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Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)

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greg buick
Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 9:15:04 am

Hi I have making the switch from FCP7 to FCPX and going a bit mental on my old mac book pro so I am thinking of getting a new machine, only problem is I am broke :-(
I am looking at two options, either get a new 13 inch mac book pro with some extra ram $2476 or buy a second hand Mac Pro desktop from 2008 $1646 I can then use the money I save to upgrade with lots of extra ram.

I work with documentary and spend a lot of time traveling but I do most of my editing when I get home, so I have to have a lap top, but I can just about make do with one I have for backing up and reviewing material in the field as long as I can edit efficiently when I get home, that said the thought of having an decent lap top in the field is also tempting.

My question is.

when looking for a new machine for FCPX is there an advantage to buying a new mac or am I better to spend my money on a second hand easily upgradable mac pro and a lot of extra ram ? how much do things like processor speed play in ? the specs of the three macs are bellow, I am in Norway so the prices are probably a lot higher than in other contrys

P.S I have plenty of fast external firewire drives to keep projects and material on.

Macbook pro I am using at the moment
13-inch, Mid 2009
Processor 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Memory 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
Software Mac OS X Lion 10.7.3
New Macbook pro (that I can afford)
2,8 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2 x 4 GB
750 GB Serial ATA-harddisk med 5400 o/min
$2476

Second hand Mac pro

4 x 2,8 GHz Intel-CPU
6 GB RAM
1 Intel SSD-disk 120 GB
2 standard hard drives 1,0 TB and 750 GB
nVidia GeForce 8800 GT-grafikkard

$1646


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 4:13:17 pm

Current high-spec laptops outperform the 2008 Mac Pros.

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/28688

Personally, I'd stay away from the 13" dual-core systems and go for a quad-core i7, such as in the 15" or 17" models.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steve Connor
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 4:20:47 pm

Although there are new MacBook Pro's coming in the next couple of months so it might be worth waiting if you can.

I disagree slightly with Walter about 2008 Mac Pros though, we have a 2 x 2.8 Quad Core 2008 Mac Pro and it is certainly faster in FCPX operation than our one year old Quad core Macbook Pro.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Walter Soyka
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 4:31:56 pm

[Steve Connor] "I disagree slightly with Walter about 2008 Mac Pros though, we have a 2 x 2.8 Quad Core 2008 Mac Pro and it is certainly faster in FCPX operation than our one year old Quad core Macbook Pro."

Out of curiosity, Steve, are there any other factors at play here, like fast storage on the 2008 Mac Pro versus internal 5400rpm storage on the MBP?

What do you think about the benchmarks [link] from last July that show the iMac as the FCPX performance champion?

Greg, if you wanted a desktop, would you consider a current iMac versus an older Mac Pro?

FCPX aside, I don't think the 2008 Mac Pro is a particularly good value anymore. If you need that workstation form factor, keep in mind that there's a huge difference in CPU performance between the 2008 and 2009 Mac Pros. The 2009 Nehalem-based Mac Pros add much faster memory access and hyperthreading.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Steve Connor
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 4:50:15 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Out of curiosity, Steve, are there any other factors at play here, like fast storage on the 2008 Mac Pro versus internal 5400rpm storage on the MBP?
"


We used SATA external Drives on our Mac Pro and via and express card Adapter on the MacBook Pro so drive speeds are roughly similar

[Walter Soyka] "What do you think about the benchmarks [link] from last July that show the iMac as the FCPX performance champion?"

Haven't had a chance to try it, we only have a slower 21" iMac.

[Walter Soyka] "FCPX aside, I don't think the 2008 Mac Pro is a particularly good value anymore. If you need that workstation form factor, keep in mind that there's a huge difference in CPU performance between the 2008 and 2009 Mac Pros. The 2009 Nehalem-based Mac Pros add much faster memory access and hyperthreading.
"


That's true but if cost is a factor I would still go for a 2008 Model over a current MacBook Pro

Steve Connor
"FCPX Professional"
Adrenalin Television


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Lemur Hayop
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 7:04:01 pm

Insider reporting states April for MBP release, but of course we've heard rumors like this since last April!
http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/29/apple-ramping-up-production-for-13-and-...

The thing about Ivy Bridge, isn't that an integrated graphics array? How does that affect a dedicated graphics card such as AMD or Nvidia? Does it speed up communication between CPU and GPU? Rumors say in terms of CPU, Ivy is only a marginal improvement from Sandy.


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brian mclean
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 30, 2012 at 7:12:01 pm

Id take the mac pro 2008 over a current laptop any day.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Mac purchase dilemma for Final Cut Pro X (new or old with lots of ram)
on Mar 31, 2012 at 7:03:23 am

[brian mclean] "Id take the mac pro 2008 over a current laptop any day.
"


While I agree with you in spirit, I have to say--having both a 2008 8 Core and a new Macbook Pro 17--that this divide isn't as clear to me as it once was. The Macbook Pro, when paired with TBolt and full RAM, is pretty competitive with the 2008 Mac Pro. No question a new machine or even the last couple of iterations of the Mac Pro would blow the lid off of the Macbook Pro, but I'm finding the 2008 no longer earns an "any day."


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