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Old January 21st, 2008, 01:58 AM   #1
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Macbook Pro 7200rpm or 5400rpm...

Hi,

I'm getting a Macbook Pro 15" 2.4Ghz. It won't be my main editing station, that will be an Mac Pro coming later. So I need a good laptop that I can do some basic editing on, etcetera... Some questions before purchasing:

1. How much difference will 4GB RAM make in comparison with 2? For running
Final Cut Studio or normal applications?

2. Main questions: doubting between the 250gig 5400rpm drive and the 200gig 7200 drive... For video I will mainly work with external hard drives, I would only use the main drive for putting my projects on (in writing, some graphic work, but not really editing) and of course, as my system drive with FCS on it...
The 5400 rpm is slower, but gives me more storage and more battery life.
The 7200 is faster, but less storage, less battery life.

Which one should I take? How much more battery life, and how much slower will things go?

Thanks in advance,
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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:12 AM   #2
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If you are working with HD and/or doing a lot of effects or anything, go with the 4 GB of RAM. Don't get it through Apple though. OWC has 4 gigs for like $99 or so.

And I would go with the 250 GB hard drive. That's what I'm planning on getting at least, and I'm gonna use my external hard drive for storage anyway. It's always better to have more room. Plus, I heard the 7500 rpm is insanely noisy.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 03:26 AM   #3
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Thanks,

yes, nobody goes to Apple for Ram, but thanks for the advice anyway :-D

edit: the programs itself (FCP,...), how much slower will they run? Or is that almost completely dependant on your scratch disk?

Finally making the transition, yahooo.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 05:10 AM   #4
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Max out the RAM, you won't be sorry. FCP likes 2.5GB all to itself, that leaves 1.5GB for the OS (and other apps) which is just about right for best performance.

If you're planning on editing on the road with this laptop then get the matte display not the glossy, which will be problematic when you can't control the lighting conditions you're editing in. If you're planning on working primarily in HD then be sure to pay for the optional full HD version of the display.

I'd recommend you go with the 250GB 5400rpm internal as you WILL need the space, the drive will drain the battery less and run cooler ... but you MUST also get yourself that external media drive you mention. Get the biggest fastest one you can afford. For mobile editing bus-powered is a real plus. Currently that limits you to Firewire (USB is not suitable for video). If you're going this route, try to get a FW800 drive for best performance. Highly recommended is the G-RAID-mini from G-Technology http://www.g-technology.com/Products/G-RAID-mini.cfm ... up to 500GB at 5400rom, 400GB at 7200rpm. Of course, bus-powered and/or RAID is not essential but you'll be more mobile if you have a bus-powered drive and you'll get best performance with a RAID.

Caveat: A bus powered drive will be draining you MBP's battery too, so you should also buy a spare battery, in fact a spare battery is a good idea regardless).

If bus power is not an issue for you then you'd get better performance from an external SATA drive (eSATA) than from Firewire ... even a single drive will give you great performance, though a SATA RAID would be preferable. (Bus powered eSATA is on the cards but not expected until Q4 08)

As for the OS and FCP application itself, the running code is executed in RAM so internal hard disc speed is not the real issue. If you have more RAM then there is less need for the OS to perform pageouts when handling the code and working data ... with a slower disc, that would impact your applications performance, and thats another good reason to max out that RAM!

Hope thats useful
Andy
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Old January 21st, 2008, 06:16 AM   #5
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Hi Andy,

thanks for your many help. Yes, I was planning to get the matte screen, and I'm confident now about buying the 5400 rpm disk, not only because of the extra disk space (which I would use, next to my external hdd's) but also because of the extra heat-production, I never thought of that.

Thanks again, best regards,

EDIT: went to the Apple store this afternoon, and they had the 17", I just wanted to try it out and crash it...
So I opened a Final Cut project that was there, with like at least 30 HD clips in it, I applied 4 filters on it, and all the other
programs (Motion, Color, DVD Studio Pro,...) were all open as well... The laptop just kept playing the footage, like it wasn't anything special. I'm really impressed!
A laptop that weights like 3 kilos can do what my 2 a 3 year old big PC can't do... fantastic...

Last edited by Mathieu Ghekiere; January 21st, 2008 at 11:25 AM.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 05:54 PM   #6
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Matthieu,

You'll want to both max out the RAM and get the fastest HDD available. Technically you could spend mega-$$ on a new SSD (solid-state HDD) but a 140GB drive would cost you $3k - more than the laptop itself! But it would also make the laptop a real screamer.

