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MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?

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Olly Lawer
MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 7, 2011 at 9:40:06 pm

Hi,

To cut a very long story short, I'm running FCP 6 on a 2008 MacBook Pro, 2.2 GHZ Core Duo. 4GB RAM. It takes so long to render. About an hour or so for a 3 minute video, native resolution (720x1280 to 8000kbps.

So I want to upgrade. My preference is portability over screen size, so a MacBook pro is the preferred. However...

Until just now I was sold on the 27inch iMac 3.1GHZ as it seems a far superior machine to the Macbook Pro 2.4 GHZ.

Until I ran a Geekbench score on my current 2008 MacBook Pro. I could only do a 32bit score with the free version (although having a 64 bit system), but my score was low (not surprisingly) at 3053.

What I found very interesting is the MacBook Pro 2.4 GHZ got a score of 10,806 compared to the iMac 3.1 GHZ which got a score of 8,362. See here: http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks/

This is not a one off. In fact a lower processor MacBook beats the pants off a higher spec iMac on these tests...this makes it kinda tempting to go with an iMac 21inch, 2.8 GHZ which got a score of 10,978

Considering they are both £1,800 (leaving out the 21 inch) I am thinking - get an Macbook pro.

Although, someone then said that the iMac has a graphics card dedicated to things like FCP!!

Plus, I'm not even sure FCP 6 takes advantage of Quad Core. Having said that, I will probably make the transition to FCP X.

If I knew I could get my old 2008 MacBook pro to work with FCP X too, I would probably go with the iMac, but it does support my GL Graphics Card for some reason!

Any experience you have had that might help would be appreciative. Its a lot of money to shell out!

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 12:18:34 am

Illy,

I'm using a 2011 MacBook Pro with FCPX and it's way faster than old FCP ever was on my 2006 Mac Pro. I rarely have to render anything. I love it!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:07:10 am

Great. What version? 2.2 GHZ or 2.4 GHZ?

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:10:11 am

The fastest they had at the time was 2.3 Ghz, 8 GB RAM.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:28:09 am

Cool. Just out of interest. Did you go with an anti-glare screen?

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 7:18:52 am

Yep, I got the matte screen. It doesn't look quite as cool as the glossy, but no reflections.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:13:58 am

I'll go with less cool, but no reflections too I think :).

Did you buy direct from Apple?

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:26:58 am

Yes, they had a deal that if I signed up for a Barclay card I could get 12 months no interest. Of course if you are late or miss a payment, you get slammed with all the interest. I set up automatic payments through my credit union so I don't have to remember anything.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:34:25 am

Btw - the Matte screen is the same style as the old MacBooks isn't it? As in I get no reflection when working outside.

Are you in the UK or US? Wondering if it's worth a trip abroad to get one. They are £2,050 here. So about $2,800

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 9:41:43 am

I'm not familiar with the Macbooks, but reflections on the matte screen are very diffused. I'm in the US. I spent $4,200 on mine!

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Brent Dunn
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:23:19 pm

It depends what your needs are going to be. Of course a laptop has the portability. But for a main editing system, why don't you go with the Mac Pro tower. It's a great system and you can put 4 drives at 2 terabytes each. Better bang for the buck.

I wouldn't waste your money or time on Final Cut X. Read up on the many issues. Apple dropped the ball on this.

I still edit with Final Cut 6 and it works just fine. I also have Adobe Production suite 5.5. Eventually, I'll probably be switching to Adobe full time since Apple has made it clear they do not care about the video market, not enough money to matter to them.

Adobe on the other hand have taken advantage of this opportunity and produced an amazing product that has great workflow and fast transcoding times.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 3:52:52 pm

Hi,

I know what I am like - I will want the portability at some point. But thanks for the different insight.

Interesting what you say about FCP X and Adobe. I think FCP X is a marmite affair - you either love it or hate it...

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 5:50:44 pm

[Olly Lawer] "I think FCP X is a marmite affair - you either love it or hate it..."

It's working out great for me. Finally, some software that can take advantage of my Mac hardware! It is different, so some study and training before diving in is appropriate. I'm glad I made the investment. FCPX has paid for itself many times over already in increased productivity.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 5:53:13 pm

Hi Jason,

I'm in danger of turning this into a FCP X: the debate thread, but if you could give a few reasons why you prefer it that would be really helpful for me to decide. I am very tempted.

Olly Lawer


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Jason Jenkins
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:29:47 pm

[Olly Lawer] "I'm in danger of turning this into a FCP X: the debate thread, but if you could give a few reasons why you prefer it that would be really helpful for me to decide. I am very tempted."

Why I love FCPX:

#1 Power! I can do all my editing on my Macbook Pro and not feel restricted. Most stuff plays through without rendering. (My edits are not highly complex; I do that stuff in After Effects.) But, I can retime footage, scale it, color correct it, animate photos, etc... all with real-time playback.

#2 Speed! Skimming through footage and adding keywords to organize it is faster and more flexible than before.

#3 Some part of me enjoys being a contrarian! It's a hoot to successfully use and enjoy something that has been so thoroughly maligned. FCPX is a lot like my religion; it's given a bad name by those who haven't tried it.

Jason Jenkins
Flowmotion Media
Video production... with style!

Check out my Mormon.org profile.


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Olly Lawer
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 6:38:42 pm

[Jason Jenkins] "it's given a bad name by those who haven't tried it"

Probably very true!

It is true that FCP X doesn't have a lot of the functionality that traditional professionals or high end professionals need (not as in quality, but functionality) and thus gets bad press, but it seems for the more main stream corporate video productions, its a real treat.

Olly Lawer


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Dennis Radeke
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 8, 2011 at 8:27:39 pm

[Brent Dunn] "Adobe on the other hand have taken advantage of this opportunity and produced an amazing product that has great workflow and fast transcoding times."

Thank you Brent. By transcoding, are you talking about rendering final outputs or converting footage to something else to edit?

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Rafael Amador
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 3:08:02 am

Olly,
Seems that your main question is not on your future hardware but on your future software.
I don't gonna waist my time explaining here why I don't go FCPX. As you points, there is a whole Forum about that.
I think you should download the FCPX trial and see by yourself.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Bret Williams
Re: MacBook Pro vs iMac for FCP?
on Dec 9, 2011 at 6:23:16 am

No need to buy geek bench, just look at their score chart here...

http://www.primatelabs.ca/geekbench/mac-benchmarks

As you can see, currently the current iMacs and MacBook Pros pretty much line up in order depending on processor and processor speed. The i7s are faster than the i5s pretty much across the board. The new MacBook pros with i7s are faster than any iMac with i5, and many of the iMac i7s because I think it's a newer processor line. The iMac 3.4 ghz i7 with a 6970 2GB graphics card and 27" screen is where I'm headed. Just ordered from B&H. Only $50 less than Apple with the std 4 gigs, but it's the fastest Mac out there with 4 cores. The six and 8 cores of late are still faster, but will cost ya twice as much, have no screen, and no thunderbolt. I needed to buy something this year. Hopefully there will be some sort of inexpensive mac mini pro with xeons and thunderbolt next year that I can trade the iMac in for. But if they don't, well that's a whole new problem for the industry over the next year or so.


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