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Old September 2nd, 2013, 04:58 AM   #1
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Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Hi,

Hopefully this is the right area - I need a MacBook: I also need a bit of advice on whether the following spec is suitable for my needs:

MacBook Pro 15" Retina
2.3GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
8GB 1600MHz memory
256GB flash storage
Intel HD Graphics 4000
NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory

Would the above spec be acceptable for HD video editing? ("Acceptable" meaning I won't be tearing my hair out after a month). Corporate work, weddings, events - and some photo editing too - is the main use.

I badly need an upgrade - an iMac is on the way in 2014, but I'm hoping this will do a good job in the meantime.

Any advice or recommendations very much appreciated - would like to get an order in this week!

Thanks
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 06:06 AM   #2
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Hi Ryan,

I am happily editing HD material on my Late 2011 MacbookPro, with i7 2.4Ghz, 8 Mb ram, and an Intel graphics card with 512Mb.
Using a Thunderbolt LaCie disk for footage, it performs as well as my 2010 iMac.
I would say you will be fine - although I have an HD not SSD on the Macbook.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

You'll need an external hard drive. I am happy with my Lacie 1TB Firewire/USB 3.0 portable drive, will be getting a couple more in due course. They come with USB 3.0 cable as well. I have a 13inch Retina, and even with the "retina" screen feel a bit uncomfortable doing full FCPX editing. Rather connect to a HDMI monitor or edit on my old 2009 24" iMac.
When away from home I simply use the MBP/Drive as a means of checking, deleting and filing/sorting clips. Sometimes with the help of "MPEG" Streamclip if I want to do some very basic "ins and outs" to clips.

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Old September 2nd, 2013, 01:24 PM   #4
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Thanks for the input Ron and Paul - good to see what's working in the real world instead of 'minimum requirements' listed on sites.

I do have portable drives which I can use, Lacie's or Verbatim - both USB 3.0 - so no extra cost there. The superdrive is something I will need though, can't see any way around this.

I've also considered getting a larger screen to delay investing in an iMac next year - will depend on how well the MacBook performs for me.

Thanks again - If anyone else has their own info to share it would be appreciated.
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Old September 2nd, 2013, 09:47 PM   #5
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

I used a 2012 retina Macbook Pro (2.7GHz i7, 16GB RAM) with an external USB 3.0 RAID enclosure for about year, running Avid Media Composer.

For the most part it ran flawlessly, it had more than enough processing power for rendering and After Effects work.

But plugged into two external displays it would always run extremely hot (CPU at 65 degrees celcius at idle and up to 95+ when under load). I didn't trust the components to last too long under those conditions. When it comes down to it, laptops generally aren't built for that kind of scenario, and excessive heat is the biggest killer or computer components.

I recently sold the Macbook and I've put the money aside to get the new Mac Pro when it comes out.

But that's just my opinion. Cooling aside, any of the current quad core MacBooks will do the job just fine. I'd recommend 16GB of RAM though.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 01:42 AM   #6
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

It will work fine. I work with a 17 inch Macbook Pro (non-retina) version. Use FCP X and you will be good.

Some time in future I will look into the Mac Pro. However, as of now, macbook pro is fine, except that the left side gets hot.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 04:04 AM   #7
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Thanks all for the opinions and advice - order processed this morning. Will put it through it's paces this month!
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 05:49 AM   #8
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

I would echo the comments about an external monitor - yes, you can edit on a 15¨monitor, but it sure feels cramped next to my 27¨iMac!

Good choice, Ryan - please let us know your experiences when your machine arrives!
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 02:50 PM   #9
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

It is a pity you can't get a 17" MacBook Pro anymore - I imagine the 15" is going to feel small for longer projects. I think I'd be more frustrated by a slow machine though - also I've seen an Apple Aluminium 20" Cinema Display available local and for under 200euro, may be tempted...

Again,thanks for all the input.
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Old September 3rd, 2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan James View Post
It is a pity you can't get a 17" MacBook Pro anymore - I imagine the 15" is going to feel small for longer projects. I think I'd be more frustrated by a slow machine though - also I've seen an Apple Aluminium 20" Cinema Display available local and for under 200euro, may be tempted...

Again,thanks for all the input.
You're right, the 15" display is too small, although I think the 17" would be too without using external monitors. I had my 15" Macbook Pro set up with 2 external monitors:

Monitor 1 was used for the timeline and source/record windows
Monitor 2 was used for bins/audio monitoring tools
And the Macbook's display was used as a full-screen preview of the project
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Old September 11th, 2013, 11:19 PM   #11
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Not quite what you were asking, but this is 4K editing on a MacBook Air (+extras)

MacBook Air Thunderbolt editing 4K video | 9to5Mac
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Old September 12th, 2013, 05:33 AM   #12
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Re: Apple MacBook for HD Video Editing - Spec Query, advice needed

Thanks Tim - the money is spent though!

Got the MacBook Pro with spec listed in opening post. It's working great for me editing on Final Cut Pro X - which I'm also very impressed with: very easy to figure out after watching a couple of free short tutorials on youtube. Plenty to learn but I was able to jump in and get started pretty much straight away with no major (or even minor) issues or moments of frustration... so far.

15" screen is easier to work with than expected but I can see myself buying a larger monitor at some stage for office use. Retina screen is very nice.

USB 3.0 drives working great as far as storage concerned - have had no noticeable delays so far.

Will have first project ready to render and burn to disc this weekend so that's the next real "test" in my mind.

The only annoying thing so far is that I left an external USB drive plugged in as I carried it from office to car - the usb plug itself seems to have bent and damaged the body of the laptop - you can see an imprint of the usb plug on the casing. Doesn't affect performance, but I wasn't expecting it to be so delicate having owned MacBooks before which seemed hardier.

Anyone care to recommend a good sleeve/permanent cover?? Looks like I'll need one...

Thanks again for the advice and info - one happy Mac owner here.
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