Buying 15" Macbook Pro vs 27" iMac HELP!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DAM-Photography, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. DAM-Photography macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #1
    I'm in need of a new computer. At first I wanted to get the Macbook Pro for its portability, but realized I would probably need to invest in an external monitor($250-$500). I loved how the iMac had the giant screen and 8gb of RAM!
    I would be using this for the majority of picture editing and maybe some slight video editing in the future. Nothing to hardcore just video the SLR takes.
    If I decided to go the iMac route would the quad core be necessary? Or would the 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo even be fine instead of the 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. I need some good input here. I'm not very computer savvy so any light that can be shed will be much appreciated!!
    Here is the setups I had looked at. I'm looking to spend $2500 +-


    iMac 27"
    Configuration

    * 2.66GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
    * 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
    * 1TB Serial ATA Drive
    * ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

    * 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    * Apple Magic Mouse
    * Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
    * Country Kit
    $2,198.00

    iMac 27"
    Configuration

    * 3.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 8GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 4x2GB
    * 1TB Serial ATA Drive
    * ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB

    * Apple Keyboard with Numeric Keypad (English) and User's Guide
    * 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    * Apple Magic Mouse
    * Country Kit
    $2,213.00

    Macbook Pro 15"


    Configuration

    * 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    * 4GB 1066MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x2GB
    * 500GB Serial ATA Drive @ 7200 rpm
    * SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

    * MacBook Pro 15-inch Antiglare Widescreen Display
    * Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide
    * Accessory kit
    $2,428.00
     
  2. MrCheeto macrumors 68030

    MrCheeto

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #2
    I do everything you're talking about with my 13" 2.53ghz MacBook Pro.

    But I've never used PhotoShop so if that's your Application of choice you may want to ask someone who has.
     
  3. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #3
    Well I think your perspective could change very soon, due to the MacBook Pros very likely being upgraded to the mobile i5-i7 series of processors very soon (possibly updated on January 26-27th), and most likely a price reduction will come for those MBPs as well.

    The 27" iMacs are great machine, but if headed over to the iMac forum you'd see how the 27inchers are plagued with problems. Yellow tint, flickering screen, loud harddrives, and the list just goes on and on.

    My advice:

    1. Wait a month before you purchase. I know it won't be easy to wait, but it will be worth it. Within a month the new MBPs should be released, and hopefully the 27"s will be remedied with their quality problems.

    2. Once the new MBPs are released, decide how much you really need a portable. If you need a portable, get a good MBP and a decent monitor (hell, splurge on a refurbished 24" ACD if you want to indulge yourself).

    3. If you will just be doing light video editing, the 27" with C2D and even a C2D MBP would definitely suffice. If it's only occasional you won't even need 8GB RAM.
     
  4. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #4
    Yeah, the dream is that Apple will put the same 15" 1920x1080 S-IPS LED backlit display and Core i7 that Lenovo has available on the new T510's while remaining sub-$2000....

    Wait a few more weeks before making any big purchasing decisions.
     
  5. MacCanon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    #5
    27" iMac

    If u can afford to get the new 27" iMac, definately do it, especially if your doing color critical work like i do with graphic design and photography, more than worth it.
    I bought mine about a month and a half ago, absolutely fantastic.

    Serious editing to photos and video can take time and power, and after looking at your specs, the imac is what u want. more storage and power.
    I also had to consider portability vs. power, and chose power. was not disappointed. (especially if using Adobe software like photoshop and premiere like myself)
    i also took into account, how much serious editing am i gonna do in public or on the go. all of my own editing happens at labs in school on G5's or at home on my mac.
    (plus HD display is awesome for movies and games, sound is also amazing, LED display powers on quick. and problems like others say about loud hard drives, I'm on mine right now, and i don't hear anything, no yellow tint or flickering ever)
    And as for the ram, if ur using programs like photoshop and video editing software, the more ram you have, the faster the rendering, smoother usage of tools and fluidity. Definitely get what u can afford.
    And as for the quad core Macs, they will be more powerful, its all about what u can afford and need. I did not get the quad core, and it still runs photoshop and all other programs incredibly smoothly.
    The only problem i had was the cost, but still, as a Photography and Graphic Arts student on a budget, I NEVER regretted the $2k spent on my iMac.
     
  6. DAM-Photography thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #6
    Thanks for everyones input. I'm going to put m choice on hold for a month and see what apple does. I will bump this thread again and decide then.
     
