Apple announces Final Cut Studio 5.1 now shipping; First Universal version runs up to 2.5x faster

Apple is now shipping the first Universal version of its Final Cut Studio video production suite that delivers up to 2.5x the performance when running on a MacBook Pro* notebook computer. Final Cut Studio features state-of-the-art tools that complement Final Cut Pro 5 including Soundtrack Pro, a revolutionary audio editing and sound design application that makes video projects sound as good as they look; Motion 2, the world’s first real-time motion graphics application with GPU accelerated 32-bit float rendering; and DVD Studio Pro 4 for professional DVD authoring.

“Final Cut Studio continues to set the standard in the new era of HD production,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing in the press release. “Now with the incredible performance of Final Cut Studio on a MacBook Pro, customers can work more efficiently wherever they are.”

In February, Apple released Logic Pro 7.2 music creation and audio production software, the first of the company’s pro applications to ship Universal versions which run on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. Logic Pro 7.2 supports up to 4.5x the effect plug-ins and up to 2x the software instruments per session** on the MacBook Pro along with integrated support for the Apogee Ensemble FireWire interface and compatibility with Pro Tools HD 7 DAE.

Aperture 1.1, the first Universal version of the revolutionary all-in-one post production tool for photographers featuring greatly improved RAW quality and impressive performance gains on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs, will ship in April.

The Universal version of Final Cut Studio is available now through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US). Registered Final Cut Studio customers can crossgrade to the Universal version for $49 (US). Existing customers of the standalone versions of Final Cut Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Motion, or DVD Studio Pro can upgrade to the Universal version of Final Cut Studio starting at just $99 (US). Full details and further information is available at

*DV and HDV rendering from the Timeline is up to twice as fast on a MacBook Pro with 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo than a 15-inch PowerBook® G4 with 1.67 GHz PowerPC. MPEG-2 encoding from DV and HDV for DVD authoring is up to 2.5x as fast on a MacBook Pro with 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo than a 15-inch PowerBook G4 with 1.67 GHz PowerPC.

**Logic 7.2 can simultaneously process up to 135 PlatinumVerb plug-ins and eight Sculpture software instruments in a single Logic session on a MacBook Pro with 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo compared to 30 maximum PlatinumVerbs and four maximum Sculptures when running on a 15-inch PowerBook G4 with 1.67 GHz PowerPC.

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Related article:
Apple’s Final Cut Studio 5.1 goes Universal; native support for both PowerPC- and Intel-based Macs – March 29, 2006


  1. All these new softwares are nice, but far more use desktops to do this tuff, than they do with laptops. What’s left of Apple’s Pro apps to be upgraded to Universal binaries?

    Apple is definitely positioning for a PowerMac rollout. Q3 announcement?

  2. Yeah, I’m gonna sell my Quad while I can get some coin for it. If the new Mac Pro (desktop, whatever it will be called) isn’t out soon, then I’ll get by with a MBP. I was worried about keeping a good PPC around for legacy software, but heck my old G4 will do for that stuff.

  3. People used to use Powermacs instead of Powerbooks because the latter were too feeble. Now that the Macbook Pro’s are on par with high end dual 2.3 Ghz G5’s it makes much more sense to edit on a portable.

  4. Everyone who’s planning on using fcp on a laptop better remember that disk throughput has a LOT to do with it’s editing speed and the laptop drives aren’t near as fast as the sata drives in the desktops, not even counting what happens if you put a 15k rpm drive in your powermac. Sure the new laptops are a huge improvement over the g4’s but I wouldn’t sell my dual 2.3g5 to edit on a mbp thinking it’s just as fast.

  5. >Bill wrote: People used to use Powermacs instead of Powerbooks because the latter were too feeble…it makes much more sense to edit on a portable.

    I wouldn’t go so far as to say “because” the latter were too feeble.

    Editing on a portable allowed for many things a desktop didn’t allow for – quick output/review of dailies, editing out in the field (the field could be a hotel room, at home or at a client’s office), etc.

    But editing on a stationary desktop bay easilly allows for much more than portable editing.

    Calibrated preview monitors
    Multiple editing monitors
    Sound-dampening/Sound booth
    Light-balanced/controlled interiors
    Multiformat I/O (SDI, Firewire, Analog, etc)
    On-set shooting/editing
    Remote Cam control
    … the list goes on and on…

    Lack of a fast laptop isn’t why editors generally choose desktops over them.

    Right tool for the right job.

    On a personal note… anxiously waiting for my MBP and FCP to get here. Less late nights spent at my office G5 editing bay and more time outside enjoying life.

  6. It’s nice to be able to do serious editing in the field on a laptop but no portable beats the power of a desktop machine with fast internal drives (or SATA array), mountains of DRAM and dual monitors for serious workspace real estate.

    Now that Final Cut for Intel is shipping we need a new MacPro desktop to run it on.

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