Which Macbook Pro for video editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by universal, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. universal macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #1
    I am a film student and i'm replacing my old mbp 15" with a new one. My goal is to get the most efficient machine for my purpose. I am wondering what qualities I should look for that would most benefit my video editing tasks (I run final cut studio 2). eg. would it be a better value to upgrade ram, hard drive, graphics card, processor? I would just do it all but I don't have the sufficient funds and I am hoping you guys can steer my in the right direction. Also i'm assuming it would be the smartest idea to wait until january when the new fleet comes out. right?

    Thank you for taking the time.
     
  2. Minimoose 360 macrumors 65816

    Minimoose 360

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    I would say go with the 15" with discreet graphics, the 13" MBP's screen resolution is too low and too small for serious video editing. Definately upgrade the hard drive to a 7200rpm or Solid State Drive if you have the funds...then just get the fastest clockspeed you can afford.

    But if you can wait a few months, wait for the new ones to come out.
     
  3. iphonematt Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #3
    I would say at least the 15" 2.66Ghz with the 9600m since that will help video editing immensely.
     
  4. universal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    Thank you for your suggestion. So the discrete graphics card is the most important feature for video editing? or is it upgrading the hard drive to solid state hard drive? or even upping the ram? i also have a 23" cinema display so I wouldn't mind even getting the 13" as long as it has the discrete graphics card. do you think that's a possibility for the next refresh of macbook pros? also when are they expected to come out? i'm trying to stick to a budget of $1500
     
  5. iphonematt Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    #5
    There are no MacBook Pros with a dedicated GPU under $1999. The 9400m is fine, but no where near the performance of the 9600m. A 7200rpm drive is also very helpful (only available from Apple in the 15" and 17").
     
  6. phaedarus macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #6
    Hmmm.

    Have previous first quarter releases of Macbook Pro 13s always included a new video card?

    The 9400m is pretty old in the tooth after all.
     
  7. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #7
    You can get the student price, so a 15" with discrete graphics starts at $1850. You could also try the refurb store or get a last-generation model somewhere.

    A 7200 RPM drive will be helpful, and you will probably save money if you upgrade it yourself. You will also want a large drive since video files take up a lot of space. You will probably want 4gb of RAM.

    I don't know how much discrete graphics will really help you. As far as I know, the video card is only used to render realtime previews of some effects. I tried to get GPU accelerated encoding working under Windows, but the results weren't very good (the ATI software didn't have many options, and the CPU still still did most of the work). I don't think GPU accelerated encoding is ready for primetime yet. OS X has Open CL, but I don't think there is anything out there that can take advantage of it yet. If you decide you don't need discrete graphics, and since you have an ACD, either of the 13" models might work for you. The 2.53 should be 12% faster for most tasks and up to 24% faster for completely multithreaded tasks. I don't know if Final Cut is multithreaded, but I would guess it is.

    There is essentially no way to fit a discrete card in the 13". There isn't physically enough space on the board, the cooling system wouldn't be able to handle it, and the battery life would be terrible. If Apple took out the CD drive, they could probably do it, but I don't think they are likely to try to fit discrete graphics in a 13" any time soon.
     
  8. NeuralControl macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #8
    Unless you buy refurbished or used, you will not find a MBP with a discrete graphics card under $1500. Which MBP do you have now? You definitely have one with a discrete graphics card, so it might not be in your best interest to upgrade right now with your budget. Why not max out the RAM on your current computer and install a nice SSD?
     
  9. universal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    i currently have a 2.0 ghz MBP with 2gb of ram. my sister needs a computer and my parents said that if i give her my computer that they will get me a new one (they know i REALLY use my computer rather than just ichat). They told me I could spend around $1600. maybe i could spend a little but i really don't have very much money. would it be better to keep my old mbp or possibly get an upgraded 13" 2.53Ghz, or a refurbished 15 in. 2.66Ghz? i've heard the discrete graphics card is really only helpful with 3d rendering which i never do, so i'm thinking upgrading the hard-drive on a 13" 2.53 might be a good option with the intent on maybe getting more ram in the future.
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    My vote would get the best 15" MBP you can that has the ExpressCard34 slot. I honestly wouldn't consider a MBP w/o the ExpressCard34 slot since of the primary uses of the machine will be for video editing.


    Lethal
     
  11. universal thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #11
    the only mbp with an expresscard 34 slot is the 17" which is out of my price range and inconveniently sized. i used to have a 17" powerbook and i despised bringing it anywhere. that's why i ended up getting a 23" display for color grading and chroma keying while downsizing to the 15". also if i shoot on p2 cards, which i have only done once with an HVX200. I can dump footage on the school's g5's and my external.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #12
    Or you could get a previous gen MBP used. The Expresscard34 slot opens up a lot of doors in terms of storage, monitoring, and capturing w/regards to video editing which is why I think a MBP w/o the slot is extremely hamstrung in comparison.


    Lethal
     

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