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MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere

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John WelshMacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Aug 1, 2014 at 11:49:28 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm interested in working with After Effects CS6 and Premiere CS6 probably creating quite heavily layered files and experimenting with and combining effects. (I also work with Photoshop and Illustrator.)

My workplace allows me to use a 2.5 GHz Intel Dual Core i5 / MacBook Pro 13 inch (mid 2012, non retina) with hard disk and integrated graphics card (Intel HD Graphics 4000 512MB). I understand this Mac can be maxed out at 16GB of RAM. (Official Apple specs I realise say 8GB RAM is the max for this computer but I've looked into this thoroughly and have confirmed that 16GB is in fact possible.)

I'm considering purchasing one of the new Haswell based MacBook Pro (mid 2014) models for myself.
If I do, I'll get the retina 15 inch / Intel Quad Core i7 / 16GB RAM / Intel Iris Pro Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M / 1TB Flash Storage.

I realise there is a big difference between these two machines in terms of their specs - the 15 inch with the dedicated GPU will be far more suited to motion graphics work than the lower spec machine with integrated graphics card.

Currently, my understanding is that After Effects CS6 and Premiere CS6 do not support the NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M but from research on the net I believe it's possible to add this video card to the list of supported cards within the respective applications, forcing them to recognise and use it.

Having read about the upcoming Broadwell chip, which I think may be capable of supporting 32GB RAM (possibly coming in Q2 2015 from the various websites I've visited) I wonder if it is worth holding off my purchase, and maxing out my older 13 inch laptop in order to run After Effects and Premiere for the time being.

If I waited for Broadwell based 15 inch MacBooks I think its likely they'll be expandable to 32GB RAM, making the computer a better long term investment.
eg if Adobe increase minimum/recommended memory requirements for their software in the next few years. While I don't know for sure this will happen, it does seem quite likely at some stage. The 2014 15 inch MacBook - while an excellent computer at the moment - could potentially be slightly limited with regard to future Adobe software releases as its max RAM is 16GB.

I realise I could potentially look at a high end iMac if memory is a concern, but I prefer the portability of a laptop so I'm restricting myself to portable options for the moment.

What I'm wondering is -

If I install the 13 inch 2.5GHz i5 laptop with 16GB RAM as is possible, how would it perform when running After Effects and Premiere? It currently has 4GB and it very quickly runs out of memory meaning playback of goes very slowly when previewing complex files in the timeline. This necessitates rendering of small test sections of the timeline to see it at the correct frame rate. Would the move from 4GB RAM to 16GB RAM give me a noticeable improvement in this regard? If so then this is tempting as I don't have to pay for it - I think my workplace will cover the cost of extra RAM. And then I can wait till next year to buy my own high end laptop.

The 15 inch 2.8GHz i7 quad processor has Iris Pro and dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GT750M with 2GB RAM. I would be paying the full cost myself.
I realise rendering would be faster with this Mac but would I see a noticeable improvement over the maxed out 13 inch laptop when previewing multi layered After Effects and Premiere compositions / sequences within the timeline? I like the idea of being able to preview footage in real time as I'm editing as it saves time and I think it makes the process easier generally.

Any thoughts welcome and thanks very much in advance for your time and advice.

Kind regards,

John


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Eric EvansRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Nov 15, 2014 at 6:54:36 pm

John,

Did you ever get an answer to this question? I am in a very similar issue with a similar computer. As soon as I add any effects to my timeline in Premiere, playback becomes very choppy and frames are dropped (especially the GoPro lens correction). Rendering the effects for preview also takes forever (30+ minutes for a 30 second clip). I was wondering if the dedicated graphics card would have a major effect on render speed as it seams that Premiere relies so heavily on it. I also use final cut pro x and I experienced significantly faster render times. I want to make sure that the new 15" macbook with retina will improve this performance before i drop $2,500 on it.

Eric

2012 Macbook Pro
2.9 i7 processor
8gb ram
integrated graphics
premiere pro cc (2014)


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Nov 16, 2014 at 7:43:00 pm

Hi Eric,

In the end I bought a 15 inch MacBook Pro i7 with 16GB RAM and dedicated graphics card.

Shortly after, my workplace upgraded my 13 inch MacBook Pro i5 from 4GB RAM to 16GB RAM.

I compared them doing a couple of things. The 15 loads in large After Effects projects into RAM about twice as quickly as the 13. But once loaded in, playback in RAM preview is about the same.

With Premiere exporting, again, the 13 is considerably slower than the 15. I've used the 13 for basic editing (not too many video layers) and find it performs well.

If you make a Premiere project and / or After Effects project that you think will tell you what you need to know available as a download (eg as a zip file from Dropbox) I'll download this and compare the performance of both machines.

I'm guessing that if you went up to the max RAM for your computer you'd see quite a difference. Certainly with new Broadwell based laptops coming (at a guess between Jan and July next year) it may be worth you waiting. I've read they'll support 32GB RAM which for me is the more important thing than the faster processor.

But as I said, if you want to make some test video files available online for me to download and compare it's no problem to do this and I'll let you know the outcome.

Thanks and kind regards,

John


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Nov 16, 2014 at 7:47:51 pm

PS I meant to say, I have Adobe CS6 not Creative Cloud 2014, so please can you save any test files in CS6 compatible format. We don't have CC2014 just yet.

Thanks,

John


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andrew birdRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 10, 2014 at 11:07:45 pm

Really keen on knowing the outcome of this!

I use After Effects on location and desperately need to upgrade before next weeks job.
I am about to grab either a single or dual 2.5Ghz, i7:

MBP/ nvidia Gtx750m.
Or an
MBP IrisPro/ nvidia Gtx750m.

