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Thread: Laptop Needed for Video/Audio Editing??

  1. Default Laptop Needed for Video/Audio Editing??

    Hi guys,

    I'm new to the forum and really need some advice on the above.
    I need a laptop to start doing some audio editing and light video editing (short videos 30mins max)....mostly with audition and premier.


    But I'm torn between either a used macbook pro or new/used windows laptop?

    I've checked the requirements of the software and narrowed it down to.

    1. macbook pro (13.3" 2.53 GHz 4GB MB991B/A or 15.4" 2.4 GHz Laptop MB470B/A)

    2. Hp Zbook

    3. Asus N56VZ



    Has anyone used both windows and apple netbooks for editing? If so what would you recommend? I'm currently a windows user, but many people have told me that a macbook would be better suited for what I need.

    I've had my head buried in countless websites for the past week....and its a bit of a minefield to say the least. From what I can gather, and i5 or i7 machine would be the best, however my budget doesn't stretch that far.

    I've got a budget of 300 - 500.


    Thanks in advance for any info

  2. #2

    Default

    The first question to have to answer is "what software do you want to use?"

    Example:

    If you are looking to use FCPX or iMovie then Mac is the only option.

    If you are looking to use Sony Vegas, Pinnacle or many other Windows only options then clearly a Windows machine is the only option.

    If you're looking to use Premiere Pro then you have a choice of platforms but you need to pay attention to the GPU that's in each machine.

    Personally, I use a MacBookPro when out and about, and have even edited some seriously long (2 hour + ) pieces on it from 4 or 5 camera multicam shoots. But, if you're a windows user and you want to use Windows software then I'm not going to get all tribal and tell you that a Mac is better, because frankly I could edit just as easily on Windows as I could on Mac.

    You're likely to be able to find a better spec windows machine cheaper than a comparably priced Mac, though it will also have a much lower resale value down the line.

    I would not recommend editing on a 13.3" <anything>, Mac or Windows, unless you know you are going to be extremely tight on space and/or weight. For me, the bigger the screen the better (17" laptop, 27" & 30" desktop).

    Check how much ram you are getting as well as the GPU. RAM makes a HUGE difference to how well any machine can edit, so if it's not upgradable then you need it all there from the start. I wouldn't think of editing anything serious with less than 8GB of ram though there are people with a lot more patience than mean doing it with only 4GB, which means a lot more hard disk thrashing so things generally run slower.

  3. Default

    I will be using Premier Pro....

    I mainly use windows...but I have used macs previously (roughly in 2004). I'm guessing they have changed significantly since then.

    Could you suggest a better spec windows laptop, that would be up for the task?
    Ideally I need something small and compact that enables me to be mobile so 13 - 15 inch has to suffice f possible.

    What macbook pro in the 13.3" - the 15" size would you suggest for my requirements?

    Thanks again

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    you need to pay attention to the GPU that's in each machine.
    IMO this is the most point as the GPU is clearly so critical. For instance, the 13" MBP has an integrated graphics card, but the 15" has a dedicated one.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Partington View Post
    I would not recommend editing on a 13.3" <anything>, Mac or Windows, unless you know you are going to be extremely tight on space and/or weight. For me, the bigger the screen the better (17" laptop, 27" & 30" desktop).
    I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss smaller-sized screens. Although they clearly aren't as convienet for editing, you can always connect them to an external screen (or two in some cases), while they are more portable than a 15" or 17" machine. Out of curiosity, have you considered a desktop solution? Clearly you would get more bang for your buck, especally as your budget is only 300-500GBP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruz View Post
    But I'm torn between either a used macbook pro or new/used windows laptop?
    I had the Zbook 14, but ended up swapping it for a desktop instead (Mac Mini). I had no major complaints with it though, and it satisfied my needs using Movie Edit Pro. For now I am quite happy with the pre-installed iMovie, but am waiting to see if FCP7 is fully compatible with the next OS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruz View Post
    What macbook pro in the 13.3" - the 15" size would you suggest for my requirements?
    Although Macs have a high re-sale value, you need to be careful about future-proofing yourself. So far OSX 10.9 and 10.10 have been compatible with all computers that are compatible with 10.8, however next years OSX 10.11 or OS 11 could change that. Something to think about.

  5. Default

    Thanks for the info.....I've since decided to up my budget, and either get a new or used macbook pro (i5 or i7 15.5).
    I did consider the imac, but I need to be mobile so a desktop isnt an option for me at the moment really:(

    RE: future proofing myself, do you mean buying the older macbooks may not be compatible with the new software? Sorry still learning

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cruz View Post
    Thanks for the info.....I've since decided to up my budget, and either get a new or used macbook pro (i5 or i7 15.5).
    I did consider the imac, but I need to be mobile so a desktop isnt an option for me at the moment really:(

    RE: future proofing myself, do you mean buying the older macbooks may not be compatible with the new software? Sorry still learning
    Agree with everything aded above, though while you can indeed connect a 13" MB to a larger monitor (and I do when in the office), it's never going to be as good as a desktop machine and won't be very good for editing in the field, in other words, worst of all options.

    If you're using Premiere Pro up to CS5.5 then you need a GPU that is CUDA. With CS6 they started to support more ATI GPUs and have pushed this further in CC.

    The basic 13" MB has none of these.

    The 15" retina (much more expensive) is perhaps the best of them all because it has a decent GPU and ability to go higher resolution. I'd have no problem editing on the 15" retina, but the big gotcha is that you need to buy it with as much ram as you think you'll ever need (8GB absolute minimum, 16GB preferred) since it's not upgradable later.

    In terms of future compatibility, it's a little more tricky than that. All recent Macs are good to go, but when FCPX (10.0) was released it worked on my old Intel 15" MacBookPro, but by the time they optimised the GPU it was no longer supported. Premiere Pro ran like a dog on that one too, though on the 17" MBP I have (2.5Ghz i7, 16GB ram and 670M GPU) it runs fine.

    If you can afford the i7 15" retina then that is the one to go for - hands down, no question about it, and it will be supported for a long long time.

  7. Default

    Again, thanks for your input on this.

    RE: the ram.....what impact does this have in terms of performance? i.e. the bigger the ram the better? A lot of the earlier used macs I was looking at, usually seem to highlight the fact that the ram has been increased?

  8. #8

    Default

    Video editing programs will typically cache a lot of files in ram to help playback. Less ram means less room for caching, which in turn means you either need to be using really easy to play (for the CPU) codecs (which consumes more HDD space!) or you could get playback issues. If you're playing a single H264 file then you should be fine, it's when you start creating transitions etc that thing go to hell pretty quickly unless you have a fast CPU and/or a good GPU. If you add multiple streams (e.g. multicam) then I'd say the more ram the better.

    Adobe products are a bit of a ram hog. Example: A sequence played back in FCPX used just over 4GB of ram whereas that same sequence in Premiere Pro used just over 12GB. Go figure....

    The jump from 4GB to 8GB can be huge. I can still see a small benefit of 16GB when playing lots of layers, but one of my machines has 32GB and I really don't see any difference over 16GB except when I'm using After Effects.

  9. Default

    Cheers for this. Sent you a pm also

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