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DeanB

Is this good enough...

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Hi amigo's,

 

Just looking at laptops and was wondering if this baby would be good enough for my needs..You can upgrade from a 2.4ghz to a 2.6ghz intel core duo for £160 but is the (.2) really worth it or would i be better putting the money towards extra memory 2GB to 4GB..£450...or should i buy the memory from external sources.. I'll be editing using FCP2..Also looking at the Sony Ex1 for shooting...and Lacie ?? external harddrives...

 

What other bits and pieces should i be looking at....Specs:

 

Mac Book Pro 15"

 

2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB

250GB Serial ATA drive (5400rpm)

MacBook Pro 15-inch Widescreen Display

Apple USB Modem

SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

Backlit Keyboard (English) & Mac OS (English)

Logic Express

Bluetooth 2.0

 

Apple Remote

 

Power Adapter

 

Battery

 

£1863....

 

ANy ideas...cheaper options etc... gladly accepted

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Hi DeanB,

 

my best Unicum customer:

 

So, that 0.2 Ghz means nothing. Spend that money for 4 GB RAM. You can buy it from external dealer as well, do not spend for extre expensive apple RAM. If you can, ask the 250 GB harddrive.

 

For external stroage, I recommedn to buy an eSata drive (or enclosure) and use a FirmTek eSata Expresscard card to achive maximum possible data-rate. For the EX1 the MBP is very good, since it has the built-in expresscard slot.

 

Buy another battery as well, just to maximazi the life without power cord.

 

Jules

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Hi Jules,

 

UNICUM is a drink by the way...just incase others do not know what we are talking about...not something jules does 'once' he see's me.... :D:)

 

Thanks mate...I'll look into it...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Agree with Jules, stay with the 2.4 and go to 4 gigs ram. I recommend ram by either crucial or ramjet. Don't get the glossy screen if you are going to use it in the field.

Steve B)

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Thanks Steve...Popped into the Mac place in Cheltenham to have a look a the gear...Lesson one: always make sure you have plenty of water and something to eat before shopping...my head was like a fluffy cloud (no change there then) and when i spoke to the assistant it was like he was talking Klingon... ihad to hit the pub...sharpish !!!!

 

It all looked cool though...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Personally I'd go for the extra 0.2 GHz as you can never upgrade that, but you can upgrade the ram later if you don't have the cash for it now. Just something different to think about and confuse you even more, but I don't have a MBP, so probably Steve and Jules know best. Just ignore me actually - my brains been addled by Unicum.... :):D

 

Cheers, Simon

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Just found the same spec MBP with 4GB and a free iphone...£1790..

 

Its getting better

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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I would go for the 2.2. You won't be doing full edits or real color grading on the laptop, the screen is 6bit converted to 8bit. Save the money and buy a mac pro for the real editing at home with color monitor output etc.

The Express card/eSATA route is only up to 120MB/s... that's the limit of the firmware for now. That means no uncompressed work. You will need a desktop with faster pci/e bus for that. Forget the 250GB if you're paying extra. External storage is going to be the way you work anyhow. Why bother paying for more internal space, esp at Apple prices. You can get the new 320 by the time you need the space for AVC Intra :)

EX1 conversions to ProRes422 HQ (160mb/s) is the way to go except if you have to hand in the work in HDCAM. You can get a 500GB FW800 drive from GTech G-RAID mini, which maximizes the FW800 bus and leaves space for your SxS card. With 470GB RAID 0 storage or 235GB RAID1, you can have about 12 dives on 16GB cards. All bus powered for field work AND plane work.

 

£1800 for a mbp? Man you guys over pay in the UK.

 

iPhone? POS without 3G...oh wait... it's coming soon and unlocked too! Woohoo :D

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:( Thanks drew.... I think...man my heads just exploded....this is for travel as well though...

 

 

Yes we do pay over the odds... bloody taxes :angry: i suppose i could take a trip and come back with a new baby... if its worththe journey...

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(i need an interpreter)B

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I've got the 2.4 MacBook Pro with the 160Gb drive and it's an excellent machine, you'll definitely need more memory though. Additional disk space should be external.

 

A friend of mine recommended ordering from www.macsales.com as you pay US prices and they ship to the UK, he's had no problems with stuff arriving. I've just ordered up an additional 2Gb for USD80, and that wasn't the cheapest on the site but I wanted to go for a recognised brand (Samsung). Apparently using 2x1Gb instead of a single 2Gb gives better performance - there's a MacWorld article on it I think.

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Geoff

Standard on the Macbook Pro is 2GB RAM (2x1 GB). The new architecture does better with paired chips. So you want to have 4GB (2 x 2GB ) for optimum performance.

Happy Hols

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Remember that the Mac Book Pro will not run 'Color'. No great loss unless you are a prof. colorist anyway.

The more ram the better tho.

I wish I knew how expensive it is in the UK. I would have been happy to buy it here for you and ship it to you. Next time.

Steve B)

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Not true Steve. The MBP 15 will run Color but only with an external monitor with res 1680x1050 or higher. The MBP 17 run color no problems.

