Dell vs MacBpro for professional photog

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nicolo, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. nicolo macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    I'm torn b/w buying a Dell vs Macbpro

    I will primarily be using the computer for heavy photo-editing in photoshop and lightroom and some video editing work

    I've read and searched the comparisons b/w Mac vs PC and all the yadayadayada

    seems like the all answer points to - that it doesn't really matter as long as memory is adequate and video card is decent

    so here are the specs and price i'm comparing for the DELL VS the MACBPRO

    My customized DELL XPS 16 ($1399)

    Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9600 (6MB cache/2.8GHz/1066Mhz FSB)
    Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium, 64bit, English
    4GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1067MHz (2 Dimms)
    500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive
    ATI Mobility RADEON™ HD 4670 – 1GB

    MACBPRO ($2099)

    Intel Core 2 Duo 2.8GHz
    4 Gb Memory
    500 GB HD
    NVIDIA GeForce 9400M + 9600M GT with 512MB

    I'm assuming under these specs, the DELL would run faster? since the Vid card is faster. But I've also read that since Photoshop CS 4 runs on 64 bit that this will ultimately run slower on the new Windows on PC's.

    So right now I'm leaning towards the DELL

    Any opinions? much appreciated!
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Depending on your budget, there are other things to look at, including the longevity of the machine, the battery life and other portions of the OS.

    I am biased and I'd get the MacBook Pro, to me PC notebooks are just not made as well.

    As for the Windows 7 debate, I thought that it was now running fasters on PCs, but maybe that is just me?
  3. 7031 macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2007
    In my honest opinion, unless you need Apple software I'd definitely go for the Dell.
  4. nicolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    I agree that PC notebooks are usually not as well made.
    Budget wise I'm leaning towards 'cheaper' because I am in Grad School

    battery life - I think apple trumps all PC notebooks in that department

    Windows 7 runs 64 bit for Photoshop CS4 - I'm not sure if that means faster or slower?
  5. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    Personally, If I were you I would scrap the laptop idea, get a PC tower with a quad core processor, at least 3 drive bays (two for a mirror raid, one for boot) and a decent graphics card. If I could afford a mac pro for my photo editing I would get one but Apple has a big hole in the affordable desktop line. If I was tied between mac and PC for your uses I would go PC desktop.
  6. nicolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    thanks for the reply dazey

    I need it to be portable hence the laptop.

    do you think in this case the DELL or the MBPRO would run faster for photo-editing? or would the difference be insignificant?
  7. splitpea macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2009
    Among the starlings
    How do the displays compare? For photography and video, that should be a major consideration.
  8. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    for SERIOUS results on the PP, you wouldn't use a laptops' screen. That is why you get an external, if a laptop is your primary machine. If i was going to get prints made, i would use my external with a sypder calibrator...
  9. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Yeah but something is better than nothing in the field. Might as well have better quality something.
  10. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Are you looking to save $700 by getting the Dell or are you looking how to best spend your budget. Because the difference can buy a great 24" display, an SSD, external storage, 8GB instead of 4GB or something like a tablet that may all offer you more to your overall computing experience than the difference a Mac offers over a PC.

    You might be interested in this article on CS4 which compares the OS X and Windows versions as well as CS4 stuff in general (like GPUs) (linked you to page 2 as 1 contains no content).
  11. nicolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    thanks Umbongo, much appreciated

    That's great insight! now that I think of it, I actually am looking to buy a new tablet and extra memory + extra external HD

    I think an extra 700 will go a long way in this case!
  12. nicolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    also quick question about MAC memory. Will an aftermarket memory work on MACs? or do they have to be from APPLE?
  13. Puqq macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2009
    2D graphics do not need extreme video adapters, so you do not need high end cards, don't worry. For 15" display, 9400m might be a little too slow if you want to use certain features in CS4.

    What really matters is:
    1. Processor- T9600 will do
    2. RAM- more and larger pictures can be stored in the memory, this means more parallel jpg's or RAW's and more steps to go "back" in PS
    3. Display- this DOES matter. Choose Dell RGBLED display- this one has similar characteristics (contrast and gamut) to MBP's display. You would probably want some display calibration equipment, like Spyder 3, as well.

    However, MacOS always seems to be running PS faster than Win does...

    Oh, and Apple is ripping it's buyers. Do not ever buy MBP with non-standard RAM or HDD. Here, in UK, they charge 80 pounds for 2gb -> 4gb upgrade. Buying 4gb alone is less than 50 pounds + you can sell 2gb easily. Replacement is very easy and does not void warranty.

    Honestly, you should ask yourself, whether you are willing to pay $$$ for 7h battery life and other benefits of MBP.... Think :)
  14. Puqq macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2009
    It will work just fine, as long as you get correct memory, i.e. type and frequency.
  15. nicolo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2009
    cheers mate
    I think I will go with the Dell. You bring up a good point with the monitor so i think I will upgrade that, but it does increase the cost a bit - to $1650

    still comparably cheaper than Apple
    I'm getting 278$ off the dell for education discount vs 150$ for Apple's Ed discount
  16. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Could always go for a Lenovo W700 with a built-in calibrator. Of course that thing is huge, but would be the best laptop for photography as far as the screen goes.
  17. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Specs do not equal to usability.

    Upfront cost doesn't equal to total cost of ownership.
  18. ClassicBean macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2004
    MacBook Pros are better built. But let's assume that they have the same build quality. Ask yourself when you'll be ready to sell it.

    If it's two years from now or sooner, I'd go with the MBP.

    Two years from now, your MBP would probably fetch $1500 or more. You'd be lucky to get $500 for your Dell. Windows machines don't hold their value. Macs do.

    If you plan on keeping your laptop for 4 or 5 years, well, I'd still go with the MBP because I'm confident your Dell will crap out a lot earlier.
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Wirelessly posted (Nokia 5800 Tube XpressMusic : Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.4; U; Series60/5.0 Nokia5800d-1/21.0.101; Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

    If OS X versus Win 7 isn't important to you, buy the Dell.

    Personally, I'd only recommend a Mac if they were disappointed by Win 7 and are positive that OS X is going to make their computing experience better. If that person doesn't think so, then I'd seldomly recommend a Mac.

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