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Old April 10th, 2006, 09:10 PM   #16
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First Impressions

Today was the first working day for my MBP. It has the "standard" 2ghz config: 1GB RAM and the 5400rpm drive. I don't yet have FCP loaded so I haven't started testing captures yet, but the laptop is screaming fast.

I've also loaded boot-camp and have been running XP Pro all day without a hiccup - and switching between OS's is a snap too.

On the Windows side of things I've always used Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 as a benchmark of just how "fast" a system is since it's high-demand video-like motion graphics put the maximum strain on CPU, RAM and MB throughput. With all the quality sliders to the max and screen resolution to the limit I can "fly" around a big city like NYC and motion is completely smooth at 34 fps or better. That's with dynamic scenery at the limit, and a full sky of traffic.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Flight Simulator, the short version of the above is that the Macbook Pro runs XP Pro apps as fast as my "real"
Win-Tel tower - and that's really saying something.

I don't own any Windows video editing software, however PS CS2 is also running like a champ and churns away on filters will almost as much speed as my Quad-core G5.

I have made one change so far to the hardware: I installed (2) 1GB RAM sticks that was purchased from my PC parts vendor (see my Powerbook setup guide) and that has sped things up even more on both the OSX and Windows side of operations. The next step will be to install a 7200rpm drive. I think if this thing get's any faster the screen will melt. (^_^)

So far, I'm couldn't be happier with the performance of the MBP and, I'm actually pleasantly surprised at just how well everything works.

The next test will be with FCP captures from the HVX. That will be a different thread.
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Old April 10th, 2006, 10:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Saraceno
I really believe the real "missing link" is a USB or Firewire 32-bit reader for p2 cards.

For under $200.00
I'll concede that point! <fingers impatiently strumming on desk>
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Old April 11th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #18
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Robert, did you install Motherboards & Upgrades (upgradeit.com) memory sticks even though they are made specifically for the PB (as you said in your other thread)? Are you still getting the same performance increase from using that brand over apple's?

Was your copy of PS universal?
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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #19
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Changes and insight

R.K. -

Mike Komar at www.upgradit.com has designed new RAM modules specifically for the MBP since it uses the newer, faster RAM type than the old PB did.

The 2ghz MBP shipped with (1) 1GB RAM stick - when I put in the custom-cofigured RAM from Mikey's shop there was a noticeable speed bump in boot time - and even more when both his 1GB sticks were installed.

I do not have a Uni-version of PS CS2 - I don't believe they are available yet.

As for further testing, I just realized yesterday that I didn't get the fastest MBP available, which is the 2.16ghz machine, so I'm returning mine to the retailer and ordering the 2.16 version from Apple. It will be the newer machine that I will test HVX captures with.

NOTE: Many MBP users, myself included have noticed several small but annoying issues with these machines:

- A high-pitched whine at idle
- Sound issues
- Case getting hotter than normal during usage.

Apple has addressed these issues: If you take your MBP to the Apple Store for warranty repair you with these issues you will likely get a MB upgrade/replacement when it comes back to you. Newer machines ordered directly from Apple will already be coming wih the revised MB.

NOTE 2 ABOUT SAME: Do not take the word of the typical floor-sales-person at the Apple Store that there is no fix for these noted issues; let the Genius Bar techs handle it. There is plenty of documentation both on the web and in Apple's own tech support about these problems.

See www.barefeats.com for more info on this "silent" upgrade for the MBP.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:29 PM   #20
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Well it looks like the serial number on mine puts me in the quiet motherboard group. That's a relief. I haven't heard any funny noises from it yet!
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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:31 PM   #21
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One step closer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
Just to reiterate someone else's earlier post (my apologies, I don't remember who authored it... I think it may have been Robert Lane): satasite.com has a nice, fanless (i.e., quiet...just remember to keep air flow around it) aluminum eSATA-II enclosure that looks great with the MacBook Pro. Complete with cable, enclosure and Hitachi 250GB drive, it comes to 40 cents per GB of storage. That's getting competitive with tape, especially if you shoot native mode or DVCPro 50.
The aforementioned eSATA drives and enclosures arrived today...Hitachi Deskstar 250s. I see that last week Hitachi announced a new line, Cinemastar, aimed at DVR and other video applications. Designed for robust performance in the demanding video environment, and built to be quieter during both operation and idle. I hadn't been aware until this week that SATA drives run cool enough that a fan isn't required in an external drive enclosure... god bless engineers! Fan noise in the edit suite has been my constant demon for as long as I've been an editor.

