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New MacBook Pro models released yesterday (5/21/2019) - video editing capabilities, specifically 4K

Maviac

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I've been looking at getting a MacBook Pro for a while but have been waiting for the newest models, which were announced yesterday and will be available next week. Nothing major, just the usual annual bump up to the next generation of processor.

Anyone have experience with the last generation of MBPs with editing abilities with various software that might be relevant to analyzing how the new ones might fare? I had Premiere Pro but switched to Elements since I'm not doing anything that sophisticated, but I'd be willing to switch back or over to something about Resolve or Final Cut if I could get better results.

The new 13 inch model comes with 8th generation Intel i5s and i7s, and the 15 inch with the same but 9th gen. If the old (2018) ones can handle 4K editing fine, I might look at getting one of those at a discount now. But I don't want to even get a new one if it's going to choke for this sort of work.

Thanks!
 

brett8883

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I've been looking at getting a MacBook Pro for a while but have been waiting for the newest models, which were announced yesterday and will be available next week. Nothing major, just the usual annual bump up to the next generation of processor.

Anyone have experience with the last generation of MBPs with editing abilities with various software that might be relevant to analyzing how the new ones might fare? I had Premiere Pro but switched to Elements since I'm not doing anything that sophisticated, but I'd be willing to switch back or over to something about Resolve or Final Cut if I could get better results.

The new 13 inch model comes with 8th generation Intel i5s and i7s, and the 15 inch with the same but 9th gen. If the old (2018) ones can handle 4K editing fine, I might look at getting one of those at a discount now. But I don't want to even get a new one if it's going to choke for this sort of work.

Thanks!
It really just depends on your expectation and how fancy you want to get with special effects. For what you want to do it sounds like these new ones will be sufficient. I never recommend purchasing past generation computers because they rarely are worth the discount.

If you are happy with the ability of elements then these new ones should be sufficient. Premier Pro and Resolve give you more options and tools but its not like those will render the same video better then elements.

Final Cut Pro is the exception to this. Because Apple has made the hardware and the editing software it is able to use the hardware of the computer more effectively. Final Cut Pro doesn’t have the versatility of Premier Pro and doesn’t have the color grading tools of Resolve but if you’d rather have simple over flexibility then it can be a great option. Many times that is a positive not a negative. Even iMovie, which can be seen as a “Lite” version of Final Cut Pro, is a great free option. It really just depends what works best for you.

There are going to be people that disagree no doubt but I’d have them consider if you aren’t doing 3D graphics or particle physics and you want a computer that is portable and used for other things besides video editing the new Mac Book Pro’s are great machines.
 
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Maviac

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Thanks for the thoughts. That’s helpful. So an i7 MBP should handle 4K fine without catching on fire? Any thought on whether it could handle 4K60 if I ever have anything that can shoot it?
 

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Thanks for the thoughts. That’s helpful. So an i7 MBP should handle 4K fine without catching on fire? Any thought on whether it could handle 4K60 if I ever have anything that can shoot it?
You know it’s more like a spectrum then “it can or it can’t.” Going to 4K 60fps has now doubled the amount of work that the computer had to do and so it’s gonna take twice as long.

There are things you can do though like using proxies or an external GPU that will greatly increase the performance of the computer when rendering video.

One of the easiest and cost effective things you can do to improve rendering time is to purchase a high speed external SSD to use as a “scratch disk.”

A scratch disk is where a program stores the cache files for a project. A cache file is a calculation the computer has already performed and thus it can save that information to a location to be recalled on demand so it doesn’t need to do the calculation an addition time.

If you have your original media, cache files and are rendering to the same disk the disk will have to read the original media, read the cache file THEN render to the same disk. By having a separate scratch disk to store cache files and to render to it can do those steps simultaneously instead of sequentially thus greatly improving performance.
 
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You know it’s more like a spectrum then “it can or it can’t.” Going to 4K 60fps has now doubled the amount of work that the computer had to do and so it’s gonna take twice as long.

There are things you can do though like using proxies or an external GPU that will greatly increase the performance of the computer when rendering video.

One of the easiest and cost effective things you can do to improve rendering time is to purchase a high speed external SSD to use as a “scratch disk.”

A scratch disk is where a program stores the cache files for a project. A cache file is a calculation the computer has already performed and thus it can save that information to a location to be recalled on demand so it doesn’t need to do the calculation an addition time.

If you have your original media, cache files and are rendering to the same disk the disk will have to read the original media, read the cache file THEN render to the same disk. By having a separate scratch disk to store cache files and to render to it can do those steps simultaneously instead of sequentially thus greatly improving performance.
Yeah, I get that. I've got a high speed 2TB SSD that I use, but I'm running it on a 3-year-old i5 Surface Pro. It WILL do 4K30, and 2.7k60, but it is excruciating (sort of guesswork as far as where the cuts are, and the pre-rendering doesn't work correctly so I can't use it. Then it takes 8 hours to render a 3-minute video, as long as I turn the AC up and blow a fan at it so it doesn't overheat).

I'll be happy if it can edit 4K30 and 2.7K60 relatively painlessly (at least more easily than as I described above), but it would be nice to know it's somewhat future proof for the amount of money I'm about to spend.
 

