Resolved Seeking hardware advice for a startup

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by thizisweird, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. thizisweird macrumors member

    thizisweird

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    I'm currently putting together a business plan so I can pitch a business loan. My main experience is with audio production, but this loan is for video editing; so naturally I am getting confused with what might cause slowdowns at my desk, and what will hinder mobile editing. The loan would be used for a new 13" MBP TB model (16GB/512GB, 3.5GHz i7), and all other necessary hardware, so the budget isn't entirely set right now. I do, however, want to attempt to keep everything well below the $5k mark concerning hardware. Then again, I won't argue with practicality.

    I will be using FCPX, Motion, and After Effects, for video work on the MBP. I'll likely be limiting my projects to 4K resolution, as my target markets shouldn't have a need for anything larger.

    Below is what I have in my head for hardware use, but I would love input from experienced users. I'm new to Macs, grew up with Windows, and will always be an audio guy deep down, so excuse the ignorance:
    To start myself off, I currently have use of a cMP 4,1 that I plan to load up with HDDs in RAID 1. This would house all the data I am working with, and act as my cold storage in the short term. Eventually, I would upgrade the drives to SSDs and run a RAID 0. The main reason I want hang onto this tower is to act as a temporary NAS, as well as aid the MBP when running Compressor.

    For the MBP, I was thinking of using OWC's 2TB Buffalo Thunderbolt drive as mobile storage. I've seen some mentions of less responsive skimming while editing 4K content off of Thunderbolt 3 drives, but I'm curious if that's really much of a concern? Is there much I should even worry about with this? Also, while I don't plan to edit on the location of a shoot, I'd hate to refuse the work because I didn't spend the extra for proper mobile storage. I would also use it for whenever I feel like working outside my home, but I doubt this aspect would be as much of a worry. I just need enough to get me by when I need a change of scenery, or for the occasional demo/minor fix on the spot for a client. A shove in the right direction from some of the experienced editors would be great.

    Backtracking a little bit, I'm also having a little mental struggle with editing off the HDDs in the cMP over ethernet via the MBP. As an audio guy, my solution is: use an ethernet adapter with the MBP, wire it up to the cMP, and point my libraries to the cMP drives. I never had problems pulling all of my samples over USB 2.0 when producing music; then again, that's peanuts compared to 4K editing (USB 2.0 should handle up to 198 WAV samples, in theory, so I'm in a different world here). Would 4K editing over ethernet even be a potential issue? I would think so, given it's gigabit ethernet, and this chart provided by VashiVisuals doesn't look too promising for what I'm wanting to do. Should I look into having multiple external drives, or buying a desktop RAID and only use the cMP for my cold storage?

    I've learned a good amount just from trying to make this post worthwhile, and it seems like I'm a little misguided. Maybe I'll be okay, but I'd rather be safe. I doubt I'll need what I desire within the first year of business, but I like overkill; and I've found overkill is always good for business.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    "I will be using FCPX, Motion, and After Effects, for video work on the MBP. I'll likely be limiting my projects to 4K resolution, as my target markets shouldn't have a need for anything larger."

    "We're gonna need a bigger boat..." ;)

    You're going to need something "heftier" than a 13" MacBook Pro...
     
  3. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #3
    That was my thought too. Not familiar with your old Mac Pro, I think it's from 2009 but there were various versions. Depending on which, it might be about the same speed as the new 13" MBP - you can compare geekbench scores at everymac.com to get some idea.

    I have used my i7 MacBook Air with FCPX and it worked fine, but rendering was pretty slow. The 13" MBP is a bit faster but not dramatically so. And it also has integrated graphics. I'm currently using a 2012 quad core 2.6ghz i7 Mini and it's probably 30% faster than the MBP you're looking at, but it has an older graphics chip. It works very well for my needs, which at the moment are largely 720p30 and 1080p30. I don't work with 4k but am pretty sure I'd want something faster if I did.

