Which is the best 15" MBP to use with Final Cut Studio 2?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mariano Rivera, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Mariano Rivera macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009
    Hello, new Mac user here.

    Last Saturday, I purchased the 15" 2.53 GHz Macbook Pro (the new one that has the battery built into it). Everyone in the store told me it would run FCS2 fine, but after I checked online, it seems that may or may not be the whole truth.

    Since I'm a Mac n00b, I figured I'd ask the experts. Here are the specs:

    2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    250GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
    SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    SD card slot
    Built-in 7-hour battery2
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics

    I need something portable so I can take the projects I'll be working on along with me and due to financial reasons, I neither want the 17" or the 15" (2.8 GHz) MBP. I have a 1TB Firewire 800 WD external HDD, so I'm not worried about space. What I am worried about is rendering speed and such. So, my questions are:

    1. Is this MBP sufficient enough to run FCS2?

    2. Should I keep this same MBP but upgrade to the 7200rpm drive?

    3. Should I pony up another $300+ and get the 2.66GHz MBP with the 7200rpm drive?

    4. Taking into account what I've said, what is my best configuration to run the FCS2 suite?

    All responses are greatly appreciated.
  2. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    The only thing that might slow you down is the graphics because it is integrated.
    1. It will run ok.
    2. You should a 7200RPM hard drive or a SSD.
    3. Have you tried FC2 on your current Macbook Pro, if it is slow, get the 2.66GHz Macbook Pro.
    4. I don't know, I guess the best configuration would be a 3.06GHZ processor, 9600M GT, 4GB RAM, and a SSD.
  3. g3funk macrumors member


    Oct 2, 2008
    Well the only thing that will really assist you in rendering is the clock speed of CPU. In this case I would go as high as possible...which leaves you with a built to order 2299 with an extra 300 dollars. Mind you if you want to spend the 1699 go a head and spend the rest on perhaps a very nice SSD. Both configurations though will end up in the same place.
  4. nard macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2009
    1. It will run FCP2 fine.

    2. you can keep your current MBP. just use the external harddrive as your capture scratch and storage using firewire. it will be better than running it off internal hdd. You can always upgrade your internal hdd later, but it wont be as fast as an external drive most likely. especially if it's raided.

    3. It would be up to you, you would probably speed it up very slightly with the processor upgrade. you might be able to get faster render times by buying a used mac mini, and using qmaster to cluster it, so you can share the processors between your mbp and mac mini and any other macs in your network(not sure if they need to be intel). i am also not sure if you can install qmaster and compressor only on another computer on the same network using the same key, so it might cost more if you want render times to be cut significantly. but this is probably the best way to scale if you are rendering alot of stuff. otherwise just leave it rendering overnight.

    4. final cut pro needs fast processor mainly, so the faster the better. faster disks will help in realtime playback, and make editing easier. when you are rendering because your cpu is a bottle neck, internal hdd as slow as it it is would be okay, but external is always recommended. and gpu is not used unless you are using motion for renderings. so if your just using fcp, doesnt matter if you use the 9400m.
  5. Mariano Rivera thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009

    I don't run anything off my internal HDD. I have a 1TB Firewire 800 raid external HDD that functions as my capture scratch. My concern is whether or not my current MBP will run Final Cut Studio 2 well enough.

    I want speed, but if the difference in rendering time is negligible (10-15 minutes), then I'm fine with keeping the 5400. If the difference starts to get into the 45+ minutes and more area, then I need to switch.
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    It'll run it perfectly fine. Final Cut Studio 2 has been out since 2007 - your hardware is 2 years worth of advancements since then, and FCS2 ran really well on hardware back then.

    As said, the CPU is the bottleneck in rendering - it'll just take longer depending on the resolution of the clip, effects and transitions you've put in.

    Your hard drive will be fine. A 7200RPM one won't increase your rendering much.
  7. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Add me to the list of those telling you it will run just fine.
  8. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    your mbp will run final cut pro fine and dvd pro and the sound program will run fine with it, too. but, color and motion, if use them will have a hard time running on integrated graphics. it might even require dedicated gpus if i am correct.

    if i were u, i would fork up the extra dough to get the mbp w/ the dedicated gpu just b/c i would want to run color, which is a color corecting program and be able to play around w/ motion, if desired. i would feel handicapped, in a way, spending $1200 for FCS 2 and not be able to use all its programs.

    just my 2 c.
  9. tripletaker macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    It will run fine. I used to use FCP with a White MacBook. No problems with FCP. Motion on the other hand...
  10. namethisfile macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2008
    also, as far as hd is concern, the minimum recommendation is a 7200 rpm hdd. not for rendering, but for smooth playback. your hdd configuration is actually fine right now, since you can use your external fw hdd, which i assume is 7200rpm as the scratch disk. you never want to use your system drive (where you have os x) anyway as a scratch disk. i don't know if this applies to ssd's. but, it is always safer to have a 2nd hdd dedicated for video editing since editing in general is rigorous to drives.
  11. Mariano Rivera thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009
    I found this on the Apple store.

    Motion-Specific Requirements

    * A standard or built-to-order system configuration with a NVIDIA GeForce 5200, 6600, 6800, 7300, 7800, 8600, 8800 or Quadro class graphic card.
    * A standard or built-to-order system configuration with a ATI Radeon 9600, 9700, 9800, X800, X1600, X1900, or X2600 class graphic card.
    * For 16- and 32-bit rendering: a graphics card with at least 128MB of VRAM.

    Color-Specific Requirements

    * The standard graphics card in any Mac Pro, 17-inch MacBook Pro, 24-inch iMac, or 2.5GHZ or faster Power Mac G5 Quad.
    * For 32-bit rendering: a graphics card with at least 256MB of VRAM.
    * A display with 1680-by-1050 resolution or higher (excluding 20" iMac); dual displays are highly recommended.
    * A three-button mouse for full functionality

    Like I said, I'm a newbie and I don't know if my MBP has all of that stuff. For instance, under COLOR, it says I need the standard graphics card found in any 17" MBP. It doesn't say anything about the 15" MBP.
  12. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000


    May 22, 2009
    Hmm, I think they are recommending a discrete graphics card.
  13. Mariano Rivera thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2009
    Does the 15" 2.66 GHz MBP have a discrete graphics card?
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007

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