Macbook or Macbook Pro for Video Editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by LillieDesigns, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

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    Oct 18, 2005
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    #1
    It may seem like a 'no brainer' but I am heading to film school in August and am trying to figure out which laptop to buy. Power is obviously nice for video editing, but the school runs Avid so the editing I'd be doing on my laptop would be more for personal use than anything else.

    Between the two machines I notice I get a 2.4Ghz processor, 2GB ram, etc. etc.

    The only things I can see different between the Macbook and Macbook Pro is 2 inches of screen (which just makes the computer bigger), the nicer video card and multi-touch which I see myself not using very often.

    What do I really gain with the huge price jump? Is the MBP that much more powerful when it comes to editing?

    Thanks.
     
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    The MacBook Pro is a lot better when it comes to video editing. With the separate video card you will be able to run Final Cut Studio which will give you more flexibility when editing and exporting your videos. I believe your front side bus is faster and you can add a little more RAM to the MacBook Pro as well. These will give you faster throughput to the processor and more RAM with video editing is always a good thing since it tends to be a memory intensive task.

    If you only intend to create basic home videos with your laptop then a MacBook will do you well but if you want to any professional style editing with Final Cut Studio then the MacBook Pro is a must.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A102 Safari/419.3)

    I forgot to mention that with the 2.5 GHz processor in the MacBook Pro you get a 6mb level 2 cache as opposed to 3mb with the MacBook and low end MacBook Pro. You should see speed improvements on this as well.

    The other thing that may or may not matter to you is that you can get a Matte screen with the MacBook Pro which will give you more accurate colors than the glossy screen.

    Sorry for two separate posts just wanted to share what I know to hopefully help out.
     
  4. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #4
    The other main difference is that you've got a PCI ExpressCard slot, which you can use to link up a SATA RAID scratch disk, or to add a capture card. But this is probably higher-end than you'll go any time soon if you're using your school's Avids as your main system.
     
  5. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

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  6. professornegi macrumors newbie

    professornegi

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    Jun 3, 2008
    #6
    I would get the MBP. I have a MB myself and though it works for video editing its just not on par with the MBP. A macbook uses integrated graphics (lame) while the MBP will have an actual video card (always preferable) not to mention a slew of other nifty features. However, remember its probably best to wait for the new updates later this year if you plan on getting the MB. But yeah... MBP is the way to go. Besides, just because they are using Avid doesn't mean you won't be editing a lot on your laptop. You could partition your drive and use boot camp. Then grab yourself a copy of XP. But thats just an idea.
     
  7. liketom macrumors 601

    liketom

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    #7
    being a user of the macbook for a very long time and swearing blind it can run almost everything a MBP can run almost as quick

    i'd say get a MBP - it just feels better
     
  8. scottharwell macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2008
    #8
    It totally depends on the type of video. If you are editing standard def, then normally a MacBook will satisfy your needs; given that you max out the RAM. For HD, you most certainly will need at least a MBP. I just had to buy a Mac Pro to suppliment a MBP as frames dropped so regularly on a core duo with 2GB RAM. Also, you will want to buy a speedy external disk to store all that stuff as the little laptop HD will run out of space quickly.
     
  9. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #9
    Both will do the job .. :)
    But if finances allow, the Macbook Pro would certainly be my choice... :cool:
     
  10. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #10
    That's a good thing. You want a bigger screen, and more pixels, too, for video editing. The 17" high-resolution matte display is a very nice option on the MacBook Pro. You also have more flexibility in connecting external monitors as a second display to the MacBook Pro.

    - Martin
     
  11. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    #11
    MBP. The firewire 800 port will do you numbers. Which film school are you going to? I'm at Drexel...
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12
    If you have the budget go w/the MBP. Taking a slightly bigger hit in the wallet now is better than wishing you had a MBP instead of a MB 6-12 months from now.

    Avid Media Composer software is only $295 w/a student discount. I don't know what version of Avid your school is running, but there's no reason you can't run Avid MC on your laptop.

    Not really a big deal as a computer screen isn't accurate for video anyway.

    Avid is cross platform. I don't know if they still do this, but Avid used to include the Windows and Mac installers on the same disc.

    You shouldn't have problems w/dropped frames on a MPB unless something in the mix is malfunctioning.


