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Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?

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mel ruizUpgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 6:29:54 pm

Hi there,

I have a 2011 macbook pro with:
•PROCESSOR 065-0092 2.2GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7
•MEMORY 065-0093 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
•HARD DRIVE 065-0549 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200
•OPTICAL DRIVE 065-0102 8x Double-Layer SuperDrive

and no USB 3 and only one thunderbolt. : (

My plan was to install an SSD and be fine. But now I'm worried about Firewire 800 for editing with media on external drive. (I'll be using the thunderbolt for a second monitor.) It seems to me the only way to use something better than Firewire is to get a thunderbolt dock like this: https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB2DOCK12P/

I could then connect my monitor via HDMI and drive via thunderbolt. I know that the dock is still using the bandwidth of one port, so it's still not ideal.

So, my question is, is it worth it to upgrade to this set up? Or should I just invest in a newer laptop with USB 3, etc.? Would the performance be that much better? (I know it would be better...just trying to figure out how much or how noticeably better.)

I mostly use laptop to edit in HD (using premiere pro CC 2015 primarily) as well as animate with AE (most recent version).


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David Roth WeissRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:31:39 pm

Mel,

You do not seem to be aware that there is a huge difference between having an available Thunderbolt connection and getting Thunderbolt performance. If you have only one Thunderbolt bus on your computer and you attach a dock giving you additional thunderbolt ports, you might be able to plug in many additional devices, but they will most likely not be delivering the performance required to deliver realtime video playback, especially if you're driving a monitor on the same bus.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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mel ruizRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 7:34:55 pm

I absolutely get that. (I said that in parentheses in my post.)

What I'm trying to understand is the amount of different in performance...HOW much better would it be with dedicated ports versus with a dock. Meaning, do you think it is or is not worth it to upgrade? It's going to cost a lot more to replace computer. Do I NEED the dedicated ports or is this workaround good enough (knowing that's a subjective question, i'm wanting to know your opinion).


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David Roth WeissRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 9:35:07 pm

Not good enough if you're feeding a monitor and your video storage off the same T-bolt bus.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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mel ruizRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 22, 2016 at 11:13:42 pm

Thanks! One more question:

What about editing off internal drive, rather than having media on external drive? I have been told that it's better to keep application and media separate, but ... if I had the space on the drive, would it work well in this scenario?


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David Roth WeissRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 23, 2016 at 12:09:57 am

If your media and apps are using the resources of one drive, what do you thnk will happen when you're pushing the envelope? Easy, your realtime will be compromised, and you will have dropped frames on playback. That's not going to kill you, but it's unprofessional, and not very good for client relations.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist & Workflow Consultant
David Weiss Productions
Los Angeles


David is a Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Apple Final Cut Pro forum.


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Warren EigRe: Upgrading macbook pro 8 (2011 model) or better to invest in new model?
by on Aug 23, 2016 at 3:44:14 pm
Last Edited By Warren Eig on Aug 23, 2016 at 3:45:12 pm

I have a Late 2011 15" Macbook Pro and I added a 1TB Samsung 850Pro SSD. It now screams! It boots in less than 30 seconds.

I have a Thunderbolt RAID I hook up to the Apple 27" Thunderbolt monitor and you can throw pretty much anything at this thing. I also have a Firewire 800 RAID for it and that is fast enough for ProRes 422HQ 1080p multiple streams.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


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