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What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!

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Allan Hughes
What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:23:28 pm

Bought a Sony NX5.
Going to be editing full HD - 1080i 30p. 1080i 24p. 1920x1080.
Plan on editing with FCP and After Effects.

What specs do I need? This is what I planned out.

17"
2.66 GHz Core i7
8 gigs RAM
500GB 7200 rpm

Questions... can it handle well with 4 gigs or RAM? Should I substitute the hard drive with a Solid State hard drive, and forego the ram? What's most important to run what I mentioned above? RAM? Hard drive? Processor?

Looking to spend no more than $3000.

Thanks all,


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 9:46:38 pm

Alan,

Do a little searching and you will find that the same question was asked and answered yesterday and just about every day before that.

The 17" MBP is the best of all the laptops because it is the only one that has and express card slot enabling a hard drive RAID. Which brings up the most important question, what do you intend to use for a media drive or RAID?

4Gb will do in a MBP and a solid state drive is an unnecessary expense.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Allan Hughes
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:04:09 pm

Hey Alan, sorry for the redundant question.... Just wanted to hear it directly from someone reputable. .

Great to know about the 4g RAM working just fine. I keep hearing that you need 8g if you plan on running After Effects with all HD footage. Can you confirm that?

Planned on just picking up a 1.5 terrabyte Lacie drive or something for the media drive. Would you recommend anything?



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Dave LaRonde
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:15:21 pm

[Allan Hughes] "I keep hearing that you need 8g if you plan on running After Effects with all HD footage. Can you confirm that? "

In its multiprocessing mode, AE can utilize 4GB PER CORE, with additional memory for other nice things to have running, like an operating system and the applications you like to have open. I'll let you do the arithmetic.

If you're talking about AE 10, aka AE CS5, it can utilize all the RAM available to it on your machine. That's the beauty of a 64-bit application.

Or you can think of it another way: AE is the Ultimate RAM Hog.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:29:24 pm

You're Alan, I'm David... Keep that in mind unless inflowing money is in question, in which case I answer to any name...

You would be far better off with a an eSATA RAID with at least two drives, which you would run off a SATA controller card in the express slot of the 17" MBP. It will get you four to eight times the throughput of a single firewire 800 Lacie drive.

1Gb RAM per core will do you just fine. You will be far better off spending the money you save on the RAID I mentioned above.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Dave LaRonde
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:39:58 pm

[David Roth Weiss] "1Gb RAM per core will do you just fine."

Wow! You pro FCP cutters like to run AE lean on RAM.

Well, I guess you typically don't have too much call for 3D, multiple light sources or particle systems when the main part of the job is editing.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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David Roth Weiss
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 15, 2010 at 10:47:40 pm

[Dave LaRonde] "Wow! You pro FCP cutters like to run AE lean on RAM. "

I suggest that in the long run, a cost/benefit analysis will indicate that a SATA RAID will improve day to day editing experience far more than an increase in RAM, so long as there is at least 1Gb per core.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™

EPK Colorist - UP IN THE AIR - nominated for six academy awards

A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Walter Soyka
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:05:29 am

[David Roth Weiss] "I suggest that in the long run, a cost/benefit analysis will indicate that a SATA RAID will improve day to day editing experience far more than an increase in RAM, so long as there is at least 1Gb per core."

I'd agree with this statement for editing with FCP only, but Allan also specifically mentioned After Effects.

After Effects is extremely memory intensive. 4GB of total system RAM will be very, very tight for AE, especially working in HD. Multiprocessing in AE with 8GB is workable, but multiprocessing with only 4GB is out of the question. Skimping on RAM -- thereby disabling AE's multiprocessing -- will nearly double render times.

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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Allan Hughes
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:52:04 pm

Lots of good info here. Thanks guys.
From what I'm gathering here. I'm looking at:

17"
2.66 i7
8 gig RAM (to please AE5)
7200 rpm
eSATA RAID

So all this eSATA RAID talk, I don't know anything about. Would you recommend a specific model, size, speed for that macbook I listed up there? I'm sure they're all good, but I'm sure there're ones that have crapped out on you as well.

System Priorities:
EDITING FCP = Processor Speed / eSATA RAID drives.
EDITING AE5 = RAM

given, everything is important, but those are the priorities here?



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Dave LaRonde
Re: What specs do I need on my new Macbook Pro?!
on Jun 16, 2010 at 9:57:58 pm

What's of primary importance to you: editing video in FCP or doing effects & compositing work in After Effects?

If your answer is AE work, I say trick the thing out with RAM: you'll need it, and don't take the word of an FCP editor for whom 8GB is a boatload.

If your answer is editing in FCP, you're probably good, and you'll be barely able to squeak by in AE... but don't expect speedy OR long RAM previews -- you just won't be able to do it. And shut down all other applications when running AE.

Dave LaRonde
Sr. Promotion Producer
KCRG-TV (ABC) Cedar Rapids, IA


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