Video Production on Subpar Machine

Hey all. I have a question. My current Macbook Pro is the early 2017 non-touchbar (MacBook Escape). I am currently a pastor at a small church in Illinois. The current Covid-19 crisis has caused me to have to do MUCH more video work than I was doing before this. I’ve done a lot of it in other places were have lived but not here till now. I am getting more and more spinning rainbow wheels and lots of fan noise and just strange things going on with this machine. Because of the reality we now face, I believe that once we can come back together in social situations I will have to continue to produce video content in some form. My question to you today is this: Is my machine adequate or should I seek to sell it off and replace with something more powerful? What say you? I’m currently live streaming some via Facebook as well as doing some prerecorded video messages and then editing music and other video parts into them. I use iMovie because it’s what I have right now. So what help or advice can you give me? Thanks so much. I’ve been absent here for awhile just due to life. Have a good one and stay healthy.

I think @Wolfie’s suggestions are good. Before going too deep into possible repair, you might want to create a new user on that machine and log into that user rather than your normal account. See what the performance is at that point.

Also, how’s your hard drive space looking?

You might consider “upgrading” your MacBook Escape to an iPad Pro and use the Luma Fusion app for your video editing/production. Don’t laugh - this is a serious proposal.

My 15-y/o granddaughter encountered a dilemma similar to yours when she reached the limits of iMovie on her iPhone 10 when producing Instagram and YouTube videos. She had become surprisingly accomplished as a video editor and needed a platform to work with several video and audio tracks simultaneously. Some research revealed that the iPad Pro and Luma Fusion are capable of professional-level video processing, to the extent that even some professional photographers and videographers prefer this platform over a Mac- or Windows-based platform. See links below.

Her parents and I bought her a new camera and a new iPad Pro. She quickly mastered the basics of Luma Fusion and never looked back. She now says that she would never consider using a laptop to produce videos. The fast, responsive performance of Luma Fusion and the portability of the iPad are big advantages.

The iPad Pro also works quite well for Zoom or other video conferencing apps.


How to EDIT VIDEO on an IPAD pro :: Lumafusion game changer:

iPad Pro Video Editing - LumaFusion Review:

Link to Luma Fusion:

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@anon41602260 Hard drive is looking a little scant at 14.5 GB free out of 256…
@Arthur I actually have the 11 inch iPad Pro from 2018. I also downloaded Luma Fusion a few weeks ago but have not played around with it very much. This all happened pretty fast and I had to get up and running quickly.

Good suggestion. I should run CleanMyMac today. My battery is only at about 70 percent of the factory capacity. I have been running Fruit Juice to monitor but it’s connected to a dock a lot of the time that charges it and connects to an external monitor.

The 2018 iPad Pro is more than adequate; that’s what my granddaughter uses. There is no real advantage to the 2020 model for your purposes.

It is possible to connect a small portable SSD to the iPad Pro for extra storage and archive.

I would try to free up as much disk space as you can, or use external storage like some of the other commenters suggested. Also, what resolution videos are you editing? 1080p should be a walk in the park, but 4K might be a bit much for your laptop right now.

I used to teach and record all my lectures, placing them on a website for my students. It was multicam (usually 2 but sometimes 3) that I had to edit together and export at reduced frame rate to keep the files as small as I could and still have them 100% useful.

I did this on a late 2011 MacBook Pro with a hard disk drive that had a lower Geekbench score than your computer. I actually started doing this on a 2008 MacBook. I was able to import, edit, then render two hours of lecture in a little more than two hours of time, most of which I could be doing other tasks.

II did switch from iMovie to Final Cut for the multicam support but it also has features that greatly speed things up that were missing from iMovie at the time that may have made it into later versions (FCP and iMovie seem to share lots of DNA as it were). I would import the media as soon as it was available (done in the background) rather than waiting for the end of class editing session. Then for editing the big “trick” was to use Proxy Media. You do the editing on smaller, lower quality files for greater performance but the rendering at the end uses the original media, full quality. Final Cut combined with Compressor gives fine control of the export that I needed to get the file size down.

I used the 13" with the touchbar and highest upgrade on the processor for video editing in Final Cut for two years. It was fine, I had to make a lot of videos as I teach design and communication students. 4K was a bit of a challenge, but it was more than possible. It did get hot but that’s nothing to worry about, my new 16" also gets hot when editing video without an eGPU.

For streaming in 1080p or less, I don’t think it is necessary to upgrade.

The only way to be sure if it meets your needs is to try it.

Do you have an iPad Pro? This YouTuber I like just posted a video of him trying to edit videos on an iPad Pro and he basically says it surprised him that it worked better than some MBPs he’s used in the past.

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