There are two primary methods to make significant improvements to transcoding speed in CS5 or above. Use an approved nVidia graphics card and turn on hardware acceleration, or get a faster CPU. The first will speed up some things, the latter will speed up everything.
Both options might not be viable for a MBP.
Are you a professional? In that case, a Macbook Pro is not powerful enough.
Otherwise, you should be able to speed things up considerably by transcoding your footage. Use the following program to transcode to Cineform: http://gopro.com/3d-cineform-studio-software-download/
Here is a tutorial: http://vimeo.com/31328472
I run CS5.5 on a 13 inch MBP, Intel i5, and things are quite smooth.
Hi Simon, thanks for ur input. So do u know Mac? I'm basically not a hardware person... Could u advise me what to get? Or possible upgrade for my hardware? I heard about Quadro FX 5600 so call such high tech stuff... But I roughly understand, even if I can afford this piece it doesn't mean it my system can work pretty well with it as I cannot fully neutralized the best performance of it... Any more specify advise for me? Thanks in advance! Jo
Hi Hihopsuperman, yes... I'm a do wedding cinematography video in singapore but sad to say I'm never a hardware person... I understand that MBP is not a powerful machine... I got a Mac Pro, doing well... But for a reason I need a portable machine as well. Therefore here to seek some expert advise on my MBP. What I am doing, time are rather important to me... And I might be taking 2hrs footages with 300+ over Full HD files from my 5D Mark II. However, if I were to transcode all these files before editing, I might have alot more problem on the time for my editing. Therefore, I think hardware is the keyword to my task required on my Macbook Pro Intel Core i7. Is there a possible way to upgrade the video card or so, what's the maximum grade I should look for on the graphic card that help but won't overkill the performance of my MBP capabilities limit on video editing and trancoding speed... Jo
I agree with the first answer posted to your question. Also, I have a 13" MBP, and I don't believe there is any way to upgrade the video card, but it doesn't seem to be a sticking point. RAM and hard drive access speed is where you will get your best performance upgrade. Your model, I think only goes to 8GBs RAM at this point, but if I'm wrong, max out it's RAM if you can afford to. Also pickup either a firewire hard drive with RAID 1 or a Thunderbolt drive for field use. You don't mention if you are dumping the footage to your internal drive or an external one. Going external with RAID will allow you to dump your cards in the field. I carry my RAID drive with me on location in a foam lined travel case.
Your desktop still should have the best video card and other accessories.
I am not a fan of transcoding beyond standard Adobe internals, though it depends on your final product. I've done tons of transcoding in the past, and it often doesn't help with the issues you mention. Bottom line is you are pushing a lot of data into the CPU and video card. RAM and drive throughput will help while you are in the field.
If you find you need a better video card, you might need to buy a higher end Mac or maybe consider a switch to Windows. Lots more choices of video cards in that world. HP, Dell and Lenovo all have great field production units for Premiere. I also own one of them (a Dell) for remote office work. Was much cheaper than buying a similarly configured Mac, but I like the Mac for other reasons.