April 19, 2016 at 1:41PM

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Laptop for editing!

Hello people!

I am thinking of buying some new gear for editing,but I don't know which brands I should be looking for.
I am looking for a laptop because I am a lot on the road,something with good quality and for a good price.

I am shooting with a Panasonic GH4 and I would like to edit 4k video.I heard that the Mackbooks Pro are the best pick,but I am not sure if that is true...

Please advise me pro filmmakers:)
Thanks!

26 Comments

I know it must be me but I can't fathom the idea of editing 4k video on a laptop.

Why not edit on a desktop when you are back from your trip?

April 19, 2016 at 2:12PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2855

Because I am all year traveling and I am not that long back home:(

April 19, 2016 at 3:02PM

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Yeah definitely check out the current generation for macbook pro with fcx on it that always works wonders for me, either that or get a high end gaming laptop, those are built to handle the payload and usually have video cards built in, but i would definitely suggest the first over the second purely because you need a pretty spec'd out laptop for video editing and that gets pricey, where as with the mac book everything that needs to be in there is in there and the program works supersmoothly and cohesively, check out Johnathan Morrison's video on the new macbook pro and editing 4k video, Ill link it below.

Video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnapaZYD2cU

April 21, 2016 at 8:35AM, Edited April 21, 8:35AM

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Carsten Weizer
Independent swiss army knife of a film maker
257

Ok,thank you:)
Would someone else also share his opinion before I make the decision (maybe)?

April 22, 2016 at 12:22PM

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buy a macbook pro through B&H, they have the cheapest prices, especially for older models. Try to get models with nvidia cards

April 22, 2016 at 5:09PM

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Really, the short answer would be not to do extensive editing on a laptop, but it's good to have a portable machine you can do some small projects on when you're away from the big machine.

I'm a PC fanboy, especially for the price... you can get twice the specs for about half the price (then just put an apple sticker on the back if you want... haha!)

Here's an example of a laptop that would do well for you. NVIDIA graphics card, plenty of HDD space, 16 gigs of RAM, and skylake i7 processor.

I have a scaled down version of this and have done very well on mobile edits:

http://amzn.to/1SVWTRB

April 22, 2016 at 5:37PM

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Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1180

Just picked this PC laptop up, i7 processor, 4K UHD resolution touch screen, 16GB Ram, 512GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 960M GPU, has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 inputs. runs $1500.

http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Zenbook-UX501VW-DS71T-Touch-Laptop/dp/B018AX3...

April 23, 2016 at 7:59AM, Edited April 23, 8:26AM

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I suppose many people who buy a 15.6 UHD screen must have eagle eyes as the pixel density would be completely wasted on me.

I suggest mere mortals like me to buy a 40-43 inch monitor on the desk to edit UHD.

April 23, 2016 at 10:02PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
2855

ADK makes amazing video editing workstations and laptops. Their prices can be a bit high, but their equipment is incredible. Also, their products are made to your requirements, so turnaround can sometimes be a few weeks. http://www.adkvideoediting.com/

April 24, 2016 at 3:54PM, Edited April 24, 3:54PM

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I've been looking for a laptop as my main editing machine for a while now. I'm soon going to go to study abroad for a year and obviously can't bring my iMac.

The MacBooks are way to expensive. I'm currently looking into the MSI GE62 which has the Nvidia GTX 970M and latest skylake i7 CPU. Plus, they (like most gaming laptops) are pretty upgradeable At least as far as more mass storage and RAM goes. That's the biggest flaw on MacBooks besides the very high price anyway. It's right what has been said before. Hardware wise you can get twice the power for half the price compared to a MacBook Pro. Or even an iMac for that matter.

April 25, 2016 at 3:51PM

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Robert Friedriszik
Videographer
31

Here's an article I found about 4k editing, I don't know how I remembered it and then finding it again though.

http://www.4kshooters.net/2015/08/10/six-powerful-4k-editing-notebooks-f...

Honestly, these days, I think picking an editing machine is just your preference. Desktops and laptops are relatively really cheap and really powerful these days. And learn how to edit with proxy files, even the most powerful desktop computers can't handle 100tb of footage in one editing file.

April 25, 2016 at 4:21PM

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You know that you can't use quicktime anymore with Windows without being vulnerable to hacks? Apple just stopped supporting Quicktime for Windows, and Adobe has no idea how to fix the situation. which makes it extremely difficult to work with anything that is wrapped in an .mov, that is prores(unfortunately the industry standard), and any dnxhd or dnxhr codecs that are partnered with quick time. And of course Apple's advice, buy a mac.

April 25, 2016 at 6:15PM

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Isn't it only the web plugin that causes problems?

Josef Weisleitner

April 26, 2016 at 2:35AM

Ok,you guys recommend a gaming laptop over a mac,right?

Which one would you guys pick (or at least top 5 laptops...)?

I would like to narrow the list.
I am not an expert,so please help me once again:)

April 25, 2016 at 8:06PM

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we got a 16GB Lenovo Y700 gaming laptop with 6700K for around 1K -- eats 1080P for breakfast using Premiere (way better than my loaded 2013 Macbook Pro) -- but its heavy and screen quality is meh. And the trackpad is a joke compared to the Macbook.

April 25, 2016 at 8:11PM

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The LazyCat
CEO
78

Software will make a big difference, and FCP X is faster, certainly for export, than Premiere. Either way, you'll probably want at least the option of working with proxies, and FCP X currently has a really easy workflow for that: automatic proxy creation on import, switchable proxy/native during editing. Premiere will have that in the next release, but doesn't yet.

