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bluetooth
Jun 5, 2009, 05:08 PM
I am looking at the Mac Book Pro 17-inch: 2.66GHz and am wondering how it handles Design Aps and Design work in general.

http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook_pro?mco=MTE3MjI

I have an external 23" Dell Wide Panel LCD Display that I am currently working on with my G4 (yep, G4 still going....but getting slow performance wise).

I do freelance design work and would love the option of a portable Mac Book Pro. My only conern is if it can handle the Apps and and if the display is large enough for design work...but I also understand that I can use my external monitor with it and am also wondering if anyone does this and how they find it? Do you also use an external keyboard and have the Mac Book Pro act as a Hub or CPU unit?

Any opinions or advice are appreciated.

Thanks so much



dukebound85
Jun 5, 2009, 05:10 PM
vs what a mac pro? thats a top of the line laptop there. you cant ask for much better. it will blow your g4 out of the water though.

HOWEVER, why not look at a mb? and upgrade in a few years. you could buy 2+ mb's over a span of a few years and keep up with current tech vs one mbp today with todays tech

i have used my mb though with a mouse, keyboard and with another screen. nice setup. i reccomend it

Blue Velvet
Jun 5, 2009, 08:37 PM
See if you can get a 7200rpm drive in there and at least 4Gb of RAM. Page swaps when you've got every CS app open including Bridge, as well as other apps can get tiresome.

I use a 2.33 17" MBP with a matte display, 3Gbs of RAM and it's sluggish at times when working with lots of files and/or large files. App switching, Safari and Finder can get bogged down sometimes while all this is going on. As an example, I work mostly for print, packaging and display with Photoshop files often in the 300-800mb range, sometimes larger, and the size of the scratch files can put additional strain on things. I think I'll upgrade this machine later this year to give it a shot in the arm until I can afford to get a new machine, and that upgrade will include matching the RAM up to 4Gb (only using 3.3Gb) and putting in a new 7200rpm drive with a clean install of everything.

I use an external keyboard, mouse and display with the MBP on a stand in spanning mode next to the external display. It's a really nice setup in terms of flexibility and display real estate. I park iTunes, Mail and other apps over on the MBP... and it's much nicer to use FW800 ports for external drives than using USB.

If you're planning on using the machine away from a desk, then personally I wouldn't bother with a MacBook if you're picky about the displays. I wasn't impressed with the display on the extra BlackBook I had, nor are they much better on the newer ones, in my opinion. Best to check them thoroughly in person at a store and see what suits you.

So, in short, the bottleneck when working on large projects seems to be stock 5400rpm drives. However, if you're doing mostly web work, perhaps this won't affect you so much.

Also bear in mind that if you're using CS2 or under on your G4 and go to install it on an Intel machine, you'll take a substantial performance hit because it will be running through Rosetta. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=ig&q=rosetta+mac&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10) CS3, CS4, Quark 7 and 8 will run natively on an Intel machine with no probs at all.

bluetooth
Jun 5, 2009, 09:44 PM
See if you can get a 7200rpm drive in there and at least 4Gb of RAM. Page swaps when you've got every CS app open including Bridge, as well as other apps can get tiresome.

I use a 2.33 17" MBP with a matte display, 3Gbs of RAM and it's sluggish at times when working with lots of files and/or large files. App switching, Safari and Finder can get bogged down sometimes while all this is going on. As an example, I work mostly for print, packaging and display with Photoshop files often in the 300-800mb range, sometimes larger, and the size of the scratch files can put additional strain on things. I think I'll upgrade this machine later this year to give it a shot in the arm until I can afford to get a new machine, and that upgrade will include matching the RAM up to 4Gb (only using 3.3Gb) and putting in a new 7200rpm drive with a clean install of everything.

I use an external keyboard, mouse and display with the MBP on a stand in spanning mode next to the external display. It's a really nice setup in terms of flexibility and display real estate. I park iTunes, Mail and other apps over on the MBP... and it's much nicer to use FW800 ports for external drives than using USB.

If you're planning on using the machine away from a desk, then personally I wouldn't bother with a MacBook if you're picky about the displays. I wasn't impressed with the display on the extra BlackBook I had, nor are they much better on the newer ones, in my opinion. Best to check them thoroughly in person at a store and see what suits you.

So, in short, the bottleneck when working on large projects seems to be stock 5400rpm drives. However, if you're doing mostly web work, perhaps this won't affect you so much.

