How Well Does Final Cut Pro X Work on the Latest 2015 12-inch MacBook?

If you are in the market for a new laptop, but getting the latest Macbook Pro is out of your budget range, you also may consider some of the latest variations of the 12-inch Retina MacBook as an alternative option. Many people will argue whether this entry-level notebook is suitable for a professional work mainly due to the hardware limitations it comes with, especially when you put it side-by-side to some of the advanced high-end models. This is definitely true, yet to a certain degree.

If you are planning to use an Apple MacBook only for editing you may be interesting to see the results from the test Matthew Pearce conducted while using the latest 12-inch MacBook with Retina display. He actually tests his favourite FCP X on the notebook and how it performs with regards to editing and rendering of both 1080p and 4K footage.

Besides the fancy look, the latest MacBook is far from impressive in terms of specs, at least on paper. This entry-level model used in the video comes up with a 1.1GHz processor, 8GB of RAM, 256 SDD and an Intel HD Graphics 5300. The resolution of 2304 x 1440px for a 12-inch display definitely attracts attention though. In terms of basic editing tasks, the notebook handles well both 1080p and 4K resolutions. In this case, the 12″Retina Macbook did a quite decent job without dropping any frames during the test.

In terms of export capabilities, the notebook managed to render a three-minute HD clip with more than sixty cuts on the timeline for less than a 1.30min using H.264 compression. Furthermore, the computer was able to render a 30 sec 4K 3D tilting for about four minutes which is still a decent result given the fact that Macbook has a 1.1 GHz processor and only 8 GB of RAM.  So if you are looking for a portable and well-designed machine that will provide decent editing performance you still have this model as an option.


On the other hand, there is a serious reason why the 15″ MacBook Pro costs double the price of a regular MacBook, but if you are not planning to edit or colour grade some system intensive media files, it’s safe to assume that the latest MacBook 2015 will be more than enough for your day-to-day editing workflow.

Plus, it’s the first Mac available in gold and space gray finishes, and it has a trackpad with a new feature called Force Touch. It’s not a machine optimized for performing power-intensive tasks, so forget about the native editing of a format different than any of the ProRes flavours.

Of course, I would definitely consider the bigger display options of the Macbook Air lineup as personally for me the screen real estate the 12-inch display provides is definitely way beyond my personal requirements and preferences. But if you a really on a tight budget and you want to get a Mac mainly for basic editing tasks then the latest Retina MacBook 2015 won’t let you down.

B&H Link: 12-inch MacBook (Early 2015, Space Gray) – $1289

[source: Matthew Pearce]

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