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Old June 29th, 2014, 11:11 AM   #1
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MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

Hi—quick question for the collective...

I currently have a 17" MacBook Pro with a 2.2ghz Intel Core i7 processor. It edits HD video fairly well, and I generally have no issues with basic editing (nothing fancy, no multiple video layers).

Alas, this MacBook belongs to my university, which I'll be leaving soon...so I need to buy my own. Video editing isn't my only criterion, but it's an important one.

Money is a bit tight, so I'm looking at the current "base model" MacBook Pro 13" (without Retina display, which I don't need). It's specs are:

• 2.5ghz Intel dual-core i5 processor (with "Turbo Boost" up to 3.1ghz, whatever that is)
• 4GB 1600mhz RAM (which should be expandable to 8 or 16GB)
• Intel HD Graphics 4000

Will I still be okay for basic, straight-cuts editing (okay, maybe some dissolves too) with this? Or will these specs leave me in "herky-jerky playback, waiting forever on renders" territory?

Thanks!
Scott
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Old June 29th, 2014, 11:58 AM   #2
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

Look at the system requirements for the NLE you want to use. If it's FCP X, make sure the video card is one supported by FCP X and has sufficient VRAM. The VRAM amount is something that can vary in the economy models.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 12:39 PM   #3
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

One web site to check for comparative speed capabilities is this one by primate labs: Mac Benchmarks - Geekbench Browser

To run "X" with anything that has an "i" in the processor shouldn't be any problem. I'm using a MBP "Late '08" and for general editing there is very little delay. Doing something like Stabilization or color correction the delay is noticeable but nothing one can't deal with unless one wants it instantly.

The biggest delay would come with uploading to a site like Vimeo or burning a DVD that has a menu and multiple videos.

With regard to compromise, my preference would be to trade some speed for a 15" screen over a 13".

If you go the "used" route, a suggestion would be to do the transaction at an Apple store and have it thoroughly checked out at the Genius Bar before exchanging any money. They also check for ownership (not 100% guaranteed but close) and will help with registering it with the new owner. Having the original box is always helpful, too.

For me, a concern with using a laptop is heat build-up as heat is hazardous to the little electronic components. That's why a Mac Pro is nice because it has much better cooling.

Congratulations on graduating from college and hopefully you can find a job or pastime to put the video interest and skills to good use.
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Old June 29th, 2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

Thanks for the replies and useful tips.

@John Nantz: though my question probably sounds a bit basic, I didn't just graduate from college---I'm 52 and was running the college's marketing and communications! LOL (I'm leaving the job by choice.)

I've been using Premiere Pro for the past few years, and like it. But (as with the 17" MacBook) I also had an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription courtesy of the university where I work. Once on my own, I'm probably not going to want to fork out $50/month for Premiere Pro...so I might end up going back to FCP X (since I can buy that for the cost of 6 months of the Creative Cloud).

I'd also thought of going the used route for a bigger MacBook Pro (I often see them for sale on eBay). I guess screen size isn't that important to me because any time I'm editing video (or doing any work at home) I'll plug the MacBook into an Apple Cinema display.

@Les Wilson: I'd thought of checking minimum system specs, but in my experience, the minimum specs are generally lower than what most people could actually tolerate in the real world! :-)

I'm curious now, though, as to whether FCP X is actually faster on any given MacBook than Premiere Pro (since it's an Apple product).

Scott
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Old June 29th, 2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

I also suggest having a look at the Refurbished Macs section of the Apple Website. These devices all come with the same 12 month guarantee as new Macs, but you can often save the difference between i5 and i7 on the new price and there is none of the doubt with buying a used Mac.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/hom...macbook_pro/15
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Old June 29th, 2014, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

Scott -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
@John Nantz: though my question probably sounds a bit basic, I didn't just graduate from college---I'm 52 and was running the college's marketing and communications! LOL (I'm leaving the job by choice.)
After reading this I got a good laugh out of it too. It's good that you're leaving the job by choice but the transition to a new way of life will can take some adjustment, and one of the adjustment items is figuring out how to spend less. But then that might take all the fun out of video as a hobby. Can't have that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
I'd also thought of going the used route for a bigger MacBook Pro (I often see them for sale on eBay). I guess screen size isn't that important to me because any time I'm editing video (or doing any work at home) I'll plug the MacBook into an Apple Cinema display.
The 13" MacBook is a very nice size for portability so if there is the larger screen available that is really a good way to go.

Ahhh ... yes. It'd be nice to turn the clock back a few years! Oh well.
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Old June 30th, 2014, 03:42 PM   #7
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Re: MacBook Pro: is an i5 processor enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
...@Les Wilson: I'd thought of checking minimum system specs, but in my experience, the minimum specs are generally lower than what most people could actually tolerate in the real world! :-)...
I tried to word my post succinctly. I wasn't proposing getting the minimum system. Checking your proposed system against the minimum system requirements gives you an indication of how far above your system is from that "generally lower than most people could tolerate one". BTW, that's a great description of it. LOL

The video card and memory is very important to Motion.
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