Which MBP for Final Cut Pro / DVCPRO HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by JasonA, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. JasonA macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #1
    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

    or

    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. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5H11 Safari/525.20)

    Don't forget that your first option has more RAM. that will be very important in video editing.

    Scratch that, you said that you'd max out the RAM. I was mainly commenting on that due to the fact that it effects the price anyway.
     
  3. JasonA thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #3
    Yeah, it's a lot cheaper to upgrade the RAM afterwards than pay for the RAM included with the computer. I just need some perspective on whether the extra VRAM & processor speed is worth the extra cost for what I'll be using it to do.
     
  4. MovieCutter macrumors 68040

    MovieCutter

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    Go with the lower model and max the RAM. I cut HDV and XDCAM HD with that same machine (stock) for a few weeks and it worked great.
     
  5. BreuerEditor macrumors regular

    BreuerEditor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    Get your RAM from Mac Sales (www.MacSales.com). Much cheaper than Apple's stock modules and you can trade in the RAM that came with the comp.

    Also, get a 7200rpm drive. If you'd rather save money on the drive also, purchase the Hitachi 7K320 on sale at Mac Sales also. Very simple install.

    I edit HDV on a 17" MBP 2.4GHz aluminum with 4GB of RAM and Hitachi 7K320 drive (both purchased from Mac Sales).

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. JasonA thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2009
    #6
    Agreed. I've had nothing but great experience with Other World Computing, will definitely be buying all my upgrades through them.
     

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