Which MacBook Pro to buy? (Acronym illiterate student)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by sshutterbug, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. sshutterbug macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2014
    I'm a photojournalism student working with Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. I've been using the desktops at school, but now I have a new baby and need to do all my editing at home. I'm having a hard time deciphering the jargon around the specs, especially concerning graphics processing. It looks to me like the integrated Iris graphics cards are not that great for video work (do you agree?) but I can't figure out what to get instead. I want this computer to last into my professional life, and it needs to be a laptop so that I can tote it around the house and watch the baby. I'd be grateful for any specific suggestions or opinions as to what specs I need. Please define any acronyms or jargon! Many thanks.
  2. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    It's hard to be helpful without some idea of your budget, and your preferred screen size (if you have a preference).
  3. pwhitehead macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2011
    new jersey
    Hey man! Listen, I don't know your budget or what your looking for but I would do this to save your self some grief. Back in 2009 I bought a Mac Book Pro with a decent processor and an OK video card relatively expensive for 2,500 bucks from what I remember, OK..

    I don't know what your trying to do with your design, but knowing what I know now... I would max out any Mac Book your looking to buy. Not sure if your a creative cloud subscriber, but with new updates and features the hardware needed to keep up with the rest of the industry is advancing faster! I would go with at least a 2.5 GHZ processor and 2 to 3k video ram and at least 16 gig of processing ram.

    Being an editor for video or photo is very expensive having to keep updating machine after machine and when purchasing a new machine, its always better to be ahead of the curve for at least 3 to 4 years until you make some money freelancing.

    My Mac Book only has 230mb of video ram when i purchased it back in 2009ish and when Adobe came out with Photoshop CC extended with their new 3d and blue features, I was left in the dust clouds cause my machine wasn't up to par with industry standards. Features like this are totally disabled and aren't available even if you don't care about render GUI crashing.

    I have very high end machines at the studio I work in and wish I had a machine at home that kept up with the standards now. Doing 3d in After Effects is a joke on my machine at home. Can't practice with Cinema4d or edit HD video efficiently the way I want to at home the way I do at work.

    So please take my advice! If your looking to purchase a new Mac Book pro, its totally worth spending the extra 1,000 and maxing it out to stay ahead of the curve. If you can't afford right now, save your $ and wait.
  4. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you're looking at Intel Iris, I'm guessing you're looking at the 13" Retina. Mind you, the 13" Retina is not at all a bad machine and for light Final Cut Pro tasks, it'll probably be passable. That being said, if you're planning on doing more than just light tasks, I'd go for a 15" MacBook Pro. Your options there are Iris Pro or Iris Pro AND a discrete NVIDIA mobile graphics processor. Iris Pro is pretty formidable; equivalent to the discrete mobile graphics of three years ago if not better. You do get future proofing benefits by getting Iris Pro and the NVIDIA graphics.

    Either way, unless you're getting the non-retina 13" MacBook Pro for some reason (and, while it's a fantastic machine, I don't recommend getting it at this point in time), you NEED to max out your RAM and your storage AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE (you CANNOT do this later).

    That said, so you can learn a little jargon: When it comes to graphics, there's the model name (Intel Iris Pro, or NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M for example) and really if there's a numerical, assume that the first digit is the series, and the second digit is how good it is in that series (Intel stuff works a bit differently). For NVIDIA, GTS > GT > GTX. Otherwise the spec that matters most consumer-side is the amount of video memory each has. For Intel Iris and Intel Iris Pro, the graphics uses the system RAM. The NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M has its own RAM dedicated to video processing, which makes graphics render faster. That said, graphics that share RAM with the system ARE catching up, but you'll still get better performance from something with discrete memory. With MacBook Pros that have these more powerful graphics options in tow, you get both the integrated graphics (Iris Pro) and the discrete graphics (NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M) and your computer will automatically switch between the two depending on the task at hand.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    The new MBP with Retina display is very good for editing video. The high resolution screen lets you put a lot of information up on the 13" screen. But you need good vision (or god glasses) to work on a 13" screen. The Retina MBP has solid stat drives that make it fast but small. you will need external disks to bold archived work and backups.

    Get as much RAM as will fit. Max it out.

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