Is a MBP comparable to a Mac Pro? Or is the MBP no competition

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by natteaap, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. natteaap macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008

    Does anyone have some first hand experiences with this?

    I have a MacPro, 2,0 Ghz, 5Gb Ram Dualcore (that means 4 processors I guess). So it is not the new version with quadcore and 2.8 Ghz, it is the lowest version.

    I use Final Cut Pro and Logic pro a lot, but I'm allways stuck in my workroom. A lot of these things I can do outside this room. Editing in the livingroom, premixes with headphones next to my girlfriend, making beats, audition synths on a midipatch when I'm sitting in the garden on a nice day, writing stuff in the park, internet, designing, presentations, and so on, but I'm stuck in my workroom ;o)

    So the question is, do i buy a Macbook to go together with my MacPro and compromise on my speed and power to do editing and premixes (and sometimes working with big MB tiffs and photo's)


    is a MacbookPro as powerfull as the Macpro that I have now? Because then I would only need 1 computer and can use it where I want and i can sell my MacPro while it still has "some" salesvalue. I have FCP and Logic open at the same time and often add some designprogram, motion, shake, ... So I really need it to be as capable as my MacPro

    I don't want to compromise on my final editing or final mixes, or when I'm designing, so I need it to be as fast and reliable as my current Mac pro and if a MBP isn't up to that task, then I rather stick with my MacPro, but if it's comparable in speed and multitasking, then I would choose the mobile option.

    I have a bigger screen to hook any MBP to, I also will buy the extra RAM for it (up to 6GB if possible)

    Thanx for the sharing of your experiences.

  2. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Personally I always get more done on the desktops as opposed to portables..
    There is always a bit of time lost to trackpading & the smaller screen is a PITA.
    I would use both if you can afford it. If only 1 will do, MacPro all the way.
  3. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    For what you are describing, the current macbook pro should give you satisfactory performance.

    On some tasks it will actually be faster then the Mac Pro (higher clockspeed) and on others slower (faster hard drive and more cores in the Mac Pro)

    Do you ever run into any performance issues with the current mac pro where it isn't fast enough? If the answer is no, the Macbook Pro would do just fine.

    Actually, if you aren't doing anything with the video card in the Mac Pro (audio stuff isn't) then a standard Macbook would probably be more than fast enough, but the small screen and low resolution would hurt.

    /edit: I didn't see FINAL CUT pro. I only saw Logic Pro... Again, the macbook pro will be decent depending on how deep your final cut use is. The Macbook will probably not cut it for you
  4. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008

    For my deeper edits and my deeper mixes I must go back in to the studio for the outboard gear. So that bigger screen is a fact in there.
    Funny, I was hoping to get more done on a portable. That sitting with my girlfriend as she is working inspires me to get some extra work done that I keep on delaying ;o)
  5. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Hi, thanx for your insight.

    I do run in to the spinning beach ball of death, followed by the wristwatch of doom from time to time ;o) Mostly on Logic Pro, that's really bad on using the cores compared to FCP (okay, I don't want to start a new discussion here)

    What i do like very much on a mac (I'm a PC switcher) is that I can open up different programs and work on a few things at the same time. Adapting things in one program as other projects in other programs change.

    And i'm not willing to sacrifice this just to be capable to do some preliminary work outside the studio. I still have to go in to the studio to connect to my outboard gear. (Firewire audio convertor, mixing desk, monitor speakers, piano, guitars, etc ...)

    So if a MBP could replace the the MP on performance, then I would choose that option and go for the MBP as my only worktool. If not, then I'd buy a MB to accompany the MP ad have two workbenches that I sync on a regular basis.

    Thanx for you advices. Keep 'm coming, the more, hopfully the better :)

  6. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
    :D nice pun.

    How deep is my editing? Well, amateur level. The biggest projects I take are commercial tutorial video's. So I transfer the Betacam files onto DVD's or a portable hard drive, load them offline in FCP, do the editing (mostly up to 1 hour length), write the music, make some stuff in Motion, use Shake now and then (but not for bluescreen compositing), do the voice overs and render it out. Make a DVD project in DVD studio Pro.

    These tutorials are meant to be commercial, so they need to look good.

    I do a shortfilm now and then, but absolutely no full movies.

    At this moment, my MacPro performes well within my frustration levels. Rendering is very fast and smooth. The waiting happens mostly on Logic pro (waiting to start it up takes forever, a lot of breakdowns, bouncing is really slow) ad in DVD Pro to render burn a DVD project. i could use some speed there, but I can live with it.

    I'm well aware that a Macbook is not up to the task (I'd only use it to accompany my MP and to be on the move when I need to), but is a MacbookPro a good alternative, to be used as my only workbench, for my MacPro? That is the big question.

  7. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    Your Mac Pro is way better than current MBP in multitasking/rendering/hard drive aspects - due to having 2 more CPU cores, more RAM (MBP is limited to 4 GB) and a 7200 RPM drive.

    I suggest you keep your Mac Pro and wait till quad core MBPs come out.
  8. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    is it the 2.0Ghz Single CPU model or the dual-cpu model?

    if its the single-cpu you may find comparability to the MBP as long as you upped the memory to 4gb.

    however the dual-cpu machine is more efficient and beneficial for what you're doing.

    but in another aspect, the MBP can definitely handle these tasks, maybe not as efficiently as the MacPro may be able to do, but it is doable.

    ive ran a 2.2Ghz Mid-2007 MBP w/ 2gb of memory and 256mb vram 8600GT using Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator open at once as well as using PT LE 7, MediaCOmposer and LogicPro open at the same time doing audio/.video mixes and edits. so with the models out now its capable, but compared to the MacPro i use (2.66Ghz Quadcore 6gb memory) its beyond anything else in speed and efficiency.

