Convince me (or not) to buy a new MacBook Pro (designer specs?)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by welling1, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. welling1 macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2008
    I've been looking at getting a new 15" MacBook Pro to use for when I can't be with my imac. However, I'm going nuts trying to figure out what specs I want it to have. At the moment it would be used as a secondary computer, for traveling, working with in the office (at the moment I always work from home) for photoshop, illustrator, indesign and flash work.

    I'd like enough power so in case I do have to use it more for on-site work that it won't slow me down. I also wouldn't be saving a heck of a lot of stuff on it. So, what specs should I be looking at; 2gb vs 4gb, Serial ATA? 512MB? 7200 RPM ? All the numbers are making my mind numb!

    Also, I'm not in a dire need to have this right now, but am a professional and feel I should be mobile with this stuff like the rest of the population. Is this a good enough reason to go out and get a nice and shiny new Pro, or should I hold out until I really-really-really need it?:eek:
  2. sapota macrumors member

    Sep 15, 2008
    You have heard about the new macbooks right??

    The new unibody macbook is your calling IMO. That should fit your needs.
  3. MJLogan macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2005
    The new unibody MBP is a delightful computer for doing design work on the road. The screen is big enough (just watch out for glare/reflections--you need to be careful how you position it). I got 4GB of RAM in mine, because more RAM always makes Adobe CS happier. You don't need to fret about a 7200 RPM hard drive speed unless you're editing video--the standard speed drive is just fine.
  4. welling1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2008
    Really? i thought things would slow down when switching between programs (i jump around a lot between flash/illustrator photoshop/everything) without a 7200 RPM?
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    "RPM" is about as good for measuring disk drive speed at Ghz is for measuring CPU speed. Inother works both are nearly meaningless.

    What you care about with a disk drive is how many bit fly under the read/write head per unit of time. This is simply the "bit density" multiplied by the RPM. (more or less)

    What you find is that many times the higher capacity disks are higher capacity because they have found a why to cram more bits on each track.

    You just have th dig further into the specs. Look past the RPM
  6. anthony8400 macrumors newbie


    Dec 22, 2008
    I recently switched from my 250 gb HDD which came with my MBP early 2008.

    I did some research, and one of the best price-quality minded HDD's available is the Seagate Momentus 7200.3

    I find that it has an increase in overall performance.
  7. welling1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2008
    So this might be over doing it?
    15" MacBook Pro
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo

    Would i be better off with this and upping to 4GB?
    15'' MacBook Pro
    2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  8. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    The 4GB of RAM will provide a much greater benefit than the 7200RPM drive, which isn't used when switching between programs like you mentioned. RAM is what's in play there, the speed of the drive will only help when launching or saving things.

  9. Horst Guest

    Jan 10, 2006
    If an iMac is good enough for you, chances are the MBP (older or unibody) will be sufficient for your needs, and could even replace your iMac if you add a decent display.

    Get as much RAM as possible, that's pretty much all you can do to improve performance on an Apple laptop or iMac, imho.
  10. iphoner2010 macrumors member

    Oct 12, 2008
    you can get everything you need for about $1999 ($15 dollars more, actually)...ClubMac and OnSale (two websites) are offering the better MBP for only $15 more! I just found out that my parents bought me that same MBP for XMAS...but they went to our local Apple store and paid full price (cringe)....however, I'm not going to tell them that because I don't want to take that one back and have to order a new one...lmao. :apple:
  11. PeterQC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2008
    Here's why you should take the Macbook Pro:

    -If you're a designer, then I assume you need colour accuracy. The screen of the Macbook is horrible, and small if you're a real "pro". Calibrating and it would be perfect.
    -Take into consideration that Adobe CS3 is CPU intensive, less for the GPU side. CS4 use the GPU to assist so If you want to future proof yourself, the higher clock speed and the 9600m GT in the MBP will be perfect.

    For the ram and hard drive, I would recommend you to upgrade them later, since Apple charge more and in a few months the price of ram obviously will go down. Generally the higher the RPM of your hard drive, the fastest it will be. But it will cost more. There's also issue with Ram now with the unibodies, in the fact that there's random crash of Mac OS X. MIGHT be fixed in the near future, might not, no one really know for now.

    Depending on your budget, you should go with the baseline 2.4GHz, should be enough for your need. If you want to further future proofing you, 2.8GHz.

    If you can wait for 1 year, Nehalem sounds awesome.
  12. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    I have an older MBP with 2.4GHz and 2 GB of RAM and will be running photoshop and Illustrator (CS3) at the same time on lots of occassions and have no real problem switching between any of my programs running. The extra boost of RAM would be great for the rendering software I use but I really am happy with what I got. I use it was my primary computer for my design school and it works great regardless of all the crap I am doing on this thing at once. That glossy screen would annoy my to no end but hey if you can deal with it, you'd be more than happy with the uni MBP.
  13. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    Given that you are a designer, I'd strongly recommend the MBP. It has considerable power, very good performance, and a superb screen. It is a perfectly portable computer, and its screen is far better than that of the MB (despite the attractive appearance of the latter). I have a MBP and I'm very happy with it.

    Cheers, good luck and Merry Christmas

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