I've taken the time to thoroughly research as much as I could prior to posting this. What follows is my current situation and a detailed outline of what type of advice I'm looking for. I know it's a long post, but I consider this a large investment so I'd like to make the most informed decision possible (and yes, I've read Tweakers Page). I have also read the minimum specifications for the Adobe programs, my questions are more aligned with an optimized machine that will run smoothly, not at the minimum speed. For your convenience:
TL;DR - I have an old machine and need advice on purchasing a new one for moderate video editing use (1 - 3 projects a month).
Here are my current specs:
My current machine is a 7 year-old MacBook Pro, and I'm looking for a new one. My current setup is as follows:
- 2007 model MacBook Pro (the year the iPhone first came out)
- OSX 10.5 (I will soon be ineligible for various system and application updates)
- 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- 4 GB (two 2GB) 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM
- NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 128MB of GDDR3 SDRAM and dual-link DVI
- 15.4-inch (diagonal), 1440 by 900 resolution, TFT widescreen
- One FireWire 400, one FireWire 800, two USB 2.0 ports, and ExpressCard/34 slot
My current work load/flow:
I do about 1-3 projects a month for my small business. It is a side project; I am employed full time elsewhere and do not do any editing/design in my day job. I currently use AE CS3, AI and PS CS4, and the 2007 version of FCE. I'm posting here because my assumption is that video editing (AE and PPro) will be the most hardware-taxing applications I use. Thus my other needs (AI and PS) will be adequately covered if the machine can handle those programs. I have already read Tweakers Page and feel that a laptop will suite my needs based on the information provided there. Plus, I need the on-the-go capability.
I don't shoot video, so I don't have to worry about imports from a camera: I usually edit with photos, stock footage or custom animations that I create on my own (2d, 2.5d and 3d).
My final video product run times range from roughly :30 - 5:00. I publish to the web (not DVD or broadcast) and typically work with DV and DVCPRO formats and almost always operate in HD. I will sometimes utilize Animation or other uncompressed formats for very short but high quality AE clips.
I have never touched (nor do I plan to in the near future) anything like RED 4K or ProRes footage. The only high end footage I can see myself coming in contact with is GoPro Hero footage.
What I'm looking for:
My planned budget is <$2,000. I am hoping that is enough to cover the machine and any upgrades needed (extra RAM and EXT HDD).The Applications I will be using most frequently are:
- Adobe CC; primarily:
- AE (with plugins like Element 3D)
- PPro (or FCE depending on if I go with a mac or PC)
- Microsoft Office
- A 3D Application (either Blender, 3Ds Max or C4D depending on mac or PC)
- Google Chrome
I will only be editing video while plugged in (not on the go). I plan to have at least one external hard drive which will act as a project drive (greater than 5400 RPM). The applications will be housed on the internal drive so I'm not worried about the 5400 RPM issue. I also plan to have at least one additional monitor for dual screen use.
On the go, I will likely only use Microsoft Office applications and possibly AI or PS.
What I'm currently looking at:
Lenovo IdeaPad y510p: $1,499
15" Apple Macbook Pro: $1,999 (hoping to find this at a discount)
- OS: OSX Mavericks
- CPU: 2.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz) with 6MB shared L3 cache
- RAM: 8GB of 1600MHz DDR3L
- HD: 256GB (not sure of the RPM)
- Graphics: Intel Iris Pro
- Display: 15.4-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina 2880x1800
I'm very open to other PC suggestions if there is one that better fits my needs. I'm looking for straight hardware recommendations/comparisons, not a windows vs. osx debate. If you have benchmarking evidence I could read into I would appreciate that as well.
I know the mac may be slightly less powerful than some of the PC's out there, but my understanding is that all of their hardware is calibrated to work as one unit, so I've heard it beats some PC's with similar, uncalibrated hardware as a result. Please correct me if that is wrong.
Thanks in advance.