How much processing power do I need?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by pandabearjohnso, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. pandabearjohnso macrumors member


    May 27, 2009
    I am considering getting a used MB Pro for editing home movies. OK, its not Final Cut Pro stuff, but this will be the most demanding thing I use the computer for. In the past I have used iMovieHD and iDVD to make movies on my 12" PB G4 with a 1.25 GHz processor and 1.5 GB of RAM and ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 64 MB or 128 MB (not sure which). This has worked fine, but I can tell its a little slow. I certainly can't plan on doing anything else at the same time.

    But, now the previous generation MB Pros are going for $1000 (used or refurb) on eBay and I am considering getting something like a 2.4 GHz / 2 - 4 GB with a 256 or 512 MB Nvidia 8600 graphics card.

    My question is: how much processing power do I need? If a find a good machine that has a 2.2 GHz processor and a 256 MB video processor will I be happy? Or should I spend a couple hundred more and get 2.4 GHz and 512 MB video?

    Bonus question 1) what is more important for video processing (home movies) overall RAM or graphics processing RAM?

    Bonus question 2) how concerned should I be about buying a used machine with the "known NVIDIA" problem"? I see a lot of machines on eBay that have had the motherboard replaced under AppleCare, which seems like a good deal.

    Bonus question 3) when a Mac refurb company like Mac of All Tades or Tech Restore sells a refurbished MB Pro do they replace the motherboard (esp if it is of the "known NVIDIA problem" generation"?

    Thanks for your input.
  2. FnuGk macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2009
    doing video editing even the 9400m would be more than you need.

    ram on the video card says nothing about the cards performance.
  3. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Bonus Q #3: They only replace it if it's broken. From your question, it sounds like you expect it to be replaced automatically?
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd avoid the 8600GPU based MBP. The reason why you see a lot of machines that had the motherboard replaced is because of a manufacturer defect with the GPU, that means any logic board replacement will still have the defective 8600 and that will fail at some point.

    I'd go with the current generation of MBPs, the 9400/9600GPU are much better and don't have the same problem that's inherent with the 8600
  5. pandabearjohnso thread starter macrumors member


    May 27, 2009
    OK, fair enough, dumb question. :eek:
  6. Jaro65 macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2009
    Seattle, WA
    I agree with that. It is much safer to go with a 9400/9600 GPU-based MBP. My 15" MBP with 8600 GPU has been really good to me and I would hate for it to go bad since I like the laptop design, but there have been too many issues with those GPUs.
  7. kdum8 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2006
    Tokyo, Japan
    Me too. My 8600 GT MBP had the logicboard replaced due to the NVidia chip problem. They all will fail so avoid the 8600 series like the plague....

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