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Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?

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nicky breen
Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 15, 2014 at 7:30:09 am

Hi guys,

I have been doing some editing on an old macbook pro (2011 version running snow leopard)

It's specs are

Processor - 2.2ghz, i7
8gb ram
1gb ram on the video card

I've been using it to edit some shorts in FCP 7 (prores) and starting to do graphics work in CS5

The problem is that he 17 inch screen is pretty bleagh, so am thinking of getting an external 27" HD screen to use instead (while i'd love a new machine, it will cost about 3grand, a monitor will cost about $300).

As it stands the machine is still pretty quick, but my question is if I stick the external monitor on will it kill that?

Also I'm going to start installing more and more plugins, can I get away with it, or with those specs will I be on a hiding to nothing (I know this is a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question - but any advice would be great!

Cheers

Nicky


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Paddy Uglow
Re: Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 15, 2014 at 10:09:07 am

According to this it's not hopeful:
https://discussions.apple.com/message/18596843#18596843

Presumably diplaying graphics on the internal 1280x800 screen AND a 1920x1080 external screen is going to require more work. How well does it do in "clamshell mode"?

There's lots more online that seems to agree with the above: one poor guy with a posh 3840x2160 external monitor found his multi-tab Chrome browser took 6 minutes to open with the external monitor, and only 33.5 seconds just using the internal one!

I think the resolution that the external screen is running at is the main factor.
I'll see if I can do some tests with a 2011 Macbook Pro.

Paddy, CreativeMedia.org.uk


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Paddy Uglow
Re: Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 15, 2014 at 10:31:39 am
Last Edited By Paddy Uglow on May 15, 2014 at 10:31:59 am

Hmm, not very helpful: I'm using a thunderbolt-to-vga adaptor and playing back on a 1920x1200 screen (not mirrored). Figures in the System Monitor seem pretty similar - actually it looks like it's using a bit more CPU when just using the laptop screen!
I was playing back fullscreen video in Premiere Pro CC.
But VGA probably isn't the best test.

Paddy, CreativeMedia.org.uk


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Walter Soyka
Re: Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 15, 2014 at 2:23:40 pm

[nicky breen] "As it stands the machine is still pretty quick, but my question is if I stick the external monitor on will it kill that?"

It shouldn't.


[nicky breen] "Also I'm going to start installing more and more plugins, can I get away with it, or with those specs will I be on a hiding to nothing (I know this is a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question - but any advice would be great!"

Adding more RAM (does your computer max out at 16 GB?) will be enormously helpful. You can dramatically reduce your render times by using multiprocessing, but you'll need more RAM.

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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nicky breen
Re: Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 15, 2014 at 11:46:39 pm

Thanks guys, I may be better off just biting the bullet and getting an imac 27" - once I buy a screen and upgrade the ram, I'm going to be down a fair chunk of change anyway.


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Jaime Montaño
Re: Another Macbook pro/ external screen question - will it be good enough?
on May 18, 2014 at 8:44:28 am

I'm running a Macbook Pro Early 2011 with a 2.2 GHz i7 in clamshell mode using a 27 inch HD monitor. There are no virtual differences between using the 27inch or the Laptop display. For what is worth, it's on the latest build of Mavericks and has 16 GB of RAM.


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