Yesterday I took a stab at editing the show using my laptop. The laptop in question is the new 2012 MacBook Pro…2.3Ghz i7, 8GB of RAM, matte screen. I took the external drive with the episode and connected it via Firewire 800 (glad I got the non-retina…I need that connector). I ordered a Thunderbolt to DVI/HDMI adapter from monoprice.com for a very reasonable $14 so that I could connect it to one of my Dell 24″ monitors. Now, the laptop on the desk is a little low, and I’d like to get it semi close to the level of my Dell that I will be connecting it to, but I didn’t get a laptop stand…not for this test. I’m too cheap…actually, too busy to go buy one. So I used a box.
So as you can see, I have the laptop on the left, complete with project window, bins and mixer. The large Dell has the Composer and timeline window. Nothing feeding my broadcast monitor yet. I’m saving up for the AJA IOXT…or at least the AJA T-TAP. Although of those only the IO XT has dual Thunderbolt, so I could connect the IO box and external monitor. The T-TAP has one Thunderbolt port, so it’d be a choice of external monitor, or second computer monitor. Not both….unless I shelled out for an Apple Display. Not gonna happen.
So I set out to edit, and edit I did.
The new computer was definitely faster than my old one…a 2008 Octo-Core 3.0Ghz Mac Pro with 16GB of RAM. It ran circles around it. It was able to keep up with my keystrokes, where the MacPro lagged behind a few keystrokes. It scrubbed better, less skippy. Less beach balls. Faster renders. It was great.
You see, I have a script I need to follow, and I didn’t want to print it out and waste paper. I like to look at it on the computer. But because I was editing with my computer, I could just lean over an look at the script. I had to hide the Avid interface, or click away from it…read…then go back. Distracting to say the least. And I still needed to check email, look at show notes contained in emails, tweet, and iChat with the wife. More than a few people on Twitter suggested that I get an iPad for this. But guys, I just shelled out $2200 for a new laptop, I’m not about to shell out $500 more for an iPad. Not just for reading the script. The screen was small. I’m used to two 24″ Dells to look at. Suddenly I had a 15″ and a 24″. It might have been better to have the second monitor to be smaller too. I might look into that.
So I put up with it for the day, but that was it. I switched back to the tower the next day…just so I could have my script at my ready. But I miss my laptop already as the edit station. It was solid. A pretty good replacement for my tower, at least for running Avid Symphony and FCP. I haven’t tackled Premiere with it yet. I did tackle FCP with it today, rendering out an online I am working on at the same time. The renders were much faster, and I didn’t get any General Errors like I did with the Tower. The laptop was better.
I might have to print out the script. Because I under such a crunch, any speed boost would help.