    My other thought is that gigabit ethernet is not something I'd want to use for editing. That will limit you to somewhere between 100 to 120 MB/sec which is like a cheap bus powered USB 3.0 hard disk. I use gigabit ethernet for backup and file transfer however, and that can take awhile with big video files.

    I have a bunch of nexpensive high capacity (2tb - 5tb) desktop USB 3.0 disks and they are around 180MB/sec. But I edit my current projects on a 1tb Samsung T3 USB 3.0 SSD. It clocks around 400MB/sec write speed. It's very tiny and bus-powered so it would meet your portability needs. I also have a 500MB version of the same SSD and they make a 2TB version.

    Thunderbolt should certainly be faster in theory but I don't know what the real world versions are like plus I know they are expensive. And a SSD should beat anything that has a spinning hard disk inside. :)
     
  4. ColdCase, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #4
    You can make do with about anything, if you have the time. Editing is much more satisfying with your Library residing on flash (internal) or, as a second choice, external SSD in a TB enclosure. I abandoned USB for real time editing a couple years ago, just way too quirky. USB is fine for archive storage and unattended backup. Forget about editing over ethernet.

    A 15 ich screen is also much more satisfying to use, much more real estate, but you will really need an external larger monitor to do creative work. Simple cuts and transitions can be done on just about anything, but if you are going to get into story lines with multiple tracks....

    So think about a 15 inch macpro, perhaps used, with as much internal flash as you can afford. Keep your working library on the internal flash. Use a TB external drive if you can't do that.

    My rMBP is a pleasure to edit on, but can be slow (and very hot) rendering and processing effects like stabilization. I went to a Macpro for processor intensive tasks that I lack patience with, maybe save 25% and am not beating on the laptop.

    I have a high end 3,1 hanging around in case I need to author a DVD. It has internal SSDs and when I edit, the slowness in comparison, is quite noticeable. Something you may not notice if you never used a powerful machine.

    Don't bother raiding SSDs unless you need larger than a 2TB volume, buy faster samsung pros. In my experience, the difference in response is not noticeable and its much less quirky (you spend more time with creative work than troubleshooting)

    There are a lot of ways to skin the cat, and the ideal system is based on your type of workflow... which can change over time. So scalability should be a consideration in anything you do. Its not something you can do well on the cheap, but you can get your feet wet with less capability, with the chance of being discouraged. The iMacPro coming down the line would be something to look at for heavy duty lifting.
     
  5. BeechFlyer macrumors regular

    BeechFlyer

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    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    #5
    My thoughts exactly.

    thizisweird, the 13" MBP is already a compromise for HD editing. Working with 4K material won't be much fun. Anything that requires the video scopes or angle viewer to be open reduces your video window to a size much too small. I have a 13" MBP as well as a 27" iMac, I edit on both, and the iMac with the large screen makes things so much easier. So, are you sure you need the mobility of a laptop? Would you consider an iMac, maybe even a previous-generation model to leave money for RAM, a large SSD (yes, you'll want that) etc.?
     
  6. thizisweird, Sep 26, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017

    thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #6
    Prepare to read :D some clarifications, a little expansion on things didn't mention in the first post.... you get the idea.

    Naturally, I would prefer to edit off the internal storage. If I can avoid spending the extra $400 on flash, and use it for external storage, I'm okay with giving up some practicality. But if upgrading to 1TB of flash is going to make me breathe that much easier, then I guess I shouldn't complain much. Proxy media sounds like a way to combat problems with using Thunderbolt 3, but I have 2 concerns: 1) does proxy media take up the same amount of storage regardless of the source file's bitrate? 2) would FCPX care if the external drive is plugged in, and the proxy files are stored in flash?

    Anything I missed or overlooked there?

