Need some advice - which MBP buy for video editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by truthsmiles, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. truthsmiles macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    Need your awesome experience and brain power for a (hopefully) easy question...

    I currently have the old MacBookPro3.1 (from 2007) with:
    Intel Core 2 Duo (2.2GHz)
    GeForce 8600M GT (128 MB VRAM)

    I just bought the new iPhone 4S, and the 1080p resolution just bogs the hell out of the thing when I try to play edit video. I would guess it's dropping about half the frames, and occasionally just skips a second or more of video (the 720 video from the iPhone 4 rarely caused such issues).

    - To be able to watch and edit my iPhone movies at full 1080 resolution with the least lag.
    - Otherwise, the basics, like email and web surfing (I don't do any gaming at all).

    A) MBP 2.0 GHz quad core i7 (4GB RAM) w/Intel HD Graphics 3000 + AMD Radeon HD 6490M (256MB GDDR5)
    B) MBP 3.06 GHz core 2 duo (4GB RAM) w/NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT (512MB GDDR3)
    C) Return the damn iPhone 4S and be happy with 720 resolution.

    If you can tell me which choice you think is best for doing my video editing with iMovie (I have FC, but I don't use it much), and then watching in Quicktime, I would really appreciate it. If you want to explain your choice, that would be even better!

    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. Alchemyy macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2011
    Melbourne, Australia
    Do iPhones record in H.264? These files have to be converted to ProRes (or similar) before you can edit them otherwise it will bring even a Mac Pro to its knees.
    I would imagine this is your problem and you don't need a new Mac.

    EDIT: You say you have FC, do you have Compressor? If so, use this to convert them and you'll be able to edit them with ease.
  3. odin2free macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2011
    Throughout time and space
    Choice "A"
    Better rendering abilities from the GPUS..
    Also you can use FCP with compressor as previous Poster stated..
    will help alot..

    But your wanting a more powerful card then the 9800 series cards :)
    But youll want to get more ram from newegg...and maybe an SSD
    But Ram is the most important...
  4. truthsmiles thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    First of all, thanks so much for your reply! I really appreciate your time.

    To answer: I'm pretty sure iPhones record in H.264, yes, but not certain.

    Regarding Final Cut, I'm not sure if I have compressor. The version of Final Cut I have is actually Final Cut Express (which I think is starting to get a little old - and may not be worth anything). And honestly, I mostly use iMovie to do my editing.

    To be more clear, I'm not a professional or anything. I mostly just use iMovie to edit videos I take of my kid playing soccer - nothing too fancy.

    The original reason for this post is because I am pretty habituated to connecting my iPhone to my computer, importing all the "Images" (which includes video) to iPhoto, and then editing/splicing those videos in iMovie. I never had problems with the video from the 3GS (which was 480 video I believe), and then only rarely suffered a little "lagginess" when I upgraded to the iPhone 4 and its 720 video. But now that I'm working with the 1080 stuff from the iPhone 4S, it just seems to overwhelm the machine. Even simply watching the videos in quicktime with no other applications running results in skips and jumps in the playback. I don't feel I should have to compress a video just to watch it, right?

    So, basically, I'm willing to accept that my computer is too old and I probably need to upgrade, but since I know my usage patterns, I'm hoping that you guys can help me decide where I get the best video editing and playback performance - I don't know anything about the video processors included in each of the choices, and I don't know how much the video RAM affects things.

    Thanks again for your help - any other inputs would be great!


    Thanks so much for the answer! I have a couple of newb questions though:

    You say that I'm wanting a more powerful card than the 9800 series? Which one of the machines has the 9800 series? Are you saying that choice "A" is good but I want something better? Just not sure what you mean...

    RAM: Yes I'm sure if I get a new MBP I'll upgrade the RAM. I'm not afraid of doing that at all.

    The thing I'm still unsure of is that choice "A" has only 256MB of video RAM, but choice "B" has 512MB. Are you saying that the better video processor in "A" negates the difference? As a complete newb, I would say that the faster CPU and the more video RAM in choice "B" is going to give better results, but I have no idea about the cards themselves. One might be 10 times better than the other and I'd never know...

    Thanks again!

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