MBP i5 or i7 for editing HD movies

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ilovecheesekake, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. ilovecheesekake macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    First off: this is my first post, so please dont get to hard on me :)

    Okay, down to business.
    I've been waiting for the new MBPs to finally be able to ditch my "old" Vaio Notebook. One of the reasons is, that my Vaio isn't able to play/edit HD content (1080p, and 720p) in Adobe Premiere Pro CS4.

    Originally i wanted to get the 15' i7 with 4GB RAM and the 500GB @7200rpm.
    But i've browsed a little through the forum and it seems that the difference between the i5 and i7 are marginal. Now i'm playing with the thought of getting the i5, but instead investing into the 8GB RAM or a 256SSD.
    Which setup will perform best in movie and picture editing?

    Thanks a lot in advance for helping me!
  2. shaner2000 macrumors member

    Apr 13, 2010
  3. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Personal or professional? If you need every second -- and I do mean second then i7. A hard nosed encoding job might save you 15 min. For pros, where time is $ that is a big deal. If you are just a hobbyist save the $ and get the low end i5.

    You can also save some money and get better quality by buying your SSD elsewhere. Apple's OEMs are lackluster for the money. You can do a lot better and have a back up HD too. Same for RAM.
  4. ilovecheesekake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    No, it would be for personal use.
    My Vaio (FE 41Z)
    - C2D T7200 2 GHz 4MB L2 Cache, 667 MHz FSB
    - 2GB, DDR2 PC5300 SDRAM 667MHz
    - NVIDIA Geforce Go 7600 - 128 MB ;351/400 MHz
    - 200GB @4200rpm Fujitsu HDD

    can not handle the clips i'd like to edit though. It won't even let me watch the clip in the preview window of Premiere Pro. And i don't even want to know how long the clip creation would take.

    From what i know, the i7 has 512MB graphics. Wouldn't that make a noticable difference to 256MB in the i5? (sorry if that's a stupid question^^)

    But from what i've learned by browsing through the forum, i think i will most likely stick with the 15" i5, 500GB @7200HDD, and 4GB RAM.

    Good decision?
  5. MisterAbs macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    Thats exactlu what i would like to know

    Does the 512MB with i7 make a massive difference or is just a speed issue - seeing previews and getting faster renders? For HD editing whats a good choice? :confused:
  6. ilovecheesekake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2010
    but i won't be able to upgrade the graphics afterwards, will i?
    RAM and HDD are always upgradeable.
    can't decide... :confused:
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The video card has almost nothing to do with the preview in editing applications today (CS 5 might do that though), except one uses a crap load of effects that are GPU rendered.

    More important is the speed of the storage device (scratch disk, should be NOT the HDD where the OS resides) and the footage format and the codec it uses.

    If the footage is using the H264 codec, then there is a lot of CPU involved, as H264 is not meant for editing, although Avid MC 5 and Premiere Pro CS 4 and 5 support that codec.
  8. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    FCP is not graphics card dependent so the extra VRAM would be of little use. OTOH it would be helpful with apps like Aperture, Photoshop, and Motion that do use the graphics extensively.

    I originally ordered the i7 on impulse but then climbed down to reality when I understood it's more marketing than raw power. It's nothing like the i7 in the iMac. The mid-level i5 isn't much faster than the low end and I could care less about the HD as I'll be putting in my own 7200rpm drive. I'm just a hobbyist and the money is better spend on more RAM for speed improvement.

    The only thing I keep flip-flopping over now is antiglare or glossy. If Apple would go ahead an ship my machine I wouldn't have to think about it anymore. :D
  9. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The GPU is not user replaceable.

    I got the 512MB 9600M GT card, and despite being able to play a game of whatever a little bit faster on it, and having to wait less for a preview in a compositing application or colour grading application, 256MB is sufficient enough for most consumerist needs.

    Unless one wants to throw a crap load of crap effects onto the video. But we talk about seconds, not minutes or hours.
  10. kayloh20 macrumors regular

    Apr 8, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    I'd say the thing that's really preventing you from watching HD is the hard drive.

    4200rpm can cause drop frame issues in even DV video for playback and capture.

    If you're getting an SSD, then that's perfect for HD playback. Of course your graphics card has some hand when playing back, but not as much as your hard drive, at least in your Vaio.
  11. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    The SSD will bring about the biggest difference in speed. Just make sure you have enough space.
  12. Dark Goob macrumors regular

    Dark Goob

    Jun 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I am not sure what the difference between them is, even after reading on Intel.com for a few hours, and calling Intel's tech support line, who told me that I was a consumer and referred me to cpubenchmark.net, and refused to tell me what the difference in the two CPUs is (beyond megahertz and cache). They referred me to this comparison:

    I asked the Intel guy what "embedded" meant (since the i7 has it but the i5 does not). His said that it means processors that ship pre-soldered to a logic board, as opposed to upgradeable CPUs that fit into sockets and can be removed. I told him these are Mac laptops, and that they always come pre-soldered. I asked if he was sure that's what embedded meant, and he then said he could have a field engineer call me. I said, great! Then, he asked me how many systems I was building... !!! I said, none, that I'm a consultant, then he said the field engineers "do not call consumers."

    So, unless "embedded" means something cool (like maybe the cache is on the die???) or something else, then that chart sure makes it look like the i7 2.66 is the same frakking thing, just slightly faster with slightly more cache.

    If that's the case, then why the hell did they call it i7, which implies a more substantial difference? Is it really just a sneakymarketin ploy to get us to think there is more difference than there really is?

    My theory is that maybe the i7 has the ability to use the Intel HD graphics aspect for CUDA/OpenCL/PhysX acceleration while the NVIDIA GPU is handling the graphics, since Intel's page on the i7 makes it sound like it has some enhanced abilities ("up to 80% faster video compression," though of course, they don't say what it's 80% faster THAN... sigh).

    Anyone care to enlighten us lowly "consumers?" Or should we just CONSUME CONSUUUUME and neither think nor know?
  13. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    It would be easier to answer this question if you made it clear what exactly you are editing.

    What codec are you using? What camera? Which Non-Linear Editor will you be using?
  14. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    4GB limit

    Final Cut can only use 4GB of RAM, and rarely uses much for than 2GB. You will also need an external firewire drive. An SSD is 'dangerous' as it shouldn't be used for media or any other large files.

    I'm not even sure if Final Cut is dual core aware. I think it's not. So it's more important how fast the turbo mode rather than the number of cores.

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