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Old May 4, 2012, 04:18 PM   #1
macrumors 68020
Join Date: Apr 2011
Which set-up to buy?

In addition to my signature items: I'm in need of a Macbook Pro. But I'm not sure which set-up to buy. I know both MBPs and MBAs are due to be upgraded soon, but I need something new on June 3rd 2012.

Set-up 1:

Macbook Pro 17": I've always wanted a 17" MBP also and it would be used for Photoshop: something my Mini can't handle well.

One reason I can't justify buying this (I probably will buy it): I have a 27" Thunderbolt Display at home. But ahh well. A 17" MBP would be good on the road right?

Set-up 2:
Macbook Pro 13" and 11" Air: Now, this would be awesome: Hmmmm... these two machines wouldn't handle Photoshop well would they?

Funds aren't a problem, which would you go for?

2011 Mini | 13" (cMBP) + 15" (rMBP 2013) | Powermac G5 | 27" TBD | iPhone 3GS (16GB) | iPad 1 and iPad 4 | iPod touch 4G (64GB) | Apple Wireless Keyboard + Magic Mouse x2 | Magic Trackpad |

Last edited by Liquinn; May 4, 2012 at 04:42 PM.
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Old May 4, 2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: New York
I currently have a late 2011 dual core i7 13" MBP and a late 2011 11" MBA ultimate and if fund are no option then I think this is the ideal option. I put 8GB of RAM and a 240GB intel 520 SSD in my MBP and now it flies, it also handles CS5 and Aperture, and Final Cut Pro just fine. As long as you put in some extra RAM the MBP should do fine with photoshop, mine does. I recommend getting the core i7 version for the extra power that I think comes in handy when I am doing my multimedia editing. I also love my MBA for when I am traveling and just want to consume media. I have photoshop elements on my MBA so I can do some light photo editing on the fly and I haven't had a problem. On I personal note I think the 17" MBP maybe a tad to big to really be truly portable, I mean its big and heavy. The 13" MBP is still pretty light and plenty powerful for a portable machine. Bottom line: Go 13" MBP with the 11" MBA.
2011 13" MacBook Pro 240GB Intel 520 SSD | 2011 11" MacBook Air 128SSD | 2011 27"iMac |
64gb+3g iPad1 | 16gb iPhone 4 | TV 2 |
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Old May 5, 2012, 12:51 AM   #3
macrumors 68000
Join Date: May 2004
How heavily are you using Photoshop? 8 hours a day and is it the main source of your income? How often do you need to use photoshop in a portable situation? To show clients etc.. How big are your photoshop files, 100 Meg's or over a gigabyte?

A lot of the processes in photoshop can't take advantage of more than 2 processors, maybe this has changed? A SSD in the Mac mini would be a huge upgrade in any photoshop use. Check Macsales for an upgrade kit to have an SSD and the stock hard drive in your Mac mini.

Not knowing all your needs it is hard to advise but I would recommend the SSD upgrade on the Mac mini, and the either 11" or 13" MBA depending on how much photoshop you need to do when on the go. Remember that the 13" MBA has more pixels and an SSD, so it would be much better for traveling photoshop that the MBA 11" or 13" MBP.S

Sorry I'm feeling nerdy so I will add more.

The following is more an analysis based on how products are used and can be used. What job each product is best to satisfy. There are many good business blogs out there to learn more about this, particularly asymco.com

I currently use an old Mac mini as my "base" computer with 2 monitors and many external hard drives with music photos and movies. This will soon be upgraded to a Mac Pro or High end iMac 2012, when they are finally released.

I also have a 2011 13" MBA 128GB i5 that holds all my email etc and my current use files, such as Excel, PowerPoint, Pages, Word. I choose the smaller 128GB MBA because I noticed through grad school and work, the most important files are small and I can fit them all on my MBA. I don't need my entire music collection on my MBA, bc I have my favorites on an iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

I guess I'm defining my situation, Mac mini currently my life Hub, MBA 13" is work and some web browsing and email, iPad is reading/email/work research. I also use the free 2GB Dropbox but sometimes that can't be used for work for legal reasons.

Sorry for the rant but I hope someone finds it interesting and useful.
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