Which MacBook Pro for video editing? (Budget $1700)

kjd161993

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I'm confused between the following for editing using fcp, Premier pro and after effects. 4k video would just be 5 to 10 min clips. I'm also confused if i should spend around $1350 and then by December i could update to one of the newer imacs or whatever they come out with. Thanks!

1) Mid-2015 MacBook Pro 15'' 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L, 256GB ssd. ($1,700) (refurbished)

2) March-2015 MacBook Pro 13'' 2.7GHz Dual-core Intel i5 with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L, 256GB ssd. ($1,359) (refurbished)

3) 2016 MacBook Pro 13'' WITHOUT touchbar, 2.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 with 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3, 512GB ssd. ($1609) (Refurbished)

4) 2016 Macbook Pro 13'' with Touchbar 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 with 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3, 256GB ssd. ($1,699) (refurbished)
 

UL2RA

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If you're going to be editing 4K video, you will need a MacBook Pro with discrete graphics. The only MBP with discrete graphics on the refurb store is $2,039. You might be able to get away with the Iris on-board GPU for 4K though. You can get a 5K iMac with a discrete GPU for around $1500 to $1700 depending on the GPU that you want. That would be a much better deal, IMO.
 

darksithpro

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I'm confused between the following for editing using fcp, Premier pro and after effects. 4k video would just be 5 to 10 min clips. I'm also confused if i should spend around $1350 and then by December i could update to one of the newer imacs or whatever they come out with. Thanks!

1) Mid-2015 MacBook Pro 15'' 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel i7 with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L, 256GB ssd. ($1,700) (refurbished)

2) March-2015 MacBook Pro 13'' 2.7GHz Dual-core Intel i5 with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L, 256GB ssd. ($1,359) (refurbished)

3) 2016 MacBook Pro 13'' WITHOUT touchbar, 2.0GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 with 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3, 512GB ssd. ($1609) (Refurbished)

4) 2016 Macbook Pro 13'' with Touchbar 2.9GHz Dual-core Intel Core i5 with 16GB of 2133MHz LPDDR3, 256GB ssd. ($1,699) (refurbished)
I would go with number 1, because the screen would be larger and easier to see what I'm doing while editing. Also, the larger one is a true mobile Core I7 with 4 cores, not the gimped one running at 15 watts, dual core. I'd then save up some more and get an external HDD, so the 256 wouldn't be a problem long term.
 
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UL2RA

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I would go with number 1, because the screen would be larger and easier to see what I'm doing while editing. Also, the larger one is a true mobile Core I7 with 4 cores, not the gimped one running at 15 watts, dual core. I'd then save up some more and get an external HDD, so the 256 wouldn't be a problem long term.
The fact that a $1400 laptop with a "Pro" moniker is using a dual core CPU is mind-boggling.
 

darksithpro

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The fact that a $1400 laptop with a "Pro" moniker is using a dual core CPU is mind-boggling.

Yea. I mean I can see where the portability and battery life comes into play, but damn you sacrifice a lot in the CPU department. They're probably fine for basic use, but I bet they're a heck of a lot slower then the real Core i7s rendering things that take time.
 

leman

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The 2015 15" would offer you the best performance for money.

The fact that a $1400 laptop with a "Pro" moniker is using a dual core CPU is mind-boggling.
What is mind-boggling is that some expect a quad-core in a compact 13" laptop — or that they insist that "professional" entails editing 4K videos.
 

UL2RA

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What is mind-boggling is that some expect a quad-core in a compact 13" laptop — or that they insist that "professional" entails editing 4K videos.
Why do you find that mind-boggling? Here's a .7" 14" laptop with a quad core i7 and GTX 1060: https://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade

Granted it doesn't have the battery life of the 13" MBP, but even without the GPU, including a quad core i7 in the 13" should not be an issue. I think Apple's engineering team could figure it out. It's not like Apple isn't known for squeezing every penny out of their products. Even Phil Schiller says we're paying "for the experience." Please spare me. I think we've all just grown to tolerate the kind of hardware in Apple's entry-level products. I suppose you'll also find a way to tell me the 480p front-facing camera in the MacBook is acceptable?
 
