Author Topic: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?  (Read 3849 times)

decessus

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Hi,

My friend needs to do some professional video (w/sound) editing (people playing musical instruments) and is looking for a laptop so he doesn't have to copy files over when he travels.  He is ruling out a Windows machine, so - what is the best macbook laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?  It's ok if it's a bit on the heavier side.  Even though this is a mustachian forum, he's ok with paying more for quality.  He has about roughly $2000-2500 he can spend but being a mustachian, would like to spend less :)

anks

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 24
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2015, 07:46:40 AM »
Any of the Macbook Pro laptops will more than serve his needs. Make sure you get one with a solid state hard drive (SSD) as opposed to a traditional hard drive (HDD). This will make a huge difference in overall speed. I would go as far as to say spend on a SSD before spending on additional processor speed, I think you will notice more of a performance boost.

I have an old early 2011 MBP that I put a SSD in and it handles editing in Final Cut Pro with no issues. I find no reason to upgrade to a newer model with this easy upgrade. Keep in mind that with the newer MBP, you cannot add additional RAM or hard drive space, since it is soldiered in.

waffle

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2015, 08:36:31 AM »
Really with that budget he can get most any MacBook he wants. If he is traveling a lot with it I would recommend the 13" MacBook pro with retina display, and as mentioned upgrade the hard drive and the ram. Unfortunately with it being soldered in now you cant do the upgrades yourself later for cheap so the upgrades will cost you a lot more than in years past.


decessus

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2015, 11:52:21 PM »
Thanks guys, we took these tips and my friend is trying e-bay....I think that's pretty safe store...

lpep

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
  • Location: Hanoi, VN
    • My MMM journal
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2015, 12:04:12 AM »
I'm a video professional. Tell your friend to consider Windows machines. They're not as sexy or trendy as Macs, but FCP is dying out without support from Apple to update it to a true professional editing suite. Premiere/AE is taking over the industry, and he/she can get a much more powerful Windows machine for about half the cost of a MacBook Pro (which have overheating issues). Plus, in the next few years as ram continues to get cheaper, it's replaceable. Same for batteries when they die. I used to swear by Macs too, but I upgraded to a Lenovo Y50 last year, and I'm not going back to Apple.

It's really shortsighted to rule out the vast majority of computers, but if your friend insists on staying on FCP on a Mac, tell him/her it's not the video card that matters nearly as much as the ram. That's not true for AE editing, where a good NVIDIA card is necessary.

One more thing - editing off of an internal SSD is actually not recommended on AE, since the system is running off the same drive. An external SSD might be a better purchase along with a hybrid drive internally so the OS can run on solid state.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2015, 12:05:59 AM by lpep »

Hey It's Me

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 715
    • Moe's Journal
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2015, 04:40:20 AM »
Go for a refurbished one, and try from dealers outside the Apple Store. You'll have to do more work in that case, but you'll get a much better deal.

Ricky

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2015, 06:17:35 AM »
Premiere/AE is taking over the industry, and he/she can get a much more powerful Windows machine for about half the cost of a MacBook Pro (which have overheating issues).

I don't think so. I think if anything, most people are resistant to CC and would rather pay once for software, making the MBP suddenly not so expensive. MBP relatively aren't even that expensive anymore. PCs will never replace Macs in the creative industry for aesthetic reasons alone unless someone decides to actually make a laptop that looks and functions as well as a MBP. Overheating issues is a broad problem. Most laptops are prone for their fans to run a lot just considering all that's packed in there. If anything I've found that the fan runs less on my MBP than any other PC laptop I've owned.

zurich78

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 180
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2015, 09:07:32 AM »
Premiere/AE is taking over the industry, and he/she can get a much more powerful Windows machine for about half the cost of a MacBook Pro (which have overheating issues).

I don't think so. I think if anything, most people are resistant to CC and would rather pay once for software, making the MBP suddenly not so expensive. MBP relatively aren't even that expensive anymore. PCs will never replace Macs in the creative industry for aesthetic reasons alone unless someone decides to actually make a laptop that looks and functions as well as a MBP. Overheating issues is a broad problem. Most laptops are prone for their fans to run a lot just considering all that's packed in there. If anything I've found that the fan runs less on my MBP than any other PC laptop I've owned.

Actually, I have to agree with lpep on this one.  Adoption of Premiere is growing and I'm not sure people are really concerned with paying a monthly fee versus buying the software.  I think the concern is more around paying a monthly fee versus not paying anything at all (i.e. pirated software).  Plus, who ever only buys one version of software?  People have to update all the time, to newer versions.

That said, I do think Macs are still the gold standard for video editing.  But if you're on a budget, going Premiere + Windows is a solid and less expensive alternative with the ability to upgrade to improve performance. 

I do agree with you about overheating.  Video editing puts tremendous pressure on the computer and if I were going to edit videos professionally, I would get a desktop all day every day, and store my project and video source files on a hard drive for when I need to go on the road.

lpep

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 286
  • Location: Hanoi, VN
    • My MMM journal
Re: Best mac laptop for video editing that won't blow the budget?
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2015, 07:43:44 PM »
Premiere/AE is taking over the industry, and he/she can get a much more powerful Windows machine for about half the cost of a MacBook Pro (which have overheating issues).

I don't think so. I think if anything, most people are resistant to CC and would rather pay once for software, making the MBP suddenly not so expensive. MBP relatively aren't even that expensive anymore. PCs will never replace Macs in the creative industry for aesthetic reasons alone unless someone decides to actually make a laptop that looks and functions as well as a MBP. Overheating issues is a broad problem. Most laptops are prone for their fans to run a lot just considering all that's packed in there. If anything I've found that the fan runs less on my MBP than any other PC laptop I've owned.

No pro video editor I've ever met buys a laptop or desktop because it looks good.

CC is annoying, true, but there isn't really another option out there except piracy without the option to update. FCPX is not professional editing software, and AE/Premiere are leaving the older version of FCP in the dust - it can't even export mp4s without the user tricking it! $30 per month for the whole Adobe suite isn't so bad, really, which is exactly what Adobe is banking on, but still.

My ($2500) 2009 MBP burned out last year and I upgraded to a ($1150) Lenovo laptop with 16 gigs of ram, an i7 2.6ghz, a 4gb NVIDIA card, native 1080 display, and a 512gb SSD. I could barely edit in FCP on my MBP toward the end, not for lack of taking care of it. AE is blazing fast on my new Windows machine, about the same as a specced out 2014 iMac I was using at my old job.

I was really, really resistant to switching to Windows and essentially learning new software - I was faking AE pretty well in FCP! - but it's where the industry is heading, since Apple is targeting consumers far more than pros these days.