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Advice for purchasing Macbook Pro

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Leonard LevyAdvice for purchasing Macbook Pro
by on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:47:49 am

I just went to pickup my old 2009 repaired Macbook pro from Apple and it turns out they dropped it and dented the case so they are giving me a new one valued at about $2000. However I can upgrade beyond that and am looking for some advice as to what model to get.

At this point I plan to get a 15" 2.6GHz non Retina model with 8G RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, 6G of L3 cache, and a 750G 7200RPM internal drive. Even though Apple will only offer it with 8G RAM , OWC told me I can actually upgrade it to 16G RAM for only $130. (Does that sound right?)

For an additional $250 I can upgrade to the 2.7 GHz processor which also has 8G of L3 cache.

2.6 to 2.7 GHz doesn't sound like much but I've heard the increased L3 cache can make a bigger difference on rendering, compression and playback of heavy duty video files. I would like to be able to do 3D editing and color correction with DaVinci Resolve both of which are very processor intensive.

So...Quest #1 - Do you guys think the processor upgrade is worth it for video editing?

Quest #2 - Also what do you think about getting an SSD instead of a standard hard drive?

I plan to keep running FCP7.03 and am also a little worried about having to go with the latest version of Mountain Lion as that's the only way to do it . I think I could have them install my current hard drive ( 500G Seagate Hybrid Momentus running Snow Leopard). Then I could keep all my current software, have no problems with Sony SxS cards and my Matrox MXO.

Quest #3 - would installing my Seagate drive be a good idea?

Quest #4 - Is there any compelling reason to spend more money and go to a Retina model?

Thanks

Lenny Levy



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Shane RossRe: Advice for purchasing Macbook Pro
by on Sep 27, 2012 at 6:28:22 am

[Leonard Levy] "At this point I plan to get a 15" 2.6GHz non Retina model with 8G RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M with 1GB of GDDR5 graphics memory, 6G of L3 cache, and a 750G 7200RPM internal drive. Even though Apple will only offer it with 8G RAM , OWC told me I can actually upgrade it to 16G RAM for only $130. (Does that sound right?)"

No. Because the Retina only ships with SSD drives, not regular hard drives. And the RAM Maxes out at 16GB...not 8GB. You are looking at the REGULAR MBP...not the Retina. The normal MBP has the regular hard drive, and Apple says that it maxes out at 8GB...but that isn't true. You can go to 16GB. I have that model and did install 16GB of RAM. I also swapped out the hard drive with an SSD. AND..I special ordered it with the High Res Matte display, so I have a higher resolution, and not glossy. I can run RESOLVE or COLOR if I wanted. The stock machine display can't work with Resolve.

[Leonard Levy] "
So...Quest #1 - Do you guys think the processor upgrade is worth it for video editing?"


No. I'm running a 2.3Ghz model and running Avid and FCP (haven't started an Adobe gig)...and it works great. I thing the 2.6Ghz would be a small, barely noticeable bump.


[Leonard Levy] "Quest #2 - Also what do you think about getting an SSD instead of a standard hard drive?"

If you can afford it...get it. So much faster...it's amazing.

[Leonard Levy] "I plan to keep running FCP7.03 and am also a little worried about having to go with the latest version of Mountain Lion as that's the only way to do it ."

I've installed FCP 7 on two systems running Mountain Lion, and get no reported issues. But this might be the last version that will allow it to run properly.

[Leonard Levy] "I think I could have them install my current hard drive ( 500G Seagate Hybrid Momentus running Snow Leopard)."

That won't work at all. The machine won't even boot from Snow Leopard. The OS lacks many things the new machine needs...like USB3 drivers for the USB ports. Those are new. Nope, the firmware will prevent the machine from even booting. YOu can run Lion or Mountain Lion, and that's it.

[Leonard Levy] " Then I could keep all my current software,"

Install that from the installers. Better way to install it anyway. DO NOT MIGRATE APPLICATIONS!! They won't work right.

[Leonard Levy] " have no problems with Sony SxS cards and my Matrox MXO."

Yeah, you do. The new models don't have Express34 (SxS) slots. None of them. Thunderbolt only...or firewire. But IO devices nowadays are Thunderbolt. YOu will have to get a Thunderbolt adapter from Matrox.

[Leonard Levy] "Quest #3 - would installing my Seagate drive be a good idea?"

No. not at all. Strike the thought from your mind.

[Leonard Levy] "Quest #4 - Is there any compelling reason to spend more money and go to a Retina model?"

Nicer display...I hear. Two thunderbolt ports, but if you have firewire drives, you'll need an adapter, as the Retina models lacks firewire. And I hear not-so-good things about the adapter slowing down drive speed. You have HDMI out, so that works for a second monitor along with Thunderbolt. SSD drive built in. I think the only things it has going for it are HDMI, extra Thunderbolt port...display possible. But to me, the other model is better....just get the High Res display.

Shane
Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Leonard LevyRe: Advice for purchasing Macbook Pro
by on Sep 27, 2012 at 5:34:34 pm

OK I've decided on the standard non retina MBP 2.6GHz 1 w/ 1GB Nvidia video RAM , 6MB L3 cacheand now see I can upgrade to 16G RAM for peanuts.
So the 2 questions left are :

upgrade to the 2.7Gz w 8MB L3 cache ?

(Shane says it won't make much difference , but others say that the L3 cache can help a lot when compressing and rendering - and I want to be able to do 3D editing and color correction with Resolve. One guy said that it made the difference between being able to playback RED footage real time or not.

and/or upgrade to an SSD?

What difference will an internal SSD make to video editing?

Shane suggests I do this but its expensive and I don't edit for a living so marginal speed differences in the basic functioning of the machine don't matter to me that much, whereas rendering and playback limits are very important. Will SSD affect that stuff.
Also can't I always switch to an SSD later as prices come down?



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