Is Macbook white good enough for DV editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by carl170, May 20, 2009.

  1. carl170 macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2009
    Hello everyone!

    I have ended up with a borrowed macbook white, which I was removing data for my local boat club (2Ghz,512Mb RAM,60Gig Drive) and of course been trying it out, as I have had little experience with Apple stuff. This is the first Macbook I have actually seen in the UK! I have been using it for basic video editing (from a Sony D8 camera using firewire), DVD creation and a little bit of Garageband.

    I am totally sold on the ease of use and reliablility with the Mac!. I hated video editing on Windows as it seems such a hasssle making sure latest drivers were compatible, random crashes using Premiere and Cubase etc.

    So, I am thinking of buying my own macbook white (the new 2Ghz one wth the 9400 graphics) and upgrading the memory to 4GB of Ram and a bigger hard drive.

    Are there likely to be any problems using imove or final cut express? Is there a better alternative - I will be using the firewire with the D8. I looked at a few of the more expensive Macbooks, but they don't all seem to have a firewire port (and the more expensive Mac Air seems to have a lower power processor!)

    Also has anyone had any problems with the number of tracks in Garageband?.

    Thanks to anyone who can offer any advice. Like most users who have come from windows (15 years use!), I am blown away by the Mac, but finding all the options a bit daunting!


  2. arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    First of, you pay for portability with the macbook air. Not power. (that's why it's more expensive, but less power).

    My brother has an older white macbook now in the stores. With only 1Gb ram. He has Final Cut Pro 6 running on it. I was able to edit on it just like on my iMac. Only rendering at the end took longer.

    So I think the white macbook will be definitely able to edit DV. (especially with 4 Gb, although Final Cut Epress and FCP will only use a max of something like 3.2 GB. The more RAM will actually be more usefull to run several programs at the same time, then faster rendering, but I upgraded to 4GB RAM too, so no need to not do it).

    Now the thing when you do want to buy the unibody macbook. If you're going to buy a new camcorder it's likely it will record in HD. This will need more CPU power. That will be the advantage of the Unibody. And because most of these camera's record on flash cards or harddisks, you only need USB to transfer the files. (and not to log the footage for 1 hour). That's why macbook's lack the firewire connection.

    So think of it, will you stay with this camera for awhile, and you need firewire, and you go edit in DV. Or will you buy a new camera in the near future and will you need the power to edit HD.

    It's up to you.

    p.s. I don't know about garageband and multiple tracks.
  3. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    Should be no problem. I have the core duo 1.8 and do occasional video editing up to standard definition and there's no problem. I do lots of music on Garageband and again its not a problem, unless there are around 16 or more software instruments or real tracks with lots of effects. It will refuse to play occasionally, giving the message "some of the tracks were not played". This can be overcome by locking some of the tracks to make it easier on the processor.
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    People were making a living editing DV 10 years ago w/off-the-shelf computers so I think you'll be good w/the Macbook white. ;)

  5. thomahawk macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2008
    Osaka, Japan
    i have a white macbook and i edit my vids on DV all the time. DV is an easier format to read off on FCE and i run that program really well with 1GB or RAM. you'll have an easy time on your macbook. get more RAM and just make sure you have a lot of disk space for your scratch disk
  6. followme macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2009
    I used to edit DV on a white MacBook, and it was quite a good experience.

    My recommends:

    1) Get yourself a nice Firewire external drive to backup video data to.

    2) Use an external monitor if you have one.

    3) MAX OUT YOUR RAM. Seriously, do it. Put in the max that your machine can use.

    4) You want lots of HDD space, so replace your drive if it's anything less than 320GB. You definitely want a 7200RPM drive if possible.
  7. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    You can edit DV on a G3 if it really came down to it because it's not a very CPU intensive codec.

    So, just about any recent Mac with FireWire would certainly do.
  8. Shogo macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2008
    But if you get a new macbook or a macbook white, how do you get around them not having a firewire port. I love my first generation macbook (black) maxed out but I'm seeing so far the only solution for an upgrade is a macbook pro.
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  10. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Huh? The plastic and unibody MacBooks have the exact same processor. And the 0.4GHz boost going to the 2.4GHz MacBook is not worth $600 on it's own over the price of the white one.
  11. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2008
    I think you'll be just fine. I use Final Cut Express on my White MacBook (Mid 2007) and it works just fine. You might be a little limited with a 60GB hard drive, though. You might want to upgrade that or get a big external. Video editing requires more hard drive space than anything else.

    My computer has .16 more Ghz power than yours, but I don't think that is even noticeable. Not at all.

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