Cant find any cohesive info.
Does anyone know what the advantage of dual graphics card i7 MBP?
Can After Effects use both simultaneously like it can with CUDA cards? Does AE use both cards to render or fast draught?

Why bother with a dual video card at all?
Appreciate your help, legends!


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 2:49:00 am

Hi,

I'm still relatively new to this and others may be able to offer a more thorough explanation - however my understanding is that Premiere takes the greatest advantage of the Nvidia GT750m graphics card in day to day running. After Effects uses it primarily for 3D ray tracing but as far as I'm aware that's all.

I've briefly compared my workplace's 2012 i5 13 inch MacBook Pro (16GB RAM) with my personal 2014 i7 15 inch MacBook Pro.

I found the i7 15 inch loaded a big After Effects project into RAM preview in roughly half the time it took the i5 13 inch and this is something of an advantage if you need to play back a long clip. It also opened the big After Effects file more quickly etc. However I don't think this was a consequence of the Nvidia GT750m graphics card because as I mentioned, I understand After Effects CS6 only uses this for 3d Ray tracing.

If you use Premiere a lot it's probably worth getting the graphics card, if it's just After Effects you work with, you might not notice the difference.

On the whole actually, the 13 inch i5 holds up pretty well and the 16GB RAM we installed in it makes a big difference. (It previously had just 4GB RAM). Although it took longer to load up my big test file, once in RAM it played back fine. With new MacBook Pro laptops coming (possibly next year sometime) that may support 32GB RAM maybe it's worth holding off until then if you have an i5 13 already.

If you have a test file you want to make available as a download via a Dropbox link or similar I'll be happy to compare how it runs on both Macs.

All the best,

John


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andrew birdRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 8:24:29 am

Thanks John!
I am beginning to see that perhaps the dual graphics card maybe isnt such a large advantage. (I would like to be corrected on this). AE does use the GPU for fast draught and thats the essential part for location work and not being embarassed in front of the boss.. I think i'll be fine with a single Nvidia750 MBP.

I havent been brave enough to use RayTracing yet on a job! ;)

FYI: We had terrible performance with the Quad i7 AMD mac


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 9:48:00 am

Hi again Andrew,

As far as I'm aware, there are two versions of the MacBook Pro 15 inch.

They're here if you scroll down.
http://store.apple.com/uk/buy-mac/macbook-pro

15 inch with 16GB RAM and Intel iris integrated graphics card (running at various processor speeds and with varying drive space depending on customisation option selected at time of purchase)

or

15 inch with 16GB RAM, Intel iris integrated graphics card and Nvidia GeForce GT 750M (running at various processor speeds and with varying drive space depending on customisation option selected at time of purchase)

As far as I'm aware as far as graphics go in MacBook Pros just now, you have the options of

A - Intel Iris integrated graphics card
or
B - Intel Iris integrated graphics card + Nvidia GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics card

But you don't have the option of Intel Iris + Nvidia GeForce GT 750M + a second Nvidia GeForce GT 750M
(Apologies if I'm misunderstanding your previous posting though)

If you're using CS6 (which I realise yo may not be) you'll need to install the Nvidia driver and add the Nvidia GT 750M to the list of supported graphics cards as described at this link - this works fine, no problems in my experience.
https://creatorup.com/enable-premiere-effects-mercury-playback-gpu-accelera...

This page I think gives advice on AE's use of a discrete graphics card and the integrated card.
http://helpx.adobe.com/after-effects/using/rendering-opengl.html

My impression is that Premiere takes more overall advantage of the discrete graphics card than After Effects. If you're buying just now I think I'd suggest going for the model with the discrete Nvidia graphics card as well as the Iris integrated card - it seem to me like a better choice for the longer term.

Hope the above is helpful.

Kind regards,

John


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andrew birdRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 9:56:38 am

Thanks John! :)
That's a nice answer.
I've read those pages a few times but I think your advice is good about getting the dual card.

I'm chatting to a couple of AE-Mac people this morning just to clear up the advantage of having a dual card lappie but for the most part, a single GTX750 is working for me here on the desktop and for the other designers in this office. No one has the dual card machine here, though.

---
I don't really see a huge benefit in a high spec gfx card for NLE's FCPro or Premiere when dealing with normal editing duties (not compositing or grading). NLE's have been running smoothly on my 2008 MBP, which is still a great machine for editing short form on. Not so good for HD content in AE. She's also looking super shabby these days after 5 years of on location ;)


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:52:12 pm
Last Edited By John Welsh on Dec 11, 2014 at 1:59:59 pm

Thanks for clarifying Andrew, good luck in your decision.

I certainly have no real regrets about my decision to purchase the 15 inch MBP with Nvidia card so I'm sure you'll be happy with it if you get it. I do sometimes wish the RAM was a bit more expandable though. That's not a huge problem right now, but it might have been a nice option to have as software / os eventually gets heavier on resources.

Kind regards,

John


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andrew birdRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 2:08:02 pm

Thanks!

I am going with the same as yourself.
16GB though and a nice 30" monitor. Boom. Done. And i got rid of my beautiful old iMac in the process.

When corporates ask for the classic light trails (of 4000 particles) and that kills the new machine, i'll simply be back animating that null, no problems:) And i'll do an interpretive ribbon dance to the Null object!


To anyone else reading this thread, there is a good system based render time comparison page here: http://forums.mattrunks.com/discussion/10/benchmark-collaboratif-sur-le-ray...


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John WelshRe: MacBook Pro 13 (mid 2012) v MacBook Pro 15 (mid 2014) for After Effects and Premiere
by on Dec 11, 2014 at 2:38:23 pm

Sounds great, did you go for any of the customisable options? Takes longer to come but possibly worth it.

You may need an external dvd / bluray drive - if based in the UK, this is a good one.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00H90FKAY?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_a...


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