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June 13, 2006

Final Cut Studio on a Macbook

Please note, this blog has been archived and now lives at www.discretecosine.com

I've finally had a chance to spend some time with Final Cut Studio (5.1) on my Macbook. A reminder, my Macbook is the black 2ghz with 1 gig of ram. I've also poked in Aperture a bit, but I haven't had a chance to actually use it to process a whole shoot.

Final Cut Studio installed without complaining, and all the applications launch just fine. Aperture complains about the screen resolution but then continues and seems to load alright.

More after the jump...

In terms of general, straight cuts editing with a few fades and basic tweaks, Final Cut Pro is plenty usable. I'm still primarily working with DV content, though it behaved similarly when working with HDV content as well. I've run into a few glitches when selecting items on the timeline, though they may be 5.1 related, rather than Macbook related. I also experience a few dropped frames during playback from the timeline at transition points, but they seemed more related to disk speed than anything else. Normally I'd be cutting from an external disk, or else I'd look in to a faster internal disk.

Similarly, Motion loads and runs just fine for basic compositing operations. I did a fairly simple keyframed moving mask and everything performed in real time. A basic color correction filter didn't hurt performance too much either.

Things all went a bit fishy when I started adding particle effects. These are the sorts of things that rely heavily on the GPU to do the compositing. Since the Macbook has comparatively underpowered graphics processing, things got fairly lagged and painful. I didn't experience any crashes or actual loses of functionality, but when roundtripping to Final Cut Pro, things got very slow. After a render of course, everything was back to acceptable.

My verdict is that, for basic rough-cut editing, the Macbook is plenty acceptable. I wouldn't want to do serious finishing on it, but nothing precludes one from doing that. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that it seems to be stable and all the features appear to be intact. This was my biggest concern, seeing as the computer isn't officially a support Final Cut Studio platform. If anyone has particular questions, let me know.

Posted by at June 13, 2006 10:36 AM | Reviews

Comments

Do you think you can run FinalCut Studio on a new MacBook (not a Pro). I need a small Laptop where I could cut, when I'm away. Normally I'm cutting on a normal computer.

Thank you and many greetings Clemens

Posted by: Clemens Kneringer at November 18, 2006 11:08 AM

You can definitely run FCS on a macbook, just be sure to add some extra ram.

Posted by: Colin McFadden at November 18, 2006 11:45 AM

Ok I have a question for you. I am trying to decide between the black macbook and macbook pro. I will be doing editing with final cut studio as well. I am getting a display so the 13" screen isn't a problem, in fact I would prefer the smaller screen and easier portability. I would get 2gig of ram on both the macbook and macbook pro.

So it all boils down to 2.16GHz with the macbook or 2.2GHz with the pro. I don't want to spend so much for the 2.4GHz. So I am debating if the 2" more (that I don't need) and .04GHz is worth the approx. $300. Will those GHz make that big of a difference in editing?

In probably two years I will be upgrading and really indulging in my editing. So should I go with the macbook and save for a future upgrade, or do I NEED to get the pro because of editing?

Posted by: amy d at September 5, 2007 7:03 PM

Ok I have a question for you. I am trying to decide between the black macbook and macbook pro. I will be doing editing with final cut studio as well. I am getting a display so the 13" screen isn't a problem, in fact I would prefer the smaller screen and easier portability. I would get 2gig of ram on both the macbook and macbook pro. And possibly an external drive for more space.

So it all boils down to 2.16GHz with the macbook or 2.2GHz with the pro. I don't want to spend so much for the 2.4GHz. So I am debating if the 2" more (that I don't need) and .04GHz is worth the approx. $300. Will those GHz make that big of a difference in editing?

In probably two years I will be upgrading and really indulging in my editing. So should I go with the macbook and save for a future upgrade, or do I NEED to get the pro because of editing?

thanks!

Posted by: amy dennis at September 5, 2007 7:06 PM

Hi everyone,
I think that in simple words, the main difference between MacBook and MacBook Pro is that the first has an integrated graphic processor and the Pro has a better, independent graphics card, with it's own memory and better resolution. This is why FCS runs better on the Pro, and some features does not work on the MacBook white or black. Hope this comment helps!

Posted by: Alberto Tamborrel at March 22, 2008 12:14 PM