Video Editing Machine Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bigredmachine, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. bigredmachine macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    Hi MR,

    I am looking for a machine that allows me to edit 1080p AVCHD/MOV files easily as my current 09 MBP is not cutting it anymore for HD editing. I am looking to either edit using Premiere Pro or consider jumping to latest Final Cut X.

    I would most likely setup the machine to use external scratch disks for work files, cache and output files and leave the internal harddrive solely for applications and non video data.

    I have had a look at the following machines:

    iMac 27" 3.4GHz i7, 4GB memory, 1TB HD & AMD Radeon HD 1GB 6970M (£1529 refurb)
    MacBook Pro 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7, 4GB, HD 6750M (£1149 refurb)
    MacBook Pro 2.4GHz Quad-core Intel i7, 4GB, AMD Radeon HD 6770M (£1399 refurb)

    MacBook Pro Retina i7 QC 2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 1GB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (£1599 new)
    MacBook Pro Classic i7 QC 2.3GHz, 4GB RAM, 512MB NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (£1399 new)

    I could bump up the ram in all the models but not the retina mbp as can only get the base configuration.

    Having features like USB3 and a CUDA card does make the newer machines more future proof for video editing?

    Any tips and advice is greatly appreciated.

  2. thesheep macrumors regular


    Mar 27, 2006
    I'm not a video editor but my guess is that you should definitely be after either a Thunderbolt or USB3.0 port for linking an external disk. These are going to give you a huge boost over FW800 and likely to be very useful for working on your video files. In the short term USB3.0 external drives are going to be a lot more reasonably priced, but one day Thunderbolt may take over.

    If you're going to be a power user then probably an SSD for the system drive would be a good idea – it will speed everything up. In which case, a MBP retina display would be your best option.

    I would probably pay the extra £160 for the RAM upgrade to 16GB though. You might not need it now, but since it is not upgradeable later on, seems like it would be a bit crazy not to. Are you sure you can only buy the base configuration?
  3. bigredmachine thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2009
    Thanks thesheep for your reply. I had assumed USB3.0 external drives would give a bigger boost to my workflow hence am hesitant purchasing an older iMac or MBP as it only has USB2.0 or FW800 which is more inline with my current workflow and therefore could prove to be a bottleneck going forward when editing via non desktop hardware? Having a SSD for apps and then external USB3.0 for my scratch disks and output files would greatly improve my workflow.

    Ebuyer currently have the retina mbp for £1599 and therefore I can't make any changes to the configuration. Getting via apple with the upgraded memory would cost £1959.

    I have a budget of around £1500 for a new machine and even getting the MBPr @ 1599 is tipping me over my budget but want a machine that allows me to edit without too many hiccups going forward.
  4. MrAnthonySutton macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2012
    I would buy the classic. You can upgrade to an SSD via third party (save a lot) but then of course, for video editing, an external drive is a must!

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