I'd suggest you look through this forum, there's always threads on things like economy laptops for editing.
1 person found this helpful
if you want to keep your current macbook pro using an egpu is an option, but they can be expensive and take some tinkering to get working. bizon, sonnet, and akitio are some mfg's that make thunderbolt 2 pcie boxes. akitio are somewhat reasonably priced but require modding to have enough power/watts for a mid to high end gpu. there are many videos on youtube with tips and some guides for setting up an egpu with macOS. some on various websites and blogs as well.
if you don't want to mess with all that, and/or want to keep things portable by having a laptop with a powerful gpu inside, you will have to look at a windows machine. something with a gtx 1050ti or 1060 6gb if doing heavier grading. those windows laptops are around $1k-1.2k with an i7-7700HQ.
Thanks. I will look into the Akitio options and the youtube videos.
What sort of prices/specs would I be looking at if I got a tower instead?
I remember before I got my mac and I was doing some research, many people suggested to get a tower for editing over a laptop?
Will do Neil
a 4 core tower will still be around $1.2k with slightly faster cpu than the laptop 4 core. something more powerful with a 6 or 8 core can cost anywhere from $2-5k, depending what hardware is used and if its a custom order pc build or workstation.
a 6 core pc might have specs like
6 core @ 3.4-3.6 ghz, 32gb ram, gtx 1060 6gb or 1070 if heavy 4k grading, and 500gb-1tb pcie ssd. if you need lots of space for media raid-0 sata ssd will be more cost effective for over 1tb capacity media drive. workstations are going to have more expensive parts, like xeon E5-1650 v4 and quadro p4000.
Ah right ok.
Would there be any point in selling my current mac, and purchasing the same model with the better graphics card - nVidia Geforce GTX 750M ?
Only reason being my mac has been great so far up until this point.... when I decided to start using colour grading software in Adobe.
A desktop is far more easily updated than most laptops.
Also ... the CEO of Apple has a now famous quote of a year ago ... he had no idea why anyone would buy a desktop these days. Seriously. Apple is all about devices now. They've barely touched the MacBook in a couple years, mainly adding touch.
They haven't upgraded the motherboard of the big Mac tower in near 5 years other than changing a little part here and there. Computer hardware tech has gone a long way in that time.
The most Mac centric crowd in post-production is the Colorists. Robbie Carman is a noted colorist and teacher of colorists through the MixingLight.com website and especially the PPW at NAB every year, PPW being post production world. He's as radically Macophile as you can get ... all of his devices have been the latest Mac cool stuff. Robbie now preaches converting from Mac to PC, whether Win, Linux, or his preference dual Win/Linux.
Because it's been three full major development and rollout cycles from Cupertino without even a mention of the Mac towers. The attitude of Mac assistance for those with towers needing help has slipped noticeably. Because for working in his major warhorse software Resolve he can't get near the performance in the "newest" Mac with that 5 year old mobo that he can with a really hopped up PC ... for 2/3rds the price or less.
He's not a happy camper in that he loved being a Macophile, but ... he's got to make a living and he's got to run Resolve and PrPro and other apps and rag them out.
I have been researching for the past few hours, and as you said...it seems that apple have been lax in upgrading their latest macbooks etc....I noticed even a lot of the mac fan boys heading over to windows 10 machines.
Realistically, I don't have the space for a tower at home, and I need something which is portable to edit things at different locations. If this wasn't the case I would definitely consider a tower instead.
I have been seriously considering selling the mac, for one of these: XPS 15 9560 High Performance Laptop with InfinityEdge Display | Dell UK - 4K version.
However, after downloading the free trial of Final Cut Pro earlier, and applying colour grades to my clips...I have 0 playback issues.
So I am not in between a rock and a hard place now. Do I simply change the editing software I'm using, or buy a new more powerful laptop :s ??
1 person found this helpful
the nvidia gtx 750m isn't very powerful, its somewhat slower than the intel iris graphics that your current laptop might have. if you are looking for something with a powerful video card and portable, it would have to be a windows laptop with something like a gtx 1060.
fcpx seems to be more stable and faster for mac computers. it is able to tap into the intel graphics features much more than premiere can, premiere only recently added part of the intel graphics features (copying again from fcp), but they don't always work well in premiere. that ability with fcpx may explain a big part of the performance difference you are experiencing. fcpx is also cheaper as its been a one time fee, and has motion that might be able to replace AE if you use that. while its been a rocky launch for fcpx with missing features, they have been adding alot and with third party plugins and programs its possible to get just about any feature you may need. FxFactory seems popular for plugins for fcpx, to get some of those missing features, or just better features. there are several color grading plugins for fcpx that you might like over the fcpx controls, like color finale. fcpx does function in a new way with its timeline, some don't like it and prefer a traditional timeline, while some find the new way of working better and faster.
