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  • Apple macbook pro 2020

    Posted by Pauline Richard on July 24, 2020 at 5:30 pm

    Hi everyone,

    French film editor, and first time poster here…
    I hope you will forgive any mistakes or confusions in my post.

    I am in dire need of advice after reading multiple threads on dysfunctional OS X / Catalina issues with editing or post-production systems, so here goes :

    I am currently looking to replace my T-model Ford (2011) of a laptop with a new model, and am interested in a 16″ Macbook Pro.

    This computer would not be my main workhorse since most of my editing is hosted by different studios or facilities but I will need it as a optional work station when away (or on lockdown…).
    I work on TV documentaries and short web series mostly, no 3D, no VR, mostly HD resolution, and very basic graphic design.

    I need a laptop that would run smoothly with an Adobe Creative suite (doesn’t even have to be the latest version, either, I would be fine with a 2018 CC) and Avid Media Composer (again : would be fine running a v.8.x licence).

    Is anyone able to provide some feedback on the latest macbook pro models ? Considering the price tag on this equipment, I would like to know whether boosting the graphics performance or the memory is really necessary or if the “base model” with its Radeon 5300 is sufficient, what about the memory , and so on…

    Also, I read that some users have been really uncomfortable with Catalina, and resorted to downgrading to Mojave, I am not opposed to investing in a refurbished computer, but am really looking for some sound advice from recent users.

    Would anyone be kind enough to help ?

    Best wishes from far away


    Dennis Dean replied 3 years, 7 months ago 6 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Robert Withers

    July 25, 2020 at 2:25 am

    Hi Pauline,
    Can’t comment on recent MacBook Pros but I’ve been using a 2019 iMac with Catalina. I wanted to downgrade to Mojave but found I couldn’t with this machine because the hardware is tuned to run only with Catalina. Maybe you could with a 2018 machine.
    This Catalina runs Adobe Premiere Pro 2019 just fine. I wanted to avoid Adobe 2020 but learned that Adobe only “supports” the previous two years of the software (that is, they won’t answer questions about older versions) so Adobe would have to be updated at least once a year if you want them to answer any questions.
    I’ve heard that AMC just published a version that runs on Catalina but don’t know anything about that.
    People tell me that you need the most powerful and modern graphics card to run DaVinci Resolve but I think you don’t want to do that.
    That’s all I know about Catalina and Adobe.

    Robert Withers

    Independent/personal/avant-garde cinema, New York City

    Currently experimenting with iMac 2019, Catalina
    3.6 MHz 8-Core Intel Core i9
    16 GB Memory
    GPU Radeon Pro 575X (4 GB)

  • Pauline Richard

    July 25, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Hi Robert,

    thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I will keep doing my research on laptops, but the info you provided is already helping. ☺

    All the best,


  • John Rofrano

    July 26, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    My son (who is a graphics designer and videographer) just purchased a new 16″ MacBook Pro 2.3GHz 8-Core Processor, 1TB Storage, AMD Radeon Pro 5500M and it is a beast! (I am jealous) The difference between the base model and this model is only $400. For that you get a 8-Core i9 instead of 6-Core i7, the AMD Radeon Pro 5500M instead of the 5300M, and 1TB SSD instead of 512TB.

    Those upgrades are will worth $400 IMHO. I would not buy the base model. Remember, there are no upgrades. What you buy today has to last until you buy a new one. As a professional who is going to make money with your Mac, I feel the $400 is good investment because you will keep the computer longer because the 8-Core i9 is the latest technology as opposed to the Core i7 architecture which has been around since 2008.

    Both my son and I use Final Cut Pro X and he is editing 4K like butter on that MacBook Pro. Photoshop runs really well (he mostly uses Photoshop and Illustrator from Adobe). I know Adobe Premiere doesn’t run as well as Apple’s FCP X on the Mac but if Adobe Creative Suite can’t run smoothly on an 8-Core i9 maybe it’s time to switch to something better. ? lol

    As for Catalina, I wouldn’t be concerned if you are using the latest software. It’s only a problem for people who want to run older 32-bit applications because Catalina dropped 32-bit support. So you may not be able to use an older version of Adobe if it’s 32-bit. That’ something to think about.