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darksithpro

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Why do you find that mind-boggling? Here's a .7" 14" laptop with a quad core i7 and GTX 1060: https://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade

Granted it doesn't have the battery life of the 13" MBP, but even without the GPU, including a quad core i7 in the 13" should not be an issue. I think Apple's engineering team could figure it out. It's not like Apple isn't known for squeezing every penny out of their products. Even Phil Schiller says we're paying "for the experience." Please spare me. I think we've all just grown to tolerate the kind of hardware in Apple's entry-level products. I suppose you'll also find a way to tell me the 480p front-facing camera in the MacBook is acceptable?
To me those 13 inch MacBooks are for those constantly on the go at airports and abroad, that need more than what a tablet can provide with it's limited OS capabilities, with as much battery life as possible. They are in no means powerful laptops, but they probably fill the gap between PC-Post PC devices, where the software you need to run cannot work on a tablet and you're not lugging around a medium sized laptop.
 

UL2RA

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To me those 13 inch MacBooks are for those constantly on the go at airports and abroad, that need more than what a tablet can provide with it's limited OS capabilities, with as much battery life as possible. They are in no means powerful laptops, but they probably fill the gap between PC-Post PC devices, where the software you need to run cannot work on a tablet and you're not lugging around a medium sized laptop.
Some of you seem to have short memories: http://appleinsider.com/articles/10/04/13/nvidia_320m_gpu_made_especially_for_apples_new_13_inch_macbook_pro

Now you can only get options like this in the 15" ... I blame Apple's obsession with thinness for a lack of hardware options in the 13" model.

I think a MacBook would be more appropriate for those always on the go, but that's just me.
 

leman

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Why do you find that mind-boggling? Here's a .7" 14" laptop with a quad core i7 and GTX 1060: https://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade
Razer Blade 14" has 11% more volume than the 15" MBP... and it uses a significant portion of its internal space for cooling

I think Apple's engineering team could figure it out.
I do not think that Apple's engineering teem is interested in producing this kind of product. They know that adequately cooling 120+ Watt of internal components in a thin chassis is simply not doable without major sacrifices. They main concern is overall balance of features and stability. The 15" MBP is so far the only laptop on the market that manages to pull off the ultraportable factor with a pro-level mid-range graphics without gimping the battery life.

Again, if you are looking for a laptop that prioritises pure performance over mobility and battery life, Apple is the wrong company. They never ever made a product like this and I don't think its reasonable to expect that they will start doing it.
[doublepost=1494225972][/doublepost]
What are you even talking about? Yes, Nvidia designed a custom integrated GPU back then, which was the start for "fast" iGPUs. Modern 13" MBPs include high-end intel iGPUs that rival lower-end dedicated cards. The Iris 550 is basically equivalent to the GeForce 940M! Its a much better GPU currently than 320M was when released.
 

darksithpro

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The 15" MBP is so far the only laptop on the market that manages to pull off the ultraportable factor with a pro-level mid-range graphics without gimping the battery life.
Hey, hey there, c'mon now. There are some Good alternatives such as Dell's XPS line and Lenovo Yoga series that put up a very good challenge in reviews. They are also equally as expensive.
 
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UL2RA

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Razer Blade 14" has 11% more volume than the 15" MBP... and it uses a significant portion of its internal space for cooling
I'm only talking about the CPU, not the GPU. The GPU is obviously why that laptop is 14", but I'm sure they could fit a quad core into the 13" ... they simply don't want to.

I do not think that Apple's engineering teem is interested in producing this kind of product. They know that adequately cooling 120+ Watt of internal components in a thin chassis is simply not doable without major sacrifices. They main concern is overall balance of features and stability. The 15" MBP is so far the only laptop on the market that manages to pull off the ultraportable factor with a pro-level mid-range graphics without gimping the battery life.
I would hardly consider the AMD 460 "pro-level mid-range" graphics. The GPU is on par with the low end, regardless of how Apple wants to try and spin it.

Again, if you are looking for a laptop that prioritises pure performance over mobility and battery life, Apple is the wrong company. They never ever made a product like this and I don't think its reasonable to expect that they will start doing it.
I never commented on Apple's philosophy as a company, I just said it's mind-boggling. They'll keep doing what they're doing regardless of what I think.

