need some advice on mbp

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cwebb4, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. cwebb4 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    so i am a film student and pretty much decided to buy the base model mbp 13, but with the student discount thats £860($1347)- what i can afford, i will use it for hd video editing(dslr) in fcp x and colour correction but not heavy graphics work although some adobe after effects cs5 or 5.5 and magic bullet.
    obviously a quad core would be preferable but i simply cannot afford the more expensive models. what would be the best way to bump the speed cheaply- up it to 8 gb of RAM from crucial? im also wondering if the graphics card is good enough, surely the processor is just about enough?
    what im really wondering is- i can build a laptop with pc specialist for the same money with a quad i7 processor and 8gb of RAM plus a ssd and maybe better graphics card also and hesistant if the mac book pro is the right choice at this price point.

    any advice very much appreciated....
  2. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    For one thing most students overestimate the need for processing power.
    They usually want to get some decent almost pro level hardware but the stuff they set you to do in exercises isn't really the most demanding stuff and often the teachers need to account for all kinds of people with worse hardware. Usually if there is some really demanding stuff you can use some university computers.

    There are some cheaper PC Notebooks with Quads and it is way cheaper to get a Desktop PC. The latter can be much more powerful for much less money.

    I think though that you really won't need as much speed as you think. It doesn't hurt but it isn't necessary. Unlike a pro you do have more than enough time to render and encode. You also don't have nearly as many jobs to do.
    Just for studying I wouldn't base my whole purchase on speed requirements.

    There are other reasons for Windows Notebooks. They are cheaper (for similar or better performance) and Windows 8 seems to be step forward while Apple seems to make steps back with Lion & Co. I am not so sure OSX is really the best platform in a general sense. Gaming and general performance on Windows is still better.
    Most Notebooks below 1000$ are rather crappy compared to a MBP though. Bad display panels, worse touchpads, other things that depend on the model.
  3. cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    thanks very much for your response. i didnt clarify but this machine will be my editing/film making machine untill they bring out the new mac pro(which i am still waiting on) i will need to do colour correction and editing but not serious graphics stuff. its true i can afford to wait for renders but id like to see my colour/grading, simple graphics/editing work run quickly, or not having to wait at all. this is mainly for my actual film making not my studies. hoping it will surfice.

    still wondering if the 13 inch duel core will be good enough and what cheap upgrades will be best i.e 8 gb of RAM, ssd for scratch disk? dont think i can afford to get the internal SSD that apple offers but have heard that keeping footage on a seperate drive and editing from there makes things faster, best to use SSD? i assume thunderbolt compatible SSD's are available
  4. danwayfilms macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I'm a video production student now, and i'm about to upgrade my machine.

    I'm currently on a 2009 core 2 duo macbook pro. It's fine for standard video editing but get into graphics and color correcting be prepared to wait. My computer only has integrated graphics, and i would assume the int graphics on the newer 13 inch is better, but still probably not enough to give you good render times using magic bullet.

    Another thing that is important is the screen. I don't think you can get a matte hi-res display on the 13 inch, but if you are going to be doing color correction, then I can't stress how important it is you get a matte screen. The glossy displays that ship standard simply oversaturate everything which gives you inaccurate colors.

    But you also mentioned you are holding out for a Mac Pro, but can only afford a 13 inch MacBook Pro. Honestly, as a college student I think it is much more important to have a powerful AND PORTABLE machine. If I were you I would take whatever money you are saving for a Mac Pro and apply it towards a 15 inch antiglare MBP.

    As far as SSD's.. I haven't tried this yet, but I think getting a small SSD and installing the OS on it is ideal, then using a regular 7200 RPM HDD along with that (would require swapping out the ODD).

    And for scratch disks, it is generally recommended that you use an external high speed drive for that kind of thing.. I assume the newer MBP's still have FW 800, so any FW 800 drive will work well, and if you can find a Thunderbolt drive for a good price, then even better.

    Hope this helped
  5. cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    thank you very much for the response, thats helped alot.

    one thing, would a huge ram upgrade to 16 gb(very nicely priced) be of a good benefit to the 13 inch for running fcpx+adobe after effects?
  6. danwayfilms macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2012
    I would personally stay far away from Final Cut X unless you HAVE to use it. Especially if you plan on using the 13 inch which has integrated graphics. It may run better than on my MBP but once you get anything complex going on its performance goes down the tubes.

    As far as After Effects, having lots of ram helps, but the biggest deciding factor is how many cores you have to utilize that ram. In other words, the cores you have to utilize that ram the better.

    AE wants cores, and I believe the 13 inch is a duel core. For ideal performance, I would go for the quad core i7, and THEN max that out to 16 gb ram. That way you have 4 cores each utilizing 4 gb of ram. That's nice!
  7. cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    thanks for the advice.

    one last thing, lets say i go for the duel core and must use final cut x/adobe ae. would i be best off changing the h264(i shoot dslr) to pro res for editing, even tho final cut x does edit the dslr files natively, will that be better for my under powered machine?
  8. mrobit macrumors regular

    Mar 7, 2012
    On one side of the argument, you're right - laptops with weak specs can usually perform most tasks. But at the same time, you've got to acknowledge that new incoming software almost always demands higher specs, so you have to future-proof to an extent.

    However I agree with you on the Windows machine argument.

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