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Old July 20th, 2006, 06:57 AM   #1
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Motion on 17" MacBook Pro?

I'm concidering purchasing a MacBook Pro. I was originally going to wait for the Intel Towers, but I may need a solution a lot sooner than previously thought. As others have suggested elsewhere, if I buy a MacBook Pro now, at least I'll have a mobile solution, and can always purchase a Intel Tower in the future for in the office (oh, that's after I rob a bank - hell, if you can make a movie, surely you can rob a bank!).

It'll need to run Final Cut Studio, Shake and Logic at reasonable speeds. I'll be working in HDV and maybe DVCPro50 - so, nothing too fancy.

Has anyone had any experience working with big Motion projects on the 17"? From all reports, Final Cut Pro runs great on the 17", so I'm not too worried about that. People use Shake on their G4's, so again, I'm not too worried in that regard.

( I know there have been a lot of problems with the 17", but there have also been a lot of good reports. So, I guess I can ignore that issue for the time being. )

I'm currently editing on a eMac, so basically any of the new Apple machines will be a major step up, but is the MacBook Pro really worth purchasing for movie-making? Should I just make do with my current setup and put all my resources towards a new Intel Tower, when they are eventually released?

I'm sorry to ask these kinds of questions, as I know people post these kinds of things all the time. But trouble is, technology and pricing changes way to often (darn you Apple!), and half the battle these days is...well, we're all in the same boat. You know the deal! Thanks for your help...
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Old July 20th, 2006, 08:59 AM   #2
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I'm holding out for Intel desktops, so no direct experience with big projects, but I've seen others using Motion on the MBPro and it FLYS!

The work is going to be cooking your GPU and CPU all at once, so you'll want to make sure you've got good ventalation going.

With a laptop, the one thing you may eventually run into is harddrive contention. If you start layering several video sources in Motion, it's going to start slowing down as it tries to read them all from the same drive.

In general though, a Motion project with a single HDV layer and several GPU-based operations thrown in should run at or very near realtime.
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Old July 20th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #3
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Thanks Nick...
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Old July 21st, 2006, 02:52 AM   #4
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I've come to the realisation that the 17" MBP is just too big! It won't even fit in my laptop bag...

Looking at the specs, the 15.4-inch 2.16GHz Intel Core Duo is pretty much the same, except it lacks the Firewire 800 port. I can't see that being a problem, because as far as I know you can get a Firewire 800 port with a ExpressCard/34 card. Is there anything else I'm missing?
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Old July 21st, 2006, 08:19 AM   #5
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Personally, I'd go with the realestate and get the big screen.
Motion in particular uses a lot of screen space for various tools panels and other non-output windows.

BestBuy sells a back pack specifically for 17" laptops. My wife (teaches undergrad English full time for online universities) has been using 17" PC laptops for some time now (first an HP ... now a Dell) and for her, it means being able to clearly display two pages of document (or two documents side-by-side) on a laptop that can be anywhere any time. I have to say that the displays are WELL worth the pack-back upgrade.

If you're CARRYING it a lot, especially in airports and/or public transportation, I could see some hesitation over the prospect of carrying it around. Otherwise, think of it as a very very portable workstation.
You'll be very happy with the extra screen space.
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Old July 21st, 2006, 08:43 AM   #6
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I own a 3ghz 17in Toshiba laptop.

I love it! The real estate on the screen is worth the hassle.

As Nick mentions, it is a bit bothersome to lug a 17 inch laptop around sometimes, like at an airport. If you're carrying extra gear for your system along with it, the weight starts adding up. Hassle of inspection of your laptop through the X-ray system and such is not as bad as expected.

As to the Mac 17 laptops, I've read a review from one of those PC mags that did a test of the Mac laptop running Windows, and surprisingly is a lot slower than other dual core laptops of the same chip brand. It's worth mentioning that it is still comparately fast, but not as fast as a native PC laptop.
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