Recently Apple released Macbook Pro’s with a new chipset, the i7 and the i5. I recently purchased a 17” inch i7 Macbook Pro, and immediately was amazed at how much faster this i7 renders in comparison to my old Intel Core Duo 2.16Ghz. Dare I say it felt nearly twice as fast. Rendering out HDCAM from Final Cut Pro took nearly 5min on the old Core Duo. On the new i7 It was completed in under 2 mins.

Recently Apple released Macbook Pro’s with a new chipset, the i7 and the i5. I recently purchased a 17″ inch i7 Macbook Pro, and immediately was amazed at how much faster this i7 renders in comparison to my old Intel Core Duo 2.16Ghz. Dare I say it felt nearly twice as fast. Rendering out HDCAM from Final Cut Pro took nearly 5min on the old Core Duo. On the new i7 It was completed in under 2 mins.

Well this got my brain churning how much faster is my new laptop over the i5, was it worth the extra money on the upgrade? Before I get into details, lets talk about the machines. First of all the machines are not equally set up, my I7 has upgraded hard drive of 7200rpm over the 5400rpm.

Lets take a look:

Mac Book Pro 15″

  • * Intel Core i5
  • * 500GB 5400rpm hard drive
  • * 4 gigs of ram
  • * NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 256 MB

 

MacBook Pro 17″ 

  • * Intel Core i7
  • * 500GB 7200rpm hard drive
  • * 4 gigs of ram
  • * NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M with 512 MB

As you can see from the specs above the 17’ seems to have an edge, but how much faster is it in real world scenarios? Apple Claims speeds ups to 1.5 times faster than the previous generation Macbook Pro.

Using Compressor with the same XDCAM footage the i7 was able to compress out a QuickTime file in just under a minute. While the i5 was able to complete the same task in about a minute and a half.

It seems that the i7 is faster at rendering, and in compressing footage. However to give it a real run for its money, and really blow my mind I booted both laptops into 64bit mode to take advantage of Adobe CS5 native 64bit applications. The workflow was to use Adobe CS5, going from Premier Pro to After Effects, then to Media Encoder to compress to a Flash file. Not only was the i7 faster it completed the job 40% faster, making my old Core Duo seem like an outdated Pentium 3.

Even when working on smaller projects such as creating tittles or small templates in Motion. The i7 even felt snapper to use. Now I am aware that this all could be due to the faster hard drive and larger graphics cards in the 17’, but for shear processing power the i7 clearly has an advantage.

The reason why these new laptops can chew through footage so easily is because of the “Turbo” inside. this allows the chipset to over clock causing it to jump to 3.33ghz, giving Final Cut Pro extra performance even when dealing with processor intensives codecs such HDV or RED. This can put a smile on your face especially when working on a large amount of dallies. Now If Apple can figure out how to throw in a KO4 in there I will be insanely happy.

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