any professionals actually using 13' MBP? [photo, video, sound, illustrator, etc]

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lalababa55, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. lalababa55 macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    I've been holding off getting a MBP until recently. Now they've turned the 13' into a MBP, with bumped specs. I absolutely love everything about it, except two things : the integrated 9400m GPU and the resolution.

    Is it true that the GUI doesn't feel as smooth with a 9400m and that I would be better off with the discrete GFX card?

    Also, is there anyone out there who is actively using a 13' MBP for work? Particularly things like Illustrator, photoshop, final cut pro, etc.
  2. midgetsanchez macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2009
    I hope this is a joke. If you've ever played around with the 13" uMBP's at the apple store, you'll see that the resolution is way too small to work with photoshop/final cut...unless you like scrolling a lot. Just not having enough room to drag/drop clips in final cut is a real pain, not to mention encoding HD video with the 9400...*shudder*. The 15" seems great, and the 17" is beastly.
  3. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA
    17" is beastly. :eek: Wouldn't 13" MBP and … oh let's say a 24" LED ACD do the trick with strictly photo and light (short films) HD video editing?
  4. RiCEADDiCTBOY macrumors 6502a


    Dec 26, 2007
    in some scenarios when i used my 13" unibody mb (i never got a replacement for it) for photoshop, flash, dreamweaver, illustrator and etc there were several times i did wish it was a larger screen. however, i did not sit there and gripe as most of my clutter was solved with Spaces and just being patient. it wasn't damning for me... a scroll here and there didn't make me lose any sleep.
  5. vestigo74 macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    With an external monitor, the 13" MBP is perfectly fine for design work.

    Editing HD video, I know nothing about... but Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, etc? No sweat.
  6. sumzitup macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2009
    New Zealand
    I use my MacBook simply for portibility. I use Photoshop and illustrator on a daily basis for my work and quite happily zoom and scroll - the times I need a bigger screen I plug it into my Dell monitor. Best of both worlds.

    As for video it works well for SD video, and okayish with AVCHD although not much more than this from my experience.
  7. MacRumorsReader macrumors member


    Mar 29, 2006
    I used to use the 12" Powerbook for FCP and such. I needed an external monitor but believe it or not, I could do some pretty fly field work on the fly without needing to fly back to the office for more real estate.
  8. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    The screen size is fine once you plug it into another monitor. I use the 13" MB with no problems for Aperture, Photoshop work. The Macbook line is onlya processor generation behind the Pro line, it isn't going to hinder you in any way.
  9. philips macrumors regular


    Oct 14, 2004
    Baden-Württemberg, Germany
    One friend musician from past used his subnotebook as simply portable computer to attach his MIDI keyboard to.

    Another friend of mine uses now netbook for photography. Mainly to offload shots from camera and to upload them to Internet. (Though a netbook proved to be quite fragile in the extreme portability case.)

    From my observations, there are lots of professionals who would appreciate smallish form factor and sturdy body of MB(P)13. Another observation is that people related to IT tend to take better care of their notebooks, while people in other fields generally refuse to bother about their computers. They simply want them to work.

    In the end, you know, "Pro" isn't reserved exclusively for "IT Pro" - as many here mistakenly think. It's simply "Pro": usable by professionals of different trades, who also happen to need a reliable PC on the go.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I had an iBook back in the day and was using photoshop to work on some pictures, I shot while on vacation. I found the screen size to be very limiting and workspace to be cramped. If you're planning on a 13" model and using just the display for your work, i.e., no external monitor. You may be setting yourself up for frustration.

    If on the other hand, you need occasional PS work then the 13" model while not connected to an external display, that should be find in a pinch.
  11. davwin macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2008
    I use the 13" screen just fine for screencasts and creating training videos. These don't typically involve FCP or anything so much as editing together audio tracks with screencasts and a few other threads to make corporate training materials. So yes, in general I think the 13" uMBP is adequate for professional use but, clearly the limited screen size and resolution limit what you can do on the laptop. As mentioned though, an external display quickly remedies that too...
  12. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    As a photographer I actually live off my lowly whitebook (with an external monitor though). Using Adobe Lightroom and photoshop. I have no problems using it in the field for quick touch-ups.

    I've got a Dell quad desktop but rarely use it these days.
  13. fungke macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2009
    photoshop, illustrator will not make a difference with the 9400..
    when you use video will notice the lack of discreet graphics.
    my only gripe about the 13" is screen resolution. I just got mine yesterday and going to see how it works for me.
  14. mjteggy05 macrumors newbie

    Dec 9, 2005
    I use a 13" screen for design and photography work as well, primarily working in illustrator/photoshop/indesign. It may not be the ideal size, but it is perfect for portability, and it hooks up perfectly to a larger external monitor whenever I plan on sitting down and working for a long/intense session.

    I previously used a 2006 whitebook, and just this past weekend upgraded to the unibody pro.

