MBP non-retina vs. MBP retina (both 13"): Video editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by janguv, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. janguv macrumors newbie

    janguv

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    #1
    Hi there,

    I'm looking into different MacBook Pros for my partner, who has been granted a disability allowance allowing a nice discount off any laptop. Since she's thinking of moving into video editing, the obvious choice is a MacBook Pro.

    The supplier can offer any of the current range, and first suggested the non-retina 13". It's basically this model

    So, is that good enough for video editing? I read on an older thread that 4GB RAM would not be good enough. Does that remain the case? What about the screen?

    I take it that the retina version would be good enough, if slightly small screen size (but that's the same in both cases). The budget wouldn't extend to 15" versions I think.

    Thanks for any help or suggestions!

    James :)
     
  2. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    Location:
    France
    #2
    It really depends what you want to do, and what type of media you are going to edit.
    I would suggest a 15" model, the screen is important.
    If the budget is constrained, the 13" inch is a good choice, get a retina version though. Probably the base retina model is enough, and a nice external display (dell has nice ones).
    The old Base macbook pro (non-retina) is not a good buy, it's old technology. Apple shouldn't be selling this machine anymore.
    A good and reliable external hard drives is needed to. A good USB3 would suffice (1TB or more), maybe 2 of those to have a backup.
    You don't need a top of the line machine to do video editing.
    So,
    $1299 for the base retina macbook pro 13" ($1099 for the base air with 8GB ram)
    $300 for a nice dell monitor (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&sku=860-BBCG)
    $200 for 2 external USB3 hard drives
    $300 Final Cut X license. (You could start with iMovie, and then move on)
    $100 for an external keyboard and mouse (must)

    You could save some money getting a base Macbook Air 13". The performance is more or less equivalent, but the retina has a better screen and a better GPU.
     
  3. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #3
    The non retina is now 4 years old tech and with no ssd and far worse graphics. Anything retina 2013 onwards is a massive step up. She might also look at the 2014 15 inch refurbs they may well fall into her budget constraints.
     
  4. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #4
    Excellent - thanks for your advice!

    The external keyboard and mouse are already covered, and I expect she'll have to get a monitor too. I've heard Adobe Premiere Pro is what a lot of people use now - is Final Cut X better?

    Okay, I was wondering about the Air. If it's good for editing that could work out.
     
  5. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #5
    Thanks! :)
     
  6. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    France
    #6
    Adobe is a good software to, I prefer FCPX. It runs beautifully in the mac, it's fast and if you are new to video editing software, I really reallllllly encourage her to try FCPX. It's the most powerful, simple and fast tool out there.
    Regarding the machine, the air would do to. In performance there is not much difference between the rMBP and the Air.
    The 15" is another story, you could try to get one of those refurbished from apple. Any 15" is better than any other MBP for video editing.

    It depends what type of media is she editing?
    I have done hundreds of hours of video editing in a Core 2 Duo 13" MBP.
     
  7. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #7
    I'm not entirely sure on the media yet. But she has a lot of footage, and wants to make it into a documentary. It would also probably involve intersplicing the footage with some animation pieces, but I think they'd be already made in advance separately.

    The MBA is starting to look quite attractive. Is 4GB RAM enough to do this sort of basic video editing, say in FCPX?
     
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #8
    With video editing the program will basically use all the RAM you have available so the more you have the more it'll use the better it will work. So can you video edit on 4 GB RAM?? Of course you can. Will it be better faster, smoother, easier with more RAM?? yes it will.
     
  9. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    #9
    Makes sense. I have a friend who suggested that editing down lots of raw footage on 4GB would be a real pain. Hmm.
     
  10. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    #10
    To be honest if video editing is your goal, then you A) really want a retina screen the air just doesn't cut it, it hasn't even got a 1080p screen so you won't be able to do 1080p video at one to one on that screen. B) you will be much better off with a minimum of 8GB of RAM and C) the better the graphics you can get the better it will render etc. I would say you are looking at the 13 inch rMBP to be honest.

    If you give us some idea of your budget and where you live we can usually come up with something close to your best spec.
     
  11. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #11
    That's sounding most sensible.

    The situation is, the computer she's been given as part of the allowance is really poor, and its value is £330 (we're in the UK). But we can upgrade and pay the extra. I think it all has to go through this particular supplier, and they only give quotes on request. Last time, I asked for a quote on MBP 13" and 15", and I hadn't thought to specify Retina:

    They quoted £786.00 for the non-Retina MBP 13" (MD101BA), and £1344.00 for the MBP 15" (MJLQ2BA).

    They both seem like decent prices even before the discount, relative to the market here (£899 / £1399+ respectively). Hopefully that would mean they offer the rMBP 13" for around £800.

    After the allowance discount (£330), then, a rMBP 13" would be in the ballpark of ~£550 -- and relative to the market, that's an absolute steal! (£999). We were expecting a larger discount tbh, so even this price is really stretching the budget (we were hoping to upgrade with an extra £100-300).

    But I think it's looking like it comes down to this, isn't it? If we want to edit video without it being slow and difficult, then £500-600 is the minimum we'll be spending.
     
  12. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    France
    #12
    You don't have to forget hard drives and the external screen. 8GB of ram is what is required.
    13" is good on the go, but at work you MUST have an external display.
    The format of the media is important. Is it HD? what is the output?
    Normally you will work with proxy media (low compressed, low res) to save space and fast rendering times. FCPX does this really well, so even the air can handle this tasks easily.
     
  13. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #13
    For a laptop definitely, of course you'll get far more bang for your pound with, a desktop how about a 21.5 inch imac if portability isn't an issue??? Quad core processors and dedicated GPU's for a similar price but I'd only recommend it if they'll allow a fusion drive option...

    And of course you can get a pretty good 15 inch laptop with a small ssd and great mobile graphics card 12GB of RAM for £750 brand new in currys, if you can put up with windows... and the hideous styling see here..

    http://www.currys.co.uk/gbuk/comput...-vn7-591g-15-6-laptop-black-10104730-pdt.html
     
  14. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    #14
    Yes, if you are going to work with premiere, a windows laptop is a better option.
     
  15. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    Jun 10, 2015
    #15
    I ran some of the footage through MediaInfo, and got the following result:

    1920*1080 (16:9), at 25.000 fps, AVC (High@L5.1)(1 Ref Frames)

    So it's full HD. I don't know anything about proxy media - but does that mean that it creates a batch of compressed media just for the editing stage, and then when the project is complete, it uncompresses the media?
     
  16. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    #16
    Yes exactly that.
     
  17. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    #17
    Okay, I had wondered about Windows laptops. We're both more used to the Windows OS, but I heard mixed things about the platform for video editing, even using Adobe.

    As for iMacs, they have some of these too. The supplier barely has any decent Windows laptops, so unless there's a way we can circumvent using this supplier, it may be we're stuck with choosing MBs. Their product listing page is 404ing me at the moment, but here's the cached page:

    https://webcache.googleusercontent....uk/quote/lookup.php?cat=1&=&=&oq=&gs_l=&pbx=1

    (no prices available, since they send those after a quote)
     
  18. janguv thread starter macrumors newbie

    janguv

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    #18
    Okay, well that sounds like an interesting option then. Budget wise, an Air would be much more appealing. And if connected to a full HD monitor at home, the lack of a Retina display isn't so bad.
     
  19. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #19
    Ouch thats a shocking selection of anything but macs, If it was me I'd go for the 13 inch rMBP or the 21 inch imac (Not the 1.4 Ghz one its an air in massive case).
     
  20. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    France
    #20
    but with 8GB of ram...
     

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