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DevonChris

Macbook Pro or Surface Book 2 for 4k editing?

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Another editing thread here...sorry

I’m looking for a high end laptop primarily for photography and 4k video editing.

I currently use Resolve on a Windows desktop, and have previously used, and own, Final Cut Pro. I edit photos on an iPad Pro using Affinity Photo.

I like the touch interface and form factor of the Microsoft Surface Book 2, but I don’t know if Resolve would edit 4k on it unless it had 4Gb VRAM.

So which to go for, and what specs would you recommend?

Are other any other laptops or 2 in 1’s that I should consider?

 

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I feel like it depends on what your editing preferences are. I'm not familiar with the Surface Books, outside of the commercials. I can't help but imagine though that you'd get better performance with FCP on the MacBook Pro than with Resolve on the Surface, simply because FCP is so fine tuned to work on Mac systems. 

With that said, I might hold off on getting a MacBook Pro until the next update, given the issues people have had with the keyboard and stuff. 

Is there a reason you're specifically looking at a Surface? 

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I think this might become even more of a discussion point in the next couple of months as the Pocket 4K starts to be delivered and people are looking to edit RAW in Resolve.

My MacBook Pro is probably due an upgrade but I actually think I might go the route of getting an external GPU as it looks like its going to be cheaper and more effective for Resolve than upgrading the computer.

After seeing some of the performance increases on offer in Resolve with external GPU and them now being officially supported in macOS 10.13.4, I think it might be time to take the plunge.

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1 hour ago, DevonChris said:

Another editing thread here...sorry

I’m looking for a high end laptop primarily for photography and 4k video editing.

I currently use Resolve on a Windows desktop, and have previously used, and own, Final Cut Pro. I edit photos on an iPad Pro using Affinity Photo.

I like the touch interface and form factor of the Microsoft Surface Book 2, but I don’t know if Resolve would edit 4k on it unless it had 4Gb VRAM.

So which to go for, and what specs would you recommend?

Are other any other laptops or 2 in 1’s that I should consider?

I edit 4K footage (by making 720p proxies) on my 2016 13inch MBP, but you may look at the performance I get and find it's not enough.

With editing there is no "can" or "cannot" there is only "I need X amount of performance with Y amount of effects etc".

Perhaps you can elaborate on what you need?  If you turn on proxies and all the caching then Resolve can work on almost any computer.  However if you need to colour grade ARRIRAW footage in 4K live in front of a customer then obviously you're going to need much more processing power.

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MBP works better in my experience with FCP. However, if you are using Resolve a well spec’d PC is likely a better option. I’ve been migrating to Resolve as I feel it gives more control when working with Canon RawLite files, and I’m see lots of potential. It seems well optimized for either PC or Mac. 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

With that said, I might hold off on getting a MacBook Pro until the next update, given the issues people have had with the keyboard and stuff. 

Is there a reason you're specifically looking at a Surface? 

What issues are people having with the keyboard with the latest Mac Books? Could it be problems with the Touch Bar?

I'm thinking of the surface because I like the touch screen and 2 in 1 features ie detach the keyboard and you've got a more powerful tablet than the iPad Pro.

1 hour ago, kye said:

Perhaps you can elaborate on what you need?  If you turn on proxies and all the caching then Resolve can work on almost any computer.  However if you need to colour grade ARRIRAW footage in 4K live in front of a customer then obviously you're going to need much more processing power. 

I'm shooting 4K DCI with an EM1 Mk2 so there won't be much grading unless I go back to using an external recorder

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Mine is a late 2015 and had an intermittent keyboard fault a few weeks ago.

Credit to it though, it recognised that intermittent problems are really frustrating so it has now made itself permanent.

I'm not sure if its dust thats caused it as it has not exactly led an easy life and routinely has overnight stays in boxes of rice after getting rained on on jobs.

I'm pretty sure its a detached ribbon and will be an easy fix but the reports of £700 for a repair means that the repair won't be happening at an official Apple outlet.

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23 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

I've been thinking of doing something similar. Do you have a rig you've been looking at? 

Not as yet, there is a very informative thread here from @Don Kotlos that I'm going to re-visit.

I'm hoping he can chime in and give us a steer on what the current best bang for the buck is.

I probably should have got into this earlier as the price of graphics cards has gone ridiculous due to people hoovering them up for Bitcoin mining. 

