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Old June 7th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #1
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Macbook Pro 15" as main editing machine?

Is the Macbook Pro 15" good enough for use as a main editing machine?
Has it the grunt to go the distance on a heavy project in HD?
Does anyone use this as a main editing machine for serious work?

Cheers
Simon
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Old June 7th, 2008, 04:34 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Is the Macbook Pro 15" good enough for use as a main editing machine?
Has it the grunt to go the distance on a heavy project in HD?
Does anyone use this as a main editing machine for serious work?

Cheers
Simon
That depends what you mean by "heavy project in HD" and "serious work". One thing I can say is you can't color-correct with any accuracy on a lap-top. Also, if you are going to go that route get using external keyboard and mouse is a good idea.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:16 AM   #3
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Yeah what i'm thinking is can it handle a 2hr HD project with levels,color magic bullet... etc, just the normal sort of stuff.
Yes i would be using an external mouse, keyboard.
For color correction i would do what i do now send video out to an external screen.

Thanks
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Old June 7th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #4
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I do it on the previous generation Macbook Pro 2.4", 15".

Yes, a bigger screen is coming. But the resolution is sharp on the Macbook Pro.
And yes, for heavy rendering HDV to DVD in best quality, you might want a Mac Pro.

But for the rest? I'm editing XDCAM HD EX on this computer like I was editing DV before on my PC. Only the speed of your hard drive can slow you down sometimes. Really glad I made the transition to Mac. These are powerful puppies.

Still... looking forward to that Mac Pro that one day will come... ;-)
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Old June 7th, 2008, 06:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
Yeah what i'm thinking is can it handle a 2hr HD project with levels,color magic bullet... etc, just the normal sort of stuff.
Yes i would be using an external mouse, keyboard.
For color correction i would do what i do now send video out to an external screen.

Thanks
But what type of HD? For me "serious" means DVCProHD, HDCamSR, 2k or 4k. It also means having a professional set-up to accommodate clients and having the tools for an end to end solution.

You can do a hell of a lot on a Macbook, I've used lap-tops continually for the last ten years or so, but still prefer to use my desktop systems for anything 'serious'.
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Old June 7th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #6
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Isnt a format like DVCPro HD easier for the CPU, because unlike long GOP codecs like XDCAM, it doesn't have to recompress frames?
And I'm editing HDV and XDCAM very easily...

Don't know about HDCam though.
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Old June 8th, 2008, 09:55 PM   #7
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I'm doing HDV on the 17" Macbook Pro. I use a remote keyboard, trackball and a 23" Apple Cinema Display monitor (the computer screen is my bin monitor). Works great, no trouble at all. I keep the computer on one of those USB fan cooling devices. It wasn't overheating, but when plugged into the power supply and rendering out a long program there was some heat. I thought it would be best to keep it cooler, and the fan does the job even at the low silent speed.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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Ditto here, doing HDV using a MBP 17" with external keyboard, trackball, XPress card for external eSATA drives, monitor, and a little stand to keep some air flow under the MBP.

The MBP orginally came with a 120GB 5400 rpm drive, which I eventually replaced with a larger 7200 rpm drive. Those extra rpm seem to make a difference.

I switched from a tower to a laptop a couple of years ago mainly because portability became more of a factor than expandability.

"Serious" work for me is using FCP to edit 6 +/- hrs of video into about 1 hr for wedding & event coverage, plus using Motion & other apps as required.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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I can tell you rom a year of experience that I would advise agaisnt it.

I have a 15" 2.2ghz w/ 4GB of ram and external 500gb esata hardrive. I finally reached its maximun work laod last week when editing a 2hr HDV piece. I could capture, edit color correct ect. with no problems.

The issue arised in exporting. I was not able to export but about 25% of of the project. From help here and 5 days of headaches I found that the hardrive was causing the problem. I tried everything from creating the the entire project on SD to running Disk Warrior on the HD to no avail.

Mind you, all of this just happened last week, with a Friday deadlone looming. See my post about the issues I was having.

My solution was to go buy a Mac Pro. If you are going to be buying, you might as well start with a system you know will handle HD with out any issues. I love my new system it is a dream to work on with HD.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Adam Slaght; June 9th, 2008 at 02:02 PM.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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I've edited and exported 90 minute pieces before with no problems. I use Western Digital firewire external drives; my internal is the 7200 rpm, which is required for video, I understand. If you're having hard drive trouble could it be you have the 5400 rpm instead of the 7200?
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Old June 9th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #11
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I've edited and exported 90 minute pieces before with no problems. I use Western Digital firewire external drives; my internal is the 7200 rpm, which is required for video, I understand. If you're having hard drive trouble could it be you have the 5400 rpm instead of the 7200?
Nope Bill, the external is a Seagate FreeAgent Pro esata 500gb 7200 all footage was on that drive, project was on my internal MBP drive.

I am not saying it cant be done. I am just sharing my experience where I am the first to admit that is was probally user error somehow.

I am just glad I worked through these problems on this current project and not one where there were thousnds of dollars on the line.
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Old June 9th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #12
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So would the Macbook Pro be as fast as my desktop.

Quadcore @2.5g
4gig Ram, allthough windows only sees 3gig i think.
Sata drives @ 7200 rpm
Graphic card 8800, forget right now which brand, i'm at work.

I'm looking at portability with the laptop and also the move to Mac, FCS in one solution.
Am I moving in the wrong direction with a laptop as my main editing machine?

Cheers
Simon
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Old June 10th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #13
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while on the topic...

I am editing HDV on a 17" 2 GHz Intel iMac with 3 GB, and so far so good, but i want to get a 17" Macbook Pro so i can continue to work during the many power outages here in Burundi, but also in case there is any problem with one computer/program (ie: compressor or quicktime!!! install updates on one computer, and if all is well, update the other. if problems with only one, i can still meet a deadline.)
also, with the unreliable, fluctuating current here, battery back-up does not work, and i'm afraid the many times a month power is cut, the iMac will eventually suffer a problem... not so with the laptop.
so, i guess the question would be for those using the Macbook Pro, are there inadequacies or concerns if i max out the 17" Macbook Pro with 7200 4 GB etc etc??? will i kick myself if i don't go for the mo$t computer po$$ible?
also, now that i think of it, can i use just the monitor from one of the two for xtra screen real estate, or is that just silly? i know i can't use FCP on both networked...
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Old June 10th, 2008, 04:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
So would the Macbook Pro be as fast as my desktop.

Quadcore @2.5g
4gig Ram, allthough windows only sees 3gig i think.
Sata drives @ 7200 rpm
Graphic card 8800, forget right now which brand, i'm at work.

I'm looking at portability with the laptop and also the move to Mac, FCS in one solution.
Am I moving in the wrong direction with a laptop as my main editing machine?

Cheers
Simon
Well, a Macbook Pro is only dual core, and yours is a quad core, so: no.

Leopard is a much smoother and faster system then Windows though.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #15
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Well i thank you all for your input.
Lets talk about the I MAC?
Could this be used as my main editing machine.
Or should one just go straight to the Mac Pro and be done with it?

Regards
Simon
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