2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2014 11:49 AM by lloydpdx7

    Upgrade a Macbook Pro, or a used Mac Pro?

    lloydpdx7

      I'm a visual artist expanding my media to include sound and motion, so though I'm very well versed in other software and OSX, I'm overwhelmed right now with how to discern what hardware will serve me best for Premiere/Prelude/AE editing and exports.

       

      Specifically, the issue I'm trying to address is long export/ render times on my Macbook Pro 2012. A 15 minute project took 1.5 hours to export, for example.

       

      Trying to determine if it's best to stick with this, and upgrade HDD to SSD and add external striped RAID, (requiring either a TB hub or esata adapter as I also power a second monitor via TB port.) And where does USB3 fit into this, knowing that it requires some CPU resources that FW and TB do not? RAM is maxed out at 16GB.

       

      Or do I consider a used Mac Pro, and add internal drives and upgrade what else I can?

       

      Of course a third option would be to go with a new mac pro, but at a minimum that's twice what my budget allows for now. I suppose a windows box is a possibility but OSX is so familiar that I'd like to stay with it if I can.

       

      I'm working with Nikon D600 DSLR 1080p mov files, but of course want to allow for growth.

      I'm primarily exporting to mp4 @ 1080 0r 720.

       

      Currently adding effects such as gamma, b&c, some basic color correction, and transitions. Might include one adjustment layer.

      Up to 3 audio tracks, but often just two at a time.

       

      Still early on the learning curve,

      thanks,

      Lloyd

       

       

      Specs:

      MBP 9,1 10.9.2 16GB RAM

      quad core i7

      NVIDIA GT650M

      HDD/1 TB 5400rpm

      external media HDDs/ OWC Elite 3TB 7200rpm, usb3, fw8, es / OWC mini 5400 via es into usb3

       

      PPCC

      Prelude

        • 1. Re: Upgrade a Macbook Pro, or a used Mac Pro?
          jasonvp Level 3

          lloydpdx7 wrote:

           

          Or do I consider a used Mac Pro, and add internal drives and upgrade what else I can?

           

          Of course a third option would be to go with a new mac pro, but at a minimum that's twice what my budget allows for now.

          I've cut down your choices to these 2.  Personally, I think editing, cutting, and exporting in Premiere Pro on a Macbook Pro is just an exercise in futility.  Or at least: an exercise in extreme patience.  It's not worth the trouble, IMHO.

           

          New Mac Pro absolutely and without question.  That assumes a budget.  They're not cheap, but they work well with Pr.

           

          Old Mac Pro as a stand-by with the fastest (clock cycles) chip or chips you can find.  In this specific case, don't get caught up in the "higher core count" race; look for higher clock cycles.  Upgrade the video card to an nVidia 700-series because it'll likely come with a piece-of-junk AMD.  And pack those 4 drive bays with SATA drives.

           

          I was editing with a Mac Pro 5,1, which also had 2 extra SATA plugs for the 5.25" bays (CD/DVD).  I put a 2.5" SSD in the second bay, with an adapter so it'd fit.  Then I put a bunch of 1TB drives in the 4 drive bays.  I made 2 2TB RAID0 volumes for media and output files.  The OS and apps went on the SSD.  It worked fairly well, within the limits of the hardware (Westmere chips) in it.

          • 2. Re: Upgrade a Macbook Pro, or a used Mac Pro?
            lloydpdx7 Level 1

            Jason, thanks for sharing your experience and helpful suggestions. Specs such as clock cycles are new to me.

             

            I did just now buy myself some relief on my laptop: discovered that the CUDA driver hadn't been installed let alone enabled. I did a quick test with a familiar file, re-rendering previews and then exporting. Render times were significantly shorter and export seemed faster too. Not as radical as render, but that maybe due to a slower spinning export drive. Lots of hardware specs to track, it seems, when it comes to even small scale video production.

             

            I can see though that an upgrade worthy Pro, new or used, will be the way to go eventually.