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Video Card and MacBook Pro's

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Billy Mabou
Video Card and MacBook Pro's
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:51:06 am

I searched all over the cow for information on MacBook Pro's and Final Cut Studio and couldn't find anything, so thought I'd post here, since it probably affects Motion the most overall.

Looking at getting one of the new MacBook Pro's and am wondering how important the choice of video card is.

I don't require all real-time in Motion, but I'd like decent performance when using 3D cameras and when pulling keys. These are probably the most taxing tasks I'd be performing. I'd also like the ability to render Pro Res HQ HD in Final Cut.

My first thought in relation to the MacBook Pro was portability because I'll be setting up in multiple locations, usually with a 24" external monitor I can plug into. The 13" models only offer an integrated NVIDIA GeForce 9400M. The middle 15" offers both the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M and a 9600M GT with 256MB. Will the addition of the 9600 make a big difference when working in Motion?

Lastly, I'd even consider jumping to the 17", which offers the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB, if the extra 256 MB on the 9600 will improve performance. (BTW, I know there are two cards so one can be used when wanting to preserve battery life)

Thanks for any advice!


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Billy Mabou
Re: Video Card and MacBook Pro's
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:53:12 am

"I'd also like the ability to render Pro Res HQ HD in Final Cut."

Meant to say I'd also like the ability to render 10-bit Pro Res HQ HD in Final Cut.


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Billy Mabou
Re: Video Card and MacBook Pro's
on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:42:19 am

I was hoping someone with hardcore Motion experience would chime in, but no-go. Everyone is busy working I'm guessing. So I'll take a guess based on what I know...

Going with a discrete card will definitely improve Motion performance. The 512 MB on the 17" probably won't be noticeable unless I'm doing lots of 3D work.

So probably the middle MacBook Pro 15" with the discrete 256 MB card is the way to go. Still portable, still a better performer with Motion than the models lacking a dedicated card.

Feel free to chime in if I'm way off here.


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Patrick Simpson
Re: Video Card and MacBook Pro's
on Oct 7, 2010 at 9:43:10 pm

Which computer did you end up getting? I'm in the middle of considering an older 15" w/ discreet GPU and the 13" macbook pro and I'd be really interested to know how it's working out for you.


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