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Yeah, I get that. I've got a high speed 2TB SSD that I use, but I'm running it on a 3-year-old i5 Surface Pro. It WILL do 4K30, and 2.7k60, but it is excruciating (sort of guesswork as far as where the cuts are, and the pre-rendering doesn't work correctly so I can't use it. Then it takes 8 hours to render a 3-minute video, as long as I turn the AC up and blow a fan at it so it doesn't overheat).

I'll be happy if it can edit 4K30 and 2.7K60 relatively painlessly (at least more easily than as I described above), but it would be nice to know it's somewhat future proof for the amount of money I'm about to spend.
Your computer must not have hardware acceleration or you don't have it enabled or something. So yes these new MacBooks will seem like they are in warp drive lol.

Also make sure that drive you have is in the neighborhood of 1000mbps. Thats one thousand mega bits per second. Otherwise you are just gonna be slowing things down with that not speeding them up. Not all SSDs are made equal. The one that will come with your Mac is a beast
 
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brett8883

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Blackmagic Designs has a little free utility to determine the actual read and write speed of a drive. It will tell you which media in what resolution and what frame rate the drive is capable of handling.
 

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I've been looking at getting a MacBook Pro for a while but have been waiting for the newest models, which were announced yesterday and will be available next week. Nothing major, just the usual annual bump up to the next generation of processor.

Anyone have experience with the last generation of MBPs with editing abilities with various software that might be relevant to analyzing how the new ones might fare? I had Premiere Pro but switched to Elements since I'm not doing anything that sophisticated, but I'd be willing to switch back or over to something about Resolve or Final Cut if I could get better results.

The new 13 inch model comes with 8th generation Intel i5s and i7s, and the 15 inch with the same but 9th gen. If the old (2018) ones can handle 4K editing fine, I might look at getting one of those at a discount now. But I don't want to even get a new one if it's going to choke for this sort of work.

Thanks!
If after researching new vs. old, let us know the results of research/use.
 

Maviac

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I cheated and ended up getting a 15 inch with the i7 (it was $100 more than the price to bump up the 13 inch to i7 and 16 GB. And I got the $30/m deal from Adobe). I have to say, it'd still painfully slow when it comes to rendering 4K videos, even with Premiere Pro on my brand new MBP (though I haven't played around with proxy editing yet). But it works, at least.
 

brett8883

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I cheated and ended up getting a 15 inch with the i7 (it was $100 more than the price to bump up the 13 inch to i7 and 16 GB. And I got the $30/m deal from Adobe). I have to say, it'd still painfully slow when it comes to rendering 4K videos, even with Premiere Pro on my brand new MBP (though I haven't played around with proxy editing yet). But it works, at least.
Hopefully not days though right? Proxies will not help with export time, they only help with rendering previews during the editing process. In certain circumstances they can actually hurt export times (if you could have made use of smart rendering but didn’t because your were using proxies)

With Premier Pro, as mentioned above, the settings, hardware set up, and workflow you use have a tremendous affect on render time.

What drone do you have? What codec are you using for export?

Use this tool to test the read and write speed of your external drive
Blackmagic Disk Speed Test by Blackmagic Design Inc
‎Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

If it says that it is acceptable for ProRes 422 2160p then you can use that drive to store your media and then render to your internal drive. This helps substantially with render time in both editing and exporting.

Another MASSIVE way to increase render and export time is to transcode your media before editing. You can use the built in transcoder in the Mac finder to transcode your media files to ProRes before beginning to edit. You can use the Automator utility on Mac to create an “encode folder” script easily. This will transcode any video files moved into this folder into ProRes 422. Put this folder on your external drive(assuming it is fast enough) and then move the media files you want to edit into this folder and let it go to town. It’s surprisingly quick for what it does but can take awhile to do a bunch of video files. Ideally you can let it do this overnight. Note: converting a video file to ProRes will create huge files. Make sure you only do this to video you know you want to use.

A way to speed up this process is to cut your selected video down to only the parts you want to edit using the finders built in “trim tool.” The Trim tool will allow you to remove unwanted parts of a video file without needing to rerender them. You can also split videos if there is a part in the middle you don’t want to use by trimming the original down to the first par you want to use saving that file as a “new file” and then trimming the original again this time keeping only the parts you want from the second file. This will safe time transcoding to ProRes and reduce your ProRes file sizes significantly.

Once you have your ProRes media ready to edit you can adopt a “smart rendering workflow.” Smart Rendering means that the export function will only rerender the parts of your sequence that actually need to be rendered. So if you didn’t end up doing any editing to a certain part of a clip that clip will not need rerender and passed right through during export. Additionally any preview files you created during editing will then be passed through as well because those are already rendered.

Now that will leave you with a ProRes master file you’ll be able to view and if you need to make changes then you haven’t wasted as much time. When you are happy with it you can then transcode it with Adobe Media Encoder to your codec of choice(Note: if you are just uploading to YouTube just upload the ProRes file assuming you have decent internet speed this will allow YouTube to create a better quality processed media files because it won’t need to recompress your already compressed video file.

Which brings me to the last point. Always always always export with Adobe Media Encoder. It is much more capable then the render engine in Premier(maybe that’s the only options these days anyway?) At any rate use Media Encoder and be sure to really pay attention to the options in Media Encoder so that you don’t have it running in circles while rendering your video. I find it always wants to render in some absurd codec if I let it do the default option it want to give me.

This is a good article about some of these things I’ve touched on and more https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2122549