Which MBP for Final Cut Pro / DVCPRO HD?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by JasonA, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    I'm trying to decide which machine to buy. I'm looking to get a refurb unibody MacBook Pro 15", but can't decide between:
    2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB, 320GB Serial ATA @ 5400, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB


    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x1GB, 250GB Serial ATA @ 5400, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 256MB

    Looks like the main difference between the two is a slight processor speed bump and 512 MB vs. 256 MB of video RAM. Is it worth the ~$500 for this? Or should I just stick with the lower model? The lowest-cost option is preferred, but I do need to be able to edit 1080i P2 footage shot on Panasonic AG-HPX500. I'm mostly using just Final Cut Pro and Compressor, no Color or Motion.

    Will the low end MacBook Pro suffice for HD editing? Would a 7,200 RPM system drive be necessary, or will the stock 5,400 be okay? Obviously, I'll max out RAM after I get it, and use external storage for scratch disk.

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
  2. guest8t88 macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Well, I would not think about it that much, 4gb ram is a good thing for the future, and I bet you will be sorry if you only go for 2gb ram.
  3. duckkg5 macrumors member


    Aug 14, 2008
    Charleston, SC
    I just ordered a MBP unibody 2.4 ghz with a 320GB @ 7200. I'll be using it for FCP primarily. I'm going to upgrade the RAM to 4 GB from crucial after I get the computer.

    From what I've read, a 2.53 processor isn't so noticeable and that you won't be able to really notice the difference between that and a 2.4. If you want to "take the brakes off," upgrade the RAM to 4 GB and get a HD with 7200 rpm. At least that's what I'm doing. I upgraded my iMac to 4 GB from 1 and it flies now. Much more responsive and snappy.
  4. ryanws macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2008
    Is the 17" with 8 gb Ram overkill

    I have a 17" 2.93, 7200 rpm, 8 GB RAM on its way. Is this overkill for FCP and After Effects? The screen size means nothing because I will be connecting to a 30" ACD.

    Should I Cancel this order, save a $1400+ and order a 15" 2.8, 7200 rpm, and 4 GB RAM?

    Any advice would be appreciated. I plan to buy a Mac Pro when they update, but will be doing quite a bit of editing on this machine.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  5. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    this couldn't be further from the truth. RAM is upgradable at anytime after the initial purchase so you will not regret only getting the base model. Plus Apple charges a hell of a lot for RAM.

    I use my base model Unibody Macbook Pro for video editing using Final Cut studio and it does not even hiccup. Ignore the techno-droolers, you'll be fine with a base model and hey, if not you can buy a cheap upgrade to the RAM from crucial.

    So yes, base model Unibody Macbook Pro.

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