Yesterday's blog took you through our decision making process. In the end, it didn't matter a ton. We needed something mobile as well, so we bought us a MacBook Pro. We had an aging one and thought "why not see what all these dongles are about". So, on Black Friday, we ventured to the local Apple Store and bought a 15" 3.1 GHz i7 w/ a 1TB SSD, and 16 GB of RAM.
So I've been wondering how the Mac Pro we bought last year, and the MacBook Pro we just picked up would work out in a face off. SO, I put together a very un-scientific test. I picked a recent project. Rendered it on my Mac Pro, then rendered it on my MacBook Pro and pointed a camera at it to record the amount of time it took.
This is a recent project I'm working on for a client. It's 5:37 in length, and it's got a great mix of assets. We only shot one of the 3 interviews, the client provided the other two. So it's a mix of FS5 4k footage (native file), A7s II 4k Footage (transcoded to MP4), and 5d Mark III 1080 footage (native file). It has still images in GIF, JPEG and TIFF. Some of the footage has Lumetri Grading on it, some of the stills have Red Giant Universe Plug-ins on them, some Premiere transitions, some Film Impact transitions, there's a WAV VO and a MP3 temp music bed. There are some stock video comps in MP4. Oh, and there's a linked After Effects comp or two, also with effects applied. It's just a crazy mix of stuff and I thought it'd be a decent test.
So I was trying to figure out an even way to do this. I edit off a 48 TB G-Technology Studio XL RAID. It connects via thunderbolt. So one at a time, I restarted the Mac Pro and the MacBook Pro and had only Premiere running. I connected directly into the Mac Pro and via a USB-C > Thunderbolt adapter on the MacBook Pro. Like I said... this is unscientific. I'm sure I could have adjusted things to make everything perfect but I wanted a real world scenario where I'm working and rendering. Both computers exported to the same H264 2 pass VBR file.
First up, the Mac Pro. It took 20 minutes and 55 seconds to export the video to the full 1.06 GB MP4. About what I anticipated as I've rendered that file a bunch of times throughout the project. No pre-rendering anything, just fired through it. I was surprised by the MacBook Pro's results though. The same file took more than twice as long, clocking in at 45 minutes and 39 seconds to render the file.
I don't know. I'm not a tech person, I just wanted to get a feel for how things would match up. It wasn't as even as I thought it would be considering the technology in the Pro is 4 years behind the technology in the MBP. Did it make me want to rush out and return the laptop? Of course not, it serves a certain purpose in our workflow. But I will dive into settings a little more to see what I may have missed that wasn't even. If they end up being 100% even, it makes me feel even better about the decision we made last year.