In the near future (hopefully within the next 2-3 weeks) I'll be posting a "how-to" thread to turn any MBP into an edit station on steriods, one that would come very close to the performance of a MacPro (note I say, "close", not the same). Keep your eyes peeled for that one.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 01:03 AM   #7
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Matthieu,

You'll want to both max out the RAM and get the fastest HDD available. Technically you could spend mega-$$ on a new SSD (solid-state HDD) but a 140GB drive would cost you $3k - more than the laptop itself! But it would also make the laptop a real screamer.

In the near future (hopefully within the next 2-3 weeks) I'll be posting a "how-to" thread to turn any MBP into an edit station on steriods, one that would come very close to the performance of a MacPro (note I say, "close", not the same). Keep your eyes peeled for that one.
Hi Robert, yes an SDD is out of the question! I'll definately keep an eye out for your post. I'll be planning to work with 4 gig's RAM (I think I'll buy the Macbook Pro in 2 or 3 weeks max, we'll see) and I was actually planning to get the 5400 rpm 250 gig for the system drive, but to work with external 7200 rpm drives for video.

Thanks!
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 03:12 PM   #8
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I would go with the largest available internal drive - and that's a 5,400 RPM one (250GB). Then get a fast external Firewire drive as a scratchdisk.

- Martin
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:49 PM   #9
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Actually, I just replaced the stock 120GB drive in my MBP with a 200gb 7200RPM drive (the Hitachi). I researched this quite a bit, and besides the performance advantages of the faster drive, it actually appears to require less power than it's 5400RPM cousin according to Bare Feats.

I wrote up the experience (including a time-lapse of the swap-out) on my blog: http://stevemaller.com/blog/2008/01/...-time-machine/

And yes, the more RAM the better.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:58 PM   #10
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I just ordered a new MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz with the 250 GB drive. Thanks to all those who chipped in on this thread - I wasn't expecting to do this (unexpected events). Let you know how it goes.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 02:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Colin McDonald View Post
I just ordered a new MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz with the 250 GB drive. Thanks to all those who chipped in on this thread - I wasn't expecting to do this (unexpected events). Let you know how it goes.
Thanks for the heads up! Looking forward to hearing about it.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 04:18 PM   #12
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Is there a big difference between 2.2ghz and 2.4ghz?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jessica Gourdine View Post
Is there a big difference between 2.2ghz and 2.4ghz?
Apart from the slightly faster 9.0909090909% :-) processor, the graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT) has 256MB SDRAM instead of 128MB on the 2.2ghz. The standard HD is also bigger (160gb instead of 120gb).

In other words, no.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #14
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I just ordered a new MacBook Pro 15" 2.4 GHz with the 250 GB drive. Thanks to all those who chipped in on this thread - I wasn't expecting to do this (unexpected events). Let you know how it goes.
I've had the Macbook Pro 2.4 for just over a week. Here's the skinny:

1. Fitted 2x2GB RAM from Crucial - required Phillips #00 screwdriver from Maplins UK (Code N25CX - 15-Piece Precision Screwdriver Set - 9.99)

2. Sometimes it runs HOT HOT HOT - reporting up to 98 degrees while in use as monitor (via FireWire and Movie 08). Had to shut the lid and do without.

3. Otherwise it does exactly what it says on the tin and pretty fast. Didn't use migration assistant but it picked up all my settings for mail etc without me having to do anything other than enter my Apple ID. Scary.

4. Runs HD movies of any size smoothly. FCE seems quite fast but haven't done any serious rendering yet.

5. Screen noticeably brighter than G4 1.67 PB.

More to come...
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:10 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Martin Pauly View Post
I would go with the largest available internal drive - and that's a 5,400 RPM one (250GB). Then get a fast external Firewire drive as a scratchdisk.

- Martin
I've got a MacBook Pro (12/2007) and am planning to capture via FW400 from the camera to an external HDD in the field. Does eSata work for video capture? I'm looking at getting this card, http://www.griffintechnology.com/pro...ataexpresscard
and an eSata drive.

Is this a good idea, or would FW800 be better?

I used to do this with my iBook G4 (512 MB of RAM), so if it works with that setup, I don't see any issues with my MBP. I daisy-chained the FW400 HDD and then plugged the camera into the HDD.
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