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Macbook Advice (Read 816 times)

MischaHY

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Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 12:56:03 pm
I'm looking to replace my personal laptop seeing as I'm now working on it considerably more than in the past. I've had a Macbook Air since 2012 and the poor sod is still struggling along somehow but definitely not meeting requirements anymore.

I'm looking at replacing it with another Mac but not sure where to draw the line in terms of spec. I'm mainly writing/spreadsheets/video calls whilst working but also keen to have something that will edit video reasonably well. My main concern is that it needs to last a good few years without becoming a useless brick in terms of any tasks that require more than a tiny amount of processing power - my MBA basically hasn't been capable of doing anything with video since 2017 and can't even play/stream 4k footage smoothly. It also can't output to more than one external display which is something I would want from a future machine.

Where is the sensible line in terms of screen size, future proofing and capability vs getting into silly money? Instinct says 14" Pro is the sweet spot but hard to say if it's 'new toy' psyche. I'd obviously rather spend less and go on more trips   :boohoo:

Cheers  :)

slab_happy

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#1 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 01:19:05 pm
Can't comment re: the specs you need for video editing, but I do highly rec looking at refurbs as a way to make the money less silly; they're comprehensively tested and tidied up, so you're saving a large chunk of money just by buying something which is not 100% fresh out of its original packaging:

https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/refurbished/mac

MischaHY

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#2 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 01:23:15 pm
Can't comment re: the specs you need for video editing, but I do highly rec looking at refurbs as a way to make the money less silly; they're comprehensively tested and tidied up, so you're saving a large chunk of money just by buying something which is not 100% fresh out of its original packaging:

https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/refurbished/mac

Yes sorry forgot to mention I'll 100% be buying a refurb. One year old already saves 25% - no brainer!

cheque

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#3 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 01:27:47 pm
Expend on what level of video editing you want to do. If itís along the lines of chopping phone footage down to make a YouTube clip then I imagine an Air will be fine, if itís more like making a feature film from Terabytes of 4k footage youíll probably need a Pro. My iMac is a 2012 though (admittedly the top spec Max you could buy at the time- it has 32GB of RAM) and I did the latter on it twice so you probably donít need to spend as much as you think.

Whatever you model you get, get a refurbed one with the most RAM available.

MischaHY

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#4 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 01:42:49 pm
Expend on what level of video editing you want to do. If itís along the lines of chopping phone footage down to make a YouTube clip then I imagine an Air will be fine, if itís more like making a feature film from Terabytes of 4k footage youíll probably need a Pro. My iMac is a 2012 though (admittedly the top spec Max you could buy at the time- it has 32GB of RAM) and I did the latter on it twice so you probably donít need to spend as much as you think.

Whatever you model you get, get a refurbed one with the most RAM available.

Mainly a combination of 4k drone footage and 4k phone footage from alpine routes, boulders etc. Definitely not professional application but also would rather avoid the situation I had with the current laptop whereby it just gave up on being able to do anything remotely process heavy but stayed a perfectly acceptable workhorse in every other sense which meant I felt very unwilling to give it up for the sake of hobby videos etc.

I also should be able to scrape back a third of the cost per year from the Finanzamt so am willing to spend slightly more with that in mind. I would probably just go for a 13" M1 Pro but the screen size, memory and external output all don't really tick the boxes. I also work in the van and plan to do that more over the coming year so want to have a screen size which is at least acceptable for that situation as well.

cheque

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#5 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 04:55:20 pm
Thereís definitely a lot to be said for getting the most powerful one you can afford because it will do what you want it to for longer. Itís what Iíve always done. Mine was very expensive in June 2013 but, despite not being able to run the latest versions of the OS and the apps I use (and looking absolutely rubbish on paper compared to every current Mac- it doesnít even have an SSD!), still works for what I need it to at the moment almost ten years on.

Johnny Brown

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#6 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 06:07:08 pm
What I've done for the last two is to keep an eye on the refurbished page on apple uk, and buy the top spec of the previous generation once the latest generation is shipping. The refurbs are indistinguishable from new and probably more thoroughly tested.

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#7 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 06:33:27 pm
The new Apple silicon macs with M1 (and now M2) processors are a significant improvement over the intel versions. Iíd say go for a refurbished 14Ē M1 MacBook Pro.
Iím a freelance Digital Operator and Photographerís Assistant, the launch of the M1 MacBooks has been one of the greatest leaps forward in the gear we use on-set in the last 10+ years.

jwi

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#8 Re: Macbook Advice
February 04, 2023, 08:39:41 pm
+1 to what UnkArl is saying. Get something with an M1 chip, they are amazing.

MischaHY

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#9 Re: Macbook Advice
February 05, 2023, 01:41:43 pm
The new Apple silicon macs with M1 (and now M2) processors are a significant improvement over the intel versions. Iíd say go for a refurbished 14Ē M1 MacBook Pro.
Iím a freelance Digital Operator and Photographerís Assistant, the launch of the M1 MacBooks has been one of the greatest leaps forward in the gear we use on-set in the last 10+ years.

Thanks, that's where my suspicions landed so sounds like it's the right direction. 14" M1 with 512gb is ~1700Ä refurbed from Apple so close to the upper end of budget but still ok. It's way less bother if (as I suspect) I can claim most of the cost back from tax but I still haven't quite figured out how that works over here.

Looking forward to being able to get through a few hours of work without the thing randomly crashing on me...! My MBA developed a nightmarish habit this year of spontaneously dying mid-work (somehow streaming films or similar is always fine) and a battery replacement and several hard resets haven't helped in the slightest.

 

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