Macbook Pro & Final Cut Studio

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by gpost86, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. gpost86 macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2009

    I'm looking to get the best macbook pro that can run Final Cut Studio - I just graduated from college so I'm looking for the best decision both in the power of the machine, and financially.

    After reading tons of forums and articles, the main thing I'm confused about is what machines can and can't run Color and DVD Studio Pro.
  2. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Final Cut Studio - including Motion and Color - are officially supported on all machines. This may or may not change if/when FCS 3.0 comes out - previous versions of FCS were not supported on the old Intel integrated graphics. But I would be very surprised if they did so.

    That aside, any machine with the 9600 graphics chip will run Color and Motion better than a machine with the integrated graphics. That essentially leaves you wish the mid-range or high-range 15" MBP, and the 17" MBP. I would ignore the high-end 15" model - if you're going to spend that much, you may as well spend a little more on the 17" and get a bigger screen and ExpressCard/34.

    There is a $500 difference between the mid-range 15" and 17" models. Personally, if spending that kind of money and looking for a dedicated editing rig, I would opt for the 17" because:
    1) Bigger display. You'll appreciate it in FCS.
    2) ExpressCard/34. Allows you to use FireWire 800 or eSATA external harddrives. The 15" has an SD card slot, which is not quite as valuable.
    3) Bigger HDD (although you could upgrade the 15" to match easily).
    4) Longer battery life (when using the integrated graphics).
    5) More VRAM. Not particularly important, but it is there.
    6) It's not that much bigger. To me, the 15" straddles an awkward line: nearly as big as the 17" Pro, but with way less screen real estate. If I wanted a big notebook, I would want the 17" over the 15" because it's not much bigger physically, but a much better machine.
  3. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    Good question and answer.

    I am also in the same boat.

    I want to get the 2.66 and the 2.8

    The main differences are
    1. L2 cache. 3mb v 6mb
    2. The 9600 graphics card. 256 v 512

    I want to run FCS. As I'm running motion 1 with FCP 4.5HD at the moment on my older 17inch powerbook and the pace is killing me.

    How big a difference will 1 and 2 make to using motion 3 and FCP 6?
    I'm also wondering if having the bigger 9600 will help with the next OS?

    Thanks. And I hope the OP doesn't mind me posing these questions. I think they are helpful.
  4. TXBDan macrumors regular

    Oct 19, 2008
    Boston, MA
    I run FCE on my early '08 MBP, 2.4GHz, 4gigs of RAM. Runs great.

    You'll probably run into more of a bottleneck with HD access so be sure to get a fast scratch disk. Of coure more CPU always means faster encodes, but the difference in these generations isn't too great.
  5. gpost86 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2009
    They all come with the firewire 800 connection though right?

    I graduated from film school, and I'm looking to get into freelance film and edit, but I don't really have a ton of money at the moment. So I'm going to guess that the 15" 2.66 GHz will suit me till I can get a massive editing suite?
  6. smoking monkey macrumors 65816

    smoking monkey

    Mar 5, 2008
    You Only Live Twice
    As I wrote above. there are two differences between the 2.66 and the 2.8. (apart from the HD but that can be changed and shouldn't really be used for editing unless on the go)

    The big question is: how much will the Smaller L2 cache and smaller rammed video card affect render times, real time effects in Final cut pro, motion, DVDSP and colour.

    If you constantly need to render an edit to check it then it becomes extremely tireseome...I know! The more expansive you can make real time editing the better in my books and if that costs only an extra 150bucks then its worth it. BUT if the L2 cache and the better video card do bugger all then the 2.66 is good.
    I have searched forums as well but nobody seems to answer this query directly.

    Thanks to gpost for this thread.
  7. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    The VRAM on the graphics card will not make any difference. The cache will likely not make much noticeable difference, either. I'd go with the mid-range machine - I think the high-end 15" is a bit of a ripoff when the 17" model, with the same specs, is only $200 more and gives you so much more.

    Yes. The benefit of adding another one is being able to capture straight to an external HDD or, better still, an external RAID setup. If you're capturing in High Def, you might find the internal HDD isn't fast enough, hence why people go to RAIDs.

    But the 15" will do everything else you need it to, yes. :)
  8. lyl macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2009
    whatever model with a display card
    what you need is an external monitor and a fw800/eSata HDD as a scratch disk
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    Your Answer

    You don't need to read for hours. You should just go HERE and see you'd have to get the 17" to properly run the whole studio -- especially Color. DVD Studio Pro should run on anything. It's a much older program but should get an overhaul in the next release

    Long and short is Final Cut Pro itself should be fine on integrated chips like the Nvidia 9400M, however Motion and Color have much more stringent requirements (see below) and require discreet graphics. Compressor (and general renderings within Final Cut) are highly dependent on processor speed. The more powerful the computer (CPU and graphics card with memory) will allow for more real time effects and multiple streams. Firewire 800 is a must and best to run Raid Stripes with them.

    So really decide what type of work you will honestly be doing. Is it high def, are you compressing hour long shows? Will you really use Color (it's extremely complex and you can do A LOT within Final Cut Pro) Motion? Will you do a lot of effects and color correction?

    When FCS3 comes out, it will likely have higher requirements -- but again, only the higher end apps will need the dedicated graphics cards. Apple seems to be prepared to optimize the 9400M for a lot of their graphics work. I can't imagine the Macbook 'Pro' machines with the 9400 chips won't work with the new version. We'll see.

    From Apple:

    Motion-Specific Requirements

    * A standard or built-to-order system configuration with a NVIDIA GeForce 5200, 6600, 6800, 7300, 7800, 8600, 8800 or Quadro class graphic card.
    * A standard or built-to-order system configuration with a ATI Radeon 9600, 9700, 9800, X800, X1600, X1900, or X2600 class graphic card.
    * For 16- and 32-bit rendering: a graphics card with at least 128MB of VRAM.

    Color-Specific Requirements

    * The standard graphics card in any Mac Pro, 17-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, or 2.5GHZ or faster Power Mac G5 Quad.
    * For 32-bit rendering: a graphics card with at least 256MB of VRAM.

  10. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502


    Jul 31, 2008
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    There is a FireWire RAID 5 solution from Stardom. Comes with quad interface with build in RAID 5. Too bad that the 13" and 15" new MacBook Pro does not come with express 34 card.

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