    Lethal
     
  13. Switz213 macrumors 6502

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    May 26, 2008
    #13
    If possible get a mac pro, but if portability is necessary, get a MBP. My brother goes to film school at NYU... He has a MBP and a Mac Pro. Final Cut Pro is pretty tough on the MBP at all, but it still works. You would lose so much time loading on a Macbook, it just wouldn't be worth it imo.
     
  14. trudd macrumors regular

    trudd

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    #14
    Which film school are you going to? Best of luck, friend.

    I have a year-old 2.4ghz MBP with 4gb of RAM. It does just fine for HDV and SD footage. Once I take things to ProRes, I see a bit of hit in performance and especially render time, but it surely gets the job done.

    If you plan on using FCS 2, then you'll need the MBPs video card for Motion and Color. Otherwise the MB is fine.

    Don't buy the 17" MBP - whatever you do, grab an external monitor. It'll be impossible to get accurate colors on either monitor, but screen real estate is never a bad thing. Just learn your scopes and waveforms :)

    What are you emphasizing with your studies?
     
  15. mithrilfox macrumors regular

    mithrilfox

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    #15
    If you are at all serious about video editing, you cannot settle with the MacBook. A number of reasons:

    1) No [real] graphics card, so Motion would be horribly slow, many effects from plugins like Magic Bullet just won't run at all, and Color will refuse to load.

    2) No expansion slot.

    3) and ... well, it's just not the right choice.

    Attempting to edit HDV on a MacBook was nearly impossible, and 3 minute videos were very cumbersome with hugely long render/output times.

    You really need to get at least a higher end iMac, or a MacBook Pro.
     
  16. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

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    #16
    I'm going to the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange, California. It's been climbing the rankings and there is a ton of money being pumped into it from various sources including Knott's (the berry people).

    It's clear across the country from me, but I want to be as close to the industry as possible and USC rejected me, so..here I am.

    I'd love to be able to have a desktop, but it's just not possible with being at school. Plus the school has a bunch of 24 hour editing labs if I really need the power, I just hear it's a pain in the ass to be in those tiny rooms when you can be editing in your dorm.

    I'm definitely going with the MBP, but now I need to know if that .1GHz and 256mb memory on the video card is worth $600.
     
  17. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

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    #17
    I live in south Jersey and a ton of kids go to Drexel from my high school every year. I know it has a great engineering program, I wasn't even aware it had a film school - how is it? Better than Temple's?
     
  18. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    #18
    It's a great program. I don't know many people who went through Temple's, but we can sign camera's (pd170 freshman, DVX100 sophomores, JVC GY-HD100 uppperclassman), fostex flash recorders, lights, tripods, and whatever out when you want. Its VERY VERY hands on and much work is done by you in the field. I love it, my girlfriend goes to NYU, and to be honest, this program gives you the most fieldwork. Sorry for being off topic, but its great.
     
  19. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

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    Dec 17, 2003
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    Los Angeles, CA
    #19
    You've already decided, but yeah MBP for sure, as Color and Motion don't run well on a MB (MB doesn't actually meet the minimum specs for Final Cut Studio 2, but you can install and run all the apps, some just very slowly.) Otherwise the MB is not that far off in general performance to a MBP and could be used as a budget video editing machine. I do believe the entire FCP interface does not fit on a MB screen, so ideally you would be using a separate monitor.

    I'm not sure how much effect the extra VRAM has.
     
  20. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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    #20
    no way.
     
  21. mithrilfox macrumors regular

    mithrilfox

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  22. LillieDesigns thread starter macrumors 6502

    LillieDesigns

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    #22
    So if I go for the base model MBP and up my hard drive to 250Gb I should be good to go for awhile?
     
  23. surferfromuk macrumors 65816

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    #23
    Instead of upping the HD internally an external FW800 drive may be worth considering...
     
  24. AviationFan macrumors 6502a

    AviationFan

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    #24
    Right, and that's good advise for either the MacBook or the MacBook Pro. A second hard drive for media files (capture and render files, what Final Cut calls "scratch disc") is almost a must.

    - Martin
     
  25. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #25
    I second that. The primary boot/applications drive is of relatively little important performance-wise and should be kept separate from your scratch disk(s) anyway.

    If you need the additional capacity for your primary hard drive (i.e. you need to install enough applications to warrant it), it's not a bad idea to upgrade it. But again, you should ALWAYS use an external FW800 or eSATA drive for your media.
     

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