    I like them both and have been quite accustom to portability and being able to set up show almost anywhere and get work done.
    andyou can always hook up a high res display too.
  9. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    What single-CPU model are you talking about? :confused:
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    A 2.4GHz Macbook Pro will be around 20-30% faster for processing on single threaded tasks, maybe around the same on those that just utilize two cores.

    Normally I'd suggest one system over another and feel confident I was giving the right advice, but it's too close to call for me. It's just too hard to know if your workflow actually would benefit from moving to a Macbook Pro as far as hardware speed is concerned.

    You can of course make your Mac Pro faster, even without doing anything to the processors. A faster hard drive setup, ATI 3870 for shake and motion (assuming you have a 7300GT), more memory if you can utilize it.

    I think maybe you should base your decision on the mobility aspect over anything else.
  11. Sonicjay macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2008
    I have both for the same reason (FCP), and the desktop definately beats the laptop in overall performance/horsepower. I had a Macbook, and was thinking that if I switched to a MBP, I might be able to let my macpro go; but now that I switched from the MB to the MBP, that's not really the case. The desktop is definitely beefier.
  12. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    Your machine is dual dual (so quad). Apple never made a single dual Mac Pro.
  13. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
  14. Denarius macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2008
    Gironde, France
    I run Final Cut Studio 2 on my MBP and it seems fine. You probably already know though that it'd be best to use an external FW800 drive or an eSATA drive, preferably raid 0 or raid 0+1 if you're feeling really flush, for a scratch disk because you'll struggle on the internal 5400rpm jobs that come as standard, unless you just use it for offline RT and sync with your Mac Pro.

    Max RAM in an MBP is 4GB, but that's the recommended amount for FCS2 for HD video editing so that should do you.
  15. lopchopstop macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2006
    If you are thinking of using a MacBook Pro for audio you should be awear that you will need a usb/firewire soundcard at all times. The MacBook Pro has a problem with hiss from its headphone jack. This is just a quick search I did for a thread about it but search for MacBook Pro audio hiss and you will find plenty of info.

    Some people report that good quality headphones eliminate the problem but in my experience they do not.

    Not directly relevant to the question but something to consider maybe!
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I don't believe there is a 2.0 GHz Mac Pro. Are you sure you don't have a Power Mac G5?

    Anyways the MBP is not comparable to the Mac Pro because your comparing a laptop to a workstation. And if you do have a Power Mac, I think it's safe to say a MBP may be competitive with the Power Mac.
  17. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    I don't have a hiss?
  18. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Do you have any fan control software?
  19. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    This is irrelevant. We're talking about the previous generation Mac Pro, not current. And the current single-CPU still has 4 cores.

    Why don't you believe it? The first generation Mac Pro had the following configs:

    2.0 GHz Quad
    2.66 GHz Quad
    3.0 GHz Quad
    3.0 GHz Octo (introduced in mid product cycle).

    The OP has the 2.0 GHz model. There was never a dual core Mac Pro.
  20. kabunaru Guest

    Jan 28, 2008
    In one sentence: The Mac Pro will blow the MacBook Pro out of the water.
  21. theLimit macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2007
    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    A MacBook Pro is equivalent to an iMac, while a MacBook is equivalent to a Mac mini. That said, my MBP does just fine for working in Logic. I do get the occassional beachball, but it is still leaps-and-bounds better than the PowerBook it replaced. I don't know about Final Cut, but a notebook will never be as capable as a dektop.
  22. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    MacBook is a cross between Mac mini and iMac.
  23. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Thanx everyone for the good advice,

    It seems that almost everyone has agreed. Keep the MacPro although it is "only" a 2.0 Ghz.

    'Course we don't know what kind of speed the new MBP's will have, but I don't expect it to be a drastic increase in speed and RAM capability's

    That would be nice if I'm making that much money, so that I can buy both, and have an upgrade to a newer MP at the same time, alas :D

    So at this moment, I will wait for the new MBP en MB but I don't expect it to beat the MP. Rumors suggest they will come on the 14th of October, so it's worth the wait.

    But at this moment, I think I will keep my MP, wait for the new arrivals and get a simple MB or the 15" MBP to do some writing, photoshopping and beatmaking (reason will run on this one I guess).

    Thanx everyone.

  24. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008

    thanx for your reply, but I hope this proves it? (It's Dutch, but you get the hang of it ;o)


    Modelnaam: Mac Pro
    Modelaanduiding: MacPro1,1
    Processornaam: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
    Processorsnelheid: 2 GHz
    Aantal processors: 2
    Totaal aantal cores: 4
    L2-cache (per processor): 4 MB
    Geheugen: 5 GB
    Bussnelheid: 1.33 GHz
  25. natteaap thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 2, 2008
    relevant enough. I wasn't aware of that. But I will do my final mixing with my outboard MOTU soundcard (firewire) and without headphones. You can't be doing a final mix with headphones, that's close to blasphemy ;o) Pre-mixing though (volumelevels, first EQ, FX, auditioning bad tracks and mistakes) is no problem, but not if there is a hiss to it. That would drive me up the walls. So I really have to check that out in the store.

    Thanx for your input.

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