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  1. #1
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2004
    Posts
    234
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies
    Hey everyone, I need help. I own one of the original late 2008 unibody 13" MacBook's. It's the 2.04Ghz model and I believe I have about 2gb of ram, which I could upgrade to 4 if it helps. I bought a JVC 1080p video camera recently which I used on a trip to Mexico. I'm trying to use iMovie to edit the videos but it's brutally slow. I think somethings wrong with my OS because it used to be fast, but now even waking from sleep or opening Safari takes FOREVER but not sure if that has much impact.

    I was looking at maybe selling it for an iMac, just the entry level one since it's the 3Ghz processor but noticed it has the same GeForce 9400M video card. Is it the video card that really holds me back when editing in iMovie or more the processor? I'm assuming the next model up with ATI video is better but it's $300 more. I have a good PC laptop I use 98% of the time with my MacBook rarely at all, so the thing is I hate spending tons of money just to edit the odd home movie here and there.

    I was also checking the new Mac Mini since it has the 320M video which I guess is better than the 9400M, but only a 2.4Ghz processor. It's much more inexpensive though, if it could handle the editing I'd almost get it and just keep my MacBook as well. Just not sure what to do, I'm no pro this is just for the odd movie here and there but it's frustrating because I got the camera a few months ago, and it's had my mexico footage on it for months because I don't even want to use it anymore since it's so frustrating editing the movies!

  2. #2
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    31,466
    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.7.5
    You say that your MacBook seems slower than it used to (which happens with all computers eventually)...but a 2008 MacBook should still be doing ok.

    So some questions:

    1. How full is your hard drive? An almost full hard drive can slow things down.

    2. How many applications do you usually have open at the same time? Opening too many programs at once really "fragments" your ram...then you don't have enough ram to dedicate to one or two "main" apps....and then your computer has to do more "hard drive" swaps.

    3. When was the last time you repaired permissions?

    4. Are you really only considering spending a lot of money for a newer & faster computer just so you can edit the video you have from your trip to Mexico?

    This would seem like a big expenditure for just one video project. If you're otherwise happy with the MacBook...just "slug" through this one project & keep the laptop. Of course if we solve the "slowness" problem via questions 1, 2, and 3...then you wouldn't need another computer.

    Hope this helps,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2004
    Posts
    234
    Thanks Nick,

    To answer the questions, hard drive isn't full at all it's a 320GB. Slowness started after I upgraded Leopard to Snow Leopard so I think I need a fresh install. Didn't repair permissions but should try. It's mostly for this one video but will be others in the future, the thing is I never use my camera because it's so frustrating knowing that I have 2 hours of Mexico sitting on there still!!!

    The reason it seems like something is up is because I'll have maybe 10 minutes of footage I've edited in iMovie then I'll click something, like last time I clicked full screen preview, was by mistake though. The hour glass came up for about 5 minutes and I think I had to force quit. Non full screen preview isn't as bad but it's more things like that. It will do it on a fresh reboot too so it's not the number of applications open. Can even be something simple like launching Safari and it bounces with the hour glass then takes 30 secs to come up. I think I need to resinstall because as you said it's not that old. I think I'll check to see about getting 4GB of ram and do a clean install.

  4. #4
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2004
    Posts
    234
    Just to add to the above, I'm having so many issues with it, the optical drive will not eject discs. I used to be a Mac Genius so I took it apart to remove it following a guide at ifixit or whatever the site is. Where it says to remove the subwoofer cable, it completely broke off and I barely even touched it, so I have NO base on it and no optical drive. I'm thinking instead of getting an iMac, I should spend the money on getting a 24"+ display, good set of speakers, I already have the newest keyboard and magic mouse from Apple. Could just set it all up use it more like a desktop then lol.

  5. #5
    I really need help choosing a Mac to edit 1080p iMovies

    Member Since
    Aug 28, 2004
    Posts
    234
    I just bought a 7200RPM hard drive for it online, when I get it I'll do a fresh install onto that. That should help, then going to make sure I have 4GB of ram too.

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