Also bear in mind that if you're using CS2 or under on your G4 and go to install it on an Intel machine, you'll take a substantial performance hit because it will be running through Rosetta. (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=ig&q=rosetta+mac&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10) CS3, CS4, Quark 7 and 8 will run natively on an Intel machine with no probs at all.

Hey thanks for the words and info. The mbp I am looking at comes standard with 4GB RAM and a 5400rpm drive BUT you can upgrade/customize the drive to a 7200rpm for an extra $50 so by the sounds of it, you are saying it would be well worth the $50...

I do print, some web, not a lot of huge files but when you have CS3, bridge, iTunes and Safari going...it takes it's toll on my poor G4 who is peddling as fast as he can to try to keep up :p

The setup sounds nice too, with the external keyboard and display and the mbp as your hub so to speak.

This may also be a funny question, but do the mbp's give off a lot of heat? My G4 gets so hot (always has) to the point where if I have the door closed in a small room I need to open a window, that is how much heat it gives off...mind you it is 7 or 8 years old.

I am running CS3 and Quark 7 currently on my G4 so no probs there it seems. May look into upgrading to CS4 in future.

bluetooth
Jun 5, 2009, 09:56 PM
vs what a mac pro? thats a top of the line laptop there. you cant ask for much better. it will blow your g4 out of the water though.

HOWEVER, why not look at a mb? and upgrade in a few years. you could buy 2+ mb's over a span of a few years and keep up with current tech vs one mbp today with todays tech

i have used my mb though with a mouse, keyboard and with another screen. nice setup. i reccomend it

Hey thanks for thw words. Yes, it is in comparison to a Mac Pro - who's base model is about the same price as a loaded, top of the line mbp. I like the fact that an mbp would give you a portable display as well as a nice setup as you and BV have eluded to - with the mb as a sort of hub and then an external display and keyboard.

I was thinking that about the mb, but from the few I have spoken to, they have all said what BV has basically stated, that I would need to upgrade the mb to 4GB RAM and the drives as well in order to support CS, Safari, iTunes etc. efficently...so I am thinking perhaps best to go with the mbp as oppose to a mb + upgrades. Sort of 6 of one half dozen of the other, but if I were to spend the extra money on the MBP, then I should be set for a few years and not have to worry about performance or upgrades, that is until our friends at Adobe tweak their software even further :cool:

My only other concern with the mb is the display and the glossy finish, not exactly ideal for Design professionals and although I would be using an external display from home, it would be nice to have the option of taking my mbp with me to meet with a client and present materials...something I haven't obviously been able to do.

Either way, thanks for the input, gives me some other options to think about.

Blue Velvet
Jun 6, 2009, 04:37 AM
This may also be a funny question, but do the mbp's give off a lot of heat?


Some, but nothing like a G4. Lot quieter too. Putting it on a stand helps with air circulation, as well as raising it to the usual height of a display.

Maybe worth keeping the G4, stuffing it with drives and turning it into a file server and backup. You can use Time Machine over a network with a small bit of fiddling.

bluetooth
Jun 6, 2009, 01:25 PM
Some, but nothing like a G4. Lot quieter too. Putting it on a stand helps with air circulation, as well as raising it to the usual height of a display.

Maybe worth keeping the G4, stuffing it with drives and turning it into a file server and backup. You can use Time Machine over a network with a small bit of fiddling.

Sounds good, do you have any images of this stand you are referring to? Sounds interesting, but I haven't seen a stand quite like this and am trying to picture it or possibly take a look at one?...

Yeah, good point on the G4 as well - I was thinking the same thing.

Blue Velvet
Jun 6, 2009, 01:32 PM
Sounds good, do you have any images of this stand you are referring to? Sounds interesting, but I haven't seen a stand quite like this and am trying to picture it or possibly take a look at one?


I use an el-cheapo white painted wine rack with only eight slots instead of twelve, turned on its side... :D

http://www.argos.co.uk/wcsstore/argos/images/8406493A63UC137796M.jpg

Where the bottles go, I have tubes with various pencils, scalpels etc in there. Tons of space for air circulation. You can get much nicer laptop stands but this was even better.

Heh.

heehee
Jun 6, 2009, 02:08 PM
My only other concern with the mb is the display and the glossy finish, not exactly ideal for Design professionals and although I would be using an external display from home, it would be nice to have the option of taking my mbp with me to meet with a client and present materials...something I haven't obviously been able to do.

Either way, thanks for the input, gives me some other options to think about.

Why not get a 15" MPB? IMO, the 17" is way too big to carry if you are only showing materials to clients. You mentioned you have an external monitor to work from at home.

bluetooth
Jun 6, 2009, 03:34 PM
Why not get a 15" MPB? IMO, the 17" is way too big to carry if you are only showing materials to clients. You mentioned you have an external monitor to work from at home.