What are you even talking about? Yes, Nvidia designed a custom integrated GPU back then, which was the start for "fast" iGPUs. Modern 13" MBPs include high-end intel iGPUs that rival lower-end dedicated cards. The Iris 550 is basically equivalent to the GeForce 940M! Its a much better GPU currently than 320M was when released.
Yes ... I agree that on-board GPUs are WAY better than they used to be. I guess the 320M was more of an iGPU than a dGPU. But Apple actually used to brag about the graphics compared to PC back in the day. They don't do that now for obvious reasons. However, the iPhone continues to have some of the best graphics of any phone.
 

leman

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Hey, hey there, c'mon now. There are some Good alternatives such as Dell's XPS line and Lenovo Yoga series that put up a very good challenge in reviews. They are also equally as expensive.
The XPS struggles with its battery life due to its power-hungry screen and Yoga as far as I am aware does not offer a dedicated GPU. These are good computers, no question, with different advantages and drawbacks compared to the MBP.
 
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darksithpro

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The XPS struggles with its battery life due to its power-hungry screen and Yoga as far as I am aware does not offer a dedicated GPU. These are good computers, no question, with different advantages and drawbacks compared to the MBP.
In that other thread that guy has a brand new RMBP and he was only getting 3-4 hours batter running Photoshop and Chrome.
 

leman

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I'm only talking about the CPU, not the GPU. The GPU is obviously why that laptop is 14", but I'm sure they could fit a quad core into the 13" ... they simply don't want to.
Fitting a quad core into the current 13" chassis would instantly cut down the battery life by at least 30-40%. Simple physics. To compensate, they'd need to increase the dimensions of the laptop... which they kind of did, its called the 15" MBP ;)

BTW, you are still disregarding the fact that the 14" blade is larger than the 15" MBP. There are even 13" gaming laptops out there (like Alienware if I am not mistaken). But they are also larger than the 15" MBP. The size of the screen is not the overall size of the laptop.

I would hardly consider the AMD 460 "pro-level mid-range" graphics. The GPU is on par with the low end, regardless of how Apple wants to try and spin it.
Your definition of low end seems to be very different from standard industry nomenclature (where cards like 940M are considered mid-range), but I am not going to argue about it. The facts are however that the 460 Pro is on par with fastest workstation offerings from other vendors in the 15" branch (like Precision 7520 with Quadro M2200, which is 1kg heavier than the MBP).
 

UL2RA

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In that other thread that guy has a brand new RMBP and he was only getting 3-4 hours batter running Photoshop and Chrome.
The battery is actually smaller in the new MacBook Pro than the previous model. Apple did fix some of the battery life issues from improper iGPU to dGPU switching, but some people are still having problems. In real-world performance, it doesn't seem to be getting that much better battery life than its competitors.
 

leman

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In that other thread that guy has a brand new RMBP and he was only getting 3-4 hours batter running Photoshop and Chrome.
Of course he is. As I wrote in that thread, Photoshop triggers high GPU state, which will of course chew through your battery quickly. The laptop manufacturer is hardly responsible for incompetent programming. And to Chrome: it is known to be an inefficient application.
 

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The size of the screen is not the overall size of the laptop.
I'm aware of that.


Your definition of low end seems to be very different from standard industry nomenclature (where cards like 940M are considered mid-range), but I am not going to argue about it. The facts are however that the 460 Pro is on par with fastest workstation offerings from other vendors in the 15" branch (like Precision 7520 with Quadro M2200, which is 1kg heavier than the MBP).
My definition comes from comparing it to other GPUs in the same class. The 460 isn't even a workstation offering so I'm not sure why you're comparing them to that. Also, until newer workstation GPUs are released, current gaming GPUs are surpassing them in general, so that's not really a good comparison.


Of course he is. As I wrote in that thread, Photoshop triggers high GPU state, which will of course chew through your battery quickly. The laptop manufacturer is hardly responsible for incompetent programming. And to Chrome: it is known to be an inefficient application.
I completely agree. No laptop is going to handle GPU-intensive tasks or craptastically inefficient apps for long periods of time.
 
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leman

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The battery is actually smaller in the new MacBook Pro than the previous model. Apple did fix some of the battery life issues from improper iGPU to dGPU switching, but some people are still having problems. In real-world performance, it doesn't seem to be getting that much better battery life than its competitors.
It gets an odd hour more than its predecessor 2015 MBP in my usage, which makes me happy. Its still at least 2-3 hours more than the closest competition.
 

UL2RA

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Fitting a quad core into the current 13" chassis would instantly cut down the battery life by at least 30-40%. Simple physics. To compensate, they'd need to increase the dimensions of the laptop... which they kind of did, its called the 15" MBP ;)
They've been shrinking the size of their laptops for several years now. The fact that they can't fit these kinds of things into the Pro anymore is Apple's doing. Now they can only put so much into their laptops working with their fixation on thinness. Thinness is great, but the sacrifices aren't so great.


