Retina MBP for editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sunshadow, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. sunshadow macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    I'm thinking of getting a new MBP for video editing, but the retina ones all have SSD's which is awesome because they are fast, but it's expensive to get a high capacity SSD, and they are not user replaceable, to my knowledge. Plus the RAM isn't user replaceable either. I dunno if I could live with 256gb internal memory, and I'm not willing to pay for the 512gb.

    Those of you who edit on the Retina MBP's, do you store your videos on an external drive? Do you just pull the content you need onto the hard drive when you are going to be doing the editing? Where do you store it all afterward? I have all my video content kept on various SD cards and external drives, but I prefer to keep a lot of it on my actual computer.
  2. JustinePaula macrumors regular

    Mar 14, 2012
    Ok, I have the 8GB RAM 256GB SSB late 2013 retina macbook pro, and it sucks, I think that only idiots abuse to the level Jony and company did with the solder. I hate that the rmbp is soldered in, the parts are not replaceable.

    For the most part my retina macbook pro sits on the desk, external keyboard, external mouse, external 1TB USB2.0 drive, external analogue speakers.. The on board audio from the on board speakers sounds like Donald Duck on helium, this is a replacement mac...

    8GB RAM is barely able to run Mavericks, then this same 8GB has to run Mavericks and FCP X, when it is rendering or playing proxy files, I have memory cleaner running, doing a convert media to proxy, through FCP X, and I run out of RAM, yet the x website says 8GB is enough..Well they lie, and lie big time, I am not sure 128GB RAM would be enough..

    Mavericks is a resource hog, and I thought Win8.1 was the worst, nothing chews more RAM than Mavericks..

    My advice, if you do not need a mac right now today, then wait to see what happens after WWDC 2015 June 8, 2015 - June 12, 2015 (Best guess) [macrumors data].

    Might be new macbook range launched, but the feeling of creatives I have been in contact with is that the pro range is history, all about supporting the lowest of market, that professional grade laptops are in the past.

    FCP X demands a larger screen, oodles of RAM and SSD, so why no decent 15 or better 17inch laptops? Something between ultra portable, the macbook launched yesterday and a desk based device with a screen a few inches less than an imac..
  3. e1me5 macrumors 6502


    Jun 11, 2013
    First of all, JustinePaula is right. You should wait until the WWDC in June when most probably the 15" MBP will get updated (the 13" was updated yesterday).

    For editing on a MBP, I always edit using an external hard drive as a scratch disk or the location of my project's library. It is not a good practice to edit on the hard drive that contains the OS, even if it is an SSD since this will slow down the computer and wear the drive much faster. All the latest MBP have super fast ports to connect an external hard drive (USB 3, Thunderbolt) and you won't notice any slowdowns during the edit unless you are editing 4K RAW and up. The size of the SSD has to do with what apps you want to have on your laptop and not from the amount of video files. As for the RAM, all 15" have 16GB and that is the max you can have even if you can update the RAM. 16GB are more than enough for editing on a laptop, as for me I can edit on FCPX, encode a couple of clips at the same time, have safari open with plenty of tabs and also MS word with a big script that i need to edit, iTunes to play music and everything is fluent( I use a mid-2012 MPB non retina with an 1tb SSD and 16GB ram, OS X 10.10.2). OS X is very good at managing resources.

    If your needs can be satisfied with a MBP, then you should just wait to get the best deal out of it.
  4. ColdCase, Mar 10, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Its gonna get hot.

    I have one and two year old rMPB that I use extensively for video editing and transcoding. At the desk I use an external Thunderbolt enclosure with two high performance 2TB 7200rpm drives in RAID0 (4TB of high performance storage) and a Samsung 850 SSD for scratch (10 year warranty, not concerned about it wearing out). Also a 4TB drive in the 4 bay enclosure for backups. My archives are on another multibay enclosure. I have a larger very good external monitor paired with the rMBP15 at the desk. I am never waiting for stored data while editing.

    I also like the idea of having enough internal memory to handle scratch and small project field trips without having to carry a bunch of external hard drives and find a way to power them. One thing I learned from rMBP1 is that I always seemed to run out of internal storage, and that has a 512GB SSD. So for rMBP2 I maxed out with 1TB internal memory and couldn't be happier. The idea of not mixing OS with working data on the 1000GBps internal PCe SSD is old school, by the time the internal SSD shows any sign of wear ten years from now, you will be ready for the next laptop :) The Samsung SSD is almost as fast, but working on files stored internally is noticeably snappier.

    Certainly not as good as a MacPro setup for the desk for transcoding, but it is portable. And depending on your workflow, may or may not make sense for you.

