Is the MacBook Pro suitable for video editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Minxy, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Minxy macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    Later this year I will need to make a full length film with soundtrack and possibly some effects. I'm strictly an amateur but will be probably using Final Cut X or perhaps Adobe Premiere and am considering my options for what hardware to use. If the price isn't too high possibly a new Mac Pro with external HDDs but am wondering about the 2013 MacBook Pro 15".

    Does a MacBook Pro 16GB really have the horsepower to edit a whole 1080p film fluidly without the beach ball icon and the frustrating waits for it to complete tasks?

    When you are using it for the most intensive editing tasks is there a risk of it overheating? I have a Mac Air which the fans come on which concerns me.

    Can it be the sole computer used for editing?
  2. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    You can do it, but there's a reason why editors use desktops and workstations.
  3. Minxy thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 17, 2012
    What specifically is the reason?

    Is just all the ads on the website for Final Cut X have the retina MacBook Pro in them so it makes you think the machine is more than capable.
  4. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
  5. acearchie macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2006
    You haven't said what you are shooting on and the format you will be recording...

    Current laptops can handle video editing. I edit a lot of stuff and even my 2011 Macbook Pro can just about keep a hold of it.

    The only instance where I have had to move to a Mac Pro was when I edited a short on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.
  6. Fallencircus macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2007
    It is absolutely more than capable, especially if you are just doing 1080P. I do that and some 2.5k and 4k, with those you arent getting realtime, but there are absolutely no problems running multiple streams of 1080P. Hope that helps.
  7. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    I have a MacBookPro with only 8gigs. This past week I edited a corporate video - lots of green screen/transitions/motion stuff. The computer handled fine (and I also happen to have VMFusion running an instance of Windows 7 as well during most of it).

    You should be more than fine.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Speed, upgradability and expandability.

    It's just marketing.

    A modern laptop can edit fine but it won't be as good as using a tower. Whether or that's a difference that makes a difference for your needs is only something you can answer.

    Why not an iMac? I'd rather use an iMac than laptop. Even if you go the laptop route you should still invest in at least one 24" monitor, a full sized keyboard and a mouse/trackball/wacom tablet. Being hunched over looking at a tiny laptop screen, using a tiny laptop keyboard (which means you lose valuable keyboard short cuts) and using a trackpad which is not ideal for small, precise movements is not enjoyable for long periods of time at all.
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    You can edit full-res 4K RED video footage on a 2012 MacBook Air, so a MBP should be just fine.


    Abso-posi-lutely. Do some rough cuts on a small screen, but you need something BIG to watch in order to finalise things.
  10. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    The specs you see in my signature line edit video day in and day out for a few shows I work on. Also we are cutting a reality show pilot on it -all using FCPX. It eats through any and all video I put through it. Plus after leaving the slow and out dated 32bit FCP 7 for the faster 64bit application of FCPX, editing has got alot faster.

    Go for it, get a MBP, it will serve your needs. However when the new MacPro desktop comes out that will certainly be a powerhouse that would blow away the MBP.
  11. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    THw 15" MBP would work but you'd need to buy a larger monitor. I'd go nuts with a 15" screen. Get a 27" or even 30" monitor

    You will also need a large and fast disk array to hold the media files

    And then a few more disks to hold multiple backups of your work.
  12. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011

    Yes, ChrisA is correct.... perhaps I could have also went into all the peripherals connected to this which include a large monitor connected via Thunderbolt. All footage is housed and edited from a LaCie Thunderbolt 2Big in a RAID configuration. This combination has served us well and will make editing a pleasure.
  13. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    If you don't mind me asking, how do you manage using both an external display AND thunderbolt hard drive with only a single Thunderbolt port on the computer? I'm currently running a similar setup, with the MBP in clamshell mode, wondering how I can add any more Thunderbolt peripherals (like a Matrox MXO2 mini) without spending a small fortune on an extra Thunderbolt dock or something.
  14. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Daisy chain them....

    All the details of the pass through are here:
  15. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    Thanks. So does daisy-chaining work in clam shell mode?

    Unfortunately, the Matrox box is end-unit only, meaning it only has one TB port and has to come at the end of the chain.

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