    I've been thinking about that a lot, but it's an extra $500 just to keep it comparably spec'd; and still another $400 to get 1TB of flash. Will it really be worth the money? I have played around with the 13" at the Apple store, and I'm perfectly okay with how little screen there is. This is also coming from a person who's only owned 17" laptops. I'd also prefer to have that extra $500 invested in a refurbished LG 31MU97-B (about $650 on eBay right now), Dell U3415W, or the BenQ BL2711U. If I'm going to spend more for screen real estate from day one, I'd consider an external display to be worth more than an extra 2" on the MBP. Or will the upgraded graphics be worth the extra $500 on its own? Would an eGPU be just as viable an option when needed? Or would an eGPU not be as economical as upgrading the internal graphics?

    As for multiple tracks, you're referring to multi-cam and the like- right? I'm only used to that term being used with audio, so just clarifying. That is something I'm looking to offer my clients, especially because a friend owns a small venue that caters to musicians and presentations. If this is going to cause problems, then I guess a 15" MBP would be worth it? Just trying to make my purchase as justified as possible.

    I'd have the cMP handy for when the MBP just isn't cutting it with certain things in FCPX (like stabilisation), and I'd happily invest into new CPUs (it's a dual 2.26GHz) if I needed the extra power. Or am I looking at this whole situation wrong? I'm open to that possibility.

    Problem with the 850 Pro drives is the 4,1 doesn't allow for the full 6Gb/s throughput. If I used a RAID 0, that would allow better performance. In theory... or so I've been lead to believe. I was thinking I could also see if the 850 Pro drives would come down in price over the course of the loan, which would allow me to spend roughly the same as I would on 2TB of 850 Pro storage (regardless how many drives are used) on 16TB of HDDs (8TB in RAID 1). I found a USB 3.0 PCIe card from OWC that would be a nice option for transferring back and forth from the external drives, which would make the cMP a fairly decent hub for primary storage of all my work. Why RAID 1? I never trust HDDs, had a few fail on me over the years, and this is for work lol. And, when it's time to update certain parts, I'd buy new hardware accordingly.

    I mean, this isn't the best way of doing things by any stretch of the imagination... but I think it's a fair middle ground for my first couple years as a startup. I have plenty of storage for personal projects, I shouldn't have a problem holding data obtained from clients, and it's the least expensive option for mass storage. Then again, I'm not sure exactly how fair this would be to me, and for how long.

    This is exactly why I'd like to hear input from experienced editors. I'm pretty sure there's going to be a limit that I'll hit with either size MBP, but I'm really not 100% sure where that will be, and what direction my clients will steer me. But hey, every piece of hardware has its limitations

    I'm far from a master with VLE software, but as business grows, and new types of projects arise, that will change. I'm also barely able to run FCPX stably right now on my cMP, as it needs a full internal upgrade if I were to use it commercially (it's been stripped, as it was a surplus auction tower). I'd also have to purchase a display instead of borrowing an A1082 like I am now (not a reliable business practise), power supply is ancient so I'd buy a spare one for peace of mind.... Yes, it is substantially cheaper to get going at full spec, but the MBP would allow me a lot more flexibility with clients. Having a MBP would allow me to edit on location if needed (which is a huge bonus, as I do have plans to offer services that would benefit from this), at my favourite coffee shops, or even just pull out the MBP and do a little work when I have downtime away from home. Yes, the latter of the three is very common for me. I'm not a religious person, but to quote Philippians, "An idle mind is the devil's playground." I'd rather be able to work wherever I like when I have a spare hour or so, instead of wasting it because it's not time efficient to go home and work.

    I also don't expect to get discouraged from a slow computer, if I'm being honest. As long as the computer is stable, and it can manage to yield the result I'm looking for somehow, then I think I'll be okay. I produced music on a Core2 Duo w/4GB RAM, constantly pegging the CPU, and managed to master a 7 minute composition when a tiny adjustment with any VST would cause me to wait up to 1 minute (I had to "freeze" all tracks in Ableton during playback just to avoid a crash, and that was 100% hardware limitation). That was my work ethic for a hobby, and it was never released for the income. I'm used to working with slow computers, but I am trying to reduce the possibility of hitting the VLE equivalent of my DAW days lmao.