The only disadvantage to the above setup is that the enclosures are SATA only, so if you don't have a SATA card in your workstation (or a SATA express/34 card--just announced but not yet shipping), you can't connect these drives via FireWire. I assume the Express/34 card will be available soon, so I'm not sweating it. One would hope that the next generation of MacBooks will include SATA-II, since FireWire 800 has been totally ignored by the marketplace.

The enclosures seem well-built...the only modification I'm going to do is to put a thin layer of clear nailpolish on the 6 little screws that hold the front and rear panels to the case. They look like they'd easily back out with even routine transport vibration in a Pelican-type case.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 12:25 PM   #22
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Why Hitachi?

Scott, is there a reason why you went with the Hitachi desktar instead of the less expensive Western Digital hard drive? I see that the WD 500GB hard drive is $100 less than Hitachi's.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 03:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Krupka
Scott, is there a reason why you went with the Hitachi desktar instead of the less expensive Western Digital hard drive? I see that the WD 500GB hard drive is $100 less than Hitachi's.
I'd read that the Hitachis had NCQ and the Westerns didn't. I'm not enough of a technogeek to know how important that'd be in our kind of environment, but I figured I'd go with it. Also I think the price on the two manufacturers in the 250GB size (what I bought) is closer than that.
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Old April 17th, 2006, 05:08 PM   #24
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Not just yet

My 2.16ghz MBP isn't scheduled to arrive until later this week or beginning of next. Once it arrives I'll begin the setup tests.

FWIW: We've tested the Hitachi, Seagate and WD 500gb SATA HDD's; we're going with the WD's for our 5-TB SATA-RAID because they have the same performance as the much more expenisve Hitachi's and, with the years of flawless performance we've had with all iterations of WD drives I have no worries as to their reliability.

The test results mirror what Bare Feats, AMUG and other independent sources have shown: all these drives are within nanoseconds of each other with respect to performance, and real-world tests show that you cannot humanly discern a performance difference between them. We chose the more cost effective route.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 01:05 AM   #25
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A little longer...

My MBP just showed up today however, it has the internal "whine" so well documented on the web. I'm sending it in for service for the MB replacement and will test when it returns.

I paid the extra $99 for Pro Care, so hopefully the promise of a 24-48 hour turnaround will hold true.

Stay tuned...
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #26
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17"

Thanks for doing these tests, RL. I read that there's a good chance Apple will announce the 17" MBP at NAB and then release it soon thereafter. Are you going to give that a go when it's available?
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #27
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Quit 'yer whining...

All the Mac-forums have indicated that Apple does not yet have a fix for the whine and other minor bugs with the MBP. So, rather than have downtime on a new machine that seems to work just fine other than being a bit noisy, I'm going to just get to work.

I'll have some test results for direct capture by the weekend.
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Old April 20th, 2006, 11:44 AM   #28
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You just had to tease me, didn't you...

No, I'll be sticking with the 15" inch version; after having the 17" PB a while I've noticed the slightly smaller size is a bit easier to tote around and fits a bit nicer in my APC Powercase (laptop briefcase).
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Old April 21st, 2006, 12:25 AM   #29
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No more tests for now...

Well my new MBP has some pretty weird deal-killer issues. It doesn't boot reliably and things like Software Update just don't work, period. I've taken it in the to Apple Store Genuis Bar to be looked at and they have no answers, which means I'd have to be without it for weeks while it get's sent to who-knows-where while Apple techs pour over the problems.

Unfortunately I'm smack in the middle of a huge project and don't have time for long troubleshooting or being without a laptop, so the unit is being returned to Apple and I'll just use the PB.

In a few months I'll pick up another MBP, hopefully all these bugs will be worked out by then.

Hopefully somebody else will be able to pick up the HVX-to-MBP capture testing programme and have some answers for you guys.

Best to all.
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Old April 24th, 2006, 07:46 PM   #30
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The Last Temptation of Lane

The 17" has been announced....

It has fw800...

:)
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