New computer 4 video editing - iMac or Macbook Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by motorjed, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. motorjed macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    Howdy all!

    Time to put my G4 Tower out to pasture. I'm a film production major
    in my fourth year, and my trusty powermac is just not enough to run
    a lot of the programs I kinda need at this point.

    I'm considering buying a the best/biggest iMac refurb I can get and
    maybe an older mac laptop off of CL or something, just so I have
    a laptop to be able to take on the road with me (Never had a laptop

    On the other hand, I'm a little tired of being tied to my desk.
    Should I just eat the big price tag and buy the 17" macbook pro?
    (in a few weeks when the rumored updates may be announced)

    Largely the computer would be used for video editing, so it
    does need to be hearty workhorse, but I don't know if I should go
    high end big screen laptop or the slightly larger screened iMac.
    (which is what we use on campus)


    -- Motorjed
  2. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    If you're any serious about video you won't be happy with anything less than a Mac Pro.
  3. iMav macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2008
    Columbus, WI
    Maybe once he is doing this for a living, but I disagree that he needs a Mac Pro now.

    He says they use iMac's at school...which is pretty good evidence that the type of projects he is working on for school can be handled nicely with an iMac.

    If the OP wants the portability of a laptop, I say bite the bullet and pick up a MacBook Pro. Horsepower-wise, you might be able to get away with a MacBook, but you'll likely benefit quite a bit from the hi-res 17" MBP model, so that would be my suggestion.
  4. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    I would personally stump up the cash and go for the Quad Core Mac Pro and a 20" Cinema Display. Comes out at $2898 which is only $100 more than the 17" Macbook Pro you mentioned.
  5. Freewayjim macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2008
    Metro Atlanta
    Definitely consider a Macbook Pro. A nice setup would be to get the 15" MBP along with a decent 24" external monitor for when you are working at a desk. That gives you plenty of power, good portability along with the ability to work on a large screen when you need to.
  6. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    I have the 17" MBP with hi res display. Works very well for my video needs. Also got a large display as a 2nd monitor for when I'm at the desk. The portability is a necessity for me.

    I would say skip the iMac and either hold out for the MacPro or a MBP. Good luck.
  7. j26 macrumors 65832


    Mar 30, 2005
    Why not get the basic 15" mbp and stick a 20"-24" screen with it. You'd get higher portability, and have a bigger/better screen to work on when you're at your desk.

    The difference in price over the 17" would more than cover the cost of a (non-Apple) screen and ram upgrades etc
  8. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    I'd recommend buying the MBP that way you'd save yourself typing out 1 letter to say what computer you have. You capitalised iMac and Macbook Pro right, so why can't you type 'for'?

    While I'm here I'll give my 2 cents. Get the 17" MBP with the HD Matte screen. If you want more speed and space grab a bus powered portable drive (firewire). PLUS Seagate is releasing a 500 gig 7200rpm 2.5" laptop drive!!!. Portable, fast and even if it were the thicker 12.5mm format drive, it'll still fit in a 17".
  9. iChrisG macrumors member

    Mar 1, 2008
    Sunny California
    Definatly a Macbook Pro would be great for you, since your in College. Then after you graduate you can save up money then get a Mac Pro if you want to continue in Movie Editing.

    Happy Shopping!

  10. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    MacBook Pro w/keyboard/mouse/display.

    Basically a desktop when your home, and portable at the same time.

    Wait until October of course...updates are on the way.
  11. slu macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    Either one will be fine, to be honest. But I would probably go with the Macbook Pro and an external screen.

    The people that say Mac Pro have probably never edited any video in their lives and think that unless you use only Safari, you need a Mac Pro to do anything with a computer.
  12. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I own a Mac Pro, but couldn't recommend it. It has way more power then I'll ever need for a few years. I probably would have been just fine with a G5 or some kind of portable.
  13. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Go with a MBP (Oct. 14 release) and an external display. That allows for portability and a hefty amount of raw computing power. Since Snow Leopard 10.6 has Grand Central and OpenCL, a good graphics chip will make up for any additional needed power. I'd stay away from the 17", as this is just too big, and you'd much rather get the 15" glossy (for more saturated colors) and use the external display to do serious color accuracy. A 22" - 24" should be good enough.
  14. motorjed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    Thanks all!

    Thank you all for the advice!

    I'm thinking I'll check the offerings in October and then decide between the
    15" and 17" MacBook Pro then. I already have a wireless Keyboard and mouse
    and a decent 21" monitor, so I can hang on to those for a while.

    I had no idea this thread would get so big in such a short time; Thanks again!

    - Motorjed
  15. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    You'd be surprised how much resources heavy editing takes! Its not just about CPU power, but video card, RAM, ability to put 4 HDs inside MP, PCI-E cards and ability to connect a preview monitor alongside a big editing LCD, etc.

    I assumed the OP does some serious editing, thus I recommended a MP, but seeing its nothing hardcore, yea, MBP will be fine... as long as you don't mind having an external HD and power connected all the time and you can live with constantly noisy fan.
  16. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    Buy a 15" refurb Macbook Pro, and use the money you save to get a 30" monitor (or a 24" if that works in your budget better).

    You'll save money, you'll have great performance (good enough for what you are doing, I'd wager), you'll have portability, AND you'll have a big-ass editing screen at home.

    Best of all worlds!

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