  • Eric Santiago

    July 28, 2020 at 6:49 pm

    Great reply John, well put.
    Laptops are generally “get the best you can” type purchases.
    Too many hours spent on researching over $500 differences.
    I am still using 2010 with High Sierra (home) and only due to the 32bit app issues.
    Most of our 2013/2019 are all running Catalina (day job) and honestly, just keep up the updates, and you’re fine.
    One exception, a 2013 D700 is still on High Sierra due to Avid MC/Pro Tools.
    Not scared to update just plain lazy 🙂

  • John Rofrano

    July 30, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    I would also definitely shop for a sale. I just got an email this morning that Micro Center has the Apple MacBook Pro 16” Laptop, Intel Core® i9 2.3GHz Processor, 1TB SSD MSRP $2799.99 USD for $2479.99. That’s a $320 savings. That brings the $400 difference down to $80. It’s a no brainer. Don’t know of there is a Micro Center near you (it’s an in store only sale) but look for a sale. They are out there.


  • Pauline Richard

    July 30, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    Hi John and Eric,

    thank you for your input. The “most bang for your buck” logic I absolutely get were it not for a secondary computer. In this case, it is not so much a matter of finances but of stability software-wise, for me. I have had too many lousy experiences (including with pro facilities) with people jumping on the latest updates and things going haywire and impeding efficiency for a while.

    Also : I do not work on Final Cut X (nothing against it personally, it just isn’t used in my neck of the woods… So far, every post-production facility , network or production company I have worked with in the last 20 years runs either Premiere or mostly Media Composer. Not to say it won’t change, but it seems quite the niche among film editors here). As you can imagine many 32 bits apps are still being used and since my laptop is is going to be a “just in case I need to cut something”- type of equipment, what I need is a stable OS, no surprise and a decent performance for personal editing when I am not “in house”.
    Basically, I don’t feel like investing in a Ferrari when all I need is a good Sedan (does it make sense ?).

    With regards to the sales, John : thank you so much for sharing the information. Like I mentioned in my first post, I am in France, so unfortunately no Micro Center near me, and much higher prices all around. But I did manage to find what I hope will be a decent option for my needs (late 2018 refurbished high end model, I will try it out and see what’s what…).
    Coming from a 2011 macbook pro (still running very well on Lion, I might add), I’m pretty sure it will already be a big change !

    Anyways, fingers crossed, and many thanks to you all for your help and information,
    best wishes from the other side of the Atlantic, and keep safe !


  • John Rofrano

    July 30, 2020 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Pauline,

    Oh, I totally get it. My main computer is a 2010 Mac Pro, 12-Core, 24GB memory, 1TB SSD, Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7950 Mac Edition graphics card and it is still going strong. I have no plans of upgrading any time soon (I just added a USB 3.1 Gen 2 card for external USB-C storage). It gets the job done for me.

    My current MacBook Pro is a 2018, 6-Core i7, 32GB memory, 1TB SSD and it rocks! If you can get a refurbished 2018 MacBook Pro I’m sure you will be more than happy with the performance.

    Good Luck and Stay Safe!


  • Philip Owens

    September 1, 2020 at 5:10 am

    Can I refer you to my post on the Avid Media Composer forum? I just bought a maxed out 16″ MBP with Catalina, and while Premiere runs fabulously on it, Avid is a total nightmare. Be warned. I may have to keep my old system around to continue to use Media Composer.

  • Dennis Dean

    October 12, 2020 at 8:28 pm

    Pauline – I just read your post about purchasing a 16″ MacBook Pro and Robert Withers reply about using a 2019 iMac. Did you purchase the MacBook Pro – what have you found – or did you purchase an iMac – and what have you found. I’m looking for insight into how an iMac (Not the iMac pro) runs Catalina and Adobe Creative Suite – especially Premiere Pro.



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