  7. Maxxamillian macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #7
    Have you considered how color-correct the monitors are that you are using? iMac 27" issues aside--the monitor is a white LED, not RGB LED. So the question becomes how accurately the monitor can be calibrated. Don't even think you will get accuracy using the uMBP screen (I would bet this is the case with the next uMBP revision as well). This being said, a few thoughts:

    1. Given your two options--you will most likely have a better chance at color accuracy working off a uMBP attached to a color correct monitor than you would straight from the 27" iMac. If color correctness is a big deal for you (as a photographer, it should be) then you will find the 27" screen losing relevance in your considerations. I work from two 24" monitors--one an Apple and the other an HP Dreamcolor. The apple monitor simply becomes a place where I park stuff and the Dreamcolor my workspace. You could attach another monitor to the iMac I believe, which would in turn render that massive 27" of space a parking lot (albeit a useful one).

    2. Photoshop is as much about RAM as it is processing power. Also, in Photoshop, heavy processing demands a scratch disk that is NOT located on the start disk. I would imagine this requirement to be even greater for video (tho its been years since I've last edited anything) Not sure how you would handle this with either option you outlined.

    3. Portability and Power. I shoot tethered into my uMBP when the client needs to see the pictures. I do very light editing on the uMBP simply to show the client possibilities and that's it. All of the post processing for the final picture is done from a Mac Pro at the office. Given the money you are thinking of spending...have you considered a Mac Pro?

    You have some fun (and wonderful) options to consider here. Good luck and enjoy the new toy(s)!! :D
     
  8. DAM-Photography thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    #8
    Thanks for the info. I thought about getting the Mac Pro but my budget would allow for it $3200+
    I will wait for Macs update and see what I'm working with. What you said about the screen has me thinking. As color correction is huge. I might just get the MBP and a good non TN panel external monitor.
     
  9. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    #9
    Hackintosh maybe? You could build yourself a killer quad core desktop for well under $1500 and put the rest into a nice display.
     
  10. DrummerBASS macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    #10
    Only get the MacBook if you're going to be using it if you're away/out and you can't wait for post production when you get back. I have the 24" with 4GB RAM, which is perfectly good enough for Photoshop. Don't know about video editing though.
     
  11. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #11
    well go with the imac cause the display on a laptop uses a rather heavy dither to produce the colors. This is not color accurate as a regular display. just my thoughts
     
  12. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    I just got my refurbished ACD and that things is SPOTLESS! Love it!
     
  13. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    To wait a little right now is a very wise choice! Good luck with your decision! Regardless though, I don't think you can go wrong. One more thing though, if you were to use a Lightroom, it really does a great job working across two screens which it automatically recognizes and uses.... ;)
     
  14. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #14
    If you need the portability, definitely get the 15" MacBook Pro with some display. I've been using this setup for some time now and couldn't have been happier. And the 15" seems to be the perfect compromise. Before, I had a 13" MacBook which was more portable, but less powerful and I found the screen too small at times when I was using it on the road. Then I had a 17" laptop (not a Mac, couldn't afford it :D) and got rid of it because it was too big to move anywhere, but on a table at home it was great. Now I've had the 15" MacBook Pro for about a year and it has been with me everywhere wherever I go and I've never had any problems. It's powerful enough to run any program I throw at it, the screen is a perfect size and it's just about the biggest size to be easily moved around (on a plane, train etc.) Only complaint I have is the battery, but I hear the new ones with the built in battery last much longer.
     
  15. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #15
    Patrik, have you considered HyperMac batteries? I have been using mine when on longer plane trips and they come in super handy. Yes, you are looking at an extra weight, but with a carry-on, it absolutely makes no difference.
     
  16. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #16
    Good/timely thread. I also was looking at 27" iMac and someone advised consider a MBP + external monitor. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=860933
    Looking at your iMac choices, I'd add a 2TB as built from the store, but buy the extra 4GB from 3rd party and install self.
    Same advice, wait until iMac 27" issues flush out and the new MBP's announced. So, I am just waiting, and waiting, and waiting.....
     
  17. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #17
    While I agree with your sentiments about color accuracy, I think you are overstating the issue a bit. RGB-LED monitors are hard to come by, and don't expect to get one for less than $1500. Yes, if you make ads for Coca-Cola, that aboslute color accuracy is critical and maybe worth the cost. But, the iMac has an IPS panel combined with white LED backlighting, and once properly calibrated using a colorimeter or spectrophotometer, should give plenty accurate results for even serious photo editing. I used to edit photos on a calibrated Powerbook G4 which had an old TN panel in it. It wasn't perfect but the calibration was good enough that it matched the prints I made.

    Now I work on a 13" MBP with a Dell 2209WA monitor attached. The IPS panel on the 2209WA calibrates excellently and the prints I get back match exactly the monitor. In fact the MBP13 with its TN panel actually calibrates well too, and the difference between the two monitors side-by-side is nearly indistinguishable so long as you have the viewing angle on the laptop screen correct.

    Ruahrc
     

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