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i7 Macbook pro for live performance and installation?

May 10 2010 | 5:27 am

Post summary after relizing this is a long post:
Are there existing benchmarks for Jitter users on the new macbook pro i7? Recount experience with new one. What kind of bottlenecks might I expect doing some live performance and installation work?

Actual post:
I’m saving up for one of the new macbook pros (2.6 i7, 8gb, 17").
I do live performance sometimes using a mixer I wrote in Jitter, originally based on Andrew Benson’s fantastic tutorial. But I’ve been running this on my old regular macbook, a 2.2ghz core duo one.

I’m certain I’m going to see ridiculous improvements performance wise (my current computer sucks), but what I’m concerned about are future bottlenecks.
I’m currently working on an openCV fueled addition to my video mixer in anticipation of some shows I’ll be doing at the end of the summer. All the video processing is done in openGL after leaving a jit.qt.grab or object.

I’m also working on an installation piece which will require multiple video ins and video outs. Right now I’m planning this to involve a few different computers and some data sharing via UDP, but another solution could be multiplexing the video signals for firewire input or whatever. There’s a bunch of possibilities, but yeah:

Keeping in mind my using Jitter 90% of the time (OF, Processing, non proc JOGL stuff otherwise), and a focus on live performance and interactive (usually video) installation type work, is the new macbook worth the three-ish grand it’s asking? Are there benchmarks recorded or situations encountered by other Jitter users with the new i7s?

On the extreme end:
Should I consider a powerful non-mac laptop (eg Alienware) and switch to Windows? Or even bite the bullet and give up on lugging my workspace around in a backpack (i.e. desktop)?
Finally, has the change in inputs available to the macbook pro line potentially crippled their flexibility? I love coding in the cocoa environment and with quicktime, and I love the flexibility that macs offer unix wise, but the closed philosophy is causing some concerns for me re: their design direction…

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