My friends are sending their son off to college next Fall. He wants a Macbook(Pro?) for video editing purposes. He currently uses an iMac G5. They, of course, want to spend as little as possible. He, of course, wants as powerful a machine as he can get. They asked for my input. I said I'd see what advice I could get from the Forum. Anybody out there wish to recommend the best bang for the buck? Thanks
What kind of video editing? Serious like for long school projects or just playing around? If it's only small clips any MBP would do. The low end white MacBook for $999 excluded, it's the old model, entirely different animal. The 13 are nice but the more expensive 15 and 17 inch with the better video card may help a little but to what extent it would really be noticeable or worth it I don't know.
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What Reboot said. Any MBP with FireWire and RAM stacked high enough -- 4 gigs, the 8GB upgrades are just so ridiculously expensive at the moment it makes no sense. 13" would probably be my choice for that to get the most bang for the buck and portability since it would be for a college student.* Sure the rendering will take a toll on the processor not to mention if there will be some After Effects work to be done also.
I don't think the video card options would make that much of a difference in performance, but the RAM and a fast HD will and for that I'd recommend an external FW drive. I've done some video editing with an intel-iMac and a USB external drive on it myself and it worked ok, but the 480MB USB bus is no match for FW800.
Also, I would recommend getting an external display on the side, as that laptop monitor can get rather crowded on its own.
* My uni has been providing white MacBooks (and the G4 iBook before them) as laptops for new students of audiovisual mediaculture (meaning they will do multimedia authoring, web design, video and such) and graphic design with according software packages, but they've been stingy with the RAM -- well, they've been stingy from the get go providing 'just' the white MB, IMO -- not getting more than the standard amount.
He's been making his own movies for several years on his iMac. So far they've been mostly short - I'm guessing on the order of 5 to 10 minutes. He,s pretty serious about it so I assume he'll be taking classes in film making. Thanks for the reply.
One other thought. Seeing as how it is for a college kid, they might consider Apple Care or an external optical drive. I recommend it to anyone that will be using the optical drive a lot. He'll probably rip music, and if he's doing video burning DVD's. The optical drives in laptops, PC or Mac, are all crap, and using an external whenever possible is recommended. If one uses the optical drive on a daily basis I can almost guarantee that it will crap out within a year or so.
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