I'm wondering whether something like this Gigabyte AORUS all in one solution might be the path of least resistance to get going for me. Seems a bit cheaper than a separate solution as well but I'm sure there are some caveats that @Don Kotlos can fill us in on.

https://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-aorus-gtx-1070-gaming-box-thunderbolt-3-rgb-graphics-box

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47 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

Gigabyte AORUS

Thatt's he one I was looking at too. Seems pretty decent, and will definitely be an upgrade for a MBP, for a fraction of the cost of a full upgrade.

It's not future proof like the ones where you buy separately, the housing is small, limiting the GPU you can use later. so when we switch to 8K VR in 3 years time, it's like starting fresh from this point...

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The good thing about Resolve is the network rendering though so we can still put these older machines and eGPUs to work rendering in the background while we are working on our fancy new MacBook 2021 Titanium Wafer laptops ;) 

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6 hours ago, andrgl said:

Neither of those are good choices due to massive throttling of their GPUs. Get a portable gaming laptop. Reddit is a good non-biased source to use to find the right one.

I agree. In addition both these laptops are charging 8th generation intel CPU prices for 7th generation processors. And the 8th generation processors are about 30% faster.

This is a good video.

If you are committed to the 2 in 1 concept - the Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 has probably the best performance.

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10 hours ago, DevonChris said:

I'm shooting 4K DCI with an EM1 Mk2 so there won't be much grading unless I go back to using an external recorder

If you're willing to render proxy media then any modern machine should be fine.  My 2016 13" MBP running Resolve plays 720p "Prores Proxy" at up to 60fps without noticeable delays both backwards and forwards.

8 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Mine is a late 2015 and had an intermittent keyboard fault a few weeks ago.

Credit to it though, it recognised that intermittent problems are really frustrating so it has now made itself permanent.

I'm not sure if its dust thats caused it as it has not exactly led an easy life and routinely has overnight stays in boxes of rice after getting rained on on jobs.

I'm pretty sure its a detached ribbon and will be an easy fix but the reports of £700 for a repair means that the repair won't be happening at an official Apple outlet.

Ouch!

I've previously repaired some dodgy keys on my old Mac Air by looking at YT videos, so it might be possible to rectify it yourself.  If you attempt it I'd recommend you first attempt to remove a key you never use - normally we stuff up the first attempt and I was no exception lol.  I did manage to fix the offending keys though, so it was all good in the end.

7 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Not as yet, there is a very informative thread here from @Don Kotlos that I'm going to re-visit.

Awesome, I've been looking at eGPUs for a while too.  One of the most recent developments is that instead of buying a cage and a graphics card you can now buy all-in-one setups that are much smaller.  Unfortunately they still run off mains power not USB-C so it doesn't help edit if you're on a plane/train/bus.

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4 hours ago, kye said:

I've previously repaired some dodgy keys on my old Mac Air by looking at YT videos, so it might be possible to rectify it yourself.  If you attempt it I'd recommend you first attempt to remove a key you never use - normally we stuff up the first attempt and I was no exception lol.  I did manage to fix the offending keys though, so it was all good in the end.

It's the whole keyboard and trackpad so it's likely going to be a dodgy trackpad cable as a fault with that causes both not to be recognised.

Well I hope it is because that's a £10 part and a 1 hour labour charge at an independent service place!

4 hours ago, kye said:

 One of the most recent developments is that instead of buying a cage and a graphics card you can now buy all-in-one setups that are much smaller.  Unfortunately they still run off mains power not USB-C so it doesn't help edit if you're on a plane/train/bus.

That's what the Aorus box is in my link, although technically you could change the card later if you wanted to.

You could edit on the plane/train/bus using proxies and then plug in the eGPU for rendering though.

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11 hours ago, Robert Collins said:

I agree. In addition both these laptops are charging 8th generation intel CPU prices for 7th generation processors. And the 8th generation processors are about 30% faster.

This is a good video.

If you are committed to the 2 in 1 concept - the Dell XPS 15 2 in 1 has probably the best performance.

Thanks for this video, which was really helpful. It's interesting that he thinks the MPB is not competitive now.

I agree with you that the Dell XPS 15 2in 1 looks awesome, and with those specs, better value than the Surface Book.

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The standard XP’s 9570 is a better spec - do you really need the 2 in1 feature. Laptops are pretty poor choices for 4K video editing as they just don’t have the cooling capacity so for real-time playback and rendering and they will shudder to a stuttering mess very quickly. Good for reviewing footage but for editing I’d stick to a good desktop machine.

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