13" vs. 15" for use with external LCD and Lightroom?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Black Diesel, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Black Diesel macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Hello, I have a few questions for you regarding the new 13 vs 15 MBP's:

    1. I'm wondering if there's any benefit to buying a 15" vs 13" for resolution if I'm planning to use the MBP with an external monitor 99% of the time (24" 1900X1200). Will the 13" MBP give me the same performance/resolution on the external 24" LCD as a 15" would? NOTE - I'm not gaming. Only Lightroom 3.4, Photoshop CS5, and Microsoft office.

    2. Depending on answer to #1, if the new 13" might work for me, how will the 2011 13" MPB compare to my 2010 13" MBP 2.4Ghz 250GB 5400rpm with 8GB RAM for Lightroom and Photoshop? My current 13" MBP is really slow to process large Canon 5D mark II RAW files. This is the only reason I'm looking to upgrade. If the new 13" MBP will give me a dramatic performance increase while processing 5DII RAW files in LR and photoshop then I'll buy one...Note - the RAW files are located on external FW800 drives.

    3. Assuming I get the i7, would an SSD be worth a performance boost even though I'm working on files located on external HD's?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
  3. Kyllle macrumors 6502

    Apr 25, 2011
    1. All Macs support up to 2560x1440 displays, so whether you go with the 13 or 15 inch, you will have no problem with 1200p display. If you're pretty much only going to use the mac hooked up to an external display, it doesn't matter which one you get, it will look the same. Now, obviously the 15" offers substantial performance gains of the 13", but both will be able to handle the programs you mentioned (15" will be faster for some intensive tasks of course).

    2. I'm not familiar with lightroom, but the 2011 mbp 13 has a geekbench of 5900, while the 2010 only got 3351, so in general you could say the 2011 is 76% faster/more powerful on average, but you'll only notice the extra power if you're already using all of the CPU. Note that most agree the graphics have taken a step down in the 2011 models, but you said you don't game, so this shouldn't affect you.

    3. If you mean you're going to leave the files on your HDD even with an SSD, then of course you're not going to see an improvement with these files. Whatever you put on your SSD is what will be faster (most put os x and as much other stuff as can fit), and SSDs are largely a personal preference at this point, and only result in a few seconds of saved time at the best.
  4. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Thank you very much for this. So basically what you're saying is the only time you get a benefit in speed from an SSD is if the files you are working on are located on the SSD drive and not just the program files? At the moment I can take 150+ GB worth of photos in a day or two of shooting so that won't be happening anytime soon until we have 2TB SSD's. All my RAW files are located on external 2TB FW800 drives so I guess I'll have to wait for Thunderbolt drives?

    Thanks again.
  5. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Get a 2011 model because of the Thunderbolt port. There's a theoretical possibility of being about to use a Thunderbolt-to-USB 3.0 adapter, which would make loading photos off of CF cards and onto an external hard drive a lot faster than via USB 2.0.
  6. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    seem like we got alots in common. I also have 5D Mark II :) and use Lightroom 3, CS5, Office just like you. I recently just upgraded from MBP 13' 2009 to MBP 13' 2011 i7 model. Upgraded to Intel SSD and Hyper X 8gb 1600mhz RAM like a few hours ago. So far its really fast! My 2009 took forever to convert RAW. I will be testing the system tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes.
  7. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    either will work with an external, the only issue is how much processing power or portability you want. definitely get the 2011 model over the 2010, the CPU is vastly superior.

    an SSD will basically just make stuff launch faster. up to you to decide how much that's worth.
  8. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    Perfect! please let me know how that thing works out for you. I'm really hoping it's fast enough....are your RAW files also located on on external FW800 drives?
  9. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2011
    anyone else using a new 13" for Lightroom and large RAW files?
  10. zachnelson macrumors 6502a

    Oct 23, 2010
    Not exactly the same as you, but I am a freelance videographer. I use the canon 5d mark II for video recording instead with editing in FCP. I would recommend getting the 15-inch because it has a dedicated graphics card. The 13-inches use integrated graphics which are.. not exactly the best.
  11. Minhthien macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2011
    Everything install so fast! I played full 1080P video file from 5d2 and its so much smoother than my old MBP 2009. I feel confident about video processing too! Lightroom is much quicker no lag when editing. If you got the cash then go with 15' + Hi-res + antiglare + SSD + RAM=$$$$$$$$ . But if you don't do like what I did because you would save so much money and grab this monitor from dell! I will put my raw file on the SSD, after I processed it will be move to external drive and keep my Jpeg on the SSD. Can't wait for the price of SSD goes down!
  12. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    1. I think the 13" even has one benefit in using only an external screen. It still runs on the Intel HD. The 15" cannot drive an external screen from the Intel HD because of internal wiring. Thing is with the dedicated GPU active it has even when you surf only and don't do much problems to stay at 2000rpm on hot days. With the Intel GPU it is about 20C colder. I guess a 13" runs more quite.
    3. My personal reasons for an SSD are noise (it is just so nice and quite with the HDD spun down) and speed for stuff like VM launches and launching Apps that really take for an eternity on Mac. Many developer tools just work a lot faster on an SSD. Eclipse is one such program, also I often have to install small stuff or initializing stuff and running things in debug mode is just a lot of faster with the SSD. It is that many of these things are built to run fast once compiled and out to consumer but while still developing the focus is not really on performance and SSD help here shorten things that take a second or a few to pretty much no waiting time at all.
    For normal usage it really doesn't speed up that many things. OSX launches faster but only a fool restarts more often than for updates, Standby is the same speed. Apps launch faster but once they run there is usually no speed difference. Game loading times are a lot faster but that usually doesn't help much as games have such huge folders they are almost impossible to fit on SSDs unless you are a very infrequent gamer and play only 1 or 2 games like me but in this case a SSD isn't really justified.
    If you still load all your pictures from the hdd it will not change anything for 99% of the time not even the noise level as you need to have the hdd running to work.

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