Would 13" MBP be good enough for video editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Tranquilibrium, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. Tranquilibrium macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    I'm really looking forward to buying my first Mac, when the new line-up hits stores. I will have to use the computer for high school, so a 17" would be real overkill for me. However I stand between the 15" and the 13". Until now I've been wanting the 13", but recently I've grown interest for editing videos, and I'd like to start doing it as soon as I get the new Mac. However I'm in doubt if the 13" is strong enough to handle tasks like video- and picture editing. I don't know which of them I will take up, but it will be one, if not both. Now my question is, do I need to take the 15" for different kinds of editing?

    Jacob
     
  2. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    #2
    I edit video on my 13 2.53GHz Pro with 500GB HDD. I edited a 6 Min Clip and exported at 1080p with multi passing. Took 3.5Hours. Kind of long but good for 1080P. No on a Quad Core it takes a hour but still on a 13" portable pretty good. I exported another 720p video blog (3.5Min) And that took 1 1/2 Hours.
     
  3. grahamwright1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    North of the Border
    #3
    I've been using a 13" Black MacBook (2007 vintage) for quite a bit of video editing for corporate training video's using Final Cut Express V4 with a lot of success. The low resolution screen makes it difficult, but most of the time I have an external 24" monitor and do most of the work on there.

    There are a couple of downsides to this - the built in Intel graphics don't allow me to run some third party plugins (FX Factory Pro, which I use at home on Final Cut Studio), and the poor performance when doing a fnal render to different formats. I tend to save the project to an external disk, take it home and import it into FCP on my MacPro and do the final output there where it's faster.

    Overall, the 13" has been better than I expected for this type of work, and I'd have no trouble encouraging you to do the same if that's what you can afford.

    In terms of editing sotware, I;ve necr used iMovie 08 and I liked the older '06 version but bought Final Cut Express when I reached some limitations of iMovie.

    Let us know what you decide :)
     
  4. Tranquilibrium thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    #4
    I do have an Xerox 21" screen, which I could connect it to, even though I'd rather do the editing on the Mac itself. I imagined to use the Final Cut series, and maybe After Effects. But it would still be dependant on the specs of the Mac itself, that would determine the speed of the editing? And if the Mac itself wasn't strong enough for it, what kind of problems would I run into? Also, thanks so far! :)

    Jacob
     
  5. techound1 macrumors 68000

    techound1

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2006
    #5
    You'll like the 13" for the portability and you can edit on it on-the-go when you need to. Take the recommendations of the other posters and use an external monitor for most of your heavy editing.

    The limit of your editing ability is the speed of the computer processor, RAM, the video chipset, and the speed of your hard drive - all things which live on your MBP. The only limit set by the external monitor is it's quality/size.

    While the video itself may take up a small part of your screen, your editing software will have several more windows to clutter up and shrink your usable viewing space.
     
  6. grahamwright1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    North of the Border
    #6
    Actual video editing is a fairly lightweight use of the computer, so other than the challenge of screen real estate space to see what you are doing,you shouldn't have any problems with the basic editing operations.

    Using Motion or After Effects is where you are going to possibly hit some problem areas, since a lot of the filters and effects you may want to add can be pretty CPU intensive, and like some extra memory to run effectively. The base 2Gigs that came with my MacBook wasn't enough so bumping it to 4 Gigs made a big difference with Final Cut Express (and the other apps I run) and everything became a lot smoother.

    As a number of folks have mentioned, outputting the final product can be pretty slow on the slower systems but you might find that you can start it before you go to sleep, and have a nice surprise in the morning!
     

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