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Boosting up my macbook pro?

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Martin Szucs
Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 8, 2017 at 10:11:07 pm

Hi!

I've been using Final Cut Pro 10 for a while and I as I started to actually get familiar with the program I realized that my macbook pro is terribly slow. I know my macbook pro is quite old and it lacks ssd and ram. I knew at the first time that it won't be good enough but i hoped that it will be ok for basic usage.

Here's the setup:

-2010 macbook pro 13"
- 2.4GHz Intel-Core2Duo
- 4GB ram
- 250GB hhd
- Nvidia Geforce 320M

I know, i should buy a better computer but I really don't have too much money and i hope i can might boost it up. I don't have too big expectations, i don't want to edit 4k videos, only 1080p. Is there any way to improve it so that it won't be that choppy? Which one would make bigger difference? More Ram or an SSD? My main problem is that sometimes the playback is choppy and what is really confusing that when i want to edit by frame to frame it stucks and loads a lot which makes it almost impossible. If there's no point of improving it i might save money for another computer but it is just the worst case scenario ☹ Does SSD makes a big difference when i actually edit the video? I don't care about rendering time i just want to actually make it working faster.

Thank You and sorry for my english,
Martin


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John Rofrano
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 8, 2017 at 11:45:18 pm

[Martin Szucs] " Which one would make bigger difference? More Ram or an SSD?"
An SSD will make it feel like a new computer. My wife has a 2010 MacBook Pro 13" and when I put an SSD in it, it was like buying her a new computer. Honestly the speed improvement was like night and day. I couldn't believe how much your hard drive slows your computer down but adding an SSD will definitely make everything respond faster than adding more memory would.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Fred Turner
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 9, 2017 at 12:17:23 am

Hey Martin—

While a newer system w/ a newer-generation, faster CPU and more memory capacity would be good, I'll bet you can squeeze some more life out of your 2010 machine yet. But you'll want to do BOTH RAM and SSD to get it up to acceptable performance levels, I believe. The max amount of RAM is 8GB (2 x 4GB), so do that for sure. I'd say more, but that's as high as that one will go. Should be able to get a couple of 4GB sticks for $100 or less.

The SSD will probably give you the largest perceived performance boost, and should make loading clips for editing much, much better than that old, original 250GB spinner. If you can swing another $100 for a 250GB SSD, then you ought to be able to keep enough of a smaller project on the SSD to work at maximum speed. Only problem is, if you need to have add'l external storage online for more media, the best you can do is FireWire 800, which will max out at about 70-80MB/s, if that. So, if you can spend $200 for a 500GB SSD, that'd be better. But I think you could get by w/ the 250, if you don't mind making some compromises.

Good luck,
Fred


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Joe Marler
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 9, 2017 at 11:48:05 am

[Martin Szucs] "macbook pro is terribly slow. I know my macbook pro is quite old and it lacks ssd and ram....2010 macbook pro 13"...2.4GHz Intel-Core2Duo...4GB ram....250GB hhd...Nvidia Geforce 320M.....i don't want to edit 4k videos, only 1080p. Is there any way to improve it so that it won't be that choppy?....More Ram or an SSD? My main problem is that sometimes the playback is choppy and what is really confusing that when i want to edit by frame to frame "

Besides being a minimally-spec'd computer, the CPU does not have Quick Sync which makes it even slower when encoding or decoding H264 content. Furthermore it does not have USB 3.0, which greatly limits your ability to use external hard drives.

Even a used or refurbished 13" MacBook Air with 8GB RAM would be a lot better. There are plenty of those available in the used market.

The easiest solution without spending anything is use FCPX's built-in proxy feature and transcode your files to proxy (not optimized). Then you set the viewer to proxy. Just remember to set it back to optimized/original before final export.

That will take more space but decrease the CPU load and make editing smoother. However you are already space-constrained with only 250GB, and using USB 2.0 hard drives is generally not a good idea.


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Martin Szucs
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 9, 2017 at 5:15:43 pm

Thank you everyone for answering my question!

I think i might consider buying a new computer for video editing. I can't afford a new macbook so i was thinking about buying a mac mini while keeping my macbook for general usage and making notes at the university .A mac mini would be more affordable for me than a new macbook. My only problem is that most of the mac minis have HDDs instead of SSDs. So would it be slow too with and HDD even with a better processor and more ram? Is HDD the main source of the problem that slows down the program?


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Jason Jenkins
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 11, 2017 at 9:27:13 pm

Check out Other World Computing for SSD and RAM upgrades for your Macbook Pro. They have kits and DIY videos that make it easy to do it yourself.
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/macbook-pro/2010
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/memory/Apple_MacBook_MacBook_Pro/Upgrade

I'm not affiliated with them, but I've purchased their stuff!

Jason Jenkins
Better Video Starts Here


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John Rofrano
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 12, 2017 at 2:08:14 am

[Martin Szucs] "Is HDD the main source of the problem that slows down the program?"
Well... the entry level Mac mini uses sloooow 5400-RPM HDD's not the faster 7200-RPM ones so it's going to impact the performance negatively. The good news is that you can buy a faster 7200-RPM external USB 3.0 drive to edit on and it will actually be faster than your internal drive... but nothing like an SSD.

You want proof? 😉

Here is the speed disk test of my 2012 MacBook Pro when it had an HDD:

Here is the speed test of the same 2012 MacBook Pro with a 3rd party SSD:

Which would you rather use? :-D

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Fred Turner
Re: Boosting up my macbook pro?
on Jan 13, 2017 at 9:43:06 am

[Martin Szucs] " i was thinking about buying a mac mini while keeping my macbook for general usage and making notes at the university ."

Not sure if you were entertaining buying a *new* Mac mini, but I wouldn't do that. The latest revision (the oh-so-new Late 2014 model), in addition to being 2 years old now, makes many compromises in performance and expandability, and most notably is only available as a dual-core CPU configuration. The preceding Late 2012, however, sports a quad-core i7 CPU at the high end, so I'd recommend that. In my opinion, if you are only talking about a current Late 2014 Mac mini w/ dual-core CPU, I think you'd be better served to just beef up your current MacBook w/ RAM + SSD and save the rest of your money. And if you went Mac mini, only do so w/ a quad-core 2012, then still plan to add an SSD and sufficient RAM.

Hope this helps,
Fred


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