Definitely some food for thought here.
I need to double check, but I think the dell 5560 I was looking at had a gtx1060 inside.
I think because I'm so use to working with the adobe creative suite - mainly in light room and premiere, I am a bit hesitant to make the change. But as you said fcox works much better with macs, and the one off fee is tempting.
My only other concern is, if I keep my current mac, will I run into similar issues further down the line with fcpx, if I start working on bigger projects?
Hardware needs aren't getting less, shall we say ... and even if FCPX can be worked with that laptop now ... who knows what the next version will need?
I've looked at FCPX, and I know some have moved over to it and love it. And some have done that for a while, then found they liked the better inter-connectivity of the Adobe apps, and came back.
Some get by editing in Resolve ok ... it's got a minimalist editor module and of course fantastic grading app, and sometimes runs basically on lesser hardware. But to do much colorist work with it starts chewing through your hardware a bit.
I've ended up staying with Adobe, using the Tangent Ripple & Elements panels (which go a long way to making Lumetri quick & intuitive) within Lumetri for smaller stuff, and using Patrick Zadrobilek's awesome little app to mod a PrPro 2017 project file to work as-if in Direct Link mode in SpeedGrade 2015.1, then after saving the work in Sg, mod it back to the 2017 header. It only has to change one little character to do that ... and works great but doesn't work with AfterEffects comps, which need to be rendered from AE into a full DI codec and put on the sequence to take it to Sg via the Ntown PrPro BBC app that Patrick sells for a few bucks.
That's a ton faster than conforming into Resolve for when I need more grading capability (especially say shotmatching & multiple secondaries) than Lumetri can handle ... well.
there is a photo program that looks very promising called Affinity Photo. i haven't used it but i think it can do photoshop and some lightroom stuff, you would have to check for features you want/need and possibly try the demo. the best part might be its also a one time fee of only $50. if you want to stick with photoshop/lightroom, there is a photography subscription plan that is only $10 a month.
for the hardware, if you are planning on getting into heavy 4k grading, then it is likely you would find any mac laptop underwhelming. if you aren't going heavy grading or find good performance with fcpx, the new macbook pro with the radeon pro 460 4gb might be a good option. it will be around 3x faster than the intel graphics you have now, but slightly slower than the gtx 1050 ti.
the egpu isn't going to be good for a portable system, but if you just need that performance at one location when finishing a project, it might still be an option. it might be possible the akitio works with an amd rx 460 4gb and might not need an extra power supply as some rx 460 models don't need extra power cables. performance will be similar to the radeon pro 460 and not good for heavy 4k grading. it would take some research for compatibility with the akitio and macos, but might be a cheaper option that would give a decent performance upgrade. some of the gtx 1050 ti models also don't require extra power cables, but the gtx 1000 series currently don't work with macos.
At the moment, I am at pretty much grass roots level for colour grading. I recently got a new camera, which shoots 4k and slog2, so thought I would try my hand at colour grading footage shot in these formats.
My plan is to shoot and edit music videos, and short documentaries, and apply basic colour corrections/luts.
Is Elements within the Lumetri Panel?
I'm not familiar with Affinity Photo, but I'll have a look into it.
As above....would shooting 4k and slog2 be classed as heavy grading? The majority of my clips will be in 1080p, with some in 4k for short establishing shots etc (no longer than say 30 secs each). I don't plan on shooting a whole project in 4k for the time being.
I did look at the newer macs, but for the price/specs, thought I would get more bang for my buck with a windows laptop.
if you are just using one or two luts and one or two minor overall adjustments, you aren't really doing heavy grading. if you already have some test footage from your camera, you can load it up in fcpx and make what you would expect to be a typical timeline, with luts and a few color adjustments, and see how your laptop handles playback and export times. fcpx also has a background render option, it may help with playback once it builds those renders. the background render and proxy system in fcpx both can help with performance.
Ok. Will give fcpx a shot and keep you both posted
Thought would give you a quick update on this.
My Pc seemed to be working fine since switching over to fcpx. However, I got a 7 day trial of Colour Finale, and started applying Luts again to my footage.
Although the play back was not as bad as Adobe, the footage seemed to jump at the transition between 2 clips.
I exported my project to Youtube see if the same thing happened, but it played smoothly.
So video playback is my issue...which I'm guessing as you guys already said is down to my poor quality graphics card?