    I know next to nothing about video work, but I would assume if the graphics processor is up to it, then an external monitor would work just as well?
  15. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    The screen size is not a problem; before this latest MBP 15", I was regularly using 12.1" widescreen machines in the field for both photo and music production (Photoshop and Pro Tools, respectively). I do both semi-professionally.

    12.1" was adequate in the field. Was it the same as the 30" monitor on my desktop? No, but it was not untenable for me, but to each their own. My good friend refuses to use any small notebook for anything other than MS Word and web surfing; his new working "notebook" is a behemoth Lenovo W700ds. The power adapter for the thing weighs more than my Dell X1.

    The main reason I purchased the 15" MBP was due to the better integrated graphics. If the 9600M was available on the 13" MBP, I would have likely purchased the 13" instead. For the difference in price, the 15" MBP with the 9600M, 4gb RAM and the faster processor worked out as a better deal (especially with the discount via NAPP).
  16. noespam macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2008
    I use it for Flash CS3 + FlashDevelop (i run Windows 7) at work on a new unibody MBP 13.3. When connected to an external monitor, it works great. I don't see any performance loss compared to my last gen 17" MBP which had the 8600(?) card. I also do Photoshop, but haven't done anything heavy yet. I'd go out on the limb and say this MBP will perform decently even with Photoshop.

    Flash CS3 is barely passable on this screen size. You can do it, but it's really frustrating how poor the window management is with Adobe products. Very counterproductive to have to fight the interface.

    I'm very satisfied I downsized.
  17. uv23 macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2003
    Calgary, AB
    I do a lot of development with multiple windows, panels, and such, and its fine. Expose forever! A 15" doesn't add that much more space. If you want to do serious real estate-heavy work you'll be using an external monitor regardless.
  18. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    Agreed. The big difference doesn't really kick in until you hit 2560x1600 on a 30", in my experience, which is why I have that lovely Dell 3007fwp 30" on my desk. Too bad there are no reliable Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI adapters available...
  19. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000


    Nov 14, 2008
    somebody wants a mac that pros use, probably not a ton of "pros" using a 13" pro
  20. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
  21. jedijoe macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2005
    Boulder, CO
    Had a uMB 13", now I have a MBP 17"

    Previously I had a MBP 15" (1st generation, intel core duo), and than a 13" unibody Macbook...

    The 13" resolution, 1280x800 is a joke to do photography work, unless you are in a bind or in a really remote place and just want to shoot tethered on it or something. Photoshop is really a pain at that low resolution, I mean, its doable, but why would you want to?

    The NVIDIA 9400m is also a joke if connecting to 30" displays. Its a memory hog when using external displays @ 2560x1600 resolutions with mini-displayport to the dual-link DVI adapter. I didn't see the same issues when connecting to the newer 24" LED Cinema Display though, only the 30" display.

    If a 17" is out of your price range or too large of a form factor, I would consider the 2.66 15" MBP at a minimum.

    So my 4 months with 13" unibody Macbook was ok. Its a great computer, powerful in most aspects, but lacked in critical areas such as 30" external displays, 1280x800 too small to work with in PS, especially if normally you are working in 2560x1600. I simply love my 17" MBP, so far its been more than I hoped for in a laptop computer.
  22. qubex macrumors 6502


    May 12, 2004
    045°042'21.99"N, 009°005'056.57"E
    I've just ordered a 13.3" MacBookPro and I plan to use it "professionally", though not in the narrowly-defined role you seem to imply. I'll be running Mathematica and FileMaker, and I expect the screen will not pose any problems.

    Of course, lots of screen is excellent, but often portability trumps screen real-estate.
  23. MrSmith macrumors 68040


    Nov 27, 2003
    So you're a professional boffin. :)

    But, seriously, if anyone can give me an opinion about the (apparent) use of iMovie '09 on the 13" I'd appreciate it. As a non-professional (and certainly non-boffin :)) that's the thing that I'd need most screen space for.

    BTW I've never used iMovie '09, just HD, so I've never actually seen it on a screen.
  24. Fizzoid macrumors 68020


    Jul 11, 2008
    Wouldn't the encoding be down to the CPU though?
  25. getz76 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2009
    Hell, AL
    It very much depends on the user. I would not be a fascist and tell someone that 13" is a joke because workflows vary significantly.

    For me, 13.3" is/was fine for Photoshop CS4. Bigger is better, but when you carry your own bag there are consequences for size. For my workflow, unless I am doing heavy editing, I worry more about the quality of the screen than the size of the screen, so my Fujitsu T2010's 12.1" screen blows away my Macbook's 13.3" screen. For me, heavy editing requires a proper display, keyboard and mouse or an active tablet (like the Fujitstu). The Macbook Pro's 15.4" screen is lovely, too, and part of the reason I purchased it. The glossy screen can be terrible, though.

    I only dabble in video, but if it is anything like photography, to a certain degree you are only guessing until you get to your target display. If you are planning on doing DVD videos and play them on an upscaling DVD player to a 1080P display, what you see on the computer's screen is not going to be truly equivalent to the final presentation. It will give you a ballpark for sure, but not exact.

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