Laptop okay for FCP editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Has78, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Has78 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2011
    I am about to buy a Mac and am confused weather I can get a MAC Pro and not have any issues with video editing. I am "Totally" new to Macs and would like to have something I can take on the road like a laptop.

    Here's what I will be doing with FCP:
    I will mostly be editing home movies and nothing professional.
    I will be using multiple formats such as 720P, 1080P, and some AVI formats mixed into one project.

    Here are my questions regarding the MAC Pro:
    1. Should I get a solid state drive as a secondary drive if that's possible. Will that help with editing.

    2. How much RAM should I get.

    3. Will there be a big difference in editing between a MAC Pro vs a IMAC

    4. Also will this graphics card be enough. I would not like any issues when viewing videos in my timeline and playback.

    Again I am new to Macs so bear with me and feel free to correct me on any mistakes I made in this post. Thanks Again

    I was looking at this laptop

    17-inch: 2.4 GHz
    2.4GHz quad-core
    Intel Core i7
    4GB 1333MHz
    750GB 5400-rpm1
    Intel HD Graphics 3000
    AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB GDDR5
    Built-in battery (7 hours)2
  2. fuxl macrumors member

    Dec 6, 2010
    Are you talking about the Mac Book Pro, or Mac Pro?
    Not sure, because the title says "Laptop"

    I'm using FCPX on my 2010 iMac with:
    3.2 GHz dual core i3
    12 GB RAM
    1GB Graphics
    and it works alright.

    I would suggest upgrading the RAM, and you should be good to go.
    But I'm by far not a pro either.
  3. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    Do you plan on moving around with your laptop? If yes, the 17" is too big - go 15". If no, get a 27" iMac for a bout the same price.
    Beef up the RAM. 4GB is a bit anemic, especially when working with 64-bit apps. When working with AVCHD, get the fastest processor possible. The GPUs in the latest iMacs and MBP are great.
    I use a 2010 MBP (8GB RAM) with FCP X. The only times I run into trouble is when I forget to switch back to the discrete GPU - can be done with Cody Krieger's gfxCardstatus.

    For simple home videos, a Mac Pro is overkill. They are nice machines, but for home use to expensive. A 27" iMac with a Pegasus Thunderbolt cluster is cheaper than a, speed wise, comparable Mac Pro.


    Oh, and go with a 7,200 RPM drive for video. 5400 is too slow... and don't edit from an internal drive.
  4. Has78 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2011
    What do you mean by not editing from internal drive?

    Silly question but wouldn't editing from an internal drive be faster. Should I get an external SSD or what do you recommend. Thanks
  5. puckhead193 macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
  6. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    Even though with FCP X the scratch disk came out of fashion, OS X, as *NIX system, still uses a swap partition on your internal drive for OS access. The internal should be exclusive for the OS, your video scratch should be external. Makes it a bit faster.
    I don't have any experience with SSD, but I have the feeling that SSD are too fast for FW800.
  7. alph45 macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2010
    the point of a scratch disk is that it doesn't have the OS on it. This allows it to be easily erased and reformatted which maintains the disk performance. FW800 is fast enough.

    ssd's are almost always used for the OS, the speeds they provide don't really impact video editing, So SSD's are nice (i have 1), but not necessary. i use a 500GB 2.5" scratch which is big enough for me atm as i usually buy a HD per project which eventually becomes a permanent backup.

    many people have replaced the optical drive in MBP's with a 2nd HD to use as a scratch disk (or whatever) eliminating the whole external issue.

    the new mbp's and imac's will have no speed issue's, a mac pro is overkill.

    8GB ram is fine. + it's only $50 or so to double your stock.

    there are exceptions using some higher end video equipment such as camera's that produce a 4k image, but i don't think this applies to you.
  8. Soura2112 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2008

    The idea of a SSD is awesome but they are still expensive and don't have as many GBs (obvious I know). I guess it all depends how much you will be editing plus everything else you may have on a Mac, such as movies, pics etc. So maybe a bit more info in how much free space for editing you will have or if this Mac is just for editing. For example I do small projects on my MacBook Pro and multible big projects on my Mac Pro.

    If you go with a MacBook Pro you will most likely want a mouse also or tablet, editing for hours on a MacBook hurts my hand, why I use a pro mouse, even the stock Apple mouses hurt my hand.

    Like everyone else has said more RAM the better, as for the Mac it's up to you, if you like to edit on the road or non desktop then a MacBook Pro is a great start. I have both, I just prefer editing at home on a desk. I spend hours there so I want to be comfortable, plus my MacBook Pro does not have many GBs left, time for a new hard drive again.
  9. lighthouse_man macrumors 6502a

    Mar 13, 2005
    I don't remember what happened the last time I tried importing an AVI file into FCP. I'm not sure if it accepted it, but if it did, it sure wasn't the smoothest project. You should consider transcoding.
  10. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    I actually enjoy editing on an MBP with the trackpad. Especially, when you got used to keyboard shortcuts, it is much faster as the trackpad is closer to your keyboard - less hand moving
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Trackpad > Mouse. Especially when your trimming video clips...I can't explain it. Maybe I just have shaky hands but I usually accidentally butcher things with a mouse more so than with a trackpad...thank God for edit, undo lol.
  12. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    Oh, with the hand moving I meant your hand has to move back and forth between keyboard and mouse.

    I grew up with OHOTMTOOTK (one hand on the mouse, the other on the keyboard). With the MBP's trackpad that works even better - you basically have both hands on keyboard and mouse the same time.
  13. julesw macrumors member


    May 22, 2010

    I edit only on a macbook pro (pro videomaker)
    I have it hooked to a 24in monitor.
    i got the 17inch, the 17 is much better if ever you have to edit
    without a monitor. Screen real estate makes a big difference.
    My macbook is old but still does what I need.

    2.9ghz 4gb ram
    FC express

    If you don't need portability ever then I'd go for an imac.
    Also i recommend storing the video on separate drives and just the
    projects on the mac (plus back ups on the drive)

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