated.

    The Macbook had been on for awhile, but your right, it was probably a glossy matte thing.


    If I just want to use ilife for video editing, you say the macbook, or still the pro?
     
  4. AutumnSkyline macrumors regular

    AutumnSkyline

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    #4
    If you are just using iLife, then yes, the Macbook would be perfect. You shouldn't expect miracles out of iMovie, iDVD, and GarageBand (assuming you want to export to DVD, and maybe add a soundtrack). While they do have some cool features, they aren't exactly "pro" what kind of videos are you editing??
     
  5. KershMan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #5
    If you stick with the consumer apps, iMovie, iDVD, etc., the MacBook is sufficient. I upgraded from a 15" PowerBook G4 1.5 GHz to a black MacBook, both with 2 GB RAM, and was floored with the performance increase. The PowerBook has a dedicated, 128 MB, video chip where the MacBook shares, and with iLife I have had zero problems. Great little machine.

    Also, Apple does a very good job of keeping applications compatible with older machines. So, if you do not need cutting edge performance your MacBook will run Leopard, iLife 200X, etc. for quite a long time.
     
  6. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #6
    I'd like to use my digital video Camera to record, make some edits, add scenes, chapters, and a soundtrack, then burn to DVD. I dont know how much farther I'd go than that.

    Thanks for all the input, I still dont know which machine is right for me!
     
  7. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #7
    If you can afford the MBP, I would go with it. I have a MB CD 2.0; it works well most of the time but every so often I wish I'd spent twice the price and gotten the Pro. A MBP C2D Refurb would be just the ticket for you. (and perhaps me if I sell my MB)

    Cheers,
     
  8. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #8
    Thanks for the advice. I just love the look of the black MB, but maybe you are right.

    I was pretty set on the MBP, but the guys at the Apple store convinced me the MB was best for my needs...
     
  9. Lord Flashheart macrumors regular

    Lord Flashheart

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    Location:
    Cardiff by the Sea, CA
    #9
    I would recommend the MacBook Pro because you want something to grow with you and you want to do video editing. Macbook is fine for ilife apps, but not higher end stuff. Go MacBook Pro.
     
  10. Tadros86 macrumors 6502

    Tadros86

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #10
    Well . . .

    I personally am looking to do pro applications such as Logic and Protools for audio, and Logic and Final Cut to do video editing, I also want to use it for playing video games and school work, so what's best for all that? MACBOOK PRO. Santa Rosa should be coming out in June, and it's Ram upgradeable so if in a few years the comp is starting to get sluggish you can just throw more GBs of RAM in there. It will be fully 64 bit compatible, and the screen might get an upgrade. . . all in all, if you want to have the comp for a long time I'd wait and see if the new Santa Rosa Macbook Pros actually do come out in June and I'd pick one of those up, that's what I am doing. . . I don't want to have to get another computer for at least 5 years.
     
  11. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #11
    iLife should be enough for you then. In any case, start out with iLife and if it starts limiting you in some way, then you can try out FCE or something like that. Sometimes limited features make it much easier and more fun to use. I have used Adobe Premiere Pro on Windows, but I enjoy iLife much more.
     
  12. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #12
    http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs.html

    Just a warning.. If you plan to eventually move up into more professional editing using Final Cut Studio, it won't run on a Macbook.

    "An AGP or PCI Express Quartz Extreme graphics card (Final Cut Studio is not compatible with integrated Intel graphics processors)"
     
  13. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

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    #13
    Yeah, I think you might be right. The MBP is probably the right way to go, I just cant get over how great looking the Black MB is!
     
  14. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 19, 2007
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    Orange County, CA
    #14
    For 1300 Ill doubt Ill ever buy Final Cut. If I stick with Ilife, the MacBook might be the right way?


    Now I'm more confused!
     
  15. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #15
    Yeah the Macbook will be fine with iLife. iLife still runs perfectly on computers that are 4+ years old, so it will work fine on a new Macbook. Final Cut Express ($299, $149 with edu pricing) will also run on a Macbook fine.

    In your situation, Macbook is probably the way to go. And if you end up needing more screen space, its way cheaper to add a 20'' widescreen monitor.
     
  16. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #16
    Zioxide,

    Im starting to agree with you. You guys on her (obviously) know more about the 2 then I do. If for what I described, you think the Macbook is the way to go, then great.

    After looking at everything, Ilife and final cut express will more than cover my needs. If the'll run without a hiccup on the macbook, then Im sold.

