paul skidmore andparabolos

cinematic storytelling, strategy, and advice

can i run FCP on the new MacBook Air?

well, the first question is, why would you want to? but i’ll answer that in a minute.

the initial answer is, looks that way. however, you will have limited use of Motion and Color will be unusable. the new Air uses the same graphics setup as the current 13″ MacBook. this information comes courtesy of this discussion over on the Apple user forums.

so for basic editing, looks like you’re a go, though you’ll probably be limited to a few real-time previews and effects. in other words, your timeline rendering indicator will red-line more often than not.

for DVDs, DVD Studio Pro will run, but there’s no optical drive. to burn (or rip/play/test), you’ll obviously have to borrow a friend’s beefier Mac, or invest in an external burner, which along with the external drive you’ll likely need for media storage is pushing you into Mac Mini/iMac/15-inch MBP territory.

the only people for whom this is a valid question would be students. even with the new price point, you’re going to be better off getting a stripped down 15-inch MacBook Pro, or a Mac Mini or 21-inch iMac for your editing (then saving those tips and birthday/Xmas money for an iPad). if you simply can’t afford the 15-inch MBP, much less the Mac Mini/iMac + iPad setup, then, yes it seems as though FCP will run on the new Airs.

for anyone else, iMac or Mac Pro for FCP. Mac Mini if you’re broke (me) and MBP if you MUST have the extreme portability (consider the portability of an iMac). iPad for mobility.

i’ve said often since touching my iPad for the first time, “i’ll never buy another laptop.” though my gearlust be aroused, I just don’t have need for a laptop most of the time any more, and when I do, i can connect via LogMeIn on my iPad.

now, a bigger, HD iPad? that, i would use. can’t wait till spring…


skidmore | administrator

believer. follower. filmmaker.

  • share this:
1 comment
  • new 13″ MBP can run full FCP Suite, iPad 2 may have Thunderbolt? | 11.02.23

    […] features Intel’s newest Sandy Bridge processors and a snappy new graphics card. ditching the 320m means the Final Cut Suite comes in full to the 13″, if you like tiny tiny workspaces for […]

what do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.