12-27-2009, 11:33 AM
13" MBP will run Final Cut Studio, with some limitations.
First, 13" is really small for editing video. I know folks using 15" screens, but it's not as gentle on an editor as a 17" screen. But, you get what you can afford, and work with it. Doesn't stop you from doing anything, just limits you, and many folks do just fine. It's about your talent, creativity, and ingenuity than it is about hardware/software.
The built-in graphics card will have trouble with Motion and Color. FCP, STP, Compressor, DVDSP will all be just fine. It's Motion and Color that run off the graphics card more than the CPU.
Only one Firewire port. You'll need to have an external FW800, 7200rpm drive as your media ("Scratch") drive to run Final Cut Pro for video editing. You can't do this off the system drive without having problems. So that's covered with the external drive.
BUT, if you need to capture from tape, you'll need to connect via Firewire again. Problem is, if you chain a FW hard drive, and a FW video camera together on one FW port, you may have capture glitches (dropped frames, gaps in time code, etc). A hug won't help. Older MBP's had a PCMCIA or ExpressCard slot you could get a card that added a second FW connection on a separate data bus, to solve the problem. Yet Apple for some bizarre reason only put one FW port on all but the top end MBP's. I'm not sure why they did that.
I'd like to know the specs on your current MB, as it may be just as capable as a 13" MBP for FCS 3.