New MacBook Pro... good for 1080p editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Delpheno, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. Delpheno macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    So, a lot of people say that you need a quad core processor, and typically a desktop to edit 1080p videos without hiccups.

    Now with the new MacBook Pro out with Core i5 and Core i7, would the MacBook Pro be efficient when it comes to editing 1080p videos?

    Two questions/problems:

    1) Hard Drive space would become an issue fast.
    2) Aren't Core i5 and Core i7 dual cores, but with 2 "virtual" cores, which makes it four? Would it be safe to say they perform like quad core processors?

    Thank you.
  2. waloshin macrumors 68040

    Oct 9, 2008
    Definitely not, like a Quad core, it should be fine for editing 1080p videos.

    You could just get an external harddrive.
  3. yayitsezekiel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 1, 2008
    Irvine, CA
    yeah I'd get an external hard drive. Depending on how much you film, 1 terabyte at least. If you have the money, i'd go two.
  4. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Which question are you referring to when you say definitely not?
  5. baypharm macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2007
    My 7 cents is the whole 1080p or 1080i thing is overblown. I can edit compressed 1080p on an "ancient" imac 2.16 and 2gb ram with no "hiccups."

    Naturally if running Color, PS, 4D, etc., and together with FCP, then more ram is needed. I got to edit with FCS on a Mac 8 core with 32gb ram and well needless to say rendering times were hugely reduced.

    All consumer video is greatly compressed. There are ways to import video uncompressed and that has been discussed here. Do a forum search.

    Any good editor will always store motion media on an external drive. Always.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    For rendering, does that include color correction? I'm kinda incline to get a Mac Mini now...

    After your post, sometimes I feel like videographers don't know computers well enough that they have to say, "Get a Mac with Quad-core". I hope I'm wrong.
  7. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Virtual cores are not real cores. Virtual cores are a clever tricky to get an extra 10 or 20% of performance, they don't double the performance.
  9. koruki macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2009
    New Zealand
    I was able to edit 1080p video on my pre unibody C2D Macbook Pro, just the export time was a bit slow and the machine got quite hot =)

    Just received my i5 Macbook Pro yesterday and have yet to test out 1080p export performance
  10. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Do tell me how that works out for you. How long was the video you exported, and how long did it take exactly for both the i5 and C2D?

    Thank you.
  11. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    It all comes down to how complex your projects will be. There are merits to owning a workstation-class machine like the Mac Pro, like expansion and raw processing power. But are they absolutely needed to edit consumer HD video? No.

    In FCP, a consumer HD video codec (like AVCHD) would be transcoded to ProRes prior to editing. Any Intel Mac with fast enough storage can play and cut 1080p ProRes efficiently. In fact, for the most part, FCP itself isn't multithreaded enough to utilize anything beyond 2 cores. The real advantage behind 4- and 8-core setups will be in rendering, like in Compressor with a virtual QMaster cluster set up.

    Now, if your jobs were more complex and you needed connectivity to color-accurate broadcast monitors, digital audio interfaces, etc., you'd likely benefit from the hardware expansion you would get from a Mac Pro.

    With that said, I edit out on the field on my 2008 MBP occasionally, and as long I stay within its limits, I'm fine. Editing 1080p for the most part is not a problem.
  12. mwilloam macrumors newbie

    Apr 3, 2010
    I edit 1080p captured as AIC on a laptop ... a G4 1.5ghz. Slow but very doable. An i7 should dominate your footage.
  13. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Gosh I wonder who that guy was who told me quad is necessary...
  14. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Anytime someone asks can I do Task A on Computer B there are two answers.

    1. Either it is possible or not. The usual answer is that it is possible.

    2. How fast is it. As noted above even some G4s can perform the task noted here, just not very quickly.

    I can recall some older laptops that could not in any way perform this task. It seems to me that pretty much any current Apple computer can do nearly anything people do these days on individual computers. There will be a wide spread in performance.
  15. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'm guessing an Apple employee? :D

    Last week I was editing 720p in FCE. I have a MBP 2,2, which is basically the same as the original macbook pro's, only with a 64 bit CPU. Editing was fine. However, if I was going to be working on rendering, I would want a better GPU, not cpu. my CPU wasn't taxed at all until I exported. rendering would require a better GPU IMO, unless you need to export fast.

    Last time I worked with 1080p on a computer, the issue was the disk access on the USB 2.0 external drive I was using. switching to Firewire fixed the issue.
  16. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    It seems like everyone's saying it's possible, it's just a matter of time.

    Well what's the time difference then? Are we talking hours for dual core vs. minutes for quad? Or are we talking about a ten minute difference?
  17. J the Ninja macrumors 68000

    Jul 14, 2008
    2x, at the very most. And that's assuming the app is both threaded enough to use all 4 cores, and it isn't being bottlenecked somewhere else.
  18. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    The majority of rendering done FCP itself is CPU-based. Only certain plug-ins utilize the GPU during timeline rendering. Outside of that, Motion and Color are the only applications in the suite that are reliant on the speed of the GPU.
  19. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    NOW you are asking the right question. Unfortunately the answer here is also 'it depends'. I would frame my answer as a function of how much your time is worth multiplied by how much you make from doing this work.

    If you do it as a hobby and don't make money from it, I would go with the cheapest one that 'hits the requirement'. If you earn money on it and literally seconds saved equals dollars in the bank, then get the fastest one you can.
  20. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    The last paragraph is something I never thought of. I will be doing this as a hobby, but I want to make it as best looking as possible. In my case, time does not equal money. I will now consider to purchase a MacBook Pro, thank you.

    More elaboration from anyone would be nice.
  21. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    My advice would be to get the most computer you can afford at the time of purchase. By getting the fastest/best technology now, you'll be getting a computer that you can use further into the future. As software gets more sophisticated it requires more powerful machines. Buying "fast" now means it will stay "fast" longer. But don't break the bank on it if you can't realistically afford the latest and greatest.
  22. akm3 macrumors 68020

    Nov 15, 2007
    I disagree with this EXCEPT sometimes with Macs.

    The cost between a 'fast' computer an an 'adequate' computer is often pretty dramatic. I think many folks are better served by buying adequate and upgrading more frequently, then spending more for 'fast' and trying to upgrade less frequently.
  23. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    The price difference between a 27" Core i5 iMac and a Core i7 model is $200. Seems very reasonable to me, and it's why I spent the extra money. I agree that laptop speed differences are often more buck than bang, though.
  24. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    An FYI, I'm leaning towards getting the MacBook Pro (15 incher), but there are two things that worry me.

    First, the resolution isn't 1920 x 1080, so when I watch 1080p videos, will the videos lag because they have to make the video's resolution smaller when I hit the fullscreen button? What if I extend my display to a 1080p monitor? With my experience in Windows, it lags at both.

    Second, overheating. There was one case where one blogger was testing the new MacBook Pro, they had to sit it sideways in order for it to finish the test. The last thing I want is my laptop overheating like crazy if I do some color correction. I don't know the link, but it was on Engadget I think.

    P.S. It seems like the most rendering I will be doing is color correction, will that eat up a lot of the processor?

    Also thank you for everyone's response. I went to some other board asking the same thing and they weren't too nice.
  25. joecool99 Suspended


    Aug 20, 2008
    get a 2nd display. Dell U2410 1920x1200 and hook it up.
    Plenty of space for editing with a 15" laptop (my setup)

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