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Decent Computer Build To handle Edits


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I need a machine for editing videos only, nothing fancy. I edit on a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009), 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB. When adding effects and doing color correction play back in FCPX isn't smooth, my laptop struggles a bit. I just need something thats better than what I have now that will just make my work flow run smoothly when I start adding effects and colors. I don't need the latest and newest components and the parts could be used or refurbished,not trying to break my wallent. Any suggestions?

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I assume you want to stay with FCPX & mac on a laptop. If that is the case, you will have a choice between the 13" and 15" version of the macbook pro. 

The advantages of the 15" are screen size, quad core CPU and discrete GPU.

The advantages of the 13" are is small size :) .

If you don't mind the size of the 15", then definitely get a 15". But in case you want something smaller, even the 13" will be quite a bit faster since you are coming from an old dual core CPU, especially when coupled with an AMD eGPU. 

The good thing with older macs is that they have thunderbold ports and they can be used with an external GPU to significantly improve the performance of the NLE. 

See what options you have for a used macbook pros. If you don't want to go the eGPU route, then your best price/performance would be a used 2015 15" with dGPU and 16gb RAM, otherwise get a late 2013 or later since they come with TB2 ports, and 13" or 15" with 16gb RAM . Just keep in mind that the eGPU solution will be at least $300, so take that into account when figuring out the costs. 

 

 

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Don, have you got a "This enclosure definitely works with this graphics card and will  be plug and play with FCPX/Resolve without modifying system files and rebooting in a certain order whilst standing on one leg" recommendation for an eGPU?

I've got a couple of year old MacBook Air that got thrashed through getting one too many pitch side soakings (its screen looks like a lava lamp and its internal keyboard and trackpad can only type some sort of Klingon) but which I'd love to find some use for as a render station to hand stuff off to so my MacBook won't be tied up doing it and it sounds like the eGPU would be just the ticket?

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40 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Don, have you got a "This enclosure definitely works with this graphics card and will  be plug and play with FCPX/Resolve without modifying system files and rebooting in a certain order whilst standing on one leg" recommendation for an eGPU?

I've got a couple of year old MacBook Air that got thrashed through getting one too many pitch side soakings (its screen looks like a lava lamp and its internal keyboard and trackpad can only type some sort of Klingon) but which I'd love to find some use for as a render station to hand stuff off to so my MacBook won't be tied up doing it and it sounds like the eGPU would be just the ticket?

When I tested the akitio node with the Titan X and the MBP 13" 2016 everything worked fine. It is not strictly plug&play & system files will have to be modified even if automatically. You will need to run a script found here. Since then, I believe AMD cards are supported as well, which should give much better performance with FCPX than NVIDIA (see here), but I haven't tested them. When Apple starts certifying these enclosures, things will be even easier. There was a rumor for this WWDC, but who knows.. 

Only the 2015 airs have TB2 so I don't know how much bottleneck the TB1 port will be for NLE use. 

Here is a report with an eGPU & a 2013 Air:

https://egpu.io/forums/implementation-guides/mid-2013-13-mba-macbook-air-akitio-thunder2-gtx-950-tb1/#post-3260

Even if I can tell you that it will most probably work, I don't know if it is worth it.  If you use it only on as a desktop it might be better to just sell it and build a cheap hackintosh for about the same money as the eGPU enclosure + GPU + whatever you can get for your Air. 

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I have that exact MBA actually so thats an interesting test!

My idea is that I can use the eGPU with my 2015 MBP then pass the project on to the MBA and hook it up to that to carry on so the cost will be shared between them I suppose.

Food for thought about the Hackintosh actually 

Cheers

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I would get a used MBA or a MBP that still has a year or so of apple care. I have a 2012 MBP with a 1TB SSD and it does great. Just get 8/16gb of ram and a solid state drive. You should be able to edit 1080 with magic bullet looks unrendered at full quality and get smooth playback.

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On 5/12/2017 at 4:46 AM, macnerd said:

I need a machine for editing videos only, nothing fancy. I edit on a MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2009), 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB. When adding effects and doing color correction play back in FCPX isn't smooth, my laptop struggles a bit. I just need something thats better than what I have now that will just make my work flow run smoothly when I start adding effects and colors. I don't need the latest and newest components...

Editing videos is one of the hardest things for a computer to do. Your 2009 MBP uses dual-core Intel "Penryn" CPU which has a GeekBench4 score of about 2000/3400 (single/multicore). By contrast a two-year-old 2015 MBP does 4500/16000, so each core is faster than both cores on the 2009 machine. The 9400M GPU is about 10 times slower than a more recent MBP. Even the integrated GPU in more recent machines is faster.

Worst of all the Penryn CPU does not have Quick Sync, which greatly accelerates H264 encode/decode. 

It's amazing your machine works as well as it does, which is probably only because FCPX is so efficient. Your best bet is just getting a newer machine, not trying to somehow rehabilitate the old one. A brand new one isn't necessary. Even an Apple refurbished 13" Macbook Air would be much faster than what you've got. A refurbished 2015 15" MBP is another possibility. A refurbished 27" iMac is another possibility, if you don't need portability.

In the meantime you can improve performance by using proxy files. This is built into FCPX and works very well, although it takes some time and space to build them.

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hey guys I found these online, if these options are good can you please advise me which option I should choose pertaining to my original question or these are to old?

Apple iMac 21.5-inch 3.2GHz Core i3 (Mid 2010)
21.5-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT LCD display with IPS, 1920x1080 resolution
3.2GHz Intel Core i3 processor
4.0GB (2x2.0GB) PC3-10600 (1333MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, supports up to 16.0GB
1.0TB Serial ATA hard disk drive @ 7200RPM
DVD-RW/CD-RW SuperDrive-DL
ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics with 512MB GDDR3 memory
AirPort Extreme wireless card (802.11a/b/g/n)

 

Apple iMac 21.5-inch 3.6GHz Core i5 (Mid 2010)

21.5-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT LCD display with IPS, 1920x1080 resolution
3.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor
4.0GB (4x1.0GB) PC3-10600 (1333MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, supports up to 16.0GB
1.0TB Serial ATA hard disk drive @ 7200RPM
ATI Radeon HD 5670 graphics with 512MB GDDR3 memory

 

Apple iMac 21.5-inch 2.5GHz Quad-core i5 (Mid 2011)

21.5-inch LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT LCD display with IPS, 1920x1080 resolution
2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor
4.0GB (2x2.0GB) PC3-10600 (1333MHz) DDR3 SO-DIMM, supports up to 32.0GB
500GB Serial ATA hard disk drive @ 7200RPM
ATI Radeon HD 6750 graphics with 512MB GDDR5 memory

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6ZJWPi_CBc

This was posted here in EOS HD a few months back.  Even if you don't follow the example, it'll prime you for the effective concepts if'n you wanna go the cheaper DIY direction.

Of course, depending how patient you are with your editing, you can bypass all the $$ spending and just use proxies instead.

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1 hour ago, macnerd said:

...can you please advise me which option I should choose pertaining to my original question or these are to old?

....Apple iMac 21.5-inch 2.5GHz Quad-core i5 (Mid 2011)

Of those three, I'd suggest this one since it has a "Sandy Bridge" CPU and should support Quick Sync. However as fuzzynormal posted, a Hackintosh can also be a cost-effective option with good performance.

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