    I doubt I'll get to a similar point with a 13" MBP unless I ran Resolve... but I could always be wrong! Anyone care to read my wall of text and add to it? I promise you it's worth getting into my head :)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 26, 2017 ---
    I think what's above is a decent response, but I'll expand slightly just for you.

    If I were to invest in an iMac, my main problem is I'm tied down to a single location. Sure, I don't really need the capability to go mobile, but I would speculate that it's a major selling point for a startup; especially with the way I plan to market myself, and the services I plan to offer. Going much further in explanation would be to lay out my entire business plan here... and unless someone wants to fund me, I'm not doing that lol. I'm perfectly okay with sacrificing some practicality for being portable, and to make my clients happier with what I offer. While it sounds counter-intuitive, I can work with slow render times. My dad has an identical tower to the one I plan on using as a NAS/secondary workstation, so I expect that I could probably shave render times down enough with the two towers connected to the MBP. If I'm wrong on this, please correct me.

    To give the TL;DR version of why I don't like the cMP upgrade path:If you spend about $2k on a cMP to work in one place, or (with my original idea) about $2,500 for something with similar capabilities and the ability to go mobile... I'd say the latter option is much more enticing. But hey, I'm asking for help for a reason.
     
  7. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #7
    eGPUs are an expensive route of last resort, I think.

    The 4,1 has a lot of limitations, but I was hearing that you were going to plug raided SSDs into the laptop. Some SSDs do not work well in a RAID. Nothing ruins the portability of a laptop more than hauling portable drives along for the ride, unless you also haul a monitor. :)

    Just items to think about, no show stoppers. Worth is subjective and life is full of compromise.

    Years ago I'd bandaid whatever I had laying around and made it work. At this point in my career I'd rather use the proper/best tool, much more satisfying and cost effective, if time is money. Rated speed of individual components isn't everything. So my opinion may be tainted :) If you routinely edit 4k+, your tools can make a big difference in a hurry, however.
     
  8. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #8
    I should probably clarify some of this for ya, but much thanks for the input :)

    The raided SSDs would be inside a cMP (not an external RAID enclosure). This is also more of an ideal situation, and would likely be down the road. I'm estimating within 12 months I'll go that SSD route in the cMP, as the cost of 2TB is about the same as 16TB of HDDs, and I will need more than 2TB of storage early on for a number of (lengthy) reasons. The portable drive solution I'm thinking of is the 2TB Buffalo MiniStation, which is limited to 10Gb/s (v. 40Gb/s throughput of Thunderbolt). I am slightly worried that this wouldn't be enough, especially if I am given footage encoded in ProRes 4444 (4K res) or higher. I doubt this is even going to be thrown my way over the first year... maybe even two years... but it's impossible to know what a client will want before your company is funded. I have a hunch this will be enough, though.

    As far as an eGPU goes, it does look like it would be better to toss an RX 5XX series card (or similar performance/dollar) into the cMP... should I actually need it.

    As for the 15" MBP option, I did a little more looking and realised I overlooked a few benefits that the extra $500 would get me. It looks like the key differences are: dedicated GPU, quad core v. dual core processor, an extra 4MB of L3 cache, twice the system bus speed (which I chalk up to the extra cache), and support for more displays (naturally). After some consideration, and noticing that I'd be getting a quad core chip, I'm wondering it the extra $500 would actually be worth it to have the quad cores and the dedicated graphics. The only real question I have is: where will this really show in FCPX and Motion? I believe After Effects is going to use the GPU more, but I'm going to try to stick with Motion for my VFX (I don't like the layout of Adobe software at all, it reminds me of crappy DAWs).

    While I'd love to put the extra cash towards a nice IPS display for color correction and to gain overall screen real estate, I'm starting to get torn over which I'd benefit from more. The extra CPU and GPU power is tempting, but is it really going to be necessary for having a stable workflow?

