Macbook or Macbook Pro for video editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gerbil, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. gerbil macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2008

    Switching to Mac, deciding between MB and MBP. I'm not a gamer, will use it mostly for web browsing, photo management, word processing, iTunes. I use Photoshop and InDesign on occasion and will be trying out video editing using Final Cut. I'd rather not spend the extra hundreds on the MBP plus I find it gets kind of warm on the wrists, but the ambient lit keyboard and the dedicated graphics card may make it worth it. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
  2. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I'd say the dedicated graphics and especially the increased screen real estate make the MBP much more appealing than the MB.
  3. Neil321 macrumors 68040


    Nov 6, 2007
    Britain, Avatar Created By Bartelby
    Just for the dedicated graphics id go with the MBP
  4. closeupman macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    I wouldn't, unless you're going to be heavily into Motion or Color.
    I have a classmate who runs FCP on his MB. Adobe's apps work fine on a MB. If you need more real estate you can always get an external monitor!

    Think of this: get the refurb MB or just updated MB now and IF you get into Motion or Color later, after you're familiar with FCP, then you can decide between the hopefully newly updated iMAC to add to your arsenal for home use and use your MB when you're on the road.

    However, if you have the money to burn, then by all means get the MBP! :D
  5. sfs macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    Officially, FCP isn't supported on MB (or anything else without a dedicated graphics card). I've seen it run on machines without them, but the experience isn't as good. The only thing FCP is using the graphics card for is realtime playback, meaning you can watch the edited video just as if you'd already exported it. That adds a lot to your ability to make better editing decisions more quickly. However, if you've got time to burn, you can always export the videos at somewhat low resolution and decide what further edits to make from the renders. It can get really frustrating, though. If you'll be doing a lot of editing, the MBP is worth it. If you're just going to do some home movies or some such, iMovie and MB will probably be fine.
  6. cheekybobcat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
    U-S of A
    unless your doing serious editing with FCP or some other professional software, i would go with the MB.
  7. closeupman macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    I disagree SFS. I think this whole need a MBP with DEDICATED graphics card is a whole FUD conspiracy plot by Apple to make more $$$(can't blame 'em).

    The OP stated they're using MAINLY Adobe Apps, which are fine on a MB. They also stated they wanted to TRY video editing. If you can save over $500 and still TRY it, wouldn't you? They can get their hands wet with the MB and FCP and then later get an Imac or MBP to do serious editing if need be.

    Creative Mac posted an article back in 2006(, showing how a MB pretty much performed pretty well (except on Compressor and Motion stuff). So unless they are doing heavy video editing I doubt they need to get a MBP at this moment. If they did I'd suggest an Imac not a MBP anyways for heavy duty editing.

    Creative Mac excerpt:
    I was doubly shocked to see such dramatic results from the newer and lower-end 2.0 GHz MacBook as well.Again, like the MacBook Pro, the 2.0 GHz 13-inch MacBook proves a thoroughly viable machine for users of Final Cut Studio.
  8. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Personally, if I had the choice I would pick a MBP - but from what you outlined in your first post, I would say you're okay with the MB.

    Is it Final Cut Pro or Express, you were interested in?

    BTW This kind of question does come up quite a bit, and there's some useful info to be found. A recent one was:

    This contains quite a few benchmarks worth a look.


    Video editing is a CPU-intensive process, not a GPU-intensive one, so a dedicated graphics processor doesn't really enter into it.
  9. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2005
    just to throw my two cents in. I edit HDV on my Macbook using Final Cut Studio 2 (except Motion and Color, of course, since the programs will not let you run them). My roommate has a Macbook Pro, and in every tasks including editing, encoding, and burning we see no noticeable speed differences whatsoever.

    You can always use the money you save to purchase a great monitor or external HD. Here is an example of a movie I just finished edited entirely in HD on my macbook:
  10. techound1 macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2006
    Or alternatively, compromise (between a new MB and new MBP) and buy a refurb macbook pro and stuff it full of after-market ram.
  11. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Aug 29, 2007
    You can do everything you want on the MB. However, graphics editing and video editing benefit from larger screens. For that reason, I'd suggest getting an external monitor with your MB or getting the MBP for the larger screen.
  12. change macrumors member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Who knows...
    I concur. You will be much happier with the Pro.
  13. gerbil thread starter macrumors member


    Apr 3, 2008
    Thanks for suggestions! Just to clarify, I'm curious about playing around with animation in Final Cut Pro, maybe Sims 2-type animations.
  14. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    Not quite sure what you mean by that - sounds like you need an animation package.
  15. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    FCS is a video editing software package, not animation creation.
  16. closeupman macrumors member


    Feb 15, 2008
    Actually, technically incorrect. If you get FCS, you get Motion, which is motion graphics software; with Motion, you can create animation.

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