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editing on non-Retina MBP--any pitfalls?

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Samuel Frazier
editing on non-Retina MBP--any pitfalls?
on Jul 29, 2012 at 8:33:16 am

Specifically, I'm wondering if there are any issues using the monitor of the MBP to edit mostly 1080p video. I currently use my 17" MBP for previews only (ie Canvas) and have my Timeline and Viewer on an external 1900 x 1200 LCD. Usually, I don't even use the entire of the MBP with the Canvas as I like to be able to click to the desktop behind it.

So, what I was wondering is if the non-Retina 1680 x 1050 display will create any issues editing. For example, extra work for the video card to re-size, previewing inaccuracies, etc. In the long run, I plan to buy something like a Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle or MXO2 for a real preview. Unfortunately, I'd still be dependent on the old solution/ setup for half the week though as I have to travel for work.

So, anything I should know? Thanks ahead for any thoughts or advice!

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Jerry Hofmann
Re: editing on non-Retina MBP--any pitfalls?
on Jul 29, 2012 at 4:43:56 pm

No problem editing HD or even 2k on a non-retina Mac.

What you give up is desktop space. Not that big a deal, but you don't ever get pixel for pixel display of the video with it. You'll see a big loss actually between your current 17" and a non retina with this loss of desktop space.

Why would you not want a Retina?


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Samuel Frazier
Re: editing on non-Retina MBP--any pitfalls?
on Jul 29, 2012 at 11:04:34 pm

Thank you very much for the help! Always great to have an expert. Was wondering, when you say:

[Jerry Hofmann] "but you don't ever get pixel for pixel display of the video with it"

Do you mean that I'm getting a pixel for pixel preview on the 17"? I thought FCP would only give you a 1/4 quality preview unless you used a device like a Blackmagic Design, Kona, etc. Also, I thought the way I was using the screen on the 17" wouldn't be using the full 1920 x 1080 anyway. Are you saying the 15" non-Retina would be significantly worse for this use?

I hear you about the getting the Retina instead. I'm definitely considering it as well. The reasons I'm leaning against it are:

- I have to travel with the MBP everyday and b/t two cities. With the non-Retina I could take out the DVD burner and insert a data doubler for portable 6G Sata storage. Then I'll only have to carry the external Blu-ray burner. With the Retina, I'd also need to take external storage. Am concerned that Thunderbolt will be expensive and especially so to get 750GB or more, which is what I would need. USB3 might be risky b/c it isn't a steady steam like firewire, Sata, and Thunderbolt.

- ports. Like the two Thunderbolt ports of the Retina and the HDMI. But, concerned may need a Thunderbolt hub of some sort with Retina and don't want to pay another $250 and carry that too. May run out of Thunderbolt ports otherwise as may need to run Ethernet (via an adapter), the Blackmagic Design Shuttle (or similar device), and video storage from Thunderbolt.

- On the other hand, when using something like a Blackmagic Intensity on a non-Retina MBP I would be dependent upon a USB2/3 solution for outputting the Browser, Timeline, etc onto an external monitor. There are solutions for this that people seem to find reliable, but it's also a risk.

So, no matter what I do, there won't be a perfect solution for me and I'm trying to figure out the best compromise. Any suggestions are very greatly appreciated!!

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