12" or 15" for Digital Darkroom

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by msp2, May 21, 2004.

  1. msp2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #1
    I'm on the fence between a new 12" or a 15" PB. I've decided on a laptop because I want the portability. Mostly I'm going to be working with photoshop (files ranging from 15k-250mb). I'm also thinking about an external monitor to go w/whatever i get. Is the video card on the 12" adequate for photoshop and a 17-23" monitor? Would there be noticable difference with the 15". What about the 800 Firewire port....if i want to later hook up an external drive or dig. video camera will the 400 FW be much slower? Thanks to anyone with some good advice on my digital darkroom computer set up :)
     
  2. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC & Baltimore
    #2
    I was in the same boat as you and I decided on the 15" combo drive- stock. I am going to buy a 23" HD monitor to go with it as well. The screen on the 12" is adequate for portability use (sacrificing real estate for fold-up size), but it is too small for serious graphic design work and photography. I couldn't justify having a machine that couldn't really be used standalone as a desktop screen replacement. Get the 15"- it's still surprisingly portable.

    oh, yeah, firewire 800 is the second biggest reason I got the 15", it's really worth it. Don 't forget the PC slot as well!

    The 64 MB video card on the 15" should be just fine at driving an external both in clamshell and extended desktop operation (or the 128 MB).
     
  3. msp2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #3
    pc slot

    thanks for the advise. What can i do with the pc slot? Can you pop in a adapter for compact flash cards to download digital photos? I was leaning towards the 12" SD thinking it would be a nice way to get my feet wet making some simple dvd slide shows/movies...anyone else have some ideas about the the 12" vs. the 15"? many mahalos........
     
  4. grneyedjay macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2004
    #4
    Umm, yeah, go with the 15". I use Photoshop all the time, and believe me, 1024x768 resolution is tiny for the workspace you will grow to need. Step up to the 15" and you get 1280x854--much better! ;)

    They also make USB card media readers (with slots for different types of cards).
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    I have the PB 12 rev. B, and have no issues with the screen size; nor using a 17" external. The 12" is great for traveling with as part of a digital darkroom on the go.
     
  6. Gherkin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    #6
    One of the main reasons I'm going with the 15" is because I'm very seriously into photography. I want all the screen real estate I can get to work with my photos. I've just spent the past year (my first year doing digital photography) working on a 1024x768 display and it gets quite annoying from time to time (and this was on a 15" screen, 12" would just be way too small for me).
     
  7. msp2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #7
    screen size

    Larger screen size is always nice...mostly i'd be at home hooked up to an external monitor...i'm interested to know the real advantages of firewire 800-what kind of devices can i use (besides an external drive)? Is there a night/day difference between FW 800 & 400? Any ideas on the CF card adapter for that PC slot? How much better is that video card than with the 12". Unfortunatley I'm somwhat on a budget but may be able to spring for the 15"....and will still want an external monitor to go along with it.....thanks....
     
  8. Bhennies macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    NYC & Baltimore
    #8
    I have two OWC FW800 enclosures with Seagate Barracuda drives (8 MB cache) and the difference is very much night and day in my opinion. I have a FW400 drive for backup and it's a decent bit slower. A 7200 RPM drive in a FW800 enclosure as your boot disk will match the transfer speed of an internal IDE drive (barefeats.com). Now THAT'S fast.

    I use one drive as a boot disk (Carbon Copy Cloned) and the other for audio files for pro tools and my computer is much more responsive when not using the internal 4200 RPM. I would say that opting out of firewire 800 on a new computer would not be a choice I'd make (that pretty much rules out the 12").

    Since you say your on a tight budget, you also might want to consider getting the combo drive 15" instead of the super. The 1.5 ghz processor BARELY outperforms the 1.33 and just buy an external DVD burner for it- they are coming out with faster ones soon and possible dual layer burners within the years end. 4x is painfully slow.
     
  9. msp2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #9
    free ram?

    thanks for the tips....an external HD is something that I'll def. be looking into so the idea of moving bits around as fast as possible sounds good. On another note I'm going to get additional RAM. Is there any "bad" RAM out there? Meaning quality...lots of people talking about crucial. How about macconection? They offer a free 512 mb upgrade w/purchase.
     
  10. idkew macrumors 68020

    idkew

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2001
    Location:
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    #10
    i have a pc card that is a compact flash reader. so much better than a usb cord to your camera. it came with a great case that holds it, and two compact flash cards. i love it.

    attached is a quick cell-can shot of it.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #11
    i agree. with the 15" powerbook you have effectively the 1024x768 WORKING SPACE after some pixels get eaten by toolbars. for photoshop work, 12" is not going to cut it.

    bigger question is, how much is enough? can you live with the 15" without external display or is the external display really a must for you. and if the 15" is not enough, would the 17" be? you'd still save plenty if you didn't have to buy the external... just a thought.

    i have the 15" and suits me fine. in photoshop work also.
     
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040

    JFreak

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    #12
    A LOT. the 15" comes with an ati mobility radeon 9700 and the 12" comes with nvidia geforce fx go5200 - and while speed is an issue for some, i'm not talking about that... the ati QUALITY is just a lot better than nvidia's.

    in my opinion, that is. i have compared my friend's 12" next to my 1.25GHz 15" and next to my old tibook(dvi), and the nvidia card is noticeably worse than the mobility radeons.
     
  13. msp2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    #13
    Hey thanks for taking the time to snap off a shot of the card adapter. I like the idea of less wires on my desk and in my bag...i asked more than one person at the apple store and on the phone and they couldn't really tell me much about the PC slot and what i could do w/it...i'm leaning on the 15" combo drive w/added 512 ram (maybe a stick o'gig later). Then i can take advantage of a fast FW 800 hardrive to archive all my images. I also like Bhennies idea about the external drive as a boot disc... A little later a dvd burner for extra back up and to try some simple movies/slide shows/portfolio of my photos. An external monitor i think will be a great addition. I've seen apple's studio display side by side w/ the 12 & 15" PB at the apple store and you can really see the quality, but I'm probably going to hold off on the purchase for awhile-will have to recoup after my initial purchase....and maybe we'll see something new this summer.
     

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