How good is MBP's graphic card? Will it handle HD playback?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zzqy78, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. zzqy78 macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a windows PC user. My computer is really old:
    cpu is AMD sempron 2800+
    1G ddr 400 ram
    GeForce 6600GT graphic card.

    I have a sony CX7 high definition camcorder, it records video in 1080i HD. Right now my old PC can't handle the playback of the recorded HD video.

    When I download HD videos from the internet, if the video is 1080p, the PC can't play it. If it's 720p, it can play but can't go full screen.

    The HD video editing in this PC is also taking too long, I remember leaving it overnight just to finish converting a 2 hour recorded HD video into DVD format.

    I'm thinking of getting a MBP since I really like the look of it and I also want to try the MAC OS since it looks so cool. I've never actually own any apple computer before. I know MBP has better graphic card than MB.

    Do you guys know if MBP can handle full HD video playback? Will HD video editing be much faster in MBP too?

    How about MB? Is it really necessary for me to get a MBP?

  2. zamboni52 macrumors regular

    Feb 17, 2008
    Colorado Springs
    My MBP does an awesome job. I've watched full 1080p HD trailers with no slow down at all. I've also played 1080p Blu-ray ripped videos with no problems. I'm planning on buying an HD camcorder in the next few months and using my MBP for editing.
  3. Snowbound macrumors regular

    May 19, 2008
    I've run HD content on my MBP as well with no lag, dropped frames or out of sync audio (the most common weak computer problems). I think you'll be happy with it!
  4. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    The best test is to actually do what you need to do on a MBP or any machine you are interested in and see how it performs.

    Put your HD video on a USB drive, and go to your nearest Apple Store (or even Best Buy). Talk to a Specialist and tell them you want to see how the different machines can handle the playback, or even see if you can get iDVD to start compressing it so you can get an idea.

    But, as folks have mentioned, the machines are fast and should be able to handle it without any problems.
  5. TSE macrumors 68030

    Jun 25, 2007
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I have no problem playing full 1080i content off the internet on my MBP. :)
  6. Sounds Good macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2007
    Don't Macs have a problem with AVCHD video editing? I can't recall the specifics, but maybe someone else here knows?
  7. Half Glass macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2006
    2 seperate issues...

    My MBP handles 1080p video very well.

    That being said, you are asking about the graphics card. To my knowledge, no Macs offer H.264 hardware acceleration via the video card. Your question about downloading internet HD content, which is predominately H.264 or flash, would not depend on the video card. A MacBook would handle those videos well...

    As a matter of fact, I was at the Apple store yesterday testing how a Mini would handle 1080p trailers from the QuickTime gallery. It was hooked up to a Cinema HD display, and it did not drop a single frame. (had the inspector up).

    However, on a MacBook, it had minor issues with 1080p as it was being scaled to the screen size. But, when I played 1080p at its native resolution, I could only see a fraction of the image, but it did not drop frames! So, the scaling up or down may affect your performance, and this is more likely to be resolved with a video card other than the mini and macbook's integrated, but the MBP will handle these situations perfectly.

    I also edit video from an HV20 (HDV) camcorder in FCP 5 and the MBP does this well.

  8. maccompaq macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    Half Glass, were those Quick Time trailers on the Mini HD or were they streamed from the Internet?
  9. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    MacBook Pro's graphics card will be good enough for you. :)
  10. Half Glass macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2006
    Yes, from Quicktime movie trailers (1080p) and from ABC's full episode area using an HD show. (ABC is of course 720p however)

  11. sebassttiann macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008
    I edit professional video in 1080I and 720P on a mac pro and a mac book pro. We use two mac book pros for digital downloading of our footage when we are on location shooting. And for live color correction.

    Itll do just fine.:)
  12. maccompaq macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2007
    Where do you find the Quicktime movie trailers?
  13. onejed1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    I have a MBP and the same sony camera as the OP. Yes, if you want to edit your video in OS X you have to convert the AVCHD files to a quicktime format it seems. Apple's AVCHD conversion only works on Intel macs, but when i tried it in imovie the sound was all messed up. I bought for 30$ VoltaicHD for mac ( and it does the job better, it just takes a while longer. But you dont have to keep your camera connected, you can unload your MTS files and convert them on the hard drive, and format your memory card on the CX7 right away.

    Another downside is that the quicktime equivalents are much larger in size than the MTS files. But Voltaic lets you choose if you want them in 1080i, 720p or 540p when you convert them.

    Small tip: keep your MTS files anyway since voltaic gets updated often and maybe one day there will better AVCHD support
  14. masse macrumors 6502a


    May 4, 2007
    I have a friend in film school and they don't let them use anything but macbook pros. (of course they have mac pro's in the labs).

    He edits HD content each and every day.
  15. zzqy78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    Thanks for the information, Half Glass.

    I was thinking the bottleneck of my old PC is probably the CPU, I installed Vista in that PC too, vista has a hardware rating, the lowest rating is the cpu, all other hardware seems fine.
    I guess with the core2 duo cpu in MBP, I shouldn't have any trouble playing full HD video since the graphic card in MBP is also better than my 6600gt 128m.

    Can I know what video format your HV20 records? Is it also AVCHD? Does FCP 5 mean final cut professional version 5? Does it come with MAC or you have to buy it? I just checked the editing software that comes with my camcorder: Sony Picture Motion Browser. It doesn't support MAC. :(

    I don't really know much about MAC OS, but I normally hear people saying MACs are good at sound and video editing.
    Can anyone recommend a good video editing software in MAC that supports AVCHD? How much dose those software normally cost?
  16. zzqy78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 25, 2008
    Thanks onejed1. Great information.

    I normally load MTS files to my external hard drive first. Then start the editing. I keep all the .MTS files in my hard drive.

    Right now since my PC can't play the MTS files, I have to burn those .MTS files into AVCHD disc and play it in my PS3.

    So VoltaicHD is the one you use right? Can I use it to convert AVCHD to DVD format and burn it to a DVD video disc that is playable in DVD players? I think usually I convert it into MPEG format, or MPEG2. Can't remember.. :p
    Right now most of the editing I do is converting the HD video to SD video so that I can burn it to DVD disc and give it to my friends who only have DVD player.
  17. onejed1 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2007
    Yeah you can burn your stuff to DVD, i've done it before, but i dont remember exactly which program I used, i think it was Popcorn3. But it had to convert on the fly my quicktime movies to mpeg2 or whatever is required to view DVDs but the conversion this time wasn't too long. And the program did everything by itself.

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