MBP or MBA for photo/video editing? (performance check)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by silent11, Jul 31, 2011.

  1. silent11 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Location:
    Berlin
    #1
    hi all,

    i have to buy a new computer for myself and since a few hours i'm really wondering if the MBA 2011 performance could be good enough for my needs, and i do not have to buy a MBP necessarily?

    there is to say: i would need a macbook for photo and video editing (the usual adobe programs + final cut etc. etc.)

    the benchmark test of the MBA 2011 is looking super good: http://tinyurl.com/3woy7t5

    and also this performance video MBA vs MBP, seems very impressiv (?): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iS7pBOFz8A

    my question is if you would think the MBA 2011 is good enough for the programs i want to use?

    would love to hear your opinions!
    thanks a lot in advance!
     
  2. Inopia-Vi macrumors regular

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    #2
    Well, comparing the 13' MBP vs the high-end 13' MBA you would be better with the MBA for light to medium video editing. Howerver, if you are looking for a machine more durable, ill go with the 13' MBP if I were you...
     
  3. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #3
    I posted diglloyd results and others posted theirs in here. have a poke round.
     
  4. silent11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Berlin
    #4
    thank you so far.
    what a difficult decision, the air is so beautiful ;) damn.
     
  5. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #5
    I would think that with video you're gonna need the much larger storage capacity of the MBP, or am I missing something??
     
  6. Titanium81 macrumors 6502a

    Titanium81

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    Jun 23, 2011
    #6
    Photo / Video editing on an Air? Really? MacBook Pro's have a much better screen.
     
  7. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #7
    I would say MacBook Pro, personally.

    You'll have a faster processor, expandability to 4 GB+ RAM, more storage (or you could always add an SSD, and aren't limited to a relatively low internal storage amount offered in an Air). If you feel like you would rather have a 750 GB 7200 RPM drive or a Momentus XT, then you can add that drive, where as in an Air you are forced to use other methods of storage such as externals after 256 GB (and that's only if you go with the high-end 13'' model).

    The redeeming point of the Air, however, is the screen resolution in comparison to the 13'' MacBook Pro. If you were planning on the 13'' MacBook Air (just using this for a more relevant comparison), it has a 1440x900 resolution compared to the 13'' MacBook Pro's 1280x800. The 11'' MacBook Air has a 1366x768 resolution, just to note.

    Would a 15'' MacBook Pro be an option for you? The quad-core processor will help a lot with video editing and the like. It also has a subtle yet still dedicated graphics card that could be appreciated by you in the future. It also has a lot more screen real estate then the other models that I have mentioned.

    To answer your question, yes, the MacBook Air could handle your usage just fine, but if you find yourself ever wanting the ability to expand your machine, you'll be out of luck. Although, if you feel like a 128 GB+ storage machine with 4 GB RAM is fine, get the high-end 11'', low-end 13'', or high-end 13'' depending on what you personally want out of it. I wouldn't get the low-end 11'', however.

    Good luck.
     
  8. silent11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Berlin
    #8
    the ssd with only 256 gb wouldn't be the problem, because i'm using external hdd's too.

    for photo/video editing i would connect the MBA anyway to my external nec monitor, my focus is more on the portability because i would have to carry the notebook everyday to my university.

    @ Archlord: thank you for your long answer!
    if i would buy an air, i would buy the high-end 13". furthermore i think it's really bad timing to make a decision at the moment, considering that the new MBP's with an air-like design come probably out soon / in a few month. that would probably be the perfect combination.
     
  9. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #9
    No problem at all for the response.

    If you would get a high-end 13'' Air, would it be too much of a stretch to go for a low-end 15''? It's $200 more. You'll be getting the quad core processor which will help you out the most, and the screen real estate is useful if you are using it portably, i.e. not hooked up to an external monitor. Plus, it has a 7200 RPM drive option which should be just fine, but you could always upgrade to a smaller SSD to go with your externals if you feel like you want a faster system.

    I think it is worth the extra $200 (assuming you go with a base configuration, you may want a high-res or AG screen though) in comparison to the high-end 13'' Air considering that you get a quad-core processor, a dedicated card, and expandability.

    However, you mention that you mainly want portability, so you may just want to go with the Air. How about the low-end 13'', though? I feel like the $300 for 128 GB of SSD storage is sort of a waste, but it's worth it if you really want internal storage, plus the drive will be a little faster (probably not noticeable at all, though). I just bring it up because you mentioned that you are fine with using externals.

    I think the low-end 13'' or high-end 11'' MacBook Air would be the best choice if you want portability in the unit and still want it to be capable with decent internal storage and the use of external storage as well.

    Again, good luck.
     
  10. h00ligan macrumors 68030

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    #10
    How serious is the photo and video work.

    Are we talking mucking about with family shots, or prepping billboard photos professionally?
     
  11. silent11, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    silent11 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    The low end 15" for 200 more is definitely an option, great hardware without a question, but I think I wouldn't get happy with the "heaviness" and the size.

    To save the money and take the 128 gb ssd is a good point too, I just thought a bit bigger space in the computer won't hurt, not because of the space more because of the speed.

    I think I will maybe buy a Macbook now and probably sell it when the new generation of the MBP's with the slim design and less weight are out. Just that I have something for a half year and the money I would lose though this action wouldn't be that much I think.

    h00ligan: I'm working mostly with photos (30 MB RAW's), video not that much, light-medium editing in HD-quality. Not yet for billboards, but already for magazines.
     
  12. Minhthien macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2011
    #12
    Save your money just get the base MPB 13' if you planning to upgrade to SSD and 8gb of ram(you will need this)
     
  13. mystik610, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    mystik610 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2011
    #13
    I'd go for the 15 inch honestly.

    Working with multiple RAW images in lightroom, photoshop and/or aperture, or large video files in final cut is taxing on the system's memory and processor. (enough to kick the fans on my 15 inch pro on when I'm working). There's nothing more frustrating than having your workflow hindered by your system's hardware. Particularly when it comes to opening and rendering batches of RAW files.

    The 13 inch pro and the MBA will be OK for these tasks, but faster is always better IMO. The wider color gamut on the Pros screen goes a long way when editing photos too.

    Oh and the video you posted is comparing the 2011 MBA to the 2010 MBP. There is a significant improvement in the processing power going from the 2010 to 2011 MacBooks
     

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