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Old October 25th, 2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

the new Macbook pros look really good, with Retina display and new Haswell processors.
I need to have a laptop because I am always on the move.
it would mean move from Sony Vegas Pro to Final Cut; as a newbie especially on Mac platform, can you tell me what configuration of the Macbook pro looks better for video editing?
MacBook Pro - Buy MacBook Pro Notebook Computers with Free Shipping - Apple Store (UK)

by looking at the Apple specs, it looks like only the 15" has the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
with 2GB GDDR5 memory. does this really make a difference?
13" are only dual-core, but they can be spec'd up to 2.8 GHz whereas the 15" go up to 2.6

so is the processor speed more important than dual core vs quad-core for rendering and editing in general?

thank you
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Old October 26th, 2013, 12:53 AM   #2
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Re: considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

FCPX makes good use of all cores and also of the GPU, so a four core i7 is recommended, as is the physical video card with its own vram rather than sharing with system ram. Plus, the i5 does not do hyper threading like the i7 does.

A 2.8 i5 is definitely slower than a 2.6 i7, especially on things like rendering.

Check this out - some of these tests include both a 2.9 i5 iMac and a 2.7 i7 MacBook Pro - the MB is better in every test.
Pro Apps on the 27" iMac 2012

…and here's another part of the same test and actually includes FCPX processes:
Pro Apps on the 27" iMac 2012

That site in general is really good. The new MBPs aren't on there yet, but you get the idea. They will probably have tests on the Haswells soon.


Also, while 8 gigs of ram is usable, 16 is much better. Note that this ram is NOT user upgradable - whatever you buy the Macbook with is what you will be stuck with.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 01:38 AM   #3
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Re: considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

I've read people have problems drag & dropping AVCHD files in to Final Cut also. Vegas accepts nearly all files i've thrown at it and edits AVCHD really well.

Do you want a MAC because it looks slick? why not just buy a reasonably quick Windows laptop?
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:23 AM   #4
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Re: considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

No problem importing AVCHD into FCPX from major manufacturer cameras unless it's some bizarre iteration or the directory structure of the recording folder has been altered in some way. Yes, dragging some isolated AVCHD files (not most) into FCPX will not work but there are ways to get around that. I have received some client files that FCPX will not recognize (they were high quality mp4s from Russia) but MPEGStreamclip did and I was able to convert them to a friendly format. And I received some XDCAM files that were not with the original directory structure and FCPX would not import it, fortunately Sony provides a free program that deals with this. If you are shooting and editing your own work, you should have no problem.

Any MacBook Pro laptop will work fine with FCPX, the more RAM the better. Yes, an i7 CPU will improve your rendering times if your work involves lots of filters and complex transitions but you can do lots of editing with a slower laptop. FCPX has dynamic quality playback so the filters have to be really complex to prevent live playback of your project while editing.
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Old October 26th, 2013, 09:00 PM   #5
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Re: considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

Yes, the info about Final Cut not playing well with avchd is old news. Final Cut 7 and earlier did not edit avchd natively (it required transcoding to prores as the clips were imported). Final Cut X has worked natively with avchd from day one, with the benefit that if you do choose to transcode you can now begin editing right away and the transcoding is done in the background.

"Do you want a MAC because it looks slick? why not just buy a reasonably quick Windows laptop?"

I do like that Macs look slick, but I completely understand that this is not an meaningful criteria for everyone. Actually, for the last 10 years mine have been towers that sit under my desk :-) I mainly buy them because I prefer the operating system, the hardware, the design, and even the company itself to any of the alternatives for computers and smartphones. It's fine if others disagree - they should buy what makes them happy and/or productive.
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Old October 29th, 2013, 06:38 PM   #6
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Re: considering buying a new retina Macbook Pro for editing

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
I've read people have problems drag & dropping AVCHD files in to Final Cut also. Vegas accepts nearly all files i've thrown at it and edits AVCHD really well.

Do you want a MAC because it looks slick? why not just buy a reasonably quick Windows laptop?
Even a reasonably quick windows laptop sucks with FCP7 or FCPX, or compressor or motion and so on ;)
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