Color is probably the best color correction tool on the Mac platform even for the amateur user. It's not easy to use but the basics are pretty easy to pick up. I suggest people drop by the Apple Stores with pro apps classes.

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Geoff

Standard on the Macbook is 2GB RAM (2x1 GB). The new architecture does better with paired chips. So you want to have 4GB (2 x 2GB ) for optimum performance.

Happy Hols

 

Good spot Drew - I just realised that in order to upgrade to 4Gb I need to order 2x2Gb as a replacement for the 2x1Gb already in the memory slots. Looks like I can get my order change before it ships. Thanks for that.

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Not true Steve. The MBP 15 will run Color but only with an external monitor with res 1680x1050 or higher. The MBP 17 run color no problems.

Color is probably the best color correction tool on the Mac platform even for the amateur user. It's not easy to use but the basics are pretty easy to pick up. I suggest people drop by the Apple Stores with pro apps classes.

 

 

I guess I stand corrected, I was told that the MBP could not run Color. In a way, we are both correct. Since I only use my laptop in the field, I would not have access to an external monitor and thus, could not use it. Ripple Training has come out with an excellent DVD tutorial on Color. Some here, might want to pick that up.

Steve B)

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I would go for the 2.2. You won't be doing full edits or real color grading on the laptop, the screen is 6bit converted to 8bit. Save the money and buy a mac pro for the real editing at home with color monitor output etc.

The Express card/eSATA route is only up to 120MB/s... that's the limit of the firmware for now. That means no uncompressed work. You will need a desktop with faster pci/e bus for that. Forget the 250GB if you're paying extra.

 

So now your telling me a MBP with FCP2 is no good for 'actual' editing and i need to get a MAC Pro... Sod this I'm doing small films not making bleeding 2hour long whistles and bells feature films...

 

I'm seriously looking at going with Edius...Macs seem to be more hassle than their worth...Mac pro's are to expensive and over the top unless your actually doing it for a living... :excl:

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(headache)B

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So now your telling me a MBP with FCP2 is no good for 'actual' editing and i need to get a MAC Pro... Sod this I'm doing small films not making bleeding 2hour long whistles and bells feature films...

 

I'm seriously looking at going with Edius...Macs seem to be more hassle than their worth...Mac pro's are to expensive and over the top unless your actually doing it for a living... :(

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(headache)B

 

 

I use a MacBook Pro (Older 17" which does not have the RAM capacity of your machine and a slower/older chip) and us it to edit things all the time (DV, HDV/AIC and some ProRes). With an eSATA card and/or FW card you can attach external drives that should do the trick for what you want. Weibetech and others make enclosues of various flavors which work well. I have even done work on my old 1Ghz G4 which only supports 1 Gig of RAM and had a small (64 Meg) video card.

 

On the internal drive issue you do not need the biggest, but the incremental cost of getting a few extra gigs if you are BTO can be worth it unless you are a good DIYer. Apple's premium is not as bad for the mid-level drive upgrades, though the ump to the largest drive comes with a larger premium (as others mentioned the RAM from Apple is also at a premium) In the U.S. to go from the 160GB to 250 GB is about $150 and the hassle factor (for me) would mean I would just have Apple drop the bigger one in if it was a BTO. $700 (U.S.) for extra 2 gigs of RAM though is high since you get 2 Gigs more for ALOT less as places mentioned such as OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.c...s=Show+Upgrades.

 

You can find yourself running out of room unless you move some bits and pieces that come with the Studio (such as Gigs of audio files for Soundtrack) off to another drive. I do that myself often when I get jammed for space, but easier to have in one place on the machine if you can swing it. But overall as Drew said you want external storage for the media and other files. It is best to keep those things off the Application drives

 

Of course having an external monitor that is dedicated/calibrated NTSC or PAL monitor is a good thing to have for color corrections and in a Tower there are options for cards, but you can also have things such as the Matrox http://www.matrox.com/video/products/mxo/home.cfm which will work with a Laptop. On the other hand, you can also look at the scopes in Final Cut and get close enough to what you want, though a dedicated card/calibrated monitor (or the Martox) is always the way to go for broadcast on any system.

 

As Drew mentioned the apps will all work but Color (which is a new app and people have existed without it for a long time) needs another monitor. You probably have one around and when not traveling you can hook the monitor up if you want and besides you can have a larger workspace when you want that way.

 

I even have played around and edited/previewed Final Cut projects on an LCD HD TV via a DVI/HDMI hook-up.

 

Of course for the ultimate thrill a totally maxed out tower with all the bells and whistles is very cool, but not needed.

 

A bit off topic there are a couple of times when it is good to buy a Mac. One, probably 3-4 weeks after I buy one which means prices are about to drop :excl:. Two, right after major events such as MacWorld, which is early in January. New toys come out at that time which also means prie drops. I have not heard of upgrades to the MacBook Pros coming then (though there is a ultra portable rumor :) ) but you may want to hold off.

