What I’m Working On: MacBook Pro

A brief history. I’ve been a mac user since around 2002 I think. While I was working with the youth ministry and cutting my video teeth on premiere with a matrox rt card, the church bought a dual G4 500 mhz power mac and final cut pro 2.0. Shortly after making the switch I talked my wife into getting an iBook (G3 600 mhz 20 gb hd).

Flash forward to now. I have a dual 2.0 ghz power mac at the church. For the last few years I’ve been using a PowerBook (1.67 Ghz 1 GB Ram) the last model that was made 2 or 3 years ago. My current workload has found me doing a lot more motion graphics using After Effects and print work in Photoshop and InDesign. And my PowerBook was starting to crawl with some of these files. I found myself making creative decisions based on render times and not what I wanted to do.

About a month ago I got a MacBook Pro when they were updated. Here’s the specs:
2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB Ram
160 GB HD
256 MB Ram
15″ LED display

Core software I’m using every week:
Final Cut Studio (it’s the universal version of the 1st suite)
Create Suite CS2 (I have Master Collection CS3 pre-ordered and just found out it’s on it’s way to me)
Macromedia Studio MX2004

Here’s my impressions after a month:
-This thing is fast. It renders out of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Compressor, AE CS3 beta faster than my PowerMac dual 2.0 G5. Non native apps (CS2) are slower but much faster than my PowerBook and close to the G5. I am eagerly waiting for CS3. It’s shipped so hopefully I’ll have it this week.

-The display looks great and is super bright. Better than the 19″ samsung displays I have with the G5. I find myself actually turning the brightness down a few steps most of the time except in bright lights.

-This laptop runs cooler than my PowerBook for most of the time. The fans do kick in more often but it’s cooling 2 processors in roughly the same space as 1 in my powerbook.

-The laptop is actually 15.5″ so it didn’t fit in my older Brenthaven bag. So I had to get a new bag. I didn’t like anything that Brenthaven offers now. I like the messenger style and lots of pockets. Brenthaven’s bag only had a few big pockets instead of lots of smaller pockets. So I got a bbp bag and it rocks. Not as much protection for my laptop but it fits more and is much more comfortable.

-This laptop has frontrow which I thought was kind of goofy at first but it’s great for watching videos (DVD or content from iTunes)

-It also has a built isight which my 2 year old loves to use with photobooth and video confrencing with our friends Aaron and Jeanette.

-My main grip with the laptop is that Apple changed the USB bus structure. I don’t know how or why but it gives ProTools a fit. I have a problem recording with a Mbox 1 but have no problem with an Mbox Mini. The mini has a larger hardware buffer. With the Mbox 1 if I am recording 1 track to an external drive and open another app it would cause ProTools to stop. With the Mbox Mini I can be recording a track, open up After Effects or Motion and render a file out. Do I do this on a regular basis? No but I wanted to see how much I could throw at it. We use ProTools to record the pastor’s sermon and sometimes I get online with Safari.

I can’t wait to get all my software and plugins running native on the mac. I’m sure I’ll post more when I get CS3 up and running.


July 10, 2007. Tech Stuff.


  1. Aaron replied:

    you’re just bragging now.

    When do i get to see CS3?

  2. Dave replied:

    I wasn’t feeling the most creative yesterday. My design work was more grunt work. And I was home with the kids. Needed something to write about.

    I’m sure you’ll hear about CS3 when I get it.

  3. subcorpus replied:

    i have MBP and i use a lot of lightroom these days …
    will 3GB make a for a better choice than 2GB … ???
    your suggestions wud be appreciated …
    thanks …

  4. Dave replied:

    I rarely see an app use more than 2 GB at a time. Maybe I’m not throwing enough at After Effects? But the extra RAM comes in handy when I’m doing print design and I am working with large Photoshop files and find myself jumping into Illustrator, InDesign and Bridge.

  5. Dave replied:

    Now that I think about it. The best way to see if more RAM will help your system out is to open up activity monitor. Click on the System Memory tab. If it’s 75% or more red and yellow you will absolutely benefit from more RAM.

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