    I do have an appointment in half an hour, and I will be hitting the Apple store on my way home to see what the staff has to say. Still, I prefer hearing as many answers from you guys as possible.
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 601

    Boyd01

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    #9
    It should certainly speed up rendering. My quad core Mini renders twice as a fast as my old dual core, which is also proportional to their geekbench ratings. :)
     
  10. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #10
    I understand I've typed a lot, but please note that I have mentioned a few times that I'd use the cMP to help shorten rendering times. As well, my dad has an identical cMP that I could render with, so that's 2x cMP towers running 2x quad core chips at 2.26GHz. Not ideal for rendering, but that is a lot of threads. I can also only upgrade the cMP's processors for about $250-ish and I'd have 12 cores at near peak performance for that tower... so no, not really worried about rendering times on this just yet.

    But, as I keep repeating, if there's something I'm overlooking (like if the two cMP towers wouldn't really shorten rendering as expected), then I'm happy to discuss it :) I might sound a bit abrasive, but I have put hours into my previous posts to ensure I haven't overlooked anything..... this is going to be hardware for a company I plan to carry for at least 5 years..... I'm simply trying to perform due diligence. I'd appreciate it if those wanting to help would thoroughly read my previous posts. Nothing personal, mate; I often skip long posts too lol
     
  11. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    NH
    #11
    I'm not sure if you overlooked it in your workflow but the time it takes to create the proxies that allow you to use less capable hardware to edit (or if you care). I think you may have considered the extra storage required. You can certainly keep the source video on an external drive, and bring it in as a proxy to a library on the internal flash drive and it could be a satisfying video editing environment. A potent multicore CPU in your portable editing machine will speed up the "import" process where proxies are created dramatically. But if you are working with a few 5 minute videos, its won't mater.

    You say you are not worried about render times, as that only come into the workflow timeline after you complete the edit and are ready to share/export the final video, and you have a render farm to do the heavy work. I often notice something post rendering that I need to go back and fix, so for a workflow timeline render times are important, but that just may be me. Render farms are beyond my knowledge base, I like to keep things simple and render overnight.

    Just discussing in general and offering opinions, because you may have a workflow that lends itself to some economies. You seem to have some hardware at the shop for heavy lifting, but if you are editing on the road (proxy approach or not) and time is money, buy as good a laptop as you can afford.... especially if its a 5 year investment. You may be editing 32k video in 5 years :) On the other hand, planning for the minimum essential initially and an upgrade path over the years if and when you company grows, is another sound approach many seemed to have used. Technology moves so fast.

    Bottom line, however, its going to be your creativity that makes more of a difference than the specific tools. The right compromise in tools may speed things up enough to overcome the hardware expense.
     
  12. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #12
    I didn't mean that the computer would be a 5 year investment; I meant that I plan to maintain the company for at least 5 years, and that this would be an initial investment. I can see the misunderstanding, though.

    You are right, though... I did overlook the import process. That's a good point, come to think of it. I guess I figured the proxy rendering wouldn't take very long, but I do have experience with proxy files taking forever to render on the cMP. Forgot about that completely. And I'm sure I won't just be working with 5 minute clips, so that's worth considering. Nice catch, there. I'm also right behind you with the multiple renderings, as I've had a couple projects that were shot in 30fps, edited in 24fps (without looking choppy), and then the output from Compressor looked awful due to my settings... among other flubs I didn't catch at first. I guess that makes sense, but I'm also unsure of the real benefit. Eh, just me. Thanks for the input though! I really didn't think much of those proxy files until now. That actually might be the one factor that makes it all worth it.... especially if I need to make proxies to make mobile editing simpler.

    New question: I was at the Apple store, played around with both the 15" and 13", and I noticed something really odd. I figured I'd play with color correction, and was working on their 4K project when I realised that the projects on both computers were slightly different. I was correcting their opening clip with the flower, and after getting the colours to my liking on the 15" screen, I copied the numbers to the 13" next to it. In full screen, on the exact same frame, identical colour correction, the colours weren't as similar as I had hoped for. There was a noticeable difference, and I wish I had someone to verify it for me. I understand it won't be an identical picture between the two (we aren't that advanced just yet), but different colours popped out more on each display more than just a teeny tiny bit, and the overall colour between the two wasn't even the same in certain parts. This applied to both with and without a shape mask. Maybe it was the lighting?

