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Old January 18th, 2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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MacPro Notebook vs Desktop Model Help

Now that I have recovered from the cost of the HD110U I need to economically upgrade from a G4 Desktop with FCP to a faster model and HD editing software.

My question..... are there significant trade offs or disadvantages to using a MacPro notebook versus the Desktop model? I am just an amateur doing video for our church and humanitarian efforts.

I like the portablility of the laptop and since the FCP version was overkill for my needs, I thought using Final Cut HD Express would suffice.

I would appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

jon
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Old January 18th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon R. Haskell
Now that I have recovered from the cost of the HD110U I need to economically upgrade from a G4 Desktop with FCP to a faster model and HD editing software.

My question..... are there significant trade offs or disadvantages to using a MacPro notebook versus the Desktop model? I am just an amateur doing video for our church and humanitarian efforts.

I like the portablility of the laptop and since the FCP version was overkill for my needs, I thought using Final Cut HD Express would suffice.

I would appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

jon
I Edit in FCP on a Powerbook G4 using the HD100. No problem. The Macbook Pro is well over 4x as fast as the G4, so you should be completely fine. Of course, the Mac Pro is even faster, but the portability is well worth it.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #3
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One thing you also want to consider is internal storage, if that is important to you. The MacPro (desktop) has 4 internal bays, one for the main drive, then 3 more for media drives. 1TB internal HDD's can be had for ~$400 now, so you can have 4TB inside the computer. With the Macbook Pro, you will have to use firewire external storage, which is more expensive. However as Steve said, nothing beats portability. The ability to edit anywhere is not just good for business, but good for the stress levels.
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Old January 18th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #4
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If you absolutely need the portable form factor, the MBP is delightful to work on. But, as the posters above have said, portability comes with compromises. The ability to toss up to FOUR big drives into a Mac Pro is a huge advantage, depending on the kind of project you're working on. Recent prices are right around $150 each for 500GB SATA drives. Plus, the MBP HD is only a 5400 RPM drive, which can be a factor for certain high-performance apps.

You can buy an expresscard 34 SATA adapter and hook up a really fast external array to the MBP if you want big speed. And of course the MBP will drive any display Apple makes, including the 30".

But once you have a bunch of stuff wired up to the MBP, you have to think about whether you're better off with a desktop to begin with.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #5
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I was reading somewhere that using a laptop for large/long renders is not a good idea, due to prolonged heat buildup. Whereas desktops are more efficient in the heat department.

Something to consider.



Andrew
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Old January 19th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon R. Haskell
Now that I have recovered from the cost of the HD110U I need to economically upgrade from a G4 Desktop with FCP to a faster model and HD editing software.

My question..... are there significant trade offs or disadvantages to using a MacPro notebook versus the Desktop model? I am just an amateur doing video for our church and humanitarian efforts.

I like the portablility of the laptop and since the FCP version was overkill for my needs, I thought using Final Cut HD Express would suffice.

I would appreciate you sharing your experiences and thoughts on the matter.

jon
You should consider what sort of editing you are going to do. A laptop will fill up with footage quickly if you are doing anything with lots of takes. A feature length documentary would be difficult to fit on a laptop. A music video should be no problem. 12gb per hour of HDV footage. You could get an external drive but that starts to drag the portability down.

While laptop heat issues are reduced with the Intel chips, you should also consider that using a laptop for extended periods can lead to a reduced lifespan of the laptop. A tower has an excellent cooling system that a laptop could never have. Towers can last for years always on. If you choose a laptop, get a laptop stand or a USB powered fan laptop cooler for when you are plugged into the wall. These can significantly reduce heat.

FCE should work but check out the comparison chart on the Apple site to see if FCP has something you'll need in the future.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #7
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I agree with most of what you said, William, but I question your statement about the notebook shortened lifespan with extended usage. I edit a minimum of 6 hours daily on a notebook (Centrino) that is 2 & 1/2+ years old. I have had no issues whatsoever.
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Old January 20th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #8
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Different laptops have different heat issues. I present the exploding Dells as an extreme example.

My first Mac laptop cooked itself to death (or to a ridiculously expensive repair job). Same with my second laptop. My G4 12" Powerbook is still going strong although I got a fan cooler for it.

Laptops are replaced with a higher frequency, of course from travel related stress but also from heat wear. My friends who use their laptops for everyday uses seem to keep them for a long time. Those who engage in processor intensive work have more troubles with laptops (Mac or PC) suddenly expiring.

The heat problem just might be an urban legend, has anyone made a survey about laptop and tower breakdowns?
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 06:02 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for the real world comments, they were greatly appreciated. I have decided on the desktop version. Ciao, Jon
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