Apple Store

MAIN INDEX of latest speed tests







Lost data? We can help!









Adobe Creative Suite

SHOOTOUT:
MacBook 13" Core Duo
versus two other Macs
doing iMovie and iDVD stuff

Updated May 29th, 2006, with corrected 13" MacBook results
Testing done by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We chose iMovie HD and iDVD rather than Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro so that you can duplicate our tests on your system without having to invest in FCP Studio. And we expect the vast majority of MacBook 13" owners to be using iMovie and iDVD rather than Pro apps. But if you are one the few, brave souls to use FCP Studio on a 13" MacBook, this test page is still helpful since iMovie HD and iDVD use the same "underpinnings" as the Pro apps when it comes to rendering effects and encoding.

GRAPH LEGEND:
Power Mac G5 -- Apple G5/2.0GHz Power Mac with 2GB of 400MHz memory and Radeon 9600 XT with 128MB VRAM
MacBook Pro 15" -- Apple Intel MacBook Pro 15" with 2.0GHz Core Duo, 2GB of 667MHz memory and Radeon X1600 Mobility GPU with 256MB VRAM
MacBook 13" -- Apple Intel MacBook 13" with 2.0GHz Core Duo, 2GB of 667MHz memory and Intel GMA950 integrated graphics processor which, according to Apple, uses up to 80MB of system memory.


IMPORTING VIDEO SEQUENCE INTO IMOVIE
We took the 720p WildlifeHD Reel from Apple's Quicktime HD Gallery and imported it into an HD 1080i60 Movie Project. iMovie had to convert this 2 minute 21 second H.264 encoded video sequence from 960x540 to 1920x1080.

APPLY GAMMA AND SATURATION ADJUSTMENT
We took the first 9 seconds from our 2 minute 21 sec sample clip and applied the Gamma and Saturation adjustments under the Quartz Composer section of Video FX.

APPLY SOFT FOCUS
We applied the Soft Focus effect to the same 9 second clip.

EXPORTING 1920x1080
We wanted to export using the HDV 1080i60 compression but the MacBook 13" didn't recognize that Expert option. So we used DV/DVCPRO - NTSC compression for all three Macs. We set Quality to High, Scan Mode to Interlaced, Aspect Ratio to 16:9, Dimensions to 1920x1080. (Sound was set to Integer - Big Endian, 48KHz, 16 bit, Stereo.)

EXPORTING TO VIDEO IPOD
We simply chose the "Movie to iPod (320x240)" option in the Save Exported File dialog.

ENCODING VIDEO ASSETS FOR A DVD
Rather than measuring the total time to encode the DVD video/audio menus, video/audio assets, and burn the DVD, we measured just the time it took to encode the main video asset. We kept iDVD from doing any of this in background by choosing Best Quality Encoding in the preferences. And instead of actually burning a DVD, we used the "Save as Disk Image" function.



CONCLUSION
When it comes to CPU intensive apps like iMovie and iDVD, the 13" MacBook Core Duo is every bit the equal of a 15" MacBook Pro Core Duo running at the same 2GHz core clock speed -- even with a slower 5400rpm hard drive.

So if you are on a limited budget and don't mind the smaller 13" screen (1280x800) or lack of a backlit keyboard or missing ExpressCard/34 slot or the "non-aluminum" case, then MacBook might be just the ticket for you.

RELATED ARTICLES

BareFeats compares the MacBook 13" to other Macs playing 3D games and running Tiger Core Image effects.

BareFeats compares the MacBook Pro 2.16GHz to the MacBook Pro 2.0GHz.

BareFeats compares the MacBook Pro 2.0 to a PowerBook 2.0.

BareFeats compares the Intel Mac mini to the PPC Mac mini.

WHERE TO BUY A MACBOOK 13" or MACBOOK PRO

Apple Online Store -- New MacBook and MacBook Pros; New and Refurbished PowerBooks

Small Dog Electronics -- New MacBook Pros; New and Refurbished PowerBooks; They accept custom orders; Also have memory and drive upgrades.

PowerMax -- New MacBooks Pros; New and Refurbished PowerBooks

WHERE TO BUY THE DAYSTAR CPU UPGRADE FOR THE POWERBOOK

Daystar Technology -- They specialize in CPU upgrades for "orphaned" Mac systems like the iMac G4 Flat Panel and various PowerBooks.

"AlumBook" upgrades take you up to 2.0GHz upgrade.

The base price of $499 includes all parts and labor.
  PowerBook G4 15": 1.0, 1.25, 1.33 can go to 1.92 GHz
  PowerBook G4 15": 1.5 can go to 2.0 GHz
  PowerBook G4 17": 1.33 can go to 1.92 GHz
  PowerBook G4 17": 1.5 can go to to 2.0 GHz

OTHER MACBOOK and POWERBOOK PRODUCT SOURCES

FirmTek -- SATA ExpressCard and CardBus; SATA enclosures

OWC -- MacBook and PowerBook memory upgrades; hard drive upgrades

TransIntl -- MacBook and PowerBook memory and drive upgrades

Wiebetech -- SATA and FireWire drive enclosures -- some bus powered

MaxUpgrades -- MacBook and PowerBook Sleeves and Briefcases

FWDepot -- FireWire and SATA Cardbus cards; SATA ExpressCards; external FireWire and SATA drive enclosures

LaCie -- "Big Little Disk" -- dual drive notebook RAID that runs off FireWire bus power -- especially recommended for 17" MacBook Pro and PowerBooks with FireWire 800 ports.

For noise suppression, nothing beats ear covering headphones like the Bose Quiet Comfort 2. For ear "fobs," we use the Bose In-Ear Headphones when listening to our iPod -- Help support Bare Feats by ordering your Bose headphones from Sharper Image.

Has Bare Feats helped you? How about helping Bare Feats?

© 2006 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
Email , the webmaster and mad scientist