5 Replies Latest reply: Jun 25, 2012 3:14 PM by Stroud@FahranVisual
Stroud@FahranVisual Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I appreciate that this question probably gets asked reasonably regularly but I have a few specific points I'd like some help on.


I've been using a pretty high specced iMac for video editing for a couple of monthes;

  • Current model 21.5 - 2.8ghz with i7 processor
  • 250GB SSD
  • 16GB RAM
  • I also run off a second 24inch monitor


My main workflow is Premiere Pro 5.5 for editing, After Effects 5.5 for compositing and effects and Da Vinci Resolve 8 for grading. I push the software reasonably hard (footage doesnt stray above full HD res so far though, I use 5D mk2 video footage 99% of the time) and I've been super happy with how the iMac keeps up.


The general work that the iMac has to chew through is - big Premiere Pro projects with a reasonable amount of dynamic linking with AE. After Effects is used for mostly compositing with quite a lot of visual effects. Resolve is used for grading with a lot of 3D tracking, noise reduction and normal grading stuff - same as the others...quite intensive).


However..... I have no portable computer and not enough money to invest in a decent one in addition to the iMac. I don't go a week where having a good MBP wouldn't have been a massive help. I'm not a massive geek when it comes to macs. I appreciate that the iMac is a desktop and should outperform any laptop but there are loads of things on the MBP retina that seem to level the field. I'd look at the following spec;


  • 2.3GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz
  • 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • 256GB Flash Storage


As far as I see the MBP has;

  • the better USB3 sockets (a godsend when you have 64 gigs of footage to download).
  • More thunderbolt sockets (I could use two external monitors).
  • Faster RAM (1600mhz against 1333mhz).
  • Better screen res (although I have some questions on that).
  • More graphics RAM (1GB against 512mb)


So thats a lot of things that look better. Im not worried about the small 256mb HD as only the footage Im currently using will be on the MBP's HD itself.


So my questions are as follows;


  • How should the two units stack up against eachother performance wise when being given quite intensive tasks from Premiere Pro, After Effects and Resolve (the MBP just simply being a notebook.....the MBP having faster RAM....the iMac having a faster processor etc)?
  • How should the graphics compare (the iMac having a 6775 chip with 512 memory and the MBP having a 4000 chip with 1GB memory)?
  • How should the screens compare. The MBP obviously has a massive PPI boost but.....is the colour balancing meant to be good enough. So far I've been more than happy to use the iMac for colour grading).
  • Am I asking too much of the MBP to run two extra monitors when at home...?
  • Am I just being stupid getting rid of a desktop for a notebook as my main working computer...?


Any help that you knowledagable people can give me will be massivly appreciated...


Thank you!



MacBook Pro with Retina display, Mac OS X (10.7.4)