Anyway, real world test: I've got a MacBook Pro 13" Late 2012 here (2.5GHz i5, Intel HD 4000) and I can edit 4K footage from my G7 natively, even with color board correction applied. The viewer is set to Better Performance (i.e. half res) rather than Better Quality, but that's OK as the screen doesn't have enough pixels to show 4K at original res anyway. Playback was mostly problem-free, though it did drop frames from time to time when I jumped back to the start of a sequence or performed a few trims during playback, so if I was cutting a lot on this I'd be using proxies. Remember, this Mac is a few years old. Speed of external storage will be important too — I used the internal SSD for this test.

Bottom line: you don't necessarily need the best MacBook Pro to edit 4K, because FCP X works well with even Intel integrated graphics. Of course, as soon as you add more complex effects, I'm sure you'd appreciate a better GPU.

April 25, 2016 at 8:25PM

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I've been shopping around for a laptop for video editing, too, and Sager seems to offer the best specs for the money: http://www.sagernotebook.com

A lot of their laptops are equipped with a combination port for USB 3.1/Thunderbolt 3. USB 3.1 provides 10 Gbps throughput and Thunderbolt 3 provides 40 Gbps. throughput.

You can also configure Sager's laptops with a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD as an OS Drive. That will give you fast read/write speeds for whichever NLE software that you use.

April 25, 2016 at 9:46PM

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Glenn Bossik
Videographer
138

Just got done editing 5k footage on my 2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro. Any time i use Ppro on this thing its a constant struggle. Anytime I use FCP X I'm able to get the job done plain and simple. Its like Iain said its more so about how the software is coded than the amount of hardware you throw at it. Anyway my vote is MacBook Pro

April 26, 2016 at 3:28PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
786

Macbooks are more expensive than a similarly specced PCs however the up front cost does not equal cost of ownership. I usually update my laptop every 2 or 3 years. I never buy new, either used (less than a year old so I have the option to extend apple care, although I never do) or refurb direct from the apple store (about a 15% discount). Normally I'm buying a top-ish spec macbook for about $2200 and selling 2 years later for about $1200. So roughly a $500 a year cost of ownership (not including what I've written off against my taxes).
To be honest I've never used a PC laptop for editing so I wouldn't discount it, I just know that I have a reliable, portable editing machine, I can edit in FCPX, Premier or Avid on the road (all my jobs are one of the 3) and I can deliver pro res (which is what most of my clients require). Given that it costs me less than $10 a week I wouldn't try anything else!

April 26, 2016 at 3:53PM

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Mark Relf
Director, Editor
262

Handling 4K in real time is a strain on any laptop. But a Macbook Pro is definitely worth your while compared to any other model. Throw some extra RAM on there and you'll be fine. 16Gb should do it.

April 26, 2016 at 9:59PM

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Maury Shessel
Editor
132

Excuse me for hopping on to this ongoing post, but am also looking for a laptop to edit GH4s C4K 4096x2160 H264 .mov material, probably in a long timeline, maybe up to 2 hours. No multicam, but some CCorrection.

Been looking around and this is what seems to be the best components around today:

-Xeon processor
-GeForce Titan X or Nvidia Quadro video card
-64GB ECC RAM
-2 PCi SSD 512GB drives
-17 inch screen 3840x2160
-Thunderbolt 3
-USB 3.1
-HDMI 2
-Windows 10 pro
-Premiere pro

Any thoughts? I haven't found one that has it all. Is there a way to look for it? Checked all the vendors listed in this post.

When will the next Mac Book Pro be out? 17 display?

thanks

April 27, 2016 at 9:30AM

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Noes Grancosa
cine artist
25

I just researched this topic and found the best bang for the buck is the lenovo p50 or p70. They can be configured to have a xeon processor which could even process CGI graphics for under 2000 with HD screen. For 500 more, MSI has a xeon laptop as well but reviews show that it has a tendency to run hot. Lastly check out the HP Zbook Studio G3. Boxxtech actually has an external dual xeon external renderPRO device that should also be looked at handle your rendering and export needs.

April 27, 2016 at 2:07PM

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If you go full on the Lenovo, it arrives to almost $5K, but it actually combines everything I mentioned on the prior list except USB 3.1 and HDMI 2.

Processor
Intel Xeon E3-1505M v5 Processor (8MB Cache, up to 3.70GHz)
Operating System
Windows 10 Pro 64
Display
17.3 4K(3840x2160) IPS Non-Touch
Memory
64GB(16x4) DDR4 2133MHz ECC SoDIMM
Graphic Card
NVIDIA Quadro M5000M 8GB
Solid State Drive
512GB SSD PCIe-NVMe

Couldn't get rid of the optical drive though, and if it comes with one, I wonder if you can get a 2nd SSD drive in there...

Noes Grancosa

April 28, 2016 at 4:22PM, Edited April 28, 4:22PM

I've been editing GH4 4K footage on my Macbook Pro for years without any performance issues. I use FCPX, edit everything in proxy, and most importantly I make sure to switch the project to 1080p while I'm working on it. Once it's done I just switch it back to 4K and export.

April 28, 2016 at 1:46AM

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Don't you find surprises in the image when you switch back to 4K? Actually, can you see the full 4K image in the MBP?

Noes Grancosa

April 28, 2016 at 4:10PM

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