Tech question - for video editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by MacBookProzak, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. MacBookProzak macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    The tech question I have for the more technically savy forum users.

    I am considering getting a 13 inch MacBook Air.
    Mostly I was thinking of having it more for when I am on the road to do doe work remotely on other things I do that don't necessarily require alot of power.... however i was wondering that "if" I had to edit something remotely,

    -Using FCPX-
    Would this 13 inch configuration be able to handle it?
    How extensive of an edit could it handle?

    13-inch MacBook Air
    1.7GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
    8GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 SDRAM
    128GB Flash Storage

    I test drove one of these at the Apple store with FCPX that had an edit in the time line with about a 8 minute piece in it with multiple cuts, some transitions and text here and there, along with a music bed. It seemed to scrub through fine... however I wonder how hard this configuration could be pushed.

  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You can fill up 128GB real fast with video. you'd need more storage for any real project.

    You can always get decent performance if you edit down sized proxy media but where the "Air" will be slow is transcoding and rendering. But making cuts, you can make it work.

    For transcoding, bring the power adapter with you as you could take a LONG time

    I think the new Macbook Pro with retina is a better editing machine and not much larger. Get 256GB at least
  3. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Personally I wouldn't worry about internal storage size since all editing should be done external anyway, editing suites will always run better that way.

    Grab a nice USB 3.0 drive (thunderbolt if you really have the budget but probably overkill) to edit on and get whatever storage size you want.

    Aside from that I basically agree with this post though. Cutting should be alright but transcoding and rendering might slow down a bit on account of a weak GPU, technically an integrated one if I'm not mistaken. The CPU is alright mind you. A MBP would definitely offer a much stronger solution.
  4. MacBookProzak thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    Thanks for the opinions on this.

    Editing... at least anything major would not be what i would use it for, yet i was just curious what others thought of how much this machine could be pushed.
  5. arjen92, Feb 6, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2014

    arjen92 macrumors 65816


    Sep 9, 2008
    Below sea level
    Although I don't use FCPX, I do use premiere pro. I've been using it a lot on my macbook pro 13" from 2010. I was able to cut simple videos. Color correction and filters needed rendering though. Now I've upgraded to a full workstation.

    Anyway, the benchmarks for the new macbook Air are a lot higher. So it should perform better than my macbook pro.

    Your biggest concern would probably be disk size.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    SSD changes that old rule. The internal SSD is faster then ANY external disk including external SSDs.

    The reason for the rule to to external drives was "head contention". This is the read/write head had to move between tracks and of course the drive could do nothing while the heads were moving. So recording to the system drive just made everything slow. Theis problem COMPLETELY goes away with SSD. SSD does not reduce the problem it eliminates it completely.

    Today you still need the external drive because SSD is not big enough and for backup and archive. But your video data can go on the SSD.

    The new Macbook use flash memory connects to the system buss which is very fast. The Mac Pro does the same thing.

    Still RAM is even faster. Get as much of that as you can, then the largest SSD yo can afford.

    OK yes if you are still dealing with spinning mechanical disks, yu need to put the media on an external drive. Those shooting big projects are still dealing with disks as even the 512GB SSD will fill up very quickly. But of small projects, the eta fits i=on the system SSD, use that..
  7. AcesHigh87 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 11, 2009
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I'm not saying that fact is wrong, it's not and you actually explained it very well. The issue is that will the speed gain be important enough to be worth spending he extra money on internal storage when external solutions get you much more for much less?

    I run FCP and Avid on my iMac, cutting HD to a FW 800 drive and have no issues at all with my system handling things. I don't really see how t would go faster with an SSD to be worth not only filling up your main drive with video files but also spending a lot more money to get a lot less storage space.

    SSD's are great but unless things are actually running slower there isn't much need to use them. I see your point about cutting to internal SSD vs. HDD but when it comes to SSD vs External storage in real world testing I'll take the external.

    Just my opinion though, the OP can decide for themselves what they would rather spend the money on.
  8. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    I also would strongly recommend at the very least 256gb ssd.
    You will not be happy with 128.
  9. gdeusthewhizkid macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2008
    can fcpx run on a MacBook air... well. I need another machine...
  10. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
    this all depends on what you are shooting with, no one has mentioned the camera..

    of course you can use proxies, but what happens when you need to colour or add effects?

    your air will be dust

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