Which MBP for Final Cut Pro / DVCPRO HD?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' 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. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Sep 27, 2004
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    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

    Feb 18, 2009
    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


    May 3, 2005
    Washington, DC
    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


    Jul 1, 2008
    New Jersey
    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

    Feb 18, 2009
    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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