It gets an odd hour more than its predecessor 2015 MBP in my usage, which makes me happy. Its still at least 2-3 hours more than the closest competition.
Apple is usually pretty good at squeezing more life out of their batteries. I'm guessing when the Apple File System finally makes it to macOS, it will be even better.
 

hiddenmarkov

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What is mind-boggling is that some expect a quad-core in a compact 13" laptop — or that they insist that "professional" entails editing 4K videos.

The max size of some codices for 1080p 30 FPS (non 4k) video is about the starting range of the most compressed 4k codices on the market at this time. I shoot apple pro res 422...when I looked at memory needs I am in the top of charts for memory use non 4k short of raw video files.

And right beside it...starts, yes starts, the 4k codices. if one is doing plain ole (what it seems to be now lol) 1080p shooting it will need the same horsepower as 4k video.

I can do 45 minutes (solid or stitched together) of this, tell FCP to work its magic, let her do her thing and ......walk away a good hour. Might not even be done that hour later tbh.

of importance since 1080p at 30 FPS is common even these days. 24 is more your cinematic speed...and some like that 60 FPS (me....not a big fan it tbh, but to each their own here as always). Its on many cameras. usually the only limit I have seen is they only record in 20ish minutes clips. Nikon anyway this their thing, 20 minute bits. I use a ninja external recorder to bypass this now.
 

leman

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They've been shrinking the size of their laptops for several years now. The fact that they can't fit these kinds of things into the Pro anymore is Apple's doing. Now they can only put so much into their laptops working with their fixation on thinness. Thinness is great, but the sacrifices aren't so great.
I can't say I agree with your use of word "anymore" here. The fact is that they haven't really decreased the performance. Actually, one can argue that they have been increasing the relative performance while making the laptops more portable (e.g. the 460 is a much more competitive card in 2017 than the M370X was in 2015). This is very different from what other companies (e.g. Microsoft or Dell) are doing, who fall back on lower-power 15W CPUs to additionally boost their battery. Apple still gives you highest-performance parts on the market that are available to them.

The 460 isn't even a workstation offering
AMD seems to categorize the 460 as a workstation card. And its configured as a workstation card (lower clocks, lower VRAM clocks). If it were configured as a gaming GPU, with faster clocks, it would easily be on par with the 1050 GTX. Also, the multi-monitor support of the 460 makes it second to none. Don't see any substantial difference from Quadros here.
 
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I can't say I agree with your use of word "anymore" here. The fact is that they haven't really decreased the performance. Actually, one can argue that they have been increasing the relative performance while making the laptops more portable (e.g. the 460 is a much more competitive card in 2017 than the M370X was in 2015). This is very different from what other companies (e.g. Microsoft or Dell) are doing, who fall back on lower-power 15W CPUs to additionally boost their battery. Apple still gives you highest-performance parts on the market that are available to them.
I agree that the 460 is a better GPU offering in the MBP than we've had in a while, but that's not saying much. The GPUs in the MBP have been the butt end of a bad joke for a while.



AMD seems to categorize the 460 as a workstation card. And its configured as a workstation card (lower clocks, lower VRAM clocks). If it were configured as a gaming GPU, with faster clocks, it would easily be on par with the 1050 GTX. Also, the multi-monitor support of the 460 makes it second to none. Don't see any substantial difference from Quadros here.
It's an entry-level GPU. There's really nothing more to say about it. If you want to compare it to a workstation GPU, it'd be comparable to a Pascal m2000 Quadro, which is their budget workstation card. And second to none compared to what exactly? Also, saying it'd be on par with a GTX 1050 is basically agreeing that it's an every-level GPU, since that's what the 1050 is.

And yes I realize their GPU choice has more to do with size constraints as well as heat and power issues, but when you're paying almost 3 grand after taxes for an entry-level GPU it's a bit disconcerting. At the very least, you can hook up any external GPU and get more performance thanks to thunderbolt 3.
 
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Floris

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Posting this as an Apple fanboy by the way.
But a fanboy that's frustrated with the premiere pro export times and intense effects taking ages .. The best result I get is to convert everything on the media server to cineform first, and then over the network edit it on the mac systems in premiere pro. But ugh, can't they include a card for pro users, because it's a joke right now to be honest, compared to how windows systems perform with adobe premiere. And grrrr, I really hate saying it.