    Last thing, the GPU will still allow me to run any version of Vista I want in bootcamp?
     
  17. panzer06 macrumors 68030

    panzer06

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    Kilrath
    #17
    I've run all versions except the Ultimate w/o issue on Parallels. I must tell you even allocating 1GB of RAM, Vista is slow on my MB. XP is much better with Visio and other non-Mac apps and I only need to allocate 512MB of RAM.

    On bootcamp only ran Vista Business and again XP was faster even with the full 2GB of RAM dedicated to Vista.

    Parallels works best for me, since the only reason I would use bootcamp is to get the full benefit of 3D acceleration in my games and with the GMA950, I can't play most of them anyway.

    Cheers,
     
  18. bcavanau macrumors member

    bcavanau

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2006
    Location:
    Troy, MI
    #18
    In regards to external drives, I recommend the ext2 file system.

    Will work with Linux natively, and there are both Windows and Mac drivers. No real file size limitation.
     
  19. Martin C macrumors 6502a

    Martin C

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #19
    The Blackbook is great looking when it comes out of the box, I agree. But let me tell you, after a month or so it will collect oils and will look pretty nasty.

    All in all, I agree with the people who think that you may grow out of iLife and might be wanting a pro application. You are making the final decision, but shell out the extra cash for a Macbook Pro just to be on the safe side.
     
  20. macsr4all macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    #20
    I too am looking at a first mac purchase and believe I'll be using it in the same capacity as you. I really wrestled with what machine to get. My decision has come to the MBPro. I would love to put to DVD edited versions of family trips, or occasions worth putting on camera. I've done a little bit of editing on the PC and would love to transfer over to the mac world. I find after every video you create you develop more and more as a video editor. As time goes on you expand on the creative/artistic side of it. I won't buy the Final Cut studio Pro because of the $$$, but the Final Cut Express program is exactly what I'm looking for.

    If I'm going to spend the money on getting a machine that will allow me to do what I want to do, I don't want to buy a cheaper one at the expense of performance.

    The MBPro is just a better machine. If your looking for longevity, I think it's a better investment than the MacBook. If you decide to expand and get more interested in video editing, the MBPro won't let you down.

    I'm wrestling with laying out that much money but It will be my primary computer for years to come.

    the 15" is cheaper than the 17" obviously, so you can cut that corner - I'm getting the 15" - I've seen and played with that screen size and I think it's just what I want.

    Because of price if you are questing what to sacrifice, Processor speed vs. RAM, with video editing, I would recommend getting slower processor with more ram than faster processor with less ram. Does that make sense?

    Video editing depends on your machine doing a lot of things at one time, video, transitions, music, etc...That's where you want to invest in ram.

    Sorry to write this long post, likely just to confuse you more.
     
  21. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #21
    As far as doing simple video editing like you just described in the post above me, a Macbook would be more than adequate. The extra .33 GHz or whatever in the Macbook Pro is not going to make a difference enough to warrant an extra $800+ for it.

    The only problem I see with the Macbook is the fact that the new Final Cut Studio 2 doesn't support Intel Integrated Graphics.

    But if you're just doing simple SD editing, either machine will be a beast at it. I'm working on a project in DVCPRO HD 720p30 on my 1.33GHz iBook G4 with 1GB of ram, and it works, so I guarantee any computer you buy new will be way more than adequate for editing SD DV.
     
  22. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #22
    At the point where you need a $1300 editing package you are going to want much more than a Macbook Pro. As theBB recommended, learn the basics of editing on iMovie (where you can focus on the art and not the technology). Add an external drive and extra monitor when you can, and move to FCE when you feel limited by iMovie. Don't worry about FCP until you want to be a pro. Best wishes.
     
  23. jon4lakers thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Location:
    Orange County, CA
    #23
    Made a Decision

    First off, this forum is amazing. All the opinions that came in this afternoon are much appreciated.

    I just returned home from 2.5 hours in my local Macstore (Southern Cal) here I talked to he well educated and helpful staff ( I even took a course in iweb...wow thats an easy app. I spent years learning how to do what the teacher did in 3 clicks!!!!!!!)

    THE MBP is the way to go for me. I'd rather be safe and future proof myself then be left wanting more. If I do ever decide I want to delve further into video editing, I want to have the option, not have my laptop's capabilities dictate it for me.

    Now like the rest of you, I just need to bide my time till June....
     

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