Questions about 13" retina Macbook Pro - for Film Editing, Music, Animation, Design?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mokaman51, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. Mokaman51 macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    A House
    First of all, I'm looking to purchase the computer anywhere from June-October - so I am in no rush at all, and 'hopefully' by that time, there would be an update to the system, because from what I'm hearing, the 15" is the recommended, even for hobbyists. Nevertheless I am curiously wanting to know what software will "just work" for my needs and what software will "defiantly work" for my needs. This is a laptop I am intending to use for both for School and travelling at years end, so I'm leaning on the 13" right now for portability, not to take up too much desk space, and have the BEST battery life - even one hour is important in my opinion.

    I've heard screen real-estate and horrid render time are what really push people over to the 15", I hope to hear otherwise. But I also need specifics on the capability for editing films, composing music, animating in Flash, and working lag-less Photoshop projects, to win over the 15".

    To be even more precise, I will explain the specific work loads I would do on the go:

    1. Film Editing - Create YouTube format (2-10 minute) films, shooting on 1080p DSLR's, edit on Premiere Pro (though Final Cut Pro X is being advertised to be more efficient than Premiere - or is that just false? I may jump to FCP X later on if I hear more good feedback). Editing wise, the most effects I would use are Colour Correction + Grading & occasional small Image Resizing\Zooming fixes. I am rarely going to use After Effects, but simple point tracking can come into use sometimes.

    2. Music Composition - I use Logic Pro X with half audio recordings, half digital instruments. if I were to make a complicated song, it would end up with 20 tracks at the most (which is honestly not much). I have seen proof that Logic Pro can even run on Macbook Air, so I don't think I will have any problems. I'm very much looking forward to having a laptop, so I will have the easy ability to plug into the TV and work on my setup there with a MIDI keyboard, rather on my powerful home computers desk - so this isn't at all an on the go type job.

    3. Animation with Flash - I have not read or watched one bit of information regarding the rMBP's ability to run complicated Flash animations. I am hoping to hear about this, but in all honesty it doesn't seem like a likely situation where I would actually attempt to make an animation on the go (carrying around the Tablet and all...)

    4. Photoshop - with Photoshop, I do things from drawing art with a tablet, making high resolution posters\artwork for other material I make, and most of all just making random picture edits for comedic purposes that I'd post on Social sites...

    Currently, the 512GB + 2.8 i7 (upgrade) + (maybe) 8GB RAM - looks like the current deal I would get. Hoping to get the best rendering times, but In real world terms, if this becomes the standard for the next model and a hypothetical 13" Quad Core is available (but way overpriced), this is the reason I am hoping to get feedback now + to get me excited and motivated for the wait while I save up.
  2. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    Now thats a question with some useful info!
    Looks like you already thought your decision well through.

    What DSLR are your using?
    You might want to correct camera shakes. Premier does this way better than fcp.
    Google the difference!

    Rendering times are not that good on my rmbp 13". A quadcore should help.
    Photoshop and lightroom are effortless on any macbook.
  3. commac macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2013
    I think your top spec 13" is more than adequate for your needs as they are. The i7 will go through battery faster than a slower clocked i5 but if you want power you have to sacrifice some battery. Apple claims 9 hours but if you're rendering and/or editing on battery it won't last more than a couple if that. The reasons to go 15" (as I did after trying the 13") are screen size, the quad CPU and the video card. Even the base 15" with iris pro igpu is much better than the 13" iris igpu. To the point I found using a high res external monitor with photoshop sluggish at the apple store. Performance increased in clam shell mode but with 2 displays (1 being retina) I wasn't happy. Rendering would be faster with the 15" and if you ever get more into after affects there are some features the 13" won't be able to do. In the end, I'd say if you want a 13" get one and test the *%#^ out of it. If it doesn't meet your needs try a 15".
  4. CausticPuppy macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2012

    I think this one (film editing) is the one that's going to strain your system more than any other. I haven't seen anything that says FCPX is more efficient than Premiere, except on the Mac Pro where GPU acceleration isn't supported for the D300/D500/D700.

    But now the new mac pro GPU's are listed under the supported Mac OpenCL devices for Premiere:

    What's missing from the Premiere support are the new Intel integrated GPU's, which support OpenCL. Assuming FCPX makes use of the iGPU's on newer MacBooks, then it may be faster than Premiere for GPU-dependent tasks if you don't have a discrete GPU.
  5. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    If you doing rendering, you shouldn't be looking at the 13" in the first place. You should be looking at the base 15" with a quad-core i7 with 8 threads.

    A quad-core isn't going to make it to the 13" due to thermal constraints.

    The 2.6GHz i5 vs the 2.8GHz i7 in the 13" isn't that much of a difference because both have 2 cores and 4 threads.
  6. leftyMac macrumors regular

    Feb 20, 2011
    my 2011 13 MBP (only dual core) with SSD can handle all those with ease, and I do use those apps extensively. so any of new MBPs with the configurations you mentioned should be fine. but the only gripe is rendering time. it's really up to you though. if you are planning on making an hour film, or doing all kinds of after effects animation and using tons of filters, it might take painfully long to render. but for creating youtube videos and such, the difference in rendering time should be negligible.
  7. Mokaman51 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    A House
    Thank you all for the very informative answers - which I wasn't expecting from such a huge question. To reply to Meister's question on the DSLR's - I am mainly using the Canon T3i\600D\Kiss X5 (being a crop sensor - which would defiantly add to the camera shakes) - but for a big project (when I finish my first big script...), I have the ability to borrow a friends 5D Mark II.

    Overall, it sounds as though the 13" is 'capable' for many of the basic tasks given, even long video edits (without effects). But rendering is the biggest drawback to the 13".

    I think it's probably more up to me, when I finally decide which specific model to get, and now I may have to start looking into the 15" Macbook's (money isn't a problem if I don't get the Dedicated GPU). Although one last question may help me out, or recommend me a video to explain: How so would the 15" be faster in rendering times, has anyone done such tests?

    EDIT: I think I should add, I would defiantly only edit big projects on my home computer, but the ability to be editing scenes or smaller projects on the go would be a dream! So, it's not like this is going to be my main computer.
  8. Moosebear macrumors newbie

    Jan 5, 2014
    In your position, I'd ask myself how often that little bit of rendering time bump is really going to affect me... vs. how often the portability is going to affect me.

    I tried a 15" and found that it was unwieldy and... a bit awkward, not just for carrying around, but for like, laying around and relaxing and reading etc. Fine for working with at a desk, but the 13" is a smaller machine that slips neatly onto your lap and into your bag. More comfy, for me.
  9. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Camera shake or not, it's up to the user and the lens. I always make it a point to shoot with lenses that have IS (mainly my 70-200mm 2.8L IS II USM and a 24-70 f/4L IS USM). I shoot on a 1Dc (4K) and also a 5D Mk3 and so far, I don't get shake when shooting handheld with the 5D. The 1Dc is always used on a tripod with a ball head though.
  10. Mokaman51 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 17, 2014
    A House
    Your right, in the end, if I'm using this more for a portability factor with the ability to do medium to slight heavy level work on it, then having the best travelling experience is what counts. As I stated, I will be taking this around for school use, so I am becoming convinced a 15" is more for people that constantly work on major projects, even 4K on the go, rather than home (which I can work). Thanks that solidifies my thought.

    I sure know my way around cameras, lenses and equipment (despite being DIY equipment). I'm well equip, and from small tests I have done with Premiere, it seems digital stabilisation isn't even that reliable. The biggest problems Camera wise to worry about is Rolling Shutter!

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