    I wish I had 4-6 hours to spend there some day, but I just don't :/ I'd probably find a few other differences, but I know the only real way to test all this is to dive deep and risk hitting the bottom. Anyone have an explanation for the colour differences I saw? That one is really stumping me. I wouldn't expect the displays to have had that much wear, and I doubt there's much of a difference after a basic calibration. I know it isn't ideal for colour grading, but I would definitely have some jobs where I wouldn't mind using it for that. Both screens are way too small for any real intensive work, so either way I go I'd want a desktop display asap. Even still, that experience I had in the store only took away almost all confidence I had in those screens. The staff wasn't very pleasant to deal with (I know retail sucks with major releases, I last worked as a retail lackey 2 years ago), and most of the personnel at this store are clueless about hardware from my experience, so I can see how the screens might need a calibration... but these MBPs were released in friggin June. There is zero excuse for that, unless it's just the nature of having a larger screen......

    Thoughts, anyone? Experiences comparing the two?
     
  13. BeechFlyer macrumors regular

    BeechFlyer

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    #13
    Color correction is a complex topic. One widely accepted fact, though, is that one cannot do color correction just by looking at the computer screen and adjust parameters until it feels right. I am far from an expert when it comes to color correction, but I do know how to use the video scopes in FCP X to correct exposure and white balance, which gives a huge improvement to most footage - and it is based on data, not subjective looks. For anything more advanced, you'll probably need a separate calibrated display.
    The good news is: Don't let your observation worry you too much; this is probably to be expected when you look at two different computer screens side by side.
     
  14. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #14
    Thanks for the explanation :) I was more curious about the difference in the colours than anything, and just fyi I wasn't going to colour grade paid work that way; but seeing two notebooks side by side with an apparent difference between the two monitors kind of made me wonder how accurate the displays would really be. I wouldn't expect the difference I saw, but I guess I'm a little more picky than I thought? I had a few scenarios in my head where things might go wrong, but I just didn't think it all through completely.

    Fun side note, I compared the 13" MBP fully loaded with the two 15" options, jotted down all the upgrades with final prices charted out, the standard pricing rigamarole... my uh...... my jaw dropped. The numbers I came up with are just astonishing. No idea who would buy a MBP with the Radeon 555 in it, as it's $100 difference from the Radeon 560 alternative when spec'd similar. So I'm basically still stuck at the original $500 difference in price I was originally debating.... 13" MBP for portability and immediate funds, or go 15" and sacrifice cash. But I'm going to wait for my pitch this weekend before I think too hard on what to do at this point. I'm really mostly waiting on the "when" and "who" factors right now. Very lucky position to be in; just difficult to juggle the hardware aspect while writing a full business plan in under a week.
     
  15. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #15
    You might consider the Apple refurb store; full warranty but about 15% discount usually.

    Some always buy refurb and have never had a problem but some do have issues, although I'm not sure if the rate is any different from buying new. Refurb products are supposed to be thoroughly tested before resale and some will have been returned for cosmetic reasons or just buyers remorse.

    I've only bought a MacBook Air for my daughter from the refurb store but it has performed flawlessly.

    Not sure whether the configuration you want is available though; you have to pick from what they have. There are some cases where people have received higher spec computers from what they ordered, presumably due to Apple not having the purchased one available.

    Best of luck.

    Cheers
     
  16. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #16
    I've considered that, but what I'm debating right now is a max spec 13" or the 15" w/1TB flash and everything else maxed out. If they have the exact 15" configuration I want for 15% off, that's basically the price of the 13"...... which means entry level 10-bit display money lol. Not a bad compromise.... Then again, with the word of mouth I've heard from Apple's refurbished phones, I'm hesitant. Could just be only bad experiences I've heard, too.