I was looking at that originally, but it only comes in the glossy finish, right? I would prefer the matt finish personally for the display...too bad the 15" doesn't come in a matt finish. I was thinking that about the 17" size though, might be a bit big for lugging around town...

bluetooth
Jun 6, 2009, 03:46 PM
I use an el-cheapo white painted wine rack with only eight slots instead of twelve, turned on its side... :D

http://www.argos.co.uk/wcsstore/argos/images/8406493A63UC137796M.jpg

Where the bottles go, I have tubes with various pencils, scalpels etc in there. Tons of space for air circulation. You can get much nicer laptop stands but this was even better.

Heh.

Cool idea, creative no doubt. I came across this MacBook Docking stand. I wonder how well this would work if it were to sit on a desktop:

http://www.powersupportusa.com/product/show/macbook-docking-stand

There is also this one here, that actually functions to cool the machine:

http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=detail&tbcate=1&id=2581

Also this one here, a little cheaper, just raises it to inc rease air flow under the machine:

http://www.macobserver.com/review/2003/01/01.1.shtml

Lots of possibilities...I also know that I can get a rack like the one you have at IKEA I think...so I could even start with that as it also allows air flow under the unit.

Thanks again for the info

neutrino23
Jun 7, 2009, 12:19 AM
I use a 17" MPB 2.16GHz with 2GB memory and a matte display. I have little problem with it so I imagine the 2.66GHz will be even nicer.

I would recommend getting a cooling pad such as this one:
http://www.directron.com/nbcooler.html

There are a variety of these around. They cost around $20-$30 dollars. You can sometimes find them on sale at dealmac.com.

This kind of pad gets you three things. First, it isolates the laptop from your legs. In the summer it is too hot to hold that way. This is often enough, even without the fans going. Second, it provides more airflow around the bottom of the laptop to keep it cooler. Third, they have a couple of fans so that when it is really warm you can actively cool the laptop. This can help a lot when it is a hot day (I don't have air conditioning).

I put in a 7200RPM drive, 200GB. It helps though it will not be fantastically different.

If I get a number of apps running at once each app works fine but switching can sometimes slow down. It depends on the application. Some have a smaller footprint than others.

I travel with this laptop ten or more times a year. The size is not an issue for me.

If you look at the specs the MBP is as powerful as the tower was just a few years ago. With 4GB memory and a large, fast HD I think you'll like this a lot.

I'd point out that while it bogs down from time to time I haven't seen the machine lockup even if I'm running InDesign, PS, Aperture, Graphic Converter, Preview, Tex-Edit Plus, and some others.

bluetooth
Jun 7, 2009, 07:38 PM
I use a 17" MPB 2.16GHz with 2GB memory and a matte display. I have little problem with it so I imagine the 2.66GHz will be even nicer.

I would recommend getting a cooling pad such as this one:
http://www.directron.com/nbcooler.html

There are a variety of these around. They cost around $20-$30 dollars. You can sometimes find them on sale at dealmac.com.

This kind of pad gets you three things. First, it isolates the laptop from your legs. In the summer it is too hot to hold that way. This is often enough, even without the fans going. Second, it provides more airflow around the bottom of the laptop to keep it cooler. Third, they have a couple of fans so that when it is really warm you can actively cool the laptop. This can help a lot when it is a hot day (I don't have air conditioning).

I put in a 7200RPM drive, 200GB. It helps though it will not be fantastically different.

If I get a number of apps running at once each app works fine but switching can sometimes slow down. It depends on the application. Some have a smaller footprint than others.

I travel with this laptop ten or more times a year. The size is not an issue for me.

If you look at the specs the MBP is as powerful as the tower was just a few years ago. With 4GB memory and a large, fast HD I think you'll like this a lot.

I'd point out that while it bogs down from time to time I haven't seen the machine lockup even if I'm running InDesign, PS, Aperture, Graphic Converter, Preview, Tex-Edit Plus, and some others.

Cheers, thanks for the info and experience.

I wonder which would work better out of the link you listed here:

http://www.directron.com/nbcooler.html

and this one here:

http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=detail&tbcate=1&id=2581

My main objective would likely be to use it as a hub on a desktop so having a cooling system would be great as it will be used 6-9 hours per day. I don't forsee myself sitting with it for prolenged periods of time away from the desktop, perhaps an hour or two at most, but would be nice to have a portable stand.

Thanks for the comment on size too, good to hear it is not an issue with the 17".