    If you want to edit video, you either pay a price up front, or later with slower workflows. Your situation depends on how cheap your time is. Creativity likes to move at its own pace, and I'd hate to have a machine slowing me down :) But we all know life is full of compromise, so buy as much as you can afford. When to buy is another topic as buying know gives you a proven product, and later price increases may erode the capability you can afford. You can often pick up an end of model rMBP at a steep discount.
  5. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    I just got the 15" retina full aspects, 1TB, 2.8 i7, 16 GB Ram. I am typing on it right now while doing a 3D render in Cinema 4D in the background.

    For video editing always use external drives, you would do with 256 internal as long you have your projects in a fast drive outside. That would do.
  6. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac
    Iris Pro or dedicated GPU?
  7. sunshadow thread starter macrumors member

    May 27, 2010
    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll wait to see what happens WWDC before deciding. I don't do that much video editing, but I have a few things I need to work on soon. My current setup will (painfully) suffice. My other thought was just to get a mac mini and a 2nd screen, I'd lose the portability), but I doubt I'd be doing any editing "on the go". Right now I'm working off of a Windows desktop that can't keep up with rendering, using Adobe Premiere, which I could just put on a macbook or a mac mini instead. Plus I can put in a larger drive and more ram on my own w/ a Mac Mini and save some money.

    I'll keep in mind working off of an external drive from now on. Right now my desktop has 2 internal drives, and the one w/ the OS on it is separate from the one w/ the videos and where the swap file is stored.

    Right now I have a 2010 13" MBP that's working fine but only has 4gb ram, and a 15" MBP retina for work w/ 16gb ram and 256gb ssd, but I can't really use it for personal projects.
  8. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    Be careful with the new Mac Mini:

    - the RAM is soldered
    - I'm not sure about swapping out the HDD (base model may be okay)
    - the CPU and iGPU are underwhelming I believe

    Best bet may be a 2012 i7 Mac Mini but I would do some research before pulling the trigger if you decide on new or old Mac Mini. I haven't been following Mac Mini threads since the new ones were announced and have put off buying one for now.

  9. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    The previous posts are essentially correct - Apple notebooks cannot be upgraded for memory, and limited upgrade options for disk. I have upgraded 2 MBAs (different models, different parts) using OWC SSDs. There is also some discussion on other boards about whether TRIM can be applied under Yosemite to non-Apple disks, and does it really matter. If you don't need much portability, and want some expansion/upgrade, a mini is a good choice.
  10. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    The actual Mac Book Pro that is selling right now, the 15" top of the line full aspects. 2GB of Vram.
  11. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2010
    I have a late 2013 13" rMBP 8GB 256GB that I use for field capturing and essential editing in FCP X. Would a 15" with discrete graphics be faster? Sure. But I have a desktop at home that does the heavy lifting.

    FCP X runs surprisingly well on only 8GB of RAM when working with 1080p or 720p footage. However, if this is going to be your primary system for editing, I would definitely go for 16GB.

    Don't listen to people that say Mavericks/Yosemite are memory hogs. A lot of people look at Activity Monitor or their system stat widgets in 10.9 and 10.10 and flip out when they see 12 of 16 GB used when they've only got Mail and Safari open. 10.9 and 10.10 use an entirely different type of resource management that tries to maximize the use of the RAM to make your system more responsive. A lot of people, myself included, got accustomed to viewing the amount of Free Memory in system profiler as an indicator for when the system was running low on resources. That isn't the case anymore and, once I got over obsessing about free memory, I found the new system works pretty well when you let it do it's job.

    Free memory doesn't do anything for your system, so modern versions of OS X actively try to make use of all the RAM in a system all the time by caching frequently used data. Priority goes to Applications, so if you launch an app that needs memory, it will be released for it.

    The replacement gauge for free memory is Memory Pressure. It is shown as a line graph in Activity Monitor. As long as the graph is green, your system has enough RAM and your system performance is not affected. Yellow means your are getting to the limits, and Red means you've spilled over and performance is being impacted.

    Using FCP X on 8GB, my memory pressure tends to stay near the top of the green range, yellow if I have other apps open. OS X and FCP X do a very good job managing system memory and I think 16GB would be plenty unless you are working in 4k or on feature length projects.

    For storage, I find 256GB optimum if you are not looking to store a lot of personal media (iTunes library, photos etc.) I have a standard Yosemite install with Final Cut X, Motion, Compressor, Photoshop, Lightroom, Media Encoder, Office 2011 and iWork installed and I had 180 GB left over which is great for capturing field footage when necessary. Otherwise all my FCP X libraries go on external media (USB 3 and TB).
  12. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    While I am doing a render on my 2010 iMac, the same render takes literally half the time in the 15" MBP (1TB Drive, 2.8 i7, 16GB of ram).
  13. 4God macrumors 68020


    Apr 5, 2005
    My Mac

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