I've only had FCPX for a week, and slowly but surely picked it up quite quickly.
But now with the spanner in the works, I'm thinking whether to get a new windows pc and switch back to premier instead maybe......decisions.
if you are only using colour finale to apply a lut, using a lut utility might use less resources to help playback performance. i think colorgradingcentral also have a lut utility that you could try. i think there are several lut loaders available, there is one from coremelt that has a free version. if you are just using a lut for technical conversion to rec709 you might be able to use the built in feature in fcpx, shown in this article/video. https://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/final-cut-pro-x-tutorial-applying-luts-to-log-footage/
I thought that colour finale had a lut utility built in to it?....I assumed that was how the luts were loaded?
At the moment, I'm just experimenting with log footage - slog2 and sony cine1/2 - I think they're still log footage, but the iso is fixed much lower than 1600....so not as noisy as slog2.
i think colour finale does have a lut utility built into it, but my point was perhaps the colour finale plugin is using more resources (gpu and/or cpu) than just a lut utility alone. that video in the link i posted above shows a built in color space converter in fcpx, for several formats including slog2. if you are using color finale to also make adjustments then you could also try making those adjustments with the built in fcpx tools to see if they use less resources for smoother playback...
Sadly, Apple is diverted to devices these days, the CEO now famous for the "I don't know why anyone would buy a desktop these days .. seriously" quote, no upgrades to the Big Mac's mobo in what, 5 years or so? Three complete rollouts from Cupertino with nothing whatever announced for the desktop. Even the colorist community, a hardcore Macophile group if ever, is now beginning the migration to pc's.
For most anything involving "more" ... whether it's frame rate or size of the media you're using, the number, density, and complexity of effects used, the number of tracks on your sequences, you will hit hardware slowdowns even with FCPX, if not quite as fast at first as with PrPro.
FCPx might get you by for a while. You're still gonna need to upgrade gear at some point. Which program/OS do you prefer?
RoninEdits - Ah right.... I understand now .
I just watched that video....thanks for sharing. I didn't have a clue that even existed within FCP.
Will definitely be trying this out. One of the main reasons I was swaying more towards Colour Finale, was the work flow...especially the way you could create an adjustment layer over a select amount of clips to grade etc....similar to lumetri.
R Neil Haugen - I already have an ancient windows laptop I use for basic web browsing...so I'm happy to use both os's
I have noticed quite a few die hard apple editors making the switch over the windows for these very reasons.
FCP annoyed the hell out of me at first. But I've managed to pick up the basics over the past few days and downloaded some plugins.
Although I feel more comfortable with Premier, there were certain elements which I found confusing at times..mainly using after fx. However, with FCP, I seem to be able to get more creative with my projects, simply by using plugins...not too sure if this is possible with Premier without using Afterfx?
One thing I don't like about FCP is events, and projects...which can get a bit confusing.
Ideally I would like to make the switch and stick to FCPX...but as you said I will hit hardware slowdowns at some point with my current mbp...and I simply wouldn't want to spend the extortionate amount on another mac, considering the spec I would get for the money....which is frustrating.
So my only other alternative, would be to buy a windows oc and go back to Premier.
Ps, - if i did get a desktop.... Would something like this be suitable if i paid the extra and got the i7 upgrade?
Choices, choices ... there's some really cool things about FCPx that people have shared with me, that I wish PrPro had. But as noted, Apple is a nasty spoiled kindergartener by attitude, and does NOT share with others ... so something they've created to work on their OS ain't going elsewhere.
So, they have this new and getting cool editing program ... and they aren't building the powerful rigs anymore to really work the editing suite. I just do not get this. But then, there's things that seem the same within the Adobe apps, it's just humans being human I suppose.
The colorists I know that are at the top of this stuff, are having machines built to run both Win & Linux boots. Monster capable machines. But hey, one's got a main setup so the actual computer for his working suite is 70 feet down the hall ... and he's got a full client-friendly suite, the multiple screens and full Resolve panel for his station, the couch & big screen for the clients, set to work many-k media with tons of stuff done in Resolve in real-time. The hardware he's got is mind-boggling.
Just hope, whichever path you choose, it works well and you enjoy the editing!
Man, that sounds like a beast of a setup your colorist buddies have Neil
Thanks for the words of encouragement.
I will keep you posted and no doubt be back with more updates over the next couple of weeks!
I look at the gear ... one guy has more outlaid for his multiple levels of calibration than I have in our entire studio's computers/systems. But then, his billing/hour rate is just a wee bit higher than mine ... wowza.
He's durn good at it though.
And we'll "keep the lights on for ya" here!