 

Lastly, to save some money, refurbished units at the Apple Store (and on-line) are usually fine also. I have been buying more of these lately and they have been fine. Come with the same warranty and if there is an issue Apple is usually very good to help.

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So now your telling me a MBP with FCP2 is no good for 'actual' editing and i need to get a MAC Pro... Sod this I'm doing small films not making bleeding 2hour long whistles and bells feature films...

 

I'm seriously looking at going with Edius...Macs seem to be more hassle than their worth...Mac pro's are to expensive and over the top unless your actually doing it for a living... :)

 

Dive safe

 

Dean(headache)B

 

Dean,

Strange it takes you 19 days to react to that post AFTER you first respond to it... a little bit too much egg nog? :excl:

It doesn't matter what platform or NLE you use. It's the same. Laptop screens are usually dithered 6bit pushed to 8bit. It's fine for edits but for color grading, it's not good enough and you will need an external monitor.

As any post man will tell you, you always color grade to an External calibrated monitor. Right now, there is no solution for HD SDI output from the MBP. Matrox MXO, which is great for a low cost system but not perfect, doesn't work with the Nvidia graphics cards of the new MBP, unless there's been an update in the last 2 mths.

Really comes down to what you want to do. Having a home studio is never cheap no matter what platform you have.

A laptop doesn't have the functionality of a desktop in terms of speed and expandability. It's great for basic editing on the road and basic color correction for web distribution. For complete products, it's difficult to get a great solution via a laptop. You are not the first to try.

To note, color may be new but variations via Shake has been around for a long time(in the computer world). The color compositing features have been around for many years and many a film have used them.

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Dean,

Strange it takes you 19 days to react to that post AFTER you first respond to it... a little bit too much egg nog? :)

 

No.. just takes that long to work out what your trying to tell me... :excl:

 

Its a real pain in the arse...I've been using a 9 year old pc with with a 1.87 chip and adobe 6 and its been great for what i need...now i'm really confused... :( Though thats not unusual

 

The MBP has way more power than my old PC and FCP2 totally out strips my old editing system so I'm expecting it to be absolutely fine for what i actually need. I'm trying to stear away from going down the keep up with the Joneses road as I don't really need a super computer for the little shows I'm going to be doing..I mean if you can't edit a 30-40 min programme together for DVD's on it then 'jesus'...you could on my PC...

 

I'm going to be using a 26" sony bravia as an external screen its only around 1300 x 720 but its good enough considering I've used a sharp 14" portable up til now....

 

I will make my decision soon then make do with it...I've done o.k so far...

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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work with the Nvidia graphics cards of the new MBP, unless there's been an update in the last 2 mths.

 

 

Drew

 

Yup your are correct, I totally blanked on this one and thought it was taken care of. :excl:

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You'll be stoked with the MacBookPro. For 4 years I made a living off of editing with my Powerbook Titanium. Of course I used a lot of peripherals though: 21" Monitor, FCP Keyboard, Contour Shuttle Pro and lots of harddrives. That laptop is about 7 years old now and still runs great. Of course when at home I stick with my supped up MacPro. Now that's a beast of a machine.

 

As far as which model to go with I agree that you're not going to notice a difference with the faster processor, buy the RAM and don't buy from Apple, they like to bend the uninformed over. When you do buy your RAM make sure it's from a reputable company that offers a lifetime warranty.

 

Good luck

 

Billy

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Let me strongly recommend ram from Crucial or Ramjet. I have used both without complaint and both are highly regarded by pros everywhere. Plus, you will save a bunch of money by not buying the Apple ram which is just fine but very expensive. Simply take out the 2 1gig chips and install 2 two gigs chips. Save the original one gig chips should you ever have to bring the laptop in for service. I also recommend the extended warranty.

Steve B)

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For 4 years I made a living off of editing with my Powerbook Titanium.....That laptop is about 7 years old now and still runs great.

Well mine still runs as a server and web machine for guests... My paint peeled off at 3 mths and 6 repeated replacements to Apple later, I sanded it off. That was the 2nd biggest bomb Apple has ever sold me.

As for RAM, Apple usually uses Samsung memory. A few places sell the same specs for less.

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Well mine still runs as a server and web machine for guests... My paint peeled off at 3 mths and 6 repeated replacements to Apple later, I sanded it off. That was the 2nd biggest bomb Apple has ever sold me.

As for RAM, Apple usually uses Samsung memory. A few places sell the same specs for less.

If that was the 2nd biggest bomb what was the 1st?

 

I like to call my powerbook FrankenMac. It does still runs like a champ but my case has been modified somewhat. The things that physically went wrong with my powerbook (which apple fixed even though I didn't purchase applecare for it) have all been fixed in the new models and they kick some serious butt. Apple never stopped short of going above and beyond fixing anything and while fixing something replacing anything that showed any sign of normal wear and tear. Their service is pretty amazing, I had a freak thing go out on my 3 1/2 year old G5($2,500 computer) and they completely replaced it with a brand new Mac Pro ($4,000 setup) Yeah I'll take that free upgrade.

 

Billy

Edited by Empty V

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