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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

MacBook Pro - Will this MacBook Pro satisfy me?


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Dougiebaby

 
Member Since: Oct 06, 2009
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Hi Everyone,

I have created a website and in the site, I will be adding video updates weekly. So, I purchased a camcorder that shoots 720p HD video (in both .mov and avchd). But I need a new computer and software to edit these 5-10 minute clips. Plus, I would like to add titles/slight editing to the instructional videos I had professionally shot (all in HD and range in length from 20 minutes to 58 minutes).



I have budgeted about $1,200 for a new laptop to do my video editing.

My options are:

1. MacBook Pro 13 (2 GB DDR3 RAM, 2.26 GHz, 160 GB HD model, 13" screen - $1,200) utilizing iMovie for my editing -or-

2. Dell Studio 15 (4 GB DDR3 RAM, Core i7 processor @ 1.6GHz, 250 GB HD, 512MB GB ATI video card, 15" screen - $1,000 + $130 Pinnacle Studio 14 video editing software = $1,130)

While I have never owned a Mac previously, I love both Mac and Windows -- I think they both can be great (and both can have limitations).

I have gone to my local Apple store and very quicly was able to pick up the mechanics of iMovie (I created a few movies complete with titles, transitions, picture in picture, exported to iDVD, etc.). It was awesome, but would not be as powerfull as Pinnacle Studio 14 (but Pinnacle would be a bit more complicated).

I love the portability of the Mac (better battery life, etc.) but the bigger 15" screen of the Dell may be better for video editing.

I really like both options, even though they are quite different.

First, do you believe a 2 GB, MacBook Pro will handle my video editing needs (it was fine for the little clips of 45 seconds I played around with at the Apple Store, but will it handle longer vids of 10 minutes+)?

And I would appreciate your advice on which alternative you would recommend.

Thanks in advance,
Doug
Charlotte, NC
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Oneironaut

 
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For video editing, I would recommend the 15" Macbook Pro with a dedicated graphics card, which the 13" model doesn't have. I use it for editing lots of stuff with Final Cut Pro and it works extremely well. It may be out of your budget, but it's so worth it. Plus you can partition a Mac's drive to run Windows too so you can get the best of both worlds if you want.

Final Cut Pro is also cheaper than Pinnacle and is becoming the industry standard for film and video editing, if that's what you're into. It's the most-used professional non linear editing software.
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CrimsonRequiem

 
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Go with the Dell.
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Sur3Mac

 
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I don't know how fixed your budget is, but if you add $99, you'll be able to get a refurbished MacBook Pro @ 2.53 GHz.

It's still a 13,3" screen but with 4GB RAM and a 250 GB HDD.
These features are worth the extra $ 99, I'd say.

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Dougiebaby

 
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So, if I can swing a 4GB, 2.53 GHz you would feel confident that it would work well?

As I mentioned earlier, I would be fine with either, but I (secretly) am hoping the Mac will be capable because I wouldn't mind trying something "new." Obviously, the Dell would be "something new" in that it would come with Windows 7 upgrade, but I've never owned a Mac.

I just would not want my first experience to be a "let down" if it would not be capable of filling the processing needs required for the task at hand.

But I've read numerous times on this site that one cannot just go by RAM, GB, etc specs when comparing PCs & Macs because Macs are more efficient. Much the same way an audio/video-phile knows that having more watts per channel does not truly indicate how good a A/V receiver is ... meaning a 85 watt per channel receiver from Onkyo/Denon is a more capable piece than a 125 watt per channel off brand receiver.
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Oneironaut

 
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I still think that if you'll be doing a lot of video processing, you should get a 15" Macbook Pro with dedicated graphics card. Maybe you can find one of those refurbished.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougiebaby View Post
I would be fine with either, but I (secretly) am hoping the Mac will be capable
Both machines you've listed are more than capable.

The Dell would be the better bargain for your budget, though.

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Dougiebaby

 
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If you don't mind me asking another question...

It seems as though there is some hesitation regarding the MacBook Pro 13's capability editing HD video. But if I decided to shoot in standard definition and not HD, would that change your opinion?

Just looking at some of my video files, when shot in HD tend to be 3X the file size as the same shot in SD. My video camera's SD looks VERY good (not quite HD good, but very good).

Most of these videos will be hosted on YouTube, so the default player will be in SD, unless the user clicks on the HD button. So, maybe for many reasons (file size, ease of processing, ease of uploading) I really should concentrate on good quality Standard Def. I'd love your opinion on this option. And if positive, would that make either machine equally capable of editing SD video?
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