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Old October 18th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #1
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Macbook air with FCP?

So I'm considering replacing my aging 17-inch 2.5 C2D Pro with a brand new macbook air; the fully specced i7. Would I still be able to run FCP on this? Would mainly be cutting DSLR footage, Prores 422 and XDCAM. My plan is to transition over to an iMac for most of my work but I 'd like to have something I can do some rough cuts and previews in the field. Obviously still using an external drive, just a little mobile firewire drive I have.

Last edited by Tim Kerigan; October 18th, 2011 at 08:18 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Re: Macbook air with FCP?

Yes, you can run FCP on a Macbook Air but with these important caveats:

- The Air only connects to USB2 drives as there is no FireWire connection. This will cause dropped frames during playback but the footage will be OK for later editing.

- The screen is not good for making color decisions even with careful balancing.

- Color and Motion will not run properly on older model Airs due to the lack of a robust monitor chip.The new Airs, I am not sure.

You should seriously consider a 15" MacBook Pro unless you want an Air for other reasons and you can live with the limitations.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 01:58 PM   #3
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Re: Macbook air with FCP?

I'm currently assessing FCPX and either i7 MBA + Thunderbolt display (I have assets on FW800) vs 17" MBP with SSD.

Costs are roughly the same. For my usage patterns the 17" MBP has won out. Until I change my mind. No, 17" MBP it is. Now, the small matter of actually being able to pay for it ... oh, was I dreaming?!
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Old October 19th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #4
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Re: Macbook air with FCP?

While the speed of an SSD is nice, consider a standard hard drive and save yourself some money. I have a 17" MBP with FCP7 and FCPX and am very happy with it.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:08 AM   #5
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Re: Macbook air with FCP?

Once you have used a MBP with SSD you will never want to go back to old-fashioned spinning disks. My 3-year old MBP has had a new lease of life with an SSD upgrade & out-performs a brand new i7 system in many respects especially subjectively. Boot time & application startup are dramatically improved while overall the system feels 'snappier' & more responsive. The bottleneck in laptops is always storage nowadays & if you are editing video you will likely be disk bound. An SSD is the reason why the MBA punches above its weight.
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