MB 2007 vs. New MBP 15/17: stick or twist?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by telefunkal, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. telefunkal macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    Hello all. Apologies for the slightly long post.


    I bought a Full HD video camcorder about 6 months ago and I love the crispness of the final footage! But I'm finding my early-2007 Macbook (2.16GHz, 2GB RAM) underpowered for using iMovie 09.

    I'm using 1080P video converted from MTS to Apple's iMovie format (I forget the name), editing on an HDTV (32", 1080P), with my media on a 1TB MyBook connected via Firewire 400.

    My main issue is that iMovie gives me the spinning beach ball every few minutes for about 20-30s even when just scrobbling the source video. On the fly playback is also choppy, though once rendered and exported the final video is fine. It's not a horrible experience but… well, it's bothering me enough to want to ask for your advice on the forum here :rolleyes:

    **$64k Question**

    Is it worth me upgrading to a new MBP? I'd be getting the 15" or the 17".

    Or to put it another way, is the difference that Firewire 800, dedicated GPU, and more RAM make to the iMovie experience significant enough to justify upgrading?

    Thanks for any/all advice!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You will see an increase in performance when buying a new Mac, but also consider having an external and dedicated (scratch) HDD for your video footage, as it is not recommended to have the Mac OS and the video footage on the same HDD.

    The graphics card will not help much, unless iMovie '10 takes advantage of it.
  3. telefunkal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009

    I have a separate external HD dedicated for video footage (the MyBook above.) It only has the converted 1080p video files and disk images of my camcorder's memory card for backup.

    Interesting that the graphics card doesn't actually help iMovie much. That was the main thing I thought would help!
  4. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2009
    If your TV is only 32in, then you really do not need 1080p. You won't notice a difference with 720p.

    Second run activity monitor when you are using iMovie and see if your CPU usage and/or RAM is maxed out.

    Down-sizing the video to 720p with a ram upgrade may be all you really need.
  5. telefunkal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2009
    Ah, I hadn't thought of that. At the time I bought the computer the Apple Store told me that 2GB was the max, but a bit of googling is telling me that I can go up to 3GB.

    I was thinking of keeping 1080P movies for future-proofing reasons really, but I guess the difference between 1080P and 720P is negligible, particularly as I'm hardly Scorcese!

    How do I import my movies at 720P? When I choose the import option, there is only Full (1080P) or Large (540P) options.

    EDIT: Sorry, one more question. I heard you should replace all your RAM at the same time and get the same kinds of RAM. What are the benefits of doing that? Should I buy 2x2GB sticks and have 1GB redundant, or can I just get 1x2GB stick and use it with one of the existing 1GB sticks? Thanks again! EDIT 2: Seems I only need 1x2GB and 1x1GB stick. Found the answer here.

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