nMP performance with iMovie

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BeatCrazy, Oct 28, 2016.

  1. BeatCrazy macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    Hey guys,

    I've had my nMP (base model w/16GB RAM) for 1.5 years. At the time I first got it, I was using it more for video encoding, and as my main daily driver. In the time since, I've picked up a Late 2014 Mac mini (good enough for my daily/light work), and the Early 2016 MacBook (m3 base model) because I was doing some light iMovie editing for some work projects and wanted something very portable.

    I'm starting to think that the MacBook is not great for iMovie (1080p, no 4K here). It gets a bit warm and bogs down if you're editing for 1+ hours. So, I tried a few projects on the nMP. I realize the CPU is not really meant for encoding video, but shouldn't the 4-core nMP be almost as good as a base Early 2016 MacBook when it comes to export/conversion? Seems like the nMP is slow. I haven't done many projects on it yet, so I can't really tell if the nMP is really optimized for iMovie/FCPX.

    Before anyone jumps in and tells me I'm an idiot for not just buying a MacBook Pro to begin with, please realize my needs have been changing over the past year or so, and now the most CPU/GPU intensive work I'm doing revolves around iMovie, and I'm considering buying FCPX.

    Should I stick with my nMP, or consider ditching it and my MacBook for a 2016 MacBook Pro?
  2. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    As you already have the nMP would stick with it. If there is one thing the nMP is good at it is FCP X.

    Unless you are exporting H.264 format video's then the MacBook Pro has the Intel QuickSync encoding in the CPU and the MacBook Pro will easily beat out the nMP on a H.264 export as can use the QuickSync that the nMP doesn't have.
  3. BeatCrazy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    Ah good to know. So in theory, iMovie should be a piece of a cake for even a base nMP. I just recall getting a few beachballs the last time I was editing. But I haven't done enough to really draw conclusions. I consider the nMP to be a "sunk cost" of course, and it has been rather reliable for the past 1.5 years. Now I just have to consider making a move to FCP X. It's not the $$, rather the learning curve that is giving me pause.

    Yes, the advantages of Skylake's QuickSync is very obvious to me, even on the "lowly" m3 CPU. I don't mind waiting a bit longer for H.264 exports, I'm more interested in avoiding freezes, beachballs and other glitches, which I suspect would be due to lack of RAM or I/O speed.
  4. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    New York
    Just a couple of tips, 1. Make sure you're on fast media and 2. Using ProRes doesn't hurt!
  5. BeatCrazy thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2011
    Yes, I'm typically using only the internal SSD on the nMP (fast!). I'm not that familiar with ProRes, but I suppose I should be if I get FCP X.

Share This Page

4 October 28, 2016