Macbook Pro mid-2012 for video editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by okotavio, Jan 21, 2016.

  1. okotavio, Jan 21, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016

    okotavio macrumors newbie


    Jan 21, 2016
    Right now I'm doing some freelance jobs editing videos for a friend's video company using my 2014 HP laptop (Haswell i5-4200U 1.60GHz, HD4400, 4gb ram - full specs here) and it's not been a good experience. The playback while editing has been really bad - even though I can handle some laggy days and don't care about the final exporting time (I'm at Windows 10 using Premiere CC 2015 (plus Lumetri for coloring), exporting at 1080p, working with 1080p footage sometimes with some 2k from a DJI Phantom - the playback for the 2k footage is ridiculous)

    They are willing to finance me a Macbook Pro and found one they could afford: a MacBook Pro 13" mid-2012 - Ivy Bridge i7-3520M 2.90GHz, 8gb ram (these specs I guess - priced around 910 USD [3800 BRL] while a newer one is around 1500-2000 USD [6000-8000 BRL] - my HP costed around 400 USD [1700 BRL]). Here's a CPU benchmark comparing my current machine and the mid-2012.

    Would the mid-2012 i7 handle video editing from what I said above? Would there be such a difference from my current HP laptop? If not this one, which Macbook Pro would you suggest for something around what I'm looking for in terms of cost-benefit ratio? (I'm really not looking for an iMac performance but I want something at least better than now)

    Oh and unfortunately I need the mobility of a laptop...
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    Your current laptop is constrained for video editing by lack of memory and CPU power, and slow disk. While improving any of these things will help, consider that all three can help your overall workflow, though at different points. The MBP you've identified should work much better. Note that it's dual-core, and quad core would be better. The hard drive is slow, but there are good ports on this model (FW, USB3, TB) and you'll probably be using external drives anyway.
  3. ForkHandles macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2012
    I guess part of the issue is the length of your final film. I have made many 5-10 minute short stories from 3-4 hours of stock on a 2010 MacBook Air using iMovie with some great results.
    I haven't tried running premiere or fcpx on this machine but suspect it would still do well.
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    the MBP 13 would likely be a significant improvement, whether sufficient for your needs I don't know. H264 video editing is mostly CPU and GPU bound, plus 4GB is not much RAM. The i7-3520M 2.90GHz with 8gb ram would help.

    Premiere is especially CPU intensive and the playback engine is far less optimized than FCPX. However if you are familiar with Premiere it's best to stay with that because the learning curve to change is high.

    If you have not already set the Premiere program monitor to 1/4 resolution, that is an easy step. 2k DJI footage is very compressed and can be a bit sluggish even on a top-end iMac. One solution is transcode everything to a lower-compression format, but that eats a lot of disk space.

    Make sure your Premiere settings are using GPU assist on the Mercury playback engine. If not that will help a lot.

    While this is an Apple forum there is nothing special about a Mac or OS X that helps Premiere. What you need is considerably more CPU and GPU horsepower, at the cheapest available price. The MPB 13 you mentioned would be an improvement but if you can find an even more powerful Windows laptop at the same price, you might consider that.
  5. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

    Nov 5, 2015
    I use Premiere quite a bit, but not for anything professional. I have used the application on a number of systems. I would say that a quad core processor 2.8GHz-3.0GHz MINIMUM is a #1 must. 8GB RAM is the minimum I would consider today. A spinning drive will likely be too slow on encoding. Fusion at least. For professional work, I think you should really have an SSD. That puts you into high price range for an Apple product. Consider a Windows machine. You could buy a decent machine that fits the above, but with a 5400rpm drive. Replace the drive with an SSD and you will likely still come in below what a MBP would cost.
  6. Unami macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2010
    have you tried editing offline using proxy files? you're going to need that sooner or later, if you keep editing on a laptop.

    e.g. in premiere:

    the harddrive won't slow down your encoding, because the bottleneck there should still be the cpu/gpu, but it will slow down your read-speeds, so if you're planning on cutting multiclip files, or playback more than one video track at the same time (e.g. split screen), you should consider getting something like an external thunderbolt raid. especially with premiere, it's a good idea to separate the application, cache and media locations. again, try proxy files if you run into troubles. they can reduce workload on your cpu, ram- and hd-bandwith-requirements. i can still edit video nicely on my 2009 13" mbp using fcpx and proxies (prores proxy codec).
  7. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    I think you need at least quad core and 16GB RAM for video editing. Discrete GPU a bonus.

    I'd be looking at the 15" cMBP from 2012.

    Can remove optical for dual SSDs. Pretty solid setup. Not too expensive.
  8. ajforbes20 macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2011
    I have the MBP from quadcore form 2013 and it's a pretty solid machine for after effects and PR

Share This Page