How does the Unibody MacBook handle video editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dandeco, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. dandeco macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I do video production/editing as a hobby, and I have a MiniDV camcorder. I am trying to decide, once I get the money, whether to buy a white MacBook or an aluminum unibody MacBook? I know the white MacBooks are good with video editing, but I don't know how the aluminum ones can handle it. Sure, the 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of DDR3 RAM, and dual-layer SuperDrive sound mighty tempting, but what concerns me is the fact that it does not have a FireWire port. Now, I have noticed from observation that Macs made since 1999 that don't have FireWire can NOT do efficient video editing. I have tried to do so on my 350MHz iMac G3 (even with 576 MB of RAM), and was sluggish with it. I understand the G3 iMac DV models, which came with FireWire, handled it better due to their slightly faster processers, better graphics, etc. And the MacBook Air was obviously not meant for video production, due to the slower processor and hard drive and the only perphrial connector being a lone USB 2.0 port.

    Now, I DO plan on buying an iMac DV or maybe a Mac Mini, which do have FireWire and I plan to edit video on. But I would like to know how the unibody MacBook (the 2.0 GHz version) can handle standard and high-def video editing. Has anyone here ever attempted video editing on one of the aluminum MacBooks? I don't mean with Final Cut Pro or the competing Avid/Adobe programs, but with iMovie or Final Cut Express. If so, please give me on how responsive the software was, if it was really slow or crashing a lot, or just unable to edit the video!

    I would really like some help here.
  2. iToaster macrumors 68000


    May 3, 2007
    In front of my MacBook Pro
    My unibody MacBook handles HD video wonderfully in Final Cut Express and iMovie, nothing is really sluggish, per se. If you want to do HD video or really just video in general go for something with an intel processor. A PPC G3 (or really any PPC processor) isn't really going to cut it, even when strictly importing video they just don't have the speed for it, especially HD (though a PPC G5 will most likely handle videos decently). I say just go for an Intel Mini to import video and edit it, that's really the best practical solution.

    Also, video editing, while perhaps associated with FireWire, is not dependent on it and FireWire won't make any editing work go faster, it's really only needed when importing from a mini-DV tape based camcorder. The MacBooks will work with a USB camcorder or with footage transferred from a machine that already imported it just as fast as it would if it had FireWire.
  3. dandeco thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Thanks! Maybe once I get a MacBook and if I already have an eMac, I could just use that to import the MiniDV video (maybe even make a rough cut on it too), then transfer it to the MacBook. I don't have an HD camcorder yet (maybe I'll go for an AVCHD camcorder in the future).

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