13in i5 for graphic design?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Arkados, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Arkados macrumors regular

    Dec 10, 2010
    I just found a 13in i5 mbp on ebay for around 440 that ends tomorrow at around 11am. I am a college student who is sort of strapped for cash so I thought if i can get it under 550 it would be awesome. My only concern, is the intel HD 3000 going to be good enough for CS6 software? Im going into web design but also do photoshop/illustrator right now. Compared to my 2006 mac pro that has a 1900xt how much of a downgrade/improvement will it be?
  2. Arnezie macrumors 65816


    Oct 10, 2011
    As much as it pains me to say this ,,,, a MacBook may not be the best fit for your needs. Especially the one you vaguely described. I would look for a good high end used PC before I would buy a budget MBP with less ability , anyway my $.02
  3. MercurioF macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2012
    Have you tried Craigslist at all? Recently I was looking to pick up a used MacBook for some graphic design work and I've found much better deals on CL. For $500, I ended up getting a 2009 15" MBP with a Core2Duo, 4GB ram, and...I can't recall which Nvidia video card right now. This same model was going for $700 on eBay at the time and the majority of them were in rather poor condition.

    I've been running CS6 on it (mostly Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) and it's been handling things quite well. I do plan to upgrade to 8GB of ram and maybe swap in an SSD at some point.
  4. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    For that budget, I have to agree with above.

    I doubt the bidding will end at $550. A good way to check, is to use an advanced eBay search, and search for completed listing. Remember an unsold item means nothing, look at how much stuff actually SOLD for.

    A current generation 13" i5 MacBook pro could handle CS6, the HD4000 graphics are leaps and bounds ahead of anything previous. Though of course, a 15" model with a quad core and integrated graphics would be better! Naturally. However I use a 13" MBP with SSD's and upgraded RAM for CS6 quite a bit. I prefer the form factor and have a home built PC (quad core, Radeon HD5870) that I use if I need the performance. However, that requires a significant increase in your budget!

    $500 could get you a decent, baseline used Windows laptop with incrementally more performance. Unfortunately, the only Mac notebook you're going to find in that price range is one of the older (before the most current generation, and even that's been discontinued a while) white polycarbonate MacBook's, which won't give you the performance you need.
  5. windowstomac macrumors regular

    Jun 23, 2011
    I used to do a lot of eBay selling and typically things tend to double in price in the final day - so I seriously doubt you'll get it at the price you think...
  6. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Good call - $550 might get you a base model 2008 or 2009 MBA on eBay. The pricing is crazy.
  7. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    By the way, I took my own advice and did a completed listing search. I searched for MacBook Pro models equipped only with Intel HD 3000 (aka no dedicated GPU). The completed listings ran anywhere from $800~$1100 in the last couple of weeks. Personally, $1100 is stupid high as another hundy will get you a brand new one. But still, not $550, not even a 'lucky break' way down in the history for $550.

    I don't recall, but is the 2006 Mac Pro an Intel Mac? I don't remember when they switched that line, but I know that was around the 'transition' time. (If I'm not mistaken though ALL Mac Pro's are intel though right? It was a 'Power Mac' before wasn't it?)

    If that's the case, depending on the CPU, a graphics card upgrade, and some more RAM, might actually be a wiser use of your $500 budget. As I would venture to say that a 2006 Mac Pro with upgraded RAM and graphics would outperform a laptop in the same $500 budget, unless of course the Mac Pro is not a viable solution.
  8. bushido Suspended


    Mar 26, 2008
    i have an old mid09 mbp here and i don't even notice any difference between using Adobe Suit CS6 on this C2D and my new i5 (rmbp) to be honest ^^
  9. MikesGravity macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2008
    Southeast MI
    Yup, CS6 Photoshop doesn't feel much different between my i7 rMBP and mid09 with 8GB RAM and SSD.

    BUT Editing 12MP RAW images and exporting in Lightroom is WAYYYYYYYY better. Ridiculously better.
  10. el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Nov 29, 2010
    That's just it right there. It's not the applications, like Lightroom or Photoshop, it's the images you're working on. My old 250MHz Macintosh I had that ran OS 9 burned through Photoshop 5.5 (not CS5!) no problem. But as time passed it began to show it's age, despite being the same application on the same computer (never upgraded photoshop on that one). Why? The files got bigger. The images, the graphics, whatever you were working on. More colors, higher resolution, bigger files, etc.

    Start throwing a 21.1MP RAW DSLR file at it? What about resolutions 5 years from now?

    In reference to photoshop and otherwise, therein lies the problem. You could even simply not upgrade Photoshop/Lightroom, etc. They don't break when a new version is released. New stuff is nice but it can wait until you upgrade hardware too right? The problem you can run into is, the files you're working with are now much better!

    Again, it could be moot. It all depends on what you use it for, and how often you use it for that! I often work in lightroom on my MacBook as long as I'm not doing/needing any color correction, even though it's much faster on my Quad Core PC. Why? Convenience! And although it isn't the fastest, it still works just fine... I'm happy with the performance, AND getting to sit in the living room with my feet propped up and a TV show going in the background and work on it!
  11. Krafty macrumors 601


    Dec 31, 2007
    La La Land
    Through my 4 years at SCAD (art college, major in Graphic Design), the majority of students in my field, and the Atlanta campus, mainly used 13" Macbook Pros.

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