Which one for Video editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Lloydehhh, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. Lloydehhh macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2011
    Hey all, Im wondering which of the new line of MBP's to get for video editing.
    Eitehr the 13 inch High end or the 15 inch low end. Ive heard that the Intel 3000 is better for video encoding, but in the 15 inch i can apparently set graphics switching off and use the Intel 3000 when im encoding. Is that true? Screen size isnt an issue as I will be using an external monitor. Im going to be using after effects CS5 and FCP. Any help is appreciated :)
  2. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    i highly doubt integrated graphics is better at encoding then the real GPU, but either way id suggest the 15".
  3. Whitelightning macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2007
    15'' for real estate, glossy for nice vibrant rich colors. Better GPU is always a plus.
  4. Lloydehhh thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2011
    Apparently its got QuickSync or something for video and because its on the actual processor, its faster to access. Thats what i heard anyway ^^
  5. fr4c macrumors 65816


    Jul 27, 2007
    Hamster wheel
    AFAIW QuickSync is only supported in Windows at the moment.
  6. Lloydehhh thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2011
    Ah, OK, thanks :)
  7. Grouchy Bob macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2011
    AssWipe, New Mexico
    Video encoding is all CPU muscle. I think the Intel IGP helps with this on the 13" MBP's. (since it's integrated)

    "Editing" however can use your GPU (depending on what NLE you use).

    I don't use Final cut.

    If you value real-time playback during editing more than unattended encoding (and you should) I would put emphasis on the GPU. That means the 13" is out.
  8. AdamRock macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2010
    encoding = cpu

    render = gpu.

    i produce 3-6 720p vids a day, so hopefully when my mbp arrives in a few days that will speed the process of producin' vids.
  9. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    I'd go with the base 15" mbp if you are going to be doing a lot of editing. Especially if you use Motion in Final Cut Studio. I've used motion several times with the 2010 13" mbp and the more layers of objects moving, the slower the playback is. It becomes a bit of a pain when your playback is going slower than real time. It just makes it more difficult to time things for transitions and other stuff. I've yet to use the 15" mbp to compare it to though, so I can't provided you any insight as to what the 15" model would benefit. I ended up purchasing the 2011 13" mbp w/i5 because I don't use motion enough to justify the expense for upgrading based on my needs.
  10. SYFer macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    SF Bay Area / Phoenix
    Agree with diamond above.

    My take is this:

    13" is simply not a good choice for a pro video editor. Bummer.

    If you're getting the 15 incher, I'd do whatever I could to stretch up to the higher-end model as we see a big boost in graphic mem and this is critical for using FCP studio. Big reward for your investment here.

    Do that higher end 15 even if you can and skimp on other things (i.e., add memory later) or skip some other shiny gewgaw in your basket.

    The 17 is kinda nice for the extra screen real estate, but my last was a 17 and it was just a bit cumbersome for me. I hauled that 2008 17" all over Australia and on other road trips while doing lots of editing and it was just too dang big. The corners got beat up a bit because unless you have a huge bag, it's tight.

    I'd also go anti-glare hi-res screen (the HR screen is, of course, a MUST for editors).

    I just ordered the 15" 2.2 myself and I am a full time video editor.
  11. Kalach macrumors member


    Jan 11, 2011
  12. SYFer macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    SF Bay Area / Phoenix
    Over the years, I've gone to Motion which really uses the graphics card and mem.

    Does AE use all for cores on the quad?

    This is another issue to consider. Wile many users will not see a huge quad benefit, many video apps use the quad.

    There is another iteration of FCP studio around the bend this year and I'd be amazed if all the apps in the suite didn't utilize all 4 cores now.

    The 13 is dual.
  13. smetvid macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    While I do agree with all of you we do have to keep in mind that the 13" cpu equals or beats all the 2010 15" and 17" models. There was a time when all of us considered those to be killer editing machines. We all gladly ran AE on a 17" 2010 model and thought we were on top of the world.

    Well just because there are faster machines now doesn't mean that level of performance is all of a sudden bad. We also have to keep in mind a lot of currently working video professionals are using 2008, 2009 and 2010 models to produce great works of art. The 13" is faster then all of them.

    Motion does like a good gpu but that doesn't mean it has to have it. Just like with a cpu a lower end gpu just means it may take longer or you may have to compromise. You can reduce the playback resolution and quality to help keep the playback at a decent frame rate. Sure it isn't a perfect solution but then again you are editing on a laptop and even if you did have a 1440x900 15" you will not be viewing HD at full res anyway. Your creativity will still be the same, you just have to take a few steps and jump back and forth between lower quality preview playback and full quality final output.

    Screen size and resolution is only a tiny issue in my opinion. Sure a larger screen would be better but you really have to ask yourself if it is worth the extra $600.00. You can always add an external monitor for hardcore editing. 1280x800 still works for rough editing in the field.
  14. SYFer macrumors newbie

    Feb 25, 2011
    SF Bay Area / Phoenix
    But in the case of video, the resolution and data rates for our source material has also been on the rise alongside CPU power. Same for video editing software (and its capabilities). Granted, you're talking 2010, machines and you're right :D But of all businesses that use laptops, video post is certainly one of the most demanding of an MBP's processor and graphics capabilities. Compared to say, music pros, graphic artists, etc.

    As computer capabilities expand, creative pros always find new ways to exploit those CPUs and take the game up for everyone. The difference between Toy Story 1 and 3 is huge.

    That's not to say that everyone needs state of the art tools for run of the mill video post, but in a competitive business, a lot of us want that edge. I want the power available under the hood and only when render times are a complete thing of the past, will I be satisfied with speed.

    Hey, my last laptop was an early 2008 17" MBP, so I do make 'em last, but like to buy right at the cusp of a cycle (and always happy when I can get in on a new connector like FW800, USB 2 and now TB).
  15. billgates99, Feb 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    billgates99 macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2010
    CS5 does, not sure about CS4. the CS5 apps benefit from more cores, faster clock and large amounts of RAM. My guess is that the next FCP refresh will do the same.

    CS5 is designed to use NVIDIA video cards for GPU acceleration with the Mercury Playback Engine for AE, Premiere and Photoshop. IIUC, it works with higher end NVIDIA quadro and gtx cards, however, i don't think any NVIDIA laptop cards are supported.

    I hope the next MacPro refresh switches back to NVIDIA.
  16. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Premiere Pro CS5 and After Effects CS5 can use multiple CPUs and lots of RAM - you would set this up in the "Memory and Multiprocessing" preferences.

    And just to clear up a little of the misconception...

    MPE (Mercury Playback Engine) is only in Premiere Pro and it requires a supported CUDA card - only three are officially supported on the Mac (all desktop parts) without hacking and one of them is out of production (GTX 285). On all other hardware, MPE runs in software rendering mode. And this is the problem with proprietary APIs. :p

    AE and Photoshop both use OpenGL for GPU acceleration. As long as the GPU supports OpenGL (and all modern ones do), it really won't matter whether you have NVIDIA or ATI. The only exceptions would be a handful of plug-ins available for After Effects that can utilize CUDA hardware (like Elemental Accelerator, but I think that's Windows-only). Admittedly, Adobe's marketing materials are somewhat misleading. Since they're partnered with NVIDIA, they make it seem like you need an NVIDIA card to fully harness the CS5 apps when that's clearly not the case (except for MPE in Premiere Pro).

    Though we can only speculate, I would imagine the next release of FCP (hopefully) will support OpenCL for GPGPU acceleration. This is something that would really put FCP back into the game competitively.

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