what should i do to my 13 inch mbp for video editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cwebb4, May 28, 2012.

  1. cwebb4 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    hi everyone, after much waiting for the mac pro upgrade i decided to grab a mbp just to tide me over for a few months(hopefully). i got the basic 13 inch 2.4. im planning on using final cut x and adobe cs5+5.5. obviously i need to do some things to spec it up as is. im assuming the first thing to do is get the max ram upgrade(now 16gb- is this reliable?) as currently im finding sometimes 3 of the 4 gb of ram is being used just with multiple firefox tabs open!!!!!
    i dont have unlimited funds but i know i need to add some things, the first thing that springs to mind is utilizing the thunderbolt, should i buy a thunderbolt drive to use as scratch drive(they are pretty pricey- the little big drive for example) and do i need more than one of them for optimizing performance? as in having one for having all the files on and one as scratch, ive heard this is the bets way to optimise performance for video editing but not sure.
    would a ssd help alot or is that just beneficial for boot speeds?

    basically im looking for any advice how to boost the machine i have, that would be much appreciated.....
  2. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    Upgrading to 16gb will help since it's only $80 or so on sale occasionally. If that is too much, 8GB will still be useful especially for running FCPX.

    What type of video work are you going to be doing? I switched out my main hard drive for a 128GB Samsung 830 SSD and moved my 750GB 5400 RPM drive into the optical bay. I use the HDD for a scratch drive for storing my video files when I work in FCPX. It's able to keep up during a 2 camera HD multi cam edit, but I haven't pushed it beyond that.

    There are several options you need to consider. How many projects are you working on at the same time? How much space will you need for the video projects? Are they hour long projects or 2 minute shots?

    You could always get something like the Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter if you didn't feel like opening your computer. It's around $150 after you add the cable. Then if you need the speed of an SSD for a project you could use that or switch to an HDD and backup.

    I currently have 8GB of ram on my 13" mbp and then store all my application files on the main SSD. That seemed to help FCPX run smoothly if you can get past the few annoyances associated with FCPX.

    If I were you, I'd decide how much memory you want. Order that and install it and see how the system runs. As you get into your video work, you will find out what your limitations are, how much space you'll need, and the best way to solve that problem.
  3. cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    hi, thanks for your response.

    i mainly work on short films, 5 to 20 minutes and i currently shoot dslr(so space at this point isnt a priority as thes files are fairly compressed) although im looking seriosuly at the black magic camera, with the 2.5k RAW file i think i worked out is about 7.5gb per minute!!!!! and comes with davinchi resolve, but for now its dslr.

    so will i not be better off purchasing a thunderbolt drive and using that for scratch, or always better to have media and scratch as an internal, and programs on seperate ssd?

    i genrally work on one project at a time but looking to get quite into colour and grading after effects cs5.5 etc. for now its dslr, no RED/ARRI/RAW(for the moment).

    what is the "Seagate GoFlex Thunderbolt adapter" a drive that takes thunderbolt via adapter?
    is firewire/RAID a good option, or will thunderbolt as exteranl scratch/media drives better?

    thanks in advance....
  4. mfuchs88 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2011
    I second the RAM upgrade idea and want to throw in the idea of a dual HD setup. If you put a SATA III SSD in your main bay, and a 750GB HDD in your optical bay using an adapter, you could put your program files and everything on the SSD for super fast response times, and then store all your video files on the large 750GB HDD in the optical bay. Just an option to mull over. Hope you find something that works well for you! Cheers!
  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    If you are looking long term and are planning on replacing the 13" when the long awaited refresh arrives, I know it's pricey, but it's a keeper.

    A pegasus R4 will use thunderbolt at blisteringly fast speeds...Plenty quick to edit video in real time without missing a beat. If you can grab one and then consider the purchase of a new MBP later down the line, you will never want for speed or storage.

    I have an R4 which I have split one drive off the four, leaving me a 3 drive RAID5 and a super fast 400-500MBS spare which I use for all video and photo work.

    I know they are expensive, but believe me worth every cent.

    Attached Files:

  6. cwebb4, May 29, 2012
    Last edited: May 29, 2012

    cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
    thanks everyone for responses so far....

    mfuchs88/diamond3- is one drive good enough for media and scratch? i thought it was best to have media on one drive and scratch as a seperate drive but not sure....
    as i am working with dslr and one project at a time would it be beneficial to have two ssd's? or is the standard hdd fast enough as media/scratch drive?

    Macman45- thanks, that looks like a good option,at a seriously high price tho, as i dont really need the space just yet do you think the pegasus with thunderbolt will be a faster option than the 2 drive internal set up as suggested by mfuchs88 and diamond3? i think im gonna need all the power i can get with fcpx on my machine....

    one other thing, will i be better off transcoding to pro res or even editing in proxy files?

    thanks to everyone again
  7. cwebb4 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2012
  8. comatory macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2012
    What you don't want to do is to render the files (exporting) to the same drive where the source files are located. That goes for longer sequences, for 15-20 min I think it doesn't matter that much.

    There isn't anything else you can really do besides the RAM and Thunderbolt thing. I'd max out the RAM for sure and get an internal SSD. Believe me, having internal SSD makes miracles, at least for launching applications.

    However you should reconsider the longetivity of your rig. Perhaps you could add second SSD drive via optibay but when working with plenty of video, you do large amount of writing. This can reduce the life of the SSD. On the other hand, the response times would be great.
    If money isn't issue I'd go with:

    1, 16GB RAM (at least 8)
    2, SSD for boot
    3, replace optics with a, 256GB SSD b, the original HD

    If you are planning a Mac Pro update down the line, I wouldn't hesitate to buy Pegasus RAID with SSDs because when you're considering a pro machine like Mac Pro, I think the price of that raid array isn't that much of deal.
    You can always just connect the Pegasus Raid to new Mac Pro via thunderbolt.

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