    I've owned a number of refurbished devices, and with my history (both man refurb and seller refurb) there's usually something left to be desired. My first laptop had a shortened battery life because it was a refurb, and had a few assembly problems (it was a Dell back in 2008, though). Half of my phones were refurbished buys, but I've had to deal with a burned in screen (luckily it wasn't terrible), poor battery life, loose charging ports (they worked, but still), and I've even had a phone with a piece of loose plastic inside it. Luckily I service all my own electronics, 'cause engineer father lol. I doubt Apple would let this kind of stuff happen to me, but I can't help being sceptical.

    I also won't wait for more than a couple days to purchase after I have funds available, so I might roll the dice if the one I want is available refurbished. I wonder if Apple Care applies just the same?........ they'd be the first company I've seen that offered 1:1 warranties for refurbished and new products. And since I'm going to have this MBP in my backpack just about any time I leave the house, I don't need the most aesthetically pleasing laptop. My motorcycle is beat to hell from a crash and many drops (n00b mistakes), so I'm used to seeing my precious baby looking like it was dragged behind a semi-truck.
     
  17. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    #17
    LOL my son has an engineer father too!

    I joined MacRumors to figure out what specs would give best bang for his buck when he bought his iMac (maxed out late 21.5 except for baseline HDD used for video editing and 3D animation) and have also built him a Linux rig for rendering his 3D stuff.

    With respect to warranty, Apple does not differentiate between refurb and new so no worries there; big issue is whether they have the computer you want available for offering.

    Cheers
     
  18. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

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    #18
    I never said it was a good thing, though lmao.

    Well, if they have a refurb of the specs I want, sounds like a good option ;) might grab the Apple care right then if it's cheap enough too
     
  19. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

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    Montreal, QC
    #19
    I found Apple Care expensive for laptops but reasonable for iMac so declined for my daughter's MacBook but purchased for my son's iMac; also have to consider that price of Apple Care is I believe independent of purchase price in that you pay the same for minimum spec as for custom built maxed out.

    Seeing as you will be buying a higher (maybe highest) spec MacBook definitely worth looking at.

    Best of luck.

    Cheers
     
  20. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #20
    The issue is the 13" MBP is only Dual Core, and has crap integrated graphics. You'll want the 15" for the Quad Core alone. I've never had a bad experience with Apple Refurb Store, had a few Refurb Macs over the years, you get the same 1 Year Warranty as new, and can still purchase the 3 Year Apple Care too.

    Your 2009 cMP CPU can be upgraded as well, I have a Hex Core 3.06GHZ chip in mine which started as a Quad 2.66GHZ. I would not edit 4k Video over Gigabit, 1080 should be good all day, but 4k is a different beast.
     
  21. thizisweird thread starter macrumors member

    thizisweird

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2017
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #21
    Always happy to hear a positive review for refurbished Macs. Thanks for the input, mate.

    After breaking down the pricing structure in this other post I made: Are these price to upsell?, and reviewing what exactly I would be getting for my extra $4-500 for each 15" MBP, I realised it was quite obvious to go with the 15" w/560 graphics. I didn't have much issue experimenting with the 13" in the store, but that is a very limited experience... and $500 for twice the cores, and far better graphics, with more screen real estate... hard to refuse when you're in my position. Regardless, much appreciated for the input :)

    And yeah, I could upgrade the cMP to be a competitor... but as I've stated before it would cost me about $2k to get it up to my spec, I'll need to buy a display from day one (I don't own the A1082 I've used with it, it's just borrowed), I'll want a spare PSU on hand to avoid downtime when this one craps out..... it quickly will reach a similar startup cost. I also lose portability for on-location shoots, and there's zero chance of editing in downtime away from home.... so it's really a terrible idea for my primary machine, even